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Organization of Wikiversity

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"Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom." — Benjamin N. Cardozo (discuss)

What _IS_ Wikiversity?[edit]

I have been on Wikiversity a long time, and absent for a while now. I have an idea on how I would answer this question, but I would like to know how the community feels about this question. Should WV be a collection of static documents? Or should it be part of the learning process? Is there any place for assessment of learning or grading of any sort (whether it be formal marks for assignments, quizzes or even self-assessment to get feedback on what might be getting accomplished)? Should there be "courses", or "seminars", or just a chaotic collection of random material some might learn from? Historybuff (discusscontribs) 00:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

I think Wikiversity should be part of the learning process. Content may be static for awhile if it is high quality. It should be dynamic if there are opportunities for improvement or revision, or if that's the purpose of the given learning project. There should certainly be self-assessment built into lessons. Whether there are opportunities for peer assessment depends on how many are participating, and whether anyone is willing to coordinate that assessment. I personally have found Quizlet to be more effective for self-assessment than anything I've been able to create with wiki tools. There should definitely be courses and seminars. I'm not a fan of chaotic random material, and often try to move it into some collection of related content when I find it abandoned. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:57, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of Quizlet, I was confused about their copyright notice. Is there any danger that they will claim ownership of these contributions in the future?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 04:17, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
The part of their terms I'm using is "you have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms;" I add a CC-BY-SA and link to the source in the description for all Quizlets I create. They won't be able to claim ownership. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 04:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
With the ownership question resolved, I can endorse Quizlets but urge contributors to contribute as open source. Back to the question, I think Wikiversity is "all of the above". Portions are highly organized, portions are under construction, and we have strange pages that we don't know what to do with. Wikiversity is like the internet itself, full of good and bad stuff. But some of the good stuff is getting really good. And it's all open source so anybody can freely use it. It is the latter property, plus the interlnks to Wikipedia/Commons/Wikibooks that have me hooked, and also convinced that Wikiversity will always grow.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 13:53, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I hardly do anything on Wikiversity, but I sort of keep an eye on it. I'd like to use it more... I'm just never quite sure what is acceptable here. On your point of static-vs-dynamic pages, my first thought is that anything in User: space should be left alone (material there is people's "lecture notes" and doesn't have to be complete, or non-messy) and everything in Mainspace is open for perpetual editing so long as it isn't changed completely away from the original intent. I sometimes think of Wikiversity as the companion to Wikibooks, in that one can study a topic in a Wikibook, and make notes and do exercises and write personal-PoV commentary in one's userspace here on Wikiversity. — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 01:05, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Just FYI, but Wikiversity is for me the home of original research within the WMF. I originally was editing articles (or entries) on Wikipedia to bring each to the state of the art or science. That alone was considered original research. This is where that can be performed, studied to seek funding, laid out to produce novel results, and ultimately presented into the refereed archival scientific or humanities literature. It can also be incorporated into learning resources of any type, any point of view, or multiple approaches to the same field, topic, subject, art or craft. You can be the learner, the creator, the studier, the teacher, the educator, curator, and eventually the expert. You are free to be civil, participatory, explanatory, and exploratory among many other endeavors. Enjoy learning by doing! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 03:16, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree on original research, and how useful it could be. When I was last here, Action Research was a big buzzword. I'm tempted to launch some investigations, but it'll depend on time and how I feel. There is a lot of non-OR stuff to do as well. Historybuff (discusscontribs) 14:58, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Wikiversity:What is Wikiversity? For what it's worth, I think User:Historybuff's question about static versus dynamic content is a good one: although an article in Wikipedia or a definition in Wiktionary can change (and certainly they will), at some point, they should be more-or-less stable and about as comprehensive as they need to be. Similarly, our direct parent Wikibooks should produce content which is made into print documents: they should reach a point where they are ready to be made into physical things which have to be static. This seems like one of the dividing lines between the two projects: Wikiversity assumes that a given topic should encourage feedback and collaboration in a way that is more active than the other wikis where it is implicit. Similarly, there are also more-or-less singular topics here that are the perspective of a single person: adding to them shouldn't be done in such as way as to remove the original but to respond to it, remix it, or otherwise comment on it. It's something worth bearing in mind when comparing and contrasting this project with our sisters. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:34, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback everyone. To samwilson, I would say ... always BE BOLD. When I started here originally, I was interested in Teaching, but wasn't sure in what way. I taught in real life as that was a passion, but I didn't know what was acceptable on here. The truth is, everything and nothing is :). Remember, no one "owns" a learning resource here; it should always be open for improvement. You should of course try to work collaboratively if someone else is improving a resource -- and there are enough spots that need help to go around.
I think there have been several iterations (versions?) of attempts at organization on Wikiversity. I don't think there is a best or "one right" way to do so ... but for newcomers, the sheer cacophony of disorganisation can be overwhelming.
I have some ideas on what I'd like to see going forward, but I'm glad to see discussion and even some passion. I'm a bit tired (and it's a bit late here), but I'll write more when I have a bit more free time. Historybuff (discusscontribs) 06:42, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't want this to become Fermat's last theorem, so I'll scribble a bit here. When I first arrived many moons ago, WV had been born and there were some very specific ideas on how it would look once "built". But it was the wild west, and people built whatever they could, and many moved on. I see some discussion has gone on lately, which seems focused on formal education; and I think that's a great facet, but it wasn't (when I joined) the only approach. And hopefully it doesn't only become that.
For me, a big part of WV was the community, and they felt both valued and were of great value. I'm trying to figure out what the community values now, and what is valuable; as that is what will grow both community and resources. Historybuff (discusscontribs) 23:43, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
I would like to see wikiversity attract a diverse range of contributors. It would be a great hub for the maker crowd experimenting with Arduino and similar projects. (Just to give one example) We used to keep an eye out for deleted content from wikipedia and other projects. The idea was to invite them to move here if it didn't meet their scope. Regular higher education classes hosted here is fantastic because it generates a large amount of quality content. But, I agree that community building is also important. --mikeu talk 02:56, 7 January 2016 (UTC)


The curator role has now been added to Wikiversity. See Wikiversity:User access levels for background information. A proposed Wikiversity:Curators page has been created to outline the role and associated responsibilities, borrowed heavily from the corresponding Custodianship page. Please review and discuss. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 17:21, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

I'm concerned about the prominence of "Delete" in the curation proposal. Curation brings to my mind guides, helpers and enablers; deletion should be a tool of last resort, used against those who scribble "Kilroy was here" on the washroom wall. I don't know the state of the wiki lately, but I see far too many redlinks out there on pages I'm browsing. My philosophy is that little/bad content can be made better, but absence of content doesn't cry for it's creation. Historybuff (discusscontribs) 15:13, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, curation is intended to guide, help, and enable. Deletion isn't simply a tool used against. It is often a tool used in support. For example, this week we have a class of students creating content for their Data Networking course. Many of them initially created pages in the Wikiversity: namespace. Those pages were then either moved or abandoned and recreated. Both solutions required cleanup in support of these users and their learning project. The Wikiversity:Deletions page outlines what may be deleted without discussion. There's actually very little that gets deleted here that isn't on that list, as almost nothing that is requested for deletion gets approved by the community. The only practical way to get rid of a resource you don't like is to tag it with {{subst:prod}} and wait 90 days.
The expectation behind the Curator role is for there to be two types of curators. One would be a teacher who brings a class to Wikiversity. This role would empower the teacher to support their class and class content. The teacher is unlikely to use curator rights outside of their area of expertise. The other would be someone with more editing experience who is interested in supporting the wider community. If there are concerns, we could require that curators only be allowed to delete their own content and content their students create. Anything else would need to have a Delete tag applied by someone else before it could be deleted.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:13, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Difference between Curators and Custodians? ----Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 16:30, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Curators manage content. They cannot manage (block) users or edit the user interface (MediaWiki: namespace). Custodians manage content, users, and the user interface. Custodians are approved by the community. Curators could be approved by a custodian, although I personally would like to see either community support for a curator, or at least lack of opposition to a curator before the rights are granted. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:36, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree on both counts: In a pinch, a Custodian can approve a Curator, but we should seek community support whenever possible. We also need to devise standards for becoming a Curator. I think one standard should be a commitment to not over-protect. We don't want Wikiversity to become a collection of protected documents (...or do we???). I have over 720 multiple choice quiz questions, and not one of them is protected. I think I had about 2 cases of vandalism over the past couple of years. What makes them safe is the "ocean" of other pages from which the troublemakers can choose. If we start protecting documents for no reason, those that are unprotected will be left vulnerable.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:29, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Is there really that many people who are asking for some, but not all of the tools? If in fact the process for Curator and Custodian requires the same community phase, the difference in the outcome is not much and it feels like a solution looking for a problem. (I don't mean to imply that it might not be useful if WV were vibrant and noisy enough; I'm just not sure if that is the case at present) Historybuff (discusscontribs) 02:30, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
The first goal is to empower teachers while having a lower barrier for entry. Seeking community support isn't the same as requiring it. As I noted, a lack of opposition on a curator would be sufficient for me, a much lower barrier than community support. The second goal is that there were and are users who could be readily trusted with content tools, but who did not or would not have community support with user tools. It was, indeed, a problem that needed a solution, and there are active users now who I believe would be appropriate for this role. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:38, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Here is an apparent learning resource: Creating Dynamic Lessons that may qualify for curation. Many of its images are currently up for deletion due to a lack of license information. If these images are created by the resource creator it would be a simple matter to supply the licensing information as Fair use for all the images.
I'm currently curating Upper Limb Orthotics and hope to begin looking at North Carolina World War I which has had many images deleted for lack of license information.
If any Curator, candidate Curator, or interested potential Curator is interested in either of the above I will be happy to undelete necessary images for proper Fair use licensing. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:54, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
I believe we should have a central Curations page or something similar (a log perhaps) to indicate curated resources. What do you think? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 15:02, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

IRC Channel and Mailing List[edit]

On Wikiversity:Main Page it indicates that we actively monitor the Wikiversity IRC channel and mailing list. Is anyone actively monitoring these resources? If not, does anyone want to, or should we remove this language from the main page? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:58, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

I'd have no problem monitoring the IRC page... I don't know about the mailing list tho! ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 16:33, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I've recently started monitoring the en and beta irc channels. According to an old friend I ran into there the channels have been very inactive. In the past the channel has been used by Stewards to contact Custodians regarding cross-wiki activity. I don't know if that has happened recently. A quick look at the mailing list show a brief burst of activity in July 2015 and again in November 2015. I wouldn't describe it is active. I doubt many people even remember that it exists. --mikeu talk 22:28, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Wikiversity:Chat/Meeting schedule[edit]

Wikiversity:Chat/Meeting schedule

Is this ever getting back up? ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 20:02, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Tssk... ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 22:59, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Lately, I'm in there frequently. --mikeu talk 22:30, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Password Strength RFC[edit]


We have started an RFC on meta to increase password requirements for users that have accounts which can edit MediaWiki:Common.js, have access to checkuser or have access to Oversight.

These types of accounts have sensitive access to our sites, and can cause real harm if they fall into malicious hands. Currently the only requirement is the password is at least 1 letter long. We would like to make the minimum be 8 letters (bytes) long and also ban certain really common passwords.

By increasing requirements on passwords for accounts with high levels of access, we hope to make Wikimedia wikis more secure for everyone. Please read the full text of the proposal here, and make your voice heard at the RFC.

Thank you

(On behalf of the WMF security team) BWolff (WMF) (discusscontribs) 07:25, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Delivered using the distribution list

New Portal Design[edit]

I've been working on a new portal design that focuses on maximizing dynamic content and ease of customization (color and layout), while minimizing maintenance requirements and supporting current web design guidelines (css vs. tables). Take a look at Portal:Agriculture to see the progress. Use the Purge server cache link at the bottom of the page a few times to see dynamic content updates.

  • The page layout is straight-forward, with most of the complicated content hidden behind transcluded templates and modules.
  • Each section of the portal is easily edited by direct link, allowing users to update content without having to interpret the layout.
  • Featured Resource is randomly selected from a list of links, with only the lead (header) content above the first heading displayed. This eliminates the need to maintain separate feature pages.
  • Featured Picture is randomly selected from a list of links. This eliminates the need to maintain separate picture-of-the-day-pages. It also allows pictures to come from either Wikiversity or Commons.
  • The Content listing is generated dynamically from a category tree.
  • The Related Content listing is generated dynamically from a category tree or trees.
  • The Related Portals listing is manual, but easy to update and shouldn't change often.
  • The Major Wikiversity Portals section is updated by template.
  • The Wikimedia section is updated by template.
  • Other common portal sections will be located on the Learn or Participate tabs. Learn and Participate were selected because a learn by doing approach necessitates verbs rather than nouns for these tabs.
  • Learn will target students / passive learners / viewers with sections for courses, learning projects, books, etc.
  • Participate will target teachers / editors / active learners with sections for participants, things to do, page creation, discussion links, etc.

The idea is for this design to replace unmaintained pages in the Topic: namespace and revise/refresh pages in the Portal: namespace. Please review the design and provide suggestions, recommendations, etc. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 04:37, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Take a look at the last two screen shots I uploaded. Is there a way to have the portal fallback to single column for small screen mobile devices? --mikeu talk 05:11, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
landscape mobile  
portrait mobile  
updated version  

The reason that I'm bringing this up is the increase in mobile edits and Google's new ] ranking] scheme. Otherwise, I think it looks and works great. --mikeu talk 13:28, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Layout adjusted for smaller screen sizes. Test again and see if that works. I'm not sure what's causing the blank line that appears under the tab on mobile browsers. I'll see if I can find anything in the tab code. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:29, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
BTW, I ran a Google Mobile-Friendly Test on it and they think it's "Awesome!" -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:37, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
The text is slightly cramped, but much more readable. That works a lot better. One thing I just noticed is the lack of dark green behind the words "Featured Picture edit" which has so little contrast it's a bit difficult for an old man like me to read. Guidelines for accessibility [1] call for a contrast of 4.5:1 for normal text. Btw, I just looked at the physics portal on mobile and it is badly broken. This new design is a vast improvement. I also virtually tested it on an [ iphone simulator. Looks similar, except the screen is much smaller than my droid. In general --mikeu talk 17:15, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
There's something about the default Wikimedia mobile CSS that isn't quite compatible with the desktop CSS. I've fixed the Box-include to add contrast to the words. It's better, but still leaves a light box beside the Edit that's floating right. That should be included in the larger div with a dark background, but mobile is ignoring that and going transparent for some reason. It's the latest Box-include code from Wikipedia, but still generates the error. Take a look again and see if this is acceptable. If not, it means a complete redesign and rewrite of the Box-include template. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:58, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
It is much more readable and looks good on mobile. It is a tremendous improvement over the earlier portals, which are completely unusable on a mobile device. --mikeu talk 19:08, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Mobile layout issues in the new portal design are now corrected. There were issues in {{start tab}}, {{tab}}, and {{box-header}}. The new portals now look the same in both desktop and mobile views, dependent only upon available screen size. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 20:12, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Brick and mortar collaboration[edit]

There is a list of "brick and mortar" (ie. non virtual) institutions, e.g. universities or schools that are collaborating with various Wikiversity language projects at betawikiversity:Brick_and_mortar_collaboration#English_Wikiversity. The list for wv-en is very out of date. Please take a moment to update the page with recent collaborations that you know of. --mikeu talk 17:14, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

