KU's Learning Management System

Wikis

Wikis provide a collaborative space where students can view, contribute and edit shared content. Much like building a Web page with a content management system, students can add images, videos, web links and other content to wiki pages. You can use wikis as a resource for students to view information and content relevant to your course.

Wikis can be available to the course as a whole or restricted to groups of students. The Wiki tool keeps track of the changes the students have made, allowing students to show ownership of their work so that you can evaluate student participation. You and other students can leave comments on each page of the wiki, allowing for prompt feedback.

KU offers instructors two different tools for incorporating wikis into their Blackboard courses: Blackboard Wikis and Campus Pack Wikis. Making a choice between these tools will depend upon your instructional needs, as each tool has their own advantages and disadvantages. Please see the following for a comparison of Blackboard and Campus Pack Blogs, Wikis and Journals:

Options for Blogs, Wikis, and Journals

We have highlighted a few key points for you to consider when selecting which set of tools you will use. If you have any additional questions about the functionality of these tools please contact KU Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600 for further assistance.


Blackboard Blogs, Wikis, and Journals

  • Allows for creation of multiple blogs, wikis, and journals for a course or individual. Groups are limited to only one blog, wiki, or journal through the Groups tool.
  • Does not allow for the creation of assignment templates for easy management and copying of prompts.
  • Does not allow for blogs, wikis, or journals to be exported outside of the Blackboard system.
  • Offers integration with Needs Grading in Blackboard. Grading can be done while viewing students' posts, and grades will automatically transfer to the Grade Center.
  • Allows Instructors to use Blackboard Rubrics for grading.
  • Does not allow Instructors to make blogs, wikis, and journals "read-only" after a specific date. Instructors only can only set availability restrictions.
  • Blogs, wikis, and journals will take on the theme of the Blackboard course.
  • Users must be logged into Blackboard to be able to access blogs, wikis, or journals.

Campus Pack Blogs, Wikis, and Journals

  • Allows Instructors to create multiple blogs, wikis, and journals for a course, individual, or group. Personal blog sites must be created for each individual.
  • Allows for creation of templates to easily manage and copy prompts for group blogs, wikis, and journals.
  • Allows for blogs, wikis, and journals to be exported as HTML.
  • Does not display within Needs Grading, however, Instructors can select grading as an option, and a grade column in the Grade Center will be created. All grading requires the user to have two browser windows open, one to view the Campus Pack activity and one to view the Grade Center where scores are entered.
  • Does not allow for rubric grading.
  • Allows Instructors to customize access and editing permissions for blogs, wikis, and journals.
  • Allows customization of blog, wiki, and journal themes independent of a Blackboard course theme.
  • Blogs, wikis, and journals can be accessed outside of Blackboard.

For more information about Wikis, select from the following:


Blackboard Wikis

Create a Wiki Topic

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Wikis.
  3. On the Wikis listing page, click Create Wiki on the action bar.
  4. On the Create Wiki page, type a name.
  5. Type optional Instructions. You can format the text and have the option to add images, links, multimedia, mashups, and attachments using the functions in the content editor. Attachments you add using the content editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
  6. Select the Yes option to make the wiki available to users.
  7. For Wiki Date and Time Restrictions, you can set a wiki to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. 
  8. Select the Student Access option. You can change the student access at any time.
    1. Closed to Editing: Select this option when you are the only one contributing pages or to disallow further page editing by users when you are ready to start grading the wikis contributions. All course members are still allowed to view wikis that are closed to editing.
    2. Open to Editing: Allows users to modify any wiki page. In a group wiki, a user must be a member of the group to view or edit a wiki page.
  9. In the Wiki Settings section, make a grading selection. If you select Grade: Points possible, enter the maximum points possible to make the wiki a graded item. After you enable grading, a column is created automatically for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable, and you cannot change it to No grading. If you do decide later to make it non-gradable you can change the points possible to zero.

