Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/May 2007

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Regarding grants...

I was thinking a bit about grants; I believe we have had a bit of discussion at Wikiversity about grants. It dawned on me that perhaps one way Wikiversity could utilize grants is as bounties (see: Wikipedia:Bounty_board).

A collaborative grant could be written. If the best stable version of the grant was approved and funded, then a trusted member of the community who could actually be held responsible for the funds (identity verification?) could be responsible for paying out fulfilled bounties related to whatever project was allocated the grant money. I'm not familiar with how grant funds are actually allocated from a logistical POV, so details would need to be worked out. This perhaps seems to be a realistic possibility presuming it can be kept within the scope of what Wikiversity is. --Remi 07:02, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Slogan contest complete - Motto contest continues to May 12

Please help us finish selecting the final motto: Wikiversity:Motto_contest. It is suggested that the Motto contest end on May 12, 2007.

The winning slogan is "set learning free".

Summary of final round of slogan contest: The Wikiversity slogan is a phrase for listing at top of main page with "Welcome to Wikiversity". "Set learning free" had 68% of the positive support statements in round 5. There were 30 support statements for "set learning free". "Knowledge is free" had 4 in support and "Because knowledge should be free" had 10 in support. The latter 2 options had 3 comments each against use. "Set learning free" had no statements against. As for the wording of "set learning free" vs "learning set free," a few more people preferred "set learning free".

Archive of discussions: Motto_contest/Round_6

Thank you for your participation! --Reswik 14:31, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello, I am a custodian on the French Wikiversity and I wonder what we should do of the slogan Set learning free. Are we supposed to translate it by ourselves and use it or should we ask for a translation on beta or meta ? Thanks for your help. Julien1311 talk 17:01, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Julien, The the choice of the slogan for the English wikiversity involves, mostly, considerations in the English language. The choice of the slogan for the French wikiversite should involve considerations in the French language. Beta is a good place for coordinating this effort by various wikiversities, if we choose to do so. Hillgentleman|Talk 02:23, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

YouTube for educational video

www.sutree.com

Just an idea :) -- Taeke 07:34, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

This sounds familiar --Rayc 23:53, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

notification for changes to individual Wikiversity pages

I'm not sure how long this feature has been available, but I just found out about it. Web feeds are now available for individual Wikiversity pages by clicking on the "history" tab for a page. See Web syndication#History pages. --JWSchmidt 14:42, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Tending the garden...

This past week, McCormack has been instrumental in mopping up vandalism on the front page. I put cascading protection on it today. I'm wondering whether we should keep it there, or lift it later? I'm concerned that leaving the page protected might send a messages that this is not an open wiki...but how to best balance this against sporadic vandalism? --HappyCamper 20:49, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The same guy has been coming back in different guises as a differently registered user for some time now. He's a regular, with a profile. We have no choice but to fully protect the main page and all of its templates. With reaction times by admins at 20-30 minutes, and a potential audience of children, to do anything other than a full protect of vulnerable pages would be irresponsible on our part. Sad, but we must act. McCormack 20:56, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Not to mention unprofessional, and a host of other things. Here's my thinking...as much as I don't want to protect the front page, I think keeping the front page protected is the sensible compromise. After all, we want to attract good edits, not bad edits! On another note, I think custodians should put those pages related to the front page on their watchlists so that requests for editing can be fulfilled quickly. (BTW: I think cascading protection seems to be working now, although the pages don't seem to indicate this properly). --HappyCamper 21:52, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Cascading protection stopped working a while back, so I started doing direct semi-protection for all the individual main page content pages. If cascading protection is working again now, that is good. Probably the best way to get the attention of a custodian is to come to the IRC channel #wikiversity-en. There are often several custodians "in there" who will hear their computers say "admin" if you type "admin" in the channel. If that does not work, you can go to #wikimedia-stewards and get help from a steward. Also, it might be useful to start using CheckUser to help deal with serial vandals. --JWSchmidt 22:23, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation mission and neutral educational content

