Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/December 2006

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Please do not edit this page. Continue old discussion at Wikiversity:Colloquium.

Control on staff[edit source]

Well, today i was looking around our sister project: Wikipedia, and i noticed that te sysops were currupt and a fair amount of members wanted to get rid of most of them. So i reccomend that Wikiversity institute a "Demotion" page, were members can request for any admins wh are not doing their job to be demoted. (P.S. All our current admins seem good, i mean for in the future)  Heltec  talk 

Heltec, it is easy to be good when no hard decisions have to be made. Wikipedia is a huge organization, so it has to make hard decisions on a daily basis. Some admins on Wikipedia even got deaththreats with a description of their real life adresses. Wikiversity is a small organization that didn't even started yet. I don't agree with you that common users should get too much power in demoting admins. The result of this could be that the most politically active users will determine the policy and will chase away many users who are important for the quality of the contents of learning materials and articles.--Daanschr 12:35, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Would you happen to have a link to discussion about this on Wikipedia (I presume you meant the English one)? sebmol ? 20:55, 26 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
w:WP:RECALL. It's been debated quite heavily on Wikipedia (I mean enwiki unless I indicate otherwise) and eventually rejected as too bureaucratic, although there is still w:Category:Administrators open to recall, which is purely political, rather than practical, and has not once been used for anything other than gloating about what a great administrator you are for subjecting yourself to potential recall. I personally am a strong proponent of lax standards for acheiving adminship (every wiki can use as many admins as it can get!) but that removing adminship status, through recalling or reconfirming, should be equally as easy. On enwiki, we've alternatively made our adminship promotion process ridiculously gruelling and made it equally as dificult to get rid of "corrupt" (or, more commonly, incompetent, lazy, uncivil, and ignorant) admins--only the ArbCom has the authority to revoke a user's adminship status. As the custodianship process on Wikiversity is relatively simple, I would certainly like to propose some form of reconfirmation process, either following some form of timetable (as is done on Wikisource, for example) or at the request of users in good standing. This is sort of an issue that, at the moment, is not particularly pressing on Wikiversity but someday may be. AmiDaniel 22:37, 26 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
To some extent, this can be codified a little bit later. I might raise a little point that we have to be quite careful when the time comes to do this - we do not want to place ourselves in a situation where we need to overextend the regulatory and compensatory capabilities of the Wiki. --HappyCamper 00:03, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
True to almost all points. Maby make a 75% vote requirement? That would make it less "Bureaucratish".  Heltec  talk 
The fact is, any system that will be proposed will have its strengths and weaknesses. My inclination is that Wikiversity is too young for us to know which sort of custodian will be most complementary to its cause. --HappyCamper 00:15, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
And that I could easily agree with. With only 12 admins (or custodians, whatever--it'll take me a while to get used to the new lingo :D), it may be much easier to simply approach complaints of admin abuse on a case by case basis. Wikiversity is still very young, and it may at this point be quite difficult to determine what will work best in the long run, so attempting to "codify" now may prove quite frivolous. So I'll retract my pseudoproposal above and instead recommend that complaints of abusive admins simply be channeled to the Colloquium for community review for now. We can draft an all-out system later on. AmiDaniel 00:26, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Sounds like desision, We can "Codify" it later, but for now it is probably best to just leave it to open discussion.  Heltec  talk 
That's what I think would be healthiest for now - in my opinion, I don't think Wikiversity has built up a "critical mass" of content to sustain online learning communities yet. That's what we really need at the moment. --HappyCamper 00:51, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Agree wholeheartedly. Let's try to focus on content rather than administrivia. AmiDaniel 00:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I favor a system in which custodianship is "easy come, easy go". If the community trusts a user and a user is willing to do custodial work then that user should become a custodian. If a custodian does something that hurts the community, there should be a system for getting the custodian to understand the problem and change their behavior. We have Wikiversity:Custodian feedback, but it has not been used. If a custodian is no longer trusted by the community, then it should be easy to revoke custodianship. Maybe we should put a note at Wikiversity talk:Custodian feedback reminding us to create a "Demotion" page as soon as there is a serious complaint about a custodian posted at Wikiversity:Custodian feedback. --JWSchmidt 02:27, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see how an admin could be corrupt. Everything is logged and open to public viewing, and if an admin does something wrong or against policy, another admin can just correct it. The only way that corruption could stand is if all the admins let it. And corrupt is such a nebulous term. That doesn't mean that admins can't become uncivil and tedious (there are a few over on enwikipedia I can think of). As to recall, I would say make it penalty based, instead of a voting process. Voting would just lead to endless trolling. If a custodian violates a policy, bring it to the attention of a bureaucrat, and if it become very bad, they can be desysoped. --Rayc 05:28, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, as I mentioned above--admins don't tend to be "corrupt," but rather incompetent and ignorant. I agree with you that voting is evil, so I certainly don't think we should have a structured reconfirmation vote or the like; rather, we just need to ensure that forums for potential "admin abuse," such as Wikiversity:Custodian feedback and the Colloquium stay open such that problems with administrators can be addressed. Unfortunately, Bureaucrats do not have the technical ability to desysop anyone--users can only be desysopped by stewards, so bringing complaints to them is frivolous and gives the cabalist illusion that there's some higher power structure making all of our decisions. For now, let's just deal with problems of admin abuse on a case-by-case basis, of which we've yet to have a single case :). AmiDaniel 05:43, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It may be important that wikiversity remain as much as possible as one community. If wikiversity breaks up into compartments, then strange things may happen.--Hillgentleman|User talk 05:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
That's odd, I thought that Bureaucrats had the power to both make and take away the admin power. Seems strange that it's only a one way function.--Rayc 07:17, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It used to be that crats could give and take away sysop and crat permissions, but changes were made some time ago after someone apparently went mad on enwiki and started desysopping everyone (I was a very young Wikipedian at the time and not aware of it). I choose not to question, as everytime I do, I get called bad names :). For now, the Bureaucrat giveth only whilst the Steward both giveth and taketh away :D. AmiDaniel 07:42, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
What seems like "administrivia" to one person might seem like sensible planning for the future to another person. Anyone who is concerned about having a system in place to deal with custodian problems should take a look at Wikiversity:Custodianship#Problems with Custodians. --JWSchmidt 16:55, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
What information is that link intended to provide? --HappyCamper 17:48, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think he wanted to point out a proposal for a process to handle problems with custodians. sebmol ? 18:55, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'd just like to (belatedly) pitch in and say that I think that we most definitely need feedback processes - both about content, and people (in general, not just custodians). Would it make most sense to start a single Wikiversity:Request for comment page, or should it be broken into 'categories' (as it were)? I think that without feedback processes about the way we're working we won't be able to continue to learn and to make Wikiversity a truly beneficial and inclusive place for people to participate. I'm not sure how (if at all) this is different from the idea of having feedback available for all learning resources that the 'user' (ie teacher who uses them in class, self-study student etc.) can tell us how useful (or not) the material was for them. I think this could easily be an automatic subpage of all pages (eg. Introduction to research/feedback). Should these forms of feeback be the same, and if not, how should they be differentiated? Cormaggio talk 12:57, 30 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well, I have a suggestion: let's put a rough draft of an idea out and see what happens. Suppose we pick a random custodian, and have this custodian look at another custodian's actions, etc...It doesn't need to be a surgical analysis, but something useful. Even asking if they feel contributing to Wikiversity lately feels fulfilling might be a revealing question. Imagine it like a routine, regular doctor's checkup. Once that's done, that custodian picks another custodian, and "passes the torch along". And this continues indefinitely. We might even make a little icon for this, so others know if they have had their "checkup". The idea is to reduce (and ultimately) eliminate the stigma associated with getting "negative feedback". It would be nice to institutionalise from the beginning of this project that there are no such things as "mistakes" - they are meant to be made, otherwise, there would be no learning, and no wisdom sharing. --HappyCamper 23:50, 30 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
My experience on enwiki has shown dispute resolution to be unfortunately quite ineffective (or, at best, ridiculously slow) at resolving disputes--typically, only those that go before the ArbCom are resolved. Dispute resolution only works if there are competent participants who are willing to compromise--which is very rare--or if there's someone with a big stick to enforce decisions. Nonetheless, I do think having some venue such as RfC would be a good idea--if anything, just to give the illusion that there's some sanity in how we settle disputes :D. We may, however, consider deviating from the enwiki model as far as we possibly can and pursue ideas such as enforcing resolutions where consensus is reached, but one or two refuse to budge. AmiDaniel (talk) 04:55, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This is an important point. The sturdiness of people to stick with their views was one of my main presumptions when i founded the WikiProject to improve debating on Wikipedia. I have a few solutions for this problem within the context of the disputes on the contents of articles. The most important solution is that people have to defend their views by showing evidence in sources. Of course this will not take away all disputes. Sources can contradict eachother for instance. A second solution is to organize debates which should make clear which views exist on an issue. There is no need to make a choice between views. The content of the debate should become more important then the article that is written on a subject. What should be kept from Wikipedia is the inclusiveness. Next to Usenet, Wikipedia is one of the less censured websites on the internet (this is my experience). Conflicts arises between users but hardly ever between a user and the authorities of Wikipedia. I am in favour of organization, but only in a decentralized fashion. The organization could be in the first place aimed at facilitating, but may not interphere in the contents of learning material or articles.--Daanschr 12:26, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'm weary about importing experience from en.wikipedia to here wholesale - Wikiversity is not a place to fix the problems on Wikipedia. The justification for guidelines can be inspired from it, but it has to be shown that it is inherently beneficial to this project. Dispute resolution on Wikis as a sole mediator of disputes in general does not work because a Wiki is not a piece of technology designed to facilitate it - the burden of properly resolving disputes will remain, regardless of the approach or official policy in place. Disputes do not resolve themselves nicely, because a well-meaning user of a public Wiki does not intend to participate for the purpose of being instructed on how to behave. This is why compromise is not spontaneous. Additionally, when we attempt to regulate these users with say, probation, the Wiki has taken on the role of being a babysitter, which of course it was never meant to do. I agree with some of the points given above, some I do not. Debates are a good idea, but so long as the conversations remain cohesive. When a debate invites too much concurrency (as in too many things happening at once), nothing lucid comes about quickly. I am not sure what qualifies as decentralized administration. Granted, I'm a bit heartend that you mentioned about this "illusion" -- if I might carefully venture a daring statement: written policies are dead, they do not live. It's the people carrying out policies that live, and matter. Written policy is symbolic of a functioning enterprise. This is the opinion I hold as of this edit; but as usual, I might revisit and revise these ideas in a month or so. :-) I must say, that I am bit reluctant to leave this thread, but I'm trying to distance myself from the Colloquium for a while, for I have yet to add the materials to Wikiversity that I intended to from the beginning...we shall see. --HappyCamper 03:07, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You are right in many respects. When i made my contribution on 1 december, i doubted wether i would give (so much) attention to the WikiProject i started on Wikipedia.
Wikiversity has another goal than Wikipedia, but more importantly it has another culture. I think that the culture of an organization is at least as important as the rules. I think expertise and commitment to a project are more important than the rules. What is needed for regulation will present itself in time.
I wanted to introduce the debating system on Wikipedia, but it could be something for Wikiversity as well. One of the main projects of Wikiversity is introducing interlingual debate. That is where i would like to give a contribution. I wanted to solve a lack of lucidity by appointing chairmen when a certain number of participants have been reached in a debate. A form of decentralization would be that the collective of participants to a single debate may decide how the debate is organized (a chairman or not, the rules of the debate, preventing chaos). A debate will take a month and not longer, so each month whole new groups of debaters would come into existence. This would prevent overly bureaucratic control and would still have a form of regulation. Introducing quality stamps given by certain groups of experts can ensure a division between high-quality debate and low-quality debate. Each scientific discipline or other group can give these quality stamps. A problem with these plans is that i am jumping too quickly into conclusions. Inventing solutions to problems that have not occured yet, and could very likely not occur at all. My plans and ideas could change in time as well.--Daanschr 13:43, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
For education, it would be needed to have teachers with authority and clear views on certain aspects of knowledge. My proposition on the organization of debates should be seen seperately from the organization of courses and learning materials.--Daanschr 13:54, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think WIkiversity should facilitate many different approaches to education and discussion. We are not limited to just replicating (in wiki format) traditional approaches to education and discussion. Sure, it is great when an expert can step forward and act with authority to guide a wiki-based collaboration. However, in many cases the first wiki participants for topic areas are not experts. We need a system that allows everyone (even in the absence of a participating "authority") to constructively participate in Wikiversity. The power of wiki is that even a group of non-experts can work together to do great things.....they might even become experts in the process. --JWSchmidt 17:25, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

New thread started, see #Cite and Verify Sources, below.

