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1. Create wiki/page

Everybody who has an account on the wikIT-wiki is allowed to make their own public or private wiki's. All you need to do, is to click the "Make a New Wiki" button, add a name for the given wiki and you are set. In the wiki you have created, you have all the administrative rights, which means you can create pages, members, and choose whether or not individual pages (or the whole wiki) is public or private.

2. Navigation List

The navigation list in this wiki is very simple, but therefore it has some limitations. If you do not do anything with the Navigation List (to the left) once you have created a wiki, it will list alphabetically all the pages you are creating within your wiki. This will be fine for small wiki's with limited pages. The problem is, all wiki-pages are separate and does not have any "parent/child" relation. This means, that all pages are equal and will show up on the navigation list (no hierarchy, indents).

When your wiki grows larger, or if you plan on making a huge wiki, it will be wise to have a plan for how you will structure your wiki. You need to decide which pages should be under one another and which pages will be the main pages. These main pages can been added manually to the navigation list - if you feel the need, you can also make indents on the list and add "sub-pages". To enter the editing function of the Navigation List, click the "edit navigation" link at the bottom of the left bar.

In order to create a kind of hierarchy to your pages, one solution would be to tag main pages with the title of the page, and all sub-pages with the same title, but with an added _sub, i.e. main page: TOPIC, sub-page: TOPIC_sub. This way, you can keep track of how pages relate to each other and you will be able to add a list (widget) that shows all sub-pages for a given main page.

3. Wiki Permissions

Setting up permissions on Wikispaces can be tricky. The wiki has four default settings for Site Wide permissions (the default permissions for your wiki), which are Public, Protected, Private, and Custom. Before going in to these settings, I will need to describe a wiki sites User Categories, since knowing these will make you understand how permissions on the IT University Wiki Site works.

To get it out of the way: A group of people cannot get separate permissions to a wiki site or a page. That being said, we have ways to control who can EDIT, VIEW, and CREATE pages as wells as who can DISCUSS and COMMENT by assigning them to one of four user categories: 1) EVERYONE, 2) SIGNED-IN USERS, 3) WIKI MEMBERS ONLY and 4) ORGANIZERS ONLY. I will now describe each user category and afterwards explain how to use these categories to your advantage.

3.1 User Categories

Obviously, this is the least restrictive of the options and as the name indicates, everyone (read PUBLIC) can see and/or edit the pages you make. Use this option with caution!

The IT University Wiki is mainly exclusive to ITU staff and students. It is possible for outside partners to request access, but they will have to state their relation to ITU and the administrator of the Wiki will have to manually approve them. So by choosing "Signed-In Users", you will effectively grant access to ITU Staff & Students.

This options is a bit confusing, and in order to describe it I will need to explain a little more about the Wiki. As mentioned above, everyone who has an ITU-login can access the IT University Wiki, but they are not members any wikis by default. When you create a wiki, you are a member (and creator) of that wiki. You are then able to invite others to edit and collaborate in your wiki, and those people will be the "Wiki Members". Same goes if you are invited to participate on another wiki, you will become a wiki member of said wiki.

Being an organizer gives you more options in regards to setting up the wiki, and viewing pages and should therefore be reserved very trusted participants.


3.2 Applying Permissions

There are two ways to control permissions of the wikis you control: Site Wide (the "Default" wiki permission) or on a page to page basis. Both kinds of permissions can be changed and applied by going to "Manage Wiki/Permissions". Page Permissions can also be accessed by clicking the "..." in the corner of any given page and select "Permissions".

3.3 Default Permission Settings

As mentioned earlier, the four default site wide permission settings are Public, Protected, Private, and Custom.

Public: Everyone, including anonymous visitors, can view and edit pages.
Protected: Everyone can view pages, but only members of the wiki can edit pages.
Private: Only members of the wiki can view and edit pages.
Custom: This is where it gets interesting, because you can set your own permissions.

For the Public and Protected setting, it is possible to allow non-members (anonymous, students and/or external partners) to post comments and discuss on your wiki.

3.3.1 Custom Permissions

Defining the custom permissions is not very complicated, when you know the 4 different user categories. For each option: VIEW, EDIT, and CREATE pages, you can assign one of the four different user categories. If, however, you assign "Signed-In Users" to VIEW pages, all options below change to the minimum restriction level of "Signed-In Users" and you will not be able to chose "Everyone" for EDIT and CREATE pages. Furthermore, if EDIT pages is restricted to "Wiki Members Only", CREATE pages will change to the minimum restriction level of "Wiki Members Only". The reason for this, is that it does not make sense to allow "Everyone" (Public) to edit and create pages, if they are already are unable to view the pages, and the same goes for creating pages, if you cannot edit them.

