NOTE: You may prefer the NEW OU Wiki. Please check out the online tutorials.

The Wiki activity module allows instructors to set up pages that are editable by anyone, and allows students to collaborate with one another (as well as the instructor) for learning. Pages can be added to the Wiki for organization, and can be commented on to offer suggestions, feedback, etc. The instructor can see all the activity that occurs in the Wiki.

Getting Started

Adding / Editing a Wiki

  1. Select Turn editing on.
    light bulb icon

    Tips for Wiki Setup

    Depending on how you want your students to use the wiki and how you want to view the wiki pages depends on the Mode and group choice you select. Make sure to read the Teaching with a WIki page first to make sure you are using the settings to match your wiki's purpose.

  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource link.
  3. Choose the Wiki tool.
  4. screen image of activity pull-down list

  5. Under the General section, type the Wiki name (required) and Wiki description (required) of the Wiki into the text box.
  6. Under the Wiki settings section, type the First page name (required) of the Wiki into the text box.
  7. Choose the Wiki mode.
  8. light bulb icon

    Wiki not in the grades

    Currently, the Wiki activity does not show up in the grades. If a grade entry is necessary, you can manually create a grade entry for the Wiki activity.

    Note: Collaborative wiki allows everyone to edit the Wiki; Individual wiki gives everyone their own Wiki in which only they can edit. Once the mode is set and saved, it cannot be changed.

    • Default format of the Wiki gives the choice between Creole, NWiki, and HTML editing formats.
    • Note: Check the Force format box to restrict editing to this format the instructor choose.
      Note: Unless Creole or NWiki formats are specifically desired, it is strongly recommended to keep the format as HTML.
    • Group mode (under the Common module section) can submit their files into one area. After the group is created, you can choose the name of the group from the list.
        caution icon

        Warnings about groups...

        WARNING: Wait to create groups until the Add / Drop period is over... then DELETE those students from your course.

        Once a student has been added into a group and they have participated in a group wiki, you cannot change their group association. Changing which group the student is in WILL break the wiki page and it will no longer be viewable to you or the student.

      • No Groups: Each student is given their own wiki page. Instructor can view and provide comments/feedback.
      • Separate Groups: Each group is give their own wiki page and cannot see other groups.
      • Visible Groups: Each group is given their own wiki page and can see others (no editing of other wiki's).
    • Visible determines if the Wiki can be seen by students.
    • ID number is used for assigning a custom number to the assignment for easy reference when grading.
    • Restrict access allows the instructor to set a condition on the assignment until other assignment(s) are completed:
      • Allow access from and Allow access until determine when students can access the activity via a link on the course page.
        Note: The difference between access from / to dates and availability settings for the activity is that outside the set dates the latter allows students to view the activity description, whereas access from / to dates prevent access completely.
      • Grade condition determines any grade conditions which must be met in order to access the activity.
        Note: Multiple grade conditions may be set, if desired. If so, the activity will only allow access when ALL grade conditions are met.
      • Show activity greyed-out, with restriction information / Hide activity entirely determines how the activity displays before conditions have been met.
  9. Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.
  10. Enter the contents for the first page of the Wiki, as well as any Tags.
  11. Note: If the Force format box was not previously checked, the format of the page must be chosen before editing the first page.
  12. Click Save.

Adding / Editing a New Wiki Page

Separate content into different pages within the Wiki. These pages can be linked from the first page that was created, or can be linked to other pages within the Wiki.

  1. Click on the Wiki activity.
  2. Click on the Edit tab.
    screen image of wiki edit tab
  3. In the text box, create links for pages in the Wiki (see Note below). Apply necessary Tags and click Save.
  4. Note: Page links are not created via hyperlink. Instead, type the name of the page, and enclose it with double square brackets: [[ ]]. Separating page links can be done in any way desirable, but the pipe ("|") character (located directly below the backspace button while holding shift for input) is recommended for a seamless look of your links.

    Syntax to create links:
    screen image of page creation


    Screen image of created pages

  5. Click on the link to the page to be edited and click on the Edit tab. Enter the content of the page in the text box, any necessary Tags, and click Save.
  6. Note: Sub-pages can be created within other pages. Use the same method outlined above.
    Note: Links that have content in them appear as green. Links that do not yet have content appear as red and italicized.

  7. An alternate way to add a new page:
    1. Click on the Wiki activity.
    2. Under the Navigation block on the left side of the screen, click on New.
    3. Enter content, and click Save.
    4. Note: Remember to link the new page elsewhere in the Wiki or it will be an orphaned page (see Step 3 above).

Note: It is currently NOT possible to delete a page within the Wiki. To hide a page from students, delete the link(s) to the page. However, the page still exists, and will show up in the map of the Wiki.

Deleting a Wiki Page

The Instructor can delete a wiki page created by the instructor or student.

