I received a technology grant to set up and manage a wiki for a course that I taught in Fall 2006. The class - "Hyperliterature" - focused on electronic literary works featuring hypertext and/or hypermedia technologies. The use of a wiki seemed desirable for a number of reasons, not least among them the fact that, unlike the term papers I generally assign, the wiki would not disappear at the end of the semester, and thus the student work would not be lost; it would remain on-line and consultable by the school community and the public, and could be expanded in future classes I teach. It also seemed to me that the students might be excited about exploring this relatively new technology, and could be stimulated by the opportunity to do scholarly work collaboratively. Finally, a wiki seemed an appropriate forum for the discussion of the digital, web-based literature we were studying.
After discussing the project with Sue, Matt, Heather, and Kathleen, I opted to adopt the Mediawiki software (the same one used by Wikipedia). Matt downloaded and installed the software for me, and I created a suitable structure for it; learning to do so was easy, using the "Help" and FAQ pages that came with the software. I presented the wiki project to my students on the first day of class, and gave a demonstration the week before the first of my two assignments was due. In both cases, I asked students to contribute as much or as little as they liked to any of a number of pages, provided they reached the required word count. There were a few snags - a couple of students had problems adding their contributions, and in one case a page disappeared - but these were easy to resolve. For the most part students had no trouble inputting their information and formatting it correctly.