Wiki’s in Bb
Presented By Nicola van den
28th September 2005
Session Outline
Define Wikis
Wiki Features and Challenges
Why Wikis in Bb
Integrating Wikis with Blackboard
Case Study
What are Wikis?
Definition of a Wiki
“Wiki is a piece of server software that allows
users to freely create and edit Web page content
using any Web browser.
Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text
syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks
between internal pages on the fly.”
“The word “Wiki” originates from the
Hawaiian “Wiki”, which means “quick”. Wikis
have been in existence for almost ten years.
They were first described and introduced to
users of the World Wide Web in 1995 by
Ward Cunningham who also developed the
original software.”
(Leuf, B and Cunningham, W. (2001).
The Wiki Way: Quick collaboration on the Web,
pub: Addison-Wesley Longmann.)
Camel Case
Example Wiki page
Edit Page
Some of the features of Wikis are:
• Content is instantly published
• Links are easily created
• Only need a browser to use a Wiki
Some of the features of Wikis are:
• No need to know complex programming or web
• Information is easily shared
• Work well for collaborative activites, such as
brainstorming, lists, event planning, and
document creation.
Some of the challenges of Wikis are:
• Because anyone can post a contribution,
people can populate wiki pages with spam.
– However, most wiki software offers the ability to
lock pages down.
• When several users are editing pages at the
same time, conflicts can occur
– However, there is the ability to view current text
plus the text you were working on, allowing you
to fit both together.
Why Wikis in Blackboard?
What can Wiki’s Offer? What are their uses?
• Support collaborative contribution to
• Enable students to add content to a shared
• Provide a space students can use to publicly
display information
Students collaboratively contribute
to content, by adding links and
descriptions to the Wiki page.
Example tasks
Group writing an outline for a project
Collaborative document creation
Event planning
Development of a shared web resource
Wikis in Bb: How was it done?
• Installed UseMod (
• Set Config files
• Determined usage parameters
• Put Scripts in place so that the Wiki did
what we wanted
• Created Instructions and Guidelines
Click ‘Save’ to complete the
creation of your wiki page
Integration with Bb
• Wiki pages can be integrated with
Blackboard by adding URL links into
Blackboard courses.
• The most common way has been to link a
Wiki page from the Course Menu.
Integration with Bb
• Other variants have included linking to
specific wiki pages, from different sections
within the Blackboard course.
• By having the wiki pages open “within the
page” rather than in a new window, the
wiki becomes seamless with Blackboard.
Case Study of use
Example of Wiki
page inside Bb
Case Study of use
Example of Wiki
page inside Bb
• We chose wiki software, customised it for our
use, and made it available.
• We have made people aware about what
wikis are, at the same time as our wiki in Bb
pilot, we have made a wiki freely available to
any user as a sandpit area for people to
explore wikis.
• So far the uptake has been slow, but the
interest is growing!
Where to From here?
• The next step is to offer comprehensive
workshops to Bb Users on the use of
• We will continue to look at other Wiki
Software, and may switch to a more
comprehensive wiki software at a later
So What do you need to do ?
• Choose Wiki software that is right for your
• Install it on a Server
• Explore the software to find the best way for it to
work for you
• Let your staff know about it!
There is lots of different Wiki software available,
that use different programming Languages.
Nicola van den Berg
Unitec New Zealand

Wikis in Bb - Blackboard Inc.