As I'm getting quite tired of having to proofread my own submissions (and doing quite a bad job at it!), I thought it might be a good idea to come up with a way to draw attention to recently created and rewritten pages, to attempt get more people other than the original author to proofread these oft forgotten pages. So I created Wikiversity:Requests for proofreading and Template:Proofread--let me know what you think, and feel free to improve them anyway you can! AmiDaniel 23:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That's a tremendous amount of VB6! --HappyCamper 00:53, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Lol, yes .. and there will be much more to come :D. Thanks for proofreading that--I swear, no matter how many times you read through a text, if you're the one who wrote it, you'll miss a million typos :D. AmiDaniel 01:22, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hey there, I just joined wikiversity yesterday and added a few articles. Proofreading and comments for format would be much appreciated!--TheVividDream 02:37, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

German Wikiversity course "software test" - you want this also in English?[edit source]

solved: first start[edit source]

Hello everybody,

have a look here please. I would like also to begin with the course here. Perhaps one of the admins/custodians can guide me, where it would fit the best? Also I would be more than happy, if some people would join as tutors for the course and also take part in it. --Erkan Yilmaz 17:14, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I like this line: Man kann alles testen - nicht nur Software. - Is Topic:Sofware testing good? Or perhaps Topic:Software validation? --HappyCamper 17:57, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hello HappyCamper, thx for the fast feedback. I would prefer "software testing". Validation would be one part of testing only. --Erkan Yilmaz 18:14, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Actually this is one of the goals of the course, that people do not see testing only focussed on computer science. We can test practically everything. There are no limits - only the ones which you set for yourself. --Erkan Yilmaz 18:15, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I have created the topic now here. Will add first the navigation template soon. --Erkan Yilmaz 18:34, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I'm familiar with that particular school of thought. We can collaborate a little bit to help get things up and running. --HappyCamper 18:55, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Great, I hope others will join too. --Erkan Yilmaz 19:46, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

solved: already one problem with navigation bar[edit source]

Could you have a look here please? I have a prob with the navigation bar. Perhaps someone could help? --Erkan Yilmaz 19:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Hillgentleman was so nice and helped. Thx again. --Erkan Yilmaz 07:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

some pages translated[edit source]

Hi, two pages are already translated: main page and meeting place. I would be happy, if you could have a look. --Erkan Yilmaz 23:37, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

more pages were translated. Could somebody have a look, if format, style, wording and so is in the tradition of the English Wikiversity. Would be bad, if this would be found at a later stage. And if you also would review the content so far, this also would be nice. --Erkan Yilmaz 16:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
So, nearly all main pages are translated so far (please keep in mind, that the German versions are not yet finished). I will translate the discussion pages later, now I just added the links to the German talk pages. Will be interesting how this will be with this feature: multilingual discussion system. --Erkan Yilmaz 20:00, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

technical question: for discussion pages: linking to pages in other languages is not possible ?[edit source]

Hi, I would like to link the German discussion page with the English discussion page. Reason: that both languages can be accessed easily and grow together - otherwise one language will dominate in the end. So, maintaining the discussion/pages would be easier. But: this seems not to work: I tried with: de:Kurs_Diskussion:Software-Test/Einleitung - but with the main pages, e.g. here, it works. Can anybody help? --Erkan Yilmaz 14:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I speak and write only English, but I have started a Multilingual Studies division and a Translation department, hoping to get some better collaboration between the different language Wikiversities and Betas. This discussion indicates that multilingual discussion and interwiki collaboration is going to be difficult, but i don't think it's impossible. Could sure use your help. CQ 16:39, 29 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think the inter-lingual is disabled in the talk: page, but one can do it by hand with de:Kurs Diskussion:Software-Test/Einleitung.--Hillgentleman|User talk 21:20, 29 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I tried before, but it did not work. Either I am doing something wrong or perhaps you can show me on one discussion page, then I could continue. --Erkan Yilmaz 21:36, 29 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hi CQ, the reason for my question was to combine both courses (German + English), so the participant numbers will increase. And so far I can say it helped already. I got some more ideas by other people and also while translating thought about other stuff - so definitely translation/cooperation over many languages should be done.
I think that over time collaboration will be bad to handle, so everyone would focus again on their own languages. But right NOW, where there are so few participants, I think we need to unite more people from different languages, to get the courses going. Later we can see, how it develops.
So, this means some few people will do the lions work here :-)
For my next steps I would say this: Let me first translate the project into English, then you can count on me (at least some typos on the pages you mentioned I fixed :-) ).
What would also make the task easier here is following feature: a site that has my complete watchlists, so I do only need to login there to see the changes. I do not know, if this exists yet? --Erkan Yilmaz 21:27, 29 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
See Wiki Journal and Wikiversity:Publishing original research. --JWSchmidt 00:21, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hi JWSchmidt, thx - I have created a request and an article here. Who knows, perhaps we can gather some people there also. --Erkan Yilmaz 22:03, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

already one result[edit source]

During translation of the pages, there is already one small fact/result observed:
the English wikipedia has no articles of the white box design techniques (but almost all are in German wikipedia available). See here.
Question which I have here now is:
is there a general page, where the different courses/research institutes/reseraches can publish some results, they gained?
This could be used for getting more people into the courses - also for making positive PR. --Erkan Yilmaz 20:06, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Someone was talking about a wiki journal, which would be a good idea (a research journal with a lower threshold of time commitment), however what you look to be talking about is a sample results page.--Rayc 22:56, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, like you say: the result mentioned is not so interesting yet and it can be created such a results page in the topic itself.
If there is probably more research in future, then there can be established such a wiki journal. --Erkan Yilmaz 23:44, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
JWSchmidt gave me a hint, so I asked for help in at the Journal of Computer Science and Software Engineering here. Let's see what will happen. --Erkan Yilmaz 18:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A Few Comments[edit source]

Okay, yeah. Hi everyone, I gotta say, when I discovered this place, I was in disbelief. Simply because of the potential it has to be a great thing. I'm talking future of mankind stuff here. A venue, almost ultimately accessible where you both learn and teach among your peers.

It's gotten me inspired to the nines, I tell ya.

But enough of that, I've got a few suggestions. First of all, I've noticed there's no Orientation page. My arguement for creating one is that it took me a while to find out quite a few simple rules. I think if you standardize all the information someone needs to get started into one detailed page, people would have an easier time understanding everything.

I want to call this next suggestion a class, but I suppose there are no real classrooms here. But I thought of a project aimed at getting the word out about Wikiversity. Students create media, suggest ways to spread the word, embark on field trips & the like. :P

Anyway, just a few ideas to throw out.--Exmachina 11:23 PST, November 26, 2006

We do have Wikiversity:Welcome, newcomers as one page that provides links to information that should help newcomers. I think the Guided tour could be improved. Feel free to start an "Orientation page". "getting the word out about Wikiversity" <-- we have Wikiversity the Movie, Wikiversity Reports and Wikiversity:Wikiversity outreach. Also, we can use templates such as w:Template:Wikiversity to link other Wikimedia Foundation projects to Wikiversity. What do you have in mind for "field trips"? --JWSchmidt 19:33, 27 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I was thinking along the terms of setting up a "Class", so to speak, who can design flyers, think of new, interesting ways to promote/fundraise/etc. for Wikiversity. As for the field trips, I was planning on taking a trip to a local University and possibly doing just that... handing out flyers, promoting Wikiversity. I just thought that it would work better as a co-ordinated effort. --Ex Machina 17:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the supportive comments, Exmachina! if you could help us in developing our introduction and/or help sections, even simply through giving specific critique, that would be great. As to publicising Wikiversity, this should be an ongoing effort undertaken by anyone with the passion to see this project develop into what it could be - as you seem to have. ;-) It could indeed be a coordinated effort in local geographic regions - akin to what the German Wikimedia community have organised in their Wikipedia academy (pics). But it can also be a distributed, homegrown, personal effort to reach out to people who you know and who you think might be interested or might benefit from Wikiversity. There's plenty of work to do. :-) Cormaggio talk 13:22, 30 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I added a page Wikiversity:Orientation. I also seeded a similar page, es:Orientation at the Spanish language Wikiversity and plan do do the same at de:Orientation and fr:Orientation. The impetus is to add a way for speakers of different languages to navigate between the different versions of Wikiversity that have established subdomains. All of these might contain links to universal pages such as Wikiversity:Welcome, newcomers and Wikiversity:Browse. We could create a REDIRECT to our Orientation page for the Spanish, French and German translations of the word, thus interlinking all four versions via a common context. Is there a better way to do something like this? CQ 15:17, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
On another note, more a question really-- I started work on Topic:Physical Fitness and Topic:Cardiovascular Fitness, and I would like to import the information on aerobic and anaerobic exercise over from Wikipedia, but I'm at a loss on a method of doing so. Should I just copy & paste, or is there an easier method? If this is covered somewhere, my apologies, I'm still new & getting used to the place. :P --Ex Machina 21:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
We can currently import pages, including the pages' history, from Wikibooks and Meta - since they were the two projects that contain material which had been explicitly developed for Wikiversity. Copying and pasting is a violation of the GFDL licence (ie the people who have developed that material don't get explicitly credited), so it's not considered a good idea (though we may have to do it in circumstances where importing is not possible, but where the licence permits). In general, however, it's probably unnecessary to import/copy content from Wikipedia - the content there was developed for Wikipedia's purposes, not Wikiversity's. If you want to develop a page that duplicates some of the content, you can create a new page on Wikiversity - with some of that information, but with a specific learning activity in mind - and then link to Wikipedia (or Wikibooks, or wherever) for further reading. Cormaggio talk 17:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Something for the garbage detail... what do you think, poetry learning project?--Rayc 04:05, 28 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

If a little bit more structure is added to the idea, perhaps :). I have to say, the poems they've come up with are not that great, but it may be a good idea. AmiDaniel (talk) 05:41, 28 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Java in wikiversity prevents pages loading into frames?[edit source]

Hello, Seems wikiversity has a Java script preventing pages from loading into frames in other websites. I want to load wikiversity pages into a frame based system used at our school, it is (unfortunately) the Blackboard learning management system. Thinking of an alternative way to display gathered resources and media in a single context, I tried to load a wikiversity page into a start page service called - no joy. The wikiversity page takes over the window and won't allow the browser back button to return to the previous URL (because that's page attempting to display the Wikiversity page) we have a loop.

Personally I think this is a serious flaw in Wikiversity that will prevent take up in many educational settings who - for various reasons - insist on using an LMS. Could you remove the code so I can present pages in these contexts? or can you suggest a way to hold a Wikiversity page in a frame without it insisting on taking the whole window over? --Leighblackall 08:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Uf! You're right in thinking that this is prevented - it's not considered to be a good idea at all. It has been trialled in one instance - a collaboration this year in Denmark between the Danish Wikipedia and the public service radio broadcaster there - where a Danish Wikipedian wrote a MediaWiki skin which could be edited from within the frame of the Radio station's website. This was an experiment in many ways, and we are awaiting feedback on how it has progressed - but let me just say that there was considerable hostility to the idea, particularly from Brion Vibber (the lead Wikimedia developer). However, you're always free to use the *content* of any Wikimedia site under the GFDL free licence - you'll just need to format it according to your own or the software's desires/specifications. Cormaggio talk 13:10, 30 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The considerable hostility you mention concerns me. Especially if all it amounts to is Wikimedia 'brand' purity. Where else does this inflexibility and defensiveness exist? If it is a technical issue then I'd be less concerned, and hopeful that a fix is on its way. Given the obvious trend in 'web2' type services to enable and even encourage 'mashups' (embedding Youtube videos as a small example) I think Wikimedia might be add odds with general expectations. I am going to have a hard time convincing as many teachers as I might have convinced if its perceived that Wikimedia is not as flexible to use as other information services. Thanks for the headsup though Cormaggio.. --Leighblackall 10:02, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The Wikimedia Foundation has been in a constant struggle to have enough money to pay for bandwidth and servers. It is not reasonable to expect the Foundation to serve webpage content to other websites. --JWSchmidt 19:36, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It could be about cost, it could be about branding - I'm not entirely sure what the crux of the matter is (though both have been mentioned as factors, certainly). It might be something that is worth bringing up on the Foundation-l mailing list, or maybe it's better for wikitech-l - if you are prepared to do so, you could give it a try and see how people react... Cormaggio talk 21:50, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hi JW. I'm not sure how this script helps Wikimedia in terms of servers. We would be drawing on those servers either way - whether we loaded into a frame, or opened it in a new window. The reason some people like to load pages into frames is because we often work with people who have never used the Internet before (or rarely have) and can get confused with multi window browsing. Why some teachers prefer using an LMS I'm not sure.. similar reasons to do with simplicity of use (?). Hopefully over time, we will develop more networked literacy in our teachers and community, and multi window (or tab) browsing won't be a problem.
Camaggio - Maybe I will take it up in there, or if you could point me to the history of the discussion, That'd help if I'm about to wade into a turf war. Personally, I wish it wasn't an issue. I wish we didn't use an LMS and I wish more people were web savey.. but I I wish more, for many teachers to get involved in Wikiversity and other MediaWiki projects. If this stops them for now, I think that would be a shame. --Leighblackall 22:02, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I honestly can't recall any discussion on the Foundation-l list about this subject (and I don't follow wikitech-l) - the discussion I referred to before was on a group cc: email about the aforementioned Danish collaboration (which you can see here). As to preventing teachers from getting involved, that would indeed be a shame if we were doing that, but I can't see how this issue is preventing teachers from participating, rather than simply from using Wikiversity content in this particular way. Cormaggio talk 13:39, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
There are many websites that take content from Wikipedia and try to use it to attract advertising revenue. I doubt if there is any combination of factors that will get the Wikimedia Foundation to pay the costs associated with serving up Wikipedia content into frames on pages of such websites. It might be possible to have a "whitelist" of approved websites that would be permitted to directly use content from Wikimedia servers, but I doubt if anyone at the Foundation wants to head down that path if it involves screening thousands of individual websites used by teachers. I think the answer would probably be a flat "no" if it involved serving Wikipedia content into pages associated with any kind of proprietary software package like BlackBoard. --JWSchmidt 15:41, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Guide to Learning projects[edit source]