    Optionally, select the check box and the number of page saves required to show participants in Needs Grading status. Applying this setting will show the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of page saves have been made.

    If you select three page saves from the drop-down list and a user submits two, the In Progress icon (blue clock) appears in the Grade Center cell and within the tool until the specified number of saves is met.

    Optionally, associate a rubric by putting your cursor on Add Rubric and making a selection.
  10. Click Submit.

Create Wiki Pages

  1. On the Wikis listing page, select a wiki title.
  2. On the wiki’s topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the action bar.
  3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a name.
  4. Type a description or instructions in the Content box. Optionally, format the text and add images, links, multimedia, mashups, and attachments using the functions in the content editor. Attachments you add using the content editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
  5. Click Submit.

Added pages are listed in the right column. Click on a page name to navigate to it.
You can delete an entire wiki or pages within a wiki, but you cannot delete the wiki home page by itself. Students can delete content but do not have the ability to delete wiki pages.


Link to Other Wiki Pages

When course members create or edit wiki pages, they may need to reference another page in the wiki. If the wiki consists of many pages, you can insert a link to that page right on the page you are currently viewing. You can use the Link to Wiki page function in the content editor to link to another wiki page within the current wiki.

In our example, we create a new wiki page and a link to another page.

  1. Access a wiki.
  2. On the wiki topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the action bar.
  3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Wiki Name and Content.
  4. In the Content box, position the mouse pointer where you want to include a link to another wiki page.
  5. Click the Link to Wiki page function in the content editor, represented by several sheets of paper. If only one wiki page exists, this function is disabled.
  6. In the pop-up window, select the wiki page to link to from the drop-down list.
  7. Optionally, type a name for the link in the Rename Wiki Page Link box. If the link is not renamed, the original page title is used as the link.
  8. Click Submit. The link appears in the content editor.
  9. Click Submit. The new page with the link to the other page is added to the wiki.

Comment on Wiki Pages

Course members can comment on wiki pages as an alternative to contributing to or editing a page. Comments provide a way for you and your students to offer feedback and suggestions. Comments are visible to all course members. All comments for all wiki pages are counted in the About This Wiki section in the sidebar.

No one can edit comments after they are posted. Users can delete the comments they authored.

  1. Access a wiki.
  2. On the wiki topic page, select the page to view in the sidebar. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
  3. Click Comment following the user’s contribution. The Comment box appears.
  4. Type a comment in the Comment box. You can use the spell check function at the bottom of the box as needed. Comments have a 2,000-character limit. A pop-up message advises that a comment over 2,000 characters must be edited and resubmitted.
  5. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the contribution to view the comment.

Edit Wiki Content

Because a wiki stores each version in its history, which includes who made changes, you have an opportunity to retrieve information about the development and contributions for any individual. You can select History from a page’s contextual menu to see how a page was modified, view any version, and compare two versions side by side.

Use the following steps to edit a wiki page.

  1. Access the wiki. The wiki topic page appears.
  2. Select the page to review and edit. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
  3. In the sidebar, access the page’s contextual menu and select Edit Properties.

-OR-

Click Edit Wiki Content next to the page’s title in the content frame.

  1. On the Edit Wiki Page, you can make changes to the name and content of the page. Optionally, use the functions in the content editor to format existing text or include links, images, multimedia, mashups, link to other wiki pages, and attachments.
  2. Click Submit.

Delete a Wiki

If you no longer need a wiki, you can delete it. Deleting a wiki is permanent. On the Wikis listing page, select Delete from the wiki's contextual menu.

If a wiki is gradable, the Delete Confirmation page appears. You need to perform extra steps to remove a gradable wiki.

  • Click OK in the warning pop-up. The Delete Confirmation page appears. You have two options:
    • Do not select check boxes: The wiki is deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores you have assigned are retained. For example, all student contributions are graded and you want to keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If you delete a wiki, yet retain the Grade Center column, you can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time.
    • Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the wiki are deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the wiki contributions in the final grade, you can safely delete all.

