Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/June 2008

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Short notice - Live astronomy presentation -- NOW!

Source of news...

Actual feed --Remi 20:27, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

watching :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 20:30, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Had from time to time bandwidth drop outs, but could see the presentation with second life. I am wondering if Mike also watched it ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 21:12, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you want to join the next cycle of Composing free and open online educational resources ?

If someone is interested, please join here. Why you should join ? The course has already been exercised once (70 people joined). Therefore we can profit from still available users and old blog posts (20 people stayed until the end). We have also feedback about highs and lows during the 10 weeks course time. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 22:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Ping bot

I have a question if it is possible to develop something like pingbot script. What I mean?. I have not so much time to take care all the projects I am registered in and I usually browes my account ocassionaly. But sometimes people reply you there in a very important case, but because you are not present there you can miss it. I know that there is something like e-mail announcment system, but hundreds of e-mails open, hundreds of e-mails read - uf. So what about a bot, which will ping me here on e.g. wikiversity. Look at this, it was very helpfull: [1].--Juan 10:11, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

As I know it, email-notices are turned of outside meta:, due to server load. But it is not too difficult (if it hasn't been written already) to write such a script in the meta:python wikipedia framework for yourself. You can run the bot everyday and scan all the projects to check if your user talk page has been changed. I can help, and if you have any more problems, you may ask filnik or other folks on botwiki:. Hillgentleman|Talk 14:56, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

OK, thank you for your help. It looks like my first bot.:-)--Juan 06:53, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Meeting on IRC about 'Wikiversity learning'

Hi all - I'd like to rekindle a meeting that never happened - see Wikiversity:Meetings#New suggested time and date - perhaps this Tuesday @ 21:00 UTC? Please indicate if you would be available, or would prefer a different time/date. Cormaggio talk 14:39, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

  • The meeting today is at 16:00 UTC, and more feedback is needed to confirm another one for Saturday - see above links. Cormaggio talk 12:31, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • A further update. The meeting on Tuesday was, I think, very interesting and productive - thanks to all who participated! You can see a summary of the meeting here and the full log here. There's another meeting planned for Saturday at 18:00 UTC (for roughly 1-1.5 hours) - if you could indicate whether this is ok for you on Wikiversity:Meetings, or whether we should change the time/date, that would be great. One of the outcomes of Tuesday's meeting was to develop a page on Collective learning (thanks to User:Απεργός for initiating this). There were also other themes that need to be further discussed - we can plan an agenda on the meetings page. Hope to talk to you then. Thanks, Cormaggio talk 15:53, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Well, 2PM EST on Saturday will be one I can probably make (it's going to be rediculously hot here, so working will not be an issue). --SB_Johnny | talk 18:23, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
      • It'll be great to have you - I'll bring the lemonade (homemade of course) :-) Cormaggio talk 22:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Support for developing projects

