Moodle Wiki Activity

This lesson will present the purpose and features of Moodle's Wiki activity.

What is a Wiki?

What Is a Wiki?

The term “Wiki” represents a collection of linked webpages, which are created collaboratively by a group of authors, in most cases, on a voluntary basis. The term “Wiki” gets its name from the Hawaiian word “wiki-wiki” meaning “very fast”. A “Wiki” allows fast and easy adding, editing and maintenance of a collection of pages on a certain topic by a group of authors without needing to know HTML. It can be used easily as an instrument to create a list of links, as well as to create whole encyclopedias. Wikipedia[1] is the most widely known such database, created using MediaWiki software[2].

 The “Wiki” activity in Moodle is a collection of interlinked Web documents, which can be read, added and edited by each participant in the online course, in accordance with the rights of permission. Every “Wiki” has its homepage, where you can start browsing through. Authors can upload their own pages by adding a link to a page that does not exist yet.  A “Wiki” can be used to collaboratively author an article on a certain topic, to run the management of group work under a project, as virtual space for sharing ideas (brainstorming), etc. 

[1] http://www.wikipedia.org/

[2] http:/www.mediawiki.org/

What is the purpose of the wiki?

  • Wikis are used for collaborative creation of text
  • Wikis are primarily used for online encyclopedias
  • Wikis are used for writing computer programs
  • Wikis are graphical editors

Adding a Wiki Activity

Adding a Wiki Activity

The figure shows how to add a “Wiki” activity:


Wiki Settings

Wiki Creation

Wiki Type Settings

Before the first page creation we should fix the wiki type. The most common type is the HTML format (the format used by Wikipedia). Other types are used relatively rarely:

Once the general settings of a “Wiki” have been determined and the “Wiki” itself has been created on the platform, you can proceed with creating the separate pages for it. The system provides the user with a screen, where they can start writing the title page of the new “Wiki” by using the HTML editor available. To create the front page you have to mark the key words and phrases, for which separate pages will be created afterwards. This is done by enclosing these words and phrases in the text in double square brackets, for example [[ ]]:

Generally, [[distance learning]] can be described as a type of [[learning]], where the learners are at a location different from the teacher’s location and they communicate via a [[computer]] or other means of communication.

The settings for the text above are such that separate pages will be created for the key words and phrases “distance learning”, “learning”, and “computer”. When the front page is saved, these words and phrases are marked with a different colour and they appear as hyperlinks. If a user selects such a link, they can start writing a page, that describes the relevant key word or phrase. These options are visualized at the next page.

Wiki Front Page Adding

Wiki Front Page View

The front page now is ready

The front page looks like it is shown at the picture on the left. The words in double brackets at the editor are marked in blue, so they are tagged as keywords, but the pages with their descriptions and explanations are still to be created. 

When we click on such a word (for example "webpage"), a screen, similar to those when created the front page will appear and we have to create the new page. After new page will be created the link with tagged word will follow to the new page. So will be all the appearances of the word in each wiki page.

In this manner all the needed wiki pages should be created. The choice of the keywords, explained with pages, should be carefully considered, since the presence of too many keywords and pages will make the reading more difficult, while the absence of enough explanations will leave the material unclear.

Further Wiki Options

Wiki as a collaborative tool for materials creation

Wiki as a medium for joint documents creation

Wiki could be used as a media for collaborative creation of material, focused in a specific domain. For example, a group of students could be assigned to create text on a preliminarily fixed topic. Each student should write a number of pages, while the terms should be fixed in advance. 

In addition, the wiki keeps a full history of user activities with users and their changes, which can be cancelled by the administrator, if needed. Different versions of a page can be compared easily and users' changes could be fully tracked.

Administrative options

Pages Management

The administrative wiki options include: 

  • page deletion and editing;
  • orphan pages control (inaccessible pages with no incoming links);
  • deletion of older pages versions, etc.