As wikis enable students to collaboratively write and edit a document it is a great tool to support group work. Each of the edits and amendments in a wiki becomes a revision so the contribution of each group member can be monitored. The OU wiki in Moodle enables you to support the development of a module wiki which all the students contribute to or a series of group wikis to support group or project work. For group wikis you can create a template in advance to provide consistent pages and guidance to each of the student groups.
As each member of the wiki has equal editing (and therefore deleting rights) you might find it useful to set some ground rules with your students before you start with this activity. To help students engage with group work on a wiki it can be useful to assign them or ask students to self-select a wiki-role. Ferriter (n.d.) has produced a useful guide on wiki roles for student groups which provides an overview of the different types of roles that you might want to use.
Adding an OU wiki to your module
- Click Turn editing on.
- Open the relevant section and click Add an activity or resource.
- In the section/topic you require choose OU Wiki from the Activity list and click Add.
- Give your wiki a meaningful Name
- You can provide a description in the Wiki description field and check the Display description on course page tickbox if you want this description to appear on the module homepage.
- Under Wiki settings box, the Sub-wikis drop-down menu gives you three options:
The other options to consider are:
- Single wiki for course: All students on the module have access to and equal editing rights on a module wiki.
- One wiki per group: Members of each group see an entirely separate copy of the wiki (sub-wiki) specific to their group. You can only see pages created by people in the same group. If you are in more than one group, or you have permissions that allow you to view all groups, you get a dropdown to choose a group. It is useful to apply a template to this type of wiki so that each group gets the same wiki structure to start with. Read the guidance on Creating and applying a wiki template before you select this option.
- Separate wiki for every user: Every single user gets an entirely different wiki. Like the One wiki per group option it is useful to apply a template to this type of wiki so that each group gets the same wiki structure to start with. Read the guidance on creating a wiki template before you select this option.
- Annotation system: This enables Lecturers on the module to add inline annotations to wiki pages. It's the wiki equivalent of a red pen! Select Yes to enable and No to disable. Students can also use the annotation system to discuss edits before they are made.
- Set Time allowed for editing from the drop-down menu. If you select a timeout, people editing the wiki are only allowed to edit it for a given time. The wiki locks pages while they are being edited (so that two people can't edit the same page at once), so setting a timeout prevents the wiki becoming locked for others and is useful when you have a large group of students working on a wiki.
- Allow editing from: If you enable this option the wiki enters read-only mode until the given date. Users cannot edit pages until this date.
- Prevent editing from: If you enable this option the wiki enters read-only mode from the given date onwards. Users cannot edit pages after this date.
- Template: A template is a predefined set of wiki pages. When a template is set, the wiki starts off with the content defined in the template. To create a template, write the pages you want on any wiki, then visit the Index page and click the Save wiki as template. To learn more about creating a template, also see the Creating and applying a wiki template guide. Please note you need to apply the template before you save your wiki.
- Show word counts select Yes if you want the word count to display on each wiki page and No if you do not want the word count to display.
- Check Link to import pages to add the ability to import pages from other wikis on the module into the current wiki.
Set a grade type or select None from the Grade dropdown list. If Scale is chosen, you can then choose a scale from the Scale drop-down options. If Point is chosen, you can enter the maximum grade available for this activity in the Maximum points field.
- If you have set up categories within your Grader report area then you select the relevant Grade category under Grade settings here. Categories are useful for organising your grade area within a module.
- Grade to pass determines the minimum grade required to pass. The value is used in activity and course completion, and in the gradebook, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.
- Under Common module settings change Availability to Hide from students if you are not ready to make the activity visible, otherwise leave as Show on module page. It is also possible to choose Make available but not shown on module page where the wiki will not show as an activity on the module but will be listed in the gradebook and a link to the activity must be provided.
- Group mode must be set to No groups unless the sub-wiki option is set to One wiki per group. If you have selected one wiki per group, change Group mode to Separate groups if group members should only see their own group or Visible groups if you want each group member to participate in their own group and to see contributions from other groups.
- Where relevant, click Restrict access to add access restrictions to the wiki.
- To use Activity Completion please refer to the Activity Completion guidance.
Click on Save and return to course.
Creating and applying a wiki template
Monitoring student participation on a group wiki