User:JWSchmidt/history

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The growth of Wikibooks.

Much of the early discussion about the Wikipedia-related textbook project can be found in the archives of the Textbook email list. Wikibooks was launched as a project on July 10, 2003. The b:Wikiversity page at Wikibooks goes back to at least 21 August 2003. The idea behind Wikiversity was to create "a free, open learning environment and community." There was some debate about how best to incorporate an explicitly education-oriented "learning community" into a Wikipedia-daughter project. One idea involved re-naming the textbooks project to Wikiuniversity. In early discussions of the name and scope of the new "textbook" project, the idea was advanced that Wikibooks could be the "book store" for a more general education-oriented project: Wikiversity. However, the name selected for the new project was "Wikibooks". Wikibooks was given a narrow mission and the "open learning environment" became an appendage to the central textbooks project.

see also: b:History of Wikibooks/Notes

The first Wikiversity website[edit]

How was the German language Wikiversity website started? Apparently someone asked Brion and he just set it up.

Wikiversity mentioned in Wikimedia Quarto.

The website is noticed. According to the stats page, the German Wikiversity was started in March 2005 (the Wikiversity page on German Wikibooks goes back to February 2005).

A request was made by Aya for an English language Wikiversity website (29 July 2005), but the Wikiversität page at the meta-wiki started in September 2004.

Wikiversity at Wikibooks put up for deletion[edit]

The effort to remove Wikiversity from Wikibooks was started by User:Aya who claimed an interest in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Starting in November 2005 there was much debate about what kinds of books should be included at Wikibooks. By March 2006 the decision had been made to remove some video game related materials out of Wikimedia Foundation projects. The Grand Theft Auto material was removed in April of 2006, however, Aya never showed great interest in editing at Wikibooks and had already left the project (see below).

After joining the Wikibooks project in the middle of June, Aya requested bureaucratship on July 28 and became an administrator and a bureaucrat a few days later(10:03, 30 July 2005 Datrio changed group membership for User:Aya@enwikibooks from (none) to sysop, bureaucrat), prompting a comment: "I think that before asking for a status, it would be interesting to get informed on what you can precisely do with that status :) As a bureaucrat, you appear to me very little informed." - Anthere 07:25, 31 July 2005 (see)

On August 3, 2005, Aya declared Wikiversity an unauthorized project, prompting Angela's email about Aya's comments on the wikiversity page (Aug 4, 2005). A week later, Aya initiated the deletion vote to remove Wikiversity content from Wikibooks (started Aug 11, 2005).

The discussion about deleting the Wikiversity pages from the Wikibooks project can be found on a dedicated page for the deletion discussion. It included strong calls for deletion from people with very few edits on Wikibooks. On August 14, Jimbo made the removal of Wikiversity from Wikibooks official, apparently with the intention that the Wikiversity-related pages at Wikibooks be moved to a new wiki where that content would not be in conflict with the stated mission and could be in line with his call that we "free the curriculum". On August 16 a proposal to make Wikiversity a stand-alone project was advanced (see mail list post).

The community vote on the proposed independent Wikiversity project ended on 1 November 2005, with the project being approved by the community. Aya made only one minor edit after November 1. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees objected to the original Wikiversity project proposal and called upon the Wikiversity community to modify the proposal so as to remove any indication that Wikiversity would deal with credentials while describing an achievable plan for the Wikiversity online learning model (see: Wikiversity:History of Wikiversity).

This page is part of
JWSchmidt's Wikiversity blog
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18 January site statistics - 20,000 pages.
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12 January 2007 - Start of the blog
---- start 2007 ----
24 October, 2006 - Wikiversity history
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17 March, 2004 - Semantic prosthetic
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Quote from Colloquium[edit]

Hi JW

When I stumbled on the following quote in the Colloquium I felt it might clarify the thinking going into the Wikiversity's formation. There's a lot of bits and pieces all over the place regarding the formation. It would be good to gather this stuff up before memories fade and the links become lost.

I'm adding a link to the "History of Wikiversity" page on the Newcomers page.

"That the Wikiversity evolve a structure that supports two kinds of students — those that are mature and quite comfortable in directing their own education independently; and those who seek a structured environment with clarity of roles, procedures and expectations." <-- Based on our previous exchanges, I wonder if "those who seek a structured environment", is a reference to the traditional educational structure that has grown up around bricks-and-mortar educational institutions. In my opinion, wiki technology is not best suited to traditional educational structures and that is why the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees refused to approve the Wikiversity project until a different type of educational structure was proposed for this project. No matter what kind of structures Wikiversity can eventally support, here at the start of the project we need participants who can help create Wikiversity's educational content by editing wiki pages. Towards that goal, I think we can, "run small experiments, tests, see what works, what doesn't, and be prepared to be flexible and change, and not be too locked into stone about how things should work." We need to discover the best ways to use wiki technology to grow and support learning communities. — JWSchmidt 10October2006

Kind regards,

morley 16:26, 8 November 2006 (UTC)


It might be constructive to make a short list of questions that could be sent to the Board members who rejected the original Wikiversity proposal. I have no great confidence in the accuracy of my personal guesses about the basis of the Board's choices and possible reasoning behind those choices. Maybe this would be a good "living history" project for the Wikiversity School of History. --JWSchmidt 17:11, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

2007 meeting[edit]