The term "wiki" refers both to a set of interconnected webpages that can be edited by anyone (with appropriate permission) from anywhere; and also, to the software that enables open editing in a collaborative way.
Wikis are important educational and collaboration tools through which students and instructors, or other self-organized groups, can participate in developing and sharing knowledge locally (or globally) using the web. The objective in using a wiki is to collaboratively build a shared repository of knowledge, with the knowledge base growing over time. A well-known example of a successful wiki is Wikipedia.
Wikis are easy to learn to use and act as an immediate and wide ranging source of information. They provide:
In March 2006, ICT provided a wiki tool with minimal support, documentation or assistance; at the close of 2007, the amount of use, available features and suitability of the existing service were assessed. The review of the "bare bones" wiki pilot established the University community's interest in, and need for, an institutional wiki service to support educational collaboration. Without active promotion of advantages in using a wiki, nine public wikis and 68 private wikis were created by the University community during the period. The technology had been embraced by research groups, faculty and technical support personnel within the University; access and contributions were focused on specific peer groups.
As part of the review process, a group of wiki implementers participated in a formal requirements gathering process. Using the representative requirements and online resources available at wikimatrix.org, ICT identified four wiki tools with strong potential for an institutional wiki service. At that stage a project was organized to complete selection of an enterprise wiki tool; to implement a suitable technical environment that can differentiate between registered and non-registered users, letting us keep non-registered users from making changes; and to develop the capacity to provide the University community with ongoing support of the selected wiki tool.
The Atlassian Confluence product was selected and rolled out in mid-August 2008.
The many features of the Confluence wiki tool, can be found here.
Contact for more information about the U of S service or to request a demonstration.
A partial list of benefits includes:
The wiki is available to "anonymous" (non-registered) users as well as to "members" (U of S Members and Guests). By using your NSID username and password, or your guest username and password, you can log in as a member of the wiki service. As a U of S member, you will have more editing and contributing access than an anonymous user. Guests will require additional access privileges from wiki owners.
Non-U of S Members will need to register as a guest and pass their guest username to the wiki owners so it can be added to their space permissions.
We recommend a private wiki be used as part of online collaboration that is not intended for public viewing or participation. For example, when an instructor wants the students in a class (a pre-defined group of people) to use the wiki for discussion, keeping it private is suggested.
Wikis will be private by default when created or migrated by the University on behalf of a class, group, or user.
Spaces are the hub of the wiki. They may be created for project collaboration, personal interest groups and even your own personal use. All wiki spaces have three levels of access: Group, Individual, and Anonymous, which may be configured with varying permission capabilities.
A single personal space may be created for private use. Personal spaces are available to UofS Members.
For more information please contact to learn more about the system and request a demonstration.
The primary difference is that wikis focus on collaboration and flexibility in how space and information is organized.
For example, collaborative project and knowledge repository sites for internal documentation are often restricted to a team and are therefore well-suited to using a wiki.
Some things to look for on the Dashboard:
Confluence will use your official U of S e-mail address for notifications (NSID@mail.usask.ca). If you are not checking mail sent to this address on a regular basis, please ensure that you forward it to an alternate address that you check regularly. Instructions on how to forward your e-mail address are available online.
At this time it is not possible to create and manage ad hoc groups. Defined organizational units and class groups are managed and supported by central services.
Wiki space "owners" are able to manage who has access to their wiki space by adding or removing users. You must know people's NSID in order to add them to your wiki space.
Contact the ICT Help Desk for assistance with groups.
The largest individual attachment size that Confluence can support is 70 MB per attachment with a restriction of five files per upload.
Ideas for how you can use a wiki can be found in our wiki documentation section.