Add a Wikis Link to the Course Menu

If you want students to access the wikis tool often, you can add a link to the course menu for one-click access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link as needed.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the left side course menu. The Add Menu Item drop-down list appears.
  2. Select Tool Link.
  3. Type a Name for the link.
  4. From the Type drop-down list, select Wikis.
  5. Select the Available to Users check box.
  6. Click Submit.

Campus Pack Wikis

Add Wikis in Content Areas

You can add a wiki to a content area and assign access to individual users, groups of users, or the entire class by following these steps:

  1. Access any content area, such as Course Documents or Assignments.
  2. Put your cursor on the blue Tools button and select Campus Pack Wiki.
  3. Provide a name for the wiki. Use something specific, such as “Week 1 Assignment” or “Group Project 1.”
  4. Provide a short description of the wiki (optional).
  5. Select the Deployment setting to indicate the purpose of a wiki in your course.
    • Single Copy (default setting) creates one wiki accessible to the entire class.
    • One Per Group creates a group wiki. Then select a group (or all groups).
    • One Per Person creates a private space for each student. Then select Student as a user role.
  6. If you want to create a column in Grade Center for the wiki, click the Create Grade Book Entry checkbox and complete the information.
  7. Click the Add button.
  8. A new page will open. If you created a group or individual wiki(s), you must select Click here to make it available.
  9. Click New Page to create the first wiki page.

Customize a Single Copy Wiki for the Entire Class

  1. Click the View link of the wiki.
  2. Click Settings on the right to expand. You will see options for Settings, Page Hierarchy, Subscribe, Export, Permissions, Widgets, Assessments, Attachments and Recycle.
    • Settings – Edit the wiki title, change the availability, select a different color scheme and upload a banner. Make the wiki gradable here.
    • Page Hierarchy – If your wiki has multiple pages use this area to re-order the pages or make one page subordinate to another.
    • Subscribe – Select the Email Notifications checkbox to receive an email summary of wiki entries. This option is only for your own setting. Each student also has this option.
    • Export – Allows you to export a wiki as your own copy. This feature is useful when you need to copy the wiki to another course.
    • Permissions – Control the availability of various wiki features to students. There are three types of roles. Viewers can view a wiki but cannot participate. Authors can make new entries and edit content. Owners have complete control over the wiki.

    To edit permissions:

    1. Click the tab of the role.
    2. Click Customize.
    3. Under Author Role Permissions, deselect the checkbox of options that your students do not need to access, such as Export Wiki, Copy Wiki and Delete Own Entries.
    4. When you’re finished, click the Save & Exit button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Widgets: Provides additional functionality, allowing students to add comments to other students’ entries or adding tags or ratings to the blog. Click the appropriate Add button under the Available tab to enable a widget. For example, you can apply the Viewer comments widget as follows:
    1. On the In Use tab, click the Viewer Comments link (If you can’t see the Viewer Comments link, click the Available tab, then click the Add button under Viewer Comments).
    2. Select the Permissions you want to set.
  4. Assessment – See overall statistics of the entire class and individual student’s statistics.
  5. Attachments – Allows you to delete files attached to the wiki.
  6. Recycle – Allows you to reuse the shell of wiki (without users and contents).

Customize Group Wikis or Individual Wikis

  1. Click the View link of the wiki.
  2. Click on Assignment Template.
  3. Under Assignment Template:
    1. To create a template document for assignment, click Add New Page.
    2. Type in a title.
    3. Click the Continue button.
    4. Type in the text, add an image, etc.
    5. Click the Save & Exit button.
    6. At the top of the screen, you will see the menu with Subscribe, Export, Settings, Permissions, Widgets, Page List, Attachment and Recycle options. These allow you to customize group or individual wikis.
    7. For more about these menu options, refer to “Customize a Single Copy Wiki for the entire class” above.
  4. Assignment Settings:
    1. Add instructions to students.
    2. Click the Save button.

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