I added mine (@Dave Braunschweig: do you want me to add yours?). Here is a list that I accumulated recently:
Howard Community College was very active until the end of Spring semester 2015. I will research the ones with question marks. A number of us want Wikiversity to play a greater role in education. I can only speak for myself, but I am solely motivated by the fact that no site is fulfilling this need. I am a teacher who would gladly abandon Wikiversity if I had something better. I believe Wikiversity is on the brink of making significant contributions. In the past we could distinguish ourselves from Wikipedia because we encouraged parallel efforts and were structured to host content subpages. Recently WP and WV have both begun to develop course management through Wiki Ed and EduV.
Wikiversity's new Curator user group is a significant change that I predict it will soon eventually attract two groups of users in droves, because now "the common person" can protect. Teachers will be safe from disenchanted students bent on mischief, and experts who are also creative writers will know their work won't be rendered mediocre by future edits (and WP is certainly full of mediocre pages). Keep in mind that not all my predictions come true. In 1995 I predicted that the new trend towards wireless internet access would go nowhere because few people are bothered by those wires on their desk behind the personal computer.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:19, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
There's also a great deal of information at Wikiversity:School and university projects, but it only covers up to 2011. We might want to update that as a landing page for new educators. --mikeu talk 19:27, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
All the sites with question marks in the above list seem to be inactive. If it is true that institutions tend to abandon WV after a few years, then we need to face that fact and address it. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:44, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
We might want to approach the instructors of active classes to ask for feedback on what works, what they had trouble with, etc. Perhaps also ask them to assign the students to briefly assess their experience contributing here. --mikeu talk 20:01, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
Good idea. I would also like to interview those who have left WV, but hesitate because I don't want to give the impression that I am some sort of sales rep.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 20:26, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
Maybe we could add a subpage to Why academics do and do not participate on wikis on Experiences or Feedback? Perhaps a separate page would be better? --mikeu talk 20:33, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

I added my college to beta. The contact for Howard Community College is / was User:1sfoerster. Florida still does some projects. The Data Networking class was active in December. I tried contacting the instructor of record off-wiki back in early December but got no response. UNC has been expanding their use, but it seems to be a spring-only class. La Trobe comes and goes. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:08, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Wikiversity:Bots Policy[edit]

Atcovi has pointed out that we have a number of inactive bots. I would suggest that we update the policy and perhaps consider removing the bot flag after a long period of inactivity. Please discuss at Wikiversity_talk:Bots#Update. --mikeu talk 21:19, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

I've opened a new WV:BOTS topic for discussion at Wikiversity_talk:Bots#Curator_flag_for_bots_-_request_for_comments. Please have a look and contribute to the conversation. --mikeu talk 18:28, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Announcement of intent to protect quiz pages[edit]

I believe it is the duty of a Custodian to follow as much as lead, so I am asking permission from the community to begin to routinely protect my quizzes.

In the past I had about 60 students in a given semester (small college) who all used the quizzes. There were approximately two acts of vandalism against my 84 quizzes in the past two years, and none seem to have come from my students. But, in the past, my students did not routinely edit Wikiversity. Now each student will be required to contribute, and in my Astronomy course, they will be required to improve the quizbank, which also serves as a studyguide for the exams. I have devised a scheme whereby they make contributions to a subpage of each quiz question -- we certainly don't want students to make last minute edits to a studyguide prior to an exam. My concern here, is accidental editing by students to the studyguide instead of the subpage reserved for improving the study guide.from talk page of --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 20:18, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

IMO, it is perfectly reasonable or, in some cases such as this example, necessary to protect pages for an active course. Especially given that a mistake could have an impact on a student's grades. I've recently semi-protected some pages where accidental editing could cause confusion or frustration for a learner. response communicated by --mikeu talk 20:26, 1 January 2016 (UTC))
I'm not opposed because of the potential impact on student grades, and based on the opportunity for other instructors to do the same using Curator rights. But I do think preemptive protection should be restricted to real-world course content where grades may be impacted. Otherwise, new teachers are likely to want to protect everything, defeating the benefits of shared development. If I could have, I would have initially protected all of my courses, unnecessarily. I've been pleasantly surprised to see many more positive contributions to the resources I've created than the occasional vandalism edits. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:39, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
To see the system in operation, visit Wright State University Lake Campus/2016-1/Phy1060, which will have about 25 students this spring. The table shows all the quizzes associated with the first of four exams. The first quiz contains 17 multiple choice questions. The question number is a link to a subpage devoted to that question where students may contribute to the course (in fact they will be required to contibute). Contributions may consist of copy edit suggestions, or suggestions on how to word alternative questions on the same topic. Also, students will be required to provide short written answers to some of these questions on the in-class exams, and the subpage will contain suggestions on how to formulate good answers.. These subpages will be a permanent part of the resource, properly attributed on the history of that subpage. Here is a sample subpage: ...Astronomy_(wikipedia)/Quiz01/1, --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 01:56, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Your proposal that protection needs to be justified is wise and consistent with the wiki-philosophy. What's going to happen when the justification is that the author doesn't want his or her creative work spoiled by mediocre edits? I am speaking hypothetically; all my prose needs editing. But if we ever recruit large numbers of teachers with Curator protection rights, things might get interesting.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:01, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it should be used sparingly and be clearly labeled with something like {{tl:Protected course}}. I'd be inclined to not grant Curator to an educator right away if they are new to wikis to give them a little time to gain experience in what happens when you don't protect a page. There are other legitimate reasons for preemptive page protection besides real-world courses. I semi-protected Observational astronomy/RZ Cas to prevent accidental editing of a data file that would cause an error if a single comma were changed, for example. --mikeu talk 02:07, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps we should have a policy calling for a yearly review of Curator status? If we adopt the policy but don't bother to review a given individual, there would be no hard feelings. But without the policy, things might get awkward if a Curator becomes a marginal abuser of the privilege. The policy statement would emphasize the need not to protect without cause. On the other hand, we might use this protection privilege to recruit quality writers too inexperienced with the wiki-way to understand that protection is usually not needed. We need more resource writers on Wikiversity.Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:23, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

As an aside I've updated the protected page templates and categories. We'll need to track this more carefully if we are going to use it more frequently. I need to step out, but I'll comment on the other points later. In general I think that sounds like a good plan. --mikeu talk 02:27, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

A review of curator status sounds like a good idea. I would also suggest that protected pages undergo a review. I see a few in Category:Protected pages that look abandoned and are no longer protected. --mikeu talk 12:55, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Yes. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 13:30, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
I've cleaned up most of the Category:Protected pages issues. There's a few remaining if someone else wants to take a pass at them. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:48, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
@Atcovi, Dave Braunschweig, Mu301: Dave, I would be happy to "take a pass at them". And, we need to start a policy page on protection and make it clear that all users (even non-Custodians) are welcome to have pages protected if the service is needed. I was a "newbie" to Wikimedia just over three years ago, and can testify to the fact that newbies often overvalue page protection. But offering such a service can distinguish WV from our big sister WP (whom we all love, sibling rivalry notwithstanding). By requiring everyone (even Bureaucrats) to make this request, we create an automatically updated list of teachers who are using WV as a course management platform. As a courtesy to newbies we can do the protected page registration for them. As the number of quality articles on WV grows, more teachers might use WV as a "passive" course management system, and such pages should have protection while the class is in session. Here "passive" use means that the resource points to content resources without asking students to register and write on Wikimedia. What do you think of developing this policy at Wikiversity:Page protection/Proposed policy, and then making a brief announcement on the Colloquium to invite all to participate?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:25, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
We might also want to pull in some of the content from Wikiversity:Page protection templates. There's about 7 screens at Special:ProtectedPages, many of which look like legitimate targets of vandalism. I've only looked at a few of them. As I've mentioned above there are 3 pages that I recently semi-protected in Category:Protected_data_pages, but I've not seen any feedback or comments about them. --mikeu talk 18:04, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Four items: (1) I have never protected a template because none of them are likely to create any mischief on my pages. But, while I am not against unprotecting protected templates, I see no reason the change the status of an already-protected template. (2) I'm OK with the Protected_data_pages too. (3) I also tried to understand the incorrect template thing that I saw in Category:Protected pages and it seems to come from Template:Pp-meta. Whatever it is, it seems to be doing no harm. (4) Finally, there is an alternative place we can work out the details of the page-protection policy: Wikiversity:Page protection templates. Since there is no rush to protect pages, we can build this policy slowly, more with the aim of reassuring potential WV editors that they have this option than anything else.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:31, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry if my note was confusing. I wasn't talking about "protecting a template" above, I was talking about "templates that are placed on protected pages" which are described at Wikiversity:Page protection templates. I was suggesting that we review that proposal. Also, unlike Wikipedia which has a File:Padlock-silver.svg prominently at the top right of protected pages it is not as obvious that a page is protected here. Adding a tl:protected to the page both alerts a potential editor and includes in a subcategory making it easier to track different kinds of protected pages. I would encourage using these templates.
Regarding Templates that are protected: Templates used on many pages are a temptation for vandals to increase visibility, I think that many of them should stay protected. --mikeu talk 23:20, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

