Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/August 2008

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Knol and Wikiversity

Somebody created a Knol about Wikiversity. Since I am not sure how often it will be updated and also the licence is different than the GFDL so far only a short list with links is made. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 12:41, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

2008 Summer Olympics (August 8-24) + 2008 Summer Paralympics (September 6-17)

See here: perhaps we can motivate people with such an event to extend/create new learning resources ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 12:51, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Review of Commons Scope: how is Commons used by Wikiversity?

The Commons Scope page is being re-written, and input from users of this Wiki would be useful. One particular issue that is not yet resolved is what type of pdf files should Commons host? Please drop by and say what you would like as want to ensure that Commons covers the type of pdf and other files that you need here. The discussion is at Commons:Commons talk:Project scope/Proposal, and the pdf section can be found at Commons:Commons talk:Project scope/Proposal#Pdf examples to discuss. --MichaelMaggs 06:21, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

How to hide default buttons

I was wondering how to hide default buttons, which are present up from the edit window. I have my own buttons set in my own monobook.js and together with the default ones, which I rarely use, I have an incredible long line there. They told me that it is problably not possible. So I would like to ask you, what are the ways how to solve this problem?--Juan 18:17, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

In regard to your question, please go to the preferences menu in the right corner enter the Editing window under the
Show edit toolbar (JavaScript) section if you have it ticked please untick it - it will then not show on the editing window, does this solve the problem. Terra 18:28, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

15th August is Wikiversity Day

What can we do to make this day more special at WV ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 06:17, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Suggestions: (1) put a site notice up with a countdown, inviting contributions; (2) create a collection page where people can add links to their subpage blogs and articles about the current state of Wikiversity and its history. Suitable topics for individual contributions could be: reports about statistical growth and qualitative growth, emergence of concepts for the use of Wikiversity, an annual report making reference to major events/developments (interviews, publicity, Wikimania, sandbox server). The preceding is just a few off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts. --McCormack 06:29, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

There are 9 humans + 5 mascots in the group photo. Does somebody have somewhere hidden at WV still a picture ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 23:15, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Holding Spanish courses in preparation for Wikimania 2009


I was thinking that I would like to learn some Spanish in preparation for Wikimania 2009. I noticed that the Wikibook for Spanish is even a featured book. Then I thought that there are probably other Wikimedians who are in the same boat, and it would be nice to learn along with them. And then I had the lightbulb moment - Wikiversity!

I saw there is Topic:Spanish but as it mentions 2006, it looks a bit unloved. So, what about developing a Spanish short course (maybe 6 weeks?) and running it 3 or 4 times before next August?

This is more or less my first foray into Wikiversity. I am not really sure how you organise these projects. But that's my idea. I can't really commit to helping run it but I can commit to participating :) and trying to drum up some other participants too. --pfctdayelise 12:52, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

  • There is a user who is currently busy creating Spanish 1. This is the best Spanish course at Wikiversity so far. --McCormack 12:57, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
    • @McCormack: Is it a challange?--Juan 15:42, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
      • For the moment, it is just a fact. --McCormack 03:37, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Hello Brianna, any time you can give us we value very much. Since you already had a look at the learning resource: perhaps you have already other ideas (how to improve it) ? A fresh pair of eyes always sees other things we don't see anymore. We can use this as a start of ideas for the next person who wants to help extend it. Thank you, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:22, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
    • To be honest, I am confused about why WV is creating brand new resources when very good resources already exist, such as the Wikibook I mentioned. Can anyone explain that? It seems like a splitting of efforts. I just want to set up a space where interested teachers and learners can sign up, and we can sort out times and schedules. Maybe it would be cool to use Skype chats to go through dialogues and vocab pronunciation each week. --pfctdayelise 03:09, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
      • When you learn things, you take notes and sometimes reorganise what you have learnt to help you digest. Sometimes you share your notes with your friends. Occassionally your work may even be fed back to (the author of) the book you learnt from. That is part of "learning by doing". Hillgentleman|Talk 03:25, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
      • Brianna: you should look at Help:Fork for an explanation of why Wikiversity holds that it is quite right to offer 10 different courses on the same subject. For myself, I feel that the Wikibook on Spanish should be imported to Wikiversity as an additional course(book) - I think that Wikiversity is the more appropriate place for this kind of content. --McCormack 03:36, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
        • OK, I don't really want to get into a big thing about it, because probably every second person who comes here does that. If you want to fork efforts that's your prerogative. Let us focus on what can WV do, for this Spanish class idea (besides creating new learning texts). --pfctdayelise 05:33, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
          • Hi again. Looking at your posts, I guess you are looking for a participatory and/or orally focussed language learning experience. The experience of Wikiversity so far has been that it is difficult to draw people together (either synchronously or asynchronously) for such experiences, even for something as popular as Spanish. So far the facts. A hypothesis which may explain this fact and point the way forward is this: that a solid base of passive or non-interactive language learning materials may be needed before learners will arrive in sufficient numbers to support more active and interactive approaches. In other words, first we need to grow the learner-base, and only then can we move forwards in methodology. --McCormack 05:43, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

(reset) Anyway, is it appropriate for me to start a page like Spanish for Wikimania, and advertise it on foundation-l etc? I think we can also look to Spanish Wikibooks and Spanish Wikipedia for people who might be interested. (One thing that doesn't exist yet, which would be madly cool, would be a "Wikimedia vocabulary", for words like "administrator", "NPOV", "vandals", "blocked", "don't bite the newbies" etc... and it would be a lot more useful at Wikimania than vocab about posting a letter or getting laundry done :)) --pfctdayelise 02:06, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

  • You are very welcome to start Spanish for Wikimania. Take a look at Category:Spanish and feel free to fork/borrow from existing pages - for example, User:Juan has placed a lot of incomplete resources in that category which could be reworked into something good. On the topic of Wikimedia vocabulary, I'd probably go for a research project into terminology actually in use at the Spanish Wikimedia projects - my guess is that each project has developed its own culture and linguistic conventions. It would be interesting to find out and describe. --McCormack 09:18, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
  • (rewrote after edit conflict) Good points! Go for it! (I see the Spanish for Wikimania mainly as informational/organizational page, but it will be definitely useful.)
    On McCormack's note: Indeed it would be interesting to describe the differences between WM projects (in the same language enWP, enWV, enWB and also between languages). But for this we need people, who know the respecive projects quite well.--Gbaor 09:31, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Help Desk header

Awhile back, when I was very active on this site under my former username - I've created the new Help Desk header via Template:Help desk header 0.5 - but previously I did leave the wikimedia foundation sites but became active over on meta - however much on this site seems to have changed a lot, and much of the site has seen improvement - though looking back and looking at the former template which I did for the Help Desk, I've now changed the Help Desk header - although not officially yet, but the new one is located at Template:Help Desk header 1.0 - the advantage of this one is that there isn't any coding in it and is just using rounded borders - which includes a theme base colour - the same one which is used on the Candidates for Custodianship page, shall I update the Help Desk header with this one or do I need to alter anything, nothing was changed from the previous one so all of the text aren't missing. Dark Mage 18:49, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your effort. I'd say change it and let people have a look at it. If there is strong feelings (e.g. I don't like both templates, I want it in red color :-)) it can be reverted back any time. Or how about a changing template every even day ? Or randomly ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 19:18, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I've updated the Help Desk, including the archive - as with the colour changing randomly, I'm not sure what the coding is, though I may change the background colour maybe every two weeks manually. Dark Mage 19:31, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Import template

I've done the Template:Imported but however though I'm having difficulty in trying to stop the Usage section from showing up outside of the import page - what's the process from stopping the usage section from showing up. DarkMage 20:57, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

You needed to use <noinclude>...</noinclude> which I've done for you. --darkYin yang.svglama 23:32, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I've just tried it in the edit preview, and it works - thank you for the help. DarkMage 10:01, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Template standardization

Since many other Wikipedias have been moving over to those newfangled boxes like Ambox and all that, I thought I'd give {{robelbox}} some more use here. Note, I am using {{ambox}} to construct them, notice the new options I put in. See {{wikify}} for an example on how I'm doing this. ViperSnake151 03:34, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi. Standardization is not unconditionally good. Some people like to keep it simple. Some people may not like the look of amboxes. Let's wait for more opinions. Hillgentleman|Talk 03:48, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Just a quick note: the Wikiversity {{ambox}} is not an import of the true {{ambox}}. Instead I created {{ambox}} as a derivative of {{robelbox}}. {{robelbox}}, in turn, is a very Wikiversity thing. At the moment, ViperSnake151 seems to be doing nothing more than I originally wanted to do myself, which is replace our rather tired notices with {{robelbox}}-based notices. I'd call this standardising within the Wikiversity project, but retaining our distinctiveness from other projects. --McCormack 04:52, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the improvements - as mostly a template end-user of the generic templates I appreciate the changes. e.g., Template:Wikify was pretty ugly and its much nicer-looking now :). However, I also want to ask about this: Previously I used something like {{wikify|Copyedit - conversion to wikitext from word-processing file}} which would also add the specific wikifying task or need into the box, but this additional text doesn't display anymore. I found it handy... What do other's think? Could we work it in? -- Jtneill - Talk - c 05:08, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Presumably the parameter now requires the addition of a preceding "text=", which could be avoided by using {{{1}}} as the default parameter value in the template. --McCormack 06:18, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
FYI, I just tried a preceding "text=", but it did not have the desired effect. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 06:32, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Try again now. --McCormack 07:21, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Success! -- Jtneill - Talk - c 22:01, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

asking the help of wikiversitarians?

Hello Everyone! My name is Sylvain and I have been told in the Wikipedia village pump to ask for your help. I am currently writing my dissertation on the organisation of Wikipedia for my master of political philosophy at the University of Sussex. I got a little problem: I am a french native and my english is still not so perfect for a dissertation, therefore I need it to be checked. My fellows are also currently in their work so I cannot really bother them for that.. Then I had this idea of publishing my work-in-progress dissertation on the Wikiversisty in order to get the help of some people to check my grammar an stuffs. Do you think there could be any people willing to help me for that? I'm waiting for your views and advices! :) Yours, --Karibou 16:20, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, I think you can find out a help in the community. But the people can also modify the sense of your disserattion work. On the other side you can check the changes in history. The problem is, if it is legall. You should know, under which conditions you can process the thesis and you it should know your adivisor(s). Why? If you put it on wikiversity, it will recieve GFDL licence. It means that your collegue might use it, publish it. Also I can use it for any purposes. Then if youll go for finall exam, the thesis, might be already available like a book in your library, because someone will take it and print it. So you should check if it is OK, with the conditions you have for it.
E.g. I am writing a diploma thesis in English too, which is not my mother tongue and of course, my knoweledge is not proficiency. According the conditions I have for it - only I can do it. So if I put it into a wikiversity for correction, I will break rules. On the other side, the examination comitee and also the oponent know, that it is not my mother tongue and they are not looking on my English but on the content, because the thesis is not about English language, but about micropropagation.--Juan 22:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi Sylvain/Karibou - if all you need is English spelling & grammar, I'd be glad to help, but I'm new here so haven't any idea where to put it. Someone'll come along to help no doubt. I'm in the UK too so our times should be compatible. TheresaWilson 16:51, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, this is what can help to Karibou - one native speaker who will correct it all. The best way then is too put it on your own wiki, which helps a loot. I can provide you mine, where we did something simmilar, when correcting translations from Polisch to Czech of the licensed texts, or Sandbox Server might help, if it is not licensed. If so, you all the people who will editing his thesis must duble license it, i.e. 1) project license, 2) license which Karibou need.--Juan 22:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi, you can put it e.g. first at User:Karibou/dissertation (or use any other subpagename) or put it to another place e.g. if the title is xyz then do it under xyz - this is a wiki - the fairies will move/categorize things accordingly.
if the text is interesting the flies will come from alone :-) Do you intend to list in your dissertation at appropriate place that you put it at Wikiversity and got help (which is to be seen actually) ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:00, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Some things to consider before publishing:
  • Don't forget to ask also your mentor if she wants the dissertation to be published here.
  • What licence do you want to publish it here ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:21, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
As I mentioned before, it coudl not be a problem of a mentor, but whole school. And I think for us it couldnt been a problem as ethics codex hasnt been done yet.--Juan 22:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Caution! It occurs to me that placing your dissertation on here in open view might affect its reception. (could it amount to prior publication?) A better way might be to use e-mail with one or two suitable people. TheresaWilson 20:04, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Regarding PhD/dissertation: I know of 4 Wikiversity participants who do this atm - they might help with questions in that area. I won't out anyone, they should out themselves :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 20:44, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Doesnt meen nothing. The conditions are every time different. Lets see if all those people will be ok during examination. By placing the thesis here, doesnt mean, they understand and/or they follow conditions they have for their research and publication.--Juan 22:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for all these answers!! :) I have no problems to give my dissertation the GFDL licence (on the contrary), I will write to my convenor and academic department for the GFDL licence and legal concerns.
The dissertation will be something like 20 000 words long, so I was thinking having several checkers to divide the work would be good. What do you think of it? Would it be better to give the paper by word-attached mail to willing users or put it as a wiki?
I am planning to give as a wiki page the first part of my dissertation around the 15 of august or a bit before. If that is not possible I'll give it by mail to some nice and willing users, like theresawilson. I'm keeping you in touch!--Karibou 10:01, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Just to add my own two cents, I don't think it would be a problem to have your dissertation here in the sense of it being "published" prior to submission - I think it's clear that it's being developed here as a work in progress. I think the major issue would be whether your markers will be left with any questions as to whether you are the single author of your work - which is crucial. I would suggest putting a big bold banner asking people to not edit the dissertation directly (instead leave comments, say, on the talk page), and only edit it yourself while logged in, in order to have proof of this requirement. But I'm delighted to think we can help you - and I'll try and give it a look over myself. :-) Cormaggio talk 19:29, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Also thought I should link to Wikiversity:Requests for proofreading, in the possible hope it can be revived... Cormaggio talk 19:39, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Good! I'm a bit anxious about the transcription word=>html=>wikilanguage; notably conerning the notes in the text for instance. Someone told me about this wikiconverter; I'll give it a try in a few days; is there any other means of conversion? Wikilove,--Karibou 08:09, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
just tried the wikiconverter; appart from a few bugs with the citation format and pictures, and works quite well!

Other question: would it be good to use another licence, that would permit me to have a right on possible uses and publications outside the wikiversity? Thanks.--Karibou 08:25, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

On the "Edit" page there's the notice: "You agree to license your contributions under the GFDL. Any copyrighted works not licensed under the GFDL will be deleted." so if you "publish" anything here it is no longer your copyright. People might refrain from appropriating/editing it but that is purely out of the "goodness of their hearts" and has no legal force. So I don't think that putting your thesis on any GFDL Wiki would be a good idea. Appeal for editors who'll e-mail you rather. TheresaWilson 11:53, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, that's maybe a better idea... And I had some problems to translate the wikilanguage back into a workfile... --Karibou 19:22, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Aargh! It's not true that you lose your copyright when you licence your work under the GFDL - you simply allow it to be used under the terms of that licence. You always have copyright for any work (ie edit) that you have contributed. Publishing under GFDL will only impact a further publication of the work, where the person/publisher would also have to respect the terms of the licence, particularly the "share alike" bit. (As far as I understand it.) Cormaggio talk 08:20, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Image message boxes

Okay, I'm planning on implementing imbox over here at Wikiversity here, with a major overhaul of our templates away from inconsistent styles to a metatemplate. But, what should they look like? Think we should use Wikipedia's version, or maybe something like the one I implemented on Wikibooks? I will start transitioning them, but note - the styles can be changed. ViperSnake151 16:41, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

What's wrong with Robelbox and its derivative Ambox? --McCormack 22:11, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
To me, just seems a bit clunky looking in the image namespace. ViperSnake151 00:01, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I see no problem using Imbox for image permissions boxes. --McCormack 04:34, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


I'm trying to update the old Community Portal with a new one located at Wikiversity:Community Portal/Layout 0.5 however I've managed to do two of the templates but the other two I'm having problems with - I cant seem to place the text to the right as shown on the main Community Portal page - what's the coding to align the text to the right from those within the To do list and the Guidelines, help, and resources template with the new template {{Robelbox|}}. --DarkMage 19:10, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


I am interested in a Moodle Sandbox course for create some resources for on Moodle and how to use it. I would like this course ASAP. Can you let me know if this is at all possible? (original post from Jgetz).

