OU Wiki

The OU Wiki plugin allows instructors to set up pages that are editable by individuals or groups. It allows students to collaborate with one another (as well as the instructor) for learning. Pages can be added to the Wiki for organization, and the instructor can see all the activity that occurs within the OU Wiki. The OU Wiki was added Fall 2013 to provide an easy to use wiki, for individual or collaborative pages, grading options, template import options, and participation report for grading.

  • When two people want to edit the same page in a wiki, it is locked to one of them. This allows setting a time-out that will release auto-submit the person who is editing saving their changes and unlocking it.
  • Ability to upload pre-defined templates. This instructor can have a set structure and some content already created to provide students structure.
  • Includes integrated comments on pages or headings and single words.
  • Displays the word count.
  • Graded option available.
  • Can be exported as a template.
  • Usage reports and statistics
  • Hierarchal page index
  • Extended page history management tool (per page and activity wide)
  • Ability to add new paragraphs and new pages, easily, at the end of each page


Getting Started

Adding / Editing a Wiki

  1. Click on the Add an activity or resource link.
    Add Activity or Resource Menu
  2. Choose the OU Wiki tool.
  3. Click the Expand all link to view all settings
  4. expand

  5. Under the General section, type the OU Wiki name (required) and OU Wiki description into the text boxes.
  6. Select any settings that you would like your wiki to have.

  7. Options

    • Sub Wikis determines how students use and view the wiki.
      • Single wiki for course: This wiki behaves as one single wiki, everyone on the course sees the same pages.
      • One wiki per group: Members of each group see an entirely separate copy of the wiki (sub-wiki) specific to their group. You can only see pages created by people in the same group. If you are in more than one group, or have permissions that allow you to view all groups, you get a pull down menu to choose a group.
      • Separate wiki for every user: Every single user gets an entirely different wiki. You can only see your own wiki unless you have permissions that allow you to view others.
    • Time allowed for edit allows people who are editing the wiki to only edit it for a given time. The wiki will lock a page while it is being edited so two people can't edit the same page at the same time, so setting a timeout will prevent the wiki from becoming locked for others. Users will see a countdown when they are editing and when it reaches zero, the browser will save changes and stop editing.
    • Group mode (under the Common module section) can submit their files into one area. After the group is created, you can choose the name of the group from the list.
      caution icon

      Warnings about groups...

      WARNING: Wait to create groups until the Add / Drop period is over... then DELETE those students from your course.

      Once a student has been added into a group and they have participated in a group wiki, you cannot change their group association. Changing which group the student is in WILL break the wiki page and it will no longer be viewable to you or the student.

      • No Groups: There are no sub-groups, everyone is part of one big community.
      • Separate Groups: Each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
      • Visible Groups: Each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups.
    • Restrict access allows the instructor to set a condition on the assignment until other assignment(s) are completed:
      Add restrict access image
      Add restrict access menu image
      • Date determines when students can access the activity via a link on the course page.
        Note: ALL dates must be changed when copying courses.[We recommend that you do not use the DATE option in Restrict access. Dates can be set above within the Availability.]
      • Grade determines any grade conditions which must be met in order to access the activity.
        Note: Multiple grade conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only allow access when ALL grade conditions are met.
      • Group determines which students can access the activity, whether it be a specified group or all groups.
      • User Profile determines access based on fields within the student's profile, such as department or email.
      • Restriction Set allows you to set nested restrictions (of those listed above).
  8. Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.

Adding / Editing a New Wiki Page

Within a wiki, you can separate content into different pages. These pages can be linked from the first page that was created, or can be linked to other pages within the Wiki.

  1. Click on the Wiki activity.
  2. Click on Create Page

    Create page button
  3. In the text box, put in any content you desire and create links for pages in the Wiki (see Note below). Apply necessary Tags and click Save.
  4. Note: Page links are not created via hyperlink. Instead, type the name of the page, and enclose it with double square brackets: [[ ]]. Separating page links can be done in any way desirable, but the pipe ("|") character (located directly below the backspace button while holding shift for input) is recommended for a seamless look of your links.

    Syntax to create links:

    Page Creation


    Start page

  5. To edit the start page, either click on "Edit Page" (shown in above image) or on the Edit tab (shown in below image)
  6. Edit Tab

  7. Click on the link to the page to be edited and click on the Create page. Enter the content of the page in the text box, any necessary Tags, and click Save.
  8. Note: After a page has been created, sections can be added by typing in a section title in the box below the other content on the page and clicking Add.

    Add new section

  9. An alternate way to add a new page:
    1. Type in a page name into the "Create new page" box and click Create.
    2. Add any desired content into the content box and click Save.
    3. This will ad a link to the new page, to edit the page again, click on the link.

Note: It is currently NOT possible to delete a page within the Wiki. To hide a page from students, delete the link(s) to the page. The page will still show up in the Wiki index as an unlinked page.


The history and index of the Wiki are useful for easy navigating as well as keeping track of the activity within the Wiki.

