Challenge summary

Summary: Learn how to publish instructional activities using WikiEducator’s predefined pedagogical templates.
30 mins – 1 hour (Depending on prior knowledge of wiki text and general understanding of markup languages)
Linked to final assignment

During this challenge you will learn how to use wiki text (markup) for pedagogical templates while developing draft content for reuse in the learning materials you are developing on the course.



The purpose of this learn-by-doing challenge is to:

  • Acquire the wiki skills for publishing pedagogical templates in WikiEducator.
  • Discover the range of pre-defined pedagogical templates available in WikiEducator.
  • Learn how to customise these templates for your own authoring.
  • Prepare initial drafts of templates for use in your own course.

Start here

web resources

Stimulus resources

  1. Read the summary of the three steps for publishing a pedagogical template below.
  2. Bookmark and scan the quickstart guide for pedagogical templates (which can be accessed from the help link on the left-hand side of your browser on WikiEducator.)

Replicating structure and form

The Mediawiki software has a powerful feature called templates which enables more advanced features to assist with managing the layout and structure of elements more consistently in the wiki. So for example, a template can be created to manage the display of a feature on a particular page in the wiki. Every time the template is used on any page in the wiki, it will replicate the layout features defined in the original template without the need to code the wiki text on the page where it is used.

Don’t worry, in this course you are not required to code new templates. We will show you how to use a number of popular templates in WikiEducator. They are very easy to use once you know how. It’s a simple process of:

  1. Copy the wiki text for the template.
  2. Paste this on the page you would like to use it.
  3. Edit and customise the content of the template in the wiki.

Exe RGB 72dpi.jpg

In WikiEducator we use pedagogical templates to manage the layout and display of a range of pedagogical forms: objectives, case studies, reading activities, etc. We call these instructional devices (or iDevices). Historically, the idea of isolating the iDevices of learning content was a primary aspect of the eXe Project, an open source development project, and the concept has been retained in WikiEducator. (You can find out more about the original project by visiting or about ongoing developments of the new eXe.)

Step 1: Copy the wiki text for the template

In wiki text, the beginning of a template is indicated by two curly braces like this {{ and is closed using two curly braces like this }}. These curly braces instruct the wiki software to apply the specified template’s formatting, in our case the template called IDevice.

All you need to do is to copy the wiki text for the template highlighted below:


Step 2: Paste the wiki text for the template on your page

Note: You must use wiki text for this to work (not the VisualEditor). Click on the “Edit source” link (not the “Edit” link which is used to launch the VisualEditor).

Paste the copied template syntax (from above) to your personal Sandbox page in WikiEducator. If you have done this correctly, you should see the following example after you save the page:



Step 3: Edit and customise the template

Theme, type, title, and body are parameters you can use for editing and customising your template. The parameter labels are case sensitive and will not function properly if, for example, you use “Theme=”. The list below provides a summary of the parameters and options.

Parameter Purpose and options
theme The user can specify a theme which manages how templates are displayed in WikiEducator. The display of templates in the published course site will use the theme of the target website.

Type the name of the theme next to the theme parameter (for example : theme=line). There are currently two theme options

  • wikieducator (the default theme from wikieducator) or
  • line (which mirrors the OERu inspired themes.)
type Type specifies the associated icon for a predetermined list of iDevices. Consult the list of options in the Quickstart guide.
title The title parameter enables the user to specify an alternate title associated with the designated icon for the corresponding type. So for example, the author could use “title=Next steps” to be associated with the icon for “type=Key point“.
body This parameter is used to display the body text of the iDevice. It will accept any standard wiki text and formatting, including bold, italics, lists, images, etc.