We have Moodle running on the Sandbox server (see). --JWSchmidt 01:10, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jgetz, thanks for your interest. I am not sure yet about:
  • what kind of course you wanna create and
  • your knowledge level about moodle itself (did you read the moodle FAQ + help already? what of it troubles you ? see Moodle#External links).
If you like, you can bug me in chat when I am online. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:29, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Lost page

--Aszakal 21:58, 17 August 2008 (UTC) I am lost. I have submitted a paragraph on Follicular Dendritic Cells, edited it and referenced it and provided a link to the Follicular Dendritic Cell Network webpage. I saved it but it does not come up when I search for it. What am I supposed to do now? I would appreciate some help beside being sent to read pages and pages of non-specific stuff --- if possible.-- Aszakal

What you are looking for may appear in your list of contributions. Emesee 22:27, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
"Pages and pages of non-specific stuff" - we obviously need to do more with our help and other introductory pages. So, what to do? Newcomers' critiques would probably be especially helpful here - being as specific as possible. Cormaggio talk 14:23, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Another privacy policy for WV ?

Hello, there is some talking here about the proposed Wikiversity:Privacy policy. Anybody interested please have a look and share your views on the talk page. Thanks, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:46, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Procedural learning project

What do people make of this? I hope we can all play a role. I know we have policies, but do we have procedures? Do they meet our needs? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 00:16, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikiversity participants who choose to leave

Hello, if someone remembers other cases why users left Wikiversity could you please add them for this learning project ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 11:53, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Free digital texts begin to challenge costly college textbooks in California

An interesting article about Free digital texts begin to challenge costly college textbooks in California which mentions Wikibooks among OER things. Bring on the revolution! -- Jtneill - Talk - c 04:12, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

So, next semester your students will be competing then to write some chapters at Wikibooks ? :-)
btw: when I was student I bought just what was needed - didn't buy much more books. I think I didn't/couldn't use much online material. But nowadays, who knows there are some good things available online. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:17, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

They use the wrong reason for choosing free online resources. The good reason should be, because the quality is better, not because it is cheaper. Cheap and academic values are two things that don't belong to eachother in my view.--Daanschr 12:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

The article agrees with your view, Daan - it notes that: "Diane Harley, principal researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley, said professors weren't going to embrace digital course materials unless they were high quality and tailored to their often unique scholarship." This should only reinforce our commitment both to quality and to diversity - taking individual needs into consideration. Cormaggio talk 10:19, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

High quality course material often can only be written by subject-matter experts. These experts won't do something for free. So, it will be hard to get them to contribute on Wikiversity if there isn't any salary involved. A solution could be that universities pay subject-matter experts in order to publish material on Wikiversity. (I hope i don't attack a dogma).--Daanschr 19:13, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with this. The article James linked to is about an expert who wrote a book for free. There are plenty of 'experts' writing OERs - there are plenty of experts on Wikipedia, and quite a few here too. :-) Cormaggio talk 09:52, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikiversity could develop in different paths. I especially like to spend my time with other users as a leisure time activity next to work. My idea to get money involved was a practical one for finding a solution in this case. If people don't get paid for what they do on Wikiversity, than it will be a leisure time/ volunteer work activity here. Universities can circumvent publishers thanks to the internet, but they can't circumvent the need for experts to earn a living for the work that they deliver.--Daanschr 21:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Cheap independant travel

Take a look at Cheap_independant_travel. Perhaps it can be added to a (to be made) Topic:Travel-section ?

Thanks, KVDP 13:34, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Additional community navigation entry: Projects

There was added a fourth link Wikiversity:Community projects in the community navigation bar on the left. If you have some more Wikiversity community projects, please add them. And even better: join them :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 10:40, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


I just transwikied one of my models I placed at wikibooks. I do not know whether it can be uploaded here. See New car design, aswell as DIY_home_electricity_system, Compressed_air_kit_car, Domestic_house_food_production_system, Hydraulic_tables_and_chairs_design, Low-cost, tropical, private food production system, Underground refrigerated storage room, ... If this can be done, I would like to continue transwikying my models. Please give advice.

To see my other books i wish to transwiki see

Thanks, KVDP 09:15, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Wow, these are impressive designs and content, and I think are very appropriate for wikiversity - they seem to consist of DIY learning/construction projects using open designs. Does wikibooks not want your content - is that why you're looking at transferring them to Wikiversity? Just curious - are you a Buckminster Fuller fan? -- Jtneill - Talk - c 11:26, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
No, I placed them on wikibooks but the people there seem not satisfied with it as they are own designs (dough everyone can add content and improve them at wikibooks/versity) and that is not within the policy of wikibooks. It is indeed the reason for the transfer. Also, I didn't knew buckminster fuller until now (i'll take a look at it later on), I am however already a fan of Steve Bear, and EF Schumacher and Satish Kumar (look them up at WP). I'll now continue transferring the other designs then (and after that, still got some WP-work at "boat building" and at eg wikibooks/WP (to update links to my articles) ;).

Thanks for the intrest/appreciation, KVDP 06:10, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Transwiki done, pages at wikibooks marked for deletion, articles now available at wikiversity. Please add links to them in your own projects if they are relevant therefore. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by KVDP (talkcontribs) 07:20, 21 August 2008)
Is it possible to have a link to the Topic:Self-sufficiency (under which I placed these designs) somewhere at a easily accesible page (so that people don't need to know the exact articles name). Also, there is no department or something like that that puts all "own designs" (that thus still need modifying trough the community) together. I see that trough the portal, you can't get there. Also I suggest making a page where the departments and topics are listed together and link it from the main toolbar or under the portal link. 12:35, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
What portal are you referring to? Would this be the "easily accessible page" you request? I'm all for keeping structure as simple, minimal, and intuitive as possible - if you could be as clear as possible, that would help. And don't be shy about adding links/pages as you see fit. Cormaggio talk 16:49, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikiversity the Movie

Nuvola apps kaboodle.png

Coming soon to a wiki theater near you !

This learning project is being revived. We are in need of help in all areas (creative ideas, scripting, production, ... - you name it). Anyone wants to support this community project ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:34, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Count me in! I recommend we nail some basic questions like scope, length and audience before we go any further with scriptwriting etc - however, if people could sign up listing their skills/interests, that would probably help. Cormaggio talk 21:59, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Great, announcements were made at different places and a kickoff meeting (to discuss various topics) is planned, see here. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 22:02, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


Apologies, but this page states that is some sort of official teamspeak server. I must strongly oppose this. is registered to Barry Kort (, who has a history of disruption and harassment across various wikipedia projects. Using this domain threatens the privacy of our users and is hardly stable enough to list on official pages. If users wish to use this service, they should feel free to do so, but to label it the official server is a mistake. Salmon of Doubt 21:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Don't have a cow, man. The IP address for the TeamSpeak server is not in the MuseNet.Org domain. Cafe.MuseNet.Org is just a CNAME. If you know how to do a WHOIS, you know how to do a DNS lookup, too. It would behoove you to check your facts before publishing spurious claims designed to spread fear and paranoia. —Moulton 22:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
If you own the domain, you can redirect it. I've removed the link to the musenet host, replacing it with Salmon of Doubt 22:55, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Replacing the name will break some services, since the the pages displayed depend on the CNAME or alias in the URL. —Moulton 23:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I think you'll find that generally people at Wikiversity don't care about people's history at other projects. Anyone who uses any website or uses the internet at all risks their privacy. Wikiversity has typically provided off-wiki links for people who wish to communicate with other Wikiversity participants and to related Wikiversity services which help to accommodate for things that cannot be accomplished on wiki. All provided by willing volunteers and in no way official. --darkYin yang.svglama 21:46, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
We have been trying to get the Wikimedia Foundation to provide us with server resources for learn by doing projects (see Wikiversity:Sandbox Server). In the absence of support from the Foundation we will continue to use donated computer resources. "Using this domain threatens the privacy of our users and is hardly stable enough to list on official pages." <-- If you are afraid to reveal your IP address, do not go to that website. What do you mean "official pages"? --JWSchmidt 22:03, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


I am considering a new learning project method involving the use of a survey with wikiversity users as the target audience. This might be done using a random portion of active users/all users or a survey of all users/all active users. I have 2 questions:

  1. The wikiversity colloquium is not an adequate place to post a survey into a scientific research project (confounding factor of a certain type of person adding this page as a watchlist item) so it would be desirable to post a link to the survey on talk pages. Is this appropriate or does it qualify as spam?
  2. Is it possible to define active users?

--Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 19:45, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Some numbers/definitions about active contributors you can find here: Wikiversity:Participants, [1]. You might want to use e.g. also surveys e.g. used here. Why shouldn't the Colloquium not be used to make a link to your survey ? I believe this place is a high visited area. Talk pages: well, there is no final answer to that. Tell first how many users you want to spam ? Depending on the survey topic (what is it ?) it could also be announced in the sitenotice or e.g. in the WV mailinglist. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 20:15, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Only considering it as a learning tool at the moment. A survey here would only skew the results. Do all users have this page as a watchist? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 21:17, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Hypothesis: probably not (I don't have it and I actually don't use my watchlist so often). I guess most others coming here click the Colloquium link in the navigation. All WV users: prove me wrong :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 21:24, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Maybe this could act as a pre-survey? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 21:27, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

What is the problem with using talk pages and/or the Colloquium as an invitation to participate? Each method will have pros and cons - it's up to the researcher to take these into consideration. With regard to active users, the table version of the stats Erkan linked to has levels of activity - you could go with those criteria (explained at the bottom of the page), or set your own... As a general observation, it strikes me we have no obvious place (apart from the Colloquium) for people to invite discussion on a research project, its methodology, etc - how about a Research discussion forum? Cormaggio talk 11:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Research discussion forum sounds good, linked to it from some places - see here. "Using talk pages": depends on the amount of talk pages he would write to. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 23:43, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

What is the maximum number of user talk pages that would be acceptable? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 10:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I really think it's up to you - and if a lot of people get annoyed, we can learn something from this too. But if you wanted to survey all participants of Wikiversity, I think that may be too much. :-) Why not choose a sample of participants - perhaps of different levels of activity? Or why not advertise the project on the Colloquium? (I still don't understand your problem with this.) Also: is this something you would prefer to undertake yourself, or could others (including myself) help out in some way? Have you seen Wikimedian Demographics? Cormaggio talk 11:24, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I will try to explain the problem. The colloquium tends to involve edits from mostly the same people. Most users do not edit the colloquium. We don't know if they even read it. If we use the colloquium for a "scientific survey" we will have a confounding factor because it may be that a certain type of person visits the colloquium. Also, if we survey people who are not very active (indeed maybe inactive and never to return) we may get a large number of non-respondents. This is not good either. I agree that 'all' users is a bit much, but how about 'all active users' in a certain period, e.g. a month? A survey is an important scientific tool and requires reliable results. However, I do not wish to create a nuisance by spamming lots of users. Would it be appropriate to use a one-question survey sent to all users asking how they think surveys should be done, then maybe this could be the way it should be done? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 19:49, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I think it would be fine to define as your sample all active (logged-in?) users in a given month - but my point is that this will also have its own weaknesses, and you will have to take these into consideration in any analysis. All research is vulnerable to some extent. You might actually get similar returns from either a Colloquium (self-selected) sample, or a targeted sample - we don't know - and it might be interesting to see what comes of either. However, I'm not necessarily proposing you do both - and I also think a survey to ask about a survey would be pretty pointless. If you want feedback on methodology, why not set up a page and we can discuss it as a community? Cormaggio talk 09:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

That's a good idea. May I say, however, the survey would not have been about a survey, but about how a survey should be conducted. But maybe the first survey should be a proper survey with proper aims and then we can question (at the end) how the individual feels about being surveyed in that particular method. I had a learning project in mind for this sort of analysis. If this is a learnng community with learning projects then, I think, the policies and procedures that govern it should be developed through their own learning projects. Therefore, we will not have a situation where a policy is written and people vote on it, but it will be developed based on the community's wishes and needs as discovered by analyitic methods. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 13:42, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Evaluation of three new users on Wikiversity

The users Moulton and WAS+4.250 appeared on Wikiversity on 9 july 2008 and have since that time been mostly active on the ethical management project. User Salmon of Doubt appeared on 19 august 2008 and has only been active in fighting user Moulton on the ethical management project.--Daanschr 16:36, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

This was the first edit of Salmon of Doubt.--Daanschr 16:52, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, they seem to have carved out a little corner to work in, don't seem to get along with each other, and aren't contributing much elsewhere... pretty much sums it up? --SB_Johnny talk 17:57, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Don't overlook:
  • See also: http ://
Moulton 18:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Moulton logging out to disrupt consensus

It is very difficult to determine which comments are from which user at Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies. Moulton has made comments under his accont but signed them with alternate identities, which were at the time not registered user names (I registered the usernames and scrambled their passwords, to prevent retroactive problems for someone who might want those names). Additionally, Moulton has logged out of wikiversity but then edited with his IP address, signing those posts with yet other names. Additionally, he has revert warred over my placement of a {{unsigned}} tag on the edits of his multiple taglines which attributed his comments to him.

A user new to the page who didn't have time to look over all the contributions might think that there were multiple individuals all holding the same perspective - when, in fact, it is just Moulton. Perhaps something could be done to clarify this? I was going to put standard IP identifier tags on IP addresses that Moulton disclosed as his, but that was deleted by JWSchmidt. Salmon of Doubt 18:59, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

See this talk page from the Ethics Project where I disclose my intent to employ muppet characters as part of the educational milieu. Anyone who has signed onto the Ethics Project will have read the discussion on Participants and Objectives, and will be fully aware of the muppet characters I introduced there, all of which are inspired by famous pioneers of 20th century education Burr Tillstrom, Jim Henson, Shari Lewis, and Fred Rogers. —Moulton 20:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
You should both be ashamed of your childish antics. WAS 4.250 20:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
There is an award-winning tradition of using educational muppetry. I've been using such characters for 20 years. See for example these letters to EdNet from the mid 90s, where I write...
I was thinking about ways to do what we did at the Museum of Science using computers and computer networks. A lot of people foresaw the possibility of putting schools on the Internet, but few had any ideas for what kids would actually do online (beyond sending E-Mail to keypals). It reminded me a lot of the early days of Television, when the medium was new, and no one really knew how to use it well. My own role model from those early days was Don Herbert — Mr. Wizard — who can still be seen on Nickelodeon today. Other pioneers in early children's television included Burr Tillstrom, the puppeteer who created Kukla Fran and Ollie. Beyond that, there was Howdy Doody (which pioneered having kids participate on camera) and not much else.

When Howdy Doody went off the air, there was this guy in a clown suit named Clarabelle who went on to invent the second generation of children's educational television. His name was Bob Keeshan — Captain Kangaroo. The third generation of children's television began with Joan Ganz Cooney who founded Children's Television Workshop and produced Sesame Street. She recruited a gifted young puppeteer named Jim Henson. Henson's role model had been Burr Tillstrom.