  1. Click on the Wiki activity.
  2. Click on the Administration tab.
    screen image of the wiki admin page
  3. Click on the x on the right of the wiki page name to remove the page.
    Note: you can only delete the page if you are not currently on the page. The breadcrumbs above show that this Instructor is on the "The Danger Zone" wiki page. This instructor can delete all the pages except the "The Danger Zone" page.

Wiki Comments

Comments are an effective way to give feedback and suggestions on a particular page.

  1. Click on the Wiki activity.
  2. Click on page of interest, and click on the Comments tab.
    screen image of wiki comments tab
  3. Click Add comment to share a message. Other comments can be deleted by clicking on the corresponding 'X'.

History / Map of Wiki

The history and map of the Wiki are useful for easy navigating as well as keeping track of the activity within the Wiki.

  • History
    1. Click on the Wiki activity.
    2. Click on the page in which to see the history.
    3. Click on the History tab.
      Screen image of wiki history tab
    4. Note: The history is shown in descending order, newest at top. Also shown are version numbers, which users have made changes to the Wiki, and when the Wiki was changed.
    5. Click on two versions of the page and click Compare selected.
    6. Note: Comparing two versions of the page will highlight the differences between the two versions. Each version can be viewed in its entirety, and the previous version can also be restored to act as the current page by clicking Restore next to the version number.

  • light bulb icon

    Can't find student wikis

    If you have difficulties finding the content in the student wiki, try clicking on the wiki link in the course or breadcrumb and then choosing the participate name from the pull-down list. Need more information?

  • Map
    1. Click on the Wiki activity.
    2. Click on the page in which to see the map.
    3. Click on the Map tab.
    4. Screen image of wiki map tab
    5. From the Map menu, select how to view the pages:
      • Contributions lists the pages that only you have edited.
      • Links shows the pages that the current page links from, and what it links to.
      • Orphaned pages shows the pages that aren't linked to any other page.
      • Page Index lists a branching of the pages connected to the current page.
      • Page list shows all pages in alphabetical order.
      • Updated pages shows, by date, which pages have been most recently updated.
    6. Note: Use the map to navigate the Wiki easier. This prevents from going through multiple pages to get to a single page, and makes it easier to access previous pages.


Files can be added by the instructor so students can access them within the student's wiki page.

light bulb icon

Help the students upload files..

Only the instructor can add files to the wiki with the Files Tool. If the students also need to share files (.doc, .pdf, .xls) in the wiki, then the student would need to use the HTML editor: Insert / Edit Link tool. Other options for allowing students to share files would be to use the forum, assignment, or workshop tools.

  1. Click on the Wiki activity.
  2. Click on the page in which to see the files tab.
  3. Click on the Files tab.
    Screen image of wiki files tab
  4. Click on the Edit wiki files button on the bottom of the page.
  5. Click on the Add button.
  6. Choose Upload a file in the left column.
  7. Click Browse / Choose file... in order to locate the file that is going to be uploaded.
  8. Navigate to the location on your computer in order to find the file. Click the file and then click Open.

  9. Options
    • Enter a name into the Save as box in order to change what the file's name will be on the course.
    • Input the name of the Author for the file.
    • Choose license allows the instructor to display the current licensing option that is applied to the file being uploaded.
  10. Click Upload this file.
  11. Click on the Save changes button.
    Note: You must Save changes or all the files you added will be lost and you will need to upload them again.


Additional Features

Wiki Permissions

The Wiki permissions are established by the PolyLearn System Administrator. The permissions are given to the various roles in order to grant the ability to perform actions within the activity. The instructor can view these permissions with these steps:

  1. Click on the existing Wiki activity.
  2. In the navigation block, click the Permissions to view all possible capabilities pertaining to Wiki, and which roles have access to each capability. Alternatively, click the Check permissions button to specifically view a list of all enrolled individuals in the course.
  3. Click on the user's name to check and then click Show this user's permissions.
    Note: Type the user's name into the search box in order to refine the display and more easily locate the intended user.
  4. This page lists all of the various actions that are capable within the activity. The list will tell whether or not the user is capable of each action.

Wiki Tips / Notes

  • Page Links: If there are many pages within the wiki, the user will need to edit the page to manually create a table of contents (hyperlinks). You can also use the Map tab to access pages.
  • First Page Name is uneditable after it is saved.
  • There isn't a built-in Grade option for the wiki, but you can add a item in the grades tool.
  • Upload / Share files: Students are not able to upload files (.pdf, .doc, . xls) within the wiki tool. The instructor may choose to either use the forum or workshop tools to allow students to share files.
  • If you have difficulties finding the content in the student wiki, try clicking on the wiki link in the breadcrumb...
    breadcrumb screen image
    ...and then choosing the participate name from the pull-down list.
    Screen image of choosing a wiki page


Did you read the tips for Teaching with a Wiki? It is best to know everything about the Wiki before you get started! Please check it out!