M15 - Wiki

Keywords: wiki, reflection, collaboration, group work.

What is it?

A wiki is a type of collaboratively-authored website and can be a powerful tool for both reflective and collaborative learning activities. They enable the singular of collaborative development of online documents without prior knowledge of HTML or web development techniques, with old versions of each page retained automatically so that they can be viewed (and restored if required) by checking the page history.

Why use it?

Wikis are very flexible and can be set up and edited in many different ways. A Wiki may house collaboratively-developed lecture notes for an entire cohort, act as a space in which a group can collect evidence prior to a presentation, or be used as a brainstorming facility for an individual project.

In the context of group work, a wiki's version control facility allows tutors and students to explore development of a document, revealing who has contributed what and when.

Who can use it?

  • Tutors
  • Whole course groups
  • Smaller groups within courses
  • Individual students.

Before I start...

An alternative to using the Moodle Wiki, if it doesn't meet your needs, is asking students to use the UCL Wiki instead. They can login and create a Profile, which they can then share with others. Simply link wiki from your Moodle course.

Whichever wiki tool you use, think about:

  • The task or outcome to be achieved through use of a wiki. Does a wiki help you to achieve this?
  • Will students work together or alone?

Meeting the baseline

The UCL E-Learning Baseline suggests the following for Orientation:

  • 2.2 Explain participation requirements
    • Identify which activities are compulsory and optional
    • Provide an indicator of effort (such as timings or page counts) for all compulsory tasks

    • Explain how students are expected to use UCL and external e-learning tools. This PowerPoint Induction template provides a starting point. Wholly online courses might provide this information as a screen-cast video, with a voice over
    • Link to instructions for any e-learning tools that students are expected to use.

 For Student Active Participation it is suggested that:

  • 9.1 Students are encouraged and supported to work with learning resources
    Student should be encouraged to investigate, share or discuss through quizzes, simulations, forums, blogs, wikis, glossaries, or databases.

How do I set one up?

Add a Wiki quick guide

  1. To add a Wiki to your course, Turn editing on, locate an appropriate section, click Add an activity or resource, and select Wiki then click add.
  2. Enter a Name and Description (which you can display if you wish).
  3. Select a Mode for the wiki, i.e. collaborative or individual, and enter a First page name.
  4. If required, select Common module settings to alter the Group mode. 
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and display.

Further help

Further guidance on Wiki settings is available from MoodleDocs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


The wiki mode cannot be changed once saved for the first time, so ensure that the the option selected is correct. A collaborative wiki allows everyone to edit, while an individual wiki offers everyone on the course a wiki that only they can edit.

Examples and case studies

  • One clear example of a wiki is Wikipedia, an encyclopaedia contained within a wiki environment that can be added to and edited by anyone in the world.  In 2015, the UCL Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS) ran an event for translation studies students, all new to editing Wikipedia, to learn how to contribute to the online encyclopedia anyone can edit.

Questions & Answers


Further information

More information about the Wiki activity, including its settings, use, and an FAQ, can be found on MoodleDocs.