The most recent WikipediaWeekly episode mentions changes in the Wikimedia Foundation Mission statement (see Resolution:Mission and Vision statement). Last year a draft version of the mission statement said "The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower people around the world to collect and develop knowledge under a free license, and to disseminate it effectively and globally." A version currently being discussed says, "The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop neutral educational content under a free content license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally." On WikipediaWeekly , the word "neutral" was linked to one of the original Wikipedia policies, the policy for neutral point of view. Wikiversity was mentioned as a Wikimedia Foundation project that is not locked into the traditional Neutral point of view (NPOV) policy that is used at other projects such as Wikipedia. In particular, we have a Wikiversity:Disclosures policy which attempts to provide "wiggle room" for Wikiversity participants so that some Wikiversity content would be allowed to depart from a neutral point of view. Does "neutral educational content" imply content that is governed by the traditional NPOV policy? If the Wikimedia Foundation does adopt a mission statement calling for "neutral educational content" would that be acceptable to the Wikiversity community? The "Disclosures" policy calls for Wikiversity to strive for neutrality but attempts to allow for academic freedom and scholarly explorations that might need to go outside of the confines of NPOV. --JWSchmidt 22:24, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't want to ignore this question, but my hunch is that at best we will have to wait for the ambiguity to clear up before we can figure out what the implications for Wikiversity are... --HappyCamper 19:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
There are a number of spots that "Neutral Point of View" doesn't really make sense, and one policy does not fit all projects. In education and research, you are tackling different points of view on a subject, and sometimes they might not even be your own view. NPOV makes sense when you are writing an Encyclopedia, but not everything is an Encyclopedia. Historybuff 00:44, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the concept of neutrality is very problematic - however, it has been used to practical effect in Wikipedia. But, even in Wikipedia, I think that NPOV is usefully conceptualised as the means rather than the end - the end being quality. This leads me to believe that, here on Wikiversity, we should think about the quality of an educational experience, and to do as best we can to facilitate that experience. I think that following the spirit of NPOV would be to encourage people to think broadly about a topic - to engage with differing points of view in order to come to a deeper understanding of each point of view, the context of each point of view, and to sharpen their own point(s) of view. If we could encourage this process, this would, I believe, be completely within the NPOV frame of reference. I fully believe in the place for academic freedom, to explore a point of view on its own terms, and the potential this gives for rich educational experiences - but I feel that we should be going one better than emulating a system where academic traditions simply don't speak to each other. I think a broad-minded, collaborative model is a better fit for a project like Wikiversity. I think the Disclosures policy is a good start for Wikiversity to begin to really understand how knowledge is produced and communicated, and that as long as we can show differing points of view in the context of a debate, then we will be building on the good work started by Wikipedia. And, just to respond to HappyCamper's point - this "ambiguity" is still in negotiation - this is a Wikimedia-wide debate, and I would encourage Wikiversity participants to join these discussions, via mailing lists and/or wikis, to help construct a sustainable vision that will work for every project, and all together. Cormaggio talk 12:47, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Interest Group

I'd like to propose a Category:Internal Medicine Interest Group. I'm not sure if this is the place to propose this, but it would be helpful so that people of similar interests can find each other. Any suggestions?PalMD 17:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

We have Wikiversity:Project requests and Wikiversity:Matchmaking board, but traffic on these pages is quite low. So far, it seems that participants just click on recent changes, and if they see something interesting, they'll jump in and help out. This also means that the more edited pages tend to get more attention. --HappyCamper 19:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps my understanding of the current way Wikiversity works is a bit askewed. However, as I understand it, this is not like Wikia where if you want to start a Wikia, you need to propose it and get it approved. While organization, and consensus are great, if you see something at Wikiversity that you feel is or perceive as lacking, you are free to just go ahead and create it yourself. Be bold.
Wikiversity:Scope might be a useful page. --Remi 08:24, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

m:RFCU?

If the community is not yet ready for checkusers, perhaps we may request it on meta.--Hillgentleman|Talk 10:49, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

There was a discussion of this on IRC the other day. Yes, we want a checkuser. No, a suitable volunteer can't be found. There is some opinion that it shouldn't be a bureaucrat, because power shouldn't become too centralised. It probably also needs to be someone who actually understands IP addresses. McCormack 04:21, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I suggest User:SB_Johnny who has been doing CheckUser work at Wikibooks. See also: Wikiversity:CheckUser policy. --JWSchmidt 04:28, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

...

I'm trying to put

* '''{{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTDAY}}, {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}''' - Department founded!
 

within the Template:Original department boilerplate so that when someone uses the template, they won't have to input the date. The ways I have tried it, it does not display properly - it statically substitutes the date in the template, not dynamically. Is there a way to do this so it is dynamic? --Remi 07:43, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

  • {{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}}, or June. See m:help:substitution, and {{welcome}} for an example. On meta it is called delayed substitution, or includeonly magic.Hillgentleman|Talk 08:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
  • For a cut-and-paste version, you would need to use {{subst}}: {{Subst:subst}}CURRENTMONTHNAME}}, saving as May. Hillgentleman|Talk 09:06, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Fix the motto?

Hi,

On your top page, I couldn't help noticing the motto right under "WIKIVERSITY":

Welcome to Wikiversity,

set learning free.

That's a run-on sentence, dudes. Instead, may I suggest?:

Welcome to Wikiversity.

Set learning free.

Cheers, Andy (Vancouver, Canada)

  • I agree. Also possible are "to set learning free", setting learning free...: ) --Hillgentleman|Talk 10:49, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Some stylised corporate mission-statements are shown in all-lower-case. It's a design-thing rather than a grammatical thing.

Please see a suggestion for further discussion of this issue below: Wikiversity:Colloquium#Motto_and_slogan_contests:_discussion_of_outcomes. Thanks, --Reswik 16:02, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Brainstorming Meeting for French

Could someone explain to me how the whole chat things works so that I can set up a brainstorming meeting for the French Department?Elatanatari 17:57, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

"the whole chat thing" <-- Do you want to use internet relay chat (text) or voice? --JWSchmidt 22:30, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

textElatanatari 23:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Elatanatari, have you been able to figure this out yet? Does Wikiversity:Chat or the Wikipedia IRC article help at all? (I think we definitely need a better local page about how to use IRC than simply Wikiversity:Chat.) Elatanatari, what computer system are you using - Mac, PC, Linux..? Can you download software to your computer? Do you use Firefox? Cormaggio talk 13:49, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I figured it out, Thanks! Elatanatari 20:02, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Did this get scheduled? Did I miss it? Historybuff 14:11, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Issues with categories...

