For our e-portfolio pilot this year we will be exploring the use of Wikispaces as an e-portfolio tool. Wikispaces is a cloud based wiki-hosting service (sometimes called a wiki farm) and is among the largest of wiki hosts, competing with PBworks, Wetpaint, Wikia, and Google Sites. Wikispaces was chosen as it is flexible and simple to use, offers some more advanced feature packages for institutions, and seemingly will integrate fairly well with the current UCT technology landscape.
Wikispaces offers a free Higher Education package to wikis which will be used exclusively for education. The Higher Education offers no usage limits, no advertising, user management and role based accounts and the ability to keep private wikis. I have explored this option and while it seems like a viable option for an academic wanting to maintain a single class wiki and have students collaborate in a central wiki, it does not seem to allow for the case of multiple wikis (used for e-portfolios) managed or connected under an institutional account.
A level up from the Higher Education package is the Wikispaces Private Label. Wikispaces Private Label gives you unlimited wikis, all united under a central administration dashboard. The package costs $1000 USD per year and allows 100 users to create unlimited wikis. To elevate to unlimited users, the cost is $6000 USD. The Private Label package supports LDAP authentication which will enable UCT staff and students to use their existing UCT credentials to log in. Wikispaces also more recently announced support for Basic LTI which is an interoperability framework compatible with our learning management system Sakai. I am not sure exactly what we can use Basic LTI for just yet, but it might be a way to integrate Wikispaces wikis into Sakai, or Sakai tools into Wikispaces – will explore in time.
Additionally wonderful is that Wikispaces Private Label offers a 30 day free trial which I will test in the coming weeks. Will report back on the experience here. If you have any experience to share on your exposure to Wikispaces, please do free to share in the comments below.