BTW, are you familiar with the meta:Flagged Revisions extension? It could be a useful alternative to page protection for some courses or projects. --mikeu talk 02:32, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

We also want the language of the protected-page template to (1) invite users to become Curators so that they too can protect, and (2) link to a page where page protection and forking into parallel pages are discussed. For example:

Wikiversity encourages page protection so that teachers can organize efforts by students learning to write, and also to protect the focus and content of pages written by experts. For more information, visit xxx.

I am fully aware that there is at present no reason to protect for the latter reason because quality pages on WV are rarely touched. But newbies don't know that, and this message serves to declare that quality pages on WV can and will be protected, something that doesn't always occur with WP due to WP's aversion to parallel pages. Two outstanding writers with different visions of the same page can make for one mediocre article.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:32, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

This may go further than necessary. I'd be more comfortable with "Wikiversity allows page protection ...", rather than "Wikiversity encourages page protection ...". The comfort should come from being able to protect the content rather than from preemptively protecting it, unless grades are involved as in the example you have provided. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:59, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Dave, page protection should only be used in edge cases. But, I wasn't suggesting that Flagged Revisions be a substitute for page protection, more another wrench in the toolbox. It might be of use in some situations where a teacher is worried about vandalism marring a page. I have no problem with protecting a quiz or exam questions. I question excessive or encouragement of use of it. The issue that I've brought up is if Flagged Revisions could be of use. Please comment on your opinion if this should be added as an extension to complement page protection. --mikeu talk 07:25, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
For example, take a look at the revision history of this page. As a featured resource it is prominently linked from our main page and the guided tour of featured content. As such, I would expect this to be one of the most vandalized pages on our site. There was one minor instance of vandalism last Nov. and before that it in 2012 and 2008. These were reverted within 2 days (or less) and could not be considered overly disruptive. A permalink or flagged revision would have prevented a learner from seeing the brief vandalism. There have also been a few edits that helpfully corrected typos or spelling errors. Page protection would have prevented that. There is very little other activity besides my own edits. I have difficulty seeing what problem encouraging preemptive bulk page protection is seeking to prevent. I fully support protecting a quiz or exam study guide, as this could cause real world consequences. However, I think we need to have a discussion about which tool is best for the desired outcome. --mikeu talk 14:26, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Both en.wikipedia and en.wikibooks are using the extension. Wikipedia editors seem to be very good about keeping up with the reviews. Wikibooks seems to be reviewed only occasionally. I think it would be interesting to try here, but it will require a commitment from those who want to use the feature that they will also participate in reviewing edits on other pages. Otherwise, it just ends up being one more thing for someone else to do. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:00, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
It has been a long time since I've tested the extension. From what I understand this is only selectively applied to pages. Most of our resources would not need the extension. I would suggest that it would only be applied to resources actively being used by a course where an instructor and/or teaching assistants review the content. This would cause little overhead for staff. --mikeu talk 14:36, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
My understanding of the extension is similar to yours, in that it would only be applied to certain pages. But we will inevitably end up with pages that are pending changes that the original reviewer is no longer actively monitoring. If we're going to use a feature that indicates to new users that pages are reviewed before edits are displayed, we will need people willing to do that review work on a regular basis. Who's willing? I am, but it needs to be a community effort. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Does the extension have an "expires" time like protected pages? A 6 month expire would cover the semester during which the course is active and the expire could be re-applied for a course that repeats the following year. --mikeu talk 15:01, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, there is an expiration option. See mw:Help:Extension:FlaggedRevs for user interface details. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:11, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the need for flagging extensions until WV grows big enough to need it. To me it feels like one more thing I need to learn and there are already too many things about wikimedia that I should know, but don't. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 16:06, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Interesting. I thought you would be in favor of it, because it adds the quality rating that you have mentioned in the past. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:22, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
The default for the extension is opt-in, so it would only apply to a page if staff set it per the request of an instructor. It could be set to expire after a reasonable time so it the protection is not forgotten. Anyone not needing the feature could ignore it and the number of pages would likely be small. The extension has little to do with the size of the wiki. A grade school teacher who works with young children might request it to prevent the kids from seeing any age inappropriate vandalism. I've worked with public school teachers who are very concerned about using the internet at all in the classroom out of fear that parents or administrators will hold them responsible. But, the extension is just a suggestion that we can discuss elsewhere.
The main point that Dave brought up is why we should encourage page protection. I don't see a compelling reason to do so. Could you elaborate on that point? --mikeu talk 16:35, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
@Mu301: To answer your two questions: #1 perhaps I am not enthusiastic about the flagging extension because I don't understand it. #2: I think Dave already knows this, but mikeu should know that even though I get crazy ideas, I don't act on them without consensus. I suggest we create a suite of page protect announcements, all as subpages to Template:Protect like the suite of inline text icons at Category:Inline icons. Then we can figure out how to deal with the page protection issue. We have plenty of time to solve this problem because as yet we have no flood of would-be Curators. So my first page protection template serves to illustrate the idea: See Template:Protect/Latinlanguagejoke, especially its talk page at '[[Template_talk:Protect/Latinlanguagejoke]]'--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:02, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
@Guy vandegrift: Ok, but I would suggest that anyone who thinks they need page protection first try "soft" page protection using {{Please don't edit}}. A quick look at pages that include it shows that very few edits have occurred on resources that have been abandoned for a very long time. (ie. 5 years) It makes a lot of sense to protect an exam study guide that is in current use, etc. But an elaborate page protection scheme seems like a solution in search of a problem. When I resumed editing some pages created 5 or 10 years ago I was a bit surprised, and somewhat disappointed, that no one had touched them after such a long time.
Wikiversity:Approved Wikiversity project proposal from the creation of this community states: "Page protection - there may be a need to restrict editing of pages or groups of pages to within groups of people (such as a research community, for example). However, this needs to be done with care, so as to minimise the exclusion of people to the work of that community." I'm just asking questions and making comments to ensure that this is "done with care." --mikeu talk 17:33, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, a request for permission to protect a resource morphed into two discussions. One is Page protection policy and the other involves flagging extensions. I know nothing about the latter, but would like to get involved with the former. Where should we discuss and create templates that generate protection announcements? At the moment the conversation appears to be at Wikiversity_talk:Page_protection. And now I have a slew of self-made redirects to clean up.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:31, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
No apology is necessary. I think that it is healthy and productive to discuss topics such as this. I am very supportive of the protection of pages for an active course, esp. for pages that are high stakes like graded exercises. You might take a look at the old Wikiversity:Page protection templates which goes along with Wikiversity:Page protection. We already have a few Category:Protect templates which might suit your needs. It would be less work than reinventing the wheel. --mikeu talk 17:44, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Wikiversity:Page protection is where we will improve these announcements when Wikipedia grows to the point where such protection is routine. And Category:Protect template already exists as the suite I was advocating. I share your surprise at the slow growth of Wikiversity, but remain convinced that growth is inevitable due to the WP-WV sister relationship. Our task is to facilitate that growth, or at the very least not inhibit growth. We facilitate by attempting to anticipate where WV is going, and we avoid inhibiting growth by not pushing too hard on our agendas. I think we are facilitating, but I know we are not inhibiting.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:43, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Could we talk a bit about the why before we dive into the how? Wikipedia has had episodes of truly explosive growth, and yet the list of protected articles is mostly limited to controversial topics like articles about religion and politics. I would not regard "grows to the point where such protection is routine" as a given. Many argue that the very openness of "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" was the key characteristic for this success. There have been growing pains such as libel in biographies of living persons and other issues, but overall even such a vast site as wp seems to manage the influx without a need for routine protection of pages. I can't see the logic in expecting that routine page protection would be necessary nor can I think of a Wikimedia Foundation site where such a practice has been implemented. --mikeu talk 19:38, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

