Wikis in the Classroom: Three Ways to Increase Student Collaboration

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  1. @ikesharpless

    I have two pbworks wikis for the courses I teach at UMass Lowell ( and the Tufts Experimental College (, and I use them for all of the above and one additional thing: weekly student uploads of links relevant to course material. It's a way for me to get my students to connect our readings to current events, and for me to integrate students who tend to participate less into class discussion without making them feel too vulnerable.

  2. Tim Michael

    Is PBWorks free? From their Web site it doesn't look like it.

    It's a great idea, and I'd use wikis in class if I they were persistent over time. Our platform does wikis but they expire each semester, which sort of defeats the purpose.

    1. John Orlando

      Yes, PBWorks is free, and persistent. I've been using mine for years.

  3. @ikesharpless

    Wikiworks does offer a free platform – I actually have one paid one ( and one free one ( And I think my paid one has now migrated to being on the free platform, because I don't remember renewing it (unless they did it on me automatically, and sneakily).

    The difference is minimal, and, other than a big 'for non-commercial use only' header, mostly concerns storage space allocations.

    They work really well for me, although I haven't tried any other wikis, so I can't make a cross-comparison. But compared with Blackboard, it's night and day. If all you're looking for is a place to post documents, Blackboard is fine. But I use these every day to compile links I'll reference/play in class and to have students post regular updates.

  4. Ulrike Rettig

    Thanks for the resources. I'm new to Wikis, they seem like an excellent tool for teaching and learning. I've been using the open source Webiva CMS for the online language learning platform gamesforlanguage and find it just incredibly versatile and fun to use.
    (I've created games, added design, learners can record themselves and play back. I can quickly make changes in the content, I can easily add recorded content that a native speaker makes online.) I can see, though, for communicating with students that Wikis are more flexible. I love all these new tools! Ulrike

  5. James Neill

    Wikiversity – is a free to use wiki for education, supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, and is a sister project of Wikipedia, so it can draw easily on a large pre-existing pool of openly licensed content.

  6. Claire

    I am a librarian and I have a wiki which lists our Business Success Seminars. I have uploaded some handouts. However, now I can't download them to see them. I wish we could keep our handouts on the wiki so our students could access them whenever. Am I doing something wrong?

  7. Claire

    Claire the librarian here again. I tried it from another computer and I was able to download the handouts. I love these ideas on how to use wikis in the classroom.

  8. Alan Allison

    One of the great things wikis have to offer is that collaboration and the creation of content is designed into them .
    So as long as your course content is ammnenable to collaborationa nd or the creation of content it is a great learning tool e.g. discussions or group projects, creating multimedia presentations .If on the otherhand you are teaching some basic technical skills such as mathematics or science the more directed and circumscribed environment of a Learning Management Systemlike moodle is a more appropriate tool.
    Best wishes
    Alan Allison

  9. Ami

    Hi !

    Do any of you have any example Wiki assignments out there? I am struggling with coming up with the best wording to include in my Wiki assignment directions for my students! Thanks : ) Ami

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