Some Quick Numbers on WordPress & MediaWiki at UBC

The three main platforms that support open education at UBC are UBC Blogs (WordPress), UBC Wiki (MediaWiki), and UBC CMS (WordPress). They are used in a lot of different ways but on the start of Open Education Week, I thought I’d post some quick stats Scott helped me pull for a recent presentation. All numbers are current to the beginning of March.

UBC Blogs

  • unique users: 28,777
  • unique blogs: 21,207

UBC Wiki

  • unique users: 16,658
  • pages/files: 56,436


Since September 2014, there have been almost 10,000 new users across the platforms. The team that helps develop these platforms not only do a fantastic job supporting set of a robust, always up tools that underpin a lot of UBC’s open education efforts but they are also involved in numerous innovative projects that push our understanding of how these technologies support teaching and learning, such as UBC’s Open Badge Pilot.

Wiki News

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.


Learning by Doing, Training by Tinkering

I installed a local version of MediaWiki on my laptop today. MediaWiki is the software platform on which the UBC Wiki runs and I wanted to go through this process for a couple of different reasons: First, I hope to be able to do some experimentation with the UBC Wiki without having to bother the development guys who keep it running and healthy. Second, I really want to get a better grasp of how MediaWiki works behind the scenes. Afterall, while knowing how to drive a car is often all the knowledge you need, having a basic understanding of how the engine works can be the difference between a good day and a really expensive one.

At any rate, installing MediaWiki was much easier than expected. MediaWiki is a web application and to get it to run on a laptop, you need to have a program that can act as a localized web server, such as MAMP. After installing MAMP, I downloaded the latest version of MediaWiki (the 1.16 beta that has the new and sleek vector skin). I saved the MediaWiki files in the MAMP htdocs folders and then I just followed the basic steps outlined here.

It was quick and painless process and already I’ve begun to get a better idea of how the UBC Wiki is configured and what sort of effort it would take to add additional extensions. As I gain a further understanding of how the engine behind the UBC Wiki works, I hope to gain a clearer picture of it’s potential and how to keep it better organized. And, just as my folks never wanted me to tinker under the hood of their car, its good to have my own copy on which I can learn.