Monday, 6 October 2008

Wikis in HE

A wiki is a web site that any user can edit. For this reason, they are sometimes known as read/write web pages.

Typically, a group of people with shared interests and/or common goals participate in the creation and development of web pages and other online documentation on a particular domain of knowledge.

The term wiki is also used to refer to the software that enables online collaboration. Wiki software offers easy-to-use html editing tools that allow users to create web pages, embed images, add hyperlinks and so on.

If you're interested in learning more about wiki software Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and best-known example of a wiki, has an excellent description.

Here are some of the main characteristics of a wiki:
  • easy-to-use interface that allows users to upload and edit entries through their web browser;
  • facility for the originator of a wiki to determine who has edit rights (wikis therefore support both individual and team work);
  • version control that automatically saves earlier pages (therefore retrievable in the event of a mistake or disagreement).

Finally, here are some useful articles:

Bristow, R. (2005). 'Beyond email: wikis, blogs and other strange beasts'. Ariadne, 42. Accessed 23 January 2008 from:

Pixy Ferris, S. and Wilder, H.(2006) 'Uses and potentials of wikis in the classroom'. Innovate: journal of online education 2(5). Accessed 23 January 2008 from:

Lamb, B. (2004) 'Wide open spaces: wikis, ready or not'. Educause Review 39(5). Accessed 23 January 2008 from:

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