UBC Wiki Instructor Guide

UBC Wiki logo
The UBC Wiki is an online platform for collaborative writing, where content can be created and edited by any person who logs in with a UBC CWL (Campus-Wide Login). Content created in the UBC Wiki is viewable by everyone online and can be embedded in other tools like UBC Blogs. UBC Wiki uses the same MediaWiki platform that powers Wikipedia, which includes detailed revision tracking of content and the option to use wiki markup language.
Cost Yes Free
Bandwidth Yes Low demand
Canvas Integration No None
Privacy Yes The UBC Wiki is FIPPA compliant and data is stored securely in Canada
Similar UBC-Supported Tools Canvas and UBC Blogs are other centrally-supported tools that can deliver course content.
Microsoft OneDrive is a centrally-supported tool that offers private document collaboration.

What can I use it for?

You can use UBC Wiki in a number of different ways in your courses:

  • Enable collaboration on written work for students working in a group
  • Create public course content or documentation, which you can also invite students to contribute on
  • Host Open Educational Resources, like open textbooks

How are faculty using UBC Wiki?

Janice Stewart uses UBC Wiki so students contribute to public knowledge

Socially networked digital technologies allow the classroom to progress beyond the boundaries of official knowledge. Official knowledge represents a partial aggregate of culture, because it is mapped in ways that typically exclude members of marginalized groups. Participatory technologies, such as the GRSJ 224 Wiki, enable active relationships to public knowledge, new forms of educational innovation, and participatory citizenship. Read more »

Judy Chan uses UBC Wiki for instructors and students to collaborate

Judy Chan started using the UBC Wiki to deliver course content in a way that instructors could collaborate on course content and students could share their term projects with each other. Chan teaches FNH 200: Exploring Our Foods, a multi-section blended course taught by multiple instructors across the continent. Read More »

What do I need to use UBC Wiki?

A supported web browser

The UBC Wiki runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.

A UBC CWL (Campus-Wide Login)

The UBC Wiki is viewable by anyone who has an internet connection. However, to edit the content, you and your students (or other participants) will need a UBC CWL.


  • Everything on UBC Wiki is accessible by the public. The wiki is a great platform for enabling open-pedagogy assignments, but it is good to give students an alternative option for submitting assignments in an non-open space.
  • Anyone can change their wiki username for added privacy. By default, your wiki username defaults to “FirstName LastName”. To change your wiki username, contact us.

How do I use UBC Wiki?

First, take a look at ways you can use the UBC Wiki for course work to get ideas. You can also follow the self-guided UBC Wiki tutorial.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips for using UBC Wiki.

Expand All

Create an account for UBC Wiki

Before you create or edit a page in UBC Wiki, you will need to log in once to create an account.

  1. If you don't have a UBC CWL, first follow the steps from UBC IT to create a CWL account.
  2. Go to wiki.ubc.ca, click the CWL button on the top right, and log in.
  3. If it is your first time logging in to UBC Wiki, a UBC Wiki account will be created for you using your CWL information.


  • You can click your username to edit your profile, after you log in. You can add any details you like, such as your department, areas of interest, or wiki contributions.

Create a page in UBC Wiki

  1. Go to wiki.ubc.ca, click the CWL button on the top right, and log in.
  2. Determine which namespace you want to create a page in. The namespace sets where in the wiki your content should be categorized.
    • Main: A general community area for knowledge sharing about all aspects of the University. Note that pages here cannot have pages underneath them (i.e., subpages). All other namespaces can.
      • Location in the wiki: "wiki.ubc.ca/Page Title"
    • Course: An area for course-based content or activities.
      • Location in the wiki: "wiki.ubc.ca/Course:Page Title"
    • Documentation: An area for educational resources, documentation, support guides, and other similar content.
      • Location in the wiki: "wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:Page Title"
    • Sandbox: an area to play, experiment, and use the UBC Wiki as a personal and collaborative workspace.
      • Location in the wiki: "wiki.ubc.ca/Sandbox:Page Title"
  3. Click Create a New Page in the sidebar of the UBC Wiki, and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  4. Enter your new page title in the appropriate namespace box, and click the create button. If you are creating a new course page, it will automatically load a course template, and instructions how to edit the page will pop up. If you are creating a regular page, you can start editing the page.


  • Please avoid using special characters in the page title, as these characters will not work properly.
  • Once your page is created, you can create subpages for it, so long as you are not using the "Main" namespace. In the web browser address bar, put a forward slash ("/") after the page address, type in the title for the subpage, and press enter.
  • You can use a shortcut to create a new page by typing the following in the web browser address bar: "wiki.ubc.ca/Namespace:Page Title" (e.g., "wiki.ubc.ca/Course:Math100") and pressing enter.

Edit a wiki page

  1. Go to wiki.ubc.ca, click the CWL button on the top right, and log in.
  2. Visit the wiki page you want to edit.
  3. Press the Edit tab.
    • You can edit your content with a visual editor or wikitext editor. Wikitext (or wiki markup language) is like a simplified version of HTML, while the visual editor is an online rich-text editor like what you use in Microsoft Word.
  4. Make the edits and then click Save changes.
    • If you are making time-consuming edits, also save your changes as you go, since UBC Wiki does not have a built-in autosave.


  • Every time you save your changes, a new version of the page will be saved. You can always revert to a previous version using the page history feature.
  • Renaming a page is the same as moving a page. You can read more about how to move a page in the UBC Wiki, if you decide to change where your content appears.

Upload a file

  1. Go to wiki.ubc.ca, click the CWL button on the top right, and log in.
  2. Click Upload file in the sidebar under "Tools".
  3. Read the image explaining what kinds of copyright permissions your files should have, and click Next.
  4. Click Select a media file to upload and locate the file on your computer.
  5. Add additional files, if needed.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Choose the appropriate copyright status of the file, enter any other required information, and click Next.
  8. Provide descriptive details for the file, and click Next.
  9. To use the file in a wiki page, copy the embed code that appears after you upload the image. You can then follow the instructions above for editing a page and paste this code in where you'd like the file on your page.


  • All of the files you upload need to be either in the public domain or openly licensed (e.g., using a Creative Commons License), since the UBC Wiki is open for anyone to view. If you upload your own file, you will have to agree to upload your work under a Creative Commons License.
  • You can use existing media from the Wikimedia Commons with the insert media function. The Wikimedia Commons contains over 200 million open-licensed images.
  • Though you can't upload videos directly, you can embed videos in UBC Wiki from video-streaming platforms such as Kaltura.

Add a citation

  1. Go to wiki.ubc.ca, and click the CWL button on the top right.
  2. Go to the wiki page that you would like to add a citation to.
  3. Press the Edit tab.
  4. Click the Cite dropdown, and select the type of reference you want to add.
  5. Fill in the information, and click Insert.
  6. The citation will automatically appear at the bottom of your wiki page.


  • You can reuse the same citation by selecting the Re-use option in the Cite dropdown menu.

Where can I get more support with UBC Wiki?

Pedagogical support

If you need pedagogical support for open assignments using the UBC Wiki:
Contact Will Engle at will.engle@ubc.ca or Rie Namba at rie.namba@ubc.ca.

Technical support

If you have trouble with UBC Wiki:

For supporting your students:

  • Share the UBC Wiki privacy guide, so your students are familiar with what they’ll be sharing in this open space.

Learn more

  • For more how-to instructions and self-guided tutorials, explore the UBC Wiki help pages.
  • One-on-one help is available during the weekly WordPress and Wiki Virtual Drop-In Clinics, generally held on Thursdays. Check for upcoming clinics on the Keep Teaching site.

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