  • History
    1. Click on the OU Wiki activity.
    2. Click on the Wiki Changes button in the upper right of the page.
      Wiki Changes Button
    3. Note: The changes are shown in descending order, newest at top.
    4. Within Wiki Changes, you can choose to view All changes to all pages, or just new pages and when they were created by switching between the tabs at the top of the page.
    5. Wiki Changes Tabs

      Note: Viewing the changes that have been made to a page will highlight the differences between the two versions. Each version can also be viewed in its entirety.

  • Index
  • light bulb icon

    Can't find student wikis

    If you have difficulties finding the content in the student wiki, try clicking on the wiki link in the course or breadcrumb and then choosing the participate name from the pull-down list. Need more information?

    1. Click on the OU Wiki activity
    2. Click on the Wiki index button in the upper right of the page.
    3. Wiki Index Button

    4. You have the choice to view the pages in the wiki alphabetically or by structure. If you view by structure, you will be able to see which pages are linked to each other . You can choose which view you want by using the tabs at the top of the page
    5. Wiki Index Tabs

      Note: If you have made links to pages, but have not yet created the pages, there will be a section in the index called "Missing pages" which shows these links. There will also be a section for "Unlinked pages" if you have created a page but erased the links to it.


Annotations can be used as comments or as feedback in a Wiki. They are not good for holding discussions as in a forum, but they are good for feedback in the wiki. Both students and instructors can annotate each other's wikis. This can be changed using permissions if desired.

  1. First, in Edit Settings of your OU Wiki, make sure Annotation System us set to Yes.
  2. Annotations on

  3. Next, Click on the Annotate button that appears under the title of the page, next to "Edit page" on the page that you would like to annotate.
  4. Annotate

  5. After you have clicked on Annotate, small blue squares will appear between words. These are annotation markers. Choose where you would like to annotate and click on the blue square in that area.
  6. Annotate Markers

  7. Type in the text that you would like to appear in your annotation, and click Add.
  8. Annotation Text

  9. You will see another screen showing where your new annotation is as well as the text in the annotation. When you are satisfied, click Save changes.

    Save Annotation

  10. Your new annotation will appear as a clickable icon near where you added it.. If you click on the icon, your annotation text will expand or collapse.
  11. Annotation Icon

  12. You can also expand or collapse, hide, or add more annotations by clicking on the links next to "Edit page"
  13. Editing Annotations

Additional Features


A wiki template will allow the instructor to create a multi-page space for a single student or groups of students to work within. These pages can be full of helpful instructions, tips, links and steps for key milestones. Once the template is created, it can be imported into any OU Wiki and reused as many times as you need.

Download the Template

Create an OU Wiki, then create the pages and content. After the wiki is finished, download the template.

From the OU Wiki tool:

  1. Click on the Wiki Index button on the top right.
    screen image of the OU Wiki, index button
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click on the download as wiki template file link.
  3. Save the ZIP file somewhere safe on your computer and make sure it stays a ZIP file and isn’t unpackaged. (Note: On some browsers there are options in the Preferences, such as “Open safe files after downloading” in Safari, that will cause a file to be unzipped during download. You’ll want to turn those types of options off in your browser before downloading the wiki template so that it remains zipped.)

Upload the Template

The downloaded ZIP template can now be uploaded into other OU Wiki's in any PolyLearn course.

From the OU Wiki settings page:

  1. Drag the ZIP file into the template’s drag & drop box.
    screen image of the OU Wiki, drag and drop window
  2. Scroll down and click on the Save and display button.

Wiki Permissions

The Wiki permissions are established by the PolyLearn System Administrator. The permissions are given to the various roles in order to grant the ability to perform actions within the activity. The instructor can view these permissions with these steps:

  1. Click on the existing Wiki activity.
  2. In the Activity Menu, click the Assign roles to view all possible capabilities pertaining to Wiki, and which roles have access to each capability.
  3. OU Wiki Settings Block

  4. In Check permissions, click on the user's name to check and then click Show this user's permissions.
    Note: Type the user's name into the search box in order to refine the display and more easily locate the intended user.
  5. This page lists all of the various actions that are capable within the activity. The list will tell whether or not the user is capable of each action.

Wiki Grades

The OU Wiki automatically appears in the Gradebook

  1. To edit the maximum grade value for the wiki, Go to Edit Settings from the activity menu.
  2. Edit Settings

  3. In the Grade category you can choose a value from the Grade pull down menu
  4. Grade Setting

  5. To give your students grades: while viewing the wiki, click on Participation by user in the upper right corner of the screen.
  6. Participation by user

  7. Each student has a pull down menu to select a grade, as well as shows the number of pages that have been created, page edits, words added, and words deleted by each person.
  8. Wiki Grades Page

  9. Make sure to click Save grades when you are finished.

Wiki Tips / Notes

  • Page Links: If there are many pages within the wiki, the user will need to edit the page to manually create a table of contents (hyperlinks). You can also use the Map tab to access pages.
  • "Start page" name is uneditable.