Wikis for online collaboration

What is a Wiki?

Definition:  A wiki is a website which allows users to add or edit content on its pages.  Users of the wiki can collaborate on some or all pages of the wiki.

Definition: Collaboration[1] is when people work with each other to complete a task. It involves co-operation and teamwork and the sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills to reach the same objective. The objective is usually creative in nature.

A well-known example of a wiki is Wikipedia an online user edited encyclopedia.

Wikis can be used to collect and maintain information on a subject or topic.  For example, a teacher can collaborate with students to collect and maintain information on the subject being studied in school.

Main Functions of a wiki

Wikis allow for :

  • Adding new content
  • Editing or Modifying existing content.
  • Deleting existing content (deleting pages)

Additional Features of a wiki

A wiki may be either private, public, or semiprivate.

Private wikis

Private wikis require users to register in order to create user accounts.  The content on the wiki is only viewable and editable on by  registered users.

Public wikis

Public wikis allow for the creation of user accounts but still allow for the public to view and edit information.

Semi Private wikis

Semi Private wikis allow for content to be viewable to the public and registered users.

Some topics may be locked for editing by unregistered users. However, unregistered users may add new pages and edit locked content.

Some topics may be only edited by small groups of specially selected registered users.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wikis

Advantage Disadvantage
Quick generation of a large information resource due to many collaborators Users can add inaccurate or incorrect information
Easy to add and edit and improve on existing content Difficult to manage and remove incorrect information
Wiki collaboration does not require all users to work at the same time. biased information can be produced if the collaborator is biased.
Prone to vandalism, malicious users can intentionally distort information


24th Sept 2022 – Fixed spelling error in title and changed url

© 2018  Vedesh Kungebeharry. All rights reserved


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