Archive for August 4th, 2005

The WebCT Wiki

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

If you’ve read this blog before you probably know that I’m a big fan of Wikis and the Wiki concept. I think Wikipedia, the amazingly successful user-created/edited encyclopedia, is a great resource that I use every day that I’m in front of a computer. The Wiki concept of user-created/edited content also works very well for documentation projects, for example, I wouldn’t be as adept with Linux as I am had I not stumbled across the Gentoo Wiki.

This lead me to create ‘The WebCT Wiki‘ at Brock University. WebCT is the tool most Canadian Universities use to deliver on-line content and teaching (not the best one, and not the only one). Supporting profs’ use of WebCT is a large part of my job.

After writing out the same thing far too many times I started putting documentation on-line a few years ago, but that started to age as WebCT, Windows, the Mac OS and the available software changed. I’d try to find the time to make update and correct typos, but the documents seemed to always be out of date. This spring I converted what I had to Wiki form and along with my colleague Giulia we populated a the WebCT Wiki with what we knew.

Last week we took of the restraints that where keeping Google (MSN Search, etc.) from finding it and this week we became the number one result for powerpoint webct! Just like that, almost over night! We’ve even got repeat use from someone in Australia.

So far we have yet to have a third-party edit, but given our soft launch I’m pretty happy. The benefit has already been realized in that myself and Giulia can make edits the instant we know something is wrong, as soon as we notice it, wherever. The other benefit is that key terms can be hyper links, and don’t require long descriptions every time you mention them.