Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/June 2007

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Wikipedia Learning

There are proposals to change the name of the Wikimedia Foundation (to Wikipedia Foundation) and the names of projects like Wikiversity (to "Wikipedia Learning"). You can comment on these proposals at m:Wikimedia brand survey. --JWSchmidt 00:18, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Why are people constantly trying to merge us back with wikibooks?--Rayc 05:37, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
1) Some people have never fully agreed with the idea of removing Wikiversity from Wikibooks. 2) We could do a better job of explaining the differences between Wikiversity and Wikibooks. 3) Some people have never agreed that Wikiversity should be a Wikimedia project, or, in some cases, they think Wikiversity launched too soon. 4) We could do a better job of promoting cooperation between Wikiversity and Wikibooks. --JWSchmidt 13:33, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I really don't think there's much trouble between Wikibooks and Wikiversity (or any of the other non-Wikipedian sisters)... this is more a problem between the Wikipedia-only people and the rest of the Wikimedians (there are regular minor blow-ups between en.wp and commons, for example). If nothing else, the NOR exemption Wikiversity enjoys effectively precludes any re-merging into other projects, just as wikinews could never be merged because it uses the CC-BY license. The survey seems to be more aboutwhether the smaller projects are just offshoots of Wikipedia (which in some ways they are), or if they're independent but related projects (ditto). Making every project "Wikipedia something" just rubs the wrong way, especially for our project, where we even decided to throw out "Admin" in favor of "Custodian" because of the heirarchical connotations "Admin" has accrued on Wikipedia. This is Wikiversity! :-) --SB_Johnny | talk 23:05, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Egads, I just started moving my stuff from wikibooks to wikiversity because there are most definitely differences. That and the community is very different. Different people, different rules, different templates, etc. I like having a wikibooks and a wikiversity.

And why would the wiki world need to be based off of wikipedia? I tell people I work on stuff on wikibooks and/or wikiversity. What is that? they ask. It's like wikipedia but for curriculum and textbooks. Oh. Very quick to explain.

I could see making mediawiki into wikimedia foundation or mediawiki foundation. But leave the rest alone to evolve naturally. Just sayin. Harriska2 16:04, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Welcome template

Hi everyone - general broadcast message here. Some of us have been working on a new welcome template. Take a look at Template:Welcome/new and feel free to comment! --HappyCamper 22:08, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia service-learning courses

I've put up a proposal at Wikipedia service-learning courses for a new series of courses that will add Wikiversity to the list of schools with class projects that involve contributing to Wikipedia. Comments on the talk page would be most welcome, as would sign-ups on the list of interested course developers. Seahen 02:09, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

E-mail blocking

Just a heads up that a new blocking option, "Prevent user from sending e-mail," which disables a user from accessing Special:Emailuser, will be coming to Wikiversity soon. I would hope that on a small wiki such as this one, it will never need to be used; however, larger wikis such as enwiki have been having quite a problem with spam. In any case, it will be available for you if you need it, but please use it only when absolutely necessary. AmiDaniel (talk) 18:07, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

If spam is a problem there, I can't see why it won't be a problem here. Wouldn't it be more sensible to add a CAPTCHA (sp?) challenge rather then nullify your e-mail address? Just a thought. Historybuff 23:10, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Things such as this and an e-mail throttle have been suggested and are still being discussed. At present, we're just going to try this out and see if it does the trick. If not, then we may venture to some of these other options (which have several problems that need to be worked out). AmiDaniel (talk) 23:19, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

how to write drama?

-- 07:27, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Here are some starting points: Lesson:Script writing for highschool drama departments, Portal:Writing Center, Category:Writing. It looks like we need Topic:Drama. --JWSchmidt 13:58, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiversity downtimes?

