Wiki Information Sheet
Wikis are collaborative websites designed to support development of common pages or articles by multiple people. Wikis frequently incorporate text editors comparable to simplifiedword processors and track all site changes via page “histories”.These histories record the identity or “IP address” of the person performing the edit, the dateand time it occurred, and the exact nature of the change. This allows for recovery of older versions of page content as well as the option to completely revert to a previous date. Wikis can range in size from small group spaces of just a few pages to massive sites likeWikipedia that contain millions of articles and thousands of editors. Wikis are primarily text-based mediums, however many wiki programs also allow the incorporation of mixed media,such as embedded video and images. Access procedures to edit a wiki vary, and depend on the wiki software being used andthe administrative policies of the user community. However generally speaking most wikisrequire approved membership to make changes. Wikis are most commonly publicly visible,however many wiki programs do support private wikis, visible only to approved users.
Educational Use Cases
Group Work Space
During Session 2, 2010, EMPA course ARTS1091 (Media, Society, Politics) incorporated awiki to facilitate a group assessment task. This required groups of 5 students to researchthe media ownership of a specific country and document their findings in the course wiki.The wiki was used to support the student’s group work, establish a public resource on globalmedia ownership, and assess the participation of each individual group member using theinformation retained by the page histories.
Dissemination of Course Materials
In contrast, in 2009 the same course (ARTS1091) used the same wiki platform in an entirelydifferent manner; this time as a substitute for a learning management system. The wikifeatured the course curriculum, required readings, assessment tasks, online course events,lecture notes and other recordings.
Planning & Sharing of Educational Projects or Resources