Topic Overview

Wikis allow multiple students to share and collaborate on one or more pages of content. Pages can be created and edited quickly, while tracking changes and additions. Instructors can create one or more wikis for all course members to contribute to, as well as wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate. Wikis can also be used to record information and serve as a repository for course information and knowledge.

Instructors can view all changes to all pages in the wiki. You can view changes at a high level and then drill down to retrieve information about the development and contributions for any individual.

You choose whether to assign grades to student contributions to a wiki. After a wiki is set to be graded, a grade column is created automatically in the Grade Center. Individual student and group contributions can then be graded inside the Wikis tool, where all pages and edits can be referenced as the grade is determined.

An assigned grade can also be edited from inside the Wikis tool and the Grade Center is updated. Grades for wikis are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade Center. Students can view their wiki grades in the My Grades tool.


How to Create a Wiki

  1. Access the course.
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
  3. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
  4. Select Wikis.

    Blackboard Wikis course tool button

  5. On the Wikis listing page, click Create Wiki on the Action Bar.

    Create Wiki button

  6. On the Create Wiki page, type a Name.
  7. Type optional Instructions. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
  8. Select the Yes option to make the wiki available to users.

    Wiki availability button

  9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the wiki. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect the content in the wiki, only the appearance of the wiki.
  10. Select the Student Access option. Student Access can be changed at any time.
    1. Closed to Editing: Select this option when the instructor will be the only one contributing pages or to disallow further page editing by users, such as when the wiki pages are set to be graded. Wikis can still be viewed when Closed to Editing is selected.
    2. Open to Editing: Allows users to modify any wiki page. In a group wiki, a user must be a member of the group to edit a wiki page.
  11. Select "No grading" or the "Grade" option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible will apply to one or more pages added and all edits by the user. Once a wiki is set to be graded, a column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set to No grading.
  12. Optionally, select the box and the number of Page Saves required to show participants in Needs Grading status. Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of Page Saves have been made.
  13. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric. Rubrics contains more information about associating, managing, and grading with rubrics.
  14. Click Submit.

The wiki topics appear in alphabetical order on the Wikis listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking the column title or caret.

How to Create a Wiki Page

Each newly created course or group wiki requires a first page, which is the home page. The instructor or any course or group member can create the home page. The home page cannot be deleted, but if the wiki is open to editing, it can be edited by any course or group member. The home page and all subsequent pages are created following the same steps.

  1. On the Wikis listing page, select a wiki title.
  2. On the wiki’s topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the Action Bar.

    create Wiki page button

  3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Name.
  4. Type text in the Content text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor. Attachments added using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
  5. Click Submit.

You can delete an entire wiki or pages within a wiki, but you cannot delete the wiki home page by itself. Students do not have the ability to delete wiki pages.

How to Edit Wiki Content

Any course member can edit a course wiki page and any group member can edit a group wiki page, unless the instructor has disabled this function. An instructor might disable editing when it is time to grade the wiki pages; however, the instructor will still be able to edit student pages. All course members, including instructors, edit the same way.

When a wiki page is being edited by one user, it is locked to prevent others from editing the same page. If a user tries to edit a page someone else is editing, he or she is informed that the page is currently being edited by another user.

  1. Access the wiki. The wiki topic page appears.
  2. Select the page to review and edit. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
  3. In the side panel, click the page’s Action Link to access the contextual menu and select Edit Properties.

    Click Edit Wiki Content next to the page’s title in the content frame.
  4. On the Edit Wiki Page, changes can be made to the name and content of the page. Additional content can be added also. Use the functions in the Text Editor to format existing text or add links, images, multimedia, Mashups, attachments, and link to other wiki pages.
  5. Click Submit.

