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OU Wiki Reference Guide


A wiki is a collaboratively authored webpage or collection of webpages that may be edited directly from one’s browser, without needing to know HTML.  Each time a person makes changes to a wiki page, the old version of the wiki is stored, and the revision of the content becomes the current version. This enables both the tracking of changes made to the wiki and the ability to revert edits to a previous version.  Within GauchoSpace, wikis are typically used when instructors would like their students to create content. As a simple, flexible tool for co-creation, wikis can be used for many different things, such as a simple list of weblinks, a class encyclopedia, or a project management site. 

Within GauchoSpace there are two wiki options. We recommend using the OU Wiki because of its enhanced capabilities, which include save wiki as template (to reuse in a separate wiki activity); set release date for editing; statistics on individual student's participation; instructors need not be part of a group to view, edit or annotate the group’s wiki pages; easier grading; and the ability to annotate pages (by instructor or any role given permission).

Understanding OU Wiki Settings


  • Name: Required. What the students will see when selecting the link from your course's homepage and the name in the Gradebook, if you plan to grade the wiki.
  • Description: Required. This is where you tell your students what they need to know to complete work in the wiki.
  • Display description on course page: Select this if you want the full description (above) to also appear on your course page under the name of the wiki.

Wiki Settings

  • Sub-wikis: Use this drop-down menu to select the type of wiki you would like to create. The choices are:
    1. Single wiki for course: All students in the course have access and equal editing rights to this wiki.
    2. One wiki per group: Members of each group see an entirely separate copy of the wiki (sub-wiki) specific to their group. You can only see pages created by people in the same group. If you are in more than one group, or If you have permissions that allow you to view all groups, a dropdown menu will appear enabling you to move between the different groups’ wikis. Applying a template to this wiki ensures that each group starts with the same wiki structure.
    3. Separate wiki for every user: Every single user gets an entirely different wiki. You can only see your own wiki.  If you have permissions that allow you to view others’ activity, a dropdown menu will appear enabling you to move between the different users’ wikis. Applying a template to this wiki ensures that each group starts with the same wiki structure.                 
      Note: The group option works with the chosen grouping. It will ignore groups in other groupings.
  • Annotation: Yes enables the Annotation tab for users with the appropriate permission. This tab enables the addition of inline annotations to wiki pages (e.g., teacher comments on student work, student discussion of edits before they are made). By default, only instructors and TAs have this permission. Note: Instructions for changing student permissions so that they may annotate wiki pages may be found on the Creating and Editing Wiki Pages help page.
  • Time allowed for edit: If you select a timeout, people editing the wiki are only allowed to edit it for a given time. The wiki locks pages while they are being edited (so that two people can't edit the same page at once). Setting a timeout prevents the wiki from becoming locked for others.  When timeout is enabled, users see a countdown when they edit a page. If the countdown reaches zero, the user’s browser automatically saves any changes and stops editing. There are five timeout options: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 2 hours, and 4 hours.
    Tip: Enabling the timeout feature can be useful in large classes where many students are working on the same wiki. Still, using this feature does not prevent a determined user from holding on to a page and preventing other users from editing it. However, instructors and all TA roles (by default) have the ability to override any lock at any time.
    Note: This option has no effect on users who don't have Javascript enabled or who have old browsers. A fifteen-minute timeout always applies to these users. When these users edit a page the countdown clock appears. If the countdown reaches zero and the user has not saved his or her work they might lose it.
  • Allow editing from: When enabled, the wiki enters read-only mode until the given date. Users cannot edit pages until this date.
  • Prevent editing from: When enabled, the wiki enters read-only mode from the given date onwards. Users cannot edit pages after this date.
  • Template: A template is a predefined set of wiki pages. When a template is set, the wiki starts off with the content defined in the template.  To create a template, write the pages you want on any wiki, then visit the Wiki Index page and click Download as wiki template file. To apply a template, drag and drop the saved .zip template into the template upload box when creating your wiki.
  • Show word counts: When enabled, the word count for each wiki page will be calculated and displayed at the bottom of the main content on each page.


  • Grade: The options are none, scale, and point. Choosing scale enables the Scale drop-down menu. Choosing point enables the Maximum points fill-in box.
  • Grade Category: Allows you to choose the category in which this activity’s grades are placed in the gradebook.

Common module settings

  • Visible: If the assignment is hidden, students will not see the assignment. This is the same as using the "Hide/Show" eye icon on your course page.
  • ID Number: A way to identify the wiki in the gradebook. May be left blank.
  • Group mode: Selecting visible groups allows group members to work on their group wiki, and view other groups’ wikis. Selecting separate groups restricts viewing and editing of the wiki to its assigned group members. *Group mode must be set if you have selected one wiki per group otherwise you will not be able to save your wiki.
  • Grouping: If you have groupings, you can select a grouping here to assign the wiki to a specific grouping, which is a group of groups.

Restrict access

Restrict access can allow an instructor to make an activity available based on a conditions. Conditions can be a date, a grade, or group or grouping membership. You can also combine restrictions and set whether the student must or must not meet the condition. This method of restricting access allows you to hide activities from users who don't meet the set condition by clicking the eye icon for your restriction. To learn more about setting up restrictions visit, How can I make an activity or resource only available to particular students?

Activity Completion

If your course is set-up for completion tracking then the activity completion setting will appear. The activity completion settings for a Wiki allow an instructor to require that a student manually mark the activity as completed or show activity as complete when conditions are met. Multiple conditions may be set if desired. If multiple conditions are set the activity will be considered complete when ALL conditions are met. The conditions are:

  • Require view: If enabled, the Wiki will be marked complete only when the student views the Wiki.
  • Require grade: If enabled, students must receive a grade to complete this activity.
  • Require new pages: If enabled, users must create the number of pages indicated to complete this activity.
  • Require edits: If enabled, users must make the number of edits indicated to complete this activity.
  • Expect completed on: If you check the “enable” box for this field, you must also enter an appropriate date when the activity is expected to be completed. The date is not shown to students. It is only displayed in the activity completion report.

Click Save and Display and the start page of your wiki is displayed.


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