User:Mu301/Learning blog

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My thoughts about creating learning resources, developing Wikiversity, and the broader subject of collaborative learning in a wiki environment.

I encourage discussion and comments; feel free to edit these pages. Create a subsection header if you include a block of text that is longer than about a paragraph, otherwise no need. Please sign with --~~~~

I also write about the history of science and technology at the Ladd Observatory blog and at my personal blog Fornax Chimiæ. --mikeu talk

April 2019[edit]

In other projects[edit]

A standard practice from the early days of Wikiversity was to create empty pages with nothing but a template such as {{Welcome and expand}}, or {{we}} for short. The rationale was that if a page simply existed the mere presence would lure someone to come to the page and develop it into a useful resource. For example, one particularly misguided contributor (now community banned) went on a bulk creation spree over a decade ago. An example is a title called White paper which was created in 2008 with the following wikicode:

* [[Wikipedia: White paper]]

==See also==
* [
&fulltext=Advanced+search Search for White paper at Wikiversity]

We're still finding remnants of this failed experiment such as Professor. These were not regarded as good faith edits.[1]

In other cases this template was applied to test edits like Biomaterials. It has had 134 page views since it was created in 2006. There have been 0 edits since 2009. The practice of seeding the site with these stubs with the intent that they would grow into a well developed resource has clearly not worked as intended.

Now I'm seeing that our sister projects are discovering these pages and are cross linking to them. They can't even be reasonably described as a resource stub. This linking is done through the Wikidata: project. Some of this discovery appears to be automated. Other actions are manually done. The w:White pages article, for example, has our empty resource listed under "In other projects" in the sidebar. This isn't helpful to either a Wikipedia reader or to the development of our site. We either have a resource or we don't. It is misleading to have a link that takes someone to a blank page with boilerplate text. The White paper page has been viewed 277 times since created. It should be obvious that few of those page views resulted in either learning or development of an educational project.

We'll need to review these leftovers from the early stage of our site's development. Drawing traffic to undeveloped topics is not highlighting our strengths. --mikeu talk 19:29, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

March 2019[edit]

Negative population growth[edit]

As part of the Wikimedia branding initiative a presentation was published that shows editor engagement at the various Wikimedia sister projects. The data is from November 2018. I'm not clear on how they are counting editors. The number for Wikiversity is given as 187 while our Special:Statistics lists 277 "active users" (Users who have performed an action in the last 30 days.)

Editor engagement: # of editors

Both Wikidata: and Wiktionary: show strong growth at greater than 10% while Wikipedia shows modest growth of about 1% and most projects are somewhere in between. At the other end is Wikispecies:, Wikinews:, and in last place Wikiversity with a whopping 13% drop in engagement and the absolute largest shift of any project. I find this troubling if for no other reason that WMF might get a negative impression of our progress. I'll need to look into this further.

In other news the same presentation shows 9.4 million page views here with only News and Species having lower activity. We have a page that collects data about activity on the site at Wikiversity:Statistics, for comparison. --mikeu talk 18:22, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

Curating cross-wiki links[edit]

I'm currently reviewing w:Template:Wiiversity and what links there. There are over 800 articles that include this template. For example:

I've started cleaning up the broken links but I also think that we need to draw attention to the best resources created here. Simply linking to a new WV page to draw attention/editors is not likely to improve participation here. It also gives encyclopedia readers the misleading impression that we have low quality resources. --mikeu talk 19:37, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

It looks like a review of w:Template:Sister project links is also needed. w:Chemistry containted a link to Chemistry. --mikeu talk 20:02, 25 March 2019 (UTC)


Search Console results[edit]

I've been using Google Search Console every couple of years as part of Google/Search and Wikiversity. The process is to determine what topics people are searching for and then look at which pages we have on the subject. The table below shows the top 10 search terms that return wikiversity pages in the results. Computer science, and particularly software, dominates. CTR is the Click Through Rate. The phrase "migrate to new technology" returns ICAU3019A Migrating to new technology in the first page of results leading to a high CTR. The two "ohio scales" queries return Ohio Youth Problems, Functioning and Satisfaction Scales (Ohio Scales).

Queries returning results
(Downloaded Mar 14, 2019)
Queries Clicks Impressions CTR Position WV page(s)
computer software 16 405 3.95% 6.89 Types of computer software
types of software 12 152 7.89% 7.81 Types of computer software
electron beam heating 5 45 11.11% 3.91
migrate to new technology 5 18 27.78% 7.17 ICAU3019A Migrating to new technology
ohio scale 4 58 6.9% 6.31 Ohio Youth Problems, Functioning and Satisfaction Scales (Ohio Scales)
ohio scales scoring 4 14 28.57% 3.64 Ohio Youth Problems, Functioning and Satisfaction Scales (Ohio Scales)
classification of literature 3 16 18.75% 1.38
type of software 2 114 1.75% 7.4 Types of computer software
emergency medicine organization 2 46 4.35% 14.41
workplace diversity definition 2 42 4.76% 10.5

The full download is now at Google/Search and Wikiversity/2019 if anyone is interested. I'm not sure that there is any actionable knowledge that could be used to improve traffic to our site. I'm attempting to use w:Data mining techniques to inform my decision making. --mikeu talk 01:39, 14 March 2019 (UTC)


A search for the terms "computer software" or "types of computer software" or "type of computer software" all return Types of computer software on the first or second page of results. Note that Google links to the title in lower case, but we also have a more developed resource at Types of Computer Software. Here are the recent page views for both.

The lower case title is probably more in line with our naming conventions. Google is linking to it, but it is a stub compared to the other page. I've proposed a merger at Talk:Types of computer software. --mikeu talk 14:45, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

The content at Types of Computer Software has been moved to Types of computer software. --mikeu talk 17:24, 31 March 2019 (UTC)