About W&M Wikis

From wmwikisnet.wmwikis.net
Jump to navigation Jump to search

W&M Wikis: Free Wiki Space

Most faculty members have heard of Wikipedia, if for no other reason than its somewhat controversial contribution to student research. Wikipedia has been accused of dumbing down subject matter and of yielding to the "tyranny of the masses" because of its open, shared nature. While this may be true, wikis serve many useful purposes in terms of academia that have not been fully explored. One benefit is that wiki platforms are designed to make it easy for writers to collaborate on a projects of shared interest. William and Mary offers an open platform where anyone with a William and Mary userid can create and maintain a full-featured wiki to share information on any topic of interest, ranging from television shows to focused scientific research. After experimenting with a number of commercial and open-source products, W&M Information Technology has purchased a Wiki hosting location to meet the needs of our faculty, staff and administrators who need more capability or public visibility than the wiki tool in Blackboard provides. W&M students and faculty in Modern Language, Literary and Cultural Studies participated several extensive pilot studies, and they found the program easy to learn and powerful enough even for relatively sophisticated projects. The School of Education has also switched to using wikis for their students' electronic portfolio projects.


W&M Wiki sites (wmwikis.net) come with all the standard features of commercial wiki. Site owners have a high degree of control over page formatting and the navigation bar, and also have a fairly complete visual editor and table editor. Wikis support embedding most common media types, including video and audio files, and offer a fairly comprehensive tagging feature to organize information. You can create multiple pages and control how they are presented, and you can upload media from class, like PowerPoints or other documents. Further, it is much easier to organize content on W&M Wiki sites.

Getting Started

Choosing the name is generally the hardest part of the process. Decide which "name" works best for your wiki. Names should be short and descriptive allowing wiki users to remember these wiki names. Wiki owners can control access, allowing their sites to be have members with different privileges and restricting access for either editing or viewing.


Support for W&M Wikis is available through the W&M IT. Please check the "Getting Help" link on the left sidebar.


There are really very few problems with W&M Wikis. It is a bit less intuitive for those less-experienced with the Web, but the available help pages are quite comprehensive and Wikipedia provides great examples of pages through its comprehensive coverage of topics of interest. Each page comes with the source code that you can use as examples for your wiki.


https://www.mediawiki.org/ is the authoritative source of information on Wikis. Wikipedia which runs on MediaWiki contains millions of pages where users can "View source" (top tabs) and use these pages as templates for their wikis.