I am not ignoring your question, just formulating a response. I already know it's a long answer that will be posted at Wikiversity as a haven for lone wolves. The lead sentence is currently, This essay was inspired by the question of protecting pages on Wikiversity. I am placing it in my user space so that I won't forget where I put it. Don't consider it a protected document; you are invited to interject with questions and comments--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 21:01, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
No worries, take your time. Thanks for putting the effort into answering my questions. I'm trying to avoid being difficult, but maybe I'm having a little difficulty achieving that goal :) I think this is a case of an extraordinary proposal requires extraordinary evidence. All Wikimedia Foundation projects are based on the principal of an open community of collaboration. Even if there were strong consensus here to support changing our policies to adopt widespread use of protected pages, you'd likely get resistance from WMF as this runs counter to our founding mission statement. I'm not saying this to discourage you from developing the idea. I'm just giving you a heads up that it will likely meet resistance so you can take this critique into account in your proposal. Another reason is that I find your premise that academics do not participate because of the lack of protection to be speculative. It is counter to the results of a professionally conducted survey at meta:Research:Expert participation survey which showed that "Everything I write will get changed or removed before long" was not even in the top ten reasons. Most of the top disincentives involved time commitment or misconceptions about online collaborative projects. --mikeu talk 22:41, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I think I have found that "third way" that can from constructive dialogue. You are 100% correct in opposing policy that will lead to a large quantity of protected pages. I have always been on board with that, and only recently and reluctantly decided to protect my 760 quiz questions. Here is where I was (sort of) "right": We need to carefully design our protected page notices and our introductions to Wikiversity so as to recruit quality editors. We want to reassure potential Wikiversarian that they can write on WV with much less interference than they will experience on WP (WV). The offer to grant the Curator's page protection is largely an illusion. But the need to recruit writers who want to create a wiki with a different flavor is very real. We can deliver this message in a number of ways, and the protection template can play a small role.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 23:38, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Cite this page[edit]

I added a Cite this page link to the Tools area in the sidebar. Let me know if it causes any problems or errors. For those who are curious, the code is in MediaWiki:Sidebar.js, loaded by MediaWiki:Common.js.

Question: Should Cite this page appear on all pages, or only main space (Resource) pages?

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:27, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Very cool! At the very least I would exclude User: in that these are not really community pages as suggested in the line "Author: Wikiversity contributors." These are mostly the work of a single person. Also exclude Category: Template: etc. I'm not sure about restricting it to just Resource pages. I'll have to look around, many resources are in the wrong namespace and would get excluded.
I just made a couple of minor changes to the format. Please see the boilerplate at the WP version for comparison. We might want to include some text about the site containing original research. I added a note and link to our general disclaimer. Everyone, please suggest improvements to the wording in the header. --mikeu talk 00:02, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
I removed the COinS tag, as I'm not sure that it works properly. But the wiki cite generator looks fine: MediaWiki:Citethispage-content (this version) --mikeu talk 00:13, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
I set it to only offer 'Cite this page' on main resource pages. There is a variable, described at mw:Manual:$wgContentNamespaces that indicates which namespaces are content namespaces. I checked the namespaces using the API, and namespace 0 (Resource) is the only content namespace we have. If we have content anywhere else (and we do) we need to move that content to the main namespace.
A corollary to this is that default searches only find content in the main namespace, so again, if it's in a different namespace, we should move it. I know this applies in particular to pages in the Topic: namespace that shouldn't be there. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:38, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
That is critically important to know. We've been creating Topic: pages for years. That has probably hurt our visibility a lot. I cleaned up the boiler plate but didn't proofread the styles to make sure they render properly. In particular I need to un-italicize some of the strings. --mikeu talk 00:45, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
I am OK with not putting 'Cite this page' on categories, but a properly designed Category page can be a first rate index of resources, provided (1) it is carefully edited to remove unwanted links and (2) contains a good explanation at the top. Is there any way to make it an option?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 13:21, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
Making it an option isn't really possible. It's either on for a namespace or off. Because of how the user interface is processed vs. how page content is processed, it is difficult and processor-intensive to have page content impact the outside container. Effectively, you would need the container to look at every page to decide whether to display or not.
It would be possible to make all categories part of the search by altering the wgContentNamespaces variable, and it would be relatively easy to include the Category: namespace in the Cite this page display if that's what we want to do. We have some work to do in terms of improving the content on Category pages if that's where we want to go. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:40, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
What you are describing sounds like a Topic: page to me. A category could have descriptive info but if a thorough explanation is needed that should go into another namesapce with the page prominently in the category as "the main topic for this category is..." In any case, we have a lot of work to do before any of the categories that I've seen become worthy of citation. --mikeu talk 15:52, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
The reason it's OK to exclude category pages is that quality category pages will almost always be linked to from resources. I am happy--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:09, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Wikiversity Year of Science 2016[edit]

As part of the Wikimedia-wide Year of Science, we are planning Wikiversity Year of Science 2016. The Year of Science is an initiative to improve Wikiversity’s potential for science learning and teaching. By connecting higher education classrooms to the publishing openness of Wikiversity, we are helping future scientists learn about science communication, while improving Wikiversity’s science coverage for participants worldwide. The kickoff date is January 15. Please contribute ideas at Wikiversity:Year of Science 2016. --mikeu talk 23:11, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

"quote of the day"[edit]

I'm going to try to revive the Main page learning project/QOTD which is prominently linked from the top of our main page. The talk pages are now unprotected for anon ips. It will likely be a magnet for test edits and maybe some vandalism. There have also been some decent contributions. Join in. --mikeu talk 02:47, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

There's a couple of new quotes at the Quote Of The Day learning project. --mikeu talk 19:03, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

Indefinitely Blocked IP Addresses[edit]

In 2006 and early 2007 there was an effort to block open proxy IP addresses. The end result was 14,522 individually blocked IP addresses. Of these addresses, only 16 have any record of contributions. The other 14,506 have none.