I think we can develop a Guide to Learning projects based on Guide to WikiProject in wikipedia. This could help clearer up things about Learning projects. Srinivasasha 06:24, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I like the idea of a Guide to Learning projects. Wikipedia WikiProjects are mostly concerned with "the improvement of articles within a certain subject area". I think Wikiversity should view its pages in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces as "WikiProjects" for the improvement of Wikiversity educational content in certain subject areas. In my mind, it is easy to divide Wikiversity educational content into two broad categories: learning projects (activities for learners) and more static learning materials. At Wikimania this past Summer Jimmy Wales announced the launch of Wikiversity and said, "..... the idea here is to also host learning communities, so people who are actually trying to learn, actually have a place to come and interact and help each other figure out how to learn things. We're also going to be hosting and fostering research into how these kinds of things can be used more effectively." (source) I think that last sentence in Jimbo's statement is important because it emphasizes the reality that we need to discover efficient ways to form and foster learning communities in the form of Wikiversity learning projects. Here at the start of the project, Wikiversity learning projects need to encourage participants to explore topics that they want to learn about while also encouraging those same participants to create the educational content of Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 16:40, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I was taking about Learning project's organizing issues not its contents. I think Learning project's organizing issues is very similar to organizing issues in WikiProjects in wikipedia. Srinivasasha 02:33, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree; they are both wiki-based collaborations. Most of the Wikipedia WikiProjects are concerned with efforts to create/improve/develop encyclopedia articles for a topic area. Wikiversity learning projects can have many different objectives and are themselves part of the educational content of Wikiversity. I have to admit that I have never understood why there are some Wikipedia participants who think it is their job to try to regulate WikiProjects. I've always just ignored those efforts to regulate collaborations at Wikipedia. Exactly what kinds of "organizing issues" are you interested in? --JWSchmidt 02:57, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Requests for peer review[edit source]

Where do we list items we would like reviewed by others? I added the section, Requests for peer review to the Wikiversity:Peer review project page, suggesting some instructions and an initial item, Object Oriented Software Design. Is this appropriate or should a listing be somewhere else, since that page is intended as a policy guideline page? Or should we simply request peer review here at the Colloquium for maximum exposure? CQ 14:57, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'm not sure if Wikiversity:Requests for proofreading will satisfy you. It might be best if Wikiversity:Peer review were used for "formal" peer reviews as discussed at Wikiversity:Review board. --JWSchmidt 19:46, 2 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Hello. I'm glad to announce the French Wikiversité has opened. Feel free to come and help building :) guillom 11:53, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

C'est fantastique!!
/me does a little dance... :-) Cormaggio talk 21:53, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
If I spoke French well enough I would :D. Looks great though--good work guys! AmiDaniel (talk) 22:47, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Cite and Verify Sources[edit source]

This thread started above at #Control on staff.

You are right indeed. Although I would like to point out the significance of reading books. I joined in the discussions on Citizendium where some participants mentioned the academic method: experts in the academic world who disagreed with each other wrote books or articles, so they could describe in detail what their argument is. If we don't read the books and follow the discussions that have taken place in the last couple of centuries, then expertise will be hard to acquire.--Daanschr 17:35, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Wikiversity should make sure that it provides wiki participants with tools that help non-experts cite and verify reliable sources. This skill set is one of the most important cultural artefacts from the academic world and it needs to be central to what we do here at Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 17:50, 3 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with that. However, some practical issues have to be taken care of regarding enforcing this policy. What will we do when a vast majority of the users of Wikiversity will be not interrested in verifiability? When an article without sources is detected, is it simply deleted, or will the creator of this article be warned for the deletion up front or guided to change the article? Some articles about courses don't have the sources cited. I created a course myself which is about a book, but I didn't enter page numbers to remarks I made about this book, so this article is not sufficient at the moment.--Daanschr 08:11, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Simple: Wikiversity is not a "playpen". The project should not put up with "nonsense". If a majority of users treat it as such, then in a sense it is not the place that it was meant to be. Most of the time, the odd thing about a Wiki is that it works in practice, but fails in theory. I think the rule of thumb should be this: references where necessary, but not necessarily. In other words, if I write something "off the top of my head" I should know where to look for information to support that, and be able to provide a citation for it. In fact, I should be able to have it handy - if someone were to ask me what was the 17th letter appearing in the 3rd sentence on page 2, I can say what that is. There is an odd thing about "trust" over the internet - trust where reciprocated. When not, well, this is not the place to play games with online integrity. --HappyCamper 13:17, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I will use Wikipedia as an example again, because I don't know of any other good examples of wikis used for acquiring and spreading knowledge. Larry Sanger, one of the founders of Wikipedia wrote about the first year of Wikipedia that even the most simple rules had to be enforced. Articles turned into talk pages. It had to be enforced that discussion was only possible in the talk page and not in the main page of an article which was supposed to perform to the format of an essay, as it is today on Wikipedia. What also had to be enforced was that political discussions or even personal ones were excluded from the talk pages. To be able to ensure that even the simplest rules on Wikiversity will be obtained, it will be necessary to have a sort of law enforcement. Wikipedia was not successful in ensuring that verifiability of sources became important. The result of this is that my university explicitly demands that students don't use wikipedia to get information. If we want to be respected by the academic community, then it is mandatory to live up to a basic level of methodology. The scholarly ethics are designed for this purpose, among others. How are we going to ensure that the rules on Wikiversity will be obeyed by the users, without becoming too bureaucratic?--Daanschr 16:12, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
If you are in traditional publishing you can set and enforce explicit rules for how authors have to cite sources, but it only makes sense to take that approach if you are free to limit participation to authors who have training and experience in how to select, cite and verify reliable sources. The entire matter is made more complex in Wikiversity because we allow anyone to edit, even if they do not know about the need for citations or understand how to go about doing a good job of citing sources. At a wiki, it is up to the community to define and enforce standards for citations to sources, plus, in an education-oriented wiki, I think we have a special obligation to help participants learn how to cite good sources. Wikipedia has been involved in a long drawn out process of trying to get editors to cite sources.....a struggle that has gone on for five years. There is a significant amount of collective wisdom that now exists in the Wikipedia rules for citing reliable sources. It would not be crazy for Wikiversity to adopt the Wikipedia policies and guidelines as a starting point. However, I think that Wikipedia has a tradition of being lax in enforcing the rules about citation and verification of reliable sources. Many wiki contributors have no training in how to select, cite and verify reliable sources. I think all Wikimedia Foundation projects would benefit if there were a "school" where editors could go to learn how to select, cite and verify reliable sources. If Wikiversity tried to take on the task of educating editors of Wikimedia Foundation projects about how to cite sources I think that would be an important community service. --JWSchmidt 16:30, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps it would be an idea to start a course of 'methodology' which will be mandatory for those who want to get high up in the hierarchy. The contents of what will be taught at this course should be open to change.--Daanschr 16:56, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Would you volunteer to do a draft for that? --HappyCamper 19:18, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I will give it a shot, but I have to work on my final paper as well. Also, I have hardly any experience in teaching. I once taught a class of 12, 13 years old about Athens and Sparta for 50 minutes and I have lots of experience in keeping order in classes of 4 to 8 years old, but that is very different from teaching adults. So, I hope that others will help me in the process.--Daanschr 21:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

What I don't understand is "how" we are to cite sources. We aren't producing scholarly articles, we are producing learning materials. How could I cite something like this: Simple addition flashcards?--Rayc 19:59, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That's what I meant earlier by "...references where necessary, but not necessarily" :-) --HappyCamper 20:31, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The practical reality of providing citations for wiki content is that most people cite no sources unless there is a dispute. However, you can always try putting something like "flashcards mathematics education" into a Google search and see what comes up. Google Scholar has 1,090 hits for "flashcards mathematics education". Just by looking at what other people have done you might get some new ideas or find that you want to make some external links to useful resources. I would like to know if any research has been done that concerns forcing young students to do math problems quickly. Do such teaching "methods" help students pass standardized tests but turn them off from mathematics? --JWSchmidt 20:52, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I wondered that too. I know Piaget’s Theory and Perry’s Theory of Development of College Students, and the MBTI tests. Certain types of students must like the method, just not all. I hope we will be able to classify what type of a learner someone is and then point them to the most helpful resource, meaning we'll have to do the same material in many different ways.--Rayc 00:44, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

It depends on the subject whether citation is necessary. I want to make a strong case for social sciences, but I don't know how necessary it is for other fields of study.--Daanschr 21:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

We may wish to keep in mind that humanity reinvents the wheel all the time. While citing sources is a traditional and useful technique in a fairly closed environment, such as academia, where standard previous knowledge is routinely taught as a basis for getting started; it is less useful to someone who has reinvented the wheel as necessary and is willing to explain to others what they have done. Rather than trying to establish some bureaucratic rules (without a legitimate bureaucracy) which can be enforced arbitrarily upon random users (since in a "voting is evil" culture acknowledged consensus or legitimate authority exists only after all those in disagreement have moved on for the brief time that exists while no newcomers have arrived with alternate views) it might be better to simply encourage the addition of citations where individual contributors feel it is worthwhile tracking down appropriate information to cite. I doubt an animator who has contributed an animation technique learned or developed in the course of his/her work will be offended by someone else adding a citation to formal literature providing useful insight into the origin or efficacy of the technique. I suspect the same animator faced with a big community controversy aimed at forcing him/her to personally look up a formally published source for a technique they independently evolved or reinvented in the course of their professional work (to satisfy rabid roving bands of citation enforcers threatening to delete their work if such citation is not provided immediately upon demand as per rules agreed upon somehow somewhere but never formally ratified) will probably simply move on and explain to anyone who will listen what a waste of time participation at Wikiversity turns out be. A simple expression of interest or some chit chat on the talk page aimed at allowing the person who thinks a citation is appropriate to look for information to cite themselves might be perceived by the originator as interested in the topic and be received more positively. This alternate approach might even lead to word of mouth advertising that information published at Wikiversity improves with random community participation. Further, it is a fact that much human knowledge is not easily accessible online for citation or verification. I think one of the major contributions of Wikipedia and Wikiversity will be to help bridge this electronic/paper divide between those who have access to expensively published and controlled archives and those who have access merely to an internet communications device. Rather than attempting to force people to add citations perhaps we should merely acknowledge or celebrate that a citation is a useful contribution and encourage participants to make them when they feel like making a useful contribution. We are after all an independent project of volunteers with no formal structure beyond a few mandates from our benefactor, the Wikimedia Foundation. Ultimately with no or few volunteers, there is no viable Wikiversity project. Mirwin 05:14, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

In other posts on this forum, I wrote that i am in favour of inclusiveness. I want to include anyone on Wikiversity, who want to be a part of it. This means that I agree with you. It would be an idea to start a section within Wikiversity which will try to reach a certain level of academic expertise and which will try to establish contacts with Open Universities and traditional universities. Other parts of Wikiversity can focus on promoting the fun of learning and trying to establish a pleasant community for all contributors.--Daanschr 10:51, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal for a course on methodology[edit source]

A course on methodology is necessary to acquire a basic level of expertise to be able to contribute properly in a certain field of study, especially within a scientific discipline. There are courses on methodology for several sciences and they learn students skills that are differ widely from science to science. So, it is needed to decentralize this kind of course. I am a historian and i think that writing essays that perform to a certain methodology would be a good tool to give people basic qualitities for dealing with history, but this would probably not suffice for mathematics.

