Wikiversity:Rebooting Wikiversity

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Wikiversity has had a number of problems over the years, some of which might be intractable. In this project, we'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of how wikiversity is defined, managed, and hosted. If we could redesign Wikiversity "from scratch", what would it look like?

Just notes and comments for now:

Policies and scope[edit]

  • Wikiversity uses a fairly radical interpretation of "anyone can edit", which is particularly problematic if resources here are to have active participation by young people.
  • The scope in general was never very well defined from the start, and it has been hard to define ever since.
  • Wikiversity more than many projects directly addresses what it means to educate effectively, or to be educational; but this isn't discussed in current policy as something measurable.

Management[edit]

  • To what degree is the management "local", as opposed to being at the "foundation level"?
    As with all foundation projects, I would expect management to be entirely local, within the very limited boundaries set by the handful of foundation-wide policies and principles. Any intervention by people from other projects or from "the foundation" should be considered an emergency action, not relevant to long-term planning. SJ+ 22:59, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
  • What's the "right mix" for management? What's the best balance between academic professionals, enthusiastic amateurs, developers, etc.?

Hosting[edit]

  • Wikiversity uses the MediaWiki software, which works fairly well. However, there are a vast number of extensions and other tools available which have never been turned on.
    • Software: I could imagine: content primarily in audio form (users joining and getting also another sense activated than in normal wikis) and a software which converts audio then to text. So, later text could be input in a system (e.g. wiki). Talking is faster and easier than writing. The question is: if that time won goes lost when correcting the converted text from audio :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 23:22, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Clearly addressing what interfaces, tools, and extensions are useful, and finding people interested in hacking on those sorts of tools/extensions, are both essential to a thriving project. SJ+
    • federated wikis (by Ward Cunningham)
  • Some thoughts, e.g. Opera Unite or some kind of p2p, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 23:58, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

improvements[edit]

Alternatives[edit]

  • If there are serious problems that really are intractable, what are the options?
    • Working out a better arrangement with the WMF might be best, but it's unclear what would be on the table.
      • A better arrangement for what? See comments under 'management' above. SJ+
    • Forking might be best, but would be complicated and expensive to carry out.
      • Details?
      • Forking shouldn't be expensive. The 'right to fork' is a central right of wikis, and MediaWiki and the dumps provided by Wikimedia projects make both of these trivial. I don't think that is what you mean... But the existence of an easy, cheap way to fork encourages people with different {ideas of how a project should run} to work together and avoid duplication of effort if at all possible. SJ+

Attempts to create a new "Wikiversity"[edit]

  • wikademia dot org: status?
    With what new features? What qualifies as 'a new wikiversity'? There are many other educational wikis out there. I happen to think wikiversity is one of the best organized and most civilized, even if it isn't terribly big yet... SJ+

Spring cleaning[edit]

Changing the mission statement isn't going to help so long as the troll-to-legitimate-editor ratio is out of whack. This project should ban users who are banned from other projects and are known to have a history of trolling. They are not here to legitimately contribute to the project. Kaldari 15:48, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I would also suggest strongly liberalizing the deletion criteria here. Kaldari 15:57, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

If you have questions about a user's participation at Wikiversity then you can drop by their user talk page and chat. If a Wikiversity page has weaknesses, click "edit" and improve the page. --JWSchmidt 16:17, 5 April 2010 (UTC)