User:Mu301/Learning blog/2007-12

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December 2007

  • It has now been one year since I started editing here at Wikiversity. I've done some minor cleanup and organization of the astronomy topic pages. I also created a few activities on observational astronomy. This seems like a good time to reflect on the pages that I've been working on before deciding how to proceed. I share the vision that a wiki can be a place where collaborative learning takes place. My first attempt at pursuing that vision was the "build it, and they will come" stategy. I hoped that by creating a well defined activity it would attract the attention of someone interested in learning the topic and they would then participate in the expansion and growth of the lesson. I did not expect this to occur overnight. I waited several months to see if anyone would participate or ask questions. If anyone is doing the activities, or even just reading the pages, they have not made themselves known. This could be due to my picking topics that are too narrow to attract interest. It could be that the structure of the lessons or the instructions do not make it clear how to get involved. It could just be that the community here is too small to include learners who are interested in astronomy projects. I would be most interested in hearing feedback on the pages that I've been working on and ideas on how to get people involved in the projects. Feel free to add comments to this page.--mikeu 16:58, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The two main stated goals of Wikiversity are to "Create and host free content, multimedia learning materials, resources, and curricula..." and "Develop collaborative learning projects and communities around these materials." [1] The few pages that I've created are a decent start at working towards these two goals for the topics that I decided to pursue. The question is how to build a community. How do we attract people to participate in a collaborative learning projects? I'm now begining to think that my first approach (build it, and they will come) is a bit naive. Or maybe I'm too impatient to give it time to work. In any case I've decided that it is too frustrating to develop a collaborative learning project when I have not been able to find anyone to collaborate with. Perhaps I need to pursue a new strategy. Something along the lines of "bring them, and show them how to build it." My next project will involve recruiting teachers who I'll be meeting with in person and then getting them to participate in a learning project to create activities for use in the classroom. I'll be planning the project here and documenting the progress as it unfolds.--mikeu 18:35, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
....how to build learning groups at Wikiversity? There are technical (software) issues....I think it is a fact that Wikiversity could benefit from better communications tools such as an embedded threaded discussion system....flat talk pages are ancient and limited technology if you are trying to support collaborators. Wikipedia is the world's largest source of wiki editors. I think we can do better at making Wikiversity resources that would be relevant to Wikipedia editors....resources that would attract Wikipedia editors to also edit at Wikiversity. We could also help ourselves by making Wikiversity a great place to learn about Web 2.0, copyleft, wiki in general and how to participate in Wikimedia projects. Too many people come to Wikiversity and never edit...here at the start we need people who will click the edit button. I think the WIkiversity main page should be completely re-done to better attract participants (new editors). I think Wikiversity:Community Portal should be entirely devoted to helping create and perfect ways to build communities of learners at Wikiversity. In general, in order to start to build community here it may be that we have to identify those topics that have the widest potential "audience" in order to maximize the chances of establishing lasting communities of learners who will be wiki editors. This is the way Wikipedia has developed....the more arcane topics have to wait until the community grows and people become aware of a wiki and what can be done there. Of course, there are many possible ways to advertise a specialized Wikiversity topic in the real world beyond Wikimedia projects...I think such advertisement is needed at this time to attract participants to specialized Wikiversity projects. "Build it and they will come" does not work....at least, it does not work very fast if you are building learning resources of interest to only a narrow target audience. --JWSchmidt 18:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)