[pmwiki-users] "Wikis at school": Measuring authors' activity/amount of contribution?

Hans design5 at softflow.co.uk
Wed Jan 23 05:20:37 CST 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 11:20:54 PM, Tobias Thelen wrote:

> "How can I see (in some kind of overview) who did what and 
> how much?"

> As a first approximation to that problem I implemented a simple way to
> count contributions by directly grepping through the page store (in case
> you're interested - see below [2]. It needs a UNIX environment). But
> mere numbers don't tell much about a user's activity.

Interesting problem! You know as much as I that all the information
lies in each page's history. action=diff gives a good view of this.
Your statistical tools could make better use of it, for instance
differentiating between additions, deletions and changes to
paragraphs, and counting characters for each, and logging it with the

But all this quantifying does say nothing about the quality of
contributions. I think it would be a bad idea to use statistics in
order to asses pupils contributions, or create some sort of point

For instance I don't like the way phpBB forums display the totals of
messages posted, and award ranks based on this. Some social network
sites do this as well I think. But a wiki is all about collaboration,
not to score well by making lots of contributions.

I would encourage the pupils as well as teachers to use the
RecentChanges pages, and AllRecentChanges, because these are the
places where changes are logged to give each other quickly the
overview of where the work is happening.

I would encourage to always write meaningful change summaries when
posting, and to use the 'minor changes' box when corrections are made.

And it may be good to provide more information in these pages, for
instance the size of changes or additions, perhaps as a word count.
That information would then be available for both teachers and pupils,
and will aid collaborative involvement, rather than remaining a tool
for teachers to asses pupils.

The idea of colour-coding for different authors I find totally contrary
to wiki culture. It may gratify an author's ego to put his colours all
over the place, but opposes the spirit of collaboration, which aims to
create unified web-content, and where contributors can take pride in
their collective achievement, rather than individual ones.

If one wants to foster individual contributions for the individual's
sake, it would be better to let each pupil manage her/his own wiki
group, and create her/his own project there. Then it is not so much
about collaboration, but still about web content creation. And each
pupils work is easily visible.

Sorry if I have ranted on a bit!


More information about the pmwiki-users mailing list