Wikiversity:Colloquium

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IP modification of external links[edit]

An IP, specifically 5.12.239.181, modified some external links in the resource Principles of radiation astronomy from, e.g., [:http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/ NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database - NED] to [:http://edu-archive.org/protect.php?url=http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/ NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database - NED], with the comment: "We'll try to protect the contents of some of the external pages that this page links to. Please use our service to do the same on other pages that you'll be working on." Is this vandalism, spam, or something useful? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 18:07, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

It's hard to say. It could be legitimate, as the IP address is from Bucharest, Romania, and so is edu-archive.org. On the other hand, this is exactly how someone would want to design a man-in-the-middle attack. Direct traffic to yourself and offer a translation service. You would have no control over what they load on the page they direct people to. It could include zero-day browser attacks, etc. If this is a service you need, because the links keep changing, consider using archive.org, which is legitimate and recommended by the librarians at my college. Otherwise, I would restore the links in the article to point to the original source and treat this as vandalism. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:57, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary Picture Dictionary Template[edit]

When I was looking up wikt:solar system on Wiktionary, I liked their PicDic (picture distionary) template. I tried uploading it here but it's not working appropriately on Solar system. Any suggestions would be helpful. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:34, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

I think you meant Wiktionary:Solar System as that is where I found the template used. Wiktionary is case sensitive even for the first character of a page name. Wiktionary:Solar system and Wiktionary:solar system are different pages which also happen to exist too. Looks like Wiktionary:Template:picdiclabel depends on some more things then what has been copied over, which is why it isn't working. -- darklama  03:11, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
I have updated the template locally because the dependency was based on assumptions about section heading names that are true for wiktionary and not for wikiversity. -- darklama  03:44, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for getting the templates to work! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 12:07, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Make a plan?[edit]

On the Dutch wikiversity we make a yearly plan to highlight some of the activities for next year. Could we do the same for the English wikiversity? In the plan we could think about for instance promotional activitities. For instance I would like to promote the learning circles. Who would like to help me setting up a plan? I also have a question. In the Netherlands almost all energy goes to the promotion of Wikipedia. Just very little resources are promoting the sisterprojects. I think this is a missed opportunity. Is this the same for the Englisch wikiversity? Regards, Tim, Timboliu (discusscontribs) 19:04, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

In English, Wikipedia is also king, but I see nothing wrong with that. Wikipedia has much more quality control over what goes into articles and which articles are allowed. This control is simultaneously excessive and insufficient, but that is inevitable. Nobody is to blame. On Wikiversity we allow student projects and original research. In other words, we allow lower quality articles. I know of a number of educational Wikiversity pages that are far more suitable for students than their counterparts on Wikipedia. I also believe that this is a growing trend as Wikipedia's educational pages become burdened with advanced (and sometimes just plain weird) material. I wish I had evidence to support or refute my opinions. Meanwhile, I will concentrate on improving Wikipedia articles and Wikiversity resources. There's a lot to be done. --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 12:03, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I can't say much about the other language Wikiversities, though I'm aware of conflicts in some. Some Wikipedian's have an attitude that Wikiversity is useless, that material here is of low quality, but Guy, you have nailed it. We allow original research and student work. An essential part of Wikiversity's mission, from the beginning, was "learning by doing." There are "sister wiki" templates available for usage on Wikipedia, to be placed in the External links sections of articles, and some to be placed on Talk pages. I have seen the placement of these templates resisted by Wikipedians whose mission was to ensure that, not only are Wikipedian articles "neutral" -- which means, in practice, that their point of view is favored -- but that external links must also be neutral, i.e, demonstrate the same bias that they are able to maintain on Wikipedia.
Now, an *encyclopedia" isn't generally "neutral," though the best strive to be. It is biased toward what is widely-accepted and also "notable." However, traditional encyclopedias were written by experts and vetted by professional editors. On Wikipedia, there is competition for article space, so minority positions, while, in theory, are represented according to the balance in "reliable source," can nevertheless get the short end of the stick, and coverage in what would normally be considered, routinely, reliable source, such as peer-reviewed reviews in mainstream academic journals, is not considered enough (because the author is allegedly "fringe," which is, of course, circular.)
Yesterday, I came across an edit to w:Template talk:Sister project links.[1]
==Removing Wikiversity from the default links==
I've been an editor on Wikiversity since 2006 and can tell you firsthand that it has never matured into a truly useful sister project. It's never had a large community of editors and a lot of the content there is now generated by people who have been banned from other projects (e.g. fringe science POV-pushers and other crackpots). A large percentage of the pages are just unfinished stubs with no useful content[2][3] or no content at all[4][5][6]. Wikiversity pretty much never deletes anything, so it has gradually become filled with cruft. I don't really think we're doing our readers any favors by sending them there. At the very least it should be put at the bottom of the list. Thoughts? [username elided] 19:54, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
This editor was active on Wikiversity, using it to collaborate and create an article intended for publication under peer review. Had he tried this trick on Wikipedia, the work would likely have been promptly deleted as original research. He also has another piece of original research in his user space. (It could be moved to mainspace.) During the creation of his article collaboration, I moved the draft to user space, largely because of how the page was named, it is common for users who haven't worked on Wikiversity organization to create page names that we will not, on reflection, support. He was upset. However, he calmed down, and cooperated, and the result was very positive.
He's right we rarely delete material with any hope of becoming useful, and his experience would show that Wikiversity was, certainly for him, useful.
However, that's not what he remembered and reported. He knew that I was blocked or banned on Wikipedia (actually, at the time, I was not blocked or banned, but I had been and later was "community banned," again. The claim in that ban was POV-pushing, but I had declared a conflict of interest in the field where I was allegedly a "pusher," and was editing in accordance with that. At that time, I had become very active here, but not so much "generating content," but assisting with the organization of Wikiversity. Another user was or had been recently an administrator here, being banned on Wikipedia. He did create content here, but it was ordinary content, and his Wikipedia ban had no relationship to fringe science.
What this user did, as quoted above, was to take elements of his experience, put them together to create a "story," and then report this story as if it were fact. The vast majority of content on Wikiversity has not been created by users banned on Wikipedia. As to what is here from such users, quality varies. Some is excellent. Some is basically junk. If it is pure junk, we frequently delete it. (Notice that several of the links cited in the quotation have been deleted.) However, even garbage can be the subject of study in a real university. Out of the swamp grows the lotus.
His suggestion that Wikiversity be removed from the sister wiki links was not followed. It was moved down in the list. Which, to me, makes it more prominent, not less. I mention this event here because the attitude of this user is common; what is remarkable is that most of those expressing the opinion have not actually used Wikiversity, but he had.
There have been a number of attempts to shut down Wikiversity based on arguments like his. The situation is a bit like the real-life situation of universities, with the anti-wikiversity forces being analogous to "leaders" of the public, who attack universities for allowing research and expression of points of view they consider ridiculous, anathema. This is often some political point of view, but also can be "fringe science," etc. The user casually categorizes anyone who "pushes" -- which can simply mean "explains" -- a point of view as a "crackpot." On Wikipedia, the dominant faction routinely refers to Nobel Prize winners, professors, people whose articles are routinely published in peer-reviewed journals, as crackpots. And that is tolerated there, because, by definition, a topic that gets treated this way is "fringe." Or at least Wikipedia editors think it is fringe, even if, long ago, the topic moved from "fringe" into emerging science, which can still be controversial. In order to know if something is actually fringe, one needs to study the topic, and study is not part of the mission of Wikipedia, and attempts to collaborate in study there are routinely crushed.
Real universities do not shy away from "fringe." They do not teach it as "established." But they also do not suppress it, they allow and even encourage study. What is "fringe" may be error, but fringe generally indicates that some anomaly has been found, something difficult to explain with existing theory, and real scientists know that when such exists, there is something to be learned, something to investigate.
Wikiversity has a real problem with organization of content. As a real problem, it takes work to address, and shutting down traffic to Wikiversity by pulling mention of the site from the sister wiki template would certainly not help develop the place. Wikipedia grew by the proliferation of redlinks, which encouraged the development of articles. There was a tension between those who created and allowed redlinks, and those who thought them useless and ugly. Wikipedia also grew though the proliferation of stubs. There was a tension, again, between those who believed that stubs were useful, as a core on which articles could be created, and those who noticed that stubs suppressed redlinks. What we see in the proposal quoted is that someone, who could have helped with organizing Wikiversity, didn't. And then blamed Wikiversity and the small wikiversity community for not completing it. It is clear that he understood neither Wikiversity, nor how Wikipedia actually grew, even though he'd been a Wikipedia user since 2004, and was an administrator from 2005 though 2014, resigning "under a cloud." (For those who don't know, that is a very long time. Few sysops had been active that long.)
Bottom line, there are sister wiki templates, and users here who can edit Wikipedia can place them (I could, but it would be a ban violation). There are generic templates, as mentioned, these search the sites for the topic of the article, and there are specific templates that can point to specific Wikiversity resources. Placing these templates is supported by Wikipedia guidelines. If a specific template is placed on a controversial article, actively watched, one may see opposition. The generic template may not arouse so much opposition, particularly if there is content on more than one of the wikis. Getting a template to stick, if that happens, would take going through dispute resolution; I'd predict success if one knows how to navigate that process. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:06, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
It's interesting that a Wikipedian would sugest not linking to Wikiversity on quality grounds. Likely their attitude has nothing to do with quality; we've had the same argument used to advocate removing sister links from en.wp to en.wn, and en.wn has something of the opposite situation from en.wv: en.wn actually does enforce high standards, prior to publication, yet we get the same accusations of low quality and even of fringe theories. This is frankly a non-fact-based worldview showing itself: the would-be sororicides start with an agenda (non-Wikipedian sisters delenda est) and then invent claims to promote that agenda, rather than starting with investigation of facts from which to select an agenda. (The very idea of making siter linking conditional on quality —as if someone from one sister were even qualified to judge the quality of pages on another sister— involves some seriously bad faith, but that's a whole nother can of worms. I actually agree that Wikiversity hasn't yet realized its potential, something I've never had time to try to address since I'm more than fully occupied trying to help Wikinews with its challenges, but I find this stunningly irrelevant to providing sister links.) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 15:18, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
(Which said, I've left a comment there attempting a positive suggestion; because, after all, individuals often get swept up in these sororicidal trends without really being aware, and may respond very well to reasonable suggestions.) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 15:44, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Pi zero. One of the most important usages of Wikiversity is for discussion of topics, which is encouraged here, in educational resources, and which is generally prohibited on Wikipedia. How it was ever decided that Wikipedia could find genuine neutrality without a set of informed editors, and how editors would become informed without discussion of topic issues, is a bit beyond me, but the policy there does make some sense if there is a place where Wikipedia editors can discuss the topic. There has been little advantage taken of the possibility, but Wikiversity is the obvious place, none of the other sister wikis are set up for that. For discussion, it is essential that participants have the freedom to be "wrong." (or "biased," etc.) If discussion is to be potentially broad, it is essential that there be facilitation around civility, etc. or else one will only see participants who will tolerate the barrage of snark and personal attacks that are too common, on Wikipedia. (WP has civility policy, to be sure, but the enforcement is so uneven that it can be claimed it is only used as a hammer, selectively, against unpopular participants.)
In any case, I see Wikiversity as the long-term hope of Wikipedia to actually become neutral. Neutrality requires consensus, and consensus requires thorough discussion, and that is very possible on Wikiversity, and very difficult on Wikipedia. It's quite a road from here to there, but it's possible.
In any case, and immediately, those who want to discuss topics on Wikipedia are often warned that this is contrary to policy, and are threatened with blocks, or actually blocked. The only time I've seen them invited to Wikiversity has been when I did, it, privately, with email, seeing a problem situation there. Some show up here. Some prefer to fight on Wikipedia and complain about abuse, which usually gets them even more tightly blocked. It doesn't matter if what they were claiming is true or not, if it can be reliably sourced or not. Only a few are allowed to complain on Wikipedia, and get away with it.
Sister wiki links are a generic way to address this problem. I tried with what became my Favorite topic (I was originally interested in other things, and primarily in community structure and process), with [7]. Reverted, with (removed link to CF wikiversity page, which is essentially self-published by Abd and biased; if you want to add it back please discuss it first).
Because I had a declared w:WP:COI on cold fusion (though, really, that was overconservative), I had only made that edit imagining it would not be controversial. I discussed it on Talk, and one can see the response there. There is direct rejection of Wikiversity in that response, in particular by an administrator who was previously sanctioned for his involvement with cold fusion -- in a case that I had created. But he didn't use his tools, just his right to edit, as I was about to be banned from editing on the topic (even from suggesting edits on Talk pages.)
Sidelight12, a probationary custodian here, tried with [8]. Reverted, (Undid revision 591935263 by Sidelight12 (talk) this external source is misleading)
The editor removing the links was the same in both cases, an obvious single-purpose account who only edits to attack whatever might seem to support cold fusion.
We very much need Wikiversity, and I was totally sincere in inviting skeptics to Wikiversity, promising to support them. I actually have done that a number of times. Wikiversity traditions build collaboration and cooperation, very often, where Wikipedia traditions and structure, in spite of intentions, encourage conflict.
I just started another resource here, over another very controversial topic on Wikipedia, often involving the same editors, because I found some willingness to participate here from notable scientists (with Wikipedia articles that are not going to be deleted), who had been complaining about Wikipedia. Looking at the wikipedia article, w:Parapsychology, I found that it had a generic sister wiki template on it. That article and related articles have been battlegrounds for years, there have been multiple ArbCom cases. I am personally quite skeptical of research findings in the field, but my understanding of science requires that existing understanding always be subject to criticism and exploration of contrary experimental evidence, which is how science progresses. This is all theoretically quite welcome in an academic environment, and not necessarily welcome in an encyclopedic environment. There is now a resource forming on the topic here, Parapsychology; previously people following the link to Wikiversity would have found nothing but an opportunity, maybe, to create something.
And how to do that is often totally unclear to newcomers. We have a lot of work to do, here. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:44, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps we've got hold of opposite ends of the same problem, though it's difficult to perceive both ends at once since really understanding a sister project requires deep participation —I've been intensively involved on en.wn for four years— and in this case the projects are profoundly different. But wn and wv aren't "opposites", though they contrast strongly with each other and with wp.

I'm concerned that Wikipedia conflates fact and opinion, approach both through a process of bureaucracy-laden argumentation which is, frankly, maximized throughout the project workflow. Wikinews encourages both contributors and readers to be good information consumers, by carefully observing the distinction between fact and opinion. My impression is that Wikiversity (at its best — we all want to see our projects at their best :-) encourages good information consumption through critical discussion. Wikipedia is missing both the grounding in objective fact and the serious discussion by presenting chosen claims and opinions as settled fact (meant, apparently, to simply be believed), with acrimonious bureaucratic wrangling behind the scenes to decide which claims and opinions to present as settled fact. Somehow it ought to be possible for Wikipedia to drawn strength from both these poles, Wikinews and Wikiversity.

Meanwhile —btw— I've identified a specific need that all the sisters clearly share (well, it's clear to me :-), expertise management. People don't know what to do, as you say. We have project verterans who do know, and we need to facilitate the capturing of that project expertise, and embodiment in forms that help newcomers apply it, help newcomers learn it so they become more expert themselves, and help experts apply it too. I figure this sort of expertise should be grown by the community in the same way project content is, so I set out to build "interactive tools", enabling interactive elements like text boxes and buttons to be specified using wiki markup. So the community can grow its own interactive wizards (I strongly disapprove of the apparent trend by the Foundation towards centralized wizard development, which I see as ultimately opposed to the wiki concept). I've been at this development project for about three years, and I'm hoping to start applying my tools on a significant scale in the upcoming days and weeks. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 16:45, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Pi zero. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia project, Wikinews is news. The requirements will obviously be different in many ways. I should probably look more closely at what wn does, because if you take the years that it can take to grow an article on Wikipedia, the purpose fails. I'll be interested to see how you handle real-world controversy, where editors may have a natural bias (i.e, where they may place "neutrality" in a different position than what would be the deliberated consensus of humanity.) I do know that it is possible to develop habits of expression that are generally recognized as neutral, that is, in fact, "academic writing" or good journalism. Both Wikpedia and Wikinews, on the face, are targeted, however, toward generating content for "consumption." Wikiversity is not limited to that. Wikipedians who come here sometimes expect to see mature "articles," with the only difference being that, say, original research is allowed and a "lecturer" doesn't have to supply citations for everything.
However, to me, the core of Wikiversity is "learning by doing," and even materials here generated by academic courses, such as Motivation and emotion, are a form of learning by doing, in taking a topic and collaborating in compiling subtopics. Wikiversity, however, can examine quite difficult topics, where neutrality can be inclusive rather than exclusive. I.e., Wikipedia tends to exclude opinion, or "points of view." We will include them, cover them, explore them, and create educational materials -- or links to materials -- that, collectively, can cover a subject far more deeply than possible on Wikipedia. Neutrality is obtained by balance, and if a resource is not balanced, anyone can create content to balance it, and I, for one, and with others, will assist to ensure that the overall presentation is neutral by consensus.
To Wikipedians, this can look like "fringe science POV-pushers and other crackpots" are taking over. However, those are judgments of persons, and they are certainly not matters of knowledge and reliable source. Our resource on Cold fusion is a bit of a melange, a sprawling structure of subpages, but it is informed by experts, directly or indirectly, and skeptics and others have long been welcome to improve it. Just not to delete it or to conceal what is covered! Below, it will be understood that if there is material in the top-level article that is not solidly found in reliable source, it should be distinguished, attributed, move to an essay page, or any of various devices to create neutrality-by-consensus.
Because of a major bias on Wikipedia against anything considered "fringe," maintained by an established faction, against anything that becomes a target of professional or amateur "skeptics," w:Cold fusion includes only a trivial piece of content ([9]) sourced to the most comprehensive review of cold fusion ever published in a major peer-reviewed journal, though it does list the source in the bibliography.[10]. (preprint) At one point, there was an attempt to point to legal convenience copies of cold fusion papers, so that people could actually read them without having academic access or paying a hefty fee. Those were removed, for example, [11] -- the argument had been addressed many times. (The site in question is a library, not a source itself. It had taken well over a year to get such links whitelisted and then, later, the web site itself removed from the global spam blacklist. But long before that, we were able to have convenience links here, because Wikiversity simply doesn't have that bias.) I became knowledgeable about cold fusion because of seeing what happened with the Wikipedia article and researching it, but attempting to incorporate even the smallest changes in the article, based on what I found in reliable source, was like pulling teeth, it could take weeks to get the smallest change. (And then it could roll back down the mountain later, long story.) On Wikiversity, it is possible to just write about a topic, discuss it, debate it, whatever. We do have a concern for neutrality, but we handle it inclusively, not exclusively, as would any university. I worked on the Wikipedia cold fusion article for many months, and one editor continued to blame me for the content, but, in fact, I had created very little of it, in spite of a great deal of effort.
Yes, very different from Wikipedia. The encyclopedic nature of Wikipedia, along with a host of decisions, sets up conflict over article space. A flat structure was chosen like some print encyclopedias, and "POV forks" were discouraged. (When subpages are allowed in mainspace, as at Wikipedia, it is possible to push a point of view to a subpage instead of attempting to balance it in situ. Whatever is not a matter of consensus can be so treated. With topics of high controversy, the top level page can be just pointers to "sections" which are run by "section managers," I've tested this. It works to defuse conflict. See Landmark Education. On Wikipedia, the conflict that arose in the Landmark article could have become a serious edit war. Instead, collaboration and cooperation developed, and that could continue. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:38, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
I rather like this: "Both [Wikipedia] and Wikinews, on the face, are targeted [...] toward generating content for 'consumption.' Wikiversity is not limited to that." There should be a symmetric statement that groups Wikpedia and Wikiversity together and contrasts both with Wikinews. Not sure it measures up, but fwiw it does seem Wikiversity may share with Wikipedia a notion of neutrality though balance. That doesn't work for news; balance is something to be thrashed out by a committee in an open-ended discussion, whereas news needs a notion of neutrality that can be acheived quickly and correctly by one person of good faith and nontrivial opinions — we guarantee a second pair of eyeballs on the article befor publication, but this works best if both reporter and reviewer know what they're about and are getting things mostly right. We allow an article to cover an aspect of a story, which may constitute what Wikipedians would call "undue weight", provided the reader isn't deceived about what aspect is being covered. (How else could one expect to handle an interview with a neo-nazi — which we've done?) The primary tool by which we achieve neutrality is to step back, not reporting our own judgement calls but instead providing the objective evidence and letting the reader make the call. Attribute opinions to who said them. Rather than reporting that politician X was angry (which would be a deduction by the reporter), we'd report the objective evidence and let the reader draw conclusions (politican X said they were angry, or perhaps exibited other signs of anger — yelling and pounding the lectern with their fists, maybe, which I think Qaddafi did at some point). As I mentioned before, this also encourages both contributors and readers to carefully distinguish between facts and claims, which is a valuable habit for information consumers. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 03:26, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Pounding their fists, they might be angry or they might be dramatic, i.e., acting angry to make a point. What you are describing, Pi zero, is a journalistic skill. The journalist recognizes the difference between "what happened" and the interpretation of events. "The bear was angry," would be an interpretation. The bear killed the camper who had poked it would be what happened. There is always "some level" of interpretation in our reports, i.e, the camper might have died from fright when the bear roared and swiped him with his claws. However, there is a generally discriminable difference between "what happened" and "what we made it mean." One of the skills is attributing anything that involves judgment or opinion or interpretation. The best writing on Wikipedia certainly does this; but I see articles all the time where interpretation is reported as if it were fact, or subjective remarks are included. "Fortunately, the firefighters realized that pouring water on a sodium fire would not work." "Fortunate" requires an overall assessment of good and bad. It's good that the lab did not burn down. But to someone who thinks vivisection was going on at that lab, it's bad it didn't burn down. That word doesn't belong in either journalistic or academic writing, except as chatty dicta ("Fortunately, we already knew that adding X would not help, so we tried Y." That usage of the first person has become much more acceptable, as academic writing becomes more human. And in this case, attribution of the opinion or judgment is present. It's the opinion of the authors.)
I would expect a functional news site to depend on trustworthy writers and editors. The process has to be quick. You can't have an RfC over breaking news! But you can have, as I'm sure you do, a reasonably reliable process that will usually produce good articles, rapidly. And you can create, on Wikiversity, educational resources to train people in good journalism, this kind of writing, and in the wiki process, with participants then testing the skills they have learned on Wikinews, learning by doing. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:08, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Verily I'm describing a journalistic skill. One of several that make up the basic skill set for Wikinews writing. We've got two professors (on opposite sides of the globe) sending their students to Wikinews for hands-on experience with serious journalism. Multiple reports that Wikinews on one's resume is a real asset in journalistic job-hunting. It's only the Foundation and parts of the wikimedian community that take us lightly.
How to help people learn what they should be doing has been one of our central concerns for years. I don't know wikiversity well (except by reputation, which is probably about as useful for wv as for wn, which is to say, not at all useful). Training at wv for wn is something I can't visualize; it sounds... heavyweight, whereas for the purposes we've been concentrating on we've sought ever lighter weight — it's a well-known phenomenon, I think, on all the sister projects that one can't even get people to read the welcome templates they're given, let alone anything long. We've kept our style guide short so it can be read in its entirety, but scarcely anyone does. I've had sporadic success getting people to read n:WN:Pillars of Wikinews writing, kept deliberately ultra-short, but even that's a problem. And very often when people come to Wikinews they're in a hurry; they've already got the story they want to cover, and it's losing freshness from moment to moment. I figure an interactive wizard, where the instructions for each specific step are in your face, just might work... better than what we're doing. Because what we're doing, what Wikipedia is doing, what wikis are mostly suited to, is providing the on-line equivalent of an instruction manual. That's been a lousy way to help people figure out what they should be doing since well before the internet; remember the classic advice "When all else fails, read the instructions"?
I think, actually, a Wikinewsie considered using Wikiversity a few years ago, but for one reason or another (or several) concluded it wasn't going to work out. I've a distant memory there might have been a problem of conflicting project cultures. Hm... food for thought. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 04:32, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
I think it would make a great Wikiversity learning resource. Basically, it would be a specific resource under a more general Journalism resource. I see that we have Journalism studies and Wikinews, which is an example of the undisciplined page creation, following the flat Wikipedia model, that was common on WV (and still is fairly common). I'd have made this a subpage of Journalism or Journalism/Studies. I have not reviewed the subpages. However, this was a collaboration project with a brick-and-mortar university. What I'm seeing as a possibility here is an educational resource supporting the learning of Wikinews editing.
I cannot imagine a "conflict of project cultures" that would make this fail. I can imagine some dissident here, say blocked on Wikinews, trying to dominate the thing, which would simply fail. We wouldn't block him, unless he really was in flagrant disregard of our traditions, but we would "organize" his content contributions and he would not be allowed to pretend that he represented Wikinews, whereas active Wikinews users would have that default status. I'd be happy to assist. The goal would be a course where this would happen:
  • The course would be part of a general journalism course, where general journalistic principles would be considered, studied, documented, etc. However that could actually come later.
  • The course would review and document not only policy and the formal statements found on Wikinews, but also actual community practice. (This is a "wikistudies" topic, and yes, this part may need to be handled with care.)
  • Participants would learn how to actually and successfully participate in Wikinews.
  • Wikinews policy and actual practice could be discussed, but this might be shoved to subpages. It is that kind of discussion that can become disruptive, if people want to insist it be "neutral." So we shove it down in the structure, and allow people to express their *attributed opinions,* subject only to behavioral policies.
Imagine the worst case: that WN banned user shows up to complain about how policies weren't followed, the admins are abusive, yatta yatta. So he gets to say that (within the bounds of civility and NPA), and then participants can look at an actual case where participation failed. How could they fail to learn from that? "If you want to be banned, on WN, act like this." "When you are participating on WN, you might run into conflict, [here] is what is suggested to do if conflict arises, and [here] is a case where something else was done, and it didn't work out well.
Wikiversity "culture", at its best, has led to people who would otherwise be fighting with each other, collaborating in creating deeper content than any one of them would have produced on their own. At it's worst, well, it's a wiki. What do you expect? Reliability? Actually we are working on that. Any Day Now. Maybe you can help us with that. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:34, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah. That page was created by Leigh Blackall. There be Wikinews politics here. Our relationship with Leigh has had ups and downs. I'd been thinking of efforts (which don't appear to have gotten far) by Brian McNeil. Who is as much of a Wikinews insider as it's possible to be.
The most instantly obvious cultural difference between wn and wv —not necessarily the deepest, but the most immediately obvious— is that wv tends to the loquacious and wn to the terse. By Wikinews standards I'm long-winded.
As for reliability — Yes, that's one of the most fundamental differences of Wikinews from Wikipedia. Wikipedia traditionally maintains that it's inherently impossible for a wiki to be reliable, a conclusion that comes from defining "wiki" to mean "wiki that works exactly the way Wikipedia works". That's philosophically consistent with the traditional Wikipedian belief that Wikipedia is the perfect wiki of which all others are flawed imitations. Wikinews takes more of a "what does it take to be reliable" approach.
I remember a few years ago seeing a proposal go by on this page to have, iirc, something like published journals for various communites hosted on Wikiversity. At the time I thought this could be a big win for Wikiversity, with lots and lots of specialized communities running their own publications, and if there's a split within such a community, no problem, they can simply fision the community into parts each of which can publish separately. I figured something like Wikinews's arrangement with flaggedrevs might be used — but there are a variety of technical and social problems one would need to address; it could be highly successful if one could hit on an easy-to-use, flexible, and effective model for operating these publications, but would be a flop if not done right. Frankly Wikinews was, and is, still trying to work out various logistical challenges of publication workflow in its relatively simple case, so that it seemed severely premature to go proselytizing its use in a more complicated context. But then again, well-timed brainstorming can be invaluable for moving things forward. Sometimes the best way to win big is to think big. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 02:37, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

English Wikiversity has Wikiversity:Vision where people were encouraged each year to vision where they would like to see happen at Wikiversity each year, but I think it hasn't seen any activity since 2012. -- darklama  13:22, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the pointer, Darklama, I've not seen that before. I've had a little idea this year about encouraging learning blogs at Wikiversity, and have tinkered with an aggregator script for these so that there's a central RSS feed and overview page. That'd be on my 2015 plan perhaps. :) — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 00:23, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Media Viewer is now live on this wiki[edit]


Media Viewer lets you see images in larger size

Greetings,

The Wikimedia Foundation's Multimedia team is happy to announce that Media Viewer was just released on this site today.

Media Viewer displays images in larger size when you click on their thumbnails, to provide a better viewing experience. Users can now view images faster and more clearly, without having to jump to separate pages — and its user interface is more intuitive, offering easy access to full-resolution images and information, with links to the file repository for editing. The tool has been tested extensively across all Wikimedia wikis over the past six months as a Beta Feature and has been released to the largest Wikipedias, all language Wikisources, and the English Wikivoyage already.

If you do not like this feature, you can easily turn it off by clicking on "Disable Media Viewer" at the bottom of the screen, pulling up the information panel (or in your your preferences) whether you have an account or not. Learn more in this Media Viewer Help page.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about Media Viewer. You are invited to share your feedback in this discussion on MediaWiki.org in any language, to help improve this feature. You are also welcome to take this quick survey in English, en français, o español.

We hope you enjoy Media Viewer. Many thanks to all the community members who helped make it possible. - Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 21:54, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

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Leaflet For Wikiversity At Wikimania 2014[edit]

Project Leaflet WikiProject Medicine back and front v1.png

Hi all,

My name is Adi Khajuria and I am helping out with Wikimania 2014 in London.

One of our initiatives is to create leaflets to increase the discoverability of various wikimedia projects, and showcase the breadth of activity within wikimedia. Any kind of project can have a physical paper leaflet designed - for free - as a tool to help recruit new contributors. These leaflets will be printed at Wikimania 2014, and the designs can be re-used in the future at other events and locations.

This is particularly aimed at highlighting less discoverable but successful projects, e.g:

• Active Wikiprojects: Wikiproject Medicine, WikiProject Video Games, Wikiproject Film

• Tech projects/Tools, which may be looking for either users or developers.

• Less known major projects: Wikinews, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.

• Wiki Loves Parliaments, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves ____

• Wikimedia thematic organisations, Wikiwomen’s Collaborative, The Signpost

For more information or to sign up for one for your project, go to:
Project leaflets
Adikhajuria (discusscontribs) 09:38, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

(I moved this notice here from the Collquium talk page. Hope that's okay.) I think it'd be terrific for Wikiversity to have a leaflet. — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 00:18, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Range contributions[edit]

For a long time, for me, Special:Contributions doesn't seem to be working with either ranges or prefixes. I get back nothing. For example, Ab* doesn't return my contribs, I see "User account "Ab*" is not registered." I have the Contributions Range gadget enabled, and I see this in the Contributions display, "Javascript-enhanced contributions lookup 0.2 enabled. You may enter a CIDR range or append an asterisk to do a prefix search." But entering 184.7.83.0/16 gives me the same "not registered" response, even though I know from an active vandal that there are contributions for 184.7.83.138 and 184.7.84.151. I do see the "expand" button. What's happening? --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:03, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

The mediawiki software at some point began to add the not registered message for users not registered, which the gadget needed to hide. "Ab*" has never worked because the Gadget requires the prefix be at least 3 characters long not counting the "*". "Abd*" works though. I do not know why "184.7.83.0/16" wasn't working before, but its working for me now. As a bonus, I updated what information is presented to include similar information as present for a single user. You may need to clear your web browser's cache and/or wait 30 days due to server-side caching before all changes are affective. -- darklama  15:35, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. "184.7.*" works. The range "184.7.83.0/21" (an actual global range block in effect) still does not. I need this because I request global blocking of abusive IP, and prefer to do the homework first, i.e, are there positive contributions on the range? However what is really needed is a *global* IP range contributions tool. Krinkle ([12]) works with wildcards but not with CIDR ranges. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:33, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
The gadget only supports /8, /16, /24, and /27 through 32 because of limits imposed by the mediawiki api supposedly. I'm looking at options, but so far support for IP addresses seems to be very limited. -- darklama  00:59, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Could documentation on this be shown or linked from the Contributions display when the gadget is active? /16 works fine with the range I was looking at. I wasted a lot of time assuming that if it used CIDR ranges, it would use CIDR ranges the same as a range block! (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abd (talkcontribs) .)
The gadget should work with /8 and above now. I found X!'s Range Contributions tool which can properly do all ranges, but is missing information like this gadget was. -- darklama  19:02, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Wow! Spectacular! Wondering what you did, I looked. You edited MediaWiki:Gadget-contribsrange.js. 184.7.83.0/21 now worked, contrary to what the introduction still says.

Wikimania 2014[edit]

Can anyone coming to Wikimania 2014, check the proposed Wikiversity Meetup.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (discusscontribs) 13:17, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Category as a subpage???[edit]

Which is the more appropriate category for all quizzes associated with Physics equations?

  1. [[Category:Physics equations wikiquizzes]]
  2. [[Category:Physics equations/wikiquizzes]]

If it doesn't matter, I would go with the second because the quiz category would be listed in the main category.--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 23:41, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Looking at subcategories of Category:Quizzes suggests [[Category:Physics equations quizzes]]. FWIW, Wikibooks does what I think you are considering, with [[Category:Book name]] added to "Category:Book name/Subcategory". Could make sense to do the same for Wikiversity resources. -- darklama  23:55, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks  darklama . Sub-categories are great. --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 23:59, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

new section[edit]

--87.16.36.111 (discuss) 17:03, 23 June 2014 (UTC) hi to all

hello and welcome!--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 19:03, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Category occurring oddly[edit]

In the resource radiation history there is reference number 97. which contains: "Cadran solaire dans l'Égypte antiqueCategory:Articles containing non-English-language text, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. March 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-24. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help). Without the colon as included here, I've looked at the reference in edit mode and the reference is fine, but when the resource is loaded as a full page the above occurs at reference 97. Any suggestions would be appreciated. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:39, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

The {{Lang}} template is causing this. The easiest solution would be to remove the call to Lang and just include the French text. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:39, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
{{cite web}} has a |language= parameter to achieve similar results. I went ahead and fixed it using that parameter to show by example how to do it in the future. -- darklama  00:24, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both for the help, solution, example, and good advice. I've made notes of each which should prevent me from having this occur again. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:03, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

UploadWizard[edit]

UploadWizard is a MediaWiki extension that greatly simplifies the process for uploading files to a MediaWiki wiki. To see the UploadWizard in operation, visit Commons:Special:UploadWizard. In order to activate the extension here at Wikiversity, we need community consensus to do so. Please discuss as needed and then reply to this thread and indicate Symbol support vote.svg Support or Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose the addition of this extension. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support - I've used upload wizard on commons and found it easy and efficient. As I recall it also allows us to specify fair use images and provide appropriate licensing information before the upload can occur. This may help us to obtain proper licensing per image at the time of upload or prevent upload without licensing info. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:13, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Non-existent page text needs change from admin[edit]

Wikivoyage If you check for a page that does not exist (e.g. asdlfkjo348fj0349jf), there are suggestions to search other WMF projects but Wikivoyage is absent. Can someone please add this? Thanks. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:05, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

YesY Done - If anyone needs to find this in the future, it's in MediaWiki:Newarticletext. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:52, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy[edit]

See also: b:Wikibooks:Reading room/Proposals#Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy.

I believe that the paid contributions disclosure policy effected by the Foundation is broad enough to potentially affect anyone who happens to use Wikiversity for off-Wikiversity education, including, for instance, participating in a Wikiversity collaborative project with the intent of getting a course credit at the institution, or making course materials available to the students as part of one’s job as an instructor. (As part of these obligations, you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation.)

The policy, however, allows any individual Wikimedia wiki to adopt its own, alternative policy, by the means of the community consensus. One such policy has recently been implemented at the Wikimedia Commons, and reads: The Wikimedia Commons community does not require any disclosure of paid contributions from its contributor.

I hereby propose that a similarly relaxed, or perhaps identical, alternative paid contributions policy is adopted for the English Wikiversity just as well.

So far, Commons seem to be the only project to adopt an alternative paid contribution disclosure policy.

Ivan Shmakov (dc) 07:42, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Over at en.wn, we've talked about adopting an alternative policy; our concern is that accusations of paid editing may be a weapon of choice for those seeking to expel someone from the wikimedian community, and en.wn as the recipient of much flak from some unscrupulous quarters should protect itself against specious attacks. Since I gather en.wv also takes a lot of flak, I'd encourage you to adopt an alternative policy. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 11:55, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
See Wikiversity:Research guidelines#Disclosures, which has existed long before the global Wikimedia community decided to do something. -- darklama  12:47, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Did you note that the WMF policy now in effect covers each and every contribution, – not just ones related to research?
For instance, I’ve just started writing (rather, mostly translating) the AVR programming introduction course here. If I’ve done that as part of my job (as in: part of my job is to make my course’s materials available to my students), while not disclosing it (and surely I didn’t) – I’ve just breached the new policy, and thus ToU, and may be subject to a legal action!
Think of Comparative law and justice, for instance, which is a student-written collaborative resource comparing the law and justice systems of countries around the world. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from the prior discussions I’ve got that the students have participated in this project with the intent of getting a course credit. Under the new policy, if such a student has somehow failed to disclose its affiliation (school), – it will be a violation of the new ToU.
To me, it’s quite a harsh treatment of what’s otherwise a harmless activity.
Ivan Shmakov (dc) 21:25, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

This Month in Education: July 2014[edit]

14:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

If this message is not on your home wiki's talk page, update your subscription.

learn software of computer[edit]

--117.239.47.178 (discuss) 09:06, 17 July 2014 (UTC) how to learn computer software?

It depends on whether by computer software you mean to learn computer applications or to learn computer programming. If you are looking for computer applications, try Computer Skills followed by Key Applications. If you are looking for computer programming, see Programming. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Sciences category[edit]

Just today a bot, specifically JackBot, changed 19 resources from being in the Category:Sciences to Category:Science. I've used both categories but do not consider them equivalent. It's a bit like the differences between languages and linguistics. Perhaps I have not been clearly differentiating between the two, but why has a bot decided to eliminate the former in preference for the latter? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Comment left for User:JackBot to reach consensus before continuing. According to bot rules, the bot must stop with a comment on its talk page. If it continues, post at Wikiversity:RCA so someone can block the bot until consensus is reached. I'll be offline most of the day today. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I was treating Special:UncategorizedPages when I noticed these two categories, not linked between themselves (the former one was linked to nothing actually). If it had been Category:Sciences names I wouldn't have touched it, but in this case it seemed too much confusing and stubby to me. Moreover I based my judgment on the interwiki architecture and the former category content (eg: Relational biology in Category:Sciences vs Biology in Category:Science), which you can see here. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 12:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I have looked at the Category:Science and noticed it has been placed immediately below the top Wikiversity category of Category:Contents. This top category contains only Category:Constructs‎, Category:Humanities‎, Category:Science, and Category:Engineering. The Category:Sciences would be better in this top category than Category:Science. The latter category also contains entities, sources, and objects of interest to science, as well as the sciences. May I suggest that the category within the top category be changed to Category:Sciences rather than Category:Science. I also have a resource Sciences which may be helpful in distinguishing between science and sciences. At present there is no science resource but I would like to create one to example the entities and things that are a focus for science as well as the scientific method. There is the resource What is science? that science redirects to. Engineering is often considered its own plural. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 16:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There is some duplicate effort going on here. See Category:Categories which is described as the root category for Wikiversity, Category:Schools which is like a main category for all topics that are further organized into Category:Departments which are further organized into <subject> department categories, and there are also some School of <subject> categories as well. I would favor some simplification there, but am also inclined to create a Resources by topic category to go in Category:Resources to act as the main category for all resources organized by topic as well. -- darklama  13:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be a one or two step process to go from Category:Categories to Category:Contents. From a student's, teacher's, contributor's point of view what would be the best way to resolve this? Or, would a more diverse or all-encompassing structure that touches each be more helpful to newcomers and current contributors and participants alike? For example, Category:Categories could be in Category:Contents and vice versa, or would this create some kind of boom-loop? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 20:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Participants can click Wikiversity:Browse from the sidebar to start browsing Wikiversity. Category:Resources has been the main category for all main namespace contents up to this point, and its subcategories fill some of the lists for Wikiversity:Browse. I think Category:Contents should be renamed to describe its intended use more clearly, like resources by topic. I think topics could be connected through Category:CategoriesCategory:ResourcesCategory:Resources by topic → Category:<Topic>. Wikiversity:Browse could then list all resource topics as well while using a consistent category structure. -- darklama  22:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps Category:Contents could be renamed (moved) to Category:Resources by contents under Category:Resources. Category:Resources by topic may connote Category:Resources by department (or topic), which is also a good idea. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:37, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

{{BookCat}}?[edit]

BTW, speaking of uncategorized pages, the edits such as 1187784 should use {{BookCat}} (or {{BookCat|filing = deep}}, if necessary) instead of hard-coding the category name, if only to facilitate possible future renaming.

Similarly, I’d ask that the explicit categories of the Lua course subpages be replaced with the {{BookCat}} template invocations. (FWIW, I’d volunteer to perform this task myself, via my ISbot robot; see luxo:ISbot, for instance.) For one thing, this will make the members listed on the eponymous category page dispersed across different letters (‘B’ for Background, ‘S’ for Scribunto/Lua, etc.), instead of all being grouped together under ‘L’.

Ivan Shmakov (dc) 13:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I like using this template on Wikibooks, but here I would rather deploy {{CourseCat}} instead. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 16:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I’ve checked {{CourseCat}}, and it’s still a redirect to {{BookCat}}, – just as it was when I’ve created it a week ago. Personally, I have no strong preference for either name. — Ivan Shmakov (dc) 17:55, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Lua is done. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
All right, that's much better like that. I'll adopt it for the remaining Special:UncategorizedPages. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 11:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Fiction, popular culture[edit]

Are there any classes about fiction here? I mean fiction is not typical for a classroom, but Wikipedia outlandishly has articles about popular culture, so why don't we have lessons about Caillou or Teletubbies or Duckman or Mona the Vampire or etc.?

I mean it would be quite silly to see:

"Are you ready for the test on Teletubbies?"

But since Wikipedia has articles on everything don't you think we should have lessons on everything as well?LalalalaSta (discusscontribs) 04:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Notability Wikipedia operates on guidelines of notability so not everything is supposed to have an article. Have you checked Wikiversity:FAQ? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I know about Wikipedia's notability. What I'm talking about here is Wikiversity's inclusion of popular culture. Why do we not have articles on many important subjects of popular culture, such as Teletubbies? LalalalaSta (discusscontribs) 04:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is a real request or just a troll. If it's a real request, be bold! Start a course on television and film studies or children's television. But be careful to contextualize your lessons on the educational aspects of the topic. Previous efforts on this type of content have not had educational objectives and were either speedy deleted or proposed for slow deletion. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Tech writing community still active?[edit]

Hello everybody,

My name is Andrew Pfeiffer and I'm still one of those "emerging academics". I have many passions and I am very impressed by all the good work going on here, but I'm not quite sure how to get started. . . My immediate interest is technical writing (also, basic computer science and English writing). Your tech writing course looks serious and helpful, and also decently well-viewed, but it seems that no one has modified any pages in quite some time. If there are still people involved in teaching or taking that course, where would I find them and get in touch with them?

Thank you for your suggestions! —Andrew Pfeiffer (discusscontribs) 16:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Welcome Andrew! You can try posting something on the talk page of pages you are interested in, or here in the Colloquium for a wider call. But you are correct that the technical writing course does not appear to have anyone currently maintaining it. That gives you the opportunity to be bold and contribute wherever you'd like. My personal recommendation would be to find a page or course that you know a little bit about, and when you look at the content already here you say to yourself, 'Someone should fix that.' You're that someone. Jump in and make it better. And ask questions whenever you have them. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks, Dave! Looking forward to talking with you all soon. Andrew Pfeiffer (discusscontribs) 21:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)