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Teaching Tips - How to set up your wiki

Table of Contents

Structure the Wiki Space

Setting up an outline for your Wiki BEFORE the students start using it is a good way to ensure that content is formatted and structured in a way that is meaningful and useful to both the instructor and the students.

Engage your students - put clear directions for the use of the Wiki Space on the front page

Determine what the purpose os the Wiki is, for example:

  1. Is the wiki a one stop place for you students to see what is going on in your class and at school.
  2. Is it a resource for them to turn to when then need handouts.
  3. Will the wiki space be used for scheduling group meetings, compiling research, and assigning teams
  4. Is it a place to collaborate with each other.

Clearly communicate how students should interact on or with a wiki

  1. Post directions on what a wiki is, and how to use it. The Common Craft video is an excellent resource; see Wikis in Plain English.
  2. Create a Sandbox - give students a place to experiment and make mistakes.
  3. Create a wiki etiquette page to discuss what is and isn't appropriate.
  4. Link to your class materials (handouts, syllabus, etc) from the front page.
  5. Create clear navigation!

Navigation:  How should students find what they are looking for

  1. Use Labels
  2. Form Page Families
  3. Create a Navigation Sidebar

Initial steps to get students involved

1.   Student Pages

Build Community by getting each student to create a page with their bio. This will help students get to know each other and can be used as a springboard to discuss online privacy and the nature of public and private on the web.

2.   Class notes

Assign one or two students to summarize the information discussed in class on a specific day. The other students can then comment on the summary or add links or corrections to the summary from their perspective. 

Instructors have indicated that even students who are uncomfortable speaking in class are willing to participate in an online environment.

3.  Study Guides

Develop a series of questions that the students need to address and use the wiki as a tool to create study guides for each chapter or module.

4.  Question Page

Create a page where students can post questions to the instructor and to each other. Using Wiki's as a forum is a great way to stimulate conversation. Make use of the "comments" section on each page too.

Some great examples of Wiki's in Education

Quick ideas to integrate into lesson plans

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