I've increasingly experienced difficulties accessing Wikiversity. The site simply cannot be reached using HTTP. Not an ISP issue at my end. Including just now, for about 30 minutes or so. It's been going on for perhaps a week (or so). Anyone know anything? -- McCormack 09:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

When you cannot reach Wikiversity can you reach other sister projects like Wikipedia? --JWSchmidt 14:14, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
This morning I noticed I was having difficulty accessing Wikipedia as well. But generally, I either didn't check or didn't notice what WP was doing. I'm pretty sure it was just HTTP. McCormack 14:17, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
McCormack: I had an issue with this a few months ago, where there was apparently some sort of trouble with the routing between me and the wikimedia projects. Someone on #wikimedia-tech managed to reroute it somehow, but I have no idea how they did it :). --SB_Johnny | talk 14:19, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Did you experience any problem at the time? I think you were doing some editing, but you might have had a break around then. McCormack 14:22, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Nope, nothing lately, though I came up against "database locked" a bit when the db servers all went down a week or two ago. If I understand correctly, wikipedia (or maybe just en.wikipedia) is on a different server than the rest of the projects now, so rather than seeing if wikipedia works, try checking wikibooks or commons. --SB_Johnny | talk 16:41, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I've noticed sporadic downtimes for a few months myself. I just wait it out. Wikiversity seems to be down more often than Wikipedia. I can often go there, but not here. --HappyCamper 15:40, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Rather than suffer is silence, lets keep a log of the times when Wikiversity cannot be reached but Wikipedia can be reached. As soon as a Wikiversity page fails to load, try to record the number of the server that failed to serve the Wikiversity page. When a Wikiversity page fails to load, use the view menu of your browser, select "page source", scroll to the bottom of the HTML and there should be something like: "Served by srv138 in 0.197 secs." --JWSchmidt 16:09, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with JWS here -- if we suffer in silence, problems won't get noticed and fixed and casual users will just conclude that things don't work. Techs and developers tend to not notice problems, and I'm not sure if front end (ie web page stuff) is even monitored. (Maybe that could be a WV LP? :P) Historybuff 15:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I think a research project on this would be interesting (tying downtimes to thunderstorm activity in the southeast US, etc.), but I don't think we should be worried about being singled out for neglect or anything. The devs and techs have had a few serious issues to deal with lately, so please let's not "take it personally". Manure occurs, eh? --SB_Johnny | talk 23:15, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Request: GET, from via (squid/2.6.STABLE12) to ()Error: ERR_CANNOT_FORWARD, errno (11) Resource temporarily unavailable at Wed, 13 Jun 2007 13:22:04 GMT McCormack 13:23, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiversity page display problems

Have you seen this text?

JWS just uploaded a good image. I've been seeing weird things like this as well today. As well as other weird things (see above). --McCormack 15:01, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Judging from this log there has been some recent work on the server array. I have yet to see a problem that cannot be fixed by reloading the page. --JWSchmidt 15:06, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
My Transcendology error (above) qualifies as an example - no amount of reloading could fix it at the time. But perhaps we should leave the long-suffering server guys alone. McCormack 15:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Endorsements now open for Wikimedia Foundation Board

The Wikimedia Board Election Steering Committee invites all community members to endorse candidates they support. Endorsements may be submitted on meta now till next Saturday, 23:59 June 23, 2007.

Each qualified community member can submit up to three endorsements. Please note several things:
- Only confirmed candidates are listed, so the list can be updated during the endorsements phase.
- You need an account on meta, not just the project that you are qualified to vote under, unless you meet the criteria on meta too.
- Please link your meta user page and your home wiki page. Detailed procedure can be found on the meta endorsement page.

All information is available on meta at:
On endorsements:
On candidates each:
Election general:

Questions about election are welcome at:

Thanks to devoted volunteering translators, those pages are also available in some languages other than English. We thank those translators as well editors who have helped to disseminate the news about this Election.

Please consider forwarding to the project(s) you take part in as well the mailing list(s) you belong to. Sitenotice update would also be appreciated.

Thank you for your attention, we look forward to your participation.

For the election committee,
- Philippe | Talk 00:35, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Is this the place?

You're all inside looking out; I'm trying to look in and it seems rather murky. So I'll try stirring it up with a stick...

