Monday, February 11

Wikis for Learning at Jazan University (#JazanU)!

 This Wiki workshop was conducted on the 11th February (2013) at Jazan University.


Wikis empowers us with the ability to collaborate online in developing websites and documents. In this workshop, we will explore how we can use wikis with our students to facilitate collaborative online learning spaces. Wikis are great for group assignments and projects. During the hands-on activities, we will explore the wiki tools ‘Google Docs’ and ‘Google Sites’ for facilitating collaborative development of documents and websites respectively.


After this workshop, you will be able to:
  • Discuss how to use wikis to facilitate collaborative online learning and teaching.
  • Use Google Docs for collaborative document development.
  • Use Google Sites for collaborative website development.


Wiki is a Web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content.

  • A website created by a group; rather than by an individual.
  • In Hawaiian, Wiki means “quick”
  • What I Know Is…  (descriptive of the process of collaborative content development.)


How can we use Wikis for facilitating collaborative learning

Examples (Source and Details):

Faculty Authored
  • Group Authoring of course materials.
  • Creating and maintaining course reference lists.
Student Authored
  • Group assignments
  • e-Portfolios
  • Group debates
  • Peer self-help pages
  • Student feedback to faculty
  • Study guides
  • Subject glossary
  • Peer review of assignments during their creation
 Faculty and Student Authored
  • Marking schemes for assignments
  • Subject glossaries
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Building case studies, field reports etc.
  • Reporting research findings

BENEFITS of using Wikis for learning and teaching (Source):
  • Extremely flexible allowing any site structure to be created.
  • Can be used in classroom based, hybrid, and online courses.
  • Wiki functionality makes them ideal for collaborative writing applications and knowledge bases, which can be utilized across sections, terms and courses.
  • Wiki integration into the curriculum assists in transferring from instructor-centered to learner-centered educational opportunities.
  • Enables web publishing without knowledge of HTML or use of special web development tools.
  • Enables faculty to track who contributed what and when.

Potential DISADVANTAGES that you may want to take into consideration before utilizing Wikis for your courses (Source):
  • Using a wiki does involve learning about acceptable editing practices (e.g. how to deal with conflicting opinions).
  • Managing a wiki can require significant time commitments from faculty and/or student moderators as page edits should be closely monitored at the beginning of the project/assignment.
  • A wiki has no predefined structure to guide new users and visitors can find navigating a wiki difficult (a hypermedia content page and/or search tool would assist with this issue.)
  • IP ownership and copyright of Wiki pages can be contentious unless clear policies are in place.


Recommended Wiki Tools to use:



"Google Docs is a free, Web-based office suite and data storage service offered by Google within its Google Drive service. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users." - Wikipedia 

Features (Details):

You have 15 minutes to complete the following tasks on Google Docs (in Google Drive):
  1. Create a New Document (using a template).
  2. Rename the New Document.
  3. Add an image, link (URL), table and embed a video (from YouTube). 
  4. Upload a file (.docx or .pptx) to Google Docs. 
  5. Translate your document to another language (e.g. Arabic). 
  6. Create a new Folder. Assign a color to help identify it.
  7. Add (drag) a file to the Folder.
  8. Share a File with another person.
  9. Add a comment to a selected text in the Document.
  10. Publish a document to the web (URL).
  11. Create an online survey (using Form).
Tips (for all mission activities):

"Google Sites is a structured wiki- and web page-creation tool offered by Google as part of the Google Apps Productivity suite. The goal of Google Sites is for anyone to be able to create a team-oriented site where multiple people can collaborate and share files." - Wikipedia


You have 15 minutes to complete the following tasks on Google Sites:
  1. Create a New Site.
  2. Invite others to participate.
  3. Create a New Page.
  4. Add Text, Pictures and Links (URLs) to the Page.
  5. Embed a Video to your site.
  6. Add a Gadget to your site.
  7. Build a site with Multiple Pages.
  8. Share documents in Google Sites using Google Docs.

More Tips?

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