A previous issue of this newsletter described how Blackboard blogs could be used to enhance student engagement and critical thinking. Like blogs, wikis are an interactive feature available through Blackboard. Wikis are websites with 'open-editing' capability that allow users to add, remove, and change content. In the Hawaiian language, wiki means quick or informal and refers to the flexibility of the tool. One of the most commonly used wikis is Wikipedia—an online, editable encyclopedia.
Wikis lend themselves to collaboration. Wikis allow multiple users to dynamically yet asynchronously edit and restructure content. Through versions, readers may track the evolution of these changes. Wikis allow members of a class or part of a class to collaborate on a document. Wiki assignments can be revised multiple times by anyone in a class or group. As a result, the distinctions between author, audience, and evaluator are blurred, allowing students and teachers to approach their work in new ways.
According to the 2005 Educause publication, 7 Things You Should Know About Wikis, because they change and grow over time, wikis can address a variety of pedagogical needs such as increasing student involvement and enhancing group activities.
Wikis are available in both in Blackboard and Moodle platforms.
Free wikis can also be set up though the following sites: