On-line tools: Wikis

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edit  ·  ToolkitKnowledge Management
(see also the WaterWiki Toolkit)
UNDP/BRC KM Approach | E-Moderation | On-line Community of Practice | Virtual CoP | Facilitation (based on an Interview with Patricia Keays)
On-Line Tools (emerged mostly from an online Course on E-moderation): Chat-Rooms | Wikis | Emails | The On-Line Classroom | SKYPE | Doodle - Easy scheduling of events | Time and Date | Create free on-line surveys
Other Resources: Learning Game | Brainstorming on "Running CoPs Successfully" | E-Moderator-Course#E-Moderator.27s_Toolbox E-Moderator Toolbox | Oxfam - Sharing Knowledge Handbook 2 | Web4Dev Nairobi 2007 (WaterWiki-presentation Nairobi web4dev-conf Nov07) | KM as tool for Tsunami Response | Communities of practice for development in the Middle East and North Africa




  • Good tool to bulld-up something (text-based) in a group - one sees instantly the changes
  • As compared to pure e-mails where contributions "expire" after having been sent, they "stick" and can be taken into account / edited by others

Technical Aspects:

  • flexible, also allows access for low-connectivity members (no real-time performance needed (as compared to On-Line Classroom Software)
  • "Recording" is automatically


General Aspects:

  • It doesn't feel as "live" as e.g. chat-room or virtual class-room ("I didn't feel the energy as in other (on-line) works we did")
  • Can feel a bit "alone", on one's own in working on a Wiki page
  • Need to learn Wiki-media first (30 Min.-1 hr to get basics)

Technical Aspects:

  • You need a basic "positive attitude" towards e-tools and working with computers/Internet

Other remarks

Summary from chat-room discussion Mon 10 April 06 regarding first experience with Wikis.


  • a goal PLUS a good structure (backbone) to fill with content (no "open space")
  • A good wiki needs a very strong moderation, as otherwise the whole thing either stops, or grows into any direction...

--> Maybe the solution: Wiki-ing in waves/phases:
Aspects of moderating

  1. set milestones & deadlines
  2. instructions for the group on what to do by then
  3. let the group brainstorm / develop ideas that "grow for a certain time in any direction"
  4. a moderator has to draw a summary from time to time and/or "master-edits" the contributions
  5. It is useful for the quality of working on a Wiki to reflect the group process, to appreciate valuable contributions and to focus at a "team groove" among the editors (socialisation).
  6. It is important to have common agreements on the way of editing the content others have added - and a common understanding of the requirements of such a special team work. Core rules on quality control are recommended. This should be methodically taken into account in moderating a Wiki project.

More feedback:

  • Maybe Wiki's are "medium-term tools", wheras chat-rooms are more short-term - and say word documents attached to e-mails are long-term
  • Useful to need secondary communication tools when working on Wikis (e-mail, SKYPE, etc.) to instruct/motivate the CoP (back-channel)
  • strong and/or continuing motivation needed (on-going soft pushes behind the scenes) to make people contribute

--> An idea could be to tell people in regular intervals (e.g. weekly) what's new on the page(s) an suggest where further contributions are needed

  • leave enough but not too much time (for (a) newcomers to get acquainted with WIKI and (b) to contribute, re-think and re-edit)
  • encourage to post raw contributions too, as to edit them later and on-line; and to allow others to also add additional thoughts in the meantime!

--> Wiki supports the courage to “go public‿ with not-yet-final contributions..


1062 Rating: 3.0/5 (38 votes cast)