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7 Things You Should Know About Wikis

Friday, July 15, 2005


Update: An earlier version of this document contained an error that has been addressed. If you accessed this file prior to February 17, 2006, please download the corrected PDF.

Wikis are Web pages that can be viewed and modified by anyone with a Web browser and Internet access. Described as a composition system, a discussion medium, and a repository, wikis support asynchronous communication and group collaboration online. Their inherent simplicity gives students direct access to their content, which is crucial in group editing or other collaborative activities. Their versioning capability allows them to illustrate the evolution of thought processes as students interact with a site and its contents. Wikis are also being used as e-portfolios, highlighting their utility as a tool for collection and reflection. They may be the easiest, most effective Web-based collaboration tool in any instructional portfolio.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning practices and technologies. Each brief focuses on a single practice or technology and describes what it is, how it works, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use ELI's "7 Things You Should Know About..." briefs to gain a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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