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Dependency tree to represent requirements for courses[edit]

Hello everyone,

I have this idea in mind now for a long time. We could try to connect the different courses by drawing a tree of dependencies. The basic use case would be that you need for instance a good understanding of probability distributions and linear algebra to understand the concepts of machine learning. This would then be represented by a dependency tree connecting probability and linear algebra separately to machine learning. A student could then take machine learning as a goal, then mark the courses s/he has already taken and then take the remaining dependencies until s/he can take machine learning. As an example, I have a good understanding of linear algebra, but want to retake probability. So I mark linear algebra which leaves me probability as a last dependency before I can/should take machine learning.

How does this sound? Could this be an improvement for wikiversity?

--Underworldguardian (discusscontribs) 14:05, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Benelot (underworldguy), We have Extension:CategoryTree installed. If you wish to do the work, you can use tight categorization that mirrors and tracks the structure you want. You can also use a subpage structure to hold a dependency or prerequisite chart together. Wikiversity is fairly free-form, self-service and brutally open. If you wish to tackle it, I suggest writing it out in brainstorm fashion on Talk:Machine learning or perhaps on Machine learning as a sub-page, Machine learning/concepts or similar. You can get really personal about it by creating User:Benelot/machine learning. Cheers! - CQ (discusscontribs) 16:36, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Extension request[edit]

mw:Extension:Education Program has been requested via the Mailing list. Thoughts? - CQ (discusscontribs) 15:56, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Comments and questions[edit]

I looked at the description for Wikipedia and must confess it makes no sense to me. Having said that, as long as it is voluntary and does not conflict with our usual openness, I'm in favor of it. I've been spending a lot of time on Wikipedia lately and have seen no signs of any Wikipedia Education Program, other than the usual. Is it for off-site use to bring in more editors? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 23:45, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

I think what gets added by the extension can be seen at Wikipedia:Special:SpecialPages#Education. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:11, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
w:Special:Institutions shows the top level. The extension creates a number of Special pages. - CQ (discusscontribs) 00:48, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I found it by searching for "Wikipedia Education Program" on Wikipedia. Generally, it seems to be a program usually from off-site educational centers to help potential editors to learn about Wikipedia, use Wikipedia, and with guidance editing designated entries to improve them. It can and does include research focused on Wikipedia projects like medicine. The number of such programs and off-site courses is large. It's an interesting idea perhaps motivated by the steady decline in new, successful editors for Wikipedia. Ultimately, it may turn out to be far more successful with the Wikiversities. Let's do it! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:47, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

This looks really exciting. Colleges and universities moving towards the w:Flipped classroom, and the wiki sisters should get involved, even though Wikipedia seems to be tripping over the jargon used to describe this trend (see LMS). At the moment the successful ventures seem to be commercial (see w:Category:Learning_management_systems, but this might change someday: The wikis never go bankrupt or get sold and have only improved (albeit at a slow rate). I am concerned that I can't seem to search into the middle of the alphabet in the long list of w:Special:Institutions, but that will eventually be fixed I'm sure. One advantage the wikisisters have over the commercial ventures is that we can so easily link in and out of Wikipedia.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 23:38, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - I think this extension, although there would be a lot of UI design to do, may get us forward to have "collaborative learning communities", such as free and open online courses (compare to MOOCS). --Teemu (discusscontribs) 16:05, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Dear All,

I just noticed this topic in the TOC when I saved my last edit. How fortuitous. I am the Education Program Extension's defacto spokesperson on the education program team at the Wikimedia Foundation. This page might be useful to your discussion: Outreach:Education/Extension. I hope you don't mind that I've added English Wikiversity under Possible Installations. :) If there is consensus to enable the extension on your project, please follow the steps listed here to request installation on Phabricator and please CC me in the task so that I can follow its progress and help out if needed. If I can answer any questions about the extension or be of further assistance to you in this discussion, please don't hesitate to ping me.

All the best, AKoval (WMF) (discusscontribs) 22:54, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Chemistry Lesson Plans[edit]

I have an idea for creating a resource for new high school teachers that would provide one way to teach an entire year of a class like Chemistry using Lesson Plans developed via best practices. I am new to Wikiversity and have not yet found an area where this type of resource is being developed.

Is this a new idea or is there an appropriate section that is already doing this that I should be looking at?

Is this an appropriate use of Wikiversity or should I go elsewhere?

Thanks Exothermic101 (discusscontribs) 19:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Have a look at School:Chemistry and Category:Chemistry to get a sense for existing users, methods and resources. I see that you're already active at Topic:High School Chemistry. Carry on! - CQ (discusscontribs) 21:00, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, this is definitely an appropriate use of Wikiversity. I've moved the Topic page to High School Chemistry. Topics are intended as department discussion pages rather than content pages. As you are developing this as a content learning project, it should be named appropriately. The primary difference is that Topic pages do not appear in default searches. If you are going to develop content, we want people to be able to find it. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:23, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to create PNG thumbnails of static GIF images[edit]

The thumbnail of this gif is of really bad quality.
How a PNG thumb of this GIF would look like

There is a proposal at the Commons Village Pump requesting feedback about the thumbnails of static GIF images: It states that static GIF files should have their thumbnails created in PNG. The advantages of PNG over GIF would be visible especially with GIF images using an alpha channel. (compare the thumbnails on the side)

This change would affect all wikis, so if you support/oppose or want to give general feedback/concerns, please post them to the proposal page. Thank you. --McZusatz (talk) & MediaWiki message delivery (discusscontribs) 05:07, 24 July 2015 (UTC)


Why Wikiversity is not yet a Wikidata supported project? — Green Zero обг 15:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure one way or the other on this. How do you know Wikiversity is not a Wikidata supported project? Further, what would we do if we wanted to be supported by Wikidata if we are not? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:48, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I also looked at Wikidata and can't figure out what it's all about. People that smart wouldn't work that hard on something and accomplish nothing. But what is it? How can Wikiversity use it?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Like all the sisters, Wikidata is a tool whose purpose is somewhat dependent on who you ask. It's an entity-relationship database, seeking to embody all knowledge about... well, about the world and about the sister projects. It's in some ways similar to Wikipedia and in others a wanna-be replacement for all the other sisters. They imagine (in a sadly not-well-thought-out way) that they can embody information in a language-/sister-independent way so that stuff for other languages/sisters can be generated automatically instead of being entered separately for each project. Unfortunately,  (1) Wikidata's stance toward information is fundamentally encylopedic, so that attempting to use it on non-Wikipedian sisters tends to undermine the infrastructure of non-Wikipedian sisters, magnifying the destructive imposition of Wikipedian tactics where they aren't appropriate;  (2) centralizing the data maximizes the impact of any act of vandalism, or for that matter of any mistake, by spreading it over many projects, while minimizing the ablity of local project communities to fix or even notice the problem;  (3) by reducing local control by individual projects over their own content, it subtly and pervasively undermines the morale of all the local project communities. The particular application Wikidata is first put to on any given sister is the automatic generation of interwikis, a purpose for which, alas, it is mildly unsuited on Wikipedia and becomes progressively more unsuited as the structure of the sister project gets more un-Wikipedia-like. The two sisters most unlike Wikipedia are, in my experience, Wikiversity and Wikinews. Wikinews is now "supported" by Wikidata, and it's been a quietly bad thing for Wikinews — which I don't expect you'd ever get the folks responsible to admit, as they're too busy crowing about what a huge success Wikidata is.
In the particular case of interwikis, consider their purpose: they exist to aid the reader, when looking at a page, to find that page's analog in other languages. The way Wikidata is used to generate interwikis is not driven by aiding the reader, though. Each page on a supported sister project can be linked from one, and only one, item on Wikidata. Two pages on different-language editions of a given sister are then automatically interwiki'd to each other if and only if they are linked from the same Wikidata item. But Wikidata is an ontology; if two concepts are slightly different, they should have separate items — which minimizes the occasions on which two pages get automatically interwiki'd to each other. In theory, projects can still manually add interwikis on individual pages than override the automatic interwiki linking by Wikidata; but of course as things are atm that cannot happen in practice. It goes against human nature. Once Wikidata supports interwikis for a given sister, people go around systematically removing all the manual interwikis on pages all over each project, on the assumption that anything centralized and automated must be better; and there is now no systematic way to make up for the systematic failings of Wikidata's interwikis. The only other at-all systematic mechanism for managing interwikis was the interwiki bots that are now being dismantled on the assumption that with Wikidata they are no longer needed. (Could this be fixed? Yes, but it would require significant improvements to wiki infrastructure. One could have manual interwikis on each sister page, and then also for each sister page a prioritized list of Wikidata items on which to look for appropriate interwiki links; when any of the relevant Wikidata items is modified in a way that affects the choice of interwikis, the sister page would flag itself out for attention by a human user on the sister project, who could then consider whether to change the local interwikis, change the Wikidata item, or what.) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 11:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

22 July in the Wikidata I tried to add Colloquium to the other Village pumps. But I was told that this is impossible. (d:Talk:Q16503#Wikiversity Village pumps) — Green Zero обг 17:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

A possible example of how Wikiversity could use Wikidata is in Dutch learning project Nature. In this learning project we want to be able to determine flowers using their colour. On the English Wiversity you have learning project Bloom Clock that does something similar. See for example a list of pink flowers: I started a discussion on the Project chat of Wikidata project, see Timboliu (discusscontribs) 11:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

What does a Healthy Community look like to you?[edit]

Community Health Cover art News portal.png

The Community Engagement department at the Wikimedia Foundation has launched a new learning campaign. The WMF wants to record community impressions about what makes a healthy online community. Share your views and/or create a drawing and take a chance to win a Wikimania 2016 scholarship! Join the WMF as we begin a conversation about Community Health. Contribute a drawing or answer the questions on the campaign's page.

Why get involved?[edit]

The world is changing. The way we relate to knowledge is transforming. As the next billion people come online, the Wikimedia movement is working to bring more users on the wiki projects. The way we interact and collaborate online are key to building sustainable projects. How accessible are Wikimedia projects to newcomers today? Are we helping each other learn?
Share your views on this matter that affects us all!
We invite everyone to take part in this learning campaign. Wikimedia Foundation will distribute one Wikimania Scholarship 2016 among those participants who are eligible.

More information[edit]

Happy editing!

MediaWiki message delivery (discusscontribs) 23:42, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

A healthy community is a divers community. I think the Wikimedia project can become more divers if projects like the Wikiversities get more attention. In the Netherlands, for example, everybody knows about Wikipedia, just a few people know about Wikiversity. To promote Wikiversity we could start a discussion or come up with a proposel. Who has any thoughts on this? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 15:13, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Topic namespace borked[edit]

See [1]. Clicking on any page, I get a message
Bad title
The requested page title was invalid. Pages in the Topic namespace are automatically created by Flow.

Did someone implement Flow here? Extension:Flow I need to stem the Flow of foam from my mouth....

I see that the extension is installed, and was recently updated. I thought these things were not done without local request or consultation. I know little about Flow, but I know that the predecessor Liquid Threads was known for completely garbaging namespaces, I saw it happen with a wiki. There is a Special command, Special:EnableFlow. To use it requires being in the group Flowbots. There is one user in that page, created today. User:Flow talk page manager. I'm going to continue looking into this, but want to post this immediately. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:55, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

It's not confirmed, but it appears that Flow was implemented WMF-wide with no announcement and discussion. This is one of a fair number of abrupt WMF developer actions, some of which have caused widespread disruption. In this case, Flow appears to assume that no Topic namespace already exists. We just might be the only wiki affected, because we may have the only pre-existing namespace with that name. All wikis now have a Topic namespace, and you can see it on enwikipedia, where flow has been under test for about two years. We are probably the only one with a Topic talk namespace. We now have two Topic namespaces with the same name. All links into the existing Topic namespace fail, because they are first looking for the Flow topic namespace, and the pagenames don't exist there. We will probably need developer intervention. Hopefully, the Flow namespace can be changed. I know it is possible for it to be different, because on fr.wikiversity, it is called Sujet. So here it could be called Subject. Support?

Hi, sorry about this, it was completely unintentional. Flow was supposed to be deployed but not enabled on any pages so if people asked for specific pages to be Flow enabled, it could be done easier, without involving developers and sysadmins. But we missed that the Topic namespace conflicts with the content "Topic" namespace here. I've disabled Flow entirely here (and on the Japanese Wikiversity) until that can be figured out. Legoktm (discusscontribs) 06:36, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the prompt response. We will discuss the name to be used here. Maybe it will be Topic, if Dave's proposal has legs! --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:25, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Topic Namespace[edit]

We have been brought to a crossroad. The discussion tool mw:Flow uses the Topic: namespace to manage content discussions. Flow can be implemented in a different namespace, however, at this point it appears that we would be the only English-language wiki to do so. We can also change / rename the Topic namespace to something else and move/rename existing Topic: resources.

Of the choices available, I would advocate for renaming the Topic: namespace. It's use is confusing now, and will be exponentially more confusing once everyone else in the world is trained to recognize Topic: as a Flow discussion. I see that Wikipedia uses a Wikipedia: Project namespace for their collaboration efforts. Perhaps Wikiversity: Topic would work here, retaining the history of Topic while moving the content to the Wikiversity: namespace.

Technically, moving/renaming all of the Topic pages and correcting the links can be accomplished by bot relatively easily. So, the decision should be based on what is best for Wikiversity, not how much work would be involved.

What does the community want to do? Do we use a different namespace for Flow? If so, what? Do we use a different name for Topic:? If so, what? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:56, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Dave, your analysis I found a bit fuzzy. There really are two separate issues here. Flow does not necessarily use a namespace called Topic. If I'm correct, as it was written, it uses a namespace that means topic in the wiki language, and the bug was that it did not check for the pre-existence of that namespace name. This also hit, apparently, two other wikis, including ja.wikiversity. One of the problems here is that they did not communicate with the communities about what they wanted. In my opinion, for English, Topic is actually a poor name. Flow might be much better. There are two issues here, so I will separate them. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:00, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Flow namespace[edit]

Flow uses a distinct namespace for Flow discussions. I recommend that before we ask for Flow to be re-enabled, we investigate Flow. I did experience a MediaWiki installation where the manager had a bright idea to install Liquid Threads, and did it unilaterally. It caused massive disruption. I hated LT at first, and so did most, because people were very accustomed to using MediaWiki. While LT procedures might seem intuitive to the software developers, they often are not to users, who are diverse, and, bottom line, everyone has years invested in things working in an accustomed way. So good upgrades allow integration with the old. LT, it turned out, could not be converted back to standard MediaWiki without massive database work. Irreversible changes to software? Ick.

Now, while I had some fear that this would be irreversible, when I investigated more, I became clear that the problem was probably very simple and that Flow had not damaged the database, it merely made it impossible to read the existing Topic pages while Flow was installed, because of the namespace conflict. So the first question has two aspects: Do we want to allow Flow to be implemented, and then what is the namespace? It is already the case that Flow namespaces vary. There is no reason to make an emergency need to massively modify the existing namespace and all links to it, including links in history that might come back, just to deal with Flow. I'm sure that when developers re-enable Flow, we can have a different namespace. I recommend Flow, as my first thought. It is specific, and informative, and will not cause confusion. In actual usage, the namespace is automatic on pages with Flow enabled, if I'm correct. As the error message pointed out, we cannot create Flow namespace names, it appears they are automatic and not human-understandable, they are merely unique. See [2], the MediaWikiwiki Flow namespace, called "Topic."

MediWikiwiki also has Thread and Thread talk namespaces. There are links to Thread: pages that appear to connect with Flow pages in the Topic namespace. Look at this mess, preserved as "entertainment." There are many Flow issues, and I'd want at least a few users here to be very familiar with Flow before we allow it. On the other hand, if it is *safe*, i.e., if changes are reversible, if Flow pages can be converted back to standard MediaWiki, then I would be in favor of at least experimenting with it. It could, however, bifurcate our community into those who know how to use Flow and who are comfortable with it, and those who are not. The Flow team set up the page to be used to report problems to be a Flow page, and I had a devil of a time creating that report, initially, my work kept disappearing, etc. I eventually noticed the symbol at the bottom allowing the use of normal wikitext, but by then I'd already managed to stumble through the process. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:00, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

+1 for putting Flow (whatever it is but assuming it is WMF-endorsed and that some people might want to experiment with it) in a namespace called Flow -- Jtneill - Talk - c 10:57, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

The Topic namespace[edit]

Wikiversity started out with a set of enthusiastic users with little experience. You can see draft policies that were never implemented, structures, and ... the namespace structure. As far as I can tell, the community never clearly defined many things, and as a result, thousands of users did whatever seemed right to them. So we had -- and still have -- many mainspace resources that are probably not appropriate for top-level mainspace, and the Topic and School and Portal namespaces, someone explain them to me clearly, I still don't get it. Believe me, if it is not clear to me, it is not clear to most users. That doesn't mean that the user doesn't have an idea. They have ideas. Many ideas. That don't match, because we never did the work to find consensus and clarify these things. When consensus was not quick, the early Wikiversitans just punted. It's a very wiki thing to do.

Wikis, as they normally develop, are not good for building well-organized and reliable structures, unless the users are highly motivated, and most users don't want to get involved with difficult structural issues. They just want to do their own work, and indeed, the goal of those who do care about structure should bem, my opinion and stand, to enabled and empower them. They, educated users (and materials that document this and make it more widely available) are our product, not just the materials.

Wikiversity is, in the WMF structure, unique, and that uniqueness is largely, though not entirely, in the English Wikiversity, I can say, having a little other-language Wikiversity experience now (and a lot of non-WV experience!). We can be a model and a light, but one of the things that inhibits this is that others come, look at our "structure," i.e., the mess, and run in horror. As well, they vote to shut down wikiversity as a haven for trolls and fringe theorists and nut cases. However, consider the general opinion of society on academia. Common: Ivory-tower, flaming liberals, and did you read about that pedophile-apologist, Harris Mirkin, who wanted to legalize pedophilia? (See Sexual politics) (Mirkin was not an apologist for pedophilia, he was a political science professor, head of his department, who dared to publish an article, in a peer-reviewed journal, on the political phases that highly controversial topics can go through. The state legislature voted to cut the university budget by $50,000 because of the flap. The university defended him, and he died some years later, head of his department.) Will we defend our "radicals"?

We have, in the past, and it has sometimes been disruptive. I was indef blocked here for standing for consensus, filing an RCA on what I saw as disruptive activity, and which was really disruptive activity, if carefully examined. My unblock template stood with no action for two years, that's how far down our custodial process fell. Now, you can look at RCA, and with what I did yesterday, you can immediately see, color-coded, what's needed with request templates.

Let's do this right. Sanely determining our namespace usage is not likely to be "wiki." I.e., quick. I suggest a working group, users interested in small scale, but detailed, research and discussion, preparing a report to go to the community. If one other user is interested, we have a structure for such discussions, the Wikiversity:Assembly, which is also an experiment in an attempt to expand our understanding of consensus. It's been totally inactive since I was blocked for two years, and I haven't pushed it at all. It's just an option, and the Assembly was not designed to be a government, but an advisory body. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:00, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

+1 for moving content from little used namespaces (such as Topic, School, Portal) into the main space and then removing those namespaces. These namespaces were set up as experiments and really haven't taken off and IMHO serve little purpose other than to add unnecessary complexity to the structure. However, if Flow is enabled into a currently non-used namespace, then then this can be treated a separate issue. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 11:01, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

About Wikiversity[edit]

I'm making this into a subtopic, it begins with an answer to my post of 16:00, 4 August 2015, above. Please discuss Topic namespace above! --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:45, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

@Abd: Totally agreed. I think that wv is a little bit of a rogue amongst WMF projects because it's not really clear what the scope of it is and even a decade after being founded, it's like the Wild West in terms of content. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:11, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Consider what it meant to be the Wild West. It was a dangerous, difficult, and often undisciplined place, but should it have been therefore nuked?
The Wikiversity scope was deliberately maximally broad. There were two description: one was relatively staid, "educational materials." I think of class handouts that the teacher mimeographs prints and hands out. Wikibooks was for textbooks. Can we have very small textbooks? Okay, that's educational materials. There are plenty of Wikibooks that are wild like Wikiversity, because the wiki "designers," if we want to call them that, did not factor for the difficulties of maintenance. Hey, it's a wiki! It can only get better! Right? The reality: some does and some doesn't. Wikis are not magic.
The other description was "learning by doing." Learning what? Academic subjects only? How about How to build a pykrete bong, the standard Wikiversity punching bag. But I know children and teenagers, especially, give them freedom and they build an entire new world, using what they find, or creating it anew. Some of us don't want a new world, and dig in our heels to try to stop it. But it's useless, we don't survive, survival is a game we always lose, unless we see our own survival in those who come after us.
Showing them how to learn (by demonstrating it) is far more effective than trying to teach them what we have learned. Fishing vs. fish. Fishing lasts a lifetime, fish rot and smell bad very quickly. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:54, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
What we can do is to offer the tools we have developed, maybe share some of our own mistakes, so they don't have to repeat them unless they want to check it out, but control them? No way. Attempts to do it generate screwed up kids, often emotionally and socially disabled.
@Abd: No doubt. Being the Wild West means that you can also go all kinds of places and make all kinds of content. Some of it very good, some of it very not, and some of it very weird. The fact that things are so loose here means that we can do some interesting and useful experimentation. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:15, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Folks, let me introduce Koavf, in case you don't know. This is the user whose account breaks edit counters, they give up. 1.5 million contributions cross-wiki. Now, a little point. Look at his block log. It's long.
My Wikipedia Review signature has:
Abd's first law: To change the world, it must be easy.
Abd's corollary: If it's hard, we aren't doing it in the best way, or the world isn't ready to change yet.
Wikipedia Rule Number One: If a rule prevents you from improving the project, ignore it.
Corollary Number One: If you haven't been blocked, you aren't trying hard enough.
Some people are blocked because they are idiots unskilled. Some because they are trolls or have a disruptive agenda.
And some because they are working hard, and, not only will this correlate with more errors, if you follow Wikipedia Rule Number One, you will break rules, and sooner or later someone will enforce the rule. Wikipedia set up a very interesting experiment, but forgot that it was an experiment. The setup conditions rapidly became The Way We Do Things, and deviation became punishable. Some truly excellent users still work within that system, but by the time I ran into serious idiocy opposition, they were leaving in large numbers. The best -- those who tended to support my work, naturally! -- were retiring, formally or otherwise. Some soldier on.
So a special welcome to you, Koavf. We will be, I hope, developing some resources on wiki editing, best practices, etc. Your views would certainly be welcome. Unless, of course, you are wrong about something.
Just kidding. The right to be wrong is crucial. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:02, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
@Abd: No doubt. I've always meant to branch out to more WMF projects and this one is definitely interesting because of its wide scope. I've posted a couple of feelers (you can see in my contributions) for studying Spanish and chess collaboratively but I haven't made any serious efforts on here yet. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:08, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: While collaboration here is wonderful when it happens, this tends to be more like the desert areas in the Wild West. Most resources are developed by someone working alone. Or sometimes, years later, someone else pops in.
What is especially interesting here is the possibility of deep exploration of topics, with original research (which includes developed personal opinions). On Wikipedia, as you know, when people want to discuss the topic of the article, they are squelched. I'm looking to encourage Wikipedians to place sister wiki templates on Wikipedia articles where we have resources, and even to create matching resources here. Those frustrated wanna-be participants in conversation could be channeled here, and one can learn a hundred times as much from participation here as from an article on Wikipedia, and the knowledge can be more reliable (because sources will not just be linked, they can be reviewed, classified, studied in detail, discussed, etc. This is the good stuff that one can get from writing research papers at a university, in spades if one can find review by an expert. (As a result of my study here, this year, I was published in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal. As a result of my wiki studies, which I wrote about -- as condensed advice -- in some email with a Nobel Prize winner and some others, I was given an astonishing sum of money to support my work. So ... there is a real world out there, and it is not Wiki Land.)
On what became my Favorite Topic, Cold fusion -- contrary to what you might read in a certain ArbCom case, my interest in cold fusion came after I confronted admin abuse there -- there have been discussions here with people with very different views, and out of those, some serious questions were developed, taken to scientists, and answers generated, new knowledge, that didn't exist before. (In this case, those very familiar with the research techniques already knew the facts, but it had never been documented, and so one could imagine experimental artifacts that, in fact, were not possible. The new study was done by a skeptical scientist, who reviewed old experimental data, did the math, taking the suggestion very seriously, and concluded that if there was a problem, the suggestion wasn't it. Nice try, though!
In any real university, knowledge is not just transmitted, it is developed, and discussion is very much a part of that. In advanced models of education, students are not told the "answers." They are asked to inquire, discuss, test, experiment, etc.
I do a lot of wiki research. As a result, I know things about wikis and wiki behavior that may not be known, or known as deeply, by anyone else on the planet. That doesn't mean that I'm right. It does mean that my views are informed by a lot of experience. Any Wikipedia editor who does serious article research knows about this effect. Much of what you learn you cannot put in a Wikipedia article, because it is an encyclopedia, not a seminar on the topic. We have seminars on topics, you can go as deep as you like. You are not required to source what you write, not unless someone challenges it, and even then, we will neutralize possible POV issues with balance and attribution instead of removal or deletion. After all, your opinion is your opinion, and you are the world's foremost authority on your opinion.
This research, recorded here, can create a disorganized mess. However, these messes can be organized, a messy page can be summarized, for example, with the original archived to history. If someone does that, the work is highly educational! What is truly built here, though, is not the "educational resource," though those are being created. It is the educated person. What I am creating by my work here, all of it, is me. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:42, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Wow! Good read! Why don't we copy some of these insights on the vision-/ best practices page? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 08:57, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

hi my names is katrina[edit]

اريد التحدث بموضوع التاريخ

This was followed by the lede from w:Marylin Monroe and some test wikicode.

The Arabic means: "I want to talk any more about history." and then the user brought up some history, perhaps her specific interest. I will assume that her name is actually Katrina.
Katrina, welcome to Wikiversity! If you will add something to User talk:Abd, I will respond there, and help you find ways to discuss whatever interests you, on Wikiversity. I recommend that you register an account, which I can then support. As long as you edit without an account, your contributions, if there is anything out of place about them, or they are not understood, might be removed, as these comments were at first. So, to repeat:
  1. Register an account. If you cannot do this for some reason, it's okay, but it will all get much easier if you have an account.
  2. Follow this link [3] to add a comment to my user page. Don't worry. You may write in Arabic if you prefer, it is acceptable there. You are from the city where the oldest university in the world was founded, and that is important to me.
as-salaamu ^alaykum. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:15, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
كاترينا، مرحبا بكم في ويكي الجامعة! إذا كنت سوف تضيف شيئا إلى نقاش المستخدم: عبد، وسوف تستجيب هناك، ومساعدتك في العثور على طرق لمناقشة كل ما المصالح لكم، على ويكي الجامعة. ننصحك بأن تسجيل حساب جديد، وهو ما يمكن أن تدعم ذلك الحين. طالما قمت بتحرير دون حساب، مساهماتكم، إذا كان هناك أي شيء للخروج من المكان عنهم، أو ليست مفهومة أنها قد تكون إزالتها، حيث كانت هذه التعليقات في البداية. لذلك، لأكرر:
  1. تسجيل حساب. إذا كنت لا تستطيع أن تفعل هذا لسبب ما، لا بأس، ولكنه سوف تحصل على كل أسهل بكثير إذا كان لديك حساب.
  2. اتبع هذا الرابط [4] لإضافة تعليق على الصفحة المستعمل بلدي. لا تقلق. تستطيع الكتابة باللغة العربية إذا كنت تفضل ذلك، فإنه من المقبول هناك. كنت من المدينة حيث تأسست أقدم جامعة في العالم، وهذا هو المهم بالنسبة لي.
كما: السلام عليكم. - Abd (discusscontribs) 16:15, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Women's Volleyball[edit]

User Abd has requested a custodian to implement two suggestions that he believes may reduce IP vandalism and promote greater involvement of women here at Wikiversity. As someone who has played volleyball for decades, I am willing to implement these two suggestions, assuming I can figure out how and there are no Wikiversity-centered project objections. These as I understand them are

  1. assign User:Lainerraithe to a user group Wikiversity:IP block exemption and
  2. add to Special:GlobalBlockWhitelist.

I will attempt to do these unless I receive Wikiversity-specific objections from other community members. Please feel free to comment, question, criticize, object, or record other concerns. I believe this effort is worthwhile for these reasons:

  1. we may be able to increase female participation in Wikiversity - this is a WMF-wide, and Wikipedia-specific serious concern,
  2. we may be able to produce a way to reduce IP vandalism,
  3. we may be able to increase participation here of collegiate-oriented, or professional volleyball players, as well as students at all levels, and
  4. we may be able to increase connectivity-based learning that is used to create the playoff-type grids this (these) users have been creating and constructing. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 18:37, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Marshall. It is a long shot, as to these specific users, but is unlikely to do harm. If anyone wants details, I'm researching this affair at User:Abd/Volleyball; that is not complete and a report has not been written, it is only a study in process at this time.
This is a learning project, for me as much or more as for them. How can we increase our diversity, be welcoming, foster learning, clear project goals, and protect Wikiversity and other projects, and how do we do all of this efficiently? --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:44, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

In considering this request, it is important to also read User_talk:Billinghurst. This isn't simply a request to whitelist a user. It is also a request that influences steward participation at Wikiversity. That doesn't mean proceed or don't proceed. It just means understand the implications of the request before acting. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:15, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

That's an unfortunate suggestion, because there are no easy-to-understand implications that will be seen by looking at that page. It shows that Billinghurst is irritated that his action was privately questioned, and irritated even more when it was discussed, though he created that discussion. Had he merely ignored the mail or privately declined, or publicly declined without self-justification, it would have been over. That is more what stewards usually do.
There are no "implications" as to steward participation.
If anyone is concerned about negative impact from this, I encourage them to voice the concern, specifically, instead of with vague claims such as that it will "influence steward participation." I know both this case and steward practice quite well. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:49, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Delay can cause harm here. I have created notification of Team Volleyball, by adding a templated notice to all the involved user talk pages, to all the major Volleyball talk pages, and a templated notice on those major pages, addressed to Team Volleyball, to look at the Talk page. However, at this point, there may be no way for those users to contact us, unless they send email to me, my address has been provided, but this could be a big step for them. If this minimal action is done, they will have a way to communicate through the wiki. Blocked users that are not locked will be able to request unblock, etc., or they may simply work on the resources. Every time they see a notice that they are unable to edit, the probability increases that they will never look back. We may only have a window of opportunity. Hence, at this point, I request going ahead. I recommend that custodians and other users ping me if they see any related problematic editing. If there is any problem, the IP whitelisting can easily be reversed, and I commit to supporting any necessary cleanup.
In collaborating with users from another culture, we may need to develop cultural sensitivity. See w:Tampo. It is normal behavior, culturally, under the conditions these users encountered, that they not be communicative. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:18, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I understand that you believe you are absolutely correct in your actions, but you continue to act without first gaining support of the community. There is a choice to be made. Welcoming the users is rejecting the actions of a steward who has supported us. I again ask that you stop and let the community decide what it wants. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:53, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Stop what? Correcting misrepresentations? Dave, you have made an unnecessary claim, based on your own interpretation of events, you continue to argue your position, then object when I respond to the claims you make. Indeed, let the community make the decision, if it wants to. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:46, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
I would need to see an explanation from the blocked users before supporting an unblock. I think Abd should be commended for reaching out to these people (or this person). But while Wikiversity's effort offer universal and free education to everyone is both noble and achievable, there are 7 billion people on this planet, and we cannot serve each and every one of them. If these soccer fans don't answer via email, it's time to let them go and devote our attention to people who seem more interested. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:10, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Guy. Not soccer, volleyball. I've asked for email, and I could verify the source IP of a mail to me, but we do not require users to set up email. What you are expecting is a cultural norm for us, response to questions that may be seen as confrontational. I don't know if you have looked at w:tampo. We are expecting something outside their cultural norms. We are accustomed, when we edit wikis, to behavior that would be, in some other cultures, highly offensive. We engage in this behavior, and thinklittle of it. It is "wiki normal."
You seem to think I am asking for unblock. The account I have named is not blocked, nor is it locked. Yet the user cannot edit here. Hence IP block exemption and global block whitelisting. This should not require high discussion, and like URL whitelisting, this should be routine for us. For obvious reasons, we only allow a few trusted users to edit user rights and MediaWiki pages, but when requested by a user in good standing, it should be done unless there are strong reasons against it. (And even then, unless the reasons are clear and expressed before it is done, it should be done, and then undone if emergency exception appears. These are basic wiki principles that allow normal efficiency.)
The IP is only blocked globally because a steward presumably identified it as Team Volleyball IP. That IP has edits here. It is not blocked here. It was not being disruptive as IP. The global issues are complex, and I'm not asking for a major move, I am asking for something very simple, something I'd definitely have done without hesitation were I a custodian, -- as, by our policy, I should be --, and I very much doubt that a flap would have developed. (I would not even have asked the steward, and the steward would not have objected or acted to prevent or reverse it.)
Some of Team Volleyball was locally blocked indef, but this was an attempt to encourage them to communicate. Their talk page access was not cut off. It is now cut off by the global lock, they cannot edit Wikiversity logged-in, and, because of the global block, they cannot edit anonymously, I am guessing this cuts off the entire island of w:Camiguin. The steward treated them as globally banned, ad hoc, but they are not globally banned according to global ban policy and the Terms of Use. I have demonstrated, many times, that users may, when locked, create new accounts here, and when they do not use those accounts disruptively cross-wiki, this is not a policy violation, and it is allowed, they are not pursued and locked.
It is obvious that the small team we have here could not do this for seven billion people. However, we can do it with one at a time, and we can set up scalable structure. All it takes, now, is one user willing to stand for inclusiveness, and cooperative custodians. Are there any other volunteers? Perhaps we need to have a true Wikiversity:Welcoming committee, not just a template that tells new users to Be Bold and then we slap them down when they are. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:37, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Two questions:

  1. What is the difference between a block and a lock?
  2. Is there a block/lock so strong that it cannot be appealed on MetaWiki?
I think the answers are: A "lock" locks the user from logging in. A "block" prevents the user from editing. If that is true, IP addresses are blocked, not locked, because they never log in (with a password). And, MetaWiki allows people to appeal a block from an IP address. Is this right?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 10:15, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Generally correct. There are three states: blocked, locked, and banned. blocks and locks are of accounts, and are sometimes interpreted to be of users as well. I.e., if a user is blocked, and creates a new account, and this is blocked merely for "block evasion," this is evidence that the user is site-banned, at least during the existence of a block.
It is commonly stated on meta that a lock is not a ban, even though locks are used to enforce bans. Actual steward behavior, however, shows that some of them do treat locked users as banned. (alternate accounts blocked on sight, without any editing, sometimes). There are two kinds of global bans. The first was established by the community as policy, m:Global bans. This is a difficult process, reserved for massive disruption. It's really never been used since it was implemented, though it has been tried a couple of times.
If a ban is implemented by a lock, appeal is possible by IP. I've seen, however, the IP be immediately blocked, and the edits reverted, so ... maybe. Locks do not affect anonymous editing in any way and they do not prevent creating of new accounts. Recently, lock behavior was apparently changed to automatically cut off all email (from the user and to the user).
The other type of ban is a WMF Office action. Those used to be very rare, and very private. That changed at the end of last year, and it has caused enormous disruption, mostly on Commons, where a popular administrator was globally locked. These are not explained, and many users are concerned about lack of due process, but the WMF is adamant that this is necessary, and cannot be discussed.
Neither type of ban is involved here, and the lock was not based, as far as I can see, on a community request. I have often filed lock requests for cross-wiki vandals and spammers, and unless there is good evidence of cross-wiki disruption that cannot be handled locally, they will usually be declined. However, at the same time, some stewards routinely use global locks with newly-registered accounts, even with no edits. They are obviously checkusering new account registrations, looking for spammers who will register many accounts quickly, before using them. In the present cases, accounts were locked that had never been used. However, as I recall at the moment, they had obvious sock names. These users, in fact, did not attempt to conceal their connection with each other in any way. The obvious multiple sock accounts (numbered!) were used to allow them to set up user talk pages as templates, which they then used for content creation on Wikipedia. It actually worked for a time. They were never warned over it.
A global block is only of an IP address or range. Deliberately, they do not prevent editing on meta. So, yes, a user can appeal a global block on meta. However, in this case, the users in question have been, in the judgment of the blocking steward, disruptive globally. While a more careful examination of their contributions shows to me that this disruption was not as serious as it looks on casual examination, (for example, a huge number of edits to the user's own talk page), the fact remains that it is unlikely in the near future that these users will be making positive contributions anywhere but here on Wikiversity. Appealing for a lifting of the block, then, on meta, I would not personally support, not without some established behavior that would make this unlikely to be disruptive. We can handle a modest level of "disruption" here. That is, the user may make mistakes that require some work to fix. When welcoming users like this, I commit to personally providing that kind of support. I'm not committing to that globally, and couldn't do it anyway on en.wikipedia, where I'm banned.
What is appropriate here, then, is the very limited unblocking locally. This is done in two ways: by IP block exemption -- which is used for any account in good standing which is caught by a global block (which can happen with many causes), and by exempting the IP block from being active on Wikiversity. This would essentially allow any unlocked account to be used here, they would not be blocked because they originate from the blocked IP, which I suspect could be the only IP available from the island of Camiguin. There is no sign of any other IP having been used by these users. The global block exemption would also allow them to create new accounts here if they need that. Even if there is more than one of these users -- it is possible -- they may easily appear to a checkuser (i.e., a steward) as a single user. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:59, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
I have assigned User:Lainerraithe to a user group Wikiversity:IP block exemption. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 12:24, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. That is a big step. However, we do not know that Lainerraithe is the same as the other users, we only know that the appearance is of identity, i.e., using the same IP and possibly the same computer or other similarities, leading to checkuser identification as socks. If there are users other than Lanierraithe, this will not help them. Because all (but one) of the related accounts were locked, they may attempt to edit IP or to create a new account, which, from history, will be easily recognized by the interest in volleyball. While any new accounts will not then be locked, they will still be unable to edit elsewhere because of the hard-blocked IP.
However, I will modify the templates so that if any member of Team Volleyball looks, they will see this development.
I will monitor contibutions of Lainerraithe and the IP to handle any difficulties. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:24, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
I have added to Special:GlobalBlockWhitelist, with the result, "You have successfully disabled the global block #50055 on the IP address on Wikiversity." Good luck with the learning project! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 19:15, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Marshall. It's a long shot, because once users conclude they are thoroughly banned, they often will not look back. But we can try. There is some possibility that this will bear fruit. It might take time. The unfortunate thing here is that the users did not set up email. That's all too common, I've found. However, email would not do any good with all but the unlocked users (a global lock disables all email to the user, now, it was not that way until sometime this year.)
Contributions for the IP shows both the global block and the local bypass: Special:Contributions/ --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:50, 13 August 2015 (UTC)


-- (discuss) 06:12, 7 August 2015 (UTC) hello, what is the meaning of the word Reich?

This is a start wikt:reich. —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:23, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict with above) This question was removed by a user who perhaps believed this was not the place to ask questions like that. However, we do invite "questions" on the Colloquium (see Template:Welcome, and, while we might want to keep the Colloquium for questions about Wikiversity, we have not made this crystal clear, and because we want to be welcoming, we also need to tolerate this, and a response should be in the place where the question was asked, ideally, or at least a link to a response. This is an IP user, creating special difficulties. So:
  • See wikt:Reich for definitions. I could say more, but not here. If you want to explore any issue here on Wikiversity, please go to Wikiversity:Help desk or to my User talk page and ask or comment. I will respond where you ask. Any other user may make this offer.
  • Register an account! This allows us to communicate much more reliably with you. If you set up email, which is highly recommended if possible, you can even be notified by email of changes to pages that you specify, and especially your own User talk page, so that you will know if anyone is trying to communicate with you. Email is private, and nobody will know your email address. You can control if other users can send you email through the wiki, and they will not know your email address unless you respond to them by email. I know of no good reason not to enable email, and have seen many, many problems when email was not enabled.
  • From your IP address, we see you are likely editing from Manila, or from an area of the Philippines served by a provider in Manila. We have a current situation with a set of users probably from Camiquin, similarly using, we think, an IP from Manila, probably a mobile phone provider. There are language and cultural difficulties, so, if you care to engage with us, you could be of help. Please consider registering an account, even if just to say "Hello." Put that on my talk page, not here! This page is intended for discussions about Wikiversity, or problems with the wiki or community or the like.
  • General questions may be asked on Wikiversity:Help desk. And....
  • Welcome! Thanks for your interest in Wikiversity. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:30, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Involvement in the Wikipedia Eduction Program[edit]

Is Wikiversity involved in the Wikipedia Eduction program ( If not, should we be involved? According to me, the Wikiversity is a more logical platform to support education than Wikipedia. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 09:50, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

I added a question on the discuss-page of Wikipedia Education Program: Timboliu (discusscontribs) 10:16, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
@Timboliu: A discussion started Here --Grind24 (discusscontribs) 17:07, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
@Grind24:, thanks for starting this discussion on Village Pump. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 09:38, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Dear Timboliu,

Thank you for initiating this conversation in the Wikiversity:Colloquium and at Outreach:Talk:Education. And thanks to Koavf and Grind24 for noting this on the Outreach:Village pump and for pinging me there. I'll reply here first and then note that in those other threads. It'd be helpful to centralize the discussion.

These are great questions that you ask. Thank you for asking them.

1) Should the Wikiversity Community be involved with the Wikipedia Education Program? The answer is YES! It is officially called the *Wikipedia* Education Program, but in reality, it is the *Wikimedia* Education Program. All 12 of the sister projects are being utilized in one or more WEPs worldwide.

2) Is Wikiversity already involved in the Wikipedia Education Program? The answer is also YES! There are a number of examples of Wikiversitarians and educators who have been involved with the Wikipedia Education Program through Wikiversity. For example:


"The Department of Computer and Systems Science at Stockholm University is running an advanced international training program, called ICT and Pedagogical Development, supported by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), where Wikimedia Sverige is invited to introduce the Wikimedia projects, including how Wikiversity can be used as a platform for the shared knowledge and resources in this global project." More information at: Outreach:Education/Newsletter/May 2014/Wikimedia Sverige: Meeting the educators

"In order to encourage more teachers to learn from the project and to use Wikipedia with their students, we now have a learning resource available on Swedish Wikiversity focusing on developing the students' intercultural communication skills, as well as media and inforamtion literacies. Currently, it's made up of six consecutive exercises." More information at: Outreach:Education/Newsletter/April 2014/Wikimedia Sverige: New resource for Swedish teachers on Wikiversity

"Some students at secondary school Katedralskolan in Skara, Sweden, have been nominated for a national prize celebrating the use of web publication in education, called "the Web star". They have produced an MOOC, Massive open online course, on Swedish Wikiversity including articles, podcasts, quizes, badges and resources they have authored and collected as part of their coursework." More information at: Outreach:Education/Newsletter/April 2015/Students nominated for their MOOC on Swedish Wikiversity


In 2007, User:Teemu created a course on English Wikiversity called "Composing free and open online educational resources." More information at: Outreach:Education/Countries/Finland#Wikiversity Course


ICT course curriculum on French Wikiversity (in French). More information at: fr.wikiversity:Projet:Atelier « Enrichir Wikipédia M1 CRDM Nanterre 2014»


La Trobe University piloted open education practices using Wikiversity. And Wikiversity was discussed at the 2013 Wikimedia in Higher Education Symposium at the University of Sydney. More information at: Outreach:Education/Countries/Australia


At the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, has taught courses on German Wikipedia since 2011. More information at: Outreach:Education/Countries/Austria

@Guy vandegrift: and @Marshallsumter: seem to be veteran educators on this project. I wanted to include them in this conversation.

If there are other examples, I do hope that you will point them out to me. Very soon (this month approximately) I will begin systematically collecting historical data about Wikimedia Education Programs worldwide. And I want to be certain that Wikiversity is accurately counted.

There are so many teaching resources available to educators here on Wikiversity, for example, Portal:Learning Materials. There is also a smaller collection of materials at Outreach:Other_Wikimedia_Projects#Wikiversity. I'm sure that these pages are only the tip of the iceberg. It'd ben helpful to have a map of Wikiversity and a tour guide! :)

Lastly, Tim, I am very glad to know that you have been talking with Floor Koudijs about this as well. Her advice about education programs partnering with the existing Wikiversity community in their language is crucial to an education program’s success. We're looking forward to following your progress and supporting you along the way. All the best, AKoval (WMF) (discusscontribs) 22:32, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi AKoval, it is great to read your message. Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness when I'm talking about Wikiversity. The Dutch Wikiversity is still in beta and in the last four years I only convinced a few people to join me in learning projects :-) But, I'm still a believer. I will keep you posted on the developments. Cheers, Tim Timboliu (discusscontribs) 09:46, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

power engineering[edit]

-- (discuss) 07:57, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikiversity, all the way from Pakistan! The Colloquium is for discussing Wikiversity and the community. If you want to discuss the topic of power engineering, it is best if you register an account, because then it is easier to communicate with you. You may also ask questions of me or other users. To ask me a question or to seek help, you can add a topic on my user talk page with this link.

You may also look at School:Electrical engineering and participate there. Again, it is best if you register an account, but you may continue to edit anonymously; user accounts are actually more anonymous than the way you edited, which told me where you were from, probably. We do encourage real-name accounts here on Wikiversity, but it is not required.

(I have responded here because the user is more likely to look here. I will also drop a note on the IP talk page.) --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:23, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Search results are prioritising talk pages?[edit]

I've noticed recently that Wikiversity search results seem to be be ranking talk pages higher than corresponding resource pages. Can others confirm? This seems undesirable. Generally, a searcher would want resource pages listed before corresponding talk pages? Example: Emotion regulation, Childhood emotion, Self-discipline -- Jtneill - Talk - c 10:45, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #4—2015[edit]

This newsletter has been moved to Wikiversity:Newsletters/VisualEditor. If there is commentary relevant to Wikiversity, portions may be copied back here for general discussion. I am setting up the newsletter subscription to go to the newsletters subpage for the future. Anyone interested in following this may watchlist the newsletter page, or may subscribe directly, putting their user talk page on the distribution list. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:21, 17 August 2015 (UTC)


We have moved other mass-posted newsletters to special pages. Those had resulted from a user here, who also had a personal subscription, putting the Colloquium on the subscription list. In this case, the newsletter is posted by a WMF account, who is using mass-mail with a separate list. If a newsletter has a special page, as with Wikiversity:Newsletters, then those who want to see the newsletter may watchlist the newsletter page, or may request a direct subscription. This newsletter, in particular, is likely to confuse newcomers, and the newsletter is not a discussion of Wikiversity, the purpose of the Colloquium. There is a subscription list. m:VisualEditor/Newsletter/Wikis with VE. As I have done this before, and it enjoyed rough consensus (and stood), I am creating Wikiversity:Newsletters/VisualEditor and will point the subscription to that page. After a delay to allow contrary comment, I will also move past issues of this newsletter from the Colloquium or Archives. If there was comment, I will specially handle that. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:28, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

All issues have been moved from the 2015 Archive to the Newsletters subpage, so one can see the entire set of issues for this year there, and new issues should come into that page. I intend to move the remainder from prior years to year-specific archives. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:02, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Canvassing or notification of the knowledgeable of discussions of interest?[edit]

I was, today, warned by a custodian about canvassing. The warning and a discussion are at User_talk:Abd#Canvassing (permanent link). Comments are welcome there as well as here. I found this warning chilling. One of the standard wiki problems is premature discussion and "vote." When general participants, with no knowledge of a specific issue, are notified of a discussion by a post to the Colloquium, for example, when the discussion is just beginning, we often see knee-jerk responses, not informed. Hence I do not escalate discussions to the Colloquium, absent emergency, until there has been at least some support for a proposed change or action, and if there is no opposition, I don't bring issues here merely to "broaden consensus," if there is no sign of necessity. But, of course, anyone can bring an issue here if they believe it needs broader input. This is standard wikipedia dispute resolution process, if one actually studies it. One starts with small scale discussion. (It's often neglected, with much damage resulting.) In such small scale discussions, it is ideal if the participants are knowledgeable and if they develop evidence and clear argument. Then, if later needed, there is something for the community to chew on.

We have a proposed canvassing policy, I've worked on it some. As it is, I consider it only enforceable with high hazard. It requires a judgment of intention, which can be highly subjective. It also requires a decision process ostensibly under attempted influence, where numbers of comments will count, and does not apply to discussion process, which would naturally solicit participation by those known to be interested, until and unless broader input is considered necessary. Major changes to the page involved here have historically been made without soliciting broad comment.

The change I'd made to the deletion guideline page was not opposed, as to the actual change, not when I first proposed the change, a year ago, nor when I actually made it the other day. The only objection was process, that there had not been "discussion and consensus," that it was "unilateral." Given that discussion was initiated a year ago, the first objection was strange. However, the issue of deletion of files moved to Commons arose the other day, again, so I did make the change I'd proposed a year ago, and to which there has been no actual opposition. Nobody has argued, since the problem has been noticed, that we should delete files that have been copied to Commons.

That change was reverted as "unilateral."[5] So my first task was to identify if any user in good standing supported the change. Since there was an active discussion going on, on a user talk page, I informed that user. I informed another user whom I knew had experience with the issue. I pinged a Commons administrator who had just written on the issue. I did not "direct" any of these users to comment in any particular way. However, my selection can be claimed to be biased. However, that's a radical misunderstanding of wiki process. We want to avoid bias when we vote. Which, wink wink, nod nod, we don't do. In fact, we do, on occasion. If there is voting, there is possible damage from biased canvassing of votes. (The real problem, in that case, is a lazy closer.)

However, we were not at that stage of decision process, and still aren't.

So why have I brought this here? There is my obvious concern -- I have effectively been threatened with a block, that is how a notice like that from a custodian is routinely taken, and I have little doubt that if I repeated the behavior without suport, I'd be blocked. More, increasingly, I've seen signs of Wiki studies/Wiki disease in the behavior of the custodian. This syndrome arises when users takes and exercise high responsibility for the maintenance of a wiki, as this custodian has done. In other words, this can afflict our most valuable users. Slogging away at dealing with vandalism, spam, and disruption, the users begin to burn out, becomes impatient, and at the same time become increasingly controlling. After all, they are the most active users, surely they know better than those who are not working so hard. (And this may actually be true, but the thinking leads to more burnout.) So far, the deviations from policy that I've seen are small, and they normally start with what is on the edge, controversial. However, over time, established policy and traditions are shoved aside and the user's actions become more and more abusive. We have already suffered some damage, which I will document if it is ever necessary. I hope it is not. What I suggest is that the custodian recognize that he has become peevish and unfriendly. That's a sign of the syndrome. The way for healing to take place is to back off, support wider community involvement in, say, deletion decisions and especially blocks, and to become careful about warnings, all of which have, in the past, driven users away. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:25, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment

  • User:Abd has been changing Wikiversity:Deletions without first seeking consensus. The community needs to decide whether it wants users to discuss proposed changes to policies and procedures before changes are made, or if it wants users to be free to make changes and have someone else catch and challenge the change. To me, consensus requires discussion before change rather than discussion after the fact. To act unilaterally is imposing one's will on the community. But I will support the community's decision one way or the other.
  • Separately, the community should decide how it wants to be informed of such discussions when they occur. Should policy and procedure changes be left to the discussion page of the associated policy or procedure, or should they be brought to the colloquium or (to the extreme) placed in a system announcement? It is my perception that most users do not watch policy and procedure pages, and would be left out of the discussion if notice is left to the discussion page only.
  • Regarding canvassing, any attempt to select individual users for notification is inherently subject to interpretation. There's no need for it when we have ways to inform everyone of relevant discussions. The community should decide whether it supports selective notice or whether it prefers open notice on these discussions.
  • Finally, regarding the unnecessary drama, hysteria, and personal attack included in the post above, I leave it to the community to review the relevant posts and determine whether my actions represent appropriate custodianship of Wikiversity by limiting unilateral actions that do not have demonstrated community consensus, or whether this effort is exceeding the community's wishes.
  • Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:09, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I support both of you for bringing this matter here as well as discussing it at Wikiversity:Deletions. This seems to be a complicated matter, especially regarding transferring files to Commons, followed by deletion of the File here.
One idea that occurred to me after reading some of the discussion was that we could somehow here categorize files transferred to Commons and deleted here so that if they are deleted at Commons we could evaluate them here and restore their visibility as a Fair Use file.
Another matter is downloading a file from Commons that I use here so that if Commons deletes the file I have a copy here. Not deleting files transferred to Commons or copied here from Commons for potential availability may be a further complication. Someone would probably put the duplicate here up for deletion (because there is a copy at Commons) only to be zapped if Commons deletes the file there. So a general policy of not deleting files that exist at Commons and here may be better. Or as Green Giant has commented finding a better solution at Commons that doesn't hurt the other WMF projects may be the way to go. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 20:21, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Support what, Marshall? Meanwhile, I did not bring the issue of the deletion guideline here, that is still under discussion on Wikiversity talk:Deletions. This is only about the claim of "canvassing" and the warning, because I do not disregard administrative warnings. I either accept them or create discussion of them. (And that is how I have advised many other users.)
My position, expressed here, is that Dave has become over-involved. That is not a "personal attack," Custodians must be open to criticism like that. I have not yet presented evidence of over-involvement, but Dave provides it here. "Unnecessary drama, hysteria, and personal attack" is a personal attack. If Dave had not become involved, he'd know that. His behavior has shifted.
I am not a custodian, and being subject to a personal attack by a custodian is a matter of concern. Who restrains custodians? I know how to do it, and I've done it. It's an ugly mess and requires a huge expenditure of time. I would vastly prefer to avoid that. Nevertheless, wikis will go downhill if the community does not prevent it. It is natural.
If Dave wants to raise the issue of guideline change process, he's free to do that, but that is not why I created this. I created it because Dave waved his block tool at me, and now insults me because I refer to it. He has not neutralized the threat.
The warning was not about changing the deletion guideline page. It was about alleged canvassing. As defined in the Wikipedia guideline, and as defined in our draft policy, I did not "canvass," because there was no open poll. There was a discussion, and inviting concerned users to a discussion is not canvassing, it is just plain common sense, and a step toward generating consensus, which is only complete if objection vanishes. But Dave has, I'm suspecting, developed a win-lose mentality here. He thinks what I was doing was "wrong," so it must be stopped. That is precisely Wiki disease.
So what is really going on here is an assumption of bad faith on the part of Dave. He thinks of what I was doing as attempting to "impose" my "will" on the community. Yet no edit to the guidelines can do that. Further, it is the contrary of what I want.
I was threatened with consequences, effectively, for doing what I consider normal on wikis, facilitating informed discussions. That's not tolerable. How we actually change policies and guidelines is secondary to this, and is a separate issue.
If I do what I did in inviting comment, in this case, not as a general principle, is Dave allowed to warn me not to do it, backed by his authority as a custodian? --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:51, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Please see the discussion Talk:Art practices were Abd has informed me that he is planning to "escalate" (I thought this was a transitive verb), which I understand as suggesting that he will canvass again. He has also indicated that he is considering turning this into a "test case". I also feel that Abd is misrepresenting Dave Braunschweig, who requested that he stop canvassing. This, imho, falls short of a warning, much less a formal warning, which would have to explicitly state that it constituted a formal warning in order to be such. I find myself in agreement with David that he has been subject to a personal attack, and I do not feel there is any basis to Abd's claim that this in turn is a personal attack.Leutha (discusscontribs) 16:19, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Newbie to wikiversity policies[edit]

Hi, I'm new to the Wikiversity policies, but I would like to participate in the discussion. I tried to read the above conversation but I don't understand what the questions are. Is the question what cavassing is? Or should it be allowed to ask other users to participate in a discussion? Maybe someone can explain in simple words what we are talking about? Thanks! Timboliu (discusscontribs) 10:37, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

I started the section, and my question is whether or not I should be formally warned for inviting users to participate in a discussion, according to the example given. A formal warning is a preceding step to a block. So, if I repeated what I actually did -- which was documented either here or on the linked talk page discussion -- could I be blocked? The question is really about administrative behavior. However, the canvassing issue is related.
I would agree that if I violated our canvassing policy (even though it is only a draft), a warning could be proper.
Canvassing is defined in our page, Wikiversity:Canvassing, which is a proposed policy, and w:Wikipedia:Canvassing, which is an approved guideline there. Our policies can and do differ from those of Wikipedia, but an assessment of canvassing has to do with voting and a biased solicitation of voters. I have given my interpretation of what I did, and it was not canvassing, neither in intention nor in practice (because no voting had been set up). It was invitation to discussion, which is allowed -- and which can be biased, in fact, but bias is difficult to prove or disprove. Perhaps Dave might want to explain differently.
Another issue raised is civility. Where there violations of WV:Civility policy here? I would not raise the issue at this level of incivility except that the user I consider to have been uncivil is the administrator warning me. Thus my concern is amplified. In the other direction, I have noted what seems to me to be a pattern of behavior that commonly develops on wikis. That could be considered "personal," but administrators, traditionally, are expected to be subject to criticism at that level. So that's another issue for community consideration. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:26, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Abd, Thanks for the explanation. According to me, asking other people to join a discussion should'nt be a reason to give someone a warning. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 14:04, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Frankly, I think we should dump the canvassing policy entirely, even for polls. But this requires clarity on how discussions are closed, i.e, turned into actual decisions. Canvassing is a problem with voting where numbers matter. It is more of a problem, as well, when there is off-wiki canvassing. So it is weird to sanction on-wiki canvassing when off-wiki canvassing is so easy, and isn't transparent at all. There are better solutions that will improve the quality of discussion. That will take some work. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:16, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure of all the background here, but Dave may be concerned that at times I will back Abd on issues when it may not be wise to do so. I both respect and listen to his opinions. Regarding the canvassing, I was accused of doing this on Wikipedia by asking those who in the past had voted in my favor to vote on the dominant group issue. Asking those who had voted against me in the past seemed pointless. The problem with the canvassing issue is the presumption of guilt. Those who had voted in my favor in the past voted against dominant group indicating to me that the issue was too hot for Wikipedia. I placed no faith in those who had voted against me in the past because they never showed objectivity. The question of canvassing to me means summoning a gang (or my favorite: a bunch of drunks in a bar) to support one's position independent of objectivity. I believe Dave is referring to how others may view perhaps my loyalty to Abd. I do evaluate each action I decide to endorse. But Dave is right if he's referring to predicting the actions of power people. Sometimes even giving the appearance of summoning a bunch of drunks in a bar may cause undue harm. I hope this helps. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

From Wikiversity: Canvassing, "Canvassing is contacting like-minded individuals to coordinate efforts for a pending decision." The discussion in question is clearly intended to generate a decision, so any suggestion that this isn't canvassing from that point of view is a non-starter. The potential arguments that could be made here are whether the individuals are like-minded, and whether any efforts to coordinate are involved. I would say that the individuals contacted were, indeed, like-minded, but no overt effort to coordinate a response was included, nor would overt efforts to coordinate be necessary. The simple notification is an effort to coordinate like-minded individuals. But, most importantly, it is an unnecessary approach intended to limit discussion to those invited rather than including the community in a public discussion on Wikiversity policies and procedures.

This has nothing to do with the individuals involved. The best policies are developed when you don't know which side of a policy you will be on when it is implemented. The assumption that any one of us should be left out of a discussion of Wikiversity policies and procedures, or that any one of us would attempt to influence that discussion by inviting only certain members of the community to participate violates my appreciation of the spirit of community. A discussion on policy or procedures that any of us should be invited to is a discussion on policy or procedures that all of us should be invited to. It's that simple.

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:00, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

The above presents a straw man argument: that anyone should be "left out." It completely misses that broad invitation before there is even a single agreement is premature. Classic deliberative process will not even consider a proposal until it has a second. And members of organizations routinely "solicit" a second. Whom did I invite? One of the founders of Wikiversity, a custodian, Marshall, and a Commons administrator. While I had an idea about likely positions of the first two, the third was invited for expertise. Only Marshall and the Commons custodian have commented. The idea that I want to "control" Wikiversity by selective and biased invitation is an accusation of bad faith. It's uncivil, and it should stop. All what I did would do is to likely cause some additional comment there. Anyone who thinks there should be wider participation would be welcome to also invite others. There was no poll, so no "canvassing," at all. This is completely crazy that inviting others who would be known to be interested in or who would have something to contribute to a discussion, is considered a prohibited thing, and Dave is not reassuring me that there is no hazard, at the same time as he misrepresents my position. Notice: he states that "attempt to influence a discussion" violates his appreciation of the spirit of community. But academic communities, especially, need and respect diversity. And people do advocate for their positions. Functional communities not only tolerate that, they welcome it. What violates the spirit of community are assumptions of bad faith, straw man arguments, unnecessary warnings by administrators, accusing someone who complains about a warning of "hysteria," custodians who use tools according to their own opinions and without necessity, and so on. My advice to all users has been to heed warnings, but to appeal if you disagree. So I appeal, and encounter more incivility. Dave is not an ordinary user, he has block buttons, and he's used them. He does -- usually, not always -- warn before blocking. So he warned. I'm supposed to ... what?
This is what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to appeal, to ask the community to resolve a dispute. If it doesn't happen here, I know what to do, it is WV:Community Review. What I'm seeing is intransigence on Dave's part. He is insisting that there was a hazard to the wiki here, requiring a warning. He is arguing strongly for it. That's his right, but ... it will lead, if there is no consensus negotiated, to a CR. Otherwise my participation in Wikiversity governance becomes entirely too hazardous. I need to know. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:45, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
The concept of "inviting everyone" is devastating to participation, it actually kills it if over-used. The "community" should be explicitly invited only to prepared process, where evidence and arguments are already in place, which the community may then review and accept or reject. We are all invited to every page on the wiki, all we have to do is what Dave does, and what I sometimes do, watch Recent Changes. However, wikis don't work by "inviting all" until there is some level of presentation of evidence and arguments. Otherwise, one will may routinely get shallow, uninformed opinion. Further, if people are often invited to premature decision-making, they burn out, they stop responding. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:21, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Learning project applications[edit]


I would like to start a learning project about applications.

Who wants to help me set up this learning project?


Tim, Timboliu (discusscontribs) 21:44, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Timboliu, what kind of applications do you mean? --I8086 (discusscontribs) 00:16, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi I8086, examples of applications are: Microsoft Excel, WebMaker. Here you can find an overview of some applications. We could not only describe their functionality, but also make suggestions how an application can be improved. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 08:15, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Those sound like the applications I know! I'll try to work on them whenever I get some time on Wikiversity. --I8086 (discusscontribs) 13:57, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I8086, Great! I love to hear about your favourite application. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 14:00, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

How can we improve Wikimedia grants to support you better?[edit]


The Wikimedia Foundation would like your feedback about how we can reimagine Wikimedia Foundation grants, to better support people and ideas in your Wikimedia project. Ways to participate:

Feedback is welcome in any language.

With thanks,

I JethroBT (WMF), Community Resources, Wikimedia Foundation. 05:22, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Hive Learning Networks[edit]


Is anyone familiar with Mozilla's Hive Learning Networks ( I think these networks could be very interesting for Wikiversity? Does anyone know how these learning networks share learning material? I think the wikiversity could be the perfect platform for these learning networks.


Tim, Timboliu (discusscontribs) 08:42, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I did some research. Wikimedia Germany is/ was involved in Hive Berlin. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 15:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Interesting! Leutha (discusscontribs) 08:32, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
This is a very nice programs -- (discuss) 03:18, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
In my namespace I started to collect some information. See Suggestions are welcome. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 10:07, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikiversity policy/guideline change process[edit]

There has long been a practice of working on policy pages to improve them, even after they have been approved as policy. It's been done many ways, but this is my understanding of the norm. These pages are open to editing, they are not protected, which they would be if we wanted no changes to them. Users have routinely edited these pages. Sometimes they made major changes, and sometimes these were allowed to stand, sometimes disagreement arose. (Policy pages do not actually control the community; rather, the authority here is consensus, and the procedure is ad hoc. Policies tell people what to expect, reflect general consensus on that, so policies should reflect actual practice. Sometimes the community tells custodians what it wants to see, though, through approving a policy.)

What has been normal: if an edit to a policy page stands without objection, it is generally considered to represent consensus. That's rebuttable, one might go back even years and object to a change. If there is disagreement, it's discussed on the Talk page. It has always been assumed, as well, that if a change is discussed, and there is no objection, the change may be made. Usually the process starts by making an edit and then someone objects by reverting it.

It's started to happen that changes are being reverted, not because of any objection to the change, but on the idea that any change to policy must be announced to and reviewed by the community. That could be the case if there is disagreement, among the group of users who follow these pages, but what if there is no disagreement?

I am coming here to request the advice of the community on procedure, not on a specific change. I then expect to follow that advice as to making changes. So the example I bring up is only an example.

Wikiversity:Deletions was proposed as a policy, but ratified as a "guideline" by this discussion, in January 2012. There was opposition, resolved by going for "guideline" (weaker) rather than "policy" (stronger). There was no detailed discussion of the changes that were made to the long-standing policy. It was understood that the page still needed work. There were occasional changes after that.

In March 2014, I proposed, on the Talk page, a removal of the speedy deletion criterion for files moved to Commons.[7] I wrote that if there was no objection, I would make the change. A month later, a user objected to me making the change, but not based on disagreement with it, but only because it had not been discussed. No objection to the change itself appeared.

With [8], 17 August 2015, I removed the criterion. This was reverted by Dave,[9] with summary (Undo unilateral change). Dave started this discussion (apparently unaware of the old one). There was no mention at first of going to the Colloquium. Rather, Dave wrote, there, Please discuss and provide support or opposition before changes are made. So there was discussion. There was support and no opposition.

So, today, I stated my intention to make the change. Dave wrote: "I oppose this, and any other policy/procedure changes until an announcement is posted in the colloquium making all users aware of the proposed change and giving them an opportunity to respond. The proposal isn't controversial. The attempt to change procedure without notice to all is the controversy."

We have continually been making changes to actual policy pages, and a guideline page is even more open to change. So Dave is proposing, in fact, new policy about policies and "procedures," one that will create substantial hindrance to improvements, that discards long-standing wiki traditions about how changes are made, and that will needlessly increase Colloquium traffic.

Does the community want all changes to policy/guideline pages to be announced to the Colloquium? What has been announced to the Colloquium are major changes or issues (such as the poll attempting to declare a draft "policy.") As well, when there is conflict over a change, it may be brought here (or a formal Community Review may be created). But when there is no conflict about the change itself?

Please discuss the issue of change process here. (If you want to discuss the change itself, please do so on Wikiversity talk:Deletions). Please do not start a poll until we have some discussion, some possible sense of consensus or the question to be asked. Questions? Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:54, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikiversity at Wikipedia Science Conference[edit]

Andy Mabbett at the Wikipedia Science Conference, London, 2 September, 2015

Thanks to Andy for his introduction to Wikiversity to the 80 odd people attending the Wikipedia Science Conference today. Leutha (discusscontribs) 16:10, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Introducing the Wikimedia public policy site[edit]

Hi all,

We are excited to introduce a new Wikimedia Public Policy site. The site includes resources and position statements on access, copyright, censorship, intermediary liability, and privacy. The site explains how good public policy supports the Wikimedia projects, editors, and mission.

Visit the public policy portal:

Please help translate the statements on Meta Wiki. You can read more on the Wikimedia blog.


Yana and Stephen (Talk) 18:12, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

(Sent with the Global message delivery system)

Templates to keep your user talk page clean[edit]

If you want your user talk page to be as clean as mine, use Template:Moveon top and Template:Moveon bottom to help you "move on" after the topic no longer interests you. To play with it, copy/paste this wikitext into your sandbox:

{{Moveon top|write a statement or summary here}}
First statement
:Second statement
::Third statement
{{Moveon bottom}}