Wikis for Businesses

What is a Wiki?

If you've ever searched the web for a term - such as, "Delegation" - you'll find one of the top-returned sources is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the largest and most popular "Wiki" tool used today. Perhaps it is so popular because it allows industry experts and researchers alike to work collaboratively to best describe or define terms to the general public. In fact, according to Wikipedia: "a wiki is a website on which users collaboratively modify content and structure directly from the web browser. In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language and often edited with the help of a rich-text editor." The main purpose of a wiki is to enable collaboration.

How Can My Business Benefit from Wikis?

Wikis have several applications for businesses. Consider some of our examples below, then solicit feedback from your users and/or Course Designers, then document how the wiki should be used (there are standards or "etiquette".)

Wikis can be both an internal tool for your company as well as public for your customers. Let's review a few examples of how our clients use them:

  • Communication: Departments or other types of groups can create FAQs, publish standards, record meeting minutes, communicate case studies and responses to role-playing exercises - all in a central location to which users can contribute, keeping information current and relevant. For example, Github uses the wiki format for an FAQ.
  • Documentation: Wikis are a great tool for publishing employee manuals and important company documents that are used and updated frequently. Instead of playing the "Who's got the latest version or draft in their email inbox?", those involved in the editing can work together. All edits are recorded. Here is an example of an employee manual wiki from Newark Manor Nursing Home.
  • Knowledgebase:  Create tutorials within the wiki for your company software, processes, or responses to challenges/issues. For example, ServicePro uses a wiki to provide customers with a tutorial on how to use their solutions.
  • Prevent Brain-Drain: Your most seasoned employees/volunteers have information that if you don't get into a wiki, you will lose when they move on. Wikis are great tools for soliciting this information in a format that involves the team.
Wikis provide a central repository for information that can easily be accessed and maintained by more than one person (collaboratively). Each user updates information instantly rather than waiting for a PDF to be edited and sent to everyone again. Each edit is tracked by username and entries can be "tagged" with keywords to make it easier to search for information.

How to Use Wiki Tool in Edvance360

The Wiki tool is available within both Edvance360's Communities and Courses. The Wiki allows learners to contribute in the form of links, thoughts, discussion, debate, and finalize the results that are shared by the group. The Wiki keeps track of all the edits made by learners, as well as the discussion and debate surrounding each wiki entry. The Wiki makes an excellent study tool as more learners contribute valuable content to it, feel "invested" in it, and want to keep the end results. (This is one of the most accessed tools by learners.) Departments use them to define how to respond in situations using role-playing techniques or presenting a situation for discussion/debate and final response as a group. Wikis can also be use to have learners define hard-to-define words or phrases rather than just memorize content. Counselors and coaches use them to get groups to think outside the proverbial box.

Additional Resources

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