UW Stout EDU 762-930 Feb. 2010

Carolyn Jenkins

Wiki’s Introduced

A google search for “wiki defined” provided 7,560,000 results. According to Wikipedia, Ward Cunningham created the first wiki software program called WikiWikiWeb in 1994 and installed it on the internet in 1995. Rallis and Shannon described wiki’s as web pages that can be created, accessed and edited by anyone with access to the internet and a web browser. The creator of the wiki determines whether or not viewers can view and / or edit parts of or the entire wiki. A wiki user does not have to be technically savy or know anything about designing web pages or writing in computer language to create and use a wiki. In fifteen years, wikis have become one of the top 100 learning tools.

Wiki -Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats
Wiki’s have many strengths. Wiki’s can be edited by anyone. They are easy to use and learn. Wiki’s can provide almost instant gratification because you no longer have to wait for new editions of articles, books or updated publications. Wiki’s facilitate group process, peer editing and brainstorming to build ideas. People from all over the world can collaborate on one document. Wiki’s track editing of individual contributions and group process in a project. Previous versions can be restored if needed. Anyone who is not tech-savy can still publish on the world wide web because wikis are user friendly. Wiki’s are available free and at reasonable costs. Digital files can be uploaded into the wiki such as pictures, movies, sound files.
Wiki’s do have some inherent weaknesses. Wiki’s can appear disorganized with multiple edits by multiple contributors. If documents need to be confidential, the author would need to use a wiki that limits user access. An alternative to using a wiki would be to use a word document and track changes or share the document through google docs. Wiki’s should not be used when the document should be retained in it’s original state. Internet connectivity is needed for collaboration. Internet access may be limited in rural areas or parts of the world. Important work or education projects an d presentations on Wiki’s may be unavailable or lost in the event of internet server failures. Backing up Wiki’s on a regular basis is recommended.
A major threat to Wiki’s is the possibility of being the victim of vandalism and spam. Security is basically in the hands of the community participating in the Wiki. The wiki participants become responsible for watching over the content for unconstructive criticism, vandalism and invalid content. This can be accomplished by setting up e-mail or reader service alerts when wiki content is edited. It requires a vigilant active wiki community. Other weaknesses and threats described in the literature relate to the authors lack of control of ownership and credit for the work produced on the wiki because it is by nature open-authoring. The contents reliability, validity and quality may vary considerably between wiki’s.

Wiki -Opportunities and Possible Uses:
Future opportunities for Wiki’s are limited only by advancements in technology and creativity. Wikimatrix is an on-line comparison tool with a built in Wiki Choice Wizard. Answer a few questions and the wiki choice wizard will provide you with a list of compatible wiki’s for your project. Wiki’s can be created in learning/course management systems such as blackboard or on the internet by setting up an account. Class/Group wikis, project wikis, and administrative wikis are possible uses for on-line nursing education programs. Students and educators learn how to use the technology, meet in groups on-line and build confidence using wikis. An on-line nursing student team can research content, design and edit the wiki, present and discuss the completed project and evaluate each of their team members. Nursing students will need a brief introduction to the wiki and explanation of how it works incorporated into the on-line class. Technical support and how to guides are available on the internet. The students need clear assignment criteria, clear explanation of how the wiki project is graded and time for project development. Nursing educators can also use wiki’s as an administrative tool to decrease e-mails and enhance planning and coordination of their administrative work. Students, businesses, cooperatives, collaborators, partners can create, edit, share and organize information. Wiki has the potential to shift the power dynamic between the supervisor and employee, teacher and student, government leaders and their citizens.

Wiki’s Recommended
The Wikimatrix wizard recommended I try these wikis based on the answers I provided:
Editme PBwiki Wikispaces Wetpaint Stikipad

Learning Objective- Wiki Use
Blooms Taxonomy: summarize - Comprehension & generate - Synthesis
Students will summarize three readings and generate at least two hypotheses about the future of simulation in healthcare education and post their summary and predictions on their wiki page in the class wiki.
A writing rubric will be posted in the Wiki. Students can refer to it for guidance and it can be used as a summative assessment. A bibliography will also be posted in the Wiki. Students will choose 2 readings from the bibliography page and find one new resource to add to the bibliography page in the Wiki. The Wiki will give students and the instructor an opportunity to assess individual summaries as they are progressing and provide individualized feedback about progress. Wiki discussions, posts, and edits can be used for formative assessment of how participants are progressing with their summary. Viewing each others work can also provide feedback. The Wiki posts will be used as resources for the group project of creating a collaborative power point document to be published on-line.


Buckell, Tobias. (April 2, 2007). Blog Stocks. Technology for the rest of us: Easy to use Wikis. Retrieved on Feb. 1, 2010 from
Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. (Nov. 15, 2009). Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009. Retrieved on Jan. 31, 2010 from
Lamb, Brian. (Sept. / Oct. 2004). Educause Review. Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not. Retrieved on Jan. 11, 2010 from
Mongan-Rallis, H. & Shannon, Terrie. (2006). Helen and Terrie’s Wiki on Wikis (WOW!). Retrieved on Feb. 1, 2010 from Tutorials. What is a Wiki: advantages and disadvantages. Retrieved on Jan. 31, 2010 from
Wikimatrix . Retrieved on Jan. 27, 2010 from
Mongan-Rallis, H. & Shannon, T. (May 23, 2006). So Many Tools So Little Time: Presentation to classrooms of the future: Critical Reflections on Technology. Wiki: What are Wikis? Retrieved on Feb. 1, 2010 from
Polyakova-Norwood, V. (Sept. 11, 2009). Merging Technology with Instruction. Presentation at the South Carolina Nurses Association Convention. Charleston, SC