Wiki: A Writing tool in the Classroom {{ currentPage ? currentPage.title : "" }}

What is Wiki?

Wiki is a major component of Web 2.0, the emergent generation of web tools and applications • These tools afford the added advantage of reducing the technical skill required to use their features, allowing users to focus on the information exchange and collaborative tasks themselves without the distraction of a difficult technological environment

Using a wiki as a writing tool maximizes the advantages of reflection, reviewing, publication, and of observing cumulative written results as they unfold (Fountain, 2005).

According to Lamb (2004),  using wiki to teach writing skills:

• stimulate writing by making it fun;

• provide a low-cost but effective communication and collaboration tool;

• promote the close reading, revision, and tracking of preliminary work;

• discourage 'product oriented writing' while facilitating 'writing as a process'; and

• ease students into writing for a wider audience

Barton (2004) lists some innovative uses for wikis in composition:

1. Any class project with a reference or encyclopedic format, such as instructions, user manuals, glossaries, etc.

2. A class or group project with a bibliographic format that requires students to locate websites related to a topic, and then annotate, rank, and organize them.

3. A handbook or textbook. For example, students could build a guide to correct punctuation, which could be compiled and evaluated as a class, giving every student a stake in the project and benefiting each from the authoring process.

 4. Any project that does not require individual authorship or protected documents.

Schaffert, Bischof, et al. (2006) discuss the concept of collaborative creative writing, in which a wiki serves as an interactive writing book, allowing students to collaboratively write an essay or story. Such collaboration offers numerous opportunities. For example, a story may have more than one ending, or it could even branch out like a tree based on different twists and conclusions. More artistically inclined students could supplement the story with illustrative figures or images. It can also be used as a newsroom. In this scenario, the teacher is the editor. Students post items they think are interesting from their everyday lives at school.

By incorporating wikis into the classroom, educators can better prepare students to make innovative uses of collaborative software tools.


Barton, M. (2004). Embrace the wiki way! Retrieved October 6 2019 from

Fountain, R. (2005). Wiki pedagogy. Dossiers technopédagogiques. Retrieved November 2006 from


Lamb, B. (2004). Wide open spaces: Wikis, ready or not. EDUCAUSE Review, 39(5) (September/October), 36-48. Retrieved October 6th 2019 from

Schaffert, S., Bischof, D., Buerger, T., Gruber, A., Hilzensauer, W. & Schaffert, S. (2006). Learning with semantic wikis. Proceedings of the First Workshop on Semantic Wikis – From Wiki To Semantics (SemWiki2006), Budva, Montenegro: June 11-14, 109-123. Retrieved November 2006 from

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