Wikis – What are They? Why Are We Using Them in Class?


Most of us are familiar with Wikipedia which as of August 2012, was the 6th most visited website on the planet.  However, giving an example of something isn’t the same as explaining what something IS.

A wiki is a online collection of texts or documents that are editable (meaning changeable) by anyone.

The “anyone” here can mean the “public” but it can also mean “anyone” in our class. In our situation all students in our course who register for our course wiki can change, but not anyone outside of the course.

Wikis have become quite common in academia.  People frequently run courses off of them (like this).  They create student projects on them (like this).  Ph.D.s even publish and republish their doctoral dissertations on them (like this).

The main thing to keep in mind about a wiki is that they are public and readable by the public.  No information