As far as I can tell, open proxies are now blocked by meta, and have been for years. I would like to begin unblocking the addresses that have no edit history. Are there any objections? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:17, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support These seems to have been a preemptive attempt to block activity from sites perceived as "risky." It may have prevented some unwanted disruptive editing long ago but these are probably stale now. The global mechanisms (that didn't exist then) will likely protect us from a flood of abuse even if a few are still open. --mikeu talk 02:47, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

To keep from cluttering up the logs, I'll just do around 50 at a time. This will likely be ongoing for several months. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:42, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and helped with deleting the talk pages of the IPs, like Mu301 has been doing. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:48, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:47, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

going mobile[edit]

I've noticed that a number of our old templates generate pages that are difficult to view on mobile devices. Usage of mobile to both view and edit is increasing on all wikimedia projects. I've started to proofread pages that I edit which incorporate fancy formatting on both a laptop and cell phone. You can see how our main page looks on a mobile device here. Sadly, there is almost no information except for a welcome box. You can get a mobile view on other pages by clicking the link at the very bottom of every page. For best results resize the browser win to very small. At some point we should consider a main page revamp, but it is probably best to hold off until the content is a bit more organized. The new Agriculture portal looks great. Some of the old portals are completely unusable or unreadable. I'm thinking of creating new categories Mobile_friendly and unfriendly to start tagging template that are heavily used. {{tl:To do}} renders very poorly, for example. --mikeu talk 03:17, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Content that was developed using tables for layout and pixels for measurement does not translate well to mobile viewing. These need to be replaced by floating <div> tags and em measurements. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:26, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

A template for organizing a course if students will be editing Wikipedia, Wikipedia, etc.[edit]

Wikiversity Sunflower Logo.svg

   Template:EduV/makedash is designed to facilitate the organization student edits in a course. It guides students to where they should edit, and creates individual subpage logs where students can document their efforts. All edits on Wikiversity and other wikis can be monitored from this page. Students enroll by editing the table. For instructions see Template talk:EduV/makedash --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 22:48, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

The Template:EduV/makedash described above is a bit time consuming, but imitates the system used by w:Wikipedia:Wiki Ed courses. Instead, it is easier to create a class roster as discussed at Template talk:EduV/enroll--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 08:50, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Proposals for closing projects/Move Beta Wikiversity to Incubator[edit]

meta:Proposals for closing projects/Move Beta Wikiversity to Incubator

Please see the most recent edit [2] with a summary of "Move for closure." --mikeu talk 16:23, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

I don't know if the betawikiversity closure will happen, but it if it does close it could happen soon and quickly. Please take a look at English resources in betawikiversity:Category:EN to see if there is anything we want to Special:Import. I'm tempted to pull most of it and sort it out later. Later we'll need to decide if we want to add incubator: to our import, as that will be the new WV launch site. We should probably do that in any case. --mikeu talk 00:06, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

This seems like a job for a bot. See b:Pywikibot/ If you can coordinate creating a page here with a list of links to pages we should import, I'm willing to attempt the import process. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:13, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
I'll start list here, and then break it out on another page. The following are Special:PrefixIndex on beta. --mikeu talk 00:39, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Signpost discussion[edit]

I have been doing some advocacy on Wikipedia in response to a signpost article. Other Wikiversitans might like to comment. The discussion gives some insight into why and how some wikinedians are resistant to Wikiversity. Leutha (discusscontribs) 16:38, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

With your permission I would like to post a thumb sized version of File:EnwikipediaGom.PNG in the space next to your comment. I would then make a one-line comment that goes something like Wikipedia is notiki dying. Period. I don't even think Wikiversity is dying, but instead growing at an excruciating slow pace. A lot of people associate exponential growth with remarkably large size, but it is equally valid to say it starts with remarkably slow growth. I might be wrong, but I am nearly certain that Wikiversity will grow. The question is whether our current activities are part of that growth, or whether the time for the truly exponential growth of Wikiversity is sometime in the future.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:51, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
OK, Leutha, I don't think I commented on the Signpost article to which you were referring. Just below your comment on "Is Wikipedia dying?", I found "Reproducing kernel (impenetrable science)". The idea that Wikiversity is hopelessly flawed is wrong, but not patently stupid. I will make a comment there, but that will take some thought.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 20:21, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

It does much to explain the how and why. We do have w:Template:Wikiversity which can be placed in the See Also section of an article to inform readers that there is a learning resource here on the same subject. Please read the template documentation for usage guidelines. I would be cautious and only link to well completed and well developed resources. In the past there was much wp resistance to linking to stubs that contained little useful info which probably left a lasting impression of wv as having too many undeveloped resources. --mikeu talk 23:00, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Colleges and Universities[edit]

Colleges and Universities

I just noticed this page and subpages and also some scattered institution pages marked for deletion. I think that a page that only has a redirect is a distraction as it implies that material exists at the page. I think it might be hand for colleges to have a page where it lists resources that students have participated in. It helps to document how wv is used. Thoughts? --mikeu talk 22:41, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Back in July, a user insisted on creating pages for colleges he was interested in, but no value was added beyond that. Wikiversity is not Wikipedia, and we're not creating a lesson on these colleges. I'd be fine with setting up main pages for colleges that use / have used Wikiversity with links to those resources, and deleting the rest as not adding educational value. The alternative just appears to be school promotion, which is why they were buried in subpages. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:58, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Ok, I misunderstood the intent of the subpages. Would it be better to create this in Wikiversity: or another name space? as the few exceptions are really planning pages for developing content rather than content about the institution. I have no strong preference either way. I converted two of the empty pages to resource lists, btw. --mikeu talk 23:07, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
On 2nd thought, it might be better for those to be in mainspace to make searching for courses from an institution easier. --mikeu talk 23:10, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, search would be an advantage. Not having to explain namespaces to new students is an advantage as well. If you want to tag the softredirects for deletion, that's okay with me. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:42, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Short answer: Whatever you do or don't do is fine with me.
Long answer: We are currently in a Signpost discussion on Wikiversity's Boubaker Polynomials. I will never understand how Google works, but feel we should focus on creating a small subset of useful pages within the chaos of Wikiversity and count on either Google or word of mouth to sort things out. Wikiversity distinguishes itself by allowing, POV, student-authored pages, and research not subject to peer review. My position is that if anybody wants the page to stay on WV, it should stay. If nobody wants it, it should go because such a page is not likely to serve much use. We are structurally incapable of keeping a clean house. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 00:06, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't be so eager to promote: "Wikiversity distinguishes itself by allowing, POV, student-authored pages, and research not subject to peer review." at wikipedia. In my experience this is a big part of the why wikipedians are resistant to Wikiversity. They see this project as a magnet for the kind of content they exclude at w:Wikipedia:Fringe theories and they have little idea there is any mainstream content here. If I came here searching for Hilbert space and only discovered a learning resource on wikipedia's deletion review process, I would be disappointed too. This is how they came to have such a negative opinion of the resources here and the utility of the entire site. That is why I recommended above that we add the wp template to only link to the best resources that we have for new visitors. --mikeu talk 02:06, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

@Mu301: There is a distinction between promoting something and stating reality. The point is that we can't have a completely "clean house" without seriously changing who we are. I say we make an effort to clean up, but also find a way to cope with what we don't or can't clean up. The Boubaker polynomials is a good case in point. None of us are experts, though my hunch is that Wikipedia got it right and correctly excluded them. But do we have time to independently make that call? No, because we are too busy, and more important, too small in number.

I don't sense it in anybody currently active in our discussions, but some Wikiversarians seem to resent WP. I say we honor WP for what it has become but try to succeed in a different way. I have been toying with a peer reviewed online journal for quite some time, and the more I contemplate it, the more I like it. I think it should be an ordinary resource, with no special privileges over any other WV page. It would be one of the few Wikimedia entities with bylines, with all documents stored as permalinks with accompanying pdf files. The articles could continue to be upgraded, but the Journal would not be interested in refereeing minor improvements. Readers would be asked to judge the upgrades for themselves, as is the case for all wiki documents. Dave is doing wonderful work making the gateway portals user friendly. Now each portal should strive to get one resource accepted by the Journal so we can lead readers to it, learn that WV has a few good articles, and perhaps strive to write for the Journal. Permalinks are defined solely by an ID number (and wiki), the permalinked articles will not be subpages of the Journal, but will reside anywhere and everywhere, even on Wikipedia or Wikibooks. The Journal will act to unite these wikis.

