Wiki Introduction

A wiki is an interactive web document that students can edit collaboratively. This guide will explain best practices related to the use of the Wiki tool in Blackboard.

Benefits for Faculty

Essentially, a wiki is a web page with an open-editing system. Wikis are collaborative in nature and facilitate community-building and cooperative learning within a course. Instructors can use wikis to help students reach Bloom’s higher order skills, such as creating and evaluating.  

Note: The main difference between a wiki and a blog (journal/discussion board) is that all students can edit or delete content posted in a wiki (please be aware of this) However, the wiki tool keeps a record of changes made to the wiki, so students and faculty can access earlier versions of a wiki page.

Benefits for Students

With wikis, students have an opportunity to create together much of the course content. Wikis shift your students from ‘consumers of knowledge’ to ‘creators of knowledge’ -- a great vehicle for encouraging students to develop critical thinking skills, to learn from one another, and to improve their ability to actively work in groups (Quality Matters standard 5.2).

If you are using wikis in your courses, you might want to share the following link with your students that gives step-by-step navigation on how to access and make a wiki post.

When and How

Wikis are ideal for group projects that emphasize collaborative writing and editing. Some common uses include:

  • Mini research projects in which the wiki serves as documentation of student work
  • Collaborative annotated bibliographies where students add summaries and critiques about course-related readings
  • A manual or glossary of useful terms or concepts related to the course, or a guide to a major course concept
  • A collection of links where the instructor and students can post, comment, group or classify resources relevant to the course
  • An online repository of course documents where instructors and students can post relevant materials
  • An e-portfolio of student work

Wikis work best when individual authorship is less important than the outcome that is created. Also, wikis are most appropriate for content that doesn’t need to be protected from accidental editing.

How to Use Wikis in Blackboard

The guides in this chapter explain how to use the Wiki tool in Blackboard. Click on a link to be taken to the appropriate guide: