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Monday, February 23, 2009

Guidelines for Effective Wiki-Editing



These are the basic wiki instructions to students and teachers on NetGen. Thought this would be helpful for some of you.

Here are some notes to students and teachers for the most common questions about wikis.

If you find a mistake:
If I have typos, please feel free to fix them.

Where they are:
All of them are linked to this page - http://netgened.wikispaces.com/Teams
The main topics are on the left.

How editing works:
We write the instructions in italics and ask them to delete it.

If you delete it, how can everyone see the instructions?
This FORCES the students to learn how ot use history -- just go to the history tab and look at the 1st copy of the page - the instructions are THERE. This forces them to learn about instructions and the power of the wiki.

What goes on the wiki and what in the discussion tab?

The wiki page should always be in FINAL form - so discussions go on the discussion tab - talking about the page. I use Wikipedia to show how this works. They should look for their expert advisors here as well.

How do they keep up with their wiki edits and discussions?

We use igoogle and they subscribe to the discussions and wiki edits for their main page and sub wiki - to find it, go to the notify me tab of the page. This helps them keep up with things.

When can they start?

now!

What are wiki wars?

When students edit simultaneously they will delete one another's work. There is a warning that let's them know when someone else is editing, but sometimes it will happen erroneously if another person clicked "edit" and then left the page by clicking cancel. The wiki editor saves the iunedited page in the "cache" and tells others that someone is editing when they aren't.

Can wiki wars be prevented?

The #1 reason for wiki wars is that students do not click "discard" when opening a page. In the example listed above, there is a copy in the cache of your computer when you clicked edit and then clicked cancel - it still saved a copy. So, if you did this 3 days a go, and you don't click Discard you lose 3 days of work!! So, click Discard and there is no problem.

How do I get back my work?
No problem! If someone deletes your work, go in the history and copy your work out (just turn off change highlighting when you do) and paste it back into the current document. Try not just to revert back -- as that perpetuates the wiki war. Feel free to leave a kindly worded message to the person who has not discarded the previous draft. Do not let things escalate -- sometimes others just dont' know and they are learning!!!
We have a few teachers who need to sign up for the teams. Get into the google doc ASAP as we need to publish this.

A simulpost from NetGenEd Ning.
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