Thanks to a friend inside Blackboard, I got a peek a few weeks ago at a Building Block (plug-ins for Blackboard) that provides a wiki functionality inside the Blackboard environment. I’d put up some screen shots, but the Bb Showcase site seems to be offline right now.

What was interesting was the shying away from even the use of “wiki” and they software had created a WYSIWYG interface for doing the wiki editing- no need for remembering the various arcane wiki editing protocols (which make sense only to the people who use one particular wiki on a regular basis) or the funky variations on linking method. rather than dealing with CamelCase, you just click a button to create a new wiki page.

Also, from what I understand, you can have a separate wiki-space for student groups you create as a Bb instructor, and the view history functionality essentially is a log of which students were active in the wiki-space.

I liked some of the thoughts behind this- as they stand right now most wikis are geared to the propeller head crowd (ducking the lobbed tomatoes). Of course there are some considerations- Blackboard building Blocks require the enterpri$e version of Bb, and there is a cost for the Building Block- oh, it is called “Teams LX” from what I think is a grossly misnamed company/URL, “Learning Objects, Inc.”

Again, from a simple look and play around, not so icky for a wiki.

The post "Hey, Not So Icky- Inside Blackboard Lurks a Wiki" was originally dropped like a smoking hot potato at CogDogBlog ( on May 26, 2004.