Wiki In Education

See also WikiEducationalUses and WikiSchool.

Wikis, like other tools (content management systems, weblogs), are being used by educators as effective teaching and learning tools. They often require some modifications to be adapted to the environment, language, culture, and students or participants. Some times the adaptation is organizational involving setting targets, defining scope and desired results, while other adaptations require modifications of software and mechanics of presentation.

The NobleExperiment which was introduced here is finding uses and advocates in widening circles. Wikis are having an effect similar to that of a stone which when thrown into a still pond generates ripples moving out and away from the center.


-- AnonymousUser

Open educational resources (OER) are educational resources, like lesson plans and learning websites, that are open in the same sense that open source software is open -- human readable and licensed to be shared, improved and shared again. Lots of folks are launching Web 2 style websites to host the writing and sharing of open educational resources. Several OER sites are using wikis and have worked wiki into their project names to say so. OER Grapevine was intended to be a meta wiki, a grapevine, to keep track of all these OER projects and help folks involved in them share ideas about using wikis and or other content management systems (CMS), and to coordination on licensing issues to promotes sharing. If you know of an OER project we don't have listed yet, please add a note about it on the OER Grapevine. Thanks!

-- Roger

I'm going to attempt to set up a wiki for my summer school staff to express ideas, opinions and suggestions for the program. I am "new" in the administrative role as summer school principal. One of the biggest mistakes made by administrators that I have seen is not asking for input. So simple... you just need to ask, especially when you are only in your early thirties! Teachers, like their kids, want input... they want to create. In a true systems approach, this is invaluable. The wiki may give teachers an opportunity to make suggestions from the relative "safety" of their homes (it's actually more of a convenience factor) - especially since they are at school only for roughly a half day in the summer.

Justin S. Woodside

I am setting up some educational wikis at, including one specifically about educational uses of wikis at I invite you to contribute your ideas to those sites.

One conclusion I have drawn from seeing comments here and elsewhere is that wikis, like other tools (content management systems, weblogs), need some modifications to be more effectively useful for teaching and learning in and out of schools. Such as some of the ideas on this page:

-- DougHolton

Growing Collective Notes - Seminars and Lectures

I have used Wiki in a few seminars and lectures. (A substitute for Power Point Presentations. moreover when the students have access to the computers, the presentation is modifiable and can be commented by audience on the fly, and they can add questions on a QuestionPage, which will be answered at the end of the lecture.) After a seminar, as an on-going education service, the wiki site grows large into an evolving general resource site for the subject matter, where active discussions occur and rapidly converge into DocumentMode texts. And I have also used Wiki in a few group studies. Someone posts a summary of a section which he's got to present on the study day in front of study group members. After the day, all members come to the page and modify, enhance, organize, refactor into several pages. I call it "growing collective notes." -- JuneKim

Collective Textbooks


See also the Wikiversity (wiki+university) project that started at Wikibooks:

I am currently working on a similar project called WikiLiver. The idea too is to have "growing collective notes" done by the students and for students, which consists of DocumentMode texts and links to pictures on the web. The students (medical and dental students and anybody who is interested) can refer to it any time. The WikiLiver should then grow into a constantly updated and growing hyperlinked textbook. -- MathisHeydtmann


Primary and Secondary Grades

You shouldn't just think about Wikis as a knowledge system. Younger children can learn about architecture from them. I've started playing with my own (primary and pre-primary) children to improve their spatial awareness and to hang other things on. There's a really simple example at of something you can build together with a child on a Wiki and treat at several different levels. I'll put up some harder mazes and quizzes when I've got time. -- AndrewCates

Seventh Grade

I recently conducted a simple study with my seventh grade history classes using a wiki as the collection, revision and publication environment for their research on a short unit. I am trying to write up the results and am getting ready for a few more extension studies. I am really excited about the possibilities for using a wiki at the elementary and secondary school levels. -- CoryLittle?

Eighth Grade

I am in the works of putting together a wiki for an 8th grade English class research project repository- kind of wikipedia type idea for a specific area of enquiry (genocide). Half the trouble is trying to write walk throughs for the 8th grade mentality in a lower-income lower tech area. Once it is up, I will post a link to the server (we're running the server out of our bedroom no less!) and you can see what happens. Fishbowl, anyone?

Wiki has been quite helpful with online schools ( It allows students to discuss the schools listed and to offer advice to other students.

Collaboration in College Environments

We have a test run going at Messiah College just for a playground for senior computer science majors to play around.

We could have a collective note of the whole class on Wiki. After each class, students are encouraged to go to the Wiki site and put down "collaboratively" what they learned from the class; they are building a web site about the class. If one student finds a line from another student incomprehensible or mistaken, he/she could edit or add to it freely. The professor/teacher could go and see what the whole class understand and don't understand, so that he could prepare for the next class to make it up. Students would get all the same grade (or preferably some portion of their grade) at the end of the semester according to the final "state" of the Wiki site - what they've built up; they are evaluated collectively as they worked collectively. In this way, they could get motivated, and they might help each other to build a good academic web site rather than one excellent student plays all over the place to get his own grade best. -- JuneKim

University Classes

I have used a wiki in several of my University Classes. I have used it for Web design , system administration and Networking classes at Oregon State University. I used PhpWiki, because I was able to connect it to a mysql database for authentication. -- JohnSechrest

Wiki on a college campus makes it too easy for students to get inaccurate information. Although I think wikis have there place in education I feel teaching the user to identify accurate information is crucial. --JOSH WHITING