I lead a group of search and rescue volunteers who are trying to write training materials for our community. The more we do, the more we see we still have to do. There are now over 100 people involved and to date 4 or 5 documents. So far, we have been using an e-mail list, archived in a semi-threaded form on a web site. As you can imagine, our activity has become too complex to function entirely via e-mail! For the documents I maintain personally, I try to achieve transparency by incorporating the gist of every discussion as it happens, with rapid turnaround. I can no longer do such intense micromanaging of the process (I have other committments). The other documents' maintainers have simply gone underground to work in isolation. Their withdrawal is highly destructive to the collaborative sprirt of the community. I want to move all the document editing functions to a MediaWiki site, here or our own dedicated wiki, reserving the list for announcements and meta-discussions. Is anyone here doing anything similar? Una Smith 05:38, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Take a look at School:Fire and Emergency Management. Are any of your existing materials available on a public website? --JWSchmidt 06:08, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Seen it. That's not the kind of similar I mean, though. I mean, is any other large collaborative community working here? All of the content I have seen here so far looks like the usual situation in academia (at least at the "better" institutions): each instructor making up their own teaching materials from scratch. As a graduate student, I took a course in how to do that. I was aghast at the waste. We have two lists, one with a public archive[1], the other with a private archive but anyone can join[2]. Una Smith 06:26, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  1. MSAR-Riders
"large collaborative community working here" <-- I think the closest we have come is that several instructors have run wiki editing projects here with a class full of students, for example see Historical Introduction to Philosophy/General Introduction. I was left uncertain about the involvement of ASTM in your project. Are the learning resources that you now have covered under a copyright controlled by ASTM International? "aghast at the waste" <-- historically, very few people are willing/able to release their learning resources under a free license. Wikiversity participants are forced to start from scratch in most cases. --JWSchmidt 13:38, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

w:ASTM International supports community working groups (Technical Committees) to develop standards, and copyrights those standards. ASTM standards are published by ASTM, and by others under licensing agreements. As far as my community is concerned, however, we are writing ASTM standards only to define the learning objectives of our curriculum. Other curriculum materials will not be under ASTM copyright. In fact, we expect one organization that sells training and testing services will develop its own proprietary curriculum to meet our ASTM standards, and other organizations and individuals will remain free to do the same, or make their work open source. Our documents destined to become ASTM standards are little more than syllabi, defining what topics to teach about, not how or what to teach about them. All other elements of our curriculum will be evaluated against the ASTM standards. This is w:conformance assessment. Our intention is to ensure that our collective knowledge does not become the private property of any one entity. Our ASTM standards won't be distributed to students, and probably not to instructors either; we expect the users to be curriculum developers. As far as search and rescue standards are concerned, ASTM must be losing money at every turn: I gather that its main profit center is in standards that form the basis of such exotica as international building construction codes. Every nation, state, and municipal government that has building regulations may require a copy... Una Smith 20:49, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I think it might be useful to take a look at w:Comparison of wiki farms too - this will give you an idea of the capabilities and limitations of Wikis, and in turn, will help guide you find one that meshes well with your objectives. --HappyCamper 01:00, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I worked through w:Comparison of wiki farms and similar resources at the start of my evaluation process, months ago. Wikiversity is one of two candidates on my short list. To me, Wikiversity's strength seems to be in learning by teaching ... or at least by writing teaching materials. For me, that has a lot of appeal, but I have decided to go with the other candidate. Thank you, JWSchmidt and HappyCamper for helping me make this difficult decision. -- Una Smith 03:50, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
No problem, I'm glad this was helpful to you. Cheers, --HappyCamper 01:46, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Why this is not the place

I'm disappointed I didn't see this discussion before now - but I'd be very interested to know where you decided to develop this resource base, and why you chose there. Cormaggio talk 20:37, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

My user community has needs beyond curriculum development, that I think a MediaWiki wiki can fulfill. We need MediaWiki, precisely because most of our collaborative work resembles writing wikipedia pages, except the content is not encyclopedic. I have done a "lot" of research into technology and communities that would serve us best. Reception here was lukewarm, so this is not the right place for us; a good fit should be a no-brainer and receive a very enthusiastic reception. I have kept community resources on since 1993 and I can have my own MediaWiki wiki there, or perhaps go on (hosted on I just didn't want to start yet another wiki, if I could avoid it.
Thinking about wikiversity, I think one no-brainer would be a food school. I think of the many recipes I have tried in cookbooks and on the Internet, that fail. I have a personal cookbook of special recipes, mostly for "specialty" foods, where I have found the crucial missing details that make the recipe work. Often, there is a food science lesson involved. Eg, pretzels don't taste like pretzels unless they are coated with sodium bicarbonate. Boiled or brushed doesn't matter to the taste, but does affect the texture and color. Boiled eggs are started in cold water because no matter how delicately they are slipped into hot water, they explode. At least, they do at sea level; at high altitude perhaps they won't explode. Ethiopian injera has a trivial list of ingredients but making injera is a challenge I have not yet come close to mastering. --Una Smith 02:40, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, though I find it disappointing that the main reason for choosing elsewhere was a perceived lukewarm response. We possibly haven't done enough to make it clear that we welcome various communities - of different levels, subject areas, pedagogic styles, etcetera. I think your community and proposed resource sound great, and I would warmly welcome you here - but I entirely respect and understand your decision to choose wherever you feel is best. I really like your ideas for a food school also. :-) Cormaggio talk 14:30, 21 June 2007 (UTC)