Just know I have red this: "On Wikiversity, there are too many startups of only one person who is waiting for others to join." ([2], Daanschr). I think, it would be also nice to support developing projects and why not do it on the Main page or close to the MP? Right now on the Main page there is a Featured content, which is of course an advertising for the projects, but also for the Wikiversity. There is also a higher posibility that someone will joint those projects. But with my idea I would like to call for Leibig Principles of minimum: That the limiting nutrient (i.e. the nutrient less available) influences the yeald. This principle was desribed in plant alimetnation, but today it generaly applicated in more areas. Usually there were you need to develop something and recieve fruits.--Juan 07:07, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your contribution, Juan. You are correct that we need more means of promoting content development than just the featured project box. For example, to respond to the problem you raise, we would need a development drive (of the week, month...), much as other Wikimedia projects have. Obvious initial candidates for development drives would be French and Spanish language resources, which are greatly desired. Such drives might help promote the collective development of resources. To go into the wider implications of your post, experience shows us that Wikiversity content development is very much more individualistic (and less collectivist) than those who dreamed up the project were hoping. This is an experiential observation: content development on Wikiversity is in fact driven by individuals (even when these individuals are proponents of collectivism). There are a number of causes of this. One is the ability to productively fork, which reduces the pressure on people with similar interests to cooperate. Another is the size of the community. Because development is largely individualistic, unless those individuals are prepared to push their own projects forward with their own time/classes/employees, then projects will tend to remain in a state of suspension. But this is all part of the wiki way - we observe how the wiki functions, and then we react to this and find a positive way to build on these observed foundations of human behaviour. --McCormack 07:25, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
A random analogy with the financial industry: wikiversity is still improving her efficiency as a marketplace of knowledge; even with the recent work of many folks (e.g. McCormack) we are still not very efficient in matching the seller (editors, and writers and resources) with the buyer (those who are - or may be - interested in the resource). Hillgentleman|Talk 07:46, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
These are all very interesting comments. I would say that, to extend Hillgentleman's point, we need a way of advertising not just pages/projects which need content development (just as WP, WB etc do), but also learning projects that need co-learners. (Actually, I think that was precisely Juan's point, and Daan's original frustration.) It might be a worthwhile project to take up McCormack's point, and see how 'productive forking' might lead to individualism - and explore whether there might be other models for working that foster collaboration (while all the time asking how both 'individualism' and 'collaboration' can support learning). Cormaggio talk 09:10, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
We might repurpose both the "development" and "community" boxes on the main page for "development drives" and "collaboration drives" (the latter promoting projects in need of co-learners), possibly using the same kind of rotation systems the POTD and featured project boxes do, but possibly working on a different time scale - i.e. weekly changes rather than daily ones. We could also start tagging resources with "co-learners needed" (bare categories, or project boxes, depending on taste) in preparation for setting up such systems. --McCormack 11:31, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Sociologielogo.png This learning project needs more co-learners. Please join!
Sounds good to me.--Juan 15:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
The purpose of the sample box at the right is that it categorises the resource into Category:projects needing co-learners, which in turn can be used to select content for collaboration drives. The project box can be developed further with a hyperlink to a help page which describes to new users how to get involved with existing learning projects. [Remember: if you don't like the box, the icon and text can be modified. It's just a quick sample.] --McCormack 12:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I am not sure, if this is a good start. Remember Wikipedia as they started with 5 line categorization according quality content. Substub-stub-article-Good article-Featured article. And what happend. Categories of stubs includes thousands of pages, so recently some Wikipedias are deleting stub status. Is a stub on wp equal to alone on wv? Is it possible that it will happen the same here?Juan 15:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
It's a really good start - thanks! We could also start to organise this by subject, in much the same way as the stub-sorting mechanism on Wikipedia becomes an invitation for people to contribute to underdeveloped articles in areas that they are interested in. Cormaggio talk 12:12, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Thats a question if the stub system help and promote people to work on it. I dont know if it works on English wp, but many small-scale projects finds it useless, recently as I heard folks on de, they are leaving this system. And remmeber, even we are en, there are still lover number of participants - so simmillar conditions to low-scale projects of wp.--Juan 15:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I would like to help setup a development drive, as McCormack suggested. The development drive on Wikipedia has mostly collapsed, so we need to find ways to how it can be an engine that can grow, instead of one that will slowly pass away.--Daanschr 08:33, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Categories for templates...

How do I create a category for templates which will not be included in the pages that I use the templates in? I need to have a list of my templates, not the templates plus the pages that they are used in. See Category:Film School Templates. It is very hard to find the templates inside the list of the pages. Robert Elliott 12:41, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Robert. You can prevent the category from appearing on pages where the template is used by using:
Likewise you can make the category appear only on the page the template is used on but not on the template itself by using
I added noninclusion tags to one template here, as an example. --SB_Johnny | talk 12:57, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

blocked IP preventing access to good information.

http://12.46.2[blah]45.173/pls/portal30/ - Shall we remove this ip from the filter list? --Emesee 21:25, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

That particular IP is not blocked. There is a block on typing just any random IP as an url. You can use instead. I don't know why the link to that page from the CFDA home page uses the raw IP address. It is not very good form. --mikeu talk 02:27, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Sidebar changes

There has been a lot of discussion of the sidebar over the last few months, especially the random link. The main problem with the random link is that most of Wikiversity's content consists of subpages - i.e. well-developed projects tend to have something between 10 and 100 subpages, sometimes up to 700 or so. That means that for every 1 project homepage, there are dozens or even hundreds of subpages. This has a significant effect on the value of a random link. The random link was originally programmed into Mediawiki for projects like Wikipedia which do not have subpages. The random link (and its variants) make no sense on a wiki which has subpages. The upshot of a lot of technical discussion has been that a switch function applied to a (wide) selection of project homepages might be the best solution. Implementing this solution was delayed, partly because a sufficiently long list of reasonably good content was lacking. However the work done on Wikiversity:Featured has thrown light into many dusty, dark and forgotten corners of Wikiversity, so I have begun to put together a list from which a random project homepage can be drawn. The outcome of this has been Wikiversity:Random. It's not ideal, but it is a relatively good cludge given the restrictions of the Mediawiki software. I've put this onto the sidebar so that people can really experience what it is like. Compare with Special:Random/Topic (click many times) to get a feel of the difference between new and old. I've also add in the guided tours to the sidebar, which have been under development for some time now. Comment is invited. --McCormack 09:20, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Fantastic, nice work; I think this will raise the quality of the user experience. -- Jtneill - Talk 10:44, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
BTW, do you think the criteria for selection into "Random" is a bit lower than the selection for "Featured"? -- Jtneill - Talk 10:45, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I deliberately lowered the bar. By the end of the year I'd hope we have about 20-30 featured resources for the main page, and about 100-150 semi-featured ones which can go into Wikiversity:Random. How we deal with this long-term depends on whether or not we can move into exponential rather than linear growth. --McCormack 11:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

What shall we do with Wikipedia?

