A guide to Using Wikis

A Student Guide to Wikis

A wiki allows you to work as a team on the same project. You will all be able to edit the same page or pages (though not at the same time), and each version of the page will be kept showing which changes were made at each stage of your assignment, with the latest version of each page always being presented, very much like how Wikipedia works.

Your wiki page can include media rich components, including tables, images, files, web links, and embedded videos. You are free to use whichever tools you want in order to complete the assignment.

Your tutor will provide you with guidance on the nature of your task, usually in the assignment description, as shown in the following example:

1. Wiki assignment and description on course page.

2. Wiki assignment link. Click on this link to enter the assignment at any time.

When the first person entering the wiki for the first time clicks on the link, they will be presented with the following page:

1. The New Page Title: with the field already filled in for you by the tutor. You can't change the title of the very first page

2. Shows you the name of the group you are in for the duration of the assignment. Your tutor decides this and, usually, you won't be allowed to change group unless your tutor specifically allows you to and makes special provision for this.

3. Create page: This is your first action. Clicking on this button creates the first page of your project. Once you have clicked it, you must enter something into the new page, and Save it. You can always edit it later. Your tutor may decide that you are only allowed to edit the one page created as a result of this process, or may allow you to create many pages. Please pay attention to any instructions given regarding this, as, if you are instructed to work on only one page, and you go ahead and make many pages, your tutor might only mark on the basis of the first page.

Once you have clicked the Create button, you will see the following screen:

1. Across the top you will see control tabs.

2. You will see the simple wiki Editor. If you click on the little icon on the left, a more powerful page editor will appear.

1. Full HTML Editor tools.

2. This is the editing box that you type your text and enter your media into. Click into the box and start typing!

3. Save button. Save your changes REGULARLY! Usually every 10 - 15 minutes. This will minimise your losses in the event of a major failure, such as your internet connection dropping out.

4. Preview allows you to view your changes before committing them with a full Save.

The Paragraph tool allows you to change the format of your text. Highlight the text you want to format, then select Paragraph and select a Heading size appropriate to the section heading.

1. Continue typing your text, and formatting as you go along. Try using other formatting tools in the HTML editor, such as Align Left, Bold and Italics. 

2. Click Save to save each stage of your work. Your project will now start taking shape.

When you click on Save, you'll return to the View of the page you were editing.

1. View tab.

2. To return to editing the page currently being viewed, click on the Edit tab.

3. The Comments tab allows you to discuss what content you intend to place on the page. This you can regard as your formative, or design stage.

Adding Web Links

1. Highlight the piece of text that will become the web link.

2. click on the web link button (it looks like a chain of links).

1. A new window will open called Insert/Edit link.

2. From the web site/page you want to link to, copy the Address/URL from the address field of the web browser. Paste it into this Link URL box.

3. Click the Insert button.

Adding Images

You may want to embed images into your wiki. There are two ways to do this: insert an image which is somewhere else on the internet, or insert an image of your own, directly.

Insert an image from somewhere else on the internet:

Click on the Add an image icon.

1. The Insert/Edit Image window opens.

2. Paste in the Address/URL of the image you want to use.

3. If you click into the Preview box, the image will load. You can check you have captured the image correctly.

4. Click on the Insert button.

This process is called deep linking.

In addition to the basic settings when adding an image, you might want to change other settings, like the size of the image. You can re-enter the settings of the image at any time, by right clicking on the image and selecting "Inset/Edit Image"

1. Click on Appearance tab.

2. Alignment allows you to keep the image on the left, or to centre it, or to place it on the right.

3. Dimensions: if the image is too big, you can change the size so that it fits on your page. Change the first dimension, which is the width. The Constrain Proportions ticked box means the height will be calculated automatically.

4. If you put a "1" in the border box, a thin border will be placed around the image. Larger number will place thicker borders around the image.

5. Click the Insert button to save the new changes.

Important note: If you are using someone else's material, remember to respect their copyright ownership and ask them for their permission first, get it in writing, and give them full acknowledgement alongside the image you are using. You can place any documentation in the Files area or you can link to it with a link in an acknowledgement you put on the page.

1. Image now included in your page.

2. Add an attribution and link to correspondence/ permission from copyright owner. Example.

Insert an Image of Your Own, Directly

Click on the Add an image icon.

Click on the "Find or upload an image..." button.

A new screen window opens, which is called the "File Picker"

1. Make sure "Upload a file" is selected. It'll be in a grey background if selected.

2. Click the Choose File button.

You'll now find a new window opens which takes you to your computer's filing system.

1. Navigate to the correct folder.

2. select the file name of the image you want to upload

3. Click the Open button.

1. The file name now appears next to the Choose File button.

2. Click the Upload this file button.

You will then be shown the Insert/Edit image window, as shown above, whereupon you can change the appearance of the image before clicking on the Insert button.

The History of the versions of your page can be seen by clicking on the History tab. There are also a couple of other tabs to mention.

1. Click on History to see what was changed from one version to the next.Your tutor may use this to identify which participant in the group made which contribution to the group's effort on the assignment/project.

4. Shows a list of all the changes

7. Select radio buttons of which versions you want to compare.

6. Click the Compare Selected buttons.

5. When there are multiple pages of changes made, they will be listed, along with a next page link.

2. Map show a list of pages that have been created in the wiki.

3.Files shows a list of the files that have been added to the wiki.

Close-up view of Files list.

Adding Embedded Video

If you want to add a Youtube, or similar, video to your wiki page, you can do so as follows:

1. Open another web browser or browser tab, and locate the video you want to use.

2. Click the Share link.

3. Copy the share code.

4. Return to your wiki page and editor browser tab. Type: "<p>" Then press [CTRL] + V on your keyboard to paste in the web address of the video. Then type "</p>" Then click the Save button. The video will be automatically rendered.

Last modified: Monday, 5 October 2015, 6:59 PM