At Canisius we have a wiki, referred to by its brand name “Confluence.” A wiki is a web space or set of spaces that allows many participants to collaboratively create, edit and display a variety of information, images, video and links. Users can do so within their web browsers, without specialized development tools or skills. Probably, Wikipedia is the most famous of all wikis but the Canisius wiki is a bit different from the global-scale encyclopedia. Many Canisius wiki spaces and pages may be available on the web to the entire world but other spaces and pages may be viewable only by certain individuals, such as members of project teams, committees, departments or offices.
Unlike other web development toolsets, people with little or no web development experience can easily create content in our wiki. This makes Confluence perfect for Canisius College units making information available to the general public (or really the campus community) or maintaining a set of documentation spaces exclusively for members of that unit.
In some ways, Confluence is similar to Google Drive and related apps but Google Drive is better for sharing and collaborating inside files in folder trees. By contrast, the wiki displays pages more like other websites. This makes Confluence better for creating documentation that users can more quickly and easily navigate. As on news or shopping websites, visitors to a Confluence wiki space need no special familiarity with it in order to read or see content.
Offices, departments, programs and project teams of various kinds looking for an easy-to-update web space for documentation or instructional material should consider Confluence. The Center for Online Learning and Innovation (COLI) maintains a tutorial reference, “Getting Started in Confluence,” that teaches new users how to create and manage content, and demonstrates what the wiki can do. If you’re interested in using Confluence in your office, department or project group, schedule an appointment with us. We’d be glad to help you set things up!
Additionally, COLI offers workshops for learning how to use Confluence. Sign up for these and other trainings today!
COLI Quick Tip! Professors, there’s several quick ways to email your entire class.
Submitted by: Mark Gallimore, PhD, instructional designer, COLI