The community may like to think about What shall we do with Wikipedia? --McCormack 05:02, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Guide to Tertiary Education

This box on the front page of the wikiversity tertiary education is very confusingly structured, with some pages (like level_of_measurement ) being completely out of context on the front page. I'd edit it, but it said I'd have to edit the entire structure of something or other, and that didn't sound like something I wanted to mess up. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 04:03, 15 June 2008)

This is a good point - I think what is meant is the Portal:Tertiary Education page, which lists contents of the Category:Tertiary Education. I have been (perhaps over diligently?) adding Template:Tertiary which adds Category:Tertiary Education to pages, but am thinking perhaps I shouldn't (at least) be adding subpages, just non-subpage pages. Plus, perhaps I shouldn't be adding stub-like pages? Appreciate any suggestions. -- Jtneill - Talk 00:36, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
There's an issue of how best to subdivide automatically generated categories like Category:Tertiary Education. Possible courses of action: (1) Template:Tertiary actually adds stuff to a subcategory of Category:Tertiary Education such as Category:Tertiary Resources in Alphabetical Order; (2) One uses the titleparts parser function to identify subpages and place them in categories named after their parent pages, rather than placing them in a major category; (3) we do some better manual reorganisation of Category:Tertiary Education. Of course, if Wikiversity was able to have its Mediawiki extensions activated by the Wikimedia Foundation, then we could programme a few little widgets to help, but, ummm, "that's just not going to happen", as they say. --McCormack 05:58, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
These ideas all sound promising. I'm not sure how this works in with templating/project boxes, but some maybe useful "categories" might include:
  1. Tertiary courses
  2. Tertiary learning resources
  3. Tertiary learning projects
Is there any "smart" (magic) way of combining two categories e.g., Tertiary education + Courses? I haven't really thought through this at all clearly, but wanted to reply. -- Jtneill - Talk 13:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
The smart or magic way would be a bot. For example, a bot trawls through all WV pages looking for pages which are both "tertiary" and "psychology", and then adds an additional "tertiary psychology" category to each of those page (it could also remove the basic tags at the same time). However I don't do bots. Try User:Darklama or User:Hillgentleman. We probably won't need bots like this for a few years yet, though. But it's worth noting now that it is retrospectively doable, so we don't need to worry now about restructuring how we do things. --McCormack 09:53, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Can anyone suggest how to approach these subjects through Wikiversity?

Newbee Just got into the site and am interested in discussions / forums on the real estate business, market, mortgages, etc.... Can anyone suggest how to approach these subjects through Wikiversity? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Foolsgold (talkcontribs) 16:33 2008-06-23)

Hi, a warm welcome to you. You can start by using the search, e.g. Special:Search?search=real+estate&go=Go. Then you can find pages like: Topic:Real estate. So, find what is existent here already, look at them, contribute to them, look at the version history who else has contributed and contact them - Be bold. Besides that you will now get a welcome msg with more infos about Wikiversity. I hope this reply is satisfying for you ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:41, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Custodial flag for Remi

Hi, I would like to give Remi another custodial flag. What do you say ? ping, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:52, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I read the discussion so far about this. I'm a bit confused about why a custodian might use multiple accounts. For anti-vandalism activity I can understand might be one good reason. Are there others? Is there precedent? And how does WP and other sisterprojects handle such requests and what is their policy? I am really just asking here for my own understanding, not offering opinion/viewpoint because I don't know enough. -- Jtneill - Talk 04:25, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I believe it is conventional for custodians/sysops on Wikimedia projects to have an additional non-sysop account if they wish. Often the non-sysop account is used for content contribution and opinion-mongering (talk pages), while the sysop-account is used for sysop-actions only. The idea behind this (at least on Wikipedia, where goofing up or overreacting can be taken very seriously) is that misbehaviour as an editor doesn't get mixed up with mishaviour as a sysop, the latter being something which could be used to have sysop status withdrawn. Sysops are open about the existence of these accounts (if they are good). On Wikiversity, some sysops have additional accounts because they log on from different locations and forget their password (written on the wall at home). --McCormack 07:16, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Student essays on Wikiversity

I'm also looking for a format for running my social psychology class next semester. Last year I had students present their essays via blogs. This year, I'm thinking of having them present their essays here on WV. There are ~80 students, so I need to find a way for wiki novices to author academic essays here. They will all be on different topics, and they can help one another, etc. Appreciate any ideas or examples. -- Jtneill - Talk 03:26, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

My guess is that you've already looked at Help:essay and followed up links to User:SRego's project. There have been a few others like it, all with slightly differing approaches and volumes. One thing that still needs to be done is to create some essay boilerplate, which specific teachers can then develop into a course-specific boilerplate. With 80 or so students, your biggest problem will probably be class control, but User:SRego has over 100, so it's been done. How wiki-savvy will your 80 be when they first hit WV? --McCormack 08:37, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
No, I haven't looked at those links yet (closely)... thanks! Will check out. I'm wondering whether the essays might be better developed as course subpages or user subpages... any thoughts? -- Jtneill - Talk 05:29, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd follow User:SRego and use the main namespace. Set up a course page, add a whole bunch of (red) links to it for individual essays, and then give your class pretty tight instructions about what to do. You can always clear up the mess afterwards, but I reckon the better your initial instructions are, the less clearing up you'll have to do. Oh - and afterwards, write an experience report for us! User:SRego didn't leave us with a report of how he organised things on the ground. It would be good if we had a little collection of class wiki-outing reports for future course instructors to look at. --McCormack 14:45, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
That's all helpful advice, thanks; mainspace ... now why didn't I think of that? :). I like it. I'm underway with setting this up here: Social_psychology_(psychology)#Essay topics. -- Jtneill - Talk 16:05, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget my question "How wiki-savvy will your 80 be when they first hit WV?" And here's another thought: if you have 80 people simultaneously editing WV, then recent changes will look like a riot, so you'd better have some way of identifying your students (common username prefix/suffix?). --McCormack 16:13, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
It is safest to assume they will be complete wiki novices - I am expecting the unexpected :). But I will be encouraging them to do a "tutorial" / guided tour - although I haven't quite worked out where/which ones (open to suggestions and to creating a custom tour/tutorial). And I hope to mentor along the way. With "taking over" recent changes... hmmmmmm.... Do you think a common username prefix/suffix would help much? I was thinking to let them register any user name, and perhaps 5% of them might become longer-term contributors. -- Jtneill - Talk 03:08, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
In the User:SRego case, although each of 100+ students probably did way over 100 edits within 2 or 3 days, not a single one (to my knowledge) ever returned. It would be interesting from a wiki-research point-of-view to be able to track user retention from class wiki-outings - i.e. produce confirmation of a %-retention level. To do this, a prefix/suffix would make things easier - alternatively, a page on WV which lists your students' usernames. As regards tutorials for novices, we really need good ones, divided by level rsther than topic, as other Wikimedia projects do. Can you make one? You could steal from: --McCormack 04:48, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
It occurred to me while reading this that one way to distinguish students of your class while still giving them freedom of expressive nomenclature is to have them all add a color to their name. You could give them the copy-paste code to make all their usernames show up in green or something. Simple, but also effective. Comments? -Serge76.126.218.12 06:57, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Nice idea, but colours only show when signing. One really needs identifiable class usernames for things like "recent changes", page histories and contribution logs - and colouring doesn't work there. One class already uses the prefix technique - some of the Technical writing people use the prefix TW. --McCormack 07:04, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

May be you want to check out also this. Another note: You students' essays will be published under the GFDL licence, so they have to agree with it. It may seem as a minor detail, but you should clearly explain also this side.
To that wiki-novice-tutorial... You could explain the absolute basics in 10 minutes of live presentation so they might ask some questions (maybe supported with a powerpoint pps?). You know, just how to register, create internal links, headings and put the essay into correct category... Other technical things they will learn along the way, ask via talkpages or instant messaging clients...--Gbaor 05:17, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
More material at: w:Wikipedia:Instructional material/MediaWiki training videos + I found this on YouTube :D --Gbaor 05:26, 23 June 2008 (UTC) + free cultural work seal

I'm curious about Is this something for us to explore, embrace, use? Or are there some underlying politics or issues here? Like I say, curious to know more. Also, is the free cultural works seal meaningful and useful here or elsewhere? How does it relate to GFDL and CC-A? ( Since its for CC and public domain is it also for GFDL? Otherwise, it maybe nice to have something equivalent for GFDL? If I added something like this colourful seal to unit materials, I think it would help to accelerate cultural change amongst my colleagues and students towards open educational resources. What do you think? -- Jtneill - Talk 04:32, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

