I know a lot of faculty members have expressed an interest in using  a wiki in their classes but aren’t sure which one to use.  There are quite a few options out there and choosing the wrong one can really mess up an assignment.  To help you make a decision I have tested several free wiki applications and have made a comparison chart.  In my tests I looked at only free apps that can be used online (nothing to download or install on a server). I also looked at things that I would like them to do and how user friendly they are.  Since you may be using the wiki with students it’s important that it be usable with only a small amount of instruction or with a text tutorial.  You don’t want to have to read a manual in order to create a wiki.

You may be wondering if it’s a good idea to invest time in a wiki since we are about to get a new learning management system.  The answer is YES.  If a wiki meets your needs then go for it.  None of the lms applications we looked at had a decent wiki built in.  Even if our new lms has a wiki tool it will not be something you want to use with your students.

Before you choose a wiki app you should:

  • Think about the end result desired for your assignment and make sure that the one you choose can allow students to accomplish those goals.  For instance, you wouldn’t choose @Wiki if you needed your students to upload documents because that feature isn’t available in @Wiki.
  • Once you know your goals go though the chart (ChooseTheRightWiki.pdf) and find one or two that seem to best fit your needs.
  • Next TEST, TEST, TEST.  Get an account and try to complete the assignment in the app you’ve chosen.  If you need help testing or want to talk the process through with someone I’m always available.  Just shoot me an email and we’ll find one that works for you.

A wiki can be a powerful collaboration tool for you and/or your students when you choose the right application.  And don’t forget, I’m always available to write tutorials or help you out when implementing wikis or any tech in your classes.

You can see the chart at http://benignim.pbworks.com/Choosing-the-Best-Wiki or by downloading the ChooseTheRightWiki.pdf