How to use one wiki with many students — at one time

We’ve heard from a lot of teachers that it can be frustrating to work with on one PBwiki with many students at one time. PBwiki doesn’t allow more than one editor on the page at one time – and the page that is being edited is ‘locked’ to other users.

(This is because if a wiki allowed two people to edit the same page simultaneously, the edits might conflict.)

You don’t want to waste valuable time in the computer lab but what should your other students do while the page is being edited?

Create lots of Pages
Our suggestion is to create lots of pages: Create a page for each lesson, for each project, even for each student. When your students have more pages to choose from, there is less of a chance that they will have to ‘Steal the Lock’. Here are two ideas on how engage many students on one wiki.

Book Review:
Assign a book review project to your class. Have each student create their own page, write a short review on a chapter and populate it with links to articles about the author, the book and other articles. Then ask each student to visit the wiki page to the person on their right. Ask them to review their partners links, edit the review or comment on the page.

Collaborative Research Papers:
Group the students into teams of three or four and have each group divide the project between themselves. During computer lab ask your students to begin researching the topic, have them paste links and jot ideas down on individual pages. When ready to write the paper, have each student work on their own page and allow the group to edit each others pages. Paste the completed project into one wiki page.

How do you use one wiki with many students? Join the discussion here

7 thoughts on “How to use one wiki with many students — at one time

  1. I used PBwiki to teach a class last week. I needed multiple users to be on at one time. Each person was setting up their own page on the same wiki to showcase work. As we were working, people did get locked out, but we also had problems with uploading documents. Sometimes the documents would upload and sometimes they wouldn’t. It was pretty frustrating. I didn’t realize that when multiple users are uploading documents, all of the documents are uploaded to the same area. It would be great if each person would have had their own area to upload documents into.

  2. I need multiple teachers to be able to edit a document during a workshop. Are there other wikis that would allow us to do this, or should we use google docs or zoho instead? Thanks.

  3. Hi,

    I am the original poster of this question. The project I am working on with my students involves entering information in a table, which logically one could do several at the same time, but on the wikki since the table is on one page they cannot do. So that is why I continue to ask if this possibility could be developed for educational wikis. It would be a huge bit of work and defeat the purpose of encouraging collaborative writing if I were to create a page of separate tables for each student.

    Thanks for listening again!


  4. I realize multiple students on a page at once would be most ideal, but here is how I handled the issue in my class (by putting them on separate pages in our wiki, but organizing the switches as one group finished a page and moved on to another):

    Each group wrote down the name of a page they were editing on our dry erase board and put a check mark behind the name. When they were finished with the page, they walked up to the board, erased the checkmark, and wrote a checkmark next to the page they would be entering. It worked great so other groups could just look up at the board to see what was open and what was being edited at that moment. It kept their energy focused on editing and not trying to go to pages that were locked.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: