Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/May 2008

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Improved access to courses via the new main page.

Does it work?
How and when will we know the increased user access to lessons as a result of the new main page?
Show me the numbers
Are there comparative stats of the most popular course page accessed before and after the new main page for Wikiversity was installed? Robert Elliott 01:37, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Robert. Statistics for WV is a difficult thing. I've tried to get numbers from various sources in the past, but the scripts which extract the numbers from the database don't seem to work all that well. One thing I keep my eye on every now and again is http://www.alexa.org, although for smaller sites the reliability of Alexa is lower. An increased usage of Wikiversity will need more than just a snazzy main page - it will need a much more helpful infrastructure around the main page as well, such as loads of new and more helpful portals, tutorials, guides - i.e. a lot of things that are on the agenda but which I personally really haven't had time for yet.--McCormack 04:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

  • More about Alexa: Wikiversity is probably in the area where Alexa is "slightly reliable" (reliability increases with popularity), but short-term usage figures for Wikiversity are probably better explained by seasonal factors, such as the start and finish of university terms and public holidays (plus other external factors, such as prominence of links from Wikipedia). Things like a main page redesign, infrastructure overhaul or usability aids are more likely to have a long-term effect than a short-term one, so looking for a statistics jump at some point would probably be a mistake. --McCormack 04:52, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikiversity

How could we improve this page? -- Jtneill - Talk 15:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I suggest: (1) redirect Wikiversity and Topic:Wikiversity to Portal:Wikiversity; (2) redesign the portal, ensuring that the content of the other two pages gets in there somewhere (e.g. by restructuring the category tree and reforming Category:Wikiversity). Portal:Wikiversity should perhaps be a minor portal intended mainly for maintenance purposes - i.e. the place where the lid comes off Wikiversity and you can see inside its internal workings, especially the contents of the Wikiversity namespace. The user-friendly equivalents should be things like Help:contents, the main page and introductions/portals for specific user types such as teachers and students. --McCormack 05:44, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
At the top of Topic:Wikiversity it says (rather hopefully) "Welcome to the content development project where learning resources about Wikiversity are planned, organized and developed.", which is the kind of concept which I think the original author actually intended for the School namespace (i.e. School:Wikiversity). However this is actually what we are doing at Wikiversity:Vision 2009. So I suggest getting rid of the sentence just quoted, creating School:Wikiversity and then redirecting it to the latest Wikiversity Vision project. --McCormack 05:49, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
McCormack, I looked at these pages and like these ideas; there is much to do, huh? I also wondered about possible redirection to Wikiversity:What is Wikiversity?. That at least seems to be the link that we're giving out e.g., in the Wikipedia Signpost interview as the current first port of call other than the main page. Any thoughts about this? I am partly asking because I want to link both internally and externally to Wikiversity and I want that to go to a page which clearly explains WV. I also noticed that Wikiversity:About redirects to Wikiversity:FAQ and wasn't sure that it's a good redirect e.g., could we perhaps paste some content from the Signpost interview and develop this at Wikiversity and/or Wikiversity:About? Just some ideas, that's all. -- Jtneill - Talk 00:05, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, what's the story with Wikiversity:Welcome, newcomers and Wikiversity:FAQ - they look kind of similar? -- Jtneill - Talk 00:27, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Webcast Academy

JWSchmidt/Cormaggio directed us to this website to present this: Webcast Academy My name is James/Eurominuteman. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by 78.52.121.201 (talkcontribs) 06:52, 1 March 2008)

Welcome. Thank you. --Remi 09:04, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

High School Biology

I've created the learning project High School Biology and am looking for more people to help. I am working on a Wikibook b:FHSST_Biology for the project and have developed a lesson (under Course in the project). I'd appreciate feedback as I'm new and I want to make sure this is going in the right direction. I'm also hoping to stir up a little interest in the project so others will contribute. Thank you for taking interest. Feel free to write here or on my wall.

Sincerely,

Wesley Gray 14:55, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Hello Wesley, welcome on board. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:31, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Very nicely done! I wasn't even aware WV offers such graphical options. But let me ask you this: Are you going to write down all biology necessary for high school students ? Everything is already written in text books, why rewrite it ? EugenSpierer 07:48, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know of a free textbook online that people can read. If there isn't one, then there needs to be. This will allow people without the resources to get a specific textbook to learn biology. The other problem is that not everyone has the same textbook. Lesson summaries don't do much good if everyone is reading something different, and putting a whole lesson in (not just a summary) would be just as much work as writing a (concise) textbook. If you do however, know of any free, (mostly) complete biology textbooks, please send me a link. Wesley Gray 12:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Well-known books are all over the world and for those living in remote places who don't have access to a major library, could order a book. I think the quailty of a book or a couple of books should be more important than the accessibility.--Daanschr 12:39, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Don't take this fact for granted. Very few people I know, including myself, can afford to order textbooks. EugenSpierer 08:16, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
What books would people recommend for this project? If not, I think it might be best to compile text from existing Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Wikiversity pages. If we do this, we can focus on editing, and make a high-quality, accessible book. Remember, this is a learning project for high school students (or those who want a basic introduction to biology), so a recommended text shouldn't be too advanced. Thoughts? Wesley Gray 12:47, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Wesley! You are most welcome here! I am also very interested in biology, but haven't got enough time to contribute as much. I hope it will be better in the future. For now, browse my external link collection, maybe you can find some useful stuff. Feel free to add your links :). --Gbaor 10:15, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

What I'm wondering is if we should base lessons off a bunch of different sources or try and write the wikibook? Thoughts? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wesley Gray (talkcontribs) 14:05, 10 May 2008)

20000th wikiversiter

Wikiversity have had our 20000th registered participant (template talk:wikiversity statistics / special:statistics).Hillgentleman|Talk

Yippie. Welcome around here User:Sniff wilson (userID 20001) + User:Javaid nit (userID 20000). Hope there will come many more. So, what does one user get from WV then - what prize could be given ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:46, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
We could give them a Barnstar for reaching the 20000th registered participant list. Terra 17:56, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
invisible barnstar
Since we have not seen the user aside from the user creation log... --Remi 20:10, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps they are diligently working their way through a course or two? Jonathan Webley 13:32, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, let's ask them on their talk page (unfortunately both have no email activated :-( ), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:36, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
This could be. --Remi 06:20, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikiversity:Random

I had an idea for a page would provide various links to 'random' pages. What do you think? What can you add? -- Jtneill - Talk 15:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Do you intend to replace the link in the navigation bar with that ?
Added random link image + portal, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:52, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks good. I made it more compact so it could be used like a template:

The page below is a snapshot of a random selection from Wikiversity's current projects. Visit the real project page here.

This is co-operative research work on a learning project for in-service technological training of teachers.

This page contains the 10 page version of the cut-down 6 page version accepted for the real conference, SITE 2007. This is V0.34 --146.141.15.223 06:57, 15 December 2006 (UTC)--Ian Kennedy 05:46, 12 December 2006 (UTC)



One Laptop Per Teacher: Content and Curriculum for (in-service) Teacher Training



Ian Kennedy PhD PrEng *, Delia Pass Ed.D.**, Roxan Cadir***

  • *University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • ** Rutherford County Schools, USA
  • *** University Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique

Abstract

The economy depends on education. A major problem exists with the quality of education in developing countries. The major problem lies in teacher education. ICT can provide an answer in delivering on-site education to teachers, but requires overcoming teacher resistance. One promising medium is the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) when used by the teacher, and which is here called the One Laptop Per Teacher (OLPT). This paper proposes structure and content for in-service training of teachers in the use of OLPC, using the OLPT. The operation of the OLPC works with activities being the central concept; this is contrary to the MS Windows approach, where applications are the central concept. This and other differences must be conveyed to tutors, teachers and pupils. A key point with the OLPC is for pupils to build each other up by co-operating and collaborating using the mesh networking facilities built into the OLPC. So too, a key point is for teachers to build each other up by co-operating and collaborating using the Internet. The curriculum for the child is envisaged to be provided from three sources: the international teaching community co-op; the national and cultural norms of the country; the parochial quirks of the local community and environment. So too the curriculum for teaching teachers technology is provided from the same three sources. The paper concludes by pointing out that unless teachers (and their tutors!) become lifelong learners and embrace technology, their pupils will not. So the problem is really one of encouraging tutors of teachers to adapt to and adopt technology. It is recommended that a suitable phased introduction could follow the ARCS model: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. Towards this end, Wikiversity was used as the repository to keep the current master copy of material prepared by the community for the course (here called a Learning Project) for in-service teachers.

Keywords: in-service teacher's training, professional development, Learning Project, Learning Group

Introduction

It is 2007. The moment has come in a rural school in Nigeria. The teacher whom the children call Fat Fingers (for she does have very fat fingers) has told the class of 39 they can now open their packages. As each member of the class receives one laptop per child (OLPC), the teacher keeps back the 40th laptop for herself.

She experiences the excitement that her children experience as they open the packaging and try to solve the puzzle of how to open the latches to part the screen from the keyboard. But, she also experiences trepidation. Will she cope? Will her fingers manage to operate the keyboard with the smaller-than-usual pitch? Will the children still respect her now that she is no longer the source of all knowledge? What extra knowledge should she possess to help her pupils? Does this mean more work?

This paper addresses the problem of introducing teachers to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). How can we best prepare tomorrow's teachers to use tomorrow's (2007's) technology?

Learning Projects in Learning Groups in an E-Learning Community

In the Wikiversity, Learning Projects are the equivalent of what traditional universities call "courses" or "units". Learning Projects are relevant to achieving the particular goals of a Learning Group. A learning project is a means for members of a Learning Group to advance their professional development through systematically following organized learning activities based around a key work-related theme. A learning project is over an extended period, and it is a considered, concerted, conscientious endeavour to master the material. It is composed of a course of closely related endeavours to help the individuals to master the material. A learning project is effectively a themed container for lessons. In scope it might require about eight hours of work spread over half a year.

In our context, a Learning Group is a group of in-service teachers who communicate and collaborate to form a virtual group for the purpose of professional peer education. The goal of joining a Learning Group is to help teachers to achieve their goals and objectives and to help them in learning to live in this world that is changing so rapidly. The Learning Group typically meets on-line every week and the Learning Group provides teachers with an opportunity for mutual support and challenge.

It is the reminder that they are not alone in their endeavours to advance professionally. In the lonely night as each teacher studies, with the room lit only by the light of the OLPT screen, each teacher can be comforted by the thought of that self-same light lighting up countless similar rooms.

Wikiversity is one example of a Learning Community. A learning community is a group of people and hopefuly at least one educator who are motivated by common vision and volition, and who for a period are engaged in the pursuit of acquiring knowledge, abilities, and changing attitudes. A learning community is characterized by active teaching and learning, collaboration, belonging, shared decision making, and a strong sense of democratic participation. According to Wikiversity itself, in the policy proposal document What_Wikiversity_is_not, Wikiversity "is a university in the sense of a transnational community of teachers, learners, and researchers ... dedicated to lifelong learning."

In-service learning projects for teachers

In our case, the group is composed of in-service teachers, and their goal is to learn how to introduce OLPCs into the class and make the best use of them. (We avoid the use of the word classroom, as the class may be held under "the tree". (See Figure 1.)

The in-service teachers are supported by material provided under the learning project [[[Collaborate_and_Create_In-service]]], and as part of preparing this paper, the authors have created a framework for the material that will be provided in the learning group collaborative [[[Collaborate_and_Create_In-service]]]. The repository has been called "Collaborate and Create In-Service", and this Learning Project Learning_project is located at Wikiversity. This measure provides free hosting, and enables the worldwide community to contribute to the learning project.

Review of Teacher Training Literature

This section dips into history to establish precedents and parallels from which we can learn.

An initial warning

Ehrmann (ca 1991) [1] warns us of the importance of asking the right questions. "It takes just as much effort to answer a useless question as a useful one." So we take care to pose a useful question. Our useful question is: How does the introduction of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) impact on the way we teach teachers?

A good basic approach

Chickering & Ehrmann (1996) [2]speak about higher education. We are interested in developing the teacher as a professional.

For the school environment, we paraphrase them.

A Good Practice will:

  1. Encourage contacts between children and teachers
  2. Develop reciprocity and cooperation among children
  3. Use active learning techniques
  4. Give prompt feedback
  5. Emphasize time on task
  6. Communicate high expectations
  7. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

We believe that teaching with the OLPC can follow these practices and that learning with the OLPT should also follow these practices.

Ehman et al. (2002) believe: "Important factors include classroom-based curriculum projects, teacher choice, systematic reflection on practice, reports by teachers of their work to other professionals, and impact by teachers on others in their schools." Surely today these are still valid factors in ensuring the success of in-service training of teachers in technology?

The authors Moursund, D and Bielefeldt, T. (1999) ask," Will new teachers be prepared to teach in a digital age?" http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2/content_storage_01/0000000b/80/11/5a/3c.pdf

Most institutions had IT available in K-12 classrooms for student teaching, but IT was not used routinely during field experiences. With the OLPC, this changes things completely, as the OLPC is highly portable. It is designed to be lightweight, small, robust, rugged with a long battery life. Thus it is eminently suitable for field expeditions. By the same token, the OLPT is ideal for the teacher to take home, to school and into the field. For example, the teacher can use it to gather photographs of the neighbourhood of the teacher for inclusion in the local lesson plan.

The vision has come to pass

The major prophet in the field is the visionary Papert (1993), whose wonderful vision for the one computer per one child ratio is translated on the project by his colleague Nicholas Negroponte, the creator and mentor of the [OLPC initiative http://www.laptop.org/] which is only coming true and being vindicated as this paper is being written: [Papert (1993) The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer. New York, NY: BasicBooks,] In this book, Papert looked back over a decade during which American schools acquired more than three million computers and assessed the progress and resistance to progress. He was able to give stories about visionary teachers who had used computers to enrich learning which provided a glimpse of their potential, but the school as an institution resisted. The school only regarded Technology as an add-on to a preconceived system of education. His book was particularly critical of the schools' way of isolating the computer in a separate room where computer literacy becomes just another subject, or computer-aided instruction was used as a new technology for teaching the same old curriculum. In his proposed vision, the computer will be as much part of all learning as the pencil and the book were in the past.

With the new OLPC, children will now master areas of knowledge that were inaccessible. Self-directed work will allow children to adopt an unprecedented diversity of learning styles and there is now the opportunity for pupils to learn to take charge of their own learning.

So too, the OLPT provides a heaven-sent opportunity for teachers to follow their own learning styles and to seize the opportunity to take charge of their own learning.

Further information on the topic of teacher training in technology

Further information on the topic of teacher training in technology is easily accessible from Google's Scholar by feeding it the three keywords. [3] and from ERIC: [[4]]

A key author in the field is Brush (2003) [[5]], who identified problem areas as being in pre-service and in-service training as well as at teacher's education colleges where the tutors taught without exemplary technological practice. Pre-service practicals by teachers present a good opportunity for intervention, but affect only the fresh intake.

The OLPC

Although pupils might use mainly Microsoft products in the commercial world, we are not a technical training school for commerce. The whole idea is to make an OLPC that "pays nobody no royalties and nobody no profit-margins" to make it affordable. A "WIntel" machine will cost $400, meaning that we would instead have to share one "WIntel" laptop among 4 children. Initially, the OLPC project is aimed at rural communities in less affluent countries. (Each participating country can only participate if they agree to buy a minimum of 1 million OLPCs). Obviously urban shack-dwellers and rural private schools do exist, but as the OLPC project does not concentrate on these, we just mention them in passing. We do realize that there should be benefits of this study to teachers in these circumstances, because teachers there can tap into the same international resources. We assume that we do want to teach teachers how to use the technology e.g., the hardware, the software such as the operating system, the networking and multi-media facilities (possibly with some face-to-face lectures?). We propound therefore the need to develop a generic course. The course will be online and be downloadable or can be put onto an SD card and carried around.

We realize in the big picture that material for the child / teacher can be categorized into three segments: what is an unquestionable international common core of knowledge; the national and cultural aspects that are peculiar to each country; the parochial peculiarities of each local community. The curriculum for the child is envisaged to be provided from three associated sources: the co-operative effort of the international teaching community; the national and cultural repositories of the country; the parochial quirks of the local community and local environment. So too, the curriculum for teaching teachers about technology is provided from the same three sources.

Delimitations of this work

This paper prepares the framework for a course, but deliberately stops short of completing this course and steps back so that the community can step in. The benefit of this work is that it lays the foundations for teachers to be taught the technology to enable them to use this technology to teach any subject in any area of learning.

This includes:

  • How to find data on the Web
  • How to download data
  • How to communicate with other teachers (e.g. by Voice over IP, E-mail)
  • How to present data (e.g. using freeware substitute programs for Microsoft Word / Excel / Powerpoint)


We have made the following deliberate delimitations in order to limit the ambit of this work:

  • The material we consider will be material for the training of qualified teachers (i.e. it covers in-service training only). We realize that the number of qualified teachers is different in developed, developing and under-developed countries.
  • We have concentrated on in-service training of teachers to give our paper focus, but realize that there should be benefits of this study to teachers on campus, because students there can tap into the same international resources.
  • A obvious corollary in order to make any progress is that we have to make the following assumptions: We assume the target teachers already have acquired the required knowledge about learning theory etc. and that they can actually teach.

Method

This section analyses and catalogues teaching plans with a view towards inclusion in in-service teacher technology training, analyses the wants and needs of in-service teachers, and then proposes the OLPC be populated with learning projects for the in-service teacher to use, and prepares a framework for such training tomorrow's teachers in tomorrow's technology.

An analysis and cataloguing of in-service teacher technology training

A Web search has revealed a wealth of teaching plans that are available (even for teaching the teacher!). So one contribution of the paper is to map out their existence and prepare a meta-analysis of their structure and fields.

A key point is that we need to get the teacher actively involved successively through: 
1. Using stock lesson plans
2. Learning from this what goes into a lesson plan
3. Modifying someone else's lesson plan
4. Researching, Preparing, Testing and Debugging the teacher's own lesson plan
5. Contributing it to the community.


An important early lesson plan is a lesson plan in making lesson plans! Other lesson plans of importance include:

  • Teacher's guide to the OLPC (self-study)
  • Child's guide to the OLPC
  • Photography
  • Audio recording
  • If you have one, give one (lesson plan); If you need one, take two hundred.

Repeatedly using the 80:20 principle to identify the major problem in teacher training

Using the 80:20 principle, we reason that since the majority of teachers are already in the system, and the majority are reluctant, the focus of integrating interventions should be aimed at this target group. As they may be over-worked, fully occupied, part-time workers or disinterested, it necessary to get the interventions out to the in-service teachers. Because of limitations in resources, digital delivery seems to be mandated.

Case study: The problem on-the-ground in Mozambique

This sub-section gives a shocking summary of the extreme numbers and the situation on the ground in a specimen country, Mozambique. It is based on work done by Cadir (2006). Primary education schools have the largest enrolment. Primary school teachers are formally trained after a minimum formal education, completed in specialized centres located in a few main places in the country. After this formal training the teachers are left alone completely at their appointed locations with no further training. Re-training or even a complementary training of the teachers represents a huge financial burden to the ministry of education and is unsustainable for the current state of the economy. The effect of the financial burden can be seen in Figure 1 and Figure 2, which present extreme conditions of classes and classrooms. Classes are dogged by large enrolment numbers, multiple sessions, part-time and inadequately trained teachers, and inadequate classrooms.


Figure 1: Teaching in a crowded, non-conventionally built classroom in Cabo-Delgado province of Mozambique

During the turbulent war (which ended in 1992), more than half of the schools were destroyed. Even with substantial efforts by the government to build new schools and provide education to all members of the population, there are still many children studying under very poor conditions or even under a tree as shown in Figure 2.


UnderTheTree.jpg

Figure 2: A teacher teaching his class in Mozambique under the tree (no classroom)

Most of the schools lacks on resources like water and electricity. The problem is worse in rural areas, as can be seen in the figure, where the students have to attend classes under a tree. The water supply to the school is considered vital input for the welfare of pupils and teachers. In one of the most populated provinces of Mozambique, viz. Zambezia, the water is supplied only to 13% of the existing schools. The student / teacher ratio reaches stunning values in average of 69 for rural areas and 57 in urban areas.

Electricity is of great importance for the efficient resource operation of a school. Often night shift classes reuse existing classrooms and teachers. In Zambezia province, the percentage of schools with a supply of electricity is only 6%, and almost one fifth of those with electricity have a solar panel as the source of electricity. Therefore, any training strategy to be adopted for teachers in rural areas should take these vital factors into account.

The automatic assumption that Web access will be available to every child is as flawed as are the assumptions of solid classroom walls, running water and a stable electricity supply.

Field research has shown that there are some distance training methods which covers certain parts of the country but these are limited to printed materials, which are delivered to the schools. Once a year a group of examiners go to the schools to evaluate the learning progress. Rarely have other technologies such CDs, radio, or video tapes been used. Since IT and computer education programs have been slowly introduced into teachers training institutions and a project initiated to connect all schools nationwide to the Internet and e-learning programs, there seems to be a promise for providing continuous training for in-service teachers. Widespread deployment of ICT is seen as the only solution to rapidly improve the quality of education and related outcomes.

What teachers want and need today in in-service technology training

It is not enough to simply provide student access to technology in schools. Instead, a quality-learning environment in which these technologies are used must be implemented, and this environment must begin with the teachers. Involving the teacher from the beginning helps the teacher to "buy-in" to the concept.

Thus it is important to investigate what teachers want in technology training, as plans to integrate technology for learning often fail (Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001)[1]. Teachers want resources to integrate technology into the classroom that are easy to use and readily accessible. Training should be on-site with continuing support by experts and training must not be complicated or time consuming to develop and implement. These wants are at odds with the provision of teacher training using pure distance education.

To be successful, continuing teacher professional development to integrate technology need best-practices that will promote teacher self-efficacy and positive attitudes about computers, collaborative learning, and building proficiency in technology through hands-on experience. Empirical studies have demonstrated that employing these activities does encourage technology integration. So many school reform initiatives actively involve teachers in the design, cooperative planning of student lessons, and provide sustained support to ensure that the changes become part of teachers’ daily routines. (Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001)[2]. These needs are not at odds with the provision of teacher training using pure distance education.

A study by Mills and Tincher (2003) addresses the needs for provision of technology professional development activities which focus on instructional strategies and methods to integrate technology into student learning rather than on activities to increase skills in using computer hardware and software applications. We must not train operators, but must train students to be users of technology. Their study found that integration skills must be embedded in the operations training and demonstrated that the characteristics delineating differences among the teachers were more sharply defined by those who were novice users than those who were facilitators and integrators of classroom technology. The study showed that teachers were progressing toward expertise in technology integration knowledge and skills (Mills & Tincher, 2003), and concluded that through the establishment of a well-defined set of pedagogical standards and indicators, higher levels of technology integration in classrooms can be identified and achieved. The lesson to us is that clear standards are essential. When teachers know how to use and actually do use technology, the potential for student learning is increased. The author's recommend further research to examine how teachers develop expert teaching practices with technology in ways which encourage the integrating use of technology by students. The time is now just right to start research into how the OLPC becomes integrated by the children into their learning activities.

Proposing One Laptop Per Teacher as a solution

The One Laptop Per Teacher (OLPT) is an OLPC additionally loaded with content for teaching the teacher how to teach with the OLPC. Since it is functionally like the OLPC, it provides an ideal means for the teacher to learn how to teach children to use the OPLC. The OLPT is not an alternative to a whole classroom of OLPCs, but a simultaneously delivered adjunct to them.

If the teacher can discover that the OLPT can help the teacher with administration, this might be enough motivation for the teacher to investigate other ways to use the OLPT. As the smallest example, it can be used to record the attendance and grades of the children. In the bigger picture, the OLPT can be used to download fresh HTML, PNG, Audio, MPEG clips and associated driving computer programs via wi-fi to the OLPCs on a daily, weekly, term or annual or on an ad hoc basis as appropriate. (It is a happy accident that the mesh network that interconnects the OLPCs uses a protocol that is known as an ad hoc networking protocol.)

The OLPC (and by extension the OLPT, is an "eBook" and an "encyclopedia". The OLPT is a "tape-recorder", "music player", "story teller", "camera", "video recorder", "video player", "mirror", "typewriter", "word-processor", "typesetter", "game console", "drawing board", "notebook", "diary", "calendar", "clock", "calculator", "collaborator", "class and mark register", "communicator", "educator". It is obviously not just an attendance register.

Lessons, homework, assignments and school newsletters and school reports are downloaded from the OLPT to the OLPCs. In the reverse direction, the OLPCs upload the completed homework and assignments to the OLPT, leading to a virtual paperless administration.

Of all the OLPCs, only the OLPTs are likely to have all three USB ports used simultaneously, e.g. flash key-disk, printer, and modem. Physically then, the only requirement to turn an OLPC into an OLPT is to augment its memory with a flash-memory key-disk. The next most important peripheral developed for the OLPT will be the low-cost USB data projector, as the laptop purposely does not have VGA port.

In general, the targeted children are from developing countries or part of rural and poor communities. They will not have dial-up or any other Web access from home, but may be lucky to have the ability to download from the Web via the OLPT at school. The OLPC has 1/2 Gigabyte of flash memory and will sometimes be networked to the Web at school, from where downloads can be made. Not all of the 1/2 Gigabyte of flash memory will be available for "user data", because the start-up program, operating and filing system, and programs such as the browser, compression software and the ad hoc networking software will all need part of the memory budget to make a functional computer.

Syllabus, Content and Learning Material for training tomorrow's teachers in tomorrow's technology

This sub-section prepares a framework for delivering distance education about the OLPC through the medium of the OLPT. This work stops short of providing the entire content, as we believe that this should be accomplished through teacher collaboration as part of the Learning Project. The interventions are envisaged to be delivered in the wrapping of a Learning Project. The framework for Learning materials is made up of the following components:

  • Study plan
  • Study guide
  • Study timetable
  • Links to Lessons
  • Assessment (Successful uploading of an original Lesson Plan to Wikiversity)

The study plan and study guide will consist of lessons provided to OLPT participants in a usable format depending on location and immediate resources. A timetable for developing and implementing lessons based upon the individual teaching curriculum of teachers who are involved in the project will be outlined in a distance learning format. On-line resources will contain information for the development and dissemination of completed lessons to share with other teachers and for student access (when Internet is available). This on-line resource may be updated to users who do not have Internet access on a timely basis.

Professional development websites created for teachers to use as resources for developing technology-rich lessons may be shared among the teaching community.

For example, the grade level section posted on The Learning Page disseminates teacher-created lessons using Internet resources that are of a reasonable length for students K-5:

Teacher created grade level lessons:
http://www.cge.rcs.k12.tn.us/TLP/grade_levels.htm  [6]

The Collaborate and Create website is a resource for teachers to use to learn to develop lessons based on their specific curriculum using Internet resources as a source of information. The Collaborate and Create website focuses on blended learning by providing a resource for teachers aligned with a hands-on in-service training within our school, but this information may be accessed by teachers for on-line learning and training purposes.

Teacher Resource website:
http://www.cge.rcs.k12.tn.us/CollaborateCreate.htm  [7]

The Learning Page website is a student resource of themes and lessons developed by teachers in a collaborative process that includes a hands-on in-service and access to the on-line resource website, Collaborate and Create. The teacher-created student lessons are disseminated through e-mail, but has the potential to be developed and maintained as an on-line distance learning resource.

Student resource The Learning Page website:
http://www.cge.rcs.k12.tn.us/TLP/index.htm [8]

The Learning Project will contain a framework that includes an outline for developing technology-rich lessons for teachers to access with students online. This project, Collaborate and Create, will be a resource for teachers to learn how to develop and implement computer technology lessons with their students, and will include examples, lessons, and Internet resources.

This learning project, Collaborate and Create, is in the developmental stages, beginning with an outline for learning. Collaborate and Create In-service

  • Downloadable key references
  • Annotated Bookmarks
    • e.g. Major lesson plan sites, here arbitrarily arranged according to the length of the URL:

Conclusion

A revolution in teaching the child requires a revolution in the way teachers learn and that in turn requires a revolution in the way that tutors teach teachers. Involving the teacher from the beginning is a must as it helps the teacher to "buy-in" to the concept.

A Web search has revealed a wealth of teaching plans that are available (even for teaching the teacher). One contribution of this paper was that it mapped out the existence of the teaching plans and prepared a meta-analysis of their structure and fields. Specimens of teaching plans and their URLs have been noted. A key point is that we need to get the teacher actively involved successively through a staged process which ends with the teacher contributing to the community.

So an important early lesson plan is a lesson plan in making lesson plans. This paper has recommended in the body, other lesson plans of importance.

Recommendations

Further work should be undertaken to populate the OLPT with course material for the teacher to use learn. It is recommended that a suitable phased introduction could follow the ARCS model: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. This paper is also a call for participation in populating the framework we have proposed and set up at Wikiversity OLPT Materials put there can be roughly translated from English by Altavista's Babelfish or Google's Translate services, but need polishing by native speakers before use by speakers of other languages.

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to recognise useful early discussions with Mary Metcalfe, Gavin Marchant and Rex Van Olst. Thank you.

References

  • Brush T. et al. (2003) Integrating Technology in a Field-Based Teacher Training Program: The PT3@ASU Project. Educational Technology Research and Development, 51(1)57-73. [18]
  • Cadir, R. A., (2006) An e-learning model for nationwide primary school teachers' continuous training in Mozambique. MSc. Diss., The University of Liverpool. (Submitted).
  • Chickering, A. & Ehrmann, S.C., (1996) Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever, AAHE Bulletin, October, 3-6. [19]
  • Cuban, L., Kirkpatrick, H., & Peck, C. (2001) High access and low use of technologies in high school classrooms: Explaining an apparent paradox. American Educational Research Journal, 38(4), 813-834. [20]
  • Erhmann, S.C.(ca 1991) Asking the Right Question: What Does Research Tell Us About Technology and Higher Learning? [21]
  • Ehman (stet), L., Bonk, C., Keller, J., & Lynch, L. Y. (2002) A model of teacher professional development to support technology integration. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. [22]
  • Mills, S. C., & Tincher, R. C. (2003) Be the technology: a developmental model for evaluating technology integration. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 35(3), 382-410.


Possible additional references

  • Self-citations to authors' relevant supporting works e.g.:

Pass, D. (2006). Collaborate and Create: Computer Technology Integration in the Elementary Classroom. In T. Reeves & S. Yamashita (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2006 2292-2299. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

OLPC (and therefore OLPT) Design philosophy references

Activity basis, not Apps [24]

OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/Core Ideas: [25]

OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/Activities: [26]

Ubuntu: [27]

Sugar, the core of the OLPC Human Interface: [28]

Books

Jamie McKenzie, How Teachers Learn Technology Best. [29]


References

  1. CUBAN
  2. CUBAN
Wikipedia-logo.png Search for Colloquium/archives/May 2008 on Wikipedia.
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--darkYin yang.svglama 19:11, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I like all the changes; I didn't have any particular ambitions for the page, but yes it was partly in response to there being limited random links which can be provided in the sidebar; yet random pages can be a useful and interesting way of 'touring' Wikiversity. I'd be interested to know if its possible to create random selection from multiple namespaces? -- Jtneill - Talk 01:57, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
You can mimic it: which namespace will I goto?. --darkYin yang.svglama 02:37, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Whose idea was the random redirect (i.e. Special/RandomRedirect)?!! I have an idea for this: find the user who creates the most redirects, and redirect their user page to Special/RandomRedirect. --McCormack 06:00, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Anyone who doesn't quite undestand darklama's post: he's using a parser function with a pseudo-random switch between three built-in random namespace-specific functions - i.e. topic, portal and school. Code follows. --McCormack 06:00, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
[[Special:Random/{{#switch:{{#expr:{{CURRENTTIMESTAMP}} mod 3}}|0=Topic|1=Portal|2=School}}|which namespace will I goto?]]
A step better would be to proportion these according to the perceived usefulness of the namespace. e.g. one could cause the School namespace to appear less often than the others like this. --McCormack 06:00, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
[[Special:Random/{{#switch:{{#expr:{{CURRENTTIMESTAMP}} mod 6}}|0=Topic|1=Portal|2=School|3=Topic|4=Portal|5=Topic}}|which namespace will I goto?]]
Thanks for the example DarkLama and explanation McCormack - that helped a few little lights go off in a dark corner of my brain - aha! Interesting....
... Now what do you think about this Extension:RandomSelection, as a possible way to bring more ways to say display a random gallery of specifically-tagged images or randoms tips, etc. with a learning project page. I realise McCormack's efforts on the Educational Pictures page is a very useful resource; but its a big project. I'm thinking here more towards having some simple ways to help make learning projects more 'dynamic'. I am also interested perhaps down the track in the idea of randomly generated quizzes. What are your thoughts about playing with this on the sandbox server? -- Jtneill - Talk 14:01, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
The basic problem is: selected content = high quality; random content = low quality. A random link in the sidebar is a piece of fun. For major pages, we need selected content. In other words, the "today's featured project", which currently has 7 members, needs extending substantially, but only with selected content. --McCormack 14:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I re-created it as a template, so it could be used also on userpages {{Random}}. Edit> Ooops, duplicate --Gbaor 07:27, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I think Erkan deleted it Gbaor because it can be transcluded from the Wikiversity: namespace? -- Jtneill - Talk 14:01, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
It was deleted, because Gbaor put a deletion template on it: {{delete|duplicate of the template ''Wikiversity:Random''}} and no other page except Colloquium referenced it. If it should be restored, please communicate. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:47, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
It was the same as Wikiversity:Random, in case one writes it like {{Wikiversity:Random}} so I used this version on my user page, and marked my template to be speedy deleted. No need for duplicate entries :) --Gbaor 16:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

New welcome template proposal

I have made two little changes in the current {{Welcome}} template, and now I want to suggest its' use as a default one to welcome new users (after renaming of course).
Advantages of {{Welcome proposal}}: (1) No need for "subst:" any more (2) future changes in the welcome template will be visible also on talk pages of users welcomed earlier. --Gbaor 11:27, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Alternative 2: Make the same changes in the current welcome template, and update its' usage. --Gbaor 12:17, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I've tried {{Welcome proposal}} in preview, it seems fine but the only thing which I'm concerned about is where your name appears. Would it be possible to change your name on the template to ~~~~ so that users who uses the template will have there username appearing similar to the standard welcoming templates. Terra 18:39, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
The four tildes must be converted. You need to add it yourself. I can't see how we can make it simpler than {{subst:W}}.Hillgentleman|Talk 00:56, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Gbaor, can you explain how the 'not using subst' works? What if one wanted to transclude without substituting, how would this be done? e.g., I think its used in this way, here Wikiversity (but probably not for much longer). -- Jtneill - Talk 23:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Jtneill, You may look at meta:help:substitution.Hillgentleman|Talk 00:56, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Gbaor, First thing first, why do you want future changes in the welcome template be effective on the old welcomes? One key reason for substitution is to fix the content so that, for example, if people come back from a long wikibreak, they wouldn't be confused. Hillgentleman|Talk 00:51, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, I fixed the username thing, now it works like this> {{Welcome proposal|Gbaor}}. It is now more like the previous "subst version". But it still has the advantage of "future changes".
More about displaying future changes in the earlier welcomes: The welcome template is already changed, since I made this proposal. But on our talk pages there is the same-good-old-version. Also in the future there could be a major change which helps also to new and old users. Is there a more simple way to tell everybody (also to users, who don't visit colloquium regularly) about this change? I think it could help also to old users to orient them selfs in new features and possibilities on WV after a longer wikibreak. --Gbaor 10:06, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Wait. The time stamp on template:welcome proposal is wrong. The ~~~~ must be converted.
Most communities I know, e.g. English wikipedia, Chinese Wikipedia, Meta, etc, prefer substitution, but some people still prefer transclusion. People have discussed it before (see, e.g. w:WP:SUBST), and we may still discuss this. One problem with transclusion is that, you would create a huge job queue for the server whenever you change the template (but that is developers' business, of course). The other problem is that, if you look at the page history of the user talk page, you still only see the latest version of the template and not the archived version of the template. And that would be misleading. Or I may miss an old link which was removed in a revision of the welcome template. Another point for substitution is that the transclusion mechanism {{welcome}} hides the actual wikitext and doesn't help the newcomer hit the ground running. Traditionally wikiversiters use substitution, but there are pros and cons for both. Since it is problematic to use the same template to support substitution and transclusion, we may fork it into a subst version and a transcluded version, let everybody use the one she likes, and sync them from time to time - they need not be exactly the same after all - and each maintained by whoever uses it. Hillgentleman|Talk 12:02, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
And to help old users come back from a long wikibreak, we may as well send a new welcome message. That would feel warmer in the heart. Hillgentleman|Talk 12:11, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Time stamp removed... As you said, there are pros and cons for both alternatives. It all makes sense, as well as my alternative (I hope :). But this is only a proposal, an option. It could be accepted or rejected, all depends on the will of the community. --Gbaor 14:28, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

One concern I'd raise with a transclusion approach to welcoming is the just demonstrated incidence in which a vandal inserts a 'pornographic' image into the welcome template. -- Jtneill - Talk 14:38, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Category capitalisation?

