Wikimedia and Open Academia

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About[edit]

Contributors[edit]

  1. James Neill - Bio
  2. More welcome

Abstract[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and universities are well-placed to strategically work together to mutually achieve a common mission around building and sharing the knowledge commons - and, perhaps even more importantly, to enhance our human capacity to contribute to and utilise the knowledge commons. Underlying the strategic potential for the WMF and universities to work together is a notion of open academia which involves a culture of open practice including use of open processes (such as use of free software, open access, open formats, and open licensing, managed through open governance), open activities (open education, open research, and open service) and sharing open outputs (such as learning resources, research and data). The WMF offers a stable, scalable hardware and software platform for developing and housing knowledge commons content through its ecology of sister projects, including Wikiversity, Wikibooks, Wikipedia, and Wiki Commons. University communities of academic staff and emerging academics are uniquely positioned to capitalise on and contribute to the knowledge commons available via the WMF sister projects, but doing so will require a cultural shift towards valuing openness in academia.

Knowledge commons[edit]

  1. What is it?
  2. Why does it matter?

Open academia[edit]

  1. What is it?
  2. Why does it matter?

WMF[edit]

  1. What is it?
  2. Why does it matter?

Universities[edit]

  1. What are they?
  2. Why do they matter?

WMF/University projects[edit]

Examples[edit]

  1. Course/Subject/Unit materials on Wikiversity
  2. Textbooks on Wikibooks
  3. e-Portfolios on Wikiversity
  4. Health-care - e.g., caregiving and dementia

Strengths[edit]

  1. Learning experiences occur in the real-world and contribute to the real-world
  2. WMF and Mediawiki provide a stable hardware platform , software, and ecology of sister projects for hot-housing development of the knowledge commons

Challenges[edit]

  1. Normative academic cultural caution, suspicion, and skepticism (e.g., academic bias against use of Wikipedia)
  2. Wikipedia-centrism
  3. Development of basic editing skills

Opportunities[edit]

  1. Switching emerging academics from passive readers to active editors
  2. The learner workforce can make valuable contributions to the knowledge commons if this is promoted, supported, and facilitated

Conclusions[edit]

  1. Wikiversity offers a natural, friendly entry point to the Wikimedia sister projects for academic staff and emerging academics to participate in and contribute to the knowledge commons; from here participants can be oriented to the sister projects

References[edit]

  1. Tonks, D., Weston, S., Wiley, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2013). “Opening” a new kind of school: The story of the Open High School of Utah. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(1).