It is my understanding that the standards for naming are that categories should be named like "Category:Emergency medicine" and not "Category:Emergency Medicine". This has the benefit of being more compatible with Wikipedia and probably other Wikimedia Wikis. On the other hand, one could make the argument that "a course" is a proper noun, and therefore if one wants to categorize pages according to what course they are part of, the category should be capitalized. That is, on a syllabus, you would see "Research Methods in Psychology" at the top; according to my recollection, you would not see, "Research methods in psychology" as the syllabus title. There is the option of having both categories on an applicable page, too. It seems to me that there is a great deal of information and knowledge here Wikiversity, it can just be difficult to see because of the way the information is organized. Luckily, MediaWiki is astonishingly flexible. --Remi 05:22, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

IMHO, if we mix course names with categories, this is a hierarchical error. It dilutes the critical category system. There are other, and better ways, for holding together pages within a project. Internal project navigation should use infoboxes or navbars placed at the top of a project. BTW, I think your re-organisational efforts are great! McCormack 08:06, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
"if we mix course names with categories, this is a hierarchical error" <-- There is nothing wrong with having a category for all of the pages in a course. A single course could have hundreds of pages and categories are a fundamental tool for organizing related pages. "project navigation should use infoboxes or navbars" <-- this is true, and we really need to make an effort to also use these tools to organize Wikiversity projects. So far we have just a few "navigation templates". There are many good examples of navigation templates at Wikipedia. See also w:Wikipedia:Navigational templates. We really need to start being more sophisticated about our page navigation tools here at Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 13:43, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm also wondering about category names and capitalization and agree about the sophistication aspect. Wikiversity:Maintenance now contains links to Wikiversity:Categories and Wikiversity:Templates as tasks and taskforces. Some of the issues mentioned here are being covered. -- CQ 15:04, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

The javascript of NavFrame (?)

Is it possible?(see:mediawiki:common.js, mediawiki:common.css)

  • To make the links in the table of content for collapsed section operational?
  • a switch for "opening all navframes on a page"?
  • a switch for "opening all subframes of a frame"?

-Hillgentleman|Talk 14:50, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Additional discussion at Talk:Threaded discussions with NavFrames. --JWSchmidt 16:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Changes to the main page

For the first two months after the launch of this website there was a major effort to import the existing pages that had been created by the Wikiversity community at Wikibooks (page imports). By December, most of those imported pages had been fit into the new namespace structure of this website. The old hierarchy of Wikibooks "school" and "department" content development projects was integrated into the new school and topic namespaces. At that time, I thought Wikiversity was ready to begin making the Main Page more useful to new participants and I started Wikiversity:Main page design changes. For the next four months there was not much interest from the community in changing the Main Page so I moved on to other tasks such as creating major portals with featured content. Finally, this month there seems to be an increase in interest in the task of making Wikiversity more welcoming to new visitors, a task which logically involves asking exactly what the Main Page should accomplish. Three specific questions are:

  1. Should the main page be designed to help new visitors understand Wikiversity?
  2. Is the Main Page bias towards college-level content preventing people from participating if they are interested in non-college-oriented learning?
  3. How should we fit the Wikiversity slogan onto the main page?

Please participate at Wikiversity:Main page design changes if you want to help plan improvements for the Main Page. --JWSchmidt 15:39, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

My answers, in order, would be:

  1. No.
  2. Question needs reformulating.
  3. Not important.

To flesh out:

  1. I'm familiar with your concept of everything as a learning project, but assuming WV is a learning project, then a disproportionate amount of the main page is given over to this single project. The Wikipedia way is to use the main page mostly for accessing a wide variety of content and to rotate these content access points. I think Wikiversity needs to follow this familiar model. The dominant "help/learn about WV" should be reduced to a sidebar or lower panel, or a separate portal. Having seen how much time and care you've personally put into WV as a learning project, I can appreciate this might be a difficult time for trying on new glasses.
  2. There's little level bias, because there's little room for any bias, given the dominance of the WV learning project (which is neither tertiary nor pre-tertiary). On the other hand, as I glance down the page, I see terms constantly cropping up which have a clear tertiary bias (e.g. names of faculties, mentions of research). I'd say there is an absence of obviously pre-tertiary openness.
  3. As I said, I think 3 is not important.

