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Create and use a wiki

A wiki can be described as a collection of collaboratively authored web documents that is used for creating content as a group. There is usually no central editor of a wiki - all participants edit and develop the content which may change through multiple iterations until a consensus view is reached. In Moodle you would normally use a wiki for student created content.

As noted, wikis can be a powerful tool for collaborative work where an entire cohort can edit together or in groups. However, it is also possible for each student to have their own wiki, visible only to them and the course editors.

Adding a wiki

1. Turn on editing from the cog icon, and select 'Add an activity or resource' in the relevant topic / section

2. Select 'Wiki' from the list of options in the menu

This will open the 'Adding a wiki' page and allow you to set the options:

Wiki settings

3. Give the wiki a name* and a description (this is not compulsory but may be useful for students to understand the purpose of the wiki if you display this on the course page).
*This is the 'first page' of the Wiki.

4. Under the Wiki settings section, you will see 'Sub-wikis'. This drop down lets you choose from the following options:

  • Single wiki for course - all participants will access and edit the same wiki.
  • One wiki per group - group mode must be enabled under common module settings and groups be available.
  • Separate wiki for every user - all students will have their own personal wiki, visible only to themselves and markers.

These details are all that are required to get started with a wiki.

Other settings

There are a number of other options that may prove useful:

Annotation system - if this is switched on, editors can add annotations to student entries in the wiki.

Time allowed for edit - this sets a time limit on how long a wiki entry can be edited by an individual for. This is useful in preventing an entry being locked for a long period for editing by other participants. When enabled, wiki editors will see a countdown from the time set in this field. When the timer completes, the wiki entry is saved, and editing stops.

Show word counts - the word count for each entry will be calculated and displayed at the bottom of the page.

Using a template to create a wiki

A template is a predefined set of wiki pages. In order to create a template, you must use an existing Wiki. Within the wiki, go to the index page and click 'Save wiki as a template'.

Add the template under 'Wiki settings' by clicking on 'choose a file' and browsing to your stored wiki template.

When a template is added, it applies to the mode selected in 4 above i.e. if set as Single wiki for course, a single wiki will be created, and conversely, if separate wiki for every user is selected, each participant will get a personal copy of the template wiki.

Activity completion

Wiki has two specific activity completion conditions:

  1. User must create new pages (and the number that they must create)
  2. User must make edits (and the number of entries that they must edit)

that can be enabled under Activity completion.

Wiki activity completion conditions


Moodle Wiki

This video is for the standard Moodle wiki (whereas the Wiki we are using is based on the OU wiki) but it has some very useful information and concepts.


The author of this plugin has made the following guides available via his web page.
Student guide to OU Wiki
Editor guide to OU Wiki
The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.4 and was last updated August 2018.

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