So here we were in the 1990's with another new medium -- the Internet. It was time to do for the Internet what Don Herbert and Buffalo Bob and Burr Tillstrom and Bob Keeshan and Joan Ganz Cooney and Jim Hensen had done for children's educational TV. It was time to make it fun (and educational) for kids.

Moulton 20:49, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Colloquium Exercise: A Perplexing Ethical Conundrum

Members of the Wikiversity Community Colloquium are invited to review today's Colloquium Exercise, entitled, "A Perplexing Ethical Conundrum."

Moulton 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

explaining the difference between project talk pages vs. the colloquium

I wonder if we could come up with a guideline for when it's appropriate to post something on the Colloquium vs. when to post it on a project's talk page. As we're growing, we're starting to develop more towards a Wikibooks model where the main talk page for a project ends up serving as a mini-colloquium for the community working on that project, and I think that should be encouraged so that each area can develop independently. The two headers above, for example, would probably be better at Talk:Wikimedia Ethics, since there's an active and independent community working on that project and such conversation would be more appropriate there. I think the colloquium should be reserved for general discussions, technical discussions, announcements, and as a place to request input on project talk pages if an impasse occurs after conversation fails. --SB_Johnny talk 11:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Good idea, Johnny.--Daanschr 11:58, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Indeed we do need a Guideline for talkpages which everyone could follow. DarkMage 12:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Beware of Guidelines becoming Rules becoming Laws requiring Authoritarian Hierarchy and Policing. Just sayin' - make sure that they remain only Guidelines. TheresaWilson 14:17, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
If it only applies to the Colloquium, than there is nothing lost. Any projects on Wikiversity should manage themselves in my view.--Daanschr 17:24, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

an idea: a wiki for solutions to textbook problems?

I have an idea for a new Wikimedia project.

As we know, most textbooks only provide answers to some of the problems, generally the odd-numbered ones. However, some argue that students should be able to have access to the solutions (not just the answers) to all problems. That way, students can check their work while doing non-homework problems for practice.

Therefore, I'm proposing an idea for a new Wikimedia wiki: WikiSolutions. Users would be able to submit solutions for various textbooks. This is not to encourage cheating, but to allow students to check their work more easily. My only concern is that this may have copyright issues. Would this wiki be a good idea? If not, would it be appropriate for Wikia? --Ixfd64 21:46, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Good idea - but I think Wikiversity could meet this need - it's within its scope. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 21:58, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Hello D., the presentation of the solutions could be done in quiz/text form or another. Could one elaborate more on the copyright issue ? E.g. just presenting the solutions without pasting the questions (for which one probably needs permission) doesn't make sense for the readers to understand the solution. In what regards the Fair use could be used ? Perhaps someone from the OTRS team could be contacted to be sure. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 22:49, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Isn't this just a proposal to turn Wikiversity into just another gigantic student cheat site? Or is there something more constructive here? --McCormack 04:56, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
    • There is something constructive here, but as JT says, it can be met here. I think it's called learning from first principles. EXAMPLE: Mathematics is based around solutions whereas the study of languages is based around right or wrong answers.It is a skill, therefore, it can be taught. This is a teaching method that should be employed at wikiversity, maybe alongside exam technique teaching. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 21:36, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
      • If you see something constructive here, then go for it, Donek! I'd like to see what this means. --McCormack 04:24, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
    • It means not just giving answers but teaching how the answers were calculated/discovered, i.e. the solution to the problem. This is very common in mathematics and has a place in all areas of study, therefore, it should become an aspect of all wikiversity projects (if not already), therefore, we should all "go for it". I also think that this does have a place in wikibooks as well. I'd like to know what Ixfd64 thinks of our responses in case we may have missed the point. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 13:18, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Definitelly not, because solutions are allready in the books or in the teachers. If you dont know, you have to ask the teacher. Thats why they are.--Juan 17:41, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

New users

Would it be a good idea to ask new users a quick question about their previous wiki editing experiences when they are registering, e.g. a tick box question with the answers being available to other users for a short period, maybe a month? The reason I suggest this is that I sometimes think that some users may not be able to ask for help if they have never edited before because you need to edit before you can ask for help. Those who fall into this category could be quickly coached by those willing to do so. Please discuss.

Also, how about a way of "declaring interst" in certain areas of study other than adding yourself as a participant? Maybe a search for people with similar interests may facilitate co-operation between users and new users and may improve productivity.

Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 16:45, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I think requiring people to do anything more than is already the case at registering raises the possibility of turning people off - answering a few questions could easily be enough to do so. But giving people the option sounds like a fair idea. And then I wonder if this would be after giving a link to the wiki editing tutorials we already have (and could improve)? The "declaring interest" is a great idea - and has been proposed before (on Wikiversity:Technical needs) in the form of the SocialProfile extension. We could also implement something like this in the form of userboxes... Cormaggio talk 10:58, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Maybe if they were directed to a second page containing these (optional) questions after registering, they would not be put off. There should maybe also be an option of returning to the page they were viewing before registering without answering the question. If interest is declared through tick boxes, would it be possible to add the user boxes automatically t their user page? I think the tutorials do need improved and my personal opinion is that this second page would be before they reach a tutorial. The reason is that tutorials are longer and they might be more inclined to just ignore the questions if they think they have got a hang of things. What about the idea for a search for types of users e.g. nationality, language, area of interest etc? Users would obviously volunteer to be "searchable"; I would be one of them. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 13:01, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Teemu Leinonen has formatted his userpage to indicate areas in which he has some interest - either in helping someone learn, or to learn himself - and these userboxes automatically add the userpage to categories. That's already in place - but were you thinking of a kind of advanced search form, which you could use to find people matching your current interests/needs? Cormaggio talk 13:59, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I usually mean to be supportive of ideas, but to be honest user pages such as User:Eroka don't do much for me (maybe it works for Eroka and others?). Personally, I value and watch actual contributions far more than user boxes/categories. Maybe that's not a good example. But really, where would one stop with adding details of one's interest/knowledge? Why not just get on instead with adding actual content (which vicariously helps others to know about who you are?) Of course userboxes/categories, etc. are not incompatible with substantive contributions, but content speaks more loudly to me than userboxes/categories. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 15:28, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Content is obviously vital to the life and sustainability of a wiki-based project - but surely doesn't an educationally-focused one also need to provide for connecting people, and allowing people to find other potential learners, teachers, and/or collaborators? Of course you're right that certain mechanisms like 'finding content and seeing who's adding it' is a good way for doing this - but there may well be other tools we could use. Just a thought - though it's occurred to me before - but there may well be a problem on a wiki-based project in that we privilege content production, and not necessarily learning... (?) Cormaggio talk 17:11, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with targeted use of userboxes to help interuser connections and learning - e.g., here's a template I'm currently adding to user pages of students in social psychology (psychology), hopefully to help them find one another, connect back to the main unit homepage, and contribute hopefully to feeling like they "belong": {{SPPP2008}}. See what you think - it would be technically straight forward to do something like this to signify one's participation in other courses - and would connect user boxes (which I've noticed Wikipedia users seem to provoke love or hate) perhaps more directly with "learning". -- Jtneill - Talk - c 22:55, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

To Carmaggio's first post (Teemu), that is exactly what I am saying. I am not a programmer so I would find it very difficult to brainstorm the exact mechanism but we have links allowing us to see "what links here" and "related changes". Maybe something linking to pages detailing those who are interested in "my area" of study and those who are adding content to "my area" of study.

To JTneill, I completely agree with you on those user pages. I really don't like the userboxes at all. I see them nothing more than anachronistic avoidabilities as a result of their increasing numbers. I have never been bothered reading it all, I don't know if anyone else does. The current system reminds me of going to the contents of a large textbook to look for something specific, rather than do the sensible thing of looking at the index - I hope this isn't too strange an example to explain my point. I agree with the problem you are alluding to regarding users declaring many interests. This will need to be addressed and I am not sure how to yet but maybe we could discuss options. I agree again with content speaking louder than anything else. We are all aware of the fact that adding content brings in more users and more users adds content. The problem is, that the vast majority of new users are not adding content and this may be a solution to that problem. It's at least worth trying anyway, at least then we may evaluate any beneficial (or even adverse) results.

