During our very first meeting, I suggested that we set up a wiki.
All of my group members had heard of wikis before but maybe only one or two of us had ever used them. So I quickly set up a private wiki on pbwiki and invited them to use it.
I had only briefly gone over why we should be using a wiki and so I think I will go into a bit more detail here.
What are the advantages of using a wiki?
- For the most part, using a wiki doesn’t really require any special technical skills. Even if you need the brief how-to session, it’s pretty simple to use.
- It allows you to collaborate with a group of people (regardless of how many people) without having to e-mail documents and files back and forth, and without having to worry about losing an important e-mail in your crowded inbox
- It’s a great way to keep all information related to a project in one central place
- Everyone can add and edit information and it’s easy to track changes
- You can always revert to previous versions of a page
- You can record and access current information from anywhere, whether or not you have the files and regardless of what system you are using
- You can receive notification when a page or information has changed
- You can lock the wiki so that only a select few can view and/or edit the pages
What are the disadvantages?
- For some people, there is still a learning curve (even if it is much smaller for wikis than other options)
- If you are using a public wiki service, it may not be as secure as you would like it to be
- If you are meeting your group in person and you won’t have access to a computer, you will still need to print off the important pages
Right now, it seems as if most of my group members are doing ok with the wiki. I understand that there is a little bit of frustration because a wiki doesn’t function the exact same way as a word processing program, but I think that will pass over time.
I’m sure that once we split up our duties, the wiki will be really useful for recording our findings and activities for each other to see.
Are there any other advantages or disadvantages for using a wiki? How do you use wikis?
Photo Credit: teemow – Creative Commons License (BY-NC-SA)