My proposal is that faculties will be founded that will organize courses on methodology that best fit into the scheme of a single faculty. The leaders of this faculty will determine what will be taught in such a course. To counter the threat of becoming overly bureacratic, it would be good to have several faculties even within a single scientific discipline. This way, faculties can decide on their own how inclusive or exclusive they will be and Wikiversity could become an organization where experts and amateurs alike could have a sattisfied working environment. Faculties that aprove eachothers skill could cooperate, so clusters of faculties can come into being that will live up to a certain level of quality or a sense of community.

Problem with this proposal is that it is highly decentralized. The central authority on Wikiversity has to play certain roles as well, for conflict resolution for instance. The central authority also has to take care for vandalism and to stop an abundance of half-finished courses and learning materials that will not be used by anyone and which are of a mediocre quality. I propose that when a single user starts a course or a learning material, that he gets freedom to develop this for a couple of months and to get advertise his work and that the central authority will delete this material after consultation when it doesn't live up to a certain level of quality. Faculties will get more freedom in developing courses and learning materials, but these should be monitored by the central authority of Wikiversity as well. (This has become way more then a proposal for a course on methodology)-Daanschr 09:45, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Maybe each Wikiversity school can start a project to encourage participants to cite and verify reliable sources. Each main page for a school could display links to one or more wiki pages that need better citations and a link to a central organizational page for that school's citation improvement project. "the central authority will delete this material" <-- A wiki is about collaboration. If one editor starts a page and other editors are not satisfied with the page the correct action is to improve the page. --JWSchmidt 16:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, it would be good that every school has its own project for citing and verifying reliable sources. (I got a little bit carried away above)

Regarding the deletion, i was contemplating on what to do with deadends. My experience in certain organizations using wikis is that articles are deleted without debate and without consent of the creator. I want to prevent this. It could be good to delete articles but not deleting without discussing the deletion with the creator up front.--Daanschr 20:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I can imagine many steps that would fall short of deleting content that is perceived as a "dead end". Sometimes discussion with the original author is impossible because people can add content to a wiki and then never return. We can create systems that promote "distributed discussion", potentially extending over long periods of time and involving many different collaborators. There are poorly developed pages at Wikipedia that have existed for years; there is really no need to delete such content. If there were Wikiversity content that one is tempted to delete, it might be possible to mark that content with a warning template that lists the perceived problems associated with the content and invites Wikiversity participants to fix those problems. At Wikiversity we have the luxury of creating main namespace subpages and we can have many parallel "lessons" for each topic. Wikibooks has a system for marking the state of development of books. We could have a system for indicating the state of development of lessons. We could have a way of marking links to lessons that have been flagged as undeveloped and problematical without having to delete them. --JWSchmidt 23:16, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

But for how long should these warning templates be on an article? If nobody develops the contents, then it will be on there forever. A solution could be that every school or department within a school can make clear which (active) articles are part of their school. Deadend articles don't have to be deleted in that case, but they don't belong to any school or department. A school, or part of a school could decide wether an article will not be used anymore. This way, we don't have to use warning templates. Instead of using warning templates, i would prefer the solution that the creator of an article is being warned about the article. He or she could be asked to join one of the schools and participate with others.--Daanschr 09:12, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Does "deadend' mean that the article hasn't been edited for a while, and needs improvement? If so, the obvious solution is to try to improve it yourself, or to highlight it as "needing work" to others. I don't see a problem with something having a reasonably unobtrusive template at the top saying that it needs work. As to making a value judgement about what materials are more or less useful, I agree that this could be given a general guidance to by the school or portal, but it could also be validated by the user (eg. teacher, self-study student) - which I think would be very useful. I definitely think we should be incorporating feedback systems into all modes of our work - if people see a page that is unfinished, and don't want to edit it themselves, they should be able to at least tell others what they thought was good/bad about it, and how it could better address their needs. They can then do likewise with other materials on the same subject. Cormaggio talk 15:48, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
My experience on Wikipedia is that templates are ignored. Of course a database of articles could be created where certain templates are referring to, but this would be hard to maintain. Wikipedia is different from Wikiversity, because we don't want to create articles for a encyclopedia. Our articles have a temporary purpose, when they belong to a course. Learning materials could be used for longer periods. I suspect that they will only be used when they are of enough quality. What should be taken into account is the weariness of those who have to maintain the system that we create. My experience on Wikipedia is that most of my questions are not answered at the Vilage Pump and half of the questions that are answered are answered by typically grumpy people who act in a bureaucratic fashion typical of those who have to answer the same set of stupid question over and over again. I am infavour of a decentralized organization where participants can keep their enthusiasm within small and dedicated communities.--Daanschr 17:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

On the original proposal for courses in "methodology", I fully agree that it is a very necessary thing to guide people in the creation of high quality materials (it could also, I think, go a long way towards addressing fears of bias in materials). But, I have to ask: "methodology of what?". Are you talking about doing research / scholarly ethics? Or is it wider in scope than these practices? (I'd also like to bear in mind that this project isn't just geared towards academia, and we should be allowing for varying 'academic' levels of contributors, and modes of contribution..) Cormaggio talk 15:48, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A course of methodology is only necessary, when the goal is to come to academic material of high quality. Methodology is a name that corresponds to acquiring a certain level of experise, other names could be used as well. For those who prefer the pleasure of learning instead of acquiring a high level expertise, it could be unnecessary to follow a course of methodology. For those people, there should be place her as well in my opinion. I don't believe in bias. Every knowledge and every language could be considered as bias.--Daanschr 17:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well, methodology is itself the major site of contention amongst educational and social science research communities at least. "How can you ensure that your truth claims are valid?" one group will say. "What do mean by truth?" counters another. The debate goes on and on (and it is worth having!), but it is wrong, in my opinion, to say that research is unbiased. What I think the central benefit of methodology is that we are open and honest about the process by which each part of our knowledge was generated, that this process is described in as much detail as possible, and so, if anyone wants to examine our work for themselves, they can subject it to their own style of scrutiny. Overall, I think this notion of methodology as a system of intellectual honesty is a necessary feature of Wikiversity; but it still needs to be clarified that we are simply setting out guidelines for open and critical thinking - and this is something that can (and should, IMO) be facilitated well before we reach the standards of academia. But still, "methodology" is such a general word, and needs some clearer context - what about something like "scholarly practice", "open-mindedness", "rigour", or even "(intellectual) honesty" instead? (See also #Honesty/Integrity above.) Cormaggio talk 02:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
We are having a cultural difference at the moment. In my country, the Netherlands, i had once had a course of methodology. The aim of this course was not to determine which truth claim is more valid, but it was meant to set a certain standardization in research, so communication would be easier. We learned the technical terms used in the study i did at that moment, social geography. My main study is history. Here i didn't had a course of methodology, the rules of research were learned by trial and error, in which the writing of essays was of most importance. I learned how footnotes had to be made and what the structure of essays were supposed to be. Also, the significance of citing sources was learned and the difficulty of having multiple sources that contradict eachother. In both social geography and history, the words honesty, integrity and openess were never used. I am willing though, to submit to the will of the majority if these terms are regarded as important. It could work in practise. My fear is though that a demand of honesty will not prevent the correction of mistakes, which could be an indication of a lack of quality. The reason i started to spend less time on Wikipedia and started to search for substitutes had to do with the lack of quality, caused by a disregard for objectivity. JWSchmidt made an appeal of the importance of citing sources, which is a hopeful sign for me. In my view methodology and scholarly practise would nearly mean the same.--Daanschr 10:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, methodology is usually (briefly) defined as "the study of methods" - looking at the process of "discovering" or constructing" knowledge (these two words themselves indicating differing worldviews about knowledge). I was just trying to point out that methodology isn't as "standardised", "objective" or "neutral" as is often claimed. I completely agree that methodology is something we need to be clear and transparent about - and it is something we can and should encourage a better understanding of here in Wikiversity. By "better", I don't personally mean "more objective", I mean "more informed, more critical, more open-minded, more likely to provide for further open-minded inquiry and understanding...". Does my view remind you of the culture you disliked on Wikipedia, or is it any different? Cormaggio talk 19:39, 10 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with you that methodology and objectivity are hard to maintain. The practise in the academic world is that each scientific discipline and specialization has its own distinctive methodology and sense of objectivity which differs widely from other scientific disciplines and specializations. Also, the sense of objectivity and the methodologies are changed throuout the decades within scientific disciplines and specializations, thereby seemingly making them pointless. Still, i am an advocate of using the words methodology and objectivity within the context of Wikiversity. It means that i favour academic expertise and serious scientific inquiry with a high regard for reality outside the views and the possibility of selfrealization of an individual. I don't want this to become the dogma for the whole project of Wikiversity, but to have a place for it in certain parts of Wikiversity, which try to gain respect from the academic world.--Daanschr 08:41, 11 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Ok, but I still maintain that objectivity isn't simply "hard", as you say, but is an inherently problematic concept, particularly in the social sciences. There are many in academia that simply do not believe in the notion of objectivity, yet they are still able to produce rigorous research (as they see it). Personally, I'm not a complete postmodernist (as this is the worldview that more or less embodies this perspective), but I do acknowledge multiple selves, identities and realities - all of which make objectivity a very dubious concept. This is why I would oppose "objectivity", but favour instead something like "methodology" or "scholarly practice". Cormaggio talk 11:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I would go further then you. I think objectivity is impossible. Still, i would like to use objectivity as a concept. Objectivity refers to a reality beyond the individual and is therefore usefull.--Daanschr 11:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Bureaucrats[edit source]

In discussion on IRC, we were wondering about the process for setting up bureaucrats, and how many we should have. Currently, myself and Sebmol are the two bureaucrats on the English Wikiversity, and there is a nomination pending on Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship for JWSchmidt.

The main questions, as I see them, include:

  • How many bureaucrats does this project need?
  • What is the due process for this taking place?
  • What kinds of actions should be delegated to bureaucrats, and how is this kept in check?
  • (Possibly minor point): Should this take place on its own page, rather than Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship?

As always, our processes are in the open, and subject to scrutiny and consensus approval. If there is anything regarding this process (including my own bureaucratship*) that you would like to comment on, please do so here or on the above page or its talk page. Thanks. Cormaggio talk 16:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

* I was made bureaucrat by Brion Vibber on the opening day of Wikiversity, but I have never been approved by the community as a bureaucrat. Cormaggio talk 16:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC) [reply]

Well, what other powers do Bureaucrats have besides making new sysops? If that is it, having two would be plenty, as that is a job that is only needed around once a month. If they also have the powers of check user and delete revision, then we might need more, depending on how wikiversity develops.(Looking at meta, m:Bureaucrat, looks like change name and grant bot status are the other powers they have, stewards have the checkuser and delete revision)--Rayc 17:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think we need Wikiversity:Bureaucratship, a page that would be similar to Wikiversity:Custodianship. --JWSchmidt 17:10, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Cormac, i think you are a great bureaucrat. You are diplomatic and open to feedback, which is good for the community. The job of a bureaucrat is not only appointing sysops. You and Sebmol are also the official representatives (or authorities) of Wikiversity. I have no wish to be either a bureaucrat or a sysop. I would be happy to devote my time at the school of history or to debate here on what Wikiversity could be in the future. At the moment, our community is peaceful, there are no conflicts whatsoever. In the future, your task as bureaucrat could become one of great responsibility, since you will be the highest authority, who can make and break those who want to have influence in Wikiversity.--Daanschr 18:45, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
One of the main successes of Wikipedia is that Jimmy Wales is the leader of this organization. A history of Wikipedia has been written (i don't know how accurate it is, since i was not there at the moment), which could give you an indication on how to run a succesful organization.--Daanschr 19:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Two things: let's just officially confirm Cormaggio as of this edit - a bureaucrat of Wikiversity, complete with its full rights and responsibilities.
As for the other questions, I need to think a bit more about it. I'd advocate promoting JWSchmidt though - the nomination has been up for months, and probably would be a healthy idea to resolve the issue. --HappyCamper 00:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion[edit source]

Well, let me tiptoe a little here and answer Cormaggio's questions right at the top:

  1. 2 is already plenty. We could pospone the bureaucrat++, but I dislike this ambiguity. What I expect would happen, is that these bits would simply be in dormant but trusting hands. This sounds reasonable I think.
  2. Due process is anything which does not cause excessive drama. If we have contributors crying foul despite a carefully adjudicated, moderated process, where the "right" decisions have been made by the book, that is not due process. Due process is graceful and self evident.
  3. Bureaucrats need to know when to recuse themselves from making decisions...
  4. We can keep everything on the Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship. Nice and centralised.

Now, I know I am not being particularly elegant with this response - it's supposed to be a block of marble to be shaped into a statue, hm? So, please, continue this thread. We can resolve this issue now, and move on to other fun things to work on. It's one of the housekeeping items which should be addressed.