To Carmaggio's second post (Content), all true. However, in a small community like this one, there are a limited number of teachers and learners in a given area. Therefore, only content addition can really be assessed. I believe it is our large number of inactive users, who are joining daily, that acts as our greatest stumbling block at the moment. A (very) small tick box questionnaire may help, then again, it may not. But let's learn by doing. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 18:38, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

To JTneill's recent extension, I definitley fall into the hate category, but if they are helpful to some users then they must stay. I'd prefer to have fewer ones and smaller ones, but it's really a side issue. But how do you feel about the idea of asking a couple of questions to new users to help with assessing their needs? i.e. how much help they need and from who(m?)? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 23:14, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Donek, Basically I think there are some ideas here worth considering further - perhaps create a page in Wikiversity: to do this. Anything to help users and make WV more user-friendly warrants consideration. Cautions for me at this stage would include: technical (i.e., how?) - anything that requires core code change is going to take considerable effort and time especially if we're not able to write/make the code change ourselves - so in that case, maybe try it out on a test install. And consider also e.g., many of the automatic signups are just users on other wikis using SUL, and making sure they're user name is 'safe' etc. so don't be too concerned by the ratio of new users to contributors - the same is true of discussion lists, etc. - its the pointy end who become are active. I am a member of 100's maybe 1000's of sites I never contribute to. This is one of the few where I'm active. Having a friendly conversation on new users' talk page is one easy way to connect. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 23:40, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I started Wikiversity:Mentors with the purpose of trying to encourage people to use userboxes to identify themselves as interested in helping learners, so that learners could find people who might be willing to help them learn. The idea is to try to make it easier for learners to find people who might be able to help them and answer their questions, rather then relying completely on people to find out who needs help with what. Having learners use userboxes I think would only help to identify what learners are interested in, but would not help people identify what learners need help with. --darkYin yang.svglama 23:48, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

@I would oppose this idea. As previosly said it frightens or annoy people. The other idea to link people is not bad, but I would recomend to do it manualy, how some peopla (especially custodians) already do.--Juan 17:48, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Still so many questions

Hi all, I've been quite quiet/inactive in my participation in Wikiversity over the past months, and this is as much due to my mixed feelings, as my scattered existence (holidays, moving house, etc). My mixed feelings come from my questioning of what I've been doing as a participant/researcher - and whether it's been (or could still be) of some use to other people in Wikiversity. My main research page is at Developing Wikiversity through action research - and there are a number of pages linked off it that I had hoped would spark some discussion and action about defining Wikiversity's scope and identity, and of course our methodology for facilitating learning. Frustratingly, none of these particular initiatives have really taken off - apart from a burst of energy from one participant on outlining one particular model for learning (Collective learning). However, there has been a large amount of work by McCormack and others, apparently inspired by (or at least parallel to) this "action research" perspective that I've always taken. So this post is really a request for comments linked to this research (ie figuring out what WV is, how it works, what it can do better, etc) - and what we could still do to answer any questions or address any problems, and what we have done in this respect so far. Please feel free to be as honest/critical/dreamy as you like - and I'd like to hear from anyone and everyone - from those who have been around for years, or who have just stumbled upon all this today. Many thanks, Cormaggio talk 12:07, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I just had a look and I like the idea, but can I ask what stage the action plan is currently at, have any "groups" been formed or deadlines set? I would like to be involved in this project. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 12:49, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) Well, forming groups has been a real challenge - particularly as I have been reticent to barge ahead without a wider discussion (which, strangely, is perhaps part of the "problem"). I've initiated a few meetings, and intend to facilitate at least a few more. In terms of a timeline, I will have to wrap up my PhD-focused part of it shortly - but I've always intended that the research will become an ongoing, community-led activity, and outlive my own PhD. Cormaggio talk 13:39, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
"I have been reticent to barge ahead" --> Isn't "be bold" policy? I'd like to see a lot more of how you would apply action research to establishing WV models of learning. At the moment I'm really stumbling around in the dark trying to understand your ideas. --McCormack 14:08, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Here is at least a comment, and I hope it is in line with what you are looking for. I've understood action research to be about action - you do something or build something, and then look back and ask, "what have I learned?". So Wikiversity is be built right now and will hopefully continue to be built upon. Periodically along the way, we can ask, "what have we learned?". Emesee 15:42, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
This is kind of what I've been trying to do with my "archaeological excavations" of the Great Forgotten Content of Wikiversity - see where we have been and what has worked, so that we can learn from it and see the way ahead. I feel uncomfortable that my pair of eyes is the dominant pair of eyes on these excavations - but it's not a matter of my doing less work - others needs to start doing more, so that many are doing much. One of the theories that has come out of my excavations is the coordinator-theory of successful resource creation. A new concept is that of "tame" versus "wild" audiences. Perhaps further theories could be built out of the data produced by these archaeological excavations? Perhaps the concepts and theories which are proposed could be subjected to reasoned debate? --McCormack 16:12, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I would say action research is generally more systematic than periodically asking "what have we learned?" - it's about developing (ie coding/changing/editing) a 'system' (ie Wikiversity), with the express purpose of reflecting on this activity, and feeding back what we have learned into further development. I appreciate that many people are confused about action research, but it really is that simple. However, I've been thinking over the last few months about my own difficulties in saying "this is a part of this research", and "this is something which is happening - or would have happened - anyway" - and so the format you've outlined is pretty much how I see the research (ie not confined to the content on the research page and its links). I find McCormack's comments about "stumbling around in the dark" illuminating. :-) I think if there's anything we should do now it's to 'light a candle' - to identify what we've learned about learning in Wikiversity so far, how Wikiversity helps/hinders learning, and to feed this into further development. As McCormack has just pointed out, there's some good groundwork done already - some of which is collated on the research page (and please add more pages/ideas as you see fit) - but I absolutely agree that there should be wider discussion about and exploration of these observations. And it's a fair point about "being bold" - but I think I'll save on commenting on this just for now - I've got a whole thesis to explore that issue.. :-) Cormaggio talk 16:54, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikiversity:Building successful learning communities is a bold assertion of some theses - esp. at the bottom. "I'll save on commenting on this just for now" --> no - please start lighting candles straightaway! --McCormack 17:58, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I think I share a lot of Cormaggio's feelings about this project. I think that Wikiversity's net is cast a little too large. We need some sort of unifying theme, a small set of principles/philosophies, or some sort of focus. "Learning communities around learning resources" is a good start, but we can aim to do better. At the moment, we simply do not have the community to support the ideals that we would like to aim for. We do not have a good mechanism for generating original ideas and research which is of a high caliber, meaningful, and relevant to many. Most of the interaction on this site is unidirectional. Formulas and equations are too tedious to type and enter. We are not matching users with similar interests efficiently. Content creation is too hierarchical. We need to find common ground within what community we have, and make it fun to learn from each other. When I visit the recent changes link, I often feel deeply that Wikiversity is and has been heading in the wrong direction. There are a few times where I've thought otherwise, but those are far and few in between. I hope these thoughts are constructive. --HappyCamper 04:35, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Did you read my work on the Great Forgotten Content of Wikiversity before writing this? I might once have sympathized with your ideas - before I really started to get my head into what had really been created at Wikiversity. On hierarchies: the actual models which have emerged (note the plural) have differing degrees of hierarchicalism/egalitarianism and show unexpected patterns. On communities: yes and no - resources make the dream of "wild" communities difficult to achieve, but less ambitious types of "community" have been more successful. Is interaction uni-directional? It is a question of time, place and encouragement to coordinators - there is more multi-directional activity going on than I had at first suspected. The reality of Wikiversity is complex, varied and interesting. In your introductory sentences, you propose narrowing the focus of Wikiversity based on top-down principles - but exactly this would surely impoverish Wikiversity and undermine the real uses that real users have found for the project? At this phase, after two years, we should be reflecting on what people have really created, and pragmatically revise our goals in line with this to support users - the time for dreaming is over. --McCormack 06:04, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi all, here is my two cent's worth.

