Wiki Workshop
"The Wiki Way:
Creating and Facilitating an Online Learning Environment using Wikis"

Wikis are a free and easy to use tool that can powerfully facilitate collaboration and communication. Wikis effectively provide teachers with a 'web page' that can store files, course notes, movies etc to support classroom learning. Wikis can increase the engagement of students, encourage collaboration, enable students to build connections and stimulate and facilitate discussion. A wiki is also the perfect spaces for displaying assessment information, tasks and projects.

This workshop will enable you to create your own wiki and understand possible uses of wikis in education.


What is a Wiki?

A Wiki is a type of Web site that allows users to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration.

This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring.

Very simply put, a wiki is like a website that people can edit, add to and change. Permissions can also be put in place so that only certain people can view or be allowed to change a wiki.

How do Wikis work?

This video by the Commoncraft crew simply explains the concept of how wikis work in 'Plain English'.

Wiki Walk Through

This WIKI WALK THROUGH is amazing and will further help you understand what a wiki is, how they are different to blogs, ideas for how to USE a wiki, benefits of using a wiki and decisions you need to make when planning your wiki.

Wikis vs Blogs

This video features a fictional debate between JFK and Richard Nixon on the propriety of using blogs vs. wikis. It showcases the differences and similarities between wikis and blogs.


Creating & Getting a Wiki for free!

There are MANY different places you can create and use a wiki for free.
One of these great places is Wikispaces (where this wiki is hosted)
The great thing about Wikispaces is that they give away advertising-free wikis to educators.
To get an advertising-free wiki (normally costing $50/year) from Wikispaces CLICK HERE!

You will be presented with this screen.
Choose a username (eg rachelboyd) and a password; then enter your email address and complete the fields.
[Your space name is what your wiki will be called (for example this wiki's space name is "rachelboyd" and it appears at [[|]]
You will probably want to set your wiki to protected or private to start with.]

Editing a Wikispaces Wiki

The Basics

  • Click on 'Edit This Page'
  • You can then start typing directly onto the page.
  • If you want to format your text in any way, you will need to highlight the text you want to change and then use the buttons on the toolbar.

Inserting Files and Images


When you click on the Images and Files button, a window will pop up showing pictures and files that have already been uploaded to the wiki. At the bottom of this window is an area to upload new files and images.

Click on 'Browse' to locate a file or image on you computer and then click on 'Upload'. When the file or image appears in the top part of the window, double click on it to add it to the wiki page.

You will see another box saying 'Insert External Image by URL.' I use this option all the time. All images that are posted on the internet have a unique internet address (URL). If you are using Firefox and right click on an image from the internet, you can choose 'Save Image Location'. This copies the URL of that image. You can then paste the URL into the bottom box and click 'Load'. When the picture appears, double click on it to add it to the wiki page. If you are not using Firefox, click on an internet image to open it on a page by itself. The URL for that image is normally the address in the browser address window. Copy this address and paste it into the bottom box and double click on it when it appears. The beauty of this option is that the image is hosted elsewhere on the net and doesn't use up any of your wiki space allowance. The downside is that if you have a lot of these hosted pictures, you page can take a long time to load as it looks to all the sites where the pictures are stored and if the picture is deleted on the site where you 'borrowed' it from, it deletes on your wiki page as well.

Embedding Media


Use this button if you want a video, slideshow, podcast or any other widget (object that can be embedded on your page) on your page. You will first need to copy the html code from the site where your content is hosted (normally this is very easy to find and the pages in this wiki give you information on how to do this).

Then you click on the Embed Media button and paste the code in the box that pops up and click 'Save'. When in editing mode, some widgets appear as a grey box with 'Custom' on it. Don't worry - this is the way it should be. When you save the wiki page, the object displays correctly.

Help! How do you do that?

Wikispaces has an excellent help site for teachers - you can access it by clicking here

Amongst others some of the excellent posts on the site is this:
Q:Is there an easy way to create accounts for all of my students?
A: Sure - if you don't want your students to have to create accounts themselves, just email with a list of usernames, email addresses (if you have them - if you don't just leave them out), and passwords in the following format and we'll create the accounts for you.
read more about how to do this here

Show me how to do that! - Video Tutorials

Wikispaces Tutorials

Wikispaces has a series of 5 video tutorials:
Introduction: getting started, creating a wiki and using the visual editing tool bar
Personalising your space with themes and colour choices
Uploading: how to upload pictures and files on your wiki and attach them to pages
Notification of changes to the wiki
Personal settings for your wiki and changing your picture

Other Tutorials

Making a new page

Tutorial on how to make a new page for your wiki

Making a menu

Tutorial on creating your navigation (menu) down the sidebar


Tutorial on Editing

Bling for Wikis

This page is a growing resource of pretty and wizz bangy stuff you can add to your wiki - some will to improve asthetics and some tools are to improve engagement/motivation.

Embedding things into your wiki

This page will give you some ideas of what you could possibly embed into your wiki using the HTML code that the site gives you.
For example all the tutorial videos on this page are embedded into the wiki, using the codes given on YouTube.

Other Excellent Wiki Presentations