50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom

Wikis are an exceptionally useful tool for getting students more involved in curriculum. They’re often appealing and fun for students to use, while at the same time ideal for encouraging participation, collaboration, and interaction. Read on to see how you can put wikis to work in your classroom.

Resource Creation

Using these ideas, your students can collaboratively create classroom valuables.

  1. Virtual field trips: Have your students research far away places they would like to go on a field trip, and get them to share images and information about the location.
  2. Create presentations: Instead of using traditional presentation software, put presentations on a wiki.
  3. Write a Wikibook: Make it a class project to collaboratively write a reference book that others can use.
  4. Study guides: Ask students to create study guides for a specific part of the unit you’re studying.
  5. Readers’ guides: Have your students create readers’ guides to share their favorite and most important parts of works you’ve read in class.
  6. Solving wiki: Post difficult math problems, such as calculus, so that the class can collaboratively solve them.
  7. Glossary: Get your class to create a glossary of terms they use and learn about in new units, adding definitions and images.
  8. Class encyclopedia: Ask your class to create an "encyclopedia" on a topic, adding useful information that can be built upon through the years.
  9. Create exploratory projects: If you’re teaching a new subject, ask your students to collect and share information in the wiki so that you can learn together.

Student Participation

These projects are sure to get your students involved.

  1. Exam review: Encourage students to share review notes and other helpful pieces of information on your classroom’s wiki.
  2. Peer review: Allow students to draft their papers in a wiki, then ask other students to comment it.
  3. Student portfolios: Assign portfolio pages to each of your students, and allow them to display and discuss their work.
  4. Correction competition: You can post a document riddled with mistakes, then have students compete to see who can fix the most errors fastest.
  5. Peer editing: Ask students to edit each others’ work for spelling, grammar, and facts based on a style guide or rules you’ve defined.
  6. Vocabulary lists: Encourage students to submit words that they had trouble with, along with a dictionary entry.
  7. Get feedback: Ask students to post comments on wiki pages.
  8. Share notes: Let your students share their collective information so that everyone gets a better understanding of the subject.

Group Projects

Allow wikis to facilitate group work by using these ideas.

  1. Group authoring: By asking groups to use central documents in a wiki, you can ensure that everyone’s documentation will be uniform.
  2. Grandma timeline: Have your students create a history timeline using Grandmas as units of time.
  3. Organize ideas: Allow group members to post their ideas in a wiki, and you’ll cut down on duplicate ideas, while at the same time allowing them to build upon the ideas.
  4. Fan clubs: Start fan clubs for your students’ favorite figures from history and ask them to contribute their favorite quotes, photos, and other tidbits together.
  5. Track projects: With wikis, it’s easy for students to see which tasks have been completed and which ones still need to be fulfilled.
  6. Track participation: Assign a wiki page to a group project, and then individual pages for each student to show their participation.

Student Interaction

Get your students to work together on these projects.

  1. Collect data: Use central documents to make sure that data collection is uniform and easy to manage.
  2. Mock-debate: Pit two class candidates against each other and perform a debate on your wiki.
  3. Study buddy matching: Let students match themselves up into study buddy pairs.
  4. Multi-author story: Start a creative writing unit, and get your students to write a short story together, each writing a small amount of the story.
  5. Choose your own adventure story: A twist on the multi-author story could be a choose your own adventure story, where each student branches out into a different path.
  6. Share reviews: Post articles for different movies, books, and TV shows, encouraging students to share what they though about them.
  7. Literature circles: Host a book club on your wiki where students are required to read the same book, then discuss it on the wiki.

For the Classroom

Use your wiki to create spaces that are special to your class.

  1. Classroom FAQ: Make it a class project to create an FAQ for your classroom that will help new students and those that will come in years later.
  2. Classroom scrapbook: Share news, photos, and current achievements in your classroom on a wiki page.
  3. Calendar: Create a calendar on the wiki and encourage students to add their own personally important dates.
  4. Classroom newspaper: Create your own news outlet on a wiki.
  5. Hall of fame: Highlight students’ exceptional achievements on the wiki.
  6. Classroom policies: Encourage students to draft rules and policies for the classroom.

Community

Reach out to the community with these resources that everyone can appreciate.

  1. School tour: Get your class to take photos of your school and write about their favorite spots on the wiki, then share it with the rest of your school and your local community.
  2. Recipe book: Ask students to bring in their favorite recipes from home, then share them with parents and the rest of the community.
  3. International sharing: Collaborate with a class from another country and share information about your culture, or even a day in the life of a typical student.
  4. Local history: Document historical buildings, events, and more from our community. You can ask students to perform interviews, and encourage parents and other adults to contribute their knowledge in the wiki.
  5. Community FAQ: Ask students to create an FAQ for their community, then pass it on to your next group of students.
  6. Community nature guide: Have your students collect highlights of plants and animals in your community.
  7. Share achievements: Let parents log in to the wiki to see what their children have accomplished.

Other

Here are even more fun and useful ways to improve your classroom with a wiki.

  1. Let your students leave their books at school: With a strong classroom wiki, you should have a wealth of information available, so much so that students can leave their books at school and access information online.
  2. Use wikis as a hub: Any time a student creates anything online, ask them to link to it or upload it to the wiki so that everyone can use it.
  3. Make website creation easier for students: Using a wiki platform, students don’t have to worry about web design, so they can focus on content instead.
  4. Organization: Save links, documents, and quotes related to units or your classroom as a whole.
  5. Track assignments: If you ask students to put their research on wikis, you can check in on their progress to make sure they’re on the right path.
  6. Teacher collaboration: Work with other teachers to create lesson plans and track students’ success.
  7. Create and pass a legislative bill: Let students see the back and forth that exists in legislation by creating their own and attempting to pass it.

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