A Wiki is a Hawaiian word used as an alliterative substitute for quick. Howard Cunningham was the developer of the first Wiki launched in 1995 called WikiWikiWeb. Wiki has now entered the Internet lexicon, along with other web-based terms such as blogs and podcasts. However, a Wiki has a different structure than a blog. For example, in a blog, the usual format is post-comment-comment-comment. Blogs are a vehicle to express individual opinions. But a Wiki has a more open structure, allowing others to change what one person has written — it’s an organic document where one person’s opinion can change with the group consensus.
Wikis can be robust and collaborative places, as they offer both author and editor roles. Multimedia is also easily incorporated into Wikis, creating digital stories through sound and pictures. Recording the evolution of thought processes as students interact within a Wiki is a terrific group activity in an online course. Wikis can also be used to build e-portfolios as students are invited to collect and reflect on their work throughout the course.