I would say we are not far off from achieving this(and really depending on your POV we probably are just about there), if this relates to content development and constant improving off, we are on the correct path (maybe we need more co-ordination but are just about there). When it comes to defining what wikiversity is and should be about, then we need to be abit more patient ( WV is only two years old!). So what do I think WV is about? the answer is here(Look at the vision and mission of the school).

I think I subscribe to this learning model completely. With only two realities we must accept. 1. It needs a clued up co-ordinator (No hierachycal). 2. Ways of identifying the collective. I illustrate the above with two courses, I have been busy with here. the first is Electric Circuit Analysis-- The course was started when I got involved. It was difficult to collaborate. So I decided to take it to the direction I thought it should go and inversted a few moths to finish it. As we speak the course is still attracting minor edits here and there and is fully extendable. the second course is Generation of Electrical Power -- I decided to learn from mistakes I did with circuit analysis and grow. granted my editing acumen has improved but the point is I can now do more organised edits and have made the course more edit friendly. I decide to use the help us learn with you model of using lecture notes ( I descovered I still had my lecture notes ). So I can say the two is a good example of action research.

All in all I would say, we are heading the right direction, there are few obstacles we still have to conquer but, we are getting there. --Thuvack | talk | Blog 06:38, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

McCormack - I think HappyCamper's call for focus was pretty much in line with your survey of Wikiversity so far (can you provide links?) - or at least I think both proposals head in the same direction, and fit seamlessly into this research. :-) However, I find it disturbing to have said "the time for dreaming is over". I think we need to continue to learn from our actual experience - but I'd hate to think we might lose our ability or desire to explore new territory. In fact, I see this research as very much at the edge between what's possible, and what's been/being done. HappyCamper - in what way do you feel Wikiversity might be heading in the wrong direction? What could be done to remedy this? Do you not feel able or willing to do anything about it? Is your thinking in line with the thread on "New users" and connecting people, above? Thuvack - thanks for the concrete examples and narratives. But I don't understand the comment "we are not far off from achieving (action research)" - action research is a methodology for figuring out what's happening, not an end goal in itself. So it seems you're happy with a certain model of content development (what? why?) - but it seems to me that "defining what wikiversity is and should be about" is also intrinsically bound up with this process of developing content, and facilitating learning. I'll add that I actually see surprisingly little discussion about what is involved in facilitating learning - perhaps we're all just so embedded in doing/developing, that we don't bother discussing about it, or why we're doing what we do. That's the kind of discussion that I'm hoping we can have (and perhaps it's ongoing, and I just don't see it - I don't know, but I'd love to hear about it!). Cormaggio talk 12:03, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Cormaggio I am sorry to tell this, but I think that your reasearch came to early. Now it looks like that your PHD thesis form Wikiversity, not Wikiversity forming your tesis - and that is bad.--Juan 20:48, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Heh, now people on IRC tell me action research is a feedback. That word I understand.--Juan 21:25, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Juan - my thesis forming Wikiversity - hmm, interesting. Well, my research has always aimed to address one of the fundamental questions that Wikiversity was set up to answer - how can we facilitate learning in a wiki way? And I've always had a problem calling it "my" research - since I've always wanted it to be a part of a collective activity, and for it to outlive and reach beyond my PhD. So if this research could act as a driver for Wikiversity's development, this would please me greatly. :-) Cormaggio talk 14:23, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
And Featured Content is not an answer?--Juan 17:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

(Comment on the original text at the start of this thread) At the moment i am trying to revive the Thucydides reading group and hope to setup up new reading groups. These reading groups could evolve into an WikiProject improving intellectual discourse. The difference between a reading group and an organized debate (this concept has to be renamed) is that a reading group is about reading and discussing on a certain topic. An organized debate is going beyond that. There will be a year of preparation for an organized debate, and it lasts for a month. Maybe a better name is conference.

My initiative and Wikiversity will have a slow start. Little people will drop by and we could try to find ways to keep people here. Something as simple as regular meetings and doing some tasks for a meeting would be very helpful in keeping people. I am thinking about making some advertising for projects on Wikiversity, like making films on Youtube for it. This also means that the topics and the way these topics are being described in film should be appealing to a large crowd. More in-depth inteelectual research can be possible when a larger audience has been reached. It will probably take several decades for Wikiversity to grow.

I don't know very good what to do with action research. My view on learning is a bit liberal, meaning that i favour diversity and institutionalism. If research in general is the topic, than it is a very limited one. More diversity could be that there are topics on physics, history, lifestyle etc. Institutionalism means that every topic has its own learning groups with schedules and tasks and networks of people. A topic or learning group is an institution in itself. Action research could be about trying to setup activities? Or analyzing them?

I read a book once on the Hanseatic League and found some similarities between it and the way group interaction works here on Wikiversity and on the internet. From the outside the Hanseatic League seemed to be a state. They defeated Denmark in naval battles and made agreements with England and Russia. Internally, the Hanseatic League was a mess. There was no official authority, because building up a bureacracy was deemed as to costly for the members. The members were trading cities, who were part of different small states. They helped eachother in a kind of guild, which expressed its solidarity outwards, even by waging wars. Instead of having a bureaucracy, the city of Lübeck was assigned as the leading city, but Lübeck sometimes thought its task was too great. The other cities, just didn't want to take over or to join hands together. The only thing they did was to pay some taxes, when they liked it. There was no punishment for not paying taxes. So, Lübeck had to beg for ships at times of war. To make it even stranger, the traders operated with 4 men at the most. So, a each city had a crowd of traders who were all competing with eachother, only expressing solidarity when dealing with foreigners, like the English and the Russians. The analogy with the internet and Wikiversity is that we are all individuals here, doing our own thing and there is hardly any coordination. But, on the outside, Wikipedia looks pretty impressive. Despite the severe lack in coordination. For an encyclopedia like Wikipedia it is not wrong. There are pretty good articles. But, Wikiversity which is dedicated to learning can't survive with too much individualism. It will be very hard to get to meaningful coordination. I think it will take decades. What i do like is to try to keep a certain diversity and at the same time, to build up communities with regular meetings and tasks.--Daanschr 11:57, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

This is an interesting analogy, Daan. And I agree that there could be more coordination within Wikiversity - and that building successful and collaborative learning communities is a real challenge. However, people working individually can be very successful at building content - for example Robert Elliott's course on Filmmaking. But I think your analogy breaks down at the point at which people are "competing with eachother, only expressing solidarity when dealing with foreigners". That would be the case in a system of finite resources - whereas open educational resources (OERs), as described by an OECD report, are more like an "open fountain", somewhat like a renewable resource. I'd be interested in discussing this economic/political analogy further of course :-) - but on the wider theme, I wonder if a page title like Wikiversity:Modes of participation is wide enough to encompass different ways (individualism, coordination) of contributing to Wikiversity? I encourage boldness here. :-) Cormaggio talk 11:04, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

On the analogy: Wikiversity is not about making money. Most of us spend our leisure time here. So, there is hardly any competition.

On participation: The action to come to participation is more important than discussing participation. Though discussing how participation can succesfully achieved, or how participation can be useful, are topics worth discussing.--Daanschr 15:54, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand your second point here. What are you trying to say? To clarify what I was saying, I thought it might be a useful initiative to survey and discuss the types of activity that people engage in here - in order to be able to understand and cater for different kinds of people. I've augmented an existing list of uses of Wikiversity. Cormaggio talk 16:21, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

That is good. But it is also good to form groups themselves.--Daanschr 18:39, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I just read the page building successful and collaborative learning communities. I like the ideas you put forward there. The experience of established institutions dedicated to learning would be good for the development of Wikiversity. I would like to help to try to get people interested into joining "tame communities" from outside the inner crowd. It would be great if several "tame communities" would cooperate with eachother in the future and thereby really establishing something new and useful on Wikiversity: a connection between the traditionally territorially bounded learning institutions.--Daanschr 19:01, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree that open educational resources are important. But it is also important to have discussions on the contents of these resources and on knowledge in general. I have studied history and central in this study at the university of Leiden is that sources often contradict eachother. Discussion is needed to understand these differences. A source or resource often has a certain viewpoint which differs from other possible viewpoints.--Daanschr 19:07, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I can only take credit for starting that page - its content has been almost exclusively developed by McCormack. I also want to discuss those ideas - as you know, I started a discussion group on Wikiversity's learning model(s), and I would like discussions to feed into pages like "Building successful..." and Wikiversity:Learning models, so that we can better picture what we're doing, and use this to further develop our practice. Cormaggio talk 10:06, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


Is civility a policy at this project, or are users given licence to state that other contributors "ethics are utterly atrocious and obnoxious." Salmon of Doubt 13:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Of course civility is a policy - it's the only way we could operate a consensus-based project. With regards the recent edit-warring, I've left a comment here. Cormaggio talk 13:19, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
And with respect to the edit-warring on my talk page, and the insertion of this gem? Salmon of Doubt 13:25, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I think both of you need to take a step back and think about what you are trying to do here. Please try to discuss with each other - and to keep the discussion productive, and more or less civil. I'm happy to act in a mediator role, if necessary. Cormaggio talk 13:36, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm happy to discuss anything with anyone, if approached with even a reasonable approximation of civility. Salmon of Doubt 13:45, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
"I'm happy to discuss anything with anyone" <-- then why do you delete questions from your user talk page rather than answer them? --JWSchmidt 17:58, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
"if approached with even a reasonable approximation of civility." Salmon of Doubt 18:17, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you find objectionable: was it the question or the commentary that tries to explain the question? Maybe you could just delete the words "atrocious and obnoxious" and then answer the question? --JWSchmidt 18:33, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Alternatively, I could punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. Salmon of Doubt 19:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I've been trying to intuit what it was you were seeking to learn through your strange interactions with me. My hypothesis all along, now confirmed by the above remark, is that you wish me to demonstrate a functional way to respond to being unjustly treated. I know of several ways, but I imagine that most of them would not be solutions you would be able to adopt at this time. But that's OK. Since you've set this up as a guessing game, I'll keep guessing until I accidentally land on a solution you can make use of in your own life. —Moulton 00:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

This was a very civil place until this project was started. We need to do something as a community to return to the way it was. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 19:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I recommend a practical exercise in Action Research. —Moulton 00:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Heh, just wait til this place is big enough to be hosting learning projects on all the subjects that cause constant fights at Wikipedia — Israel, Macedonia, Scientology, complexity in living things, the US President, etc. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by WAS 4.250 (talkcontribs) 20:35, 25 August 2008.)

Salmon of Doubt says "Alternatively, I could punish bad behavior and reward good behavior." You and Moulton are both trying to do that with each of you seeing the other's retributions as bad behavior. I just saw the Dalai Lama (w:Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama) on TV the other day explaining that to break though such cycles compassion is needed. WAS 4.250 20:35, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I will attempt again, then, to compassionately remove all of the hurtful statements from the various presentations of the "case studies." Salmon of Doubt 20:49, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
It would be more helpful to me if you would construct a map associating specific objectionable behaviors to the name of the affective emotional state it arouses in your kishkes. If you need some vocabulary hints, just ask. —Moulton 00:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
You sound like Moulton. Are you sure you two are not the same person? :) WAS 4.250 21:22, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, he's adopting a complementary character, so as to establish a balanced protagonist/antagonist relationship, suitable for a persistent drama, in accordance with Clancy's Theorem. —Moulton 00:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Addendum. It's now been conclusively revealed that the applicable Protagonist/Antagonist Model here is Mr. Spock vs. the Klingon Ambassador. —Moulton 17:47, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Taking up Donek's comment above: I'm not averse to conflict - I think conflict can lead to profound learning. But this is provided both sides attempt to learn about the other's perspective. I've seen little/no sign that either Moulton or Salmon are prepared to engage with the other - and I feel that this doesn't bode well for a project that is meant to deal with ethics. Moulton, Salmon: I'd like the "Ethical Management.." project to raise the bar on the kind of toxic culture sometimes found on Wikipedia - not to shift it elsewhere. Identifying and discussing the source of your differences head on seems like the only way forward - not to appeal to the crowd on how "bad", "ridiculous", "obnoxious", "atrocious" or whatever you think the other is. Cormaggio talk 09:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
My theory of the source of our differences is that it's the basic science vs politics dichotomy, which also manifests as the observation vs control dichotomy (in feedback control theory), as the functions vs rules dichotomy (as in systems theory), and as the candor vs hypocrisy dichotomy (as in theology). In other words, if I say, "Be ye not deceived," and you respond, "How can we get to the ground truth?", I answer "By means of the protocols of the scientific method and the tools of epistemology." If you ask, "How may we resolve a conflict?", I respond "By applying the techniques of Action Research and Conflict Resolution, as proposed by subject-matter experts in those fields." But I cannot compel my antagonist to become a scholar if his preference is to be a thespian. But if his preference is to be a thespian, then I propose to apply the analytical tools of Drama Theory to study the resulting lunatic social drama. —Moulton 06:27, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Is someone going to do something to stop this from continuing, or should one expect to be subject to repeated and unending personal attacks at this project? Salmon of Doubt 12:24, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Would you like to enter into a mutually agreeable Social Contract, setting forth mutually agreeable terms of engagement? —Moulton 13:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
No. Salmon of Doubt 13:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Salmon, if you don't respond to him, than he will probably leave you alone. You could spend your time in a different way here on Wikiversity.--Daanschr 14:15, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I will return to my policy of ignoring everything he writes. Salmon of Doubt 14:18, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
You certainly have an unalienable right to ignore anything and everything I write. No one is compelling you to read a single word I write, here or anywhere. Everyone has a God-given right to learn, and (reciprocally) everyone has a God-given right to remain oblivious of that which does not interest, intrigue, inform, amuse, or enlighten them. —Moulton 14:27, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

The thespianization of the thespis would be thespianic!--Daanschr 08:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

If we could persuade The FieryAngel to reprise Thespis, that would be an appalling win-win-win-win for Martian Opera. —Barsoom Tork 12:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Above, Moulton has left an non-properly signed edit. On the talk page of Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies there has been an edit war today on the wrong way of signing of edits by Moulton. What is the proper way to deal in this cases?--Daanschr 14:26, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I routinely see IP editors sign their edits with a custom identifier that provides more information than just their raw IP address. —Moulton 18:36, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Moulton, transparency is part of ethics and including "Moulton" somewhere in your signature increases transparency. Please? WAS 4.250 20:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Please see this WR thread. —Moulton 17:47, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Request for help: new wiki participant

Well, I don't feel free enough while I am editing my wikiversity account. For example: why cant I edit my user name??, what if I chose it and I just wanted to change?. Another thing is that it would be nice if some one tells me how can I input an image that I have on my pc. I also have a lot of questions which I could not have an answer for yet, so who can I ask??, and how??.Thanks! --unknown001 13:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

This is a good place to ask questions. Also, see Wikiversity:Chat and Teamspeak for chat options. --JWSchmidt 13:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
See Wikiversity:Uploading files for help with your image file. If you do not like your user name, just make a new account. --JWSchmidt 15:58, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks JWSchmidt!..I think that uploading files isnt available for new users ( I hope it would be :)). --unknown001 11:51, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but maybe you need to confirm the account (i.e., by clicking on the URL which should have been sent to the email address you registered). Also, make sure you are logged in. Hope this might help. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 12:22, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Also note that I've left a comment here about permitted files types. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 12:28, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I think there is a delay of 3-4 days before a new account can upload images. Sorry about that. If 3-4 days pass and you still cannot upload, then let us know. --JWSchmidt 16:20, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikiversity:Autoconfirmed users, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 22:00, 1 September 2008 (UTC)