The same may be said of any immediate or contemporary media presentation, including what presently passes for journalism and news coverage. The cost of immediacy is often found to be possible inaccuracies or incompletely developed, or characterized substance. Education, when encouraging students to employ the internet as a resource must take into account that students are often not able to discriminate between what is and is not accurate. They are after all "learners". Typically when insisting upon accuracy, educators often insist, not upon supposition and free thinking, but rather upon citations based upon peer-reviewed journals and publications, which of course results in a built in time-lapse. Students will discover in immediate as well as peer-reviewed sources, that there are presentations which originate (create) information, and those which merely collect and parrot information. The sign of the truly educated is found in those who seek knowlege with a honest curiosity and with extensive discovery, and in those who depend upon rational and critical thinking. -- DonaldNoyes

College - Graduate Level

I've used wiki in graduate courses, and it's proven very convenient for collecting student info. At the start of a course, I ask students to add their name, email, address, and to make a brief home page describing their interests in the course. In other words, I've used it as an electronic sign-up sheet. I've also used it in reading seminars, where I put out a schedule of sessions and the names of the session leader, and then the leaders post references to the paper they will discuss, and the rest of the class posts questions.

There are two wins: it cuts down on the administrative overhead I need to do, and it is quick and easy for everyone. There's also a heavyweight course management system at my school, and adding comments to wiki is often quicker than the initial log-on to the other system!

There has not been much uptake of wiki among other teachers. Commonly cited reasons are:

Other Uses and Languages

Collaborative Story Telling - French Language

I have used my own wiki clone LizzyWiki (formerly known as: YetAnotherWikiClone) with Grade 4 students involved in CollaborativeWebBasedStoryTelling. For details, see (all stories in French):

Internet Technologies - German Language

I'm currently teaching internet technologies in an Austrian school for graphics and multimedia arts. We are using a wiki for our first steps in online education, and it seems to work out really fine. I have students from age 17 to age 30 and many of them are very motivated to contribute. You are invited to have a look (German language!)

Ecology - Russian Language

Wiki in Russian language for ecological education -

Online Seminars - Catalan

I have created several online permanent seminars on disabilities-related topics using wikis

The idea is that the seminar has a core of text units which must be read by each participant, who can modify it or add comments wiki-style. Then, each participant must contribute links, documents, case-estudies, terms for a glossary, questions and commentaries and references. This way, I expect the seminar to evolve and self-actualize with each new participant. The seminar becomes also a kind of website for the topic, which in Catalan is not a small thing. -- Josep Ll. Ortega (mailto://

Training Courses in Organizations

Now Wiki has become a must in my training course - I teach XP, OOP, culture (oxymoron?) and etc. On day one, I teach how to use wiki always, and then help them build their own wiki. Day by day, they fill in and share what they learned and their thoughts on it, which I call "Three Fs", Facts, Feelings and Findings. Wiki has a power of changing organizations and the individuals in it. -- JuneKim

Emergence and Convergence

Emerging Technologies - First, Second, and Beyond

Collaboration as Works in Process - Ever Evolving

Moved from the EducatorsAnonymous page:

Let's think outside the box!! Add a resource... vent... share a unique and or successful teaching idea... this area IS GEARED TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN EDUCATION!! How can we make use of wikis as an educator's tool? An example is a CollaborativeWebBasedStoryTelling done by grade 4 students. I certainly like the collaborative aspect of Wiki!

I am an Educational Technology Integrator. I would like to show teachers how this free blog type tool could be used as a collaborative tool in science, math or language arts classes. The only problem is that it could readily be deleted... however, a simple copy and paste into a word processor on a daily basis could serve as a simple backup. I am interested in assisting with your idea of creating an environment where teachers would feel comfortable visiting and contributing to. I would be glad to help in any way.

How can we make use of wikis as an educator's tool?

This is a good idea. I've seen a couple people catalog different ways to use wikis in education, but they are more for the college level:

I think we should have a wiki with something similar except for K-12 education too.

Unfortunately, this wiki isn't the place for it. Wikipedia probably isn't either. Feel free to check out the educational topic wikis at, especially, or else create your own wiki for free at SeedWiki.

-- DougHolton

After reading a magazine put together by a famous movie director, I became informed of wiki pages. True to what many educators have expressed on these pages so far, I see great benefit, especially when dealing with students who continually search information on different digitized devices. There are great ways to use these pages with students. -- Mytzy

There is a good example of an educational wiki for k-12 homeschoolers at

Help...I'm a teacher trying to get out of my computer!

Submitting of an assignment as a wiki page or set of pages

While not strictly relevant, I offer this as a data point: Another lecturer and I have used a wiki in a final year class on Artificial Intelligence, with a cohort of approximately sixty students. The students were required to submit an essay assignment as a Wiki page or set of pages. This was quite successful, with no deliberate defacement. The students appeared to respond well to this, and the feedback was positive. The most significant problem, if any, was that although we encouraged the students to cross-reference (link to) each other's work, they tended not to -- with a few exceptions, each student's work tended to be a WalledGarden unto itself. Of course, this is true here as well. I frequently find myself scrambling to remember enough of a WikiPage I saw three weeks ago in order to search for it and create an appropriate link; often as not I can't find it and the concept or whatever remains unlinked. I'm sure there's a WikiWord that describes this effect in detail, but I ran across it three weeks ago and now I can't find it. -- DaveVoorhis

Wikis in 4-5

Some of the late elementary teachers at my school have been using wikis as an extension of the learning in the classroom. The teacher uses it to post assignments and classroom information to which the students are free to add to (within certain limits). Students also have a student-only designated section to their classroom wiki where they can talk about what they're learning about in class or post something cool they've experienced or found that they think their classmates may be interested in. The wiki is used as not only an educational teacher-to-student tool, but also a student-to-student or student-to-teacher tool. --Brandi


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