The last option, "DISCUSS and comment", is not affected by the restriction level of EDIT, and CREATE pages, but is related to the VIEW pages options. Whatever VIEW pages is set to (Everyone, Signed-In Users, Wiki Members Only, or Organizers Only), DISCUSS and comment will get the same restriction level or higher.

3.4 Page Permissions

Sometimes you will have information on a page that requires an extra level of protection. This is where "Page Permissions" come into play. Every single page you create in your wiki can have special permissions, but by default it will adopt the default Site Wide permissions (the ones discussed above). The dialog box you are presented with by clicking the three dots in the upper right corner of any page contains four options: Default, Locked, Hidden, and, again, Custom.

Default: The page adopts the default Site Wide wiki permissions.
Locked: Only "Organizers" are able to edit the page, but the other options (VIEWING and DISCUSSING) will remain at the default value.
Hidden: Only "Organizers" will be able to see and/or edit the page.
Custom: You can define custom permissions for the page, even overruling the default wiki permissions, meaning that a wiki restricted to "Wiki Members Only" can have a page that is publicly available.


3.5 Using Wiki Permissions

As you can imagine, there are several constellations of permissions you can set for your wiki, but allow me to make a best practice scenario. In order to make a wiki site that contains information that is restricted to your own department, but some of the pages has to be available for external partners to view and edit, you will have to use the permissions as follows:

Everyone in your department (or workgroup) needs to be Organizers. Organizers are the ones, who can change the most on a wiki site, and therefore people you upgrade to Organizer status needs to be trusted - and hopefully your department is. External partners and collaborators who should not have access to all the information, needs to be normal "Wiki Members Only". If you are using the method of user management, you will successfully be able to hide restricted information on your wiki site, while allowing collaborators to access the pages they need.

Unfortunately, this means, that you cannot give specific access to certain pages. If one collaborator requires access to "PAGE A", and another collaborator requires access to "PAGE B", both collaborators will have access to both pages. Since there are no permission settings on a specific user level, it is not possible to create this sort of differentiation.

3.6 Files and Permissions

Every page and file has specific permissions that, as you have read above, can be customized to your liking.

Please note, if no custom permissions have been set for your private wiki, all your pages and files are be private.

A problem arises if you are working on a public og limited public wiki and have created a page that only members or organizers have access to. Are you to upload a file to this page that has CUSTOM PERMISSIONS, the file you are uploading does NOT automatically acquire the same permissions; hence, on a public wiki site, a file uploaded to be used with a page with custom permissions (private/hidden), the file's permissions also have to be updated. If not, the file will be PUBLIC while the page is PRIVATE. This means, if a public person would do a search for the specific file, it would be found and be available to download, even if the page it is situated on is private!

To hide a file from a publicly available wiki, you need to do the following:
  • Click the "Pages and Files" link in the left side bar of your wiki.
  • Find the file which permissions you would like to change, in this case "PDF-file.pdf", and click it.
  • In the drop down menu, choose Permissions.
  • In the pop up click the "Hidden" radio button.
    • Click "Update"
  • Now there is a little "hidden" tag next to the file name and your file has been hidden.


4. Projects in wikis

This wiki is a Wikispaces-wiki, and it is generally used for educational purposes, e.g. for teaching classes. Therefore they have some options primarily aimed at teacher/student relations, and one of these options is the "Projects" functionality. This option enables you to create small teams within your wiki and assign them to different projects. The pages within these projects will be exclusive to the team and the organizers of the wiki.

To get started, go to your wiki and locate the "Projects" button at the top left corner of your screen. After clicking the button, you are presented with an overview of the projects currently in your wiki and on this page you can also select the "Create Project" button.

On the "Create Project" page, you have several options:
1) Name your project
2) Name teams. Here you can also delete and add teams, but you are going to assign team members on the next page.
3) Permissions for the given project. As default, it is only the team members who are able to view, edit, create, discuss, and comment on the pages. Please note, that all organizers of the main wiki will have access to all projects created no matter permission setting (for more insight in the wiki permissions, read previous chapter).

On the next page, you have to assign team members to teams. In order to do this, the people you want to invite need to be members of your wiki (read how to invite people here in the FAQ). Organizers will not show up in the list of Unassigned Wiki Members, since they already have access to all the projects of the wiki, due to their organizers status. When you have dragged wiki members to different teams, the page will automatically save, and your teams can start setting up their project pages and collaborate.