Wiki sites are collaborative platforms where the content is build and shared by the user community. Although wikis have a learning curve, Wikis are excellent for building collaborative content and knowledge sharing. Wikipedia is a famous example of a wiki site. A wiki website can be edited easily and new content can be added by the user without any programming knowledge. By adding internal links to the wiki pages, a website having interlinked pages can be created quickly. Moreover the Hawaiian word “wiki” means quickly. Ward Cunningham, who developed the first wiki software WikiWikiWeb is considered as the father of the modern wiki. There are many software available for building a wiki site. Some of these wiki site building software tools are:
MediaWiki is a free and open source software for building a wiki site. MediaWiki was originally used for Wikipedia but now is available for other wiki sites. MediaWiki is part of Wikimedia which is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. Wikis are used both by the educational institutes as well as business enterprises. A business enterprise uses wikis for document management, revising the content, building and sharing knowledge base and business training.An educational institute can use wikis to build a learning community. Teachers and students can collaborate with each other as part of the course. Some of the ways in which a wiki can be used to improve efficiency in an educational setup are given below:
- Teachers can add instructional resources such as lecture notes, assignments in wiki
- Course materials can be added in a structured way with interlinked pages
- Teachers and Students can build e-portfolios in wiki
- A student learning community can be build.
- Student engagement can be increased. Student engagement with the content, with peers and with teachers can be enhanced even after the class hours.
- Students can discuss the course content with peers. Meaningful discussion can happen between students.
- Student collaboration can be enhanced. Students can be engaged in solving a problem collaboratively even outside the classroom.
- Within any university or educational institute, a great amount of knowledge exists among its members and sharing of this knowledge will raise the intelligence level of the institute. Wikis can be effectively used for this purpose.
- Wikis can be accessed anytime anywhere on any device. It can be accesses in a mobile device while on the move. Also the access can be restricted by setting it up within the institute intranet.
- Every classroom can have a wiki. Even a school-wide wiki can be build. Student projects, industrial visit reports and best practices can be shared using a wiki.
- Frequently asked questions, technical help, Rules & regulations etc. can be posted in a wiki.
Wikis software settings can be modified to control access. Even the main wiki features such as content creation and editing can be disabled or restricted by changing the settings in the wiki server. EdLearnX has such a restricted wiki at cswiki.edlearnx.com as the purpose for this wiki is different.
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