Yet another source from the interwebs: [1]. "the wikipedia of curriculum". Anything we can learn from them?--Rayc 23:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

More Online Repositories of courses

Many of the multimedia learning material at Curriki appears to come from the US based National Repository of Online Courses. Check out HippoCampus to see an array of multimedia learning materials. There is also an equivalent site from England at National Learning Network unlike the US version you need to register to access these materials. Click the link on the page and if you live in England select ACL England (Adult and Community Learning) fill in the form choosing the local council you live in select student and give an email address. If you don't live in England I guess you could just pretend you're a visiting student at the local council of your choice. It's worth having a look at these materials to see a variety of national approaches to multimedia online learning materials. Mystictim 18:17, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Licensing the NROC Library is very strange. The HippoCampus interface is such that I do not see how to provide links to the specific multimedia resources. --JWSchmidt 18:52, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Dynamic page lists

If you want Wikiversity to have dynamic page lists, please add a supporting comment to this request.

Example: b:User:SBJohnny/DPL.

There is some old discussion at Wikiversity:Request custodian action#Request for dynamic page list. --JWSchmidt 15:47, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I added my support here. Looks like we're on the way to getting the extention. We have Help:Dynamic page list primed and ready... cool! Thanks, JWS :) -- CQ 18:01, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Yaaaaay!!!!--SB_Johnny | talk 19:46, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Page protection at Wikiversity

It is common practice in WikiMedia wiki projects for custodians to protect pages after pages become targets of vandalism. There may be additional reasons for protecting some Wikiversity pages that do not have an existing history of past vandalism of the pages. This idea can be explored at Talk:ListOfQuizzesForMobileClient, Wikiversity:Course protection policy, Wikiversity:Page protection templates. --JWSchmidt 14:51, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Nevertheless I think that the underlying principles are so important, I'll voice some comments here. In a healthy Wikimedia project, most pages are protected by the vigilance of the whole community, using watchlists, RC patrols and many layers of democratic institutions (esp. voting). Any use of the artificial page protection facility available to custodians should always be seen as a failure of the community and a shift of power towards custodians. Even the extreme case of the worst vandals is, stricto sensu, a "failure of the community", because vandals are a part of the community in the widest sense - a failed part of that community. Our community cannot be perfect, so we have artificial page protection by custodians. But every use of the page protect facility is an erosion of the community. -- McCormack 17:55, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Every wiki page must be available to be edited by everyone all the time or else it indicates a "failure of the community" or a violation of "underlying principles"? Sorry, but I do not agree. Wiki technology makes it possible for people to perform collaborative webpage editing. If there is a good reason to prevent or restrict editing of particular wiki pages then shouldn't the community be free to explore the options for page protection? Some of the options for page protection do not have to involve custodian-specific tools. --JWSchmidt 21:09, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I think page protection is by necessity a community issue - the community decides criteria for when a page should be protected, how, by whom, for how long etc., so it is a part of the community's work. I think that it should not be applied willy-nilly nor lazily, but I can see some instances where it does seem warranted, or at least appropriate. I'm thinking, for example, of a quantitative dataset which somebody uploads to Wikiversity - a number could easily be changed without it being clear to someone monitoring recent changes whether this is vandalism or simply correcting an error in the data entry. I would welcome a broad discussion about page protection - it's something we've discussed before in more of a speculative, rather than definitive, way - and I think it's important we consider a wide variety of cases and uses before we apply our own system. At the root of this discussion, of course, is that this is a wiki, and works through the wiki way - so I very much appreciate the spirit of McCormack's comments. On where to have this discussion, though, would Wikiversity:Page protection (and its talk page) not be a more logical place? Cormaggio talk 21:45, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiversity Traditions

Would a Wikiversity:Traditions page be useful? What would appear on such a page?

