Wikis in OWL

The following guide will take you through the steps to using the wiki in OWL. A wiki is an online space where individuals can collaborate. In this space, users can create pages, and edit pages written by others. In this guide, you will learn how to set up your own wiki space that can be accessed by all members of your OWL course area.

This guide will show you the steps for:

Creating a Wiki Space

You can have one wiki space per section in your OWL course. In order to add a wiki space, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Build Tab.
  2. Click on Add Content Link.
  3. Click on Wiki Space.
  4. Click on Create Wiki Space.
  5. Give your space a title and click Add Link to Wiki Space.
  6. A new page appears with two buttons. To proceed with the wiki space creation, click on Continue.

Note: Depending on the enrolment in your course, the creation process could take some time. If it lasts more than a few minutes, click on Cancel and try again.

Congratulations. You have now created your wiki space.

Setting Permissions for Your Wiki Space

As part of the wiki creation process, OWL enrolls all members of the course as wiki users, and divides them into groups according to each person's OWL role (eg: designer, instructor, student). These groups are each given a default set of permissions. In order to change the permissions, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the Teach Tab.
  2. Browse to the page where you've added the link to your wiki. Click the link. This will open the wiki page in a new window or tab.
  3. Move your mouse so that it points to the Browse link at the top of the new page.
  4. Choose the Space Admin option from the drop-down menu.
  5. On the next screen, click on Permissions from the left-hand side.
  6. To restrict or extend a group's access and abilities, click on Edit Permissions.
  7. A series of checkboxes will appear in place of the checks and crosses. To give or take away permssions, select or deselect the appropriate checkboxes.
  8. Click the Save All button at the bottom of the page to save your new permissions.

Deleting or Refreshing Your Wiki Space

From within OWL, you can delete your wiki space if you no longer wish to have it, or refresh your wiki space to synchronize it with your OWL section. When you create a wiki space, the space's users are pulled from your current OWL enrollment. Therefore, if there are any enrollment changes in your course, the wiki space will need to be refreshed. This allows the new users to have access to the wiki.

Both deleting and refreshing your wiki space use the same basic directions.

  1. Go to the Build Tab.
  2. Browse to the page where you've added the link to your wiki. Click the arrow next to the link and click Preview.
  3. On the page that appears, click on the button next to your wiki space.
  4. Next:
    • Click on Delete to permanently remove the wiki space
    • Click on Refresh to register new members of your course in the wiki.

Note: If you delete your wiki space, the Content Link remains. Remove the Link from the page to prevent students from trying to access the deleted wiki space. You can always create a new wiki space at a later date, if you wish. The old wiki space link will remain in the inventory of content links, but will no longer point anywhere. For every new wiki space, please follow the steps outlined in this guide.

Setting Up Groups in Your Wiki

One of the things you may want to use your wiki for is a class project. In this case it can be useful to divide your class into groups. The wiki allows you to control access to pages for groups or individuals. In this tutorial we will show how to divide your class into groups, and give each group their own page, which cannot be viewed or edited by students in other groups.

Since the underlying software for the wiki encompasses all OWL course areas, you must find your course's individual identifier before easily assigning pages to a group. This makes creating individual group pages a three step process:

  1. Finding your space key.
  2. Setting up your group's pages.
  3. Setting permissions for each page.

Finding Your Space Key

  1. At the top of the page click Browse.
  2. A menu will come up. Click Advanced.
  3. In the main area of the page, find where it says Key and copy the long string of characters temporarily into a text editor or word processor.

Setting Up Your Group's Pages

  1. Set up your groups in OWL. The groups must be populated with the students in the groups before your proceed to work with them in your wiki space. If you are unsure about how to set up a group in OWL, please see the "Group Management in OWL" manulette located at
  2. Refresh your wiki space using the previous instructions.
  3. Enter your wiki from the Teach Tab.
  4. On the main page of your wiki, click Edit.
  5. To create the page we need to add links to the new group pages. To do this:

    a) First add some text (eg: Group 1 - Chapter 3 Presentation) then highlight the text.

    b) Press the link button.

    c) On the left hand side of the next screen, press Web Link.

    d) In the URL box, enter the title of the page you would like to create.

    e) Click Insert.

    The text should now be blue and underlined. This signifies that it is a link to a new page.

  6. Repeat this process until you have created a new page for each group
  7. Click Save

Setting Permissions For Each Page

Now that you have created the pages for each of your groups, it's time to edit the permissions. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Click the link for the first group. Since nothing has been added to this page yet it will automatically take you to the edit screen.
  2. Add any content to the page that you might want that group to see (eg: an explaination of the project, or an overview of the topic).
  3. At the bottom of the page there is a heading that says Restrictions. Click the Edit link next to it.
  4. A new box will come up with several options. Select whether you would like to restrict viewing of the page (only allow a selection of people to see it) or restrict editing of the page (allow everyone to see the page but only a selection of people to edit it). Next click the Group... button.
  5. A new box will come up. Paste the key that we got from step 1 into the box. Make sure there are no spaces at the end of the key, and click Search.
  6. A list of all of the groups in your section will appear. This will include the groups for the different roles within your section (student, teaching assistant, etc...). Each group name will be preceded by your section key. Select the groups that will have access to the page and click Select Groups button.
  7. You can now add more restrictions(other groups or individuals who can see or edit the page) or save the restrictions as they are by clicking the Update button.
  8. Repeat this process for each group's page.

Finding the Kiwi Documentation and Support

You may want to explore features of your wiki that are not explained in detail in this manualette. In order to find more information you can follow these steps:

  1. Enter your wiki.
  2. At the very top of the page there is a breadcrumb trail of links. Click on Dashboard.
  3. You will now be on a page with a list of all of your spaces, as well as a list of recently updated entries.On the left hand side of the page, make sure that the Global tab is selected. Click the link that says Kiwi Documentation and Support.