LMS Wikis: Unharnessed Potential

LMS Wikis: Unharnessed Potential

The Wiki is one of the most under-utilized and underestimated feature of an LMS. That’s because, most of us haven’t gotten around to realizing what the Wiki is capable of, and hence the potential of the Wiki feature is unharnessed. This post is an endeavor to explore the various uses of the LMS Wiki.

What's so great about wikis anyway? Although wikis are not perfect, they do have powerful benefits.
  • Wikis are ideally designed to be the most useful training resource in the workplace of the future.“As the pace of technological change speeds up, many jobs will require constant adaptation, because of new information and new task requirements. In this context, the distinction between learning and work will disappear. A trend toward integrating training with on-the-job activities will be a result. This trend will extend itself to the point that training, as a distinct function, will no longer be the primary learning vehicle for many types of jobs. Works will use on-the-job information systems instead.” — Attributed to Tony O’Discroll, “Achieving Desired Business Performance: A framework for Developing Human Performance Technology in Organizations, 1999 International Society for Performance Improvement”
  • Being able to access the LMS Wiki anywhere you have a web connection is another advantage all on its own.  If a user is traveling then they don’t need to worry about bringing any files with them.  They can simply log onto the wiki and have all the information they need.
  • Emailing a large document to several people can take time and some people may not receive it due to spam filters.  By using a wiki one user can share his or her work with all of the users at one time.
  • Another advantage to using a wiki is that all the drafts of a document are saved.  If a team of people have altered a document several times and feel that using the original introduction would now work better than the revised version, they can easily go back and retrieve the original. Wikis' inherent version control means you never have to worry about losing a document again.
  • Documents are edited in a very visible way, which adds accountability. Members of a team have to justify the changes made to documents because everybody can see it.
  • A wiki also gives the advantage of being able to put many ideas together and then going back to edit them when necessary or when time allows.
    • For example, you could use a wiki to keep track of all your projects.  A user account can be set up for all project members and a page can be created for each project.  Then team members can provide inputs on what has been done on the project and what they still need to do.
  • When communicating through a wiki there is no worry about emails getting lost or thrown away.  All communications will be kept inside the wiki.  Users can also upload files to the wiki, which is another great tool for collaboration as everyone can access them at any time.

By implementing the use of wikis, you will be able to stay on top of projects and have a better sense of organization.