MediaWiki:Extending for Teaching and Learning

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This page will contain a comparison of Mediawiki systems and the extensions and addins they contain.

  • (js) MediaWiki:Common.js addins - are not editible by users and are created by the system admin. The MediaWiki:Common.js page is loaded in on each page of the media wiki.
  • (tm) Template: Creatable by users and can automate common layouts.
  • (ex) Extension: Additional features are added to Mediawiki by uploading code (in php) to your Mediawiki site. (Extension Extension list).
  • (wi) Widget. Widgets extension allows adding widgets to wiki by just creating pages in Widget namespace. (MediaWiki:Extension:Widgets, 2009)[1]. For the widgets to work, the widget extension (some additional php code) must be installed on your server first. As there is potential for unauthorised access to your data, permission to create a widget (in the widget namespace) is set in the LocalSettings file). The cool thing about a widget is that you can extend Media Wiki inside the wiki rather than creating additional PHP code to upload separately to the server (MediaWiki Widgets).
  • (ot) Other tools that have proved useful when using a wiki for teaching and learning.

A common question is "can an extension be included to add Flash files?" Unfortunately, to allow users to add Flash file to the Server opens up security holes, so unless you restrict the upload to "trusted" users it is best to provide a widget link to an external site (like slideshare). See Extension:Flash_Extension for an example showing the warning.

This page is a companion to Examples from virtualMV, WikiEducator and WikiVersity.

Other sites/people using MediaWiki for Education

Installed extensions

MediaWiki maintains a page showing Extension information


Table of teaching and learning extensions

Type Description virtualMVwiki WikiEducator Wikiversity Wikipedia
js:CT Collapsible Tables: Gives the ability to hide the body of a table. Y 1 Y 1 ? ?
js:HTB Hide/Show toolbar: Gives the ability to hide the navigation/toolbar on the left of each page when a key is pressed (in virtualMVwiki this is the pause/break key). Unfortunately not supported in older browsers and IE8. Very useful when presenting out of the wiki via a projector. Y$ ? ? ?
tm:FR Footnote reference: Provides a citable reference for the page and creates a zotero (COinS) record Y$ N N N
tm:PO Pedagogy outliners: Provide a set of templates for Note(s), Objective(s), Example(s), KeyPoint(s), More, Question(s), etc.. Y 1 2 3 Y 1 ? ?
tm:TSP TopicsWithSubpages: Provides a table of hyperlinks for complex content that has a hierarchical structure N Y H
(1 on 1a)
? ?
ex:AB Antibot: Helps to manage spam generated by bots Y ? ? ?
ex:BL Blacklist: Helps to manage spam Y ? ? ?
ex:C Cite: Allows the ref tag and places references at the foot of the page Y 1 Y Y Y
ex:CTB Cite (in Toolbar): Places a cite this page link in the toolbar at left Y ? ? Y
ex:CLN Collection: allows a user to organize personal selections of pages in a collection N Y H ? ?
ex:DIS Discussion: allows discussion threads to be added to each page, and via Special:RecentComments see a full list of comments Y ? ? ?
ex:GL Glossary: When the mouse floats over a word a tooltip appears from the Glossary list. Y list 1$ ? ? ?
ex:MD MobileDetect: This extension detects mobile devices and changes to chick skin. Y N N Has special app
ex:SC Source code: GeSHi -Provides a source code highlighter for programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML, etc. Y 1 2 Y ? ?
ex:QZ Quiz: A quiz language built into MediaWiki - written for wikiversity Home Help Y 1 Y 1 Y 1 ?
ex:GA Google Analytics: Allows statistics of page usage to be collected. Had to be disabled in virtualMV wiki as it affected the performance of the wiki when used through the Institutes firewall (as each page requires a round trip to Google). D Y ? ?
wi:BTV add video player to your wiki page. N Y 1% ? ?
wi:FLR Flickr: Displays a flickr slide start control. The slides are selected from a specified tag. Note anyone potentially could add a photo. Y 1 N ? ?
wi:IDN Microblogging service with Creative Commons Attribution, can be embedded into a wiki page.. N Y 1 ? ?
wi:IFR IFrame: Allows a web page to be embedded into a wiki page.. Y 1 ? ? ?
wi:RSS RSS Feed: Allows you to add any RSS feed to your wiki page. Y 1 N ? ?
wi:TW Twitter: Displays a twitter feed for a specified #hash tag. Y 1 2 N ? ?
wi:SS Slideshare: Displays a slideshare presentation. Y 1 N ? ?
wi:GD Google docs: Displays a google document (e.g Presentation). Y 1 N ? ?
wi:GP Google Picasa: (on MediaWikiWidgets) Same as Flickr (but from Google) a photo sharing site. Y ? ? ?
wi:YT YouTube: Displays a YouTube video on a page. Y 1 2 3 N ? ?
ot:CMAP [1] (Clustrmaps, 2009)[2]: ClustrMaps - Hit counter map widget and tracker shows locations of all visitors to any site. Gives students concept of internationalisation (24hr uptime, globalness and accessibility) Y 1 . . .
ot:EXT Ability for users to build their own wikis. This is a feature of Mediawiki and is easily achieved once users have logged into the site by clicking on their user ID, then branching a wiki from there. Y 2 Y Y Y
ot:ZIT ZoomIt (Russinovich, 2009)[3]: Allows you to zoom into a page and annotate when presenting. . . . .


  • ? means I haven't checked it out yet.
  • D means was disabled. Has been re-enabled due to a bandwidth increase.
  • H means Help instructions for this feature for this wiki are on this page
  • If a system has a feature installed, next to the Y may be numbered examples that connect you to a sample page
    • % after a number indicates the example is not really learning content (e.g. on Otago Polytechnics contents page). If/when this happens (or if you find a learning example) I will replace.
  • Y$ in Footnote example is at the foot of this page
  • 1$ in Glossary float over "HTML" in example 1

Icon References.png References

  1. MediaWiki:Extension:Widgets (2009) Extension:Widgets. Retrieved June 6, 2009 from
  2. ClustrMaps (2009) Hit counter map widget and tracker shows locations of all visitors to any site - free. Retrieved from
  3. Russinovich, M. (2009). ZoomIt v.1. In Microsoft TechNet. Retrieved December 10, 2009 from

Extending for Teaching and Learning. (2019). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from    (zotero)