I just need three people in one or two closely related fields to offer to referee. To keep things simple, the journal will specialize in short essays on topics routinely taught in the classroom. We will allow articles written from scratch, and we will acknowledge editors who create focused articles by chopping up already present pages (with proper attribution to the original). To keep things simple, only one page articles will be accepted. I think we should insist that all accepted articles link only to permalinked wikipages. I bet there is at least one resource already on WV that could be the first article. Many bachelor's degree programs have a senior thesis requirement. We could eventually tap into that talent pool. The first time this thought occurred to me was three years ago when I looked at Wikipedia:Timeline of quantum mechanics. It's way too long for the typical physics major. Wikipedia articles in general lack the focus that the Journal will demand.

Please give this idea some thought.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 04:01, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

I added just the empty pages to the speedy deletion category. As they are all blanked with softredirect is wasn't worth the time to add a template. --mikeu talk 02:06, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
YesY Done. All of the pages and redirects had three or fewer hits in the last 30 days. About half had no views at all. Nothing worth saving. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:26, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
There are three remaining that are (or were) active participants here. I think we should encourage landing pages for institutions that build our resources to make them easier for enrolled students to find. The others looked like wikipedia stubs that provided little information. --mikeu talk 03:53, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Any way for me to import articles to here from SEW?[edit]

And by "SEW", I mean the Simple English Wikipedia (Link to homepage). Knowing I'm a huge noob to Special:Import, I need an answer to this question: How can I get a page from Simple English Wikipedia down here to Wikiversity using Import?.... Doesn't seem to be any option for me to add "Simple Wikipedia" in the list of Wikis, so is there any other way than copying text by text (work was done by me on my old account, so there is no plagiarism FYI) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 03:33, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

User:Marshallsumter can tell you what needs to be done to add a project to the Import list. He recently got Commons added. I think a Phabricator ticket needs to be created, and then wait awhile. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:49, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
If you go to Special:Import and choose s you will import from Simple English Wikipedia. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 04:20, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Huh... thought that meant Wikisource. Thanks! ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 14:12, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Keep getting "Import failed: No pages to import." for some reason when I click "S" ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 14:29, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

S is Wikisource. Simple is the abbreviation for SEW. I just tested an import and confirmed. So, the original question remains as to how to add Simple to the import list. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:37, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I went back and checked my test import and it was from Wikisource rather than Simple Wikipedia. Sorry about that! The designation for Simple Wikipedia is "simple".
If user Atcovi would like to learn how to put in a task to do this at the phabricator, here are the steps:
  1. goto the phabricator.
  2. in the left menu, click on "Maniphest".
  3. on the right side top look for "create task" and click on it. If it asks you to LDAP login, go to MediaWiki and be sure you are logged in there. Then go back and click on the MediaWiki logo at the phabricator page bottom. It will ask for permission on Mediawiki for all your info. Then it will take you back to the task/create menu.
  4. give it a title like "Add simple Wikipedia to "Special:Import".
  5. give it a project name, or the same.
  6. in the description say something about adding "simple" wikipedia to Special:Import and mention that you have consensus at way for me to import articles to here from SEW? which you do with all three of us. Be sure to include the entire url as I have put it here.
  7. then click on Create Task and keep track of the task number.
Let me know if you have a problem. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:57, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Marshallsumter! It has been accepted :) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 20:50, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
"w:simple" is now listed in Special:Import. Have you tried to use it yet? Did it work okay? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 04:13, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Yes, it's doing well! ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 13:10, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Inactive admin policy proposal[edit]

I requested an administrator inactivity policy some months ago, but that was never fulfilled. I'm here right now to propose an Inactivity Policy for Admins. There is a big need for this as there has been several inactive administrators that have not edit/used their flag for quite some time, and inactive admins can pose a security threat, as an admin account on a rampage can do quite some damage.

I'm going to type down Meta's Inactivity Policy here.

  • Users who have made fewer than ten edits in the six months immediately before the removal date (April 1 or October 1) are desysopped without notice
  • Users who have made more than ten edits but fewer than ten actions requiring admin privileges in the same period are given a week to indicate they would like to retain their access. Users in this category are to be notified on the first day, and adminship is removed without notice on the seventh day if there is no response

(Meta goes through an administrator review. Since WV isn't a big project like Meta... I propose we don't have an admin removal thing)

My personal proposal is that an administrator that has fewer than 10 logged actions/edits in 1.5 years, the admin is sent a notification that if that user does not respond to the message sent to that user in a month, the user will have his admin flag revoked. But that's me... Comments/Suggestions are welcomed... ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 15:29, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Gonna do a bit of pingin' here: @Dave Braunschweig:; @Guy vandegrift:; @Mu301:; @Marshallsumter: ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 15:32, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
A ping in the Colloquium shouldn't be necessary. Everyone who is active has been reading it. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:57, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
When you requested an administrator inactivity policy, the consensus (or lack thereof) was to accept the default meta:Admin activity review policy as our policy. There isn't a "big need" for this, as there is no evidence of a security breech by our inactive custodians, and now that the 'nuke' flag has been removed, there isn't anything they can do that can't be easily reversed by rollback, bot, or a quick request for bureaucrat/steward intervention.
That said, I personally would be fine with a policy that had a one-year inactivity limit, and the activity requirement would include custodian-level activity, meaning more than what is available in Curator rights. If custodians aren't interested in performing custodian duties, the curator role would better meet their needs. The same approach would apply to curators who don't use curator rights. But I would also add that anyone who returns after deactivation and requests rights could have them restored without requiring full community approval. If having rights restored isn't a big deal, then having them turned off shouldn't be a big deal, either. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:57, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I find having to remove an admin for inactivity a big deal for me imo. Admin necessarily isn't a "life membership", and an inactive admin can pose as a security threat (as said... An admin on a huge rampage is not good). I feel like we should be more onto inactive admins, is all I'm saying basically. And when I mean "security threat", there could be a chance of a hacked custodian account... I don't know. But I'm just leaving it to be like that (and sorry about the pinging, wanted faster replies) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 16:02, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

I have no strong preference for an inactivity policy. My major concern is that there be plenty of notification to those whose tools will be removed. These notices could also serve to entice inactive contributors back to the project. In the past the removal of tools was seen as a black mark in that it indicated a vote of no confidence in the contributions of the person. Many of the inactive custodians made a large number of valuable contributions and I don't want to give the impression that those are taken for granted. The issue of security is not as much of a risk, imho. We've had accounts inactive for many years without problems. I'm comfortable with letting meta remove the bits after 2 years. If we had a local policy that specified a shorter duration we would need to have a community review and then still request steward action anyways. If the community wants inactivity removal, then meta is doing us a favor by doing the work. If there is consensus that we should be exempt we can request that. I wouldn't shorten the 2 years by much as a major illness or change of job could cause temporary inactivity of a year. I have a preference for meta:Admin activity review over the text quoted above. --mikeu talk 01:50, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Given the insights that mikeu talk has provided about issues associated with less than two years, I could support any period between 2 and \infty years. I have a slight preference for the latter, even though it is astronomically large.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:41, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

A refereed journal that offers readers the choice to view protected documents[edit]

First Journal of Science logo.png

That refereed journal I was ranting about for the past week has been constructed. It's called the First Journal of Science and it is my hope that it will attract quality writers who would like public recognition for their efforts. It also helps answer complaints from people with nothing better to do than complain that the open-edit policy renders Wikipedia articles unreliable. The word "First" represents a hope that other such journals will appear on Wikiversity. Anybody not satisfied with the editorial policy of FJS is free to copy, rename, and paste the templates into WV and create their own journal. How wiki is that?

