Documentation:Wiki Organization

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This page was developed as a product of a meeting where a few of us were discussing how to better organize the resources we are developing on the wiki - mainly related to flexible learning. We realize that the wiki can be confusing to navigate and we are hopeful that we can improve on this by suggesting some organization.

This page will answer the following questions:

  • When should I use Sandbox: and Documentation:? What's the difference between these two?
  • How can I contribute to ongoing organization and maintenance of the wiki?
  • What categories are suggested to organize Flexible Learning related resources?

When to use Sandbox: and when to use Documentation:?

The help documentation offers a guide to helping you learn how the wiki is organized and is useful for a general overview.

When we are creating new resources (to support Flexible Learning, Connect or Learning Toolkits), we are often making a decision between Sandbox or Documentation as the home for the content.

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In Summary...

  • Sandbox: is ideal for brainstorming and collecting ideas.
  • Documentation: is ideal when your wiki page is ready to be shared.

To let people know your intent for the pages you have been working with, use templates to mark for deletion or highlight as a draft in progress:

  • If you have used Sandbox: to test the organization of your content, etc., make sure you delete your unused Sandbox wiki by marking for deletion. Alternatively, if the page is suitable for your needs, move it to the Documentation space.
  • If the Documentation: you are working on is still work in progress, add the template for "Draft" to your document.

Organizing your pages

Dynamic Page Lists

Aggregating subpages (automatically, as they are created) is easily done using dynamic page list (dpl) code. An example of that approach in Documentation is the way we have organized content for the eLearning Toolkits.

Flexible Re-Use

When you want to wiki page as flexible as possible in terms of reuse, organize it in a way that can be taken apart and put together in variety of ways. Creating multiple subpages for each section of content and transcluding the ones that you want to organize around a theme is a good option. Brackets like {{wiki page name }} 'transcludes' (i.e. includes a copy of) the content of the template (stored in the page Template:Name) whenever the page containing the template transclusion is fetched and displayed; i.e. if the template is later changed, the displayed transcluding page will automatically change too.

This method of organizing wiki pages is used extensively in the Documentation space. See Educational Technology Guides.

You can get a sense of how subpages, the DPL code and transclusion are used together to organize content in the following example. The Podcasting Toolkit

  • content is developed as subpages on the wiki and is aggregated (using DPL code) into this aggregate page- Documentation
  • relevant subpages are then transcluded to the elearning page - you can see how this looks if you are logged in and click on the edit screen on that page.
  • then, the elearning page is embedded into the WordPress site as so:
How transclusion is used in the DIY Screencast page

Another example is the DIY Screencast page. See the image on the right to see how transclusion is used in the DIY Screencast page.

For more information on how to use transclusion, read here

Using Categories

Categories add a layer of metadata to your pages to make them findable on a search. More about categories.

One of our challenges is that there is not consistency in how we assign categories - which hampers the search function - meaning that flexible learning may be called: FlexibleLearning, Flexible Learning, FL, Flexible, Flex Learning (you get the picture).

We have proposed some categories (specific to our work on Flexible Learning related resources, below).

How should I categorize Flexible Learning related resources?

Below is a suggested beginning list of categories that may be associated with Flexible Learning related resources.

Top level (always include this one):

  • Flexible Learning (not FL or FlexibleLearning)

Theme level(examples):

  • Video
  • DIY Video
  • Screencasts
  • Mobile

Sub-theme level(examples):

  • Video Production
  • Video Tools
  • Video Planning
  • Video Editing
  • Video Hosting


Media Wiki Basics: Transclusion