Wikis are basically shared online spaces that multiple people can edit and add factual or topical information (think wikipedia). Wikis usually have a specific format to follow, and tier of authors and editors to check work and add to the entries.
Wikis are great way to create a sense of community among your students. Sharing and collaborating on a class-wide project with a useful product as the outcome can give them a sense of ownership of the knowledge. They are the experts. The wiki can serve as a resource for them to learn from each other, and others to learn from them in the future.
There many tools you can use for Wikis that are free.
- Can be private among your course, or set to public
- Can set multiple page-level permissions
- Many templates and customization options allow for creative flexibility
- UAA Students have access to Google sites within their UA Google Apps for Education Apps attached to their email
- Get started with Google Sites
- Private within Blackboard, but shared among your class
- A great way to encourage low-stakes writing and collaborating
- Get started with Blackboard Wikis
Other Web 2.0 Tools
Here is a list of 30+ wiki tools from Mashable.
- May require students to create additional accounts
- Allow for student ownership of the final products