ScienceWiki WIP

1.1   Description

Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wikis use a quick and easy to use syntax to allow users to apply formatting to text and create links between pages. There is no need to learn HTML-language to create content on the web. Wikis are a fascinating and collaborative way to create and build content, share, and learn new things together, as wikis provide an ability for people to work collaboratively on the same document. Wiki encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users. The wiki can be created on a number of different platforms. One is the wikifarm, which is easy to get up and running. If one decides to host their own wiki, one must purchase their own web domain and host the pages there.


1.2   Objective

The objective of this event is to build a common understanding of a chosen topic and, as a collective, define key concepts. Participants will learn to write definitions and will learn new key terms and definitions to help explain the chosen concept, developing a much deeper understanding of the selected topic. This is a very useful tool to do with students, especially those who are about to start writing a thesis or running a discussion with the public about a difficult topic.


1.3   Structure

General Structure: Single Event

The event organisers should carry the role to coordinate the stations/points and the volunteers appointed to each of them. More specifically, the coordinators should prepare the already trained volunteers prior to the event and give them some last-minute tips on how to engage with the audience as well as supervise the setting of each station. Furthermore, to ensure that the marathon runs according to plan, the coordinators should also be responsible for maintaining an ongoing flow at the stations.

The main implementation of Science Marathon is quite simple as long as there is constant communication between coordinators and volunteers. For a more detailed structure of the event refer to section 4.2.


1.3   Structure

General Structure: Complex Project

This is a complex project continuing for a longer time (weeks to months). It is a virtual event. Participants can participate at their own pace.


1.4   Duration

Main Event Duration: A few hours
Project Duration: Several Weeks to months

2.1    Staff & Volunteers

Volunteer Requirements: Core organising team only

The main organiser is responsible for creating the wiki, writing the instructions and inviting and motivating participants. Information technology/ICT support may be needed in the establishment of the wiki.

Main organiser: creating the wiki, sorting out the best platform to use: one month / 20 hours

Main organiser: writing the instructions, one week: 10 hours

Main organiser: inviting the participants, one week/ 10 hours

Information technology expert: maintaining the cloud space, helps to open the wiki and invite the participants, one week/ 10 hours


2.2    Venue Hire

Venue: Venue: indoors/web page/wiki

Capacity: 21 – 100 people

There is no need for a venue, however, you will need to provide information on the chosen platform that has been selected to host the wiki page, if you are not using an online service that will deal with all the technical specifications, you will need to provide access to servers with enough disk space or a cloud-based service. The cost of hosting an own wiki will vary depending on the set up the host picks. Universities normally have IT capabilities and might be able to provide a platform to host your Wiki page. If you choose to use an external company to host your wiki page, there are a lot of options, including free and paid wiki farms. The main benefit of using a farm is the ease of getting a wiki up and running. Notice: moving to a different farm to your own server might be difficult.


2.3    Partner Institutions

Partner Institutions: Not required

Partner institutions are not required but this kind of an event, but it may be easier to collaborate with external companies or associations.


2.4    Budget

Yearly / Project Budget: 1001€ – 5000€

Include here an estimated budget. Make sure to specify the exact number of hours, items required etc. to make it easier for others to project the cost in their locality.
Personnel Fees (Section 2.1) 2500 euro
Venue Hire (Section 2.2) platform, 0-500 euro, cloud space, 50 euro
Marketing (Section 3.2)
Materials (Section 4.4)
Other (Section 4.5)

3.1   Target Audience

Target Audience: Preschool (0–4) / Primary School (5–11) / Secondary School (12–17) / Youths (18–25) / Younger Adults (26–45) / Older Adults (46–64) / Pensioners (65+)

The science wiki can be organised with any age group. The main organiser decides what the target group is and writes instruction keeping in mind the target audience. It is also important to understand if the target group are students or professionals. The choice of the target group also affects how the event is marketed


3.2   Marketing

If you are running a university wiki, one can integrate wiki creation with the course content. It can also be run by seeking students who are writing their thesis on the same topic. Wikis can be created to help explain any chosen topic, and this can be tailored to the selected audience. To market to an audience outside of a formal education system, information can be shared on social media or through local organisations that share an interest in the topic.


3.3   Dialogic Strategy

Wikis are an easy way to start communication with an audience that share your interests. By sharing ideas and definitions, this will hopefully encourage more participants to take part and contribute further to the wiki page. This is a collaborative way to work together.

4.1   Project Timeline

At the first stage, the main organiser goes through different wiki hosting platforms and decides which is the most appropriate for them to use, and then depending on the audience and the desired outcome of the exercise a set of clear instructions should be written on how to create the wiki pages on the chosen platform. These wiki projects can be a short term exercise, used as part of teaching a topic, or a long term project to collect information on a topic and as a collaboration exercise, this would be reflected on the proposed timeline.


4.2   Single Event Structure

The main organiser gives the instruction how to start writing the wiki (online i.e. in a video). The main organiser also decides what is the topic of the wiki and the main concepts to be defined. The main organiser decides the timeline for the whole project. At the end of the project, both the main organiser (teacher) and the participants evaluate the content and the learning during the project by self-evaluation and peer evaluation.


4.3 Personnel roles

Main organiser:
This is most likely the teacher of the topic they would need to:
decide what kind of wiki to create and the main structure of the wiki.
decide what platform to use.
Creates a set of instructions and a timeline for the whole project.
Creates the evaluation forms for content evaluation and the self-evaluation and peer evaluation.
The main organiser also maintains the discussion about the definitions.
The Information technology expert (helpdesk):
makes sure that the chosen technology operates and all participants have enough rights to create content.
conduct research and create the content on wiki pages


4.4   Materials

Participants need access to computers/smart devices as well as a stable internet connection.


4.5   Other Logistics

participants can be invited or given the appropriate login details to access the chosen platform.

This kind of an event helps people to understand how (scientific) definitions and key concepts are written and how one can use them for example while writing a thesis. It also helps to share understanding about difficult topics. The event helps people to work in a collaborative way.

The main organiser (teacher) evaluates the content and gives feedback to the participants. The main organiser maintains discussion about the definitions. The participants will evaluate themselves and peers. The main organiser formulates the evaluation forms.

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Cite this Activity

Drake, M., & Styles, C. (2020, October 23). ScienceWiki. Retrieved from

First published: October 23, 2020
Last modified: October 23, 2020

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