As regards the pre-tertiary portal, I was vaguely thinking of giving a few weeks for comment to collect and settle, and then give it a shot, in the light of comments given. I haven't forgotten it. -- McCormack 04:04, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

"Wikiversity needs to follow this familiar model [Wikipedia's main page]" <-- Why? Wikipedia's main page design serves a much more mature wiki project where most visitors are looking for existing content. At the start of any wiki project the main need of the wiki community is totally different. The main need for a new project is to explain the project to new visitors and attract new participants (the editors who will create the content). The sidebar is a convenient tool for experienced wiki participants who know from past experience what the cryptic names of the links mean. It is an error to expect new visitors to puzzle out tersely worded links in the sidebar. I don't understand the comment about new glasses and "difficult time". As an explicitly and fundamentally education-oriented project, Wikiversity should lead the way among Wikimedia Foundation projects in finding ways to help people learn about how to participate in wiki communities in general and Wikiversity in particular. Maybe five years from now when Wikiversity has lots of learning resources and we have taught the world how learn by editing wikis then it will be time to adopt a Wikipedia-style main page. This is not the time for Wikiversity to pretend to be Wikipedia. "There's little level bias" <-- We could do a test and have a group of pre-college educators look at the Main Page. I don't have any doubt what they would say. In my mind, the deeper question is, even if the Main Page and the Browse page were less biased towards university-level content, would more pre-college educators and learners participate at Wikiversity? Nobody said that #3 is particularly important, it is just a related issue that has arisen at this time. We need to decide if we want to use the tagline feature on the Main Page. --JWSchmidt 05:32, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I largely agree with you, JWS. The dilemma over WV's current stage of development (is it a learning project or does it provide content?) is a difficult one to resolve - particularly when "it will be time to adopt a Wikipedia-style main page". I think there is some international divergence of practice between the 4 wikiversities on this point. The work you have put into WV as a learning project is impressive. "would more pre-college educators and learners participate at Wikiversity?" <-- we won't know until we try ;-) -- McCormack 07:00, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
There are five now McCarmack - Italiano Wikiversità has joined the list. It might be a good idea to compare all five Main Pages and "homogenize" some of the layout (but certainly not in a 'cookie-cutter' fashion). I'll add Wikiversity:Main page design changes to my watchlist. -- CQ 22:14, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Minor interface change...

The main namespace pages currently use "article" on the upper left tab, and I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to use either "content" or (following wikibooks) "module" instead. Our content really isn't organized as articles. Any thoughts?--SB_Johnny | talk 17:56, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I think "resource" would be good... it might even help distinguish Wikiversity from Wikibooks a bit... kind-of resolving some of the perceived "ambiguity of purpose" when thinking of the relationship between the two projects. Also, these pages have already been identified as "learning resources". CQ 02:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I quite like "resource" in this case (in general i hate the term on web pages) because it can denote a sort of piece of content or 'learning object' or also a resource for stimulating learning, like a learning project. Countrymike 02:50, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
The name used needs to be very general. We have research project pages that I would not want to have being called "lessons". Wikiversity main namespace content includes many types of learning resources. "learning object" might be as general as "learning resource", but I prefer "learning resource" ("resource" for short). --JWSchmidt 02:45, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks like it changed now to "learning resource", but I think just "resource" might be better (since some pages might be research resources as well as learning resources). Much nicer than article though!--SB_Johnny | talk 10:57, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

"Wikiversity Junior" (or some other name)

There has been a discussion on IRC about a K-12 portal. Two questions arise: (1) is it a good idea? (probably), and (2) if so, what do we call it (much more difficult). Naming suggestions so far are listed below. Any reaction to either question is welcome. McCormack 05:29, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

It's a great idea in general. I kinda prefer "K-12 portal" myself - however "K-12" isn't a universally recognised term, and naming is going to be inherently problematic. Are "Primary" and "Secondary" more widely understood perhaps? Whatever we do, we can explain this on a Portal:Teachers page (and others), and set up a few redirects from commonly-used words/phrases. (I also then think of people who don't fit into traditional schooling patterns, the best example of whom would be homeschoolers - were Ben or Ariannah Armstrong in on that conversation by any chance?) Cormaggio talk 11:17, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
No, they weren't in on it. But I think it would be great if we schedule a chat with a wider range of people, including those with an interest in the area. I think "primary" isn't a great word as some systems prefer "elementary". One needs an all-embracing term for what Americans very efficiently call "K-12" and what everyone else very sanely calls "school" (school being far too synonymous with tertiary education in the US). McCormack 11:22, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
  • It would be prudent to try to avoid anything which may look like an artificial boundary. Perhaps portal:wikiversity for adolescences, portal:wikiversity for {{subst:what is the technical term for children under 12...? primary school pupils? }}. Make it clear that they are no different from anyone else in the community, but the portals might be a place for them to collect useful information. Hillgentleman|Talk 13:09, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion, Hillgentleman. Just to clear up a possible misunderstanding: "K-12" means "Kindergarten to 12th Class", so if you count Kindergarten as 1 year and the first class is called "1st class", that adds up to 13 years of school - i.e. perhaps age 5 to 18. (But I'm not American, so someone may need to correct me). "K-12" does not mean "up to age 12", which I think (??) is what you thought. The boundary we'r talking about is the one between secondary and tertiary education, which in most countries is a huge one. Among other things, staff and pupils have very different timeloads, which affects the way in which they participate in wikis. McCormack 13:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Afterthought: it took me about a year (or more?) to work out the meaning of the term K-12! McCormack 13:30, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
It's funny - I never used the term "K-12" until I came to the UK, where it's common parlance among the education department at my university. However, global education systems are so varied that it's going to be impossible to come up with something that's workable in all instances (see: w:Category:Education by country). "Wikiversity Junior" seems to be neutral enough - but it only seems appropriate for younger children (perhaps under 9, or so). I like the idea of scheduling a chat - but it is probably a good idea to brainstorm here or on a specific wiki-page first so that the chat can become most productive. How about Wikiversity:Educational stages? And on a slight tangent to this, I also want to delineate educational stages from learner levels - for example, there are many adults who cannot read, and for whom the category "primary" would be inappropriate - I think we have to keep in mind generic terms like "beginner", "intermediate" and "advanced" in parallel with considerations for existing, conventional schooling systems. Cormaggio talk 13:57, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I like K-12 - it is universally accepted - in my state :) We also use elementary, middle, and high school. Watchout as there might be some curriculum for pre-schoolers and that isn't covered in k-12 (pre K-12 ?). Harriska2 14:42, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Let's inject a bit of imagination here: What if Wikiversity could house a big education portal, which points to other portals specific to each educational system in the world? In these portals, people could find resources which would link and categorize similar pages? I think we should just make the pages as we see fit, and not be too concerned whether particular terminology would be inclusive or exclusive. If pages don't meet user needs, sooner or later some participant will create it. We have to actively encourage that though. --HappyCamper 15:12, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
HappyCamper - can you give some examples? "What if Wikiversity could house a big education portal, which points to other portals specific to each educational system in the world?" Harriska2 16:10, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I've created Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal to draw together thoughts and act as a basis for further discussion. McCormack 16:47, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I like HappyCamper's point - perhaps Portal:Educational systems and stages? Or should it be centralised at Portal:Education? Somewhat ironically, I think highlighting a specific block for pre-tertiary resources, while it's a great and necessary idea, suggests in a way that Wikiversity is by default about tertiary resources - which it's not. Cormaggio talk 10:55, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point you've got at the end there. I wondering about the meaning of "is" as in "is not about tertiary resources by default". is = by definition, in reality, in appearance ?? My line would be "is at risk of being perceived as...". I'm adding your name suggestions to the Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal . McCormack 11:04, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I personally like the idea, and as mentioned above the splitting up of K-12 because of the number of ages between. I happen to got a school where its K-12, so I happen to know what it means. Providing resources for students, such as advancing your kids(k-6) into higher education before the school takes them there so as to be prepared, to university levels for 6-12. Of course Wikiversity is already setup for 6-12, but awareness isn't that high. <<My bit. --Topcount345 02:49, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Interesting idea, but why to have more servers for education. Why not to have one and diferentiate via namespace or better cattegories. I thing e.g. French course for university students is same as for high scholl students. We on Czech wikiversity are having all kind of education on one server. There is normaly a structure and crucial names are disambugation. E.g. French is a disambugation, were you can find all courses on the level of pre-school teaching, primary school, secondary, university and hole life studies together with projects and french for native speakers.--Juan 14:03, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Does a content directory designed by and for colleges/universities needlessly cause pre-college educators to not participate at Wikiversity? Why not provide several high-level portals so that Wikiversity can be more welcoming for participants who are not working at the university level? Why force someone in early education to search through a bloated college catalog to find materials for introductory reading, writing and math? --JWSchmidt 14:15, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Motto and slogan contests: discussion of outcomes

Today was the proposed end of round 6 of the motto contest. We need further discussion about implementation of the slogan and the meaning of the motto (in using "open" vs "free"). It is suggested that we take 10 more days to discuss this without implementing a round 7 (yet).

Feel free to add comments below and comments and support statements at Motto contest page.

I apologize for the detail crammed in the process talk in the next few paragraphs...

For the slogan, for which the selection process ended on May 2, we can consider a format correction or a grammar revision for "set learning free" to go with "welcome to wikiversity" at the top of the main page. Suggested options include a format adjustment (to separate the two sentences), "setting learning free," "to set learning free," "-- set learning free," and a variant, suggested on the last day or so of round 6, "where learning is free." (I like the last option but it is bit of a departure and would need significant support I think for use.)

For the motto, we can consider if "open learning community" [with 65% supporting among top 2 options (22 of 34 commenting on those 2 options)], instead of "free learning community" (with 12 supporting), conveys the meaning of this wiki education forum as being both free and open. One person suggested today, the proposed last day of the selection process, that "open" does convey the meaning of free, whereas others have commented that "open" does connote free and works nicely as a contrast with the use of "free" in the slogan. [Note: the 3rd motto option, which included "open" in "open education," only had 3 in support but 4 against.]


If, over another 10 days or so, until May 22nd, there is not much discussion here, on the Wikiversity_talk:Motto_contest page, or elsewhere in Wikiversity, as voluntary facilitator, I will likely propose this conclusion to this process:

  • use "set learning free" with a format adjustment at the top of main page, so that there are clearly two sentences. We can amplify the meaning of this on the mission statement and other related pages.
  • declare "(the) open learning community" the selected motto by virtue of a fairly strong majority in support with some reasonable arguments included. [Note: "The" was preferred over "an" by several folks. But, having no article may be necessary because of text length considerations in use with a logo.]

Comments? -- Reswik 16:00, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

That is a nice meaningful phrase but more people like the other ones. --Reswik 22:02, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
  • So, just to be clear, it would say "Wikiversity - set learning free"? "Wikiversity - the open learning community"? --HappyCamper 10:05, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

In terms of placement:

  • The motto "open learning community" would go under the Wikiversity logo on sister projects -- and wherever we might use the logo and wish to have the motto with it. An example is the first Wikiversity logo-name-motto design in the goals section of the motto contest page.
  • The selected slogan "set learning free" goes under "Welcome to Wikiversity" at the top of the main page, typeset so that there are clearly two sentences or revised grammatically to fit in one sentence. And, like the motto, we can also use this phrase elsewhere, such as in the mission statement and on introductory pages. --Reswik 22:02, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

The "-versity problem"

I think "open learning community" is a fine motto and I hate to say anything at this late date, but there has recently been some more discussion of what might be called "the -versity problem". There have always been some people who are worried that the name "wikiversity" might make some people think that the Wikiversity project is not intended for pre-college learning resources. For over a year I have ignored these qualms because we have always placed "for all age groups" in a prominent place on the Wikiversity Main Page. However, the point has been made that many people probably see the link to Wikiversity from the Wikipedia Main Page and they might assume that Wikiversity is some kind of online university, not a place with learning resources for all ages. This leads to a question: should the description that we place under the link to Wikiversity from the Wikipedia Main Page make it clear that Wikiversity is for all ages? Currently the "description" that is used is, "Free learning materials and activities" (38 characters), which is rather long (for example, the Meta-wiki description, "Wikimedia project coordination" is only 30 characters long). I'm wondering if we could use a modification of the motto for links to Wikiversity from sister projects, maybe something like:

  1. open learning community for all ages (36 characters), or
  2. open learning for all ages (26 characters)

These modified versions of the motto would make clear to potential Wikiversity visitors that Wikiversity is for all ages. --JWSchmidt 00:10, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I take the point, but I still think the project's definition should be kept to two or three words on sister projects, and then made as clearly and prominantly as possible on the (Wikiversity) Main Page. I think the two options you give there would be far better as slogans for the main page - I still think that "Wikiversity, set learning free" is a pretty awful slogan in terms of immediately welcoming someone to the project who wants to find out what the project is all about (in contrast to "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", which is as about as clear as you can get). I agree that the name "Wikiversity" is always going to cause confusion, but this means that the main page needs to be designed to include clear links for different people (which is why I think some sort of "pre-tertiary" portal, or set of portals, is a good idea), which in turn need to be designed to enable people find resources/spaces of interest to them as quickly as possible. But back to the main point, I think the motto needs to be snappy in the extreme - and I think that in this context the word "open" is a good one - in the sense of indicating more than just a conventional view of a (tertiary) university, and including a global community of learners. Cormaggio talk 22:46, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Cormaggio. "(The) open learning community" is good for sister projects and for use with the WV logo. However, given the issues that JW raises, I agree that something like "open learning for all ages" would be a better slogan to go at the top of the main page. We could submit JW's options for community comment. Shall we do that? --Reswik 23:52, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
We have ample opportunity to say that Wikiversity is for all ages once people reach this website. Many more people see the word "Wikiversity" in the form of a link from the sister projects and that is the place where we could productively say "learning for all ages" so people do not assume that Wikiversity is only a college-level project. If it has not been done already, you may also want to raise the issue of a Wikiversity tagline in the context of final discussions about the motto. --JWSchmidt 00:52, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
For use in taglines and on other projects, I think "for all ages" is too long a phrase to tack onto the main point, which is "open learning". For taglines and use with the logo, I think we need to go with the motto selected by the community: "(the) open learning community." For amplifying our message through the slogan at the top of the main page, I think there is more room for editorial adjustments as the mission unfolds -- it is part of a wikipage (even if the mainpage), hence more fluid and it has more space. A motto, for WV purposes, needs to be brief and fairly stable, and "open learning community" fits the bill there. Based on comments in the contest, there is a lot of support for this motto (and even more support when including the "free learning community" variant). I think it entails a bit too much work to consider, at this time, a significant revision to both the selected motto and slogan. After seven months of the community working on this, I think the motto result is very usable.
A bit of background: In round 5 of the contest, there were ties between the "set learning free" set of options (in both contests) and the motto selected (open learning community) and the slogan variants of "opening minds through open learning." An option in this process is to reconsider the reasoning at round 5 and consider if the argument for selecting "set learning free" for the slogan was valid. There was no easy way to break the tie. Since "set learning free" was tied in both contests it seemed reasonable to give it a place somewhere. The argument was that for a motto that "set learning free" simply could not work -- it was not a description of WV. The same argument by negation could be applied to the slogan part of the contest. But, this the leaves us with the "opening minds..." version then from round 5 to reconsider -- which has continued to receive support, even in round 6. Any new options that speak to new concerns probably need to be discussed by the community in comparison with the "opening minds..." option.
So, what to do? I think we may need a round 7 (or round 6B) for the slong contest: ask for input on "opening minds..." vs. "open learning for all ages." In a few days, I may propose that the slogan contest re-initiate with those options (with the phrase "set learning free" removed, due to criticism *and* new emergent concerns, and "set.." moved to some other explanitory role in WV hopefully). What do you think? --Reswik 03:08, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
By my count "Open learning for all ages" is the same length as the Wikibooks phrase "Free textbooks and manuals" and shorter than the Meta-wiki phrase "Wikimedia project coordination". "Wikiversity, (the/an) open learning community" is a little redundant. A wiki is a community, so you do not have to include "community" if you are combining "Wikiversity" with the motto for a sister project link. I have no problem with "set learning free" as the slogan. The slogan does not have to be a description or definition of the Wikiversity project. I view "open learning for all ages" as a reasonable variant of the motto for when the motto is used in combination with the name of the project ("Wikiversity, open learning for all ages") as for links from sister projects. I think the Wikiversity community could at this time constructively examine the concern that people might interpret the name "wikiversity" as being biased towards college-level education and that the motto variant "Wikiversity, open learning for all ages" could function to correct this problem and lead to more people actually visiting the Main Page. --JWSchmidt 04:48, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
JW, If you and some others wish to replace the results of the participation process with your preferences, then I guess you have the position to do that as a coordinator and common discussant here. Cormaggio thinks the slogan "set learning free" is awful (and I agree it ain't hot). You think the motto contest results don't work. (For what it's worth, it is a bit puzzling that you did not participate in the contest and now wish to replace its results.) I think it is a mistake for admins to overrule the general content of this process. But, I don't wish to debate this much - eithere we go with the results or not. If we aren't to use something closely resembling the end stage of the motto & slogan contest results ("open learning community" and "opening minds..." perhaps), my services are not needed as a voluntary facilitator of motto selection process. Btw, I think "for all ages" can't be true of a learning institution that is online -- there are various excluded age groups, at either extreme, and publics. So. If bypassing the contest results is going to be the case in whole or part, I'll leave this process in the hands of you and the other admins to discuss with whomever. I'll write up some sort of closure to the contest that points to discussions here, saying something like "due to criticisms and perceived problems with the contest, other options are being discussed... [link]." Take care, --Reswik 00:29, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I do not think you have to view my attempt to raise an issue for discussion as a "wish to replace the results of the participation process with your preferences". I've given voice to a concern that was first raised by others and I have not really voiced a preference; I've just tried to get a fair hearing for an issue. "You think the motto contest results don't work." <-- the first thing I said in this discussion was that I think "open learning community" is a fine motto. I've been lobbying for admittedly late discussion of an issue that as far as I can tell was not explicitly covered by the motto discussions so far. "puzzling that you did not participate in the contest and now wish to replace its results" <-- I've only tried to raise for community discussion an issue that I was recently sensitized to. I have no talent for creating names and mottos and I am satisfied to let others decide such things. I'm not sure it is constructive to adopt a narrow or literal reading of "for all ages" when the phrase is used in a motto. The Wikiversity project proposal used the phrase "all age groups" because while nobody ever seriously suggested that the project explicitly restrict its target audience to a particular age group, the name of the project can be read as suggesting a college-level project. --JWSchmidt 06:50, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • JW, I am glad that you are satisfied the results of the contest. Yes, some criticisms have been offered on all the options. But large groups of people have expressed approval of various of the results with certain options being clearly more favored. Taking a step back: We needn't wrap up the contest now. In considering issues with "set learning free," it is fair to raise the question if the Round 5 judgement call (of selecting between tied options for the slogan) should be revisited. In relation to other late in the game suggestions, it is fair to have another round of this process -- for refinements, alternate wordings, revisions, etc. In closing out this round of the contest (which we seem ready for), I think some issues in motto & slogan use can be raised for further consideration. For example, an alternate wording that was mentioned at the very end of the slogan contest was "where learning is free." To me, that seems powerful and fluid, whereas "set learning free" is a bit clunky in wording and the imperative seems too strongly worded. Putting on a facilitator hat, the use of "for all ages" is a resonable ammendment to suggest. I will raise that issue along with "where learning is free" and the round 5 tie-break issue as possible points for further discussion before and during a possible round 7. WV is still evolving and so can this motto process. I wonder if a few weeks of informal discussion (feeling out these options in another string (with a succinct summary of issues) might be in order now? Not sure. Anyway, I'm going to think now about if, how and when to propose a round 7 for choice between the round 6 selections and new (or late in the game) revisions and suggestions. --Reswik 03:23, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think this -versity is a significant problem at all. Content always speaks for itself, and collaborative content is driven by its end users. We just need to keep the door wide open so that a wide portfolio of educational materials can be put onto Wikiversity. The Wikiversity of today need not define the Wikiversity of tomorrow. The fact that there seems to be a bias towards "higher-education-like" materials now should not be surprising. Yes, it is as much influenced by the name "Wikiversity" as it is by the available pool of contributors. But what better group of users to lay the foundations for this site than people who are Wiki-savvy with high levels of education? Considering that we are debating and being concerned about this issue should give us some credence that we are on the right track. Wikipedia was not built overnight, and branding is subtle. The stated challenge is for us ("the community") to show to the world that "Wikiversity" is the place for online learning. It will be seen this way if this service is delivered, and if it means that it begins first with tertiary content, then so be it. I would not be surprised if we start seeing pages on important trade skills crop up later on as the word spreads. --HappyCamper 04:44, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
HappyCamper, thanks for input. There are various important values and purposes that inform Wikiversity: learning & teaching, shared effort and ongoing creative collaboration (wikiness), service, freedom, openness, inquiry, various types of inclusion & diversity (age, gender, cultural), etc. (not necessarily in that order of importance). (See Wikiversity:What_is_Wikiversity?) It is hard to express all of these values in one short phrase. A place to express WV's values more fully is in the mission statement. (See Wikiversity:Mission.) Now would be a good time to revisit the mission statement. I think at least another week discussion of motto & slogan issues is in order -- and this could be done in the light of the mission statement and What is Wikipedia? page and the evolving project definition. Then, after some discussion, I continue to think a round 7 of the motto/slogan process would be good for refinements. --Reswik 15:01, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I would welcome a reinvigoration of the slogan contest - I took a look back at the point at which the "set learning free" variants were selected, and it was not so conclusive (even though there was significant subsequent approval), and I particularly appreciate Doug's openness in this regard. As for the motto, I like the idea of making it clear from, say, the Wikipedia front page that this is a project for all ages - it's just I don't particularly like the proposed clunky phrasing. Is there another way? Cormaggio talk 15:22, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
"I don't think this -versity is a significant problem at all. Content always speaks for itself....We just need to keep the door wide open" <-- But is the "door wide open" if people see just the name "wikiversity" and assume that it is a college level project? If people assume "wikiversity" is not "for all ages" then they never even bother to come to the Main Page. I'm not sure how big this problem is, but do I know that if it is a problem, I am part of the problem....I have been willing to let our existing bias towards college-level material persist while telling myself that it is an issue that will resolve itself with time. If that true or will the bias and barriers to change just become more entrenched? Wikiversity content cannot "speak for itself" to people who never visit this website because the name of the project keeps them away. "the proposed clunky phrasing" <-- Part of the "-versity problem" may be that the educators who feel excluded from Wikiversity are not taking part in these discussions. Trying to deal with systemic bias is not easy. Right now all we have is people with the bias saying "I'm not bothered by this problem and the proposed solution does not please me".
"Openness and inclusiveness are ..... our radical means to our radical ends." (source)

--JWSchmidt 15:59, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Yikes! I hope you don't think I'm one of those people. They sound like people who shouldn't hang out here. It's important that we hammer things out, and I'm glad we're doing it now.
  • "Is the door wide open if people assume..." - My emphasis on if. Perhaps there is a sampling bias that I have, but every time I have mentioned "Wikiversity" to someone in real life, the response I get does not suggest that they immediately associate the project with a college level educational project. Random people on the street:
    1. Hey, have you heard of Wikiversity before?
    2. Um...no...what's that? Sounds like Wikipedia. A place where you learn stuff instead?
    3. Yeah, stuff.
    4. Useful stuff?
    5. Well, potentially anything really.
  • Conversations usually continue about what a Wiki is, how to edit, whether it's related to Wikipedia, et cetera. Now, to college educators:
    1. ...by the way, have you heard of Wikiversity before?
    2. Are you serious? First there's Wikipedia, and now there's Wikiversity? Is the free movement on the internet trying to take over education now?
  • Even for people who know what "university" is, but not what "Wikipedia" is, will invoke the ideals of a university when I mention Wikiversity. These people's faces light up, and you can see their imagination taking over. They are not held back by what a brick and mortar university is at all! It's also interesting to see what happens when you ask people from different occupations what "Wikiversity" means to them. Bottom line? I don't believe people fundamentally hold the assumption that Wikiversity is closed off just for university content. I do think we need to experiment more with the main page. --HappyCamper 22:33, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • It would be a simple bit of research to have some elementary school teachers look at the Main Page and then ask them if it seems welcoming to people who are interested in pre-college education. --JWSchmidt 14:51, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not an elementary teacher yet but hope to be by the end of next year. No, the front page of wikiversity does not seem to welcome pre-college curriculum. I searched the page for elementary, k-12, and early and found nothing on the page. That is why I stayed away from wikiversity for almost 1 year until I discovered that my stuff didn't belong in wikibooks and I was referred here. Some other ideas for slogans: Open Learning, Free for All (5 words/29 letters&spaces) In addition to your current list:
    • Set Learning Free (3 words/17 letters)
    • Opening Minds Through Open Learning (5 words/35 letters)
    • Open Learning for All Ages (5 words/26 Letters)
    • Where Learning is Free (4 words/22 letters)Harriska2 16:26, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Learning for Life (3 words, 15 letters) Una Smith 04:56, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Motto contest: continuing discussion

The introduction at the top of the motto contest page now reads:

"The motto contest has been extended for more discussion.
"A discussion string that summarizes issues is in the "Colloquium: Motto and slogan contests: discussion of outcomes" [note: this section]. Feel free to add comments there or to continue adding comments and support statements in the motto contest section."

Feel free to add points bellow, in the strings above, or on the Motto contest page. A new string in the colloquim summarizing the above will be created later. --Reswik 20:06, 26 May 2007 (UTC)