What is more correct/preferred? Category:Political Science or Category:Political science? -- Jtneill - Talk 06:41, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I believe Category:Political science would be correct. I do not know if we have guidlines for it specifically, but we do have similar guidlines for article names. It seems categories could be looked at as special articles in the category namespace, and therefore, similar naming would be applied. And also, it is my understanding that on Wikipedia Category:Political science would be correct. Additionally, keeping them lowercase makes it easier to automatically link to them using various magic words in templates and what not. --Remi 06:47, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
We have Wikiversity:Naming conventions#Word casing. --JWSchmidt 07:02, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

School and university projects

I draw your attention to an interesting article in the latest Wikipedia Signpost about Educational content on Wikipedia. I think it provides much for us to discuss. In particular, we might consider how we could work collaboratively with Wikipedia's School and university projects. At least I had not heard of it before. See also:

-- Jtneill - Talk 04:13, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I had seen this before, but was rather disappointed with the content/quality of some parts. I guess there is a historical reason for the lack of cooperation, but repeating history is for overcoming. --McCormack 07:47, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I think it is not just School and university project and not just Wikipedia. There are more projects such as this elsewhere, which are a little bit covering missions and themes the same or simillar to Wikiversity. What was bad in this project is, that to much work of students were lost, because, they havent been linked with the righ people who can help them, or they havent been linked to other WM projects (such as Wikiversity) where they could left their work.--Juan 16:39, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
See also Once shunned by academics, Wikipedia now a teaching tool -- Jtneill - Talk 22:07, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Portal reform

I have grasped a nettle very firmly with my bare hands and analysed the entire portal system, tabularised it with notes and added reform proposals. The community may like to look at the reform proposals and express approval, disapproval or alternative ideas. See portal reform. --McCormack 10:49, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Open High School of Utah

David Wiley has announced the official founding of an online school in Utah which will exclusively make use of open educational resources. See announcement. This is a real development - it's the first of its kind anywhere. It also means that Wikiversity's content can play a role in this development - in building relationships, partnerships, spaces, and, of course, content. Cormaggio talk 07:05, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Ah! Very neat. --Remi 05:36, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Anyone interested to read and discuss on chat, Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. In this book Bryson describes the natural world around us and how scientists discovered the way this world came into being. It is about the universe, the planet earth and the evolution of life on earth. Bryson tried to reach a large crowd by using a lot of humour and by keeping the text relatively simple. Still, it is a good read also for intellectuals.

I have studied history, so i am not an expert on the natural sciences, which is the main topic in this book. The title of the book says the word history, but it is the history of the natural world. Allthough, the history of scientific knowledge is being told, including the stories of how scientists came to this knowledge.

I propose to read a chapter for every discussion session. There is no need to read the entire text before a discussion. We can discuss the themes and people who didn't read the book can contribute. I will make a special article on this subject when there are enough participants.

You can add your name on the participants list:

  • Daan
  • Other users...
Is it online (legally)? --Remi 05:41, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

No, you have to buy or borrow the book. Sorry.--Daanschr 22:07, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Template missing?

The template MediaWiki:Defemailmessage is missing. Apparently, this is a basic element of the "email for teachers" option. Without this, my pages are formatting wrong. Is this a temporary problem?

Example: {{email|user=Robert_Elliott|subject=I also want to use real musicial instruments|text=Email me}}

Robert Elliott 21:16, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Someone added MediaWiki:Defemailmessage to the email template, but that's not built in msg for anything so it has no default to use. I've fixed it by removing it. --darkYin yang.svglama 21:53, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. It is working now! Robert Elliott 00:45, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

What has happened to the online program tutorials pages?

--207.5.232.128 12:27, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Can you rephrase your question, please? Maybe you can include more background information, because I have no clue, which pages you mean. --Gbaor 04:59, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Sister project interview published...

In case you are not aware... --Remi 09:13, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Here comes a crowd of new editors! Alright, let's wait for a few days and I will start doing some post-interview interviews on new editors to see how they got attracted by the interview. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:31, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
above link doesn't work anymore - now here, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 09:30, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikibooks' sister project interview (Wikipedia Signpost) is published too. -- Jtneill - Talk 02:44, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

single user login - for all - tomorrow 27.5.

Tomorrow, 27.5. all participants in wikimedia projects can take part in SUL. More info here and here, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 17:09, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

More checkusers?

I've noted over the past few months that User:Remi and User:Erkan_Yilmaz are often quite curious about Checkuser actions (and CU-related blocks), and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to give them the tool so they can see for themselves, as well as probably catching problematic accounts that JWS and I aren't catching (we're both a bit less active on RC patrol than we used to be). While we clearly don't need an entire platoon of Checkusers running around the place, both these users have a long history of doing good for the project, and being very patient even with those who are clearly seeking to try our collective patience. The CU tool gives us a powerful ability to both identify problem-causers, as well as allowing us to avoid "collateral damage" when blocking IPs (since it allows us to check an IP before giving a hard block). --SB_Johnny | talk 12:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Good idea. Agree 100% with these 2 users having CU status. --McCormack 16:50, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Also agree. We have to vote somewhere or just say it is OK (or this is actually the voting procedure)? --Gbaor 13:05, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd be happy for Remi and Erkan to be given CU rights (provided they are too!). I'm copying this to WV:CC. Cormaggio talk 17:27, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Random topics

I originally posted: "I just realized (not that I did not know this already) that about all the subpages in the topic namespace are already included in non-subpage pages in the topic namespace, because they are transcluded. This then essentially creates a lot of duplicate content. Then having have "Random topic" button in the sidebar only serves to show this off. Then also subpages have little context. For example some subpages only have a sentence and a couple of usernames (for the "active participant" sections)." It was suggested that the random topic function could be made to not return subpages. I was hoping to build broader consensus on the issue. Does this seem reasonable/desirable? --Remi 19:42, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi! I also tried the "random topic" button with similar experience, your proposal makes sense. On the other side it is quite easy to identify minor subpages this way (for merge?). But the end users are generally not interested in maintance, so I support your proposal. --Gbaor 10:38, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Interwiki links across language sites

Can anyone help me with how to link across language sites, e.g., how can I make an internal link to http://es.wikiversity.org/wiki/Usuario:Jtneill (and from that page, back to english WV)? -- Jtneill - Talk 14:30, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Just insert [[es:Usuario:Jtneill]] to your user page. The internal link will be on the left side. The same way like I did on my user page. Otherwise the internal links should be [[:es:Usuario:Jtneill]] which works like this es:Usuario:Jtneill or this Usuario:Jtneill --Gbaor 15:23, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
That's great Gbaor, thankyou. Now I have some other interwiki interlanguage linking questions on that user page if you get a chance... :) -- Jtneill - Talk 15:53, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
@1: when you upload the image to commons it can be accessed by all wikimedia projects
@2: see edit there, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 16:10, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Permitted file types

