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The Wiki is For...

Documentation and Instructions.  If you have information you need to make available to students, faculty, staff, or stakeholders such as parents of students or the general public, the wiki makes that easy to do.  You can quickly enter content into wiki pages, and updates are just as fast.  

Wiki tools are simple and favor ease of editing and navigation over attractive design.  So while the wiki isn't as attractive as the main Canisius College website, it is easier for faculty and staff to edit.  

Wiki pages convey text, images, tabular data, embedded video, and even downloadable files such as .docx, .xlsx, or .pdf.  

Ideally, wiki pages are open to the entire internet.  In most wiki spaces this is by default, so no additional viewing or editing rights management is required by creators and editors.  

The wiki can limit access to spaces, or sets of pages, but this requires careful understanding and use of viewing and editing rights.  The simpler the arrangement, the better.  For example, limiting a particular page's access to Canisius faculty and staff is relatively easy.  However, limiting access to, for example, 92 separate staff members would be enormously tedious, and should only be done if worthwhile for a project or task.  

Should It Be in the Wiki?

The wiki is for instructions and documentation.  It should not be used as an archive to store outdated documentation, or anything relevant only to one or two people.  Old files should be removed from the wiki when no longer accurate or relevant.  The more old documentation you leave in the wiki, the more you'll find that faculty, students, or the public approaches you with outdated information or expectations.  If it's out-of-date, remove it.  If you wish to archive it for your office or department, consider a Google Team Drive. 

The Wiki should not be used to store passwords, or other highly sensitive information such as grades or private contact information.  Meeting minutes, or other documentation appropriate only for faculty or staff, or employees within a department or office can be stored in the wiki, although you need to ensure that appropriate sharing.

What Role Does the Wiki Play, versus Other Web Content Management Systems?

The wiki is for instructions and documentation served as pages organized into tree hierarchy.  

If you are sharing information that is seldom changed, and should particularly be public-facing in service of prospective students, add it to your office page on the Canisius College website (www.canisius.edu and it's various pages.)  The public Canisius College website is properly maintained by Marketing and Communication, and is meant to be an attractive public relations display for the college.  Where you may still use the wiki to communicate with prospective students or outside stakeholders is providing information that you must frequently update, since the wiki is quicker and easier to edit than the pages at www.canisius.edu.  Also, the wiki can more efficiently present lengthy text, such as handbooks, manuals, or standalone guides, that may be awkward on the main site pages.

A common plan for an office, department, or division is to have seldom-updated information on the main Canisius College site (or the Course Catalog), that includes links to wiki pages where information must be more frequently updated.  Then, your links on the main site remain the same, but you can make periodic changes to the wiki pages reachable by those links on the main page. 

The wiki can house and serve files but it is not the most efficient file repository.  For example, if you need to serve fifteen or so files to a committee but don't need lengthy text presented on web pages arranged into a particular hierarchy, a shared Google Drive folder or Team Drive is probably better.  There is obvious overlap between the two systems, the wiki and Google Drive.  For sharing files in teams of staff or faculty, Google Drive is probably more efficient, since it's just easier to manipulate files there once the sharing rights have been established.  If you are not publishing to a larger community, the wiki might be as much or more work, as far as securing your information.  

Neither ITS nor COLI recommend using D2L as a general web-based content management system.  This practice has survived from over a decade ago, when D2L's predecessor was so used in the absence of alternatives.  Because it is designed for course content exclusively, using D2L simply to share files or information means a few more clicks for each operation, and frustration when users reach limitations in what D2L will do to serve content.  For example, sharing with a large group of people can only be done through manual enrollment by the space owner (not ITS or COLI), and involves many more steps than the Wiki or Google Drive.

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