Actually, this good idea comes from Eric Stoller in a post called “Academic Advising, Wikis, and Shared Knowledge.” He talks about using a wiki to provide searchable information for the academic advisors at his institution. This is a wonderful idea, and I cannot believe I hadn’t thought about it before.
I can see many possible uses for my ESL program. I am the only full-time instructor. Everyone else is adjunct faculty, and every year I have a different group as others move on and pursue other opportunities. So every year my program is basically starting from scratch. With a wiki, I would have a resource that any new instructor in the program could access to get answers to questions, ideas for classes, etc. I am really going to do this!
What I find interesting is that Eric isn’t using a wiki platform for his wiki. Instead, he is using WordPress. They host their own WordPress blogs, and he was comfortable with it, so he just adapted it to become a wiki. It is an interesting idea. I can see the advantages – it becomes a group blog that any of the members can access and post to. It is, in many ways, easier to maneuver than a wiki.
I don’t have access to WordPress in-house. Or to a wiki, for that matter. Whatever I create will have to be out there on the web. I am OK with that. I won’t have any really sensitive documents uploaded. If an instructor would rather I not upload his/her syllabus, I guess I wouldn’t have to. I would want it to feel collaborative even if I do all the posting.
I am intrigued by this. Since I have so much to do right now that I will never get caught up, it seems like a good time to investigate this possibility!