A sketch: when I support a candidate for special sysop bits, I am giving them my vote of confidence that they can be more autonomous on this site - this is what it really says. I rarely babysit their actions - it's not why I am here, and it would defeat the purpose of trusting them in the first place. Granted, these bits should not have a high activation energy to get rid of - it is not, and should not, be something that defines a contributor's primary identity here. My expectation is that those users with sysop bits should act in a way with other editors such that their role as a custodian or regular user is clearly distinguished, and that this is carried out in an ethical way. There should not be any ambiguity in this. This place does not need accusations of a "cabal" or situations of a "corrupt custodian". Smart little steps serve a long way to keep the integrity of institutions that have served Wiki projects well since Day 1. A custodian, and especially a bureaucrat, should not compromise this. Poor morale accumulates, is extremely difficult to dissipate, and is unhealthy.

Note the rhetoric around "trust" and "integrity" though. The essence of this is that the community simply expects surprises to be kept to a minimum. To make an analogy, those in positions of power act as if they are taking care of the the macroeconomic engine. Measured is the key word. I would prefer to see bureaucrats not promote those that they have supported, or close forums for those whom they have opposed. The mind is abstract and one can read everything into anything. Sometimes, an ambiguous detached restraint is very apt.

Alirght! Back to our Colloquium... --HappyCamper 03:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with you. I prefer a kind of leadership that is reasonable and above the factions. Especially in an organization that is just starting and is in need of new volunteers it is good to have leaders that try to include others and want to serve the interest of the community as a whole. It is important to be positive and to try to come to all kinds of ideas on how we can make this project into a succes.--Daanschr 11:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well, this issue of leadership is quite complicated because the stratification on the Wiki is very loose. In a sense, it is not fair on the part of the community to burden bureaucrats with unequivocal leadership. At the end of the day, the accounts that they have are operated by people like you and me. On an open Wiki, leadership emerges sort of spontaneously - we associate authority and competence with mature accounts, not necessarily those with special bits. The correlation is high though, I'm confident to say. What we should have bureaucrats do, is in the future if we have "votes" of some sort, that they can close them and "officially" declare them as such. Some participants like to have this formality for a sense of professionalism and security, and there's no harm in having them do this I think. --HappyCamper 16:43, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That sounds better then my idea on leadership.--Daanschr 19:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you. I'll come back with some other thoughts later. It looks like something is developing on Wikiversity talk:Bureaucratship. --HappyCamper 03:39, 9 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Student Passport[edit source]

I dont know if you were talking about it, but I will ask here. I think there is a need to give each user will have a subpage where only sysops will be able to add in data. This subpage can callect basic information about the user, but also can give and idea in which pages the user si active and if he is a student or a teacher. It could be good for example for the teachers of the highly dificult lessons that the teacher might have a look onto this student identification card to see what subjects/lessons/projects he allready passed and give effectivness to his studying of the appropriate subject.

The second point is, that students can obtain a student passport showing the results of their studying. This can help to the students who would like to study on other Wikiversities in other languages, that the teachers from other versions will see what they have studyed. But not only within wikiversities, but maybe for the future needs in the normal civil live(on normal colleges) it can be used.

To say how student passed the subject/lesson... i would offer to have to possibilities:

  • studyed without exam
  • passed exam/recieved credit (marks - blah, blah, blah = classification) - these ending exams should be optional, also the way if there will an exam to obtain the credit should be optional, but the classification standardised.--Juan 18:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The board doesn't like the concept of "courses", and I doubt that we will use "formal" credit/points/grades as a means of passing and failing people. However, exams and grades can be used as tools to help hone your skill so users can go out and take test in the real world and receive credit. For more info, see Test and Quiz--Rayc 19:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Looks good I will study more about that.--Juan 12:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
So this (School:History#Planned_Courses) is illegal?--Daanschr 21:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure what you have in mind for a "student passport". One record of what anyone does at Wikiversity is their edit history (see "my contributions"). Wikiversity participants who are interested in helping others understand how they have made use of Wikiversity learning resources can keep a diary or portfolio that describes the important aspects of their Wikiversity participation on their user page. Sysops have no special authority to "certify" or otherwise evaluate the learning activities of Wikiversity participants. --JWSchmidt 20:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, thats what I ment. A summary of placed in such as portfolio. But now I see that you tend to not to certify people in here.--Juan 20:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

courses. I think we need to make a distinction between "traditional course" and "wiki-format course". Traditional courses usually involve a formal system of school accreditation, teacher certification, student registration for courses that require students to perform specific tasks in a specified time period so that they can be awarded a grade as part of an extended degree program or course of study. Wikiversity is not the place for that kind of traditional course structure. You can develop "wiki-format courses", but we do not want to create a situation in which new visitors see the term "course" all over the wiki, assume we mean traditional courses, and then only slowly can those new visitors realize that there are no traditional courses. --JWSchmidt 23:30, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That sounds good. I don't like the terms test and quiz. It would be a good idea to start several experiments on how learning can be best organized. What i like to take over from the traditional course is discipline. Learning is not always pleasant. To be able to acquire a higher level of expertise, it is mandatory to perform tasks that could take lots of time and effort and which have to be performed in a certain time schedule. This also requires the possibility of failure.
I am thinking about starting a course of history, with the topic the history of Shanghai as a treaty port 1842-1946. I made a paper on this topic this year and the literature i examined gives a good view on the problems involving historical research. The topic could be interresting for students, because it involves questions like What is the difference between the traditional Chinese culture and the western culture in the Modern Age? and Why did the west dominate China for a century long?. Discipline will be obtained by forcing students to at least post minimum amount of edits per week in mandatory debates and to write essays in which i will ensure that the information can't be easily taken from the internet. This course should be seen as an experiment. Any suggestion on the substitute of the word course? Does wikicourse sound nice?--Daanschr 10:44, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm you have a good ideas. But in my case I will not said to the students that this they should do. I will, just recomend them to do that and I will also give them a chance to go for a test. Anyway it is very interesting how here on wikivirsity every instructor has its own metodology. Sometimes this diversity you can´t see on normall universities. So I hope it will be possible also for the future and there will not be restrictions for standardization. Finally thic could be a good area for study reasearch based on teachin/studying methods on wikiversity for someone outside for the wikiversity.--Juan 12:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Now its clear form me. I thought that I understant when Rayc said: The board doesn't like the concept of "courses", but after your explanation its clear.--Juan 12:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with you that there will not be restrictions for standardization. In my view, Wikiversity will be having multiple groups all with their on set of standardizations. This would ensure the most of creativity, which is needed for inventing the best way of learning on the internet.
I am having second doubts. I don't know wether it is a good idea to ask for so discipline. I only have a bachelor of history, so it would be better to be the primus inter paris instead of a strict authority. Allthough, i would like to keep the rule of a minimum amount of edits per week, this to ensure that active participants won't suffer on the inactivity of those who only participate halfheartedly. Commitment is important especially on the internet, with its huge lack of social control. I am enthusiastic about this proposition: Wikiversity:Wikiversity Local Live.--Daanschr 11:23, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
"those who only participate halfheartedly" <-- In a very fundamental way, the ability to "only participate halfheartedly" is built into the wiki format. I think it will be natural for wiki participants to edit in different ways. Some participants will edit very little, some may participate in discussions and edit their user pages so as to document what they are learning about and others might actively create and develop learning resources by editing in a more active way. I think it is possible to make a distinction between "active participants" and more casual editors. Many Wikiversity content development projects and learning projects have lists of "active participants". These lists are a tool to help build collaborations. --JWSchmidt 16:46, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It would be an experiment. If it doesn't work, then no harm is done. The deficit is that non-active participants will not be able to join, but the good thing about it is that active participants remain active. I play a boardgame online, which considerably build up speed when deadlines were introduced, otherwise it would have been terminated.--Daanschr 19:10, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Another experiment could be to have active participants who submit to deadlines and at the same time non-active participants (with less privileges) who can participate as well. Not getting the deadline, will automatically imply losing privileges.--Daanschr 19:12, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well, from this list of people, we can sort of tell people who sign up for classes don't seem to want to do any assignments given to them. I'm having doubts that assignments outside of a formal class will ever get turned in. Though free form learning seems to be going well.--Rayc 04:15, 9 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Everybody is free to choose were they want to join. If an experiment of mine is not appealing enough, then it could be a failure. In the Netherlands we have the expression: De aanhouder wint, 'those who persist win'. So i will persist. Failure is only possible when you quit. (Allthough a sense of reality can be very handy)--Daanschr 09:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Stewart Mader[edit source]

Is Stewart Mader one of our users? If not, We should try to get him. --Rayc 19:46, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Have you sent him an email yet? Maybe ask him if Wikipedia is being used yet in education appropriately and segue into asking his opinion of what will and will not work at Wikiversity? If you want to flatter him a bit ask him if he will consider autographing any copies of his book sent to him by Wikiversity users along with return postage .... or considering that we have a small user pool at the moment .... simply ask him to autograph your personal copy? Good luck on this mission if you decide to accept it. 8) Mirwin 05:30, 8 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Learning Blogs[edit source]

Yes, no? I'm seeing them start to pop up, and I remember blogs have been used as educational purposes. However, there is a huge potential for abuse. If we keep them, we might want to set up some guideline about what can and cannot be posted about.--Rayc 20:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think we need to be supportive of all types of communication that are intended to support the learning goals of Wikiversity participants. Wikipedia has been able to limp along with simple discussion pages, but discussions and commentaries can be an integral part of Wikiversity main namespace content. If we are serious about the importance of using the power of wiki-based collaboration to support learning, we need participants to be communicative about their personal learning goals, frustrations, plans and wiki-based activities. --JWSchmidt 22:32, 9 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think that there is a place, and perhaps even a need, for so-called learning blogs. For instance, it is an integral part of the Learning to learn a wiki way project. I would guess that many blogs like this would evolve away from the standard blog format or wiki discussion format into something that is more unique to wikiversity. What kind of abuse are you concerned about?
Knew there was a reason that people seemed to be doing them similar --Rayc 23:22, 9 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think learning blogs are a fantastic idea - in my view, the more reflective we become, the better we can understand our learning, as well as our impact on others' learning. People can start their blogs within this limited Mediawiki format (and it is no harm if people are critical, just possibly not excessively disruptive*), or they can start a blog elsewhere, and link to it from Wikiversity - both of which options are being pursued at the moment... Cormaggio talk 19:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
* Hmm, this possibly needs to be defined somehow - do we need a policy on blogs? Or is this against their very raison d'etre? Cormaggio talk 19:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
No doubt Wikiversity should be represented upon the "Blogosphere" as they call it, but I think this Colloquium is the key. As a learning community, we have a centralized discussion here that a lot of blog sites would die (or kill) for. What frustrates me about blogs is that they consume time and effort many times for no useful purpose (except maybe to vent) and it's difficult to find things I'm looking for.
The flexibility of the University context allows things like opinion, especially here in the colloquium and on talk pages, plus there is room for original research, collective reflection, essays, question and answer sessions and a myriad of other communicative activities. The neat thing (neat as in tidy) is that a university context facilitates organization and topical relevance like no other structure can. Topical disscusions are right there "beside" the topics covered. As Wikiversity grows (in quality and quantity) topics and subjects should become easier to find. Furthermore, people can actually assosiate and relate to one another as they learn to learn.
So, How does this Colloquium and the cumulative "Talk:o:sphere" at Wikiversity differ from a "Blog" (weblog)? I think we have it all! CQ 13:23, 23 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I very much agree with what Charley says above, but I also think that personal blogs are a vital way for each one of us to keep a record of our personal thoughts and feelings about what's going on from our perspective on Wikiversity. The Colloquium serves a crucial purpose, but people are not going to detail the minutiae of their personal thoughts on the Colloquium - that's more of what personal blogs are for. So, I think all of these things can work in tandem with eachother - to continue to develop Wikiversity into a collaborative, reflective, learning community. Cormaggio talk 15:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

help with namespace[edit source]

I'd like to cleanup Topic:Astronomy and related pages but I'm not too clear on the namespace conventions. Could someone take a look at my comments in School talk:Astronomy and reply with some advice?--mikeu 16:35, 11 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Knowledge is our Savior[edit source]

yes Knowledge is our Savior. says so in "The Random House Dictionary of ENGLISH LANGUAGE" 1966 the unabridged version

Found, in the English/French section. on backchecking "Savoir Faire". This on long ago having learned to backcheck, between the OvarUS sLanguages of earth. Oft, as localized as different age groups, ethnicity, and locale, a border and river run through town sees two peoples speak totally different. Not to mention the vast schizism between what is meant and how its heard or rather, took, by another.

Ignorance[edit source]

I've just come here. And, even before I learned anything, I've started an article on the Schools around Shahhbag (generally speaking, the best in Bangladesh). I intende to add curricula and such to the article. But, I've no idea if writing on schools would all right or not. Please, enlighten. - Aditya Kabir 14:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC) - if possible, answer to my talk page[reply]

It depends on what you want to write. If you are trying to advertise a particular school, do not bother. If you are providing links to learning resources, it has to be relevant to a wide audience. If you are trying to promote Wikiversity participation of students from specific schools, feel free to do so. --JWSchmidt 14:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

New deletion template[edit source]

I was hoping to get some feedback on {{Scope}}, which is a more newcomer friendly deletion template which I've created. It suggests some things such as a transwiki or userfy, rather than a red-bordered template warning you that your article is about to be vapourised. It's somewhat like b:Template:qr-em, only a bit broader and more helpful. It adds pages to Category:Pages outside the scope of Wikiversity, where they may be deleted after 5 days have passed, or instead moved to WV:RFD if the deletion is contested withing that time. (I'm happy to handle that) Does that sound good? Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 12:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I like it. It seems prudent, useful, and reasonable. Good work. Be bold. :) --Remi0o 12:53, 14 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, it looks good. Chrismo 13:00, 14 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Helpful, comprehensive, friendly - it's all good. :-) However, it might be better to extend the 5 day deadline slightly - what do other think? Cormaggio talk 14:23, 14 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
When we delete pages that are not obvious vandalism, we should leave a note on the talk page of the editor who created the page explaining what happened and providing a link to Undeletion requests. --JWSchmidt 14:44, 14 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I Agree with that entirely, should we make a boilerplate message or just type one up on the spot (which wouldn't be too hard) Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 14:48, 14 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
A good friendly boilerplate would be nice. At least two weeks would also be nice. Mirwin 07:24, 15 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Would also be nice to define what the problem is with the scope of the page. I just created a page called Game Maker to show Mirwin and others an idea I had with respect to teaching people how to computer program simple games, and allow educational games to be created for wikiversity. I believe that it fell under at least the school of computer game design, if not computer programing and media creation. Yet it was proposed as out side of the scope of wikiversity. Also, is this operating under a prod rule set or an AfD rule set? A.K.A. can I remove the template myself or do I have to deletion requests?--Rayc 17:46, 16 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Removing the template yourself shouldn't cause a problem, but it's a good idea to link to the page from a topic or school (or two). I'd rather this template was only used on entirely non-controversial deletions of pages that really belong somewhere else (such as another wiki or the bitbucket), are not adding aything to Wikiversity, but were brobably good faith attempts at pages, and thus should not be speedy deleted. If there is anyone that still wants the page deleted, then point them at RfD. Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 06:36, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Templates that target the work of editors for destruction should be used with care. They should not be used as a substitute for first discussing page contents with the editors or fixing something that needs to be fixed. Wikipedia has developed a culture where there is a rush to drop dozens of templates on articles and delete them, without ever discussing the articles with their creators. I do not want to see that culture carried over to Wikiversity. Wikipedia has a very narrow mission: to produce encyclopedia articles. Wikiversity is a much more ambitious project where editors are exploring how to use wiki technology to support learning. If we each assume good faith then we have to open our minds to a very wide range of possible methods and approached to learning. When a page is not doing obvious harm there should be no rush to delete content. Take the time to discuss questionable content with the editors who created it. --JWSchmidt 16:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'd like to wholeheartedly second that comment from John - I think we need to be cognisant of the fact that editing Wikiversity, like all wikis, entails a learning curve, and we should do everything possible to help people along that curve, without first disencouraging them sufficiently so that they leave. Encouraging people to see how something could be improved, or the benefits of free content etc, is pretty much always a better option than nerve-twitch deletions. If it's clear that the person isn't listening, or nothing is happening to improve the situation, then we can go ahead with taking measures, like deletion. However, the development of friendly templates, encouraging people to see how they can help, is a good step, I think. Cormaggio talk 08:44, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Alexa Ranking[edit source] Traffic Rank for 29,342 It is slowly but surely ranking better and better.

Medical topics[edit source]

Moved from Topic talk:Software testing/wiki/Topic talk:Software testing/introduction/ I want to find a place that has articles about medical transripting and billing, Thanks, Leon —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:30, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Motto and slogan contest extended[edit source]

Round 5 of the motto and slogan contest will last at least until January 15, 2007, perhaps longer to allow more participation and discussion.

There are currently 25 signed support statements in this near final round of the motto portion of the contest, fewer in the slogan portion. I think we need at least 50 participants to end this stage. --Reswik 15:12, 16 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Page deletions[edit source]

I think that we should reconsider when we should use the {{main_welcome}} template. For the most part, pages with this tag are not getting any extra attention and have no content as it is. I think that such pages should be deleted because many of these pages are not being expanded and will not. I think that this template should be reserved for pages with limited content, but not no content. Pages with no content should be deleted within x amount of days. This is not to say that we should not follow the assume good faith principle, just not use the template so liberally on blank and empty pages. -- J.Steinbock 06:00, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"Pages with no content should be deleted within x amount of days." <-- Why?
"just not use the template so liberally on blank and empty pages" <-- Sometimes a new editor starts a page and then is unable to add anything useful. Often such pages are for valid topics and there is no need to delete them....someone will just create the page again.
"pages with this tag are not getting any extra attention and have no content as it is" <-- Template:main welcome was created for use on pages with no content. Template:Welcome and expand was created for pages with a small amount of content created by a new editor. These templates are not attempts to draw extra attention to pages. If you want to make and use stub templates in order to try to "call attention to" pages with little content, go ahead and do so. All of out "School:" and "Topic:" pages function as content-development projects for subject areas and topics. At Wikipedia it is common practice for WikiProjects to mark pages that are of interest to their participants with stub templates, making it easy for participants in those projects to find pages that need help. --JWSchmidt 19:27, 19 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
"Pages with no content should be deleted within x amount of days." For example, the page Kincachoo was created on November 1 and does not have any educational content. My point is that a blank page that does not have an established direction is not a very good representation of Wikiversity and should be deleted if no one contributes to it within a certain period of time. I am not saying that pages should be deleted immediately and I certainly do not want to delete pages that are going to be contributed to within the near/distant future, but there are pages that have not had any edits to their name for one or two months. "These templates are not attempts to draw extra attention to pages" <-- By inviting the community to these pages, we are "calling attention" to them. Not a lot of attention, but we place them within the empty pages category and draw a small level of attention to them. To summarize everything, I think that pages which meet the following criteria should be deleted within X amount of days/weeks/months:
  • No educational content is added within X days/weeks/months.
  • The page does not have an established direction.
  • The page does not have the interest of the Wikiversity community (No contributors).
  • The page does not seem like it will be beneficial to Wikiversity in the future. (For instance, Precalculus is an empty page that will be of use in the future.)
I place my trust in your judgment as you have been contributing to Wikiversity far longer than I. -- J.Steinbock 20:39, 19 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
So far, Wikiversity has only a few ways to deal with blank pages. Some pages are created as acts of vandalism and such pages are are generally deleted as soon as they can be brought to the attention of a custodian (see Template:Delete. If there is doubt about the possible future need/development of a page it can be listed at Wikiversity:Requests for Deletion where there is supposed to be 5 days of discussion. If it seems likely that a page should exist at Wikiversity but content has not yet been added then Template:main welcome can be added to the page. Judging by the edit history of Kincachoo, the creator of that page decided that the page was a bad idea. I find it hard to imagine that Wikiversity will ever need such a page. If someone wanted to discuss this creature they would most likely do so on another more general page. User:Guillom marked it with Template:main welcome so if someone wanted to delete Kincachoo they could leave a note on the talk pages of User:Guillom and at User talk:Jopuppy988 asking if there is any reason to keep the page. I think the main problem with the 4 criteria listed above centers on potential differences of opinion about things like "established direction" and "The page does not seem like it will be beneficial to Wikiversity in the future". In my experience, many wiki participants either do not make a good faith effort to see the value in short pages or do not understand a subject area well enough to understand the future likelihood of the page being developed. One development path to a good, full-sized wiki page is for one person to start the page and other editors to slowly add more content until the page is mature. It runs against the wiki spirit to set artificial deadlines on the steps in this distributed editing process. "a blank page that does not have an established direction is not a very good representation of Wikiversity" <-- In my opinion, such a page can be a good representation of the wiki process. A blank page in a wiki website acts as an invitation for participants to edit the page. Such an invitation does not hurt a wiki. Some editors recognize that a page should exist, they create the page and try to edit it and find that they are unable contribute anything useful. Why must there be a rush to delete such pages? We could certainly experiment with a new template that would be used to hold a blank or very stubby page for a set duration; if nobody contributes to the page within a certain time then the page could be deleted. Rather than focus on deleting such pages I think we should focus on trying to leave a helpful note on the talk page of people who start pages and do not add useful content. Rather than rush to delete pages we could all pitch in to place them in categories, link them to other pages and add a bit of content. --JWSchmidt 00:11, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Top of Page Funding Drive[edit source]

Unless our accounting situation has changed the top of the page donation request should read something like: "You can give the gift of knowledge by donating to Wikiversity's sponsor, the Wikimedia Foundation." Mirwin 08:20, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I've changed it to read: "You can help Wikiversity free learning by donating to the Wikimedia Foundation". Is this ok? This is similar to Wikisource's message - there is varation in the individual projects' site notices. Cormaggio talk 14:26, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think that Mirwin's description is more accurate, more informative and more interesting. And it is less confusing (or did you really mean that our goal is to be free of Wikiversity as in "Wikiversity-free learning!") Robert Elliott 15:28, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Jimmy Wales: Ten Things That Will Be Free (help with Ogg video). It is a kind of slogan...."free the textbooks", "free the curriculum", etc. --JWSchmidt 18:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think Mirwin's description is more accurate, since Wikimedia isn't Wikiversity's "sponsor", but rather Wikiversity exists as a part of the social movement of Wikimedia - all devoted to "freeing" access to information, knowledge, media etc. No, I don't mean "Wikiversity-free learning" :-), but if there's a better wording, it can be easily changed. Cormaggio talk 08:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

subject proffesors/ membership courses/ video classes/test for courses/ hours for proffesors[edit source]

To speed up Wikiversity's process in creating lessons, I think that we need retired proffesors, teachers, etc., etc. These could be chosen by what subjects they taught. We could have a vote by a council of chosen representatives of Wikiversity. We could have 1 proffesor for each major subject. They could spend time editing and creating lessons. We could also have courses that you could get by signing in for a free membership. You would only need membership for knowing were you were on your courses. I think that proffesors could create video courses too. If we could have video conferencing I think it could give everybody a more personal appeal.We could also have a test that could be created for each course so that you could keep track of your progress.I think that proffesors should be on call for at least the amount of a work day. Proffesors should list their hours,phone number, e- mail, and whenever they will be going somewhere.

I like your ideas and i hope you would want to stick around. The biggest problem is how we can get professors interested into joining Wikiversity. We need some networking and organization to make their participation possible. I like your idea of having video conferences. We could work your ideas out on a special page for this purpose on Wikiversity.--Daanschr 22:07, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Ditto. --Remi0o 22:47, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Wikiversity has no system for certifying any participant as a "professor". It is up to anyone with an interest in a topic to help create Wikiversity content. Experts are welcome to contribute, but they seldom have time to do so. --JWSchmidt 03:18, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Agree.--Juan 14:42, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
There are experts on Wikipedia and Citizendium, so why not try to get experts on Wikiversity. Especially pensioners could have a good contribution to an organization like Wikiversity.--Daanschr 09:58, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You can try, but remeber that wikipedia is not the same ase wikiversity by all means. Good specialist is not equal to good teacher.--Juan 14:42, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You are right. For me, the main aim for participating here is to create material of good quality. I especially like the ideas on interlingual debate of good quality. For good quality, experts are needed.--Daanschr 16:47, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah. Thats why I think that wikiversity will be one day source for other wiki projects.--Juan 11:35, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well, it all needs to be organized first, otherwise this will not be possible. Problem for me is that i am in a transitional period at the moment in my personal life (finishing my study). I can't be too active at the moment and i probably have no time enough in the coming years once i have a fulltime job. I can spend some time in organizing, but i prefer to join in an initiative instead of starting one for my own.--Daanschr 15:57, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
"why not try to get experts on Wikiversity" <-- Nobody suggested that we not try. There needs to be development of methods for Wikiversity outreach and support of experienced teachers when they come here. Wikiversity needs to develop pages similar to b:Wikibooks:Guidelines for class projects that will help guide experienced teachers towards constructive experiences at Wikiversity. However, participants who are not experts do not have to wait until experts show up and create content at Wikiversity. Wikiversity is a pace where non-experts who are interested in a topic can explore that topic and help build Wikiversity educational content. --JWSchmidt 14:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Of course. Non-experts will be the body of the organization. What i like to do is create something of good quality within Wikiversity.--Daanschr 16:47, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Wikiversity is already starting to attract experts. The Computer Architecture Lab is based on a course taught at the Vienna University of Technology. "Experts are welcome to contribute, but they seldom have time to do so." <-- Take a look at Historical Introduction to Philosophy which is being created by students at Mesa State College. It looks like the content is being reviewed by the person teaching the class, but the students are the ones doing the work to create the content here. This is one way to get expert participation, although in an indirect way.--mikeu 14:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You could list those two examples at Wikiversity:Wikiversity teachers and Wikiversity:Featured. Also, the Main Page needs to be re-done to help make Wikiversity more "user-friendly" for teachers; see Wikiversity:Main page design changes. --JWSchmidt 15:06, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Standardized Course Numbering[edit source]

It seems like the school of psychology lays out their courses well. They way it is done seems to make the layout clear and concise. What would you all think about some sort of standard numbering system.

I went ahead and did sample course numbers on the following two schools:

I did it quick and dirty, but you get the picture. Please let me know what you think, or if you like the scheme, adopt it! If you can make it/do it better or more clear then please do so. --Remi 22:46, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

What is the reason for having course numbers? Names for Wikiversity pages should be descriptive, not numbers. --JWSchmidt 03:10, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Course numbers, if executed properly could potentially add clarification for greater efficiency in understanding the nature of a certain field of study. If someone knows hardly anything about a subject, but they can see the courses numbered by their approximate level of depth within a certain field of study they can more easily and cleanly form correct and realistic schema in reference to that subject. Additionally, course numbers could potentially allow readers within the Wikiversity system to see where the subtopic within a field of study fits within the wider academic community. --Remi 09:20, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with you. I called it "subject or knowledge consequence" and if you have a look in here you will realize that i give a help to the students, by telling them what what kind of knoweledge is needend to already know. It is the special case of some areas such as applied careers, that students have to know basic subjects. It is not a discrimination of students, but it has to help them. So the course numbers is for me one way how to do this, but there are also other ways.--Juan 14:54, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

The problem with the approach taken by the School of Psychology is that it leads to pages with names such as School:Psychology/Psy 4049. If you want to rank Wikiversity content according to "level" in a sequence, that is fine. Just do not abandon descriptive names for pages. Also, if you insist on using numbers, be sure that everyone uses the same numbering system. --JWSchmidt 14:40, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well thats how it should work. I think it wouldnt be possible to apply the system based on School:Psychology/Psy 4049. Numbers are OK, but not in the name. Anyway are they logic? It looks like the american system.--Juan 14:54, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I don't agree with using numbers that are used in a specific region of the world. I don't think that numbers are needed for my study, history, but i can't tell about Juan's specialism.--Daanschr 16:52, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

There is a proposal to create a police on this subject at Wikiversity:Course Titles and Numbers I'd imagine any input would be appreciated. Mystictim 18:20, 13 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Validation[edit source]

The main page is not Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional using the W3C Markup Validator.--Balloonguy 22:49, 19 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Personal learning space at Wikiversity[edit source]

I was wondering what the position will be on Wikiversity participants using their User pages to host personal learning spaces. That is were they keep notes, write blogs, answer assignments, create learning profiles, track their learning progress, request feedback and other activities relating to their individual learning. This would take Wikiversity in the direction of a collaborative personal learning platform. I think this type of activity is essential to support the three main aims of Wikiversity: creating free(dom) learning materials and resources, encouraging learning communities and projects to support these resources and helping to develop and support existing wikimedia projects. Mystictim 15:25, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I have the impression that Wikiversity is still in a primary phase where everything have to be settled as yet. My personal preference is that individual user pages will be left alone by the community, to encourage creativity.--Daanschr 16:01, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The tradition that has evolved within Wikimedia Foundation projects is that wiki editors are free to use their user pages as they see fit, as long as it is clear to other project participants that user pages are being used to support the mission of the project. When Wikiversity was launched, Jimmy Wales said, "..... the idea here is to also host learning communities, so people who are actually trying to learn, actually have a place to come and interact and help each other figure out how to learn things." (source)
--JWSchmidt 16:47, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Dynamic Page List[edit source]

A very useful feature on Wikinews is the ability to create dynamic page lists. This allows the re-organisation and multiple display of content with out effecting the original pages. This would be very useful in creating a dynamic Colloquium, talk pages, course structures, blogs and other tools where content needs to be displayed in different ways. This extension can be added to any mediawiki could it be added to Wikiversity. Mystictim 16:40, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That looks like an interesting module. I imagine that the more flexible the system is, the better. --Remi0o 21:57, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This discussion is being continued over at Request custodian action Mystictim 18:08, 13 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedia[edit source]

Establishing Wikiversity's role and context: Wikiversity + Wikimedia = Wikiversity's relationship to its parent organization, Wikimedia.

I've started a couple or three learning projects that I hope will help establish and strengthen Wikiversity by defining and studying it as a community within a Metacommunity, namely Wikimedia. I hope to present a "God's-eye view" of who we are and what we're doing, while improving communications with our sister projects. This might shed some light on how Wikiversity can help its service community become more effective within the much larger Internet context. Please participate. CQ 22:23, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Restarting the Bloom clock[edit source]

Today is solstice, Winter for the North, and Summer for the South, so I'm hoping to restart the bloom clock today (making it a semi-annual clock). The clock is a research project, which anyone can contribute to.

To participate, all you need to do is notice what plants are flowering on any particular day, and report it on the clock page by signing under the plant (four tildes: ~~~~). If you don't know what a plant's name is, you can take a picture of it and someone can try to identify it for you.

By participating in the bloom clock, Wikiversitans can learn new things about the "green creatures" we see every day (we'll of course be linking everything to wikipedia and wikibooks), while at the same time assembling a database that could be of great benefit to agriculturists and horticulturists. --SB_Johnny | talk 02:27, 21 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I made an error[edit source]

I made the article Usuario:Rêignerok instead User:Rêignerok. Please, can an admin translate it? Thanks. Rêignerok 21:01, 21 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you very much, Hillgentleman. Rêignerok 21:15, 21 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Please link[edit source]

fr:Wikiversité:Projet approuvé <---> Wikiversity:approved Wikiversity project proposal<--->es:Wikiversidad:Propuesta_aprobada_de_la_Wikiversidad-- 06:38, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Introducing corporatism[edit source]

I want to start a corporate organization within or perhaps outside of Wikiversity. This, because i want to promote commitment and quality. The lack of quality that i found on Wikipedia was the reason for me to join Wikiversity. Why is Wikipedia important? The uniqueness of Wikipedia is that it is a huge volunteer organization which creates order on the internet. The significance of Wikipedia has been acknowledged when it became known that Google had a hard time to overcome pirates. It was predicted that the days of search engines were over and that Wikipedia would perform the role of a search engine. The main aim of Wikipedia is to be a presentation of all human knowledge, but a problem is that respectable organizations like libraries and universities don't like Wikipedia. At my university it is explicitly demanded to that students may not use Wikipedia as a source of information. So, Wikipedia is known but from a negative perspective. This negativity threatens to take over Wikipedia. A friend of mine is admin on Wikipedia and he said to me that the organization could likely collapse somewhere in the coming years.

What i mean with corporatism is a top-down organization. It is not aimed to control the minds of humans by an elite. That would be impossible, since humans will not accept authority (eventually) when it starts to fail. On the internet it will have the easy consequence that humans will not join or will leave an organization that doesn't do what they want it to do. Why then a top-down organization? The organization will only facilitate and not control the activity of users. At first the organization will be focused at growing and at philosophizing on how to improve the quality of knowledge on the internet. Once this fase is a succes, then the organization will carefully delegate responsibilities to individual humans or new independent organzations. Hopefully, the structure of this organization will not chase away participants and will instead be constructive.

My proposition is to start with the following structure:

  • Wikiversity:Corporatism will be the main article for this organization. This page will have links to three departments:
    • Department of recruitment. This department will be focused at getting as many participants as possible and to get participants who fit into the profiles for certain positions within the organization. The Department of recruitment will have a competitative character. Individual or groups of recruiters will compete to get participants. Those who have the most succes will get some kind of reward, while the unsuccesful could be excluded from the recruitment proces eventually. The recruiters do not 'work' for the organization. They can have their own methods and use their own time schedules. Succes will only be measured in the amount of participants and lack of complaints on the recruiting methods. The department of recruitment could be headed by a manager who will give recruiting tasks to the recruiters. This manager has no authority on the recruiters, since these recruiters don't officially 'work' for the organization. Some of the recruiters could 'work' for the Department of marketing.
    • Department of marketing. This department will determine what kind of participants will be searched for and how to advertise Wikiversity or the corporate organization to the outside world. It will start new projects and determine what is needed to organize them. The Department of marketing will be focused at commitment and quality. It will become an exclusive organization, which means that editing will only be possible for those who 'work' in the marketing department. There could be tasks and deadlines. Participants are required to fit into the profile and need to give a cv before applying. They will get a contract for a specific period of time, after which they can be replaced by others. Some of the recruiters with special recruiting tasks could become a member of this organization. The Department of marketing will give tasks to the Department of recruitment, so the managers of the Department of recruitment are required to do what the Department of marketing wants them to do.
    • Philosophy department. This department focus mainly on the quality instead of the quantity. The name doesn't require that only philosophers can be part of it. However people who want to join this department have to fit into the profile and will get a contract and tasks, just like the Department of marketing. The Philosophy department will have an exclusive section and a public section and will cooperate with the marketing department. This department will be open to all kinds of theories. These theories could relate to epistemology, management on the internet, ethics and many other issues.

Additional departments can be started overtime. At first i want to start with recruitment, then the marketing department will be started, followed by the philosophy department. The first task will be to get as many participants as possible, so i hope that i can recruit all interested here to help to recruit. Recruitment could be done for all kinds of projects within Wikiversity or the Wikimedia Foundation.--Daanschr 11:16, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well, I don't think "top-down" is something that will get a lot of support: it's really contrary to the idea of a wiki. Wikipedia's difficulties were taken into account from the beginning however. For example:
  • Our system of mentoring and appointing Custodians rather than openly electing administrators is in some sense a "top-down" structure, but our choice of the word "Custodian" was carefully made to try to tone down the heirarchical aspects, and in fact none of the current Custodians are prone to telling people how to do things.
  • Our lack of a concrete "Manual of Style" allows people to simply create content, rather than policing or being policed.
  • Our fairly narrow focus should keep us from falling into the wikipedian trap of being "everything for everybody".
As far as the 3 suggestions, I like the ideas, except for the "exclusive organization" part of it. Again, exclusivity is contrary to the wiki ethic. Having a project for recruiting and marketing is probably a good idea, the philosophy part is actually discussed right here on the colloquium. --SB_Johnny | talk 14:27, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The reason for exclusivity is that people have to prove their worth in order to be able to contribute. This is common practise in governments, business, universities, non-governmental organizations. I want to try something new, so i surpass the wiki ethic. Otherwise commitment and quality will probably not be possible.--Daanschr 15:36, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure that Wikiversity:Corporatism is a good name for something to exist within the Wikiversity website. The Wikimedia Foundation is the corporate entity that controls Wikiversity. According to the Wikipedia article on corporatism, the term has several possible meanings but I'm not sure that any of them are exactly what you are getting at. I do think we could have a more organized approach to recruitment, marketing and setting quality standards. I encourage you to start pages for them in the "Wikiversity:" namespace. There are already existing efforts in these three areas that could be better organized with the help of such pages. You might also be interested in Wikiversity NPC. --JWSchmidt 15:56, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
After edit conflict- You may want to incorporate your ideas into the Wikiversity NPC article, Daanschr. I started the Wikimedia course with a similar motivation. See also Phantom authority, self–selective recruitment and retention of members in virtual communities: The case of Wikipedia by Andrea Ciffolilli. CQ 16:01, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps you should further develop your ideas at the meta sitemeta:Main_Page for the Wikimedia Foundation for presentation to the Wikimedia Foundation Board. Essentially we are already organized top-down with the Wikimedia Foundation Board at the top. As long as we stay within certain mandated constraints they do not meddle much within the Wikiversity project. Another place to win friends and influence people at the top of the Wikimedia Foundation hiearchy would be the various foundation and Wikipedia mailing lists. As the first and biggest project Wikipedia naturally gets a lot of attention. Mirwin 01:33, 23 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
JWSchmidt, you are right about the name. My first language is Dutch, so i make mistakes sometimes.
CQ, i will join you in the NPC. That is a much better name. A questions i have about hiring experts are: Where will we get the money? How can we ensure continuance of this practise? I can better ask it on the appropriate site you created.
Mirwin, i don't want to change the structure of the whole Wikimedia Foundation. What i like about Wikiversity is that it tries to explore new ways of working with wiki. I don't want to upset people by asking for a radical change where individualism is replaced by authoritarianism.
A problem i have so far on Wikiversity is the inactivity. I would like start projects that are able to expand instead of continuously talking about the possibilities.
My ideas about the marketing department have evolved (perhaps the name should change as well). To ensure growth, i would like to propose that individual users submit ideas for the start of projects to the board of the marketing department and that some of these projects will be allowed to come to practise. The individual who came up with the idea will be the main manager of the project. He will put a request to the recruitment department to search for volunteers who will work on the project and who want to do this on a regularly basis. The main manager of a project may fire people if they don't work the way he wants them to work. The board of the marketing department will ensure that the tasks that are elocated to individuals will not be too hard to accomplish (we are all volunteers with a busy real life) and to counter power abuse. Projects may be cancelled if there are too many problems, so there will be room for new projects.--Daanschr 09:28, 23 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I will focus on my idea of recruiting for the moment. That would be crucial for succes. I have only little time to recruit myself, but i hope to get some people involved. The recruitment page: Wikiversity:Recruitment. The name will change when the marketing department is founded.--Daanschr 08:33, 24 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"Fair Use" of University logos?[edit source]

Sort of trhee ser=parate but related issues about showing "brick and mortar University" colors here on wikiversity:

1. I'm interested in getting classes from a local university to use (and help make) the Plant identification quizzes for the horticulture department. If they were to make a "meetup page" for this, would they be allowed to use the University logo?

2. Also just in general, I think it might be nice for both students and alumni of universities to have userboxes here (since Wikiversity could perhaps become "the place where all universities come together"). Would userboxes using University logos be acceptable?

3. If Universities are using/developing materials here, perhaps they could be allowed (or even invited) to have "Home Pages" on wikiversity that provide links for students to projects that their departmenst or classes might be involved with?

We are, after all, creating content for classroom use, and the Universities would be potentially good partners for us. --SB_Johnny | talk 18:38, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I guess the question really is: under what rights are universities willing to license their logos? If they don't want their logo to be used on Wikiversity, there's not much we can do about it. If they are willing to license it under some form of free license (personally, I'd have no object to even allowing non-derivative licenses for these cases), I don't really see the problem. sebmol ? 19:35, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Someone made User:HartVisArts. I suggested that they make a page in the "School:" namespace for their bricks-and-mortar school. This would be a new direction for the "School:" namespace, but it should work fine. As long as it does not turn into some kind of advertising system for bricks-and-mortar schools, Wikiversity should be able to have userboxes that show affiliation with real world schools/universities. I think each university probably has rules about how their logo can be used. --JWSchmidt 19:45, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about that being in the School: namespace really. Thus far that's been an organizational namespace for Wikiversity content. Would you approve of moving our current School:X to Topic:X? I'm just concerned about mixing those particular apples and oranges, if you know what I mean. "School:" does seem the appropriate name for that usage (what would the alternative be? "Learning institution?"), but if we're going to redifine namespace usage, sooner is much better than later! --SB_Johnny | talk 21:30, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
If we view pages in the "School:" namespace as content development projects for broad subject areas and "Topic:" pages as content development projects for more narrow topic areas then there should be no problem with having "School:" pages for bricks and mortar schools that can link to all of the associated "Topic:" pages related to that school. At Wikipedia all the content development projects start with "Wikipedia:Wikiproject" and are mainly concerned with supporting efforts to write encyclopedia articles in particular subject areas. Wikiversity can certainly have content development projects that are oriented around specific needs of individual bricks and mortar schools. This does not meed we have to do away with the existing Wikiversity "School:" pages that deal with the subject areas in general. We already divide Wikiversity "School:" pages into "major schools" and other schools. We can easily have an additional category of "School:" pages for bricks and mortar schools. --JWSchmidt 22:36, 22 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

getting things done[edit source]

We need to set a deadline for each of our projects. I think that a common goal should be the end of the month since this is the last of the beta testing.

Quality Assessment[edit source]

Hmmm... the term "quality" appears about 25 times on this page, prior to this post. I think maybe it's time to start looking at Quality Assessment. Please PAR-lay at Talk:Learning to learn a wiki way or reduce the context even further from here and/or here. • CQ (talk • email • contribs • stats • logs • global account)

Recruitment[edit source]

Please give your feedback: Wikiversity:Recruitment.--Daanschr 08:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Special features of E-mail - Changing the SUBJECT[edit source]

When I use the Special Page for a student to email me (by adding "[[Special:Emailuser/Robert_Elliott | Click here to send me an email]]" to my lesson), can I get something other than "Wikiversity e-mail" in the subject of the email. Can I get a subject such as "Wikiversity e-mail about the second question on the fourth lesson"? (You can send me the answer by clicking here to send me an email.) Robert Elliott 00:47, 27 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Robert, the email subject is editable by the person who sends you a message, but it is not possible to customise the default subject of a specific message. MediaWiki:Defemailsubject is set to "Wikiversity e-mail" - this can be changed (by a custodian), but it would affect every message across the whole wiki. I asked on IRC about customising a message for you only, and the response I got was: "not possible at this time (and possibly not ever)". Sorry :-( Cormaggio talk 15:47, 29 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Special message to all instructors
This problem was solved and now it is written up for all instructors to use at Help:EMail for Teachers. Robert Elliott 14:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Support in transferring materials at Wikiversity to other Wikimedia projects[edit source]

Hi I've notice that some of the material at Wikiversity would be better located at Wikipedia or Wikibooks or even Wikiquotes. A request for deletion of this material is totally inappropriate as people have often done a lot of hard work in good faith. We need to set up a system of recommending and supporting the authors in migrating their materials to the appropriate locations. A good example of this is Albanian Territories of Balkans which was marked for quick deletion were as it obviously should be migrated to Wikibooks. Mystictim 15:01, 27 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I did not read through Albanian Territories of Balkans. Do we have any information about the author/copyright status of this material? SB Johnny is an administrator at Wikibooks and I think he put in a request to the developers for import of pages from Wikiversity to Wikibooks. Depending on exactly what Albanian Territories of Balkans is, it might be suitable for Wikisource. JWSchmidt 19:34, 27 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia Signpost[edit source]

Two items that might be of general interest to the Wikiversity community:

Scholarpedia is one out of many similar projects. I read the special pages and saw that only some 20 articles have been written, while it is online for a year now.
Your first link is interresting. Wikipedia is improving out of its own, so it seems. I guess i have to be more positive about it. I could join the Russian history project. I followed a course on stalinism and still have the important handbook on 'Stalin's Russia'.--Daanschr 21:52, 28 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Wikiversity Favicon[edit source]

Please vote for Bug #8284 to give Wikiversity a unique appearance in your browser (what is a favicon?) Greetings from the german wikiversity. --Frank Schulenburg 13:47, 29 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

So, there is in total 3 votes now (only). ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 18:55, 29 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. --Frank Schulenburg 20:37, 29 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This has now been merged with Bug #6096 - seems like we should finally settle our own logo vote first. Cormaggio talk 12:23, 14 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Student vs. Teacher[edit source]

I would like to introduce the idea that Wikipedia not differentiate between students and teachers categorically. I think the idea of a community should acknowledge that a lot of teaching happens between students, occasionally students teach teachers new ideas, and teachers are always learning to keep up with their materials. I would like to see a system where learners share resources and help each other find what they need to learn. It is important that learners not feel like they have to passively consume information, but can be active participants in creating their education. I know that wikis are designed with this in mind, but I would like to suggest not categorizing users according to the definition of "student" or "teacher". All users of wikiversity should be "learners". --Iwoj 05:30, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think that is how it is suppose to be, though some people still fashion themselves as "the" teacher, since they are the only ones creating material on a particular subject. Once more people start contributing, I'll guess we'll see that debate. (I'm not looking forward to moving the 1000 pages in, for example the film school, to reflect that no one person is the teacher.)--Rayc 05:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Wikiversity:Learning goals and related pages should make it painfully clear that students should feel free to start exploring their learning goals at Wikiversity without waiting for experts to show up first. Wikiversity has participants who edit the web pages. To the extent that you learn while editing, you can think of your self as a student or a learner. When others learn something from what you have contributed you are functioning like a teacher. --JWSchmidt 21:46, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This is a good idea, but the best way is to shouw it. Many wikiversity users are not able to imply this. We have one phrase in Czech: "Those ones who know they know and those ones who dont know they teach". It means that we are studying by teaching, sometimes more, than by studying.--Juan 20:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Iwoj, you are absolutely right. Some people will want to share their knowledge, and it is not a problem for them to be teachers here. However, in a collaborative space such as this, we all must be learners - since we simply can't know everything about everything, or, at least, we can benefit from listening to other perspectives. :-) This is the essence of a "learning community", where we can all move between the roles/identities of student/learner/teacher/facilitator. And to Juan, I think the English equivalent of that phrase is: "The best way to learn about something is to teach it". Cormaggio talk 11:17, 7 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The Importance of Chatting[edit source]

I would also like to post a note about how important it is to have an excellent chat service in Wikiversity. This website differs from Wikipedia in that it is not just a collection of static text resources, but a community. The interactions between learners of various levels of expertise will be crucial to creating a positive learning environment. If I think about a real university, some of the best learning happens in small seminar or tutorial classes, and in informal gatherings after class. With this in mind, I think it is crucial that Wikiversity have a site-wide chat system that is well integrated into the experience of using the site. I like to think that this chat system should be built into every page so that when someone visits online course material on, say, plant biology, they are presented with a small internal frame on the page which connects them automatically to a chat room with all the other site visitors who are currently looking at biology-related material.

My main point that I want to get across is that in thinking about the design of wikiversity, we shouldn't be just thinking about the design of textbooks, but also about the design of the "campus" which structures learner to learner interactions.

--Iwoj 05:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Have you looked at my IRColloquium idea?--Rayc 06:08, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It's a great idea. I am hoping that there will also be a chatting mechanism that is more spontaneous (not scheduled) and doesn't require a separate login. Imagine what Wikiversity would be like if there was a live chat frame at the bottom of every page. --Iwoj 21:03, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

In addition to IRC, we should explore the use of audio chat. Skype is one possibility. --JWSchmidt 21:37, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

All forms of synchronous communication tools can be used to strengthen the content on wikiversity, or to consolidate individuals' learning, but also, of course, to form bonds between participants - itself a vital component of learning. We already have an IRC channel (see Wikiversity:Chat), and some have used things like Skype/Gizmo etc., but we have only scratched the surface, I think. One thing that we could do to integrate these modes of communication into Wikiversity is to create a "web gateway" to an IRC room for people without IRC clients (eg. - a chat about comics), which would immediately open up more access to more people. Is this the kind of thing you were talking about, Iwoj? Cormaggio talk 11:33, 7 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The Lost Page[edit source]

I lost a page and i dont know how to find it, it was one of those /pages and i moved the original page. Help! --Elatanatari 05:55, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Those are hard to find. You can try looking at this to see if you can spot it.--Rayc 06:10, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I believe that using a " / " in a name creates a special page, not a normal page. I think that some of the Wiki features do not work on a file which has a "/" in the name. Does anyone know about this? Does using the " / " in the file names automatically create a sub page? Which namespaces allow a subpage and which do not? Robert Elliott 11:24, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I found it, thanks. Elatanatari 19:11, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Here is a new version of a quiz system I've been working on. See if you can guess how the top of the page changes from "Correct" to "Wrong" without the page being edited. --Rayc 06:16, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Custom per user navigation portlet[edit source]

It may be helpful to implement a custom per user navigation portlet feature for Wikiversity to appear for logged-in users under the Search portlet or maybe even under the Toolbox as the bottom item in the left sidebar. I don't know PHP nor how this would be done. Please comment. Thanks! --Rogerhc 06:41, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

External Resources[edit source]

There are masses of free learning resources available on the web. A good example is MIT's OpenCourseWare project ( Has there been much thought given to how to incorporate external resources in the materials at Wikiversity? Will they be simply listed as external links like Wikipedia, or will these resources be more organized, or even copied into Wikiversity? --Iwoj 21:13, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

One of the two main goals of the Wikiversity project proposal is to host online learning materials. While doing so, it makes sense to find, list, review, link to, and make use of learning resources that are available outside of Wikiversity.....see Hunter-gatherers project. As long as people are willing to have their educational content made available under the GFDL, then it can be used inside Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 21:33, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I wanted to start moving content over here cut and past from MIT and open university, but was told against it. Something about their CC license says that the material cannot be used for commercial uses, while our GDFL says it can. We can reword the material and use it as a guide like they do on wikipedia, but no cut and paste.--Rayc 23:06, 31 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]