(s) Dionysios (talk), a Participant in the Wikiversity School of Advanced General Studies, Date: 2007-06-25 (June 25, 2007) Time: 194701 UTC

What were you thinking its function could be? Could you outline what made you think about it, perhaps? Of course, you could always be bold... :-) Cormaggio talk 19:55, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
As university life is governed by tradition, so it would seem that Wikiversity may also be. The "History" Page and "What is Wikiversity?" are two (2) instances which suggest, perhaps, the beginning of Wikiversity Tradition.
The "Jamming Online" Page carries the language "We might have to move forward as a group quite slowly at first, according to the emerging Wikiversity tradition of consensus desision-making as it relates to developing network standards for this harbinger of innovation." So, it seems to this Participant, that the Traditions Page may soon have some value. Of course, this Participant will be bold; thank you very much. :-)
(s) Dionysios (talk), a Participant in the Wikiversity School of Advanced General Studies, Date: 2007-06-26 (June 26, 2007) Time: 184701 UTC

Board of Trustees election - voting now open

Voting is open from June 28 to July 7. When the "vote" link first went into the Wikiversity site notice, Wikiversity had not yet been set up for the correct connections to the secure server for voting. Sorry if you tried to vote and could not do so. It should work for you now. --JWSchmidt 18:01, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiversity meeting

It will be one year since the en.wikiversity reached. So I think some people collaborationg in here would like to meet in real meeting. It doesnt meen I am going to U.S. Anyway we can also built a special page for real meetings. So what you think?--Juan 19:20, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

We could have a "virtual meeting" and coordinate with Wikimania. --JWSchmidt 19:53, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Could you explain it a little bit? What you mean by "coordination with Wikimania"?--Juan 11:28, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikimania is early August and the one year anniversary of Wikiversity is the middle of August. I think it would be useful to have a "virtual meeting" for people who cannot attend Wikimania. You mentioned the idea of a "real meeting" without "going to U.S.", which sounded like maybe we could have a "virtual meeting" where everything is done online with no need for travel. --JWSchmidt 12:50, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Virtual you mean video/audio. Anyway I am not against live meetings, but I see it is so early. Maybe I can call for European meeting of en.wikiversity also:-).--Juan 16:47, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I think we should have some focused IRC meetings, perhaps on a reasonably regular basis. General details are at Wikiversity:Chat - but how about Wikiversity:IRC meetings? Or should this be coordinated at Beta? Cormaggio talk 00:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
If it will be coordinated via beta it could help a lot. There is a need to announce it on beta, that each group can find out people able to communicate in English.--Juan 11:28, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Cough--Rayc 00:35, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Wow, look what happens when you get busy for a week. Good stuff, hopefully this will give us some traction. I'll start poking around to see what needs help. Historybuff 15:55, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Learning projects

how do i create a learning project??? --Rigosantana3 01:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to experiment with new formats or copy the format of an existing one. There are some templates that you can use to help start learning projects. --JWSchmidt 02:37, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
<gulp> We don't have a page on "how to create a learning project"... </gulp> Cormaggio talk 19:23, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikiversity:Learning projects has explicit instructions. --JWSchmidt 19:57, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Hmm .. perhaps we should have a learning project on creating learning projects =D. AmiDaniel (talk) 18:05, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Question: Re: "Open Task" Template

On the "Open Task" Template, Item #3 is:

Create Links from Wikipedia Pages to Existing Wikiversity Pages

  1. Template:Wikiversity2
  2. Template:Wikiversity

Question: Re: "Open Task" Template (Continued)

This Participant would be inclined to accept this Task; and has made one or two of these Links; but, in order to be sure he is Linking correctly, he needs to understand the difference between Template:Wikiversity2 and Template:Wikiversity and their proper uses.

Would some Wikiversitan please be so kind as to fully explicate the explanations found on these Templates so that even the newbie can productively complete these Tasks.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

(s) Dionysios (talk), a Participant in the Wikiversity School of Advanced General Studies, Date: 2007-06-18 (June 18, 2007) Time: 204901 UTC

It looks like "Wikiversity2" is for cases when what can be learned is a sub topic of the page, like (For more information on BLUE see "The colors of the rainbow"), where as Template:Wikiversity just says "for more information on this subject"--Rayc 23:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Help make a short introduction to templates at Introduction to templates. --JWSchmidt 23:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)