Documentation:MediaWiki Basics/Uses and Benefits

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Increasingly, both students and their professors see the challenges facing the world as multidisciplinary, and the need for collaboration great. Over the past few years, the emergence of a raft of new (and often free) tools has made collaboration easier than at any other point in history. [1]
I liked the idea that students would be engaging in a real world project, with tangible and public, if not necessarily permanent, effects. In the end, an essay or an exam is an instance of busywork: usually written in haste; for one particular reader, the professor; and thereafter discarded.[2]
With this wiki activity, I felt I was contributing to much more than just my own knowledge building because my wiki isn’t static. Future students will read, evaluate, and improve upon my foundation. Not only did I feel a responsibility to myself and my prof to complete good work, but I also felt that I owed future students my best too." - Reflections by UBC student in ETEC 520


Why would I choose a Wiki?

  • Wikis support simple, collaborative authoring.
  • Wikis can be edited by anyone with access to the wiki system you are using.
  • Wikis are about collaborative resource development and easy sharing.
  • People in many professions are using wiki platforms to collaborate with the community on building shared knowledge bases - it's part of a professional skill set. Medpedia is one example.

Academic Uses

Integrated Content Management

Click to enlarge a comparison of wiki content embedded in other platforms (e.g. CMS at UBC, Connect.
  • author/edit a document collaboratively in the UBC Wiki here: and publish it here.
  • keep webpages updated and accurate by editing on the wiki, and update wherever pages are embedded.

Notes