I am grateful to to the Wikiversity Journal of Medicine for creating templates that I could copy and modify, and to Mikael Häggström and Doc James for their encouragement. To my delight they were not threatened by potential competition, but instead share my believe that we need more such journals.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 05:26, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Interesting conversation going on a WP help page at How do I post this announcement?. Also, the mockup zeroth issue has three "pseudo-articles" that were not properly refereed. The Wikiversity article that I wrote does not rise to the standards I hope this journal can attain, nor does a WP article that I edited and posted through my user page. But, the article taken directly out of WP seems pretty good. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 14:15, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Request for Custodianship[edit]

Notifying the community of my request to become a custodian: Wikiversity:Candidates_for_Custodianship/Atcovi3 ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 00:48, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Any mentor willing to be a mentor? ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 21:43, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Help needing for improving English in my essay[edit]

Hi community's members,

Could some of you help me editing my essay about wikipedia and democratic participation in better English before to post on wikimedia blog submission page on Meta ?

Thanks a lot for giving a hand and a nice day for everyone.

--Lionel Scheepmans Contact (French native speaker) 17:09, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

I'll go for it :) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 19:10, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment seems that some of the sentences are far from my comprehension (that says... I don't understand what you are trying to mean), such as here. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 19:16, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for what you already done Atcovi ! That's great ! I've just changed the problematic part. I hope it's more clear and understandable now. Lionel Scheepmans Contact (French native speaker) 01:47, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

2016 WMF Strategy consultation[edit]

Hello, all.

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has launched a consultation to help create and prioritize WMF strategy beginning July 2016 and for the 12 to 24 months thereafter. This consultation will be open, on Meta, from 18 January to 26 February, after which the Foundation will also use these ideas to help inform its Annual Plan. (More on our timeline can be found on that Meta page.)

Your input is welcome (and greatly desired) at the Meta discussion, 2016 Strategy/Community consultation.

Apologies for English, where this is posted on a non-English project. We thought it was more important to get the consultation translated as much as possible, and good headway has been made there in some languages. There is still much to do, however! We created m:2016 Strategy/Translations to try to help coordinate what needs translation and what progress is being made. :)

If you have questions, please reach out to me on my talk page or on the strategy consultation's talk page or by email to

I hope you'll join us! Maggie Dennis via MediaWiki message delivery (discusscontribs) 19:06, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Connection between business and learning?[edit]

Hello. Many colleges and universities have business incubators and want their students and associates to be financially succesful. I just started editing on Wikiversity here, and I noticed this change to my user page. I will likely leave Wikiversity if this sort of policy exists. If I am not welcome here to have a solicitation whatsoever, even on my userpage, then I may as well leave. Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 22:36, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

The fact that we encourage student essays that "learn by doing", and allow unpublished research makes us the loosest Wikimedia wiki with respect to the regulations. But not allowing commercial solicitation is one way we can and should be like the other wikis. If what you tried to do was not soliciting, I'm willing to listen.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 23:31, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
While I personally wish our participants the best of luck with their financial success, that goal is not written into the Wikiversity charter. Our mission is to develop and host free content learning resources. The entire spirit of this community is based around the idea of giving knowledge to all who seek it without financial compensation. The problem with the link that you posted is that it goes to a page that says "Pledge $10 or more per helping individuals to..." Our slogan is "Set learning free." --mikeu talk 23:34, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Simple English Wikiversity[edit]

As this is the Wikiversity community, please share your ideas about a Simple English Wikiversity (i'm not supporting or opposing) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 18:28, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

When I get the link, I'll post it. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 18:32, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

link ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 19:06, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

I would be very hesitant to support this approach as it would divide our efforts between two sites. How many of our contributors are even familiar with the limited vocabulary of Simple English? Betawikiversity is about to be closed for a very similar reason, as the community is not very active. See meta:Proposals for closing projects/Move Beta Wikiversity to Incubator I would prefer setting up a system here with a Category:Simple and a portal. Try it, see if it works, and then we can choose (or not) later to spin it off as a separate site if it is successful.
Requests for a new project are not taken lightly as there is a lot of work involved in setting it up and you would need to show that there is a strong community of editors who are committed to actively producing these resources. Short list of rejected proposals, not counting simple (language) Wikipedias:
What is the difference between a Simple Wikiversity and our category of primary learning resources? I applaud your enthusiasm and the think the idea is good. But, usually proposals are only submitted after a local community of supporters is identified. --mikeu talk 19:52, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

An essay on the philosophy and practice of the "wiki way"[edit]

I've been making comments about my thought on page protection and the usage of other mediawiki tools in a number of places scattered about wv. I've consolidated my thoughts in An essay on the philosophy and practice of the "wiki way" and encourage anyone who is interested in the topic to join the conversation. --mikeu talk 21:05, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Level 1 Headings[edit]

I've started a discussion on Level 1 headings at Wikiversity talk:Manual of Style#Level 1 Headings. It's a lengthy explanation, but one that impacts approximately 10% of the content pages on Wikiversity. Please review and provide your recommendation on how to proceed. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:34, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Translating pages[edit]

Hello. I wish to improve the Wikipedia and Wikiversity Greek community by translating pages into Greek. Could anyone explain to me how I can do this? Would I simply go to a Greek Wikipedia page and then click edit? --Stephanos100 (discusscontribs) 17:46, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Translate us. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:09, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
You might want to post a message to el:Βικιεπιστήμιο:Βικιβήμα asking for advice. --mikeu talk 18:50, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

language links via Wikidata are coming[edit]

Wikiversity:Initial experiences[edit]

Atcovi has started Wikiversity:Initial experiences and I encourage everyone (new and old) to share your experiences. I feel that it is important to gather feedback as we plan improvements. Sharing and reflecting on our first, or second, impressions is a great way to do this. --mikeu talk 19:39, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Need your input[edit]

Especially experienced users: ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 22:03, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

This looks like it was a dead issue until you posted. There hasn't been any serious discussion on the page for more than three years. Why is it that you believe this needs our input? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:45, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
The user is making content about Wikikultuur at the Beta Wikiversity area. Didn't you see his response to my comment? ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 22:46, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
But you didn't link us to a discussion on beta. You linked to a previously dead discussion on meta. Regarding the user's comment on Wikikultur, that appears to be a localization issue. That user's home wiki is fr.wikiversity rather than en.wikiversity. Is there a discussion somewhere else we should be reading? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:26, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

His comment: "But it's not a place for artistic or other cultural original works". My point is that, do we accept artistic and cultural original works? ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 00:11, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

A learning project on art history or studying culture would be fine. Hosting art or literature is not within our primary scope, but learning about these subject definitely is. If the discussion is French it should be at fr: if bilingual beta: would be the best place. --mikeu talk 00:53, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Doesn't seem like it. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:00, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Doesn't seem like what? --Psychoslave (discusscontribs) 11:35, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I think French Wikiversity scope is more or less the same. Here is the full quote : Wikiversity is fine for research original works, even in music for example. But it's not a place for artistic or other cultural original works. Now, I didn't wake up this project my self, I have been contacted by an other user which would be interested for such a project. I didn't abandoned this idea, but I'm currently busy with other Wikimedia involvement, especially rising Esperanto Wikiversity out of beta and developing Strasbourg's Wikimedia local group. Of course I would happily join effort if I would see things moving around a Wikikultur project. --Psychoslave (discusscontribs) 08:13, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Error message in a Wikiversity page[edit]

At Automatic_transformation_of_XML_namespaces there is now the following error message:

   Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Yesno' not found.

If I click the error message, I see:

   Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Yesno' not found.
   [C]: in function "error"
   package.lua:80: in function "load"
   package.lua:99: in function "require"
   Module:Namespace_detect:51: in function "chunk"
   mw.lua:486: ?

--VictorPorton (discusscontribs) 16:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Purging the server page cache should resolve the issue. You can force a purge by appending "?action=purged" to the page URL in your browser. I'll also add a Purge option to the pulldown "More" menu at the top of the page. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

That was my fault. I think it has now been fixed but there are still some lingering aftereffects in the server cache which can be flushed with the purge. Sorry about that. --mikeu talk 20:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC)