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Creating and Editing Wiki Content

The OU Wiki has many features associated with creating and editing content. Below you will find a summary of each of these tools, including creating your start page and other wiki pages, editing wiki content, monitoring wiki changes, making annotations, the wiki index, and participation by user. If you have not yet created the wiki for the class, please visit Add a wiki.

Creating your start page and other wiki pages

The first action that must be completed when creating a wiki is the creation of the wiki’s start page. The start page or first page of a wiki acts as a table of contents or homepage of a website. It is no different from any other page in your wiki, however, when creating your start page you may want to keep in mind that the user will land on this page initially and use it to navigate to other pages within the wiki. Therefore, it will likely house many links to other pages within the wiki.

  1. Click Create page.

  2. You will be brought to the edit tab's screen of the start page. Using the Edit tab, you can edit the content of any wiki page by inserting your content into the Content box. You can make further edits to the start page or any other page by accessing the page's Edit tab.
  3. To create new pages insert a hyperlink to the new page on your start page, or any other wiki page by placing text in between double brackets, [[text here]]. 
  4. Click Save changes. You will be brought to the View tab screen.

  5. Your wiki is now functioning. In addition to placing text in between double brackets, you may use the Create a new page text box from the view tab to add new pages to the wiki.

Editing/Adding wiki content

Once the start page is created, both instructors and students may add new pages to the wiki, add new content to wiki pages, and edit existing content.

To create a new wiki page, click on the hyperlink or add a hyperlink to an existing wiki page by placing text in double brackets (e.g., [[link to new page]]) or typing the page title into the “Create new page” text box. Then, click on the hyperlink and select “create page”.

Once wiki pages are created you may access the edit screen by clicking the Edit tab, Edit page, or Edit section on any wiki page.

Now, you may edit existing content and/or add new content--Use the toolbar to add images, links, and other media. Make sure to click Save changes when you finish making your changes.

Adding a section header to a wiki page

Wiki pages may be organized by sections.  Adding a section to your wiki page enables others to edit only that section of the wiki page, rather than the entire page.  If you would like to add a new section header to your wiki page type the header into the Add a new section to this page box. 

The new section text will be underlined with a dotted line, and it will list who added the section. To remove the authorship text delete it from the section using the edit functionality.

Timeout & Locks

When creating a wiki for a course site, instructors may enable the timeout feature. If timeout has been enabled, participants will only be allowed to edit a wiki page for the stated amount of time.

When the countdown reaches 2 minutes, an extra sentence appears in red as a warning.

Participants who do not finish editing before the time limit expires will have their changes automatically saved, if Javascript has been enabled. If Javascripts is not enabled, then work that has not been saved may be lost.

The wiki automatically locks wiki pages that are being edited by someone else, which prevents participants from editing the same page at the same time. Locks apply to the specific page being edited. When a page is locked and a user attempts to edit it, a message appears explaining who is editing the page and when they started editing. If timeout is enabled, the time limit also displays as shown in the example below:

Monitoring Wiki Changes

There are two different ways to view any changes that have been made to your wiki. If you would like to view the changes made to a specific page, use the History tab. If you would like to view all changes to the wiki, click on the Wiki changes link.

History Tab

Clicking the History tab associated with a wiki page, will bring you to the list of revisions that users have made since the page was created.
The table shows who has been working on the wiki and when. There are several links on this page, including the current page, View, Delete, Revert, (changes), and Compare selected.

The current page: Links to the page you were viewing when you clicked the History tab.
View: Links to what the page looked like at the time indicated.
Delete: Only instructors and TAs have this permission as a default. When clicked, will delete that version of the page and an undelete link will appear.
Revert: When clicked will return the page to the state it was in at the time indicated. A message will appear to explain how this will affect the page and asking for your confirmation before doing this.
(changes): Shows how the page was changed at the time indicated. For example, Clicking on (changes) at 11:15AM will show Sara's edit to her original text.

Compare selected: You may compare two different versions of a page by (1) clicking the check boxes adjacent to the two you would like to compare and (2) clicking Compare selected.

Wiki Changes

The wiki changes page has two tabs, All changes and New pages.

All changes tab: Changes for all pages in the wiki, are displayed.

New pages tab: Shows when each page was added to the wiki. Pages that have been linked to, but have not yet been created, will not appear in the table.

Making Annotations

Annotations enable instructors* and students to insert a note of explanation or comment to associated text in the wiki. However, by default, only instructors and TAs have this capability. If you would like students to be able to annotate the wiki you will need to enable this permission for them.

 *Annotations must be enabled in the wiki settings if you would like to be able to annotate the wiki.

To annotate a wiki page:

  1. Click the Annotate tab on the wiki page you would like to edit.
  2. Click the annotation marker closest to the text you would like to annotate. 
  3. Insert your annotation text in the Add Annotation pop-up box and click Add
  4. A comment icon will appear inline. 
  5. Click the comment icon to view the annotation inline.
  6. To edit an annotation, click the Annotate tab or the Annotate link under the Wiki page name, and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the annotation text. When you are finished, click Save changes

Annotations may be useful in peer review or as a space in the wiki that students working in groups can use to discuss content they are authoring in the wiki.

To allow students to annotate:

  1. Click Permissions in the Wiki’s administration block. 
  2. In the Advanced Role Override drop-down menu, choose Student. 
  3. Under the Activity: OU Wiki category, find the Allowed to Annotate permission, and choose Allow. 
  4. Click Save changes.

Wiki Index

The Wiki index link has two tabs, which display wiki content in different formats.  The index is useful for identifying orphaned wiki pages (links to pages that were never created), understanding the larger structure of the wiki, and locating particular content without having to browse every page in the wiki.

The Alphabetical view lists pages in alphabetical order.

The Structure view shows the relationship between pages.  

The View online link, found in both tab views, displays the entire contents of the wiki on one page. This view is convenient for saving or printing the wiki content.  

Participation By User

Instructors also have access to the participation by user view, which gives an overview of the number of pages created, number of pages edited, number of words added, and number of words deleted for each user. From this view, you can assign grades to students by using the Grades drop-down. To see a more detailed report for a specific student, listing which pages and words were changed in the wiki, click “detail” next to the participant’s name. 


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