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Using collaborative text creation for digital teaching

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Possibilities of collaborative text creation are offered by e.g. Wikis and Etherpads. A wiki offers students and teachers the possibility to create and edit content pages together. Etherpads enable several teachers and students to work on a text synchronously or asynchronously.

Further information on didactic scenarios with wikis and Etherpads as well as information on how to convert your teaching digitally can be found at the Staff Office for Educational Innovation and University Didactics (here).


Etherpads are available from various suppliers. PANDA also includes Etherpads (as an activity). These are referred to below.

  • With the Etherpad Lite activity, several people can collaborate on a text. The text is then automatically synchronized while writing. So it is a text that several participants can work on at the same time.
  • There is a progression that records the genesis of the text and can be played back as a video recording if required.
  • There is the possibility to write anonymous on an etherpad.
  • In PANDA automatically saves the etherpad. Manual saving is not necessary and not possible.
  • The resulting text can be easily copied from the Etherpad and pasted into a Word document, for example.
  • Here you will learn how to create an Etherpad in PANDA, which functions are offered and which settings can be made.


A wiki is a system for web pages for collaborative content authoring. Web technologies are used for this purpose, i.e. Wiki systems can only be used via a browser.

Wikis in PANDA

Wikis offer the possibility to work together on a text. Unlike the Etherpad, a wiki is rather asynchronous. In a wiki, individual pages (e.g. on different topics) can be created and linked to each other. Additionally there are the following functions

  • History, to check which person wrote what exactly.
  • Comments section for each wiki page.
  • The possibility to include external media (videos, pictures).
  • A wiki can also access a glossary if it has also been created in the course.

IMT Wikis (Mediawiki)

The IMT provides a Wiki system as a multi-user installation based on MediaWiki. The Mediawiki was originally developed for the free encyclopedia Wikipedia. MediaWiki is licensed under the GPL and is available free of charge. Wikis can be provided for faculties, institutes, professorships, institutions, committees or university groups. A Wiki can only be accessed in an authenticated and encrypted form.

The wikis are available for users at<wikiname>. Please note that the name <wikiname> of the wiki may not contain any special characters or "-" and must be lower case. The access takes place via one, if necessary also via several LDAP groups. Wikis are usually created as private wikis, i.e. only logged in users can read the contents of the wiki. However, it is possible to set up a publicly readable wiki.

If you would like to create such a mediawiki, please contact the IMT User Advisory Service. Please note the changed accessibility of the user advice in core operation.

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