UBC Wiki Getting New Look and Feel

On December 23, 2010, the UBC Wiki will be receiving an extensive update to be a more dynamic, useful, and useable collaborative platform. To help signify that the UBC Wiki is an official UBC project, we’re giving it a new look that brings it inline with the common look and feel of other UBC websites. In addition to displaying the updated interface, the new version will have an improved editing toolbar, a new admin bar, improved discussion pages, and new ways to create pages.

More information on the updates can be read on the UBC Wiki Updates page.

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Content / Collaboration: The UBC Wiki & Library Integration

On November 18, 2010, I was invited to present an overview of the UBC Wiki as part of the UBC Library Systems and Information Technology brown bag sessions. The UBC Library is one of the largest users of the Wiki, as well as being a great partner and supporter of the entire project.

The UBC Library, in what I believe is a very innovative approach to content management for a large academic library, is using the UBC Wiki’s embed functionality as one of the foundations of their website. They are creating, collaborating, and managing content in the Wiki and then embedding that same content into their WordPress-based website. You can see Paul Joseph, the UBC Systems Librarian, discuss this approach in these videos from April of this year.

Too often at universities, information and knowledge are stuck in vertical silos delineated by departments, faculties, or offices. My goal for the presentation was to highlight how the UBC Wiki can overcome this silo effect. The Wiki is a tool that can be used for collaboration not only between people but also but also between information systems. The Wiki presents an opportunity for the Library (or anyone) to collaborate on content with the larger UBC community; for example, imagine members of the nursing faculty or nursing students being able to instantly add their favourite resources to the library’s nursing subject guide.

The Wiki also allows other members of the community to republish and redistribute library content across platforms (from e-books to websites), thus allowing for their information to reach a greater audience and have a larger impact. For example, the Library’s nursing subject guide could also live on other UBC nursing websites or an instructor could email it out as an ebook to his class. The upshot of this approach is that the library’s content would not be limited to the library silo, instead it would live as part of the larger academic community.

In addition to my presentation, Cynthia Ng also spoke to how the library is currently using the wiki.

You can download our presentation slides here: Content / Collaboration: The UBC Wiki, WordPress, & Library Integration.

If you attended the event and have any thoughts about the presentation or suggestions on how to improve it, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on November 25

The next UBC Wiki Support session will be on Thursday, November 25th, from 1pm to 3pm in Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, help, or suggestions on how to use the UBC Wiki.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on October 21

The next UBC Wiki Support session will be on Thursday, October 21st, from 1pm to 3pm in Room 102B in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, help, or suggestions on how to use the UBC Wiki. More information is available on the CTLT Events Calendar.

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Open Access & The UBC Wiki

This week is Open Access Week, an international event that promotes the benefits of Open Access to the academic and research community. As part of the week, UBC is hosting its own series of events and Novak and I were allowed to present a session on the UBC Wiki as an open platform for content sharing.

My goal for the presentation was to place the UBC Wiki alongside, if not within, the philosophy of the open access movement. If open access journals are about making formally published papers accessible the world over, then the UBC Wiki is about capturing the less formal information produced by a university and making that information accessible.

You can download our presentation slides here: An Open Platform:
Using the UBC Wiki as a Collaborative Tool and Information Repository
[pdf].

If you attended the event and have any thoughts about the presentation or suggestions on how to improve it, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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Testers Needed for New Wiki Embed Plug-in

The CTLT at UBC is in the process of developing a new version of the Wiki Append plug-in and we are seeking people to help out with the early testing. The new plug-in (to be called “Wiki Embed”) will allow pages from any wiki running on the MediaWiki platform to be embedded into a WordPress page. As the wiki page gets updated and edited, the changes can be pushed out to the WordPress page so that it always shows a live view of the most current page. As part of the added functionality of the new version, users will be able to customize embedded links by setting specific target urls or choosing to have new WordPress pages created on the fly.

For more information on how to download an alpha version of the plug-in and install it, please see this blog post.

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Upcoming UBC Wiki Support Session on October 7th

The next UBC Wiki Support session will be on Thursday, October 7th, from 1pm to 3pm in Room 102B in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, help, or suggestions on how to use the UBC Wiki.

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UBC Wiki Homepage Receives 1,000,000 Page View

In early September, the UBC Wiki homepage passed a milestone when it received its 1,000,000 page view.  The UBC Wiki opened to the public in July 2009 and currently has 6,680 total pages, 2,209 uploaded files, and 1,604 active users. In total, the UBC Wiki has been viewed 1,750,886 times.  General statistics for the UBC Wiki may be viewed here.

The UBC Wiki serves as a course repository, a personal and collaborative work space, a documentation depository, and a growing guide to everything and anything UBC. The information, resources, and links that it contains are created, expanded, and annotated by its users. It is constantly evolving and changing because every member can add to it and edit any page.

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UBC Wiki Workshop on Sept 23

On September 23, 2010, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology will be hosting an informal and and exploratory workshop entitled “Working Your Wiki: an Intro to UBC Wiki.” Topics to be covered include:

  • exploring wiki namespaces
  • creating your wiki page (or playing in the Sandbox)
  • getting creative with some media embeds
  • finding help at your fingertip

The workshop will take place from 12:00pm – 1:30pm at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in the Lillooet Room, 301.  Please visit the CTLT Event Page for more information.

This workshop is part of the CTLT Tech Express Series which are  informal lunchtime sessions on learning technologies at UBC and the projects they support.  Faculty, staff and students are invited to these introductory sessions. Please bring your own lunch and laptop.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on Sept. 16th

The next UBC Wiki Support session will be on Thursday, September 16th, from 1pm to 3pm at the Fraser River Room in the CTLT Tag offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The drop-in UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal sessions where users can drop by and meet face to face to ask for information, help, or suggestions on how to use the UBC Wiki.

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