The site main page is old and hasn't been edited in a long time. I'd rather we invented our own "seal" ("these course materials featured on WV" with pretty pic). As regards Wikiversity development, we should have our sights set on projects which are much larger than ourselves and which can help us expand - such as Wikipedia. See: What shall we do with Wikipedia? We are few, so we must focus. --McCormack 07:21, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jameses :-), the definition of "free cultural works" has been explicitly recognised by the WMF - see the licensing policy resolution. On GFDL and CC licences, there is ongoing work between WMF, CC, and FSF on their harmonisation or practical integration - but we are still awaiting any official notice. On seals/buttons/logos, I'd prefer them to link to something on Wikiversity which explains free content/culture, eg Open Educational Resources, and which can then link to the above definition. Cormaggio talk 10:36, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments guys; maybe we could tweak something like [3] to use the WV logo?? -- Jtneill - Talk 11:25, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you're thinking of borrowing and modifying their images, you'll note that they have failed to attach any licence details to the button and logo images. In Wikimedia projects, that would be reason for deletion. In general, it means you can't use them. They have to explicitly licence the images under an open licence before they can be re-used. Note for comparison that just about the only thing which is copyright at Wikimedia are the logos! --McCormack 09:02, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Ach. You could at least assume that it's free content - and the default licence on the site is CC-BY-2.5. If you really feel particularly twitchy about it, you could contact the author. Cormaggio talk 09:14, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
 ;) It's true that I am a stickler for proper licencing declarations. Mind you, sites which propagate any form of licencing should themselves set a high standard. Anyway, a useful page for jtneill would be commons:Category:Wikimedia logos (and its subdirectories and parent directories). There's loads of useful artwork relating to Wikimedia on Commons, all superbly tagged with permissions status. --McCormack 09:42, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Colloquium header

I got a bit bold and shifted static content from the top of this page into Wikiversity:Colloquium/Header. Could some people check this edit. In particular, I'm a bit concerned about whether the autoarchive code will work properly when transcluded? -- Jtneill - Talk 11:19, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes - you asked before ;-) --McCormack 07:27, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
OOps - I reckon every 20th or so "save" nothing happens; so I re-save - anyway, duplicate version of this message removed. -- Jtneill - Talk 08:49, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I got a bit less bold and have put the archive code back on this page, instead of transcluding, just in case. -- Jtneill - Talk 02:20, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation's board election (see also sitenotice)

Last chance ! Voting is still possible until 23:59 21 June 2008 (UTC):
Wikimedia Foundation's Board elections 2008 statistics from Wikiversity (data until 16th June 2008)

Special:Boardvote (see the requirements), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 23:27, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Erkan, I never voted before, so thanks for your encouragement. I'm not quite sure how? Is there a sense of which candidates might be good for Wikiversity and WMF? -- Jtneill - Talk 03:17, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Hello James, you can see views of candidate's about Wikiversity here. At least the ones who gave a response. But unfortunately I can not tell you who of them has the "best" for Wikiversity in the heart. Future will show.
But at least I think people who are able to vote should not waste their possibility to do so. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 07:56, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
OK, I did it! Interesting process, always wondered how it worked. When I tried to vote from Wikiversity, I got the message "You are not qualified to vote in this election. You need to have made at least 600 contributions before 00:00, 1 March 2008, and have made at least 50 contributions between 00:00, 1 January 2008 and 00:00, 29 May 2008." So, I voted instead from wikipedia. Based on the candidate's statements about Wikiversity I prefer: Craig Spurrier[4], Jussi-Ville Heiskanen[2], Paul Williams[7], Matthew Bisanz[6], Ad Huikeshoven[10], Ray Saintonge[5], Alex Bakharev[8], Gregory Kohs[7], Ryan Postlethwaite[100], Kurt M. Weber[100], Dan Rosenthal[1], Samuel Klein[100], Steve Smith[100], Ting Chen[15], Harel Cain[100] -- Jtneill - Talk 09:27, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Wikimedia Foundation's Board elections 2008 - vote by two Wikiversity contributors.jpgHello James, when I look at our top5/6, there is a pretty good match :-), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 11:02, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
btw: here you can see who voted from which project (results are not published, this is based purely on your free will), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 11:25, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I just revoted, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:01, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

meta:Board elections/2008/Results/en, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 20:38, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

A nice WP Signpost report on the results: w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-06-26/Board elections. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:30, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


I just discovered this page, which I think was introduced in a MW upgrade at the end of last year. We might be just about the only project which has failed to add to the default reasons. I've added some of the most obvious missing ones. Comments and suggestions? --McCormack 03:03, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Help Wanted: Posting student assignments automatically

I need some programming help. I need a way to accept and post student assignments.

The film school has been accepting students for one year now (even while the course is being completed.)

Already, I have more students submitting homework than I can post. Manually, it is a very slow process.

What I need is automated exam and submissions system, sort of like a cross between a Quiz and a very simple learning management system.

As a test, i have set up one student's page with a possible format for homework assignments which hopefully can be programmed into Wikiversity. Look at Tonto Silver's user page. Each box is a completed assignment. (I have to upload all of this data for each student. Tonto Silver is only 1/3rd of the way through the course.) You can see the huge amount of work for the instructor if this is not automated. Robert Elliott 14:59, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Quick comment: It depends on the format of your input data. If it is in a text file and simply formatted, there is a chance that somebody could write a script to automate the process. In any case, try using templates (substituted or not) more to reduce having to do everything over and over again. Hillgentleman|Talk 20:33, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Quick Question -- Date vs. Current date
I am still not very familiar with templates. I tried some features but when I created a template with a date, the final result always showed the current date, not the date that the OGG file was uploaded. How do I use a DATE in a template to get the date when the template was used, not the current date? Robert Elliott 09:59, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a complex project. Just to get my head around it, how would it be automated (generally, not technically)? Would it be automated from the student's side (ie "click here to upload second assignment"), or from the tutor's? What processes would it need to include (eg student submitting assignment sends message to tutor)? Also, thinking broadly, would it help to bring in other people to help you with the evaluation and other administration of the course? I have some experience with filmmaking (and I'll be teaching a Master's course in educational video next year) - I could offer some time (though I'd have to rationalise it somewhat!) But maybe you could elicit help from other websites, institutions..? Back to the programming side, I'd really like to find ways of mobilising a developer community around Wikiversity's technical needs in general - whether inside Wikiversity, or in the wider developer community - this seems like something which, with some clearly defined needs, we could start such a process... Cormaggio talk 10:18, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Creating an example
To make this clearer, I will create an example of "before" (the lesson page) and "after" showing the final box placed in the student's about me page and on the finished assignment page.
I have very specific needs but I think I can create a general format that might work for any lesson which a instructor/coordinator/facilitator assigns to students. Robert Elliott 10:32, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
The method
Basically, I am trying to use the QUIZ feature to upload answers to a student's about me page as well as the completed assignment page for that lesson.
Currently the existing QUIZ feature assumes that there are correct answers and wrong answers.
However, for my courses, each students answer is always correct (ie. "Which picture do you prefer? -- A, or B, or C) and all I need to do is to record the answer and to show the answer the other students.
Currently, the QUIZ function does not show the answers from one student to the other students. That is what I need changed.
I want a new QUIZ function so people can share their ideas, not just to test their knowledge of facts.

Here is the quiz function currently at Wikiversity

Please tell me:

How should I implement this idea?

As you see in the quiz above, the current QUIZ function does not allow ideas to be recorded and viewed by others. I need to find a way that each answer can be shared. Robert Elliott 10:46, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Horrible experience. The quiz box told me "every answer is a correct answer". I though I am selling somewhere my opinion.--Juan 18:48, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, you are correct. The Quiz function does not send your opinion somewhere. I want to correct this. Rather than a single answer (as in this example above), it would be better to allow the student to enter an answer and have it posted automatically. (Currently, 95% of my students do not know how to post an answer using the Wiki language. The Quiz function does not post answers.) Robert Elliott 21:25, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Robert Elliott, From what I understand, what you want is possible with the option called "preload". There are several ways to do it; the easiest is the input box: Try

(See meta:help:inputbox for more details. )
-- Hillgentleman|Talk 05:20, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the point Hillgentleman. I think it would be nice, if this will be opitional for quiz tag.--Juan 12:22, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Help wanted
Yes, I am always looking help from people who know both film scoring and dialog editing (editing picture based on the words of a script, with emphasis added by using "L-Cuts"). All of my courses deal exclusively with editing scripted dramatic conversations while using symphonic musical sound effects/melodies/motiv to create the mood. Robert Elliott 09:59, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
If student are taking a filmmaking class, they are probably pretty bright to begin with. Perhaps they could just upload/convert assignments themselves? Maybe they could upload the assignments as jpegs. How might that be? --Emesee 22:57, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Journals on Wikia

I'm trying to understand the reality and possibilities for Wiki Journals, and more specifically what the role/relationship of Journals on Wikia compared to Wikiversity is? e.g., I was looking at I think I'd prefer to contribute to and to promote such Wiki Journals here on Wikiversity. Any suggestions for how I might learn more? -- Jtneill - Talk 03:13, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely - the idea was always to encourage journals to flourish here on Wikiversity - the Wikia versions had simply been established before Wikiversity was launched, or as its launch was seemingly endlessly in discussion. We have Wiki Journal and Portal:Wiki Scholar, which could both use some adaptation and expansion. One of these, or a new page, could act as a hub for a number of journals, each focused on a particular theme. So, when you ask to learn more, is it enough to simply say: "be bold"? Cormaggio talk 09:56, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I was thinking to write something for For me it is more international to write about issues of let say cs on than here on en.--Juan 12:30, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Finding a reference

I am writing a lesson and I want to include a fact that I know to be true but I was hoping to include a reference for it. I have been searching but I can't seem to find one. Is there somewhere on wikiversity that I could post a request for a reference? Go raibh mile maith agaibh 14:08, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

How about right here? :) Otherwise maybe try the page's talk page, or the associated School: or Topic: talk pages. -- Jtneill - Talk 15:19, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
References we post here or you might try to go for Wikiversity:Featured. Wikiversity:News is probably for something different.--Juan 12:37, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for better standards

I have found it very difficult recently to navigate my way around the site. I think I am right in saying that the main shared goal in this community is that it becomes and remains a free and easy-to-use educational resource for all. The problem is, however, there are a lot of pages with namespaces, such as portal and school, that, by their definitions, don't really belong to them, which just confuses things even more. There are a lot of pages unlinked, uncategorized and unnecessary. I would like the community's opinion on an internal audit in which the goals of the community will be identified and compared against our current position. Problems can then be identified and solutions proposed. Then we can set up a system to maintain the new high standards without jeopardizing the ethical principles upon which the community is founded. There is a lot to be done, and everyone can play their role. We need someone with credible expertise to lead the audit and a lot of volunteers to play a part in the process if we want it done quickly. After this process I would envisage a system of quick navigation and functional links, allowing for higher productivity among editors and admins. --Go raibh mile maith agaibh 02:00, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Wikiversity:Vision 2009 is a form of internal audit, and is definitely the right place to find out what we are doing about this problem. It is a problem which has been at a centre of interest for about 3 to 6 months now, with a lot of activity. --McCormack 05:01, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
I just had a read, it's exactly what I was talking about but beyond my expertise. I am willing to lend a hand in any area. I know it's not very "wiki" to give and receive orders but I want to help lighten the load, so please give me orders! You guys have been here longer than me and have been working on the vision 2009 for some time too. I am currently working on the school of medicine and want to implement the ideas of the overall community but it is difficult for me to understand all the language that is being used. I want to help the overall community as well as help develop learning resources in my own area of interest. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Go raibh mile maith agaibh 14:34, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi Donek, and thanks for your enthusiasm. You can also talk to me on my talk page if you want to get down to details. If you want to do something to help, the best way is to find whatever you'd most like to fix, and start fixing it. Make a short list of what you'd most like to see, and then post it on my talk page. If you don't know how to do any of it, then I'll show you and help you. If you make a mess, I can clear it up, so don't be afraid of making a mess - just keep me posted on your progress. --McCormack 09:48, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

No licensed images

What to do with non-licensed images such as Image:Cost Analysis of IGCC.JPG?--Juan 12:34, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

[4], add a comment on user's talk page. Do you want to continue checking the user's other media files ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 12:43, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, I have noticed other on his user page. I am just posting here this example, because I think it could be risky to host nonlicensed images and files.--Juan 13:32, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Indeed - I will then check the user's other files. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 13:38, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Also other files had no licence. User was also emailed, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 13:46, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Produce clock: opinions please

I'm hoping to have time to set up a "Produce Clock", vaguely following the bloom clock's schema, but this will be much less complicated (since it presumably won't need identification keys and so on). See User:SBJ/Produce clock for initial notes.

The idea is for people to be able to track when "fresh, local produce" is available (see w:Locavore), either as crops in gardens or on farms. I think this would be useful for people trying to cut carbon footprints, gardeners planning a long-season veggie garden, or just people who go gaga for very fresh veggies.

I guess I have a couple questions about doing it though. First, I'm not sure this clock is really so much research as it is "a learning project with homework", where the homework assignment is to report what fresh local produce is in the garden or at the farmstand. Should it be characterized as a research project?

Second, I'd like to actively recruit farmers as participants. One "enticement" might be to have a template on the contributors' page that adds information about their farm (type of farm, growing method (e.g., "organic", etc.), location, website, perhaps even phone numbers). Would that be problematic?

Third, I'm just curious whether this would be a more attractive way to introduce the whole "clock" concept, as opposed to the somewhat more esoteric bloom clock. There will still be some template usage involved, but not nearly to the extent that's required for the bloom clock (since, again, there will be less worry about identification keys).

BTW, speaking of keys: I'm interested to see if they're working for non-plant people. Try going outside, look for a flower that you don't know the name of, and see if you can use the Late Spring key to find it! --SB_Johnny | talk 14:42, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

extension testing on sandbox coming to a stand still?

Cross posted at [5]

As wikiversity promotes "learning by doing", couldn't we just go out and randomly test mediawiki extensions for short periods of time and encourage the wikiversity community come and try their hands on them? That would promote both wikiversity and sandboxserver. I know that, for example, the semantic wiki is cool but to run it we would need to extend the data base (but it is worth it...); On the other hand, there are simpler things which we could play around. - Hillgentleman|Talk 09:33, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

As my "trial" with the subpagelist extension showed, the Wikimedia Foundation is currently unable to administer extension approval for Wikiversity. I do not know why. I do know that most of the main developers are very helpful and prompt. I do know that we have people willing to do programming. I have about 4 Mediawiki installations of my own, some public, and I can provide and perform extensive testing opportunities for everyone myself if asked. None of that is a problem. The problem is at the "approval" stage, where an extension is green-lighted for deployment on Wikiversity. This is an administrative step. The Wikimedia Foundation cannot take this administrative step. There is no explanation. So at the current time, I see no point in looking at the many available extensions on, because we can only have what the larger projects also have. --McCormack 09:43, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
As I know it (e.g. from StringFunctions), new extensions are usually stuck at the security checks by Tim Starling. However, we may accept that a site as large as wikiversity has little flexibility. And for participants in the MediaWiki learning project, having the chance to try different extensions together would be useful. Hillgentleman|Talk 09:50, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Agree, to just play at the sandbox server this is good enough. The prob with the Sandbox Server at the moment is, that person(s) who can install the extensions are not so fast reachable. So a solution for this - on the sandbox server - would be to grant more people rights to install extensions. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:12, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I am keen to try out the RSS Reader, but I'm guessing there's no way WMF is going to be letting RSS feeds onto its sites anytime soon. At the very least, it would be nice to be able to show a list of recent changes for a set of pages to display e.g., on a course homepage. I also want to show the feed from a course discussion list on the course homepage, i.e., I want a more dynamic homepage e.g., I am trying to replicate something like this: at Social psychology (psychology). To do this, I probably need to use the sandbox server as my unit homepage, but that probably comes with more hassles (esp. with confusing participants). So, I may need to stick with the university's wiki (Confluence - but you can't edit :() or try WikiEducator. I just wanted to share my wee dilemma as an example. -- Jtneill - Talk 10:22, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
See the case with McCormack's extension - some need motivation to do something. So one way is to find a way to increase their motivation: I propose to let the ideas flow at this page: How to increase motivation so more extensions can be used at Wikiversity ?. E.g. another way would be to find something which can be done without others. An idea: someone could program a bot which reads a RSS feed locally and then the bot edits the new entries (in a certain form) automatically by a normal edit into the WV page you want ? That could give the feeling of an automatic RSS reader. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:19, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

So is there a place right now, where I can freely test extensions (and possibly new tags)? Or the place, where I can recieve sysops rights to play with extension set-up? Is that place open internationaly or just English speakers are prefered? Or is it better that I instal MediaWiki on my computer? How? Does it work on Windows Vista?--Juan 13:25, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

To Juan: I think that the sandbox is intended to be this spot. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to track down the person(s) running it, but I do believe that we can use it for this very purpose.
As far as approvals go, we definitely have to figure out how to motivate things. We're a smaller wiki, a smaller community, and while it's important that we don't destabilize the servers, it's also important that things that will help the community get made available to it. Let me know if I can assist. Historybuff 18:52, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Extension installing can be done by User:Draicone + User:Darklama. Requests should be placed at "Testing Mediawiki extensions" on the Sandbox server (don't forget to verify your email so you can edit the page). ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 21:36, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

How to watch different posts

Crosswiki post: cs.

Recently, I have found out a small imperfection. If I am wathcing changes on the page Wikiversity:Colloquium it shows me changes globaly. For someone, who is watching Colloquium two times a day, it is not the problem. But me, I what it once or two times a week. Than to have WV:C on My watchlist is useless, because I dont see if someone replyed my post or commented. I should go to history or better to scroll down. It is userunfriendly. So how to solve it? Is it possible to watch recent changes just in some posts on the page? If not, I would recomend to send new post in the format {{/New post}} rather in the format == New post ==. That users may watch recent changes of just prefered posts at the same page.

Or another question, is there someone, who would be able and who would enjoy to programme new extension, which would allow to whatch recent changes in the posts titled == name ==? Me not, I do not know any programme language.--Juan 14:27, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Juan -- I think there was a discussion about things like this a while back on the Colloquium. I think it was about liquid threads, but I might not be getting the tech name right. I think it's a great idea. Historybuff 19:06, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, I think I saw Liquid threads discussion, but I havent understood what is it all about.--Juan 18:04, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Expert commentaries

People may like to read and comment on Wikiversity:What shall we do with Wikipedia?/Expert commentaries. --McCormack 14:40, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Important issue McCormack.--Juan 18:05, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Medical Advice Proposal

I have a policy proposal for dealing with medical advice posted on wikiversity. I would like everyone's opinion. Is there anywhere else I should post it so everyone may have a say? Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 00:40, 30 June 2008 (UTC)