I just tried uploading some material and found out that "Permitted file types are png, gif, jpg, jpeg, xcf, pdf, mid, ogg, svg, djvu." Oh :(. What if I want to upload doc, xls, odt, odp, ods, etc. to share files? -- Jtneill - Talk 07:06, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Some possibilities could be: convert them in one of the allowed formats (which costs you additional time), store them on the sandbox server, file a bugzilla report (and wait forever? :-)) if not yet available. ... ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:45, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I dont think so bugzilla will help. This is more like political, not technical problem. As all projects of WM, such as Wikiversity should be open and distributed under GFDL or CC-BY-SA licences these file formats would brake it. Such as doc format know to be widely used by MS Word. But on the other hand, I dont thing that jpgs, gifs or pdfs are much more free than Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora so maybe he can place it on bugzilla.--Juan 16:14, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
.odt etc. are open document formats, but not allowed? Also, what about the scenario where one is teaching about how to use software. e.g. for concept mapping, one of the goals is to show how concept maps can be drawn in different types of software; i was hoping to upload examples in different file formats for participants to work with. Sounds like the sandbox server might be worth trying. -- Jtneill - Talk 06:50, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
In bugzilla can also be found explanations why something is not permitted, e.g. for OpenDocument file format
Besides: for features/bugs people can give their vote (which can indicate importance): each report has a "Vote for this bug" entry! So either people should vote or write another convincing argument so the developers get brainwashed to do what people want.
(back in the good old days - when everything was better than now :-) - I could upload a spreadsheet format like this: Image:Amount of blocked users in English Wikiversity.sxc), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 07:01, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
ODF would be nice. --Remi 05:41, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I read OpenDocument file format as suggested by Erkan. I didn't see a very strong basis for not allowing such file types. -- Jtneill - Talk 06:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Any of you wanna support this bug by voting here ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 06:56, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
ODP would be quite nice too. ODP is open document format presentation file format. I think we could all see the benefits to that. --Remi 18:49, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
What about CSV? Surely, that could be very neutral and OK for sharing data? I think to do research, we need to share data. What would WMF say to this? -- Jtneill - Talk 14:59, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, how about asking them? File a bug report. Until then you could copy the content of the csv file on a page. E.g. upload a (dummy) image/screenshot of the csv and as description add the csv content. Then people could copy+paste the description text. But I guess that would be too uncomfortable and probably too much effort (also line breaks would be needed) ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 06:21, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

How can an image link to a page?

Ho can an image be made to link to a page (instead of to the image's page)? e.g., [[User:Jtneill|[[Image:Lightbulb.png]]]] gives [[User:Jtneill|Lightbulb.png]] -- Jtneill - Talk 04:24, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, yes, an image can link to a page, because the French wanted this. But I'd really recommend you don't do this, because the wikimedia convention is that an image always links to its licencing page. It's a critical contribution of Wikimedia to the world that it has great transparency of media permissions. --McCormack 04:41, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Or doing it wia imagemap tag which offers and info about image. See used on Solar System.--Juan 09:39, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Complete, Incomplete, Ready..?

Emblem-extra-cool.svg Completion status: this resource has reached a high level of completion.
Emblem-extra-cool.svg Completion status: this resource is considered to be ready for use.
TaoismSymbolWhite.PNG Completion status: Deliberately incomplete for educational purposes.
TaoismSymbolWhite.PNG Completion status: This resource defies measures of completion.
Emblem-extra-cool.svg Completion status: This resource is considered complete by its creator, but feel welcome to improve it!
Star with eyes.svg 9 out of 10 readers find this resource useful. You can help to improve it or suggest improvements on the talk page.

I've been having a very interesting discussion with McCormack on IRC - but I wanted to bring it into wider discussion. It seems that these templates represent different paradigms of working. For example, if we label something as "complete" - are we saying that it should not be edited any more? How does this align with the wiki way? I've forked this template by creating a "ready for use" template, indicating an alternative way of seeing this. Both templates could exist side by side, or we could decide on a single wording that reflects the nature of the resource, and the way that we work. I've also added "incomplete" to this discussion, as this is a different paradigm again - in which the resource (and its knowledge) is seen as in a permanent state of becoming. But I'm interested in what others think about these templates, and how useful they can be. Cormaggio talk 10:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Please note that the templates have deliberately been constructed so that individual users can override the default wording in each of them and adapt them to their own educational philosophy. I've added some further examples. --McCormack 10:31, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I think templates that try to measure how incomplete or complete a page is are unhelpful and discourage contributions. I think it would be better to measure things like how useful a page is while encouraging people to either improve pages themselves or to leave constructive criticisms on the talk page for other people to use as a means of improving pages. --darkYin yang.svglama 13:05, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't feel these templates are as useful as they are intended to be...It makes things look pretty, that's for sure, but it's continuing a trend of making pages cluttered with MediaWiki code. --HappyCamper 23:50, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I do like "ready to use". Perhaps in some circumstances "complete" may be appropriate. I cannot think creatively enough at this moment to think of any though. As for how neat or messy pages may be. If there is just some a small set of squiggly brackets in the markup page, it does not seem that that would contribute to too much disorganization. Using "subst" could risk a mess though. All the pages in the template namespace that use transclusions liberally that does seem to create a mess. So do all the pages that use a bunch of CSS and fancy formatting right on the page! Ah. --Remi 05:39, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

I had a think about wording, and decided that personally I like Cormaggio's wording more than mine. However I know there are also people who like my wording. I'll be updating the project box page in question to offer all alternatives. --McCormack 06:41, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Good idea, but I dont like the pictures, I dont understand some of them, which means it is too difficult.--Juan 09:42, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

"Completely" missing the point Refocussing on what's really going on here

The pun is intended. Sorry. Couldn't resist. Anyway, I think some people are just looking at these templates and judging them by what they look like, which is, actually, missing the point. They can all be modified in individual cases with new wording and icons, so the appearance is actually rather irrelevant. So what's the point? Well, the point is this. (Actually, three points.) (1) A few days ago I managed to re-categorise about 1177 stub pages into about a dozen or so useful sub-categories in under 3 minutes. How? Because those pages already had a template embedded in them, so I was able to retrospectively apply a complex parser function and introduce organisation where before there had been little or none. Of course, this was just beginner stuff, and the principle could be taken much further into the mysterious jungle of several thