Help:101 things to do with your class on Wikiversity

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This help page is intended to be an indefinitely growing collection of ideas for doing things with classes on Wikiversity. "101" may be hopeful, but it emphasises that this page is for adding to.

If you are bringing your class to Wikiversity, you will probably have questions like "what am I allowed to do here?" and "can you give me idea about what to do?" You are allowed to do pretty well anything that is educational and doesn't break policy, but "anything" is much less helpful than a big pile of "somethings". A good way to plan your class visit is to take a good look at what others have done, so plenty of examples are included below.

Registering as a user[edit]

The special login page is normally linked at the top right-hand side of the page, but you can also make it easier for students by putting a large "register here" link in the middle of a page you create for the class. Students will be very good at losing their passwords, so draw their attention to the ease with which they can have a new password emailed to their email address - if, that is, they managed to type in their correct email address when registering (important) - otherwise the account is doomed.

If you are managing a large group of students on Wikiversity, it may be a good idea to embed some kind of recognition system into their usernames. The simplest way is to require them to use a prefix or suffix with their usernames. Choose a short two- or three-letter abbreviation for your course name or the name of your educational institution. When managing and monitoring your students on Wikiversity, you should find out how to monitor recent changes to Wikiversity (which also records user account creations).

Another option: You can consider also, that your student eventually will continue editing Wikiversity also after the end of your class. In this case probably they won't be happy to have a prefix/suffix in their usernames. You can encourage them to choose nickname freely, and create a (sub)page with the list of your students. This enables also other, previously not expected users to join.

See also: Wikiversity:Why create an account

Learning to edit a wiki[edit]

See: list of resources for learning to edit a wiki.

Analysing the wiki behaviour of a class[edit]

Whatever you do with your class in Wikiversity, you will be doing the learning as well as them. While you prepare, watch and help them with their visit, you will find out more about how to deal with classes on Wikiversity. Please collect and post your observations and findings. Future teachers will find this very helpful. You can post your experience report on the talk page of any project you create, or on the talk page of this page.

Take a course offered on Wikiversity[edit]

Some courses on Wikiversity are well suited to visiting classes. You can find existing learning pathways in these projects, and all you need to do is point your class to the start page. Such courses have typically been left behind (or are actively maintained) by educators from elsewhere.

Example: Filmmaking, language courses

Essay writing[edit]

A real-world class adds their term papers to a collection started by their teacher/professor. Each essay is written independently of the others, although the title may be pre-set and the essays belong to the same collection page.Essays can be written by individuals or small groups as suits the total class size. Participants may only be active on Wikiversity for a short period towards the end of term.

Example: Design for the Environment

Collaborative resource creation[edit]

This idea has so far mostly been done at graduate level and/or with smaller classes. The class focuses on creating an educational resource on a single subject area and pursues the project for most of a term. The resource may have the nature of a short introduction or textbook on the subject and may approach the topic from an authoritative and educational perspective. The whole class collaboratively works on the whole project. The result is a coherent whole.

If the fake-world class is repeated at regular intervals (e.g.annually), subsequent classes can return to the resource to improve and extend it.

Example: Media literacy, Technical writing.

Add observational data to a "massively distributed collaboration"[edit]

There are some projects on Wikiversity which consist of collecting massive amounts of observational data from casual visitors from all over the world. Your class can temporarily join such a project and add to the data. Participation typically involves a lot of real world activity, because you have to go outside and collect some observational data. The Wikiversity projects can help you make sense of the data you have collected, and you can add your data to the collection.

Example: Bloom clock

Threaded discussions[edit]

There are two main learning elements before a class can engage in wiki-discussions. One is technical: the class needs to know how to use bullets and indents to indicate replies to a posting ("threading"), and they need to know how to sign their posts. The other is sociological: the class needs to know about rules of etiquette for engaging in debate.

As a teacher, you will need to set up a page for the debate, and divide it into sections for sub-topics as they appear. If a class is debating or discussing all at the same time, you will need to find out about edit conflicts (when two people try to update a page at the same time) so that you can advise your students as you go round the classroom.

See also[edit]