Select History from a page’s contextual menu to see how the page has been modified, view any version and compare two versions side by side. The Page History page allows instructors to retrieve information about the development of any page and see who contributed content. The most recent version of the page appears first. Instructors can delete one or more wiki page versions from the Page History page, but students cannot. Pages may be deleted because of offensive, inaccurate, or flawed content. When a version is deleted, all participation history for that version is deleted. If the latest version is deleted, then the version next in line becomes the most current version and is the page viewed in the wiki.

How to Add Comments to Wiki Page

Any course member can add a comment to a course wiki page rather than add to or edit a page. Comments provide a way for instructors and students to offer feedback and suggestions. Comments can be viewed by all course members. By default, group wikis can be read by all course members, but a user must be a member of the group to make a comment on a group wiki page. An instructor can change the default setting to allow only group members to view a group wiki.

  1. Access the wiki.
  2. On the wiki topic page, select the page to view in the side panel. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
  3. Click Comment following the user’s contribution. The Comment text box appears.
  4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
  5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content before continuing.
  6. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the contribution to view the comment.

How to View the Participation Summary

On the Participation Summary page, you can view a list of all student participation for the current wiki being viewed. The information provided can help Instructors understand how students contributed to the overall wiki content. This information can be especially useful when determining individual grades for gradable wikis.

  1. Access the wiki.
  2. On the wiki topic page’s Action Bar, click Participation Summary for wikis with no grading.
  3. On the Participation Summary page, view participation for the students who have contributed to the wiki.
  4. In the side panel, view information about the wiki and select a user to view his or her Participant's Contribution page.
  • Page Versions: The Page Version column displays all pages created and edited by the user. This allows the Instructor to see precisely how and what content the user-contributed and edited. If many pages appear, narrow what is shown using the Display Pages drop-down list on the Action Bar. A new version is created each time a page is edited. When versions are compared, the difference between any version and its previous version are shown on the Page Comparison page. Click the Legend tab to understand the differences in how one version was changed in comparison to the other version. The Legend tab provides an explanation of the formatting used to communicate version differences.
  • Words Modified: Tally of any words added, deleted, or edited in all pages and each page’s version of the wiki.
  • Page Saves: Tally of any time Submit is clicked on the Edit Wiki Page in the wiki, regardless of whether or not content has been changed.

How to Grade a Course Wiki

After a wiki is set to be graded, a column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Then, individual student contributions can be accessed from the wiki’s Participation Summary page. A user’s name can be selected and all the pages the student-authored and edited can be viewed to determine the grade. The Participation Summary page allows the Instructor to start at a high-level summary and drill down to the changes that an individual student made. The grade applies to the wiki, not an individual wiki page.

A graded wiki cannot be set to ungraded. Delete the graded wiki from the Wikis listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded wiki. Alternatively, do not include the graded wiki column in Grade Center calculations, if the wiki pages need to be retained. The grading process for wikis can begin from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, the Course Tools area, or the course location where the wiki has been deployed.

  1. Access the wiki to be graded.
  2. On the wiki topic page, click Participation and Grading on the Action Bar.
  3. On the Participation Summary page, select a user’s name in the View Contributions section. Users with contributions ready for grading appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon.
  4. On the Participant’s Contribution page, a list of the user’s pages and page versions open in the content frame. You can also view information about the contributions. In the Page Version column, click a page’s title to review it.
  5. When ready to grade, in the Grade section in the side panel, click Edit Grade. The grading field appears in the side panel.
  6. Type a numeric grade in the Current Grade Value text box, or if a rubric has been created for this graded wiki, click View Rubric. Rubrics contains more information about grading with rubrics.
  7. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the Instructor and Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments, images, Mashups, and multimedia.
  8. Click Save Grade to add the Grade, Feedback, and Grading Notes to the Grade section and to the Grade Center.
  9. The Grade, Feedback, or Grading Notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at any time. The changes appear in the Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the user's Grade Details page.

Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in the View Contributions section to quickly access other users’ contributions to grade.


If a rubric will be used to grade wiki contributions, it must be created and added to the wiki in advance.

Sources and Relevant Links

Creating a Wiki
Video- Adding Rich Content to a Wiki