Uganda/L4C/Lesson Notes/Day Two

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Review of DAY 1 Lessons and Activities

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A short review of previous day's lessons goes here ...

Lab Work: Participants will work on their own contents

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Assignment goes here ...

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Requirments for effective participation in today's lessons goes here ...


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A participant will lead us is reflecting on what we "captured" in prevoius lessons

Wiki Linkages

Creating New Pages

To create a page, first think about where you might want your page to be linked from. Say you want to create a page for your new Chemistry course. Ideally, there should be a link to this course from a page listing all the science courses. You would go edit the science course page to add a link to your new Chemistry page — even though your page hasn't been made yet. Once you save your changes and click on the new link, you'll be given the opportunity to create the page.

In this first method you are creating a hyperlink in a page to another page that does not yet exist in the wiki. This can be a difficult concept to grasp at the start, but once you see how it works it should become perfectly clear. Creating a link in your content is an easy process that can be done either by using a simple wiki syntax or through the editing toolbar that appears while in the Editing mode.

It is possible to create a page without making a link to it first, simply type the name of the desired page onto the end of the url, like this and hit enter. This would then take you to a page called Coffee and prompt you with the option of creating the Coffee page. But remember: because you made the page without first making a link to it, it might get lost in the sea of pages. Linking is very important for this reason — If you don't link your new page from existing pages, then no one will be able to find it. Spend some time thinking about good places where you should make a link to your new page. Using the search box is very useful for finding phrases and material where you might want to provide a link.

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Tip: If you want to create a page and you are not sure of the best place in the wiki to link your new page, create a link from your User page. You can always add the link to the appropriate page at a later stage. This way you will not have difficulty finding the page you created

Creating Page links

Links to pages within the wiki are called internal links or wiki links and can be created as follows:

Using the Wiki Syntax to create a link to a page, surround the word you wish to use as your link in double square brackets like this:

[[New Page]]

This will create a link when your content is saved (or previewed) called "New Page"

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Tip: Remember page links are case sensitive

You can also use the Editing toolbar to perform a lot of simple formatting on the wiki, including creating links to pages.

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You've probably already created your first page if you've made a sandbox under your User page. Have a go at creating maybe a booklist page of some of your recent reads.

Step 1: Go to your user page.
Step 2: Create a name for your new page e.g. Book List.
Step 3: Use the wiki syntax above to turn the text you have entered into a page link.

Piped Links
There will often be times when you want the diplayed text of a link to be different than the actual name of the page you are linking to. You may, for example, want to create a link that displays to the user as "Next Page" but the page itself will be called "ProjectPage2" or "ProjectPage3". If you want the displayed text of the link to have a different title than the actual page name you can do so by adding the pipe "|" divider (SHIFT + BACKSLASH on English-layout and other keyboards).

The pipe "|" is then followed by the alternative name. For example:

[[Target page|display text]]

Using this type of syntax you can create a link to say the eXe Manual with a different link text like this:

[[Online_manual|The eXe User Manual]]

which will appear as a link like this: "The eXe User Manual"

External links
There are a few ways to create links to external web sites in the wiki. You may simply type in the full URL for the URL page you wish to link to, eg.
The wiki will automatically treat this text as a link (as has been done with the URL above) and will display the raw web address, including the "http://" part. It is recommended that you don't use this format much, as raw URLs are ugly and often give no clue to what the site actually is.
The best type of link for most situations includes a description after the address. This description appears as the title of the link e.g. eXe Web Site. To create a link like this just type a link and the description, separated by a space and enclosed in single square brackets:

[ eXe Web Site]

This will create a link to the eXe web site that appears like this: eXe Web Site.

Assessing what-links-where?

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Case Study
I created a new page from another page - and worked on this new page, how do I move back to my first page?

  1. The easiest way to move back from any page is to go to your toolbox on the left-hand side of the page and 'Click on the "What links here link". This will list all the pages that link to the current page you are viewing.
  2. There are more sophisticated techniques you can use by adding your own navigation to the respective page, for instance:

inserting an internal link referring back to the "parent" page.

  1. inserting a navigation template which we deal with later in the tutorials. We recommend that you tackle this alternative once you have gained confidence with internal and external links.
  2. using the slash argument when creating subordinate pages, which we also cover later in the tutorials.

Handling Images and Media

Wikis are meant to be simple looking and straight foward. Keep them that way!! They are however able to host a lot of documents and media at user's will.

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In this lesson we will:
  • introduce the syntax for adding images;
  • list the supported file types that can be uploaded into WikiEducator;
  • provide an overview of more detailed image formatting (framed, thumbs, captions, etc);
  • practice uploading images into our User pages;
  • provide some tips on where to find images.

We will mainly focus on adding images to your content but the same principles apply to all media you may want to add to the wiki. More sophisticated media types like sound and movies will be covered in the intermediate Tutorials for WikiEducator. Currently WikiEducator supports adding the following types of media: Images - these can be .gif, .jpg, .png, or .svg formats; Links to specific file types, currently .pdf, mp3 files and .elp (eXe files)

Basic syntax
Move to where you would like the image to appear and insert the most basic syntax for adding an image :


Using an existing image available on WikiEducator

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We will demonstrate this try editing your User page or Sandbox and adding an image that already exists in the wiki:
  1. Navigate to the User page or Sandbox you created earlier in the tutorial.
  2. Add the wiki syntax below to your page by clicking edit and entering this syntax into your page (you can copy it now by highlighting and hitting Ctrl-C, then paste later using Ctrl-V): [[Image:Message_pad_with_pen.jpg]]
  3. Click on Save page to see the image displayed.

Uploading a new image on WikiEducator from your computer
When uploading a new image onto the server, after you have saved your page the wiki syntax will appear like this: Image:Picture.jpg
(Comment.gif: Note: If the image already exists on the wiki the image will appear right away, otherwise you will get red link like above. The red link tells the user that the image must still be uploaded onto the server.)

For the image you have added, you can also:

  • Make it a thumnail
  • Change the size
  • Change the allignment - left, right or centre, and
  • Add a caption
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Tip: Often when adding images you may experience a "bug" in the way they are presented in the wiki environment where an image may 'float' over other text or headings you have in your wiki page. To remedy this try adding the following underneath your image: <br style="clear:both;" />. This will cause and following text or content to start after the image has been embedded in the page.

Inserting portable document format (pdf) files
Sometimes, you may want to insert a link for users to download a file. Remember that the Wikieducator community does not prescribe which software users should use, but we are committed to providing resources in formats which must have the minimum requirement that they can be viewed and/or edited with free software alternatives.
The basic syntax for inserting a pdf file is:

[[media:name_of_file.pdf|Piped link text goes here]]

(Comment.gif: Note: We do not encourage users to upload files in a closed format, such as Microsoft's document format (.doc). If you want to do this, you must also upload the same document in an open document format, so that both the closed and free software alternatives are available. Open Office is free software that produces files in an open document format (for example: .odt). This is free software and you can download and install this word processing software on your machine. So there is no excuse for not being able to generate open versions of your documents (.odt format) out of respect for users who may not use non-free software or who may not be able to afford the license costs of closed software.)

upload an MP3 audio file
Alternatively, you may want to upload an MP3 audio file for user's to download or launch in their desktop media players. (There are ways to insert MP3 audio for playback directly in the browser, but we will deal with this in the intermediate tutorials). The basic syntax is similar to the pdf example above:

[[media:name_of_file.mp3|Piped link text goes here]]

(Comment.gif: Note: There is a file limit size on WikiEducator, so to conserve bandwidth please try to keep audio files under 1MB.)

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Adding images/media into the wiki is generally a two step process:
  1. enter the image/media syntax;
  2. upload the image/media.

Additional attributes can be added to the basic image syntax to shrink large images into thumbnails that users can click on to get greater detail, or to add a frame and captions to images.

Collaborative Editing

Creating educational content on WikiEducator is quite different from what you may be used to. WikiEducators' contributors may come from many different countries and cultures and have different views, perspectives, and backgrounds, sometimes varying widely. Treating others with respect is the key to collaborating effectively in building useful resources on WikiEducator. Remember that all resources on WikiEducator are viewable and potentially editable by anyone who creates an account. Expect your work to be edited by others and resolve any disputes or leave comments by using the Discussion pages.

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In this session we will:
  1. Introduce the idea of Wiki ethics,
  2. Explore the Recent changes page,
  3. and diff & history links,
  4. Learn how to Revert to previous versions

Collaborative content authoring

The beauty of OERs is that they can and are open to contributions from all walks of life. Several educators generously contribute to making an OER complete and usable by many. By agreeing to be receive this free training from the WE community you have agreed to contribute to other's content while agreeing for others to contribute to yours. Contribution is editing - adding on to content as well as deleting parts of content. The guiding priniples to doing this should be ETHICAL CONSIDERATION

In the WikiEducator (WE) Community, work is based on a consensus model. In practice members of WikiEducator agree to work as follows:

  1. Draft plans, outlines and suggestions are created on the wiki. Anyone is free to create a new wiki page in relation to any content.
  2. Consensus discussions take place in the Discussion pages (i.e. the Discussion or User talk tabs you will find above the content area of each page).
  3. Once consensus is achieved, please make the necessary changes on the relevant wiki page.
  4. Minor edits, improvements and new additions are usually done without discussion.


Viewing the diff between two versions of a page is the best way to get a detailed view of what exactly has been changed on a page.To revert a page is to undo all the changes made to that page after a specific time in the past. The result will be that the page becomes identical in content to the page as it was saved at that time. Reverting is a decision which should be taken seriously and is primarily used for fighting vandalism. If you are not sure whether a revert is appropriate, discuss it first using the discussion or talk pages rather than immediately reverting or deleting it. If you feel an edit is unsatisfactory, try improving it rather than simply reverting or deleting it.

To revert a page to an earlier version:

  • On the page you wish to revert, click on the History tab. Then click on the time and date of the earlier version you intend to revert to. It will not work if you click on 'cur', 'last', or "Compare selected versions".
  • When the page displays, text similar to this: (Revision as of 15:35, 21 December 2006;), will display at the top of the page below the page's title.

You can navigate backwards or forwards through the chronology of changes by using the '←Older revision | Current revision | Newer revision→' links.

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Pseudo Vandalism - Testing the revert feature

In this activity you will attempt a "vandal" entry on your User page and correct this using the revert feature. NB: You must make sure that this activity is done on your own User page

  1. Make sure you're logged in and go to your user page. (Click on your User name after the image at the very top of any page).
  2. Click on the edit tab so you can make a change on your user page. Make sure that you are on your user page. You should see the heading: User:<your user name here>
  3. Enter the following text: "This is a dummy vandal entry"
  4. Click on the "Save page" button. You should now see your pseudo vandal entry on your user page.
  5. Now click on the history tab or link above the content area of your User page
  6. Check that the two most recent edits are highlighted in the radio buttons on the history page. Then click on the "Compare Selected Versions" button.
  7. Your most recent change, i.e. "This is a dummy vandal entry" should be displayed in red text.
  8. Click on the "previous diff" link above the left hand column on your page. This will take you back to the previous version of the page edit.
  9. You can preview to see whether the "vandal text" has been removed by scrolling down the page which will show the published view of the previous edit.
  10. Assuming you are happy with this version of the page, click on the "edit" link.
  11. Now click on the Save Page button without making any changes.
  12. Congratulations - you have now reverted your page back to a previous version, effectively removing your dummy vandal entry.

Diff and History tools

All editable pages on WikiEducator have an associated page history, which lists all changes made to the page in reverse-chronological order. You can access this information by clicking on the history tab that is located at the top of every page. Viewing the history of a page is kind of like looking at the recent changes, but in this case the changes are just for this page.

The history page also allows you to compare changes between one edit of the page and others. A diff is the difference between two versions. It can be viewed by clicking the page history tab at the top of every page. For every version or change that has been made to the page there are potentially two radio buttons: the left column is for selecting the older version, the right column for selecting the newer one. Pressing "Compare selected versions" gives the difference between the two versions.

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  1. Take a look at the history of this page by clicking on the history tab above.
  2. Select the versions you want to compare by clicking the radio button beside each and click on the compare changes button at the top or bottom of the list.

Understanding recent changes

The Recent Changes page lets you see the most recent edits made to pages in WikiEducator. Using this page, users can monitor and review the work of other users, allowing mistakes to be corrected and to track where activity is occuring. There is a link to the Recent Changes page in the sidebar of each page.

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Key points
  • Creating content on a wiki can be a highly collaborative exercise that makes us interact with a variety of editors and authors from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Treating others with respect is key to this kind of authoring.
  • The wiki has a variety of tools that enable you to gain an overview of what kinds of edits are taking place across the entire wiki or within your own content pages.
  • Checking the Recent Changes page often is a good way to get an overview of where activity is taking place in the wiki in general.
  • To see what individual changes have been made to any page use the history link on that page.
  • The diff function will help you locate these specific changes between versions of the page and if you need you can revert to any version in time. This way any 'vandalism' (although unlikely in WikiEducator) can be quickly removed.

Collaborative Interactions

We have already mentioned the collaborative nature of authoring content on the wiki and will now look in greater detail at some of the tools that are available to facilitate communication and interaction between authors and collaborators.

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In this tutorial we will:
  • learn how and why to use the Discussion or Talk pages,
  • discuss the my talk page, and
  • explore some useful features like the Watchlist, and the My Contributions link.

Besides checking the Recent changes page there are a number of ways to keep closer track on what is being changed on the wiki, as well as tools and spaces where discussion about content development and projects can take place.

Discussions boards

The discussion tab (sometimes called the Talk Page) is an essential part of the WikiEducator environment and can be found at the top of every page. This space can be used to leave notes or start discussions about the page you are viewing. Talk pages provide a space for editors to discuss changes and makes suggestions about the associated page. The talk page is the same as any page on the wiki and accepts all wiki syntax and editing that other pages do.

Email interactions

Email notifications
If you are logged into the wiki you will have the ability to modify some preferences on how the wiki works for you. One of the preferences available to you from your my preferences page is to notify you via email when a page you're watching is changed. This can be very a very useful way to keep track of changes to pages or project you are interested in.

My Contributions
The my contributions page is a special page that keeps track of which pages you have worked on. Checking your contributions is a useful way to refresh your memory about pages you have worked on (and to easily access these again), and can also be used to find out whether there have been any subsequent edits. This makes it possible to "watch" pages even if you haven't put them on your watchlist.
Other users' User contribution pages can also be accessed and are useful for seeing how other users have contributed. To see another user's contributions, bring up the user's User page (User:username) and click on User contributions in the left hand toolbox.

Talk pages

My Talk pages
Every page on the wiki has an associated discussion or talk page, even your User page. The talk page of your User page can be used by others to contact you to discuss projects or edits that you have made. The my talk link at the top of this page (assuming you are logged in) will take you to your talk page. Other wiki users may use your talk page as a way to contact you to discuss a project or to introduce themselves.

How to use the talk pages

  • Try to keep on topic
  • Discuss edits
  • Make proposals
  • Sign your posts
  • Try to be concise
  • Keep the layout clear

Recap and Self Assessment Exercises

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Summary of the day's lessons go here ...

Lab Work: Participants will work on collaborative content development (each other’s contents)

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Assignments go here...