Buzz in Practice

How do I create Wiki activities that best support collaboration?

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Wikis allow you to create collaborative writing exercises which can be edited by the teacher and all students in a course. All members can also see a history of revisions and who made them.

The collaborative nature of this activity type requires more planning up front and coordination while students are completing the activity.

The Wiki activity allows multiple users to make edits to the same document; however, it doesn't support simultaneous editing on the same page of the wiki. If two users are editing the same page of a Wiki at the same time, the changes for the user who saves last are reflected.

To best support collaboration, you can:

Create a Wiki schedule

An easy way to ensure that student edits are not overwritten by another student making edits at the same time, is to create a schedule giving each student or group time-slots during which they alone are making edits. If you give a timeslot to a group, they will need to coordinate which group member will make the edits for their group.

Create a "check-out" system

For classes using a blended learning model, where students might be completing the activity in the classroom, you could create a "check-out" system, so everyone knows when someone is editing the Wiki. This could be as simple as posting it on a white board.

Create separate Wiki pages

You can create multiple pages within a Wiki activity. Separate pages within the Wiki can be edited simultaneously without overwriting content, so you can create a separate page for each student or group.

To create separate pages:

  1. Add a Wiki activity to your course.
  2. In the Activity tab, click Edit on the Content card to create the initial content students will see in the Wiki activity.
  3. Place the cursor where you want to link to the new page and click New page in the toolbar.
  1. Create a Page title. This will be inserted as a link where you've placed your cursor. This example uses a student's name: Cassandra Williams.
  2. Click Insert page link.
  1. Repeat this process for each page you want to create.
  2. Save.

Finish setting up the rest of the activity as you would any other, adding Instructions, etc.

When a student opens the activity, they see the content you created. They can:

  1. Click the Refresh button to make sure they're looking at the most current version.
  2. Click Edit to make changes to the current page.
  3. Click on any of the New page links you created above to open and edit that page. In this example, James would click his name.
  1. The student can enter content in the rich text editor.
  2. Save their content.
  3. Click the Home icon to return to the homepage of the Wiki.

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