Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > More Technology Tools > Wikis


Two students looking at a computer screen at the Student Center.
Wikis are websites that allows users to collaborate by creating, editing, deleting, and publishing content. As such they are well-suited for a range of collaborative learning activities, from creating study guides and glossaries to working on group projects and presentations.

If you're one of the hundreds of millions of people who visit Wikipedia every month, then chances are you've got at least a little experience with how wikis work. However, if you need a brief introduction to wikis, watch the short video below.

Wikis in Plain English

Wiki-Based Projects and Activities 

Wikis can be used by students instructors to...

  • document their research in preparation for final papers or reports provide evidence for solving problems
  • collaborate on group projects
  • reflect on co-curricular or extra-curricular activities such as student groups and internships
  • create connections between course concepts and readings
  • practice giving and receiving constructive feedback in a public space

Wiki Tips from Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS)

Examples of Course Wikis

  • Greek Tragedy from Dan Curly at Skidmore College. This site documents the work of four student groups who were each assigned the task of writing a Greek tragedy (in English).
  • Social Justice Movements from Robin D. G. Kelley at Columbia University. This wiki features articles written by students about individuals, organizations and places related to recent social justice movements.
  • Middle School Chemistry was created by undergraduate students at the University of Illinois for honors credit.

Further Resources

Boulos, M., Maramba, I., & Wheeler, S. (2006). "Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts: A New Generation of Web-Based Tools for Virtual Collaborative Clinical Practice and Education." BMC Medical Education, 6, 41. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-41

Parker, K., & Chao, J. (2007). "Wiki as a Teaching Tool." Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge & Learning Objects, 3, 57-72.

"Teaching with Wikis Wiki" from the University of Minnesota includes sample wiki projects, suggestions for assessing wikis, wiki rubrics, and ideas about using wikis to teach writing.

"Wikis" from the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University gives examples of course wikis and provides links to emerging research on their educational value.

Wheeler, S., Yeomans, P. & Wheeler, D. (2008). "The Good, the Bad and the Wiki: Evaluating Student-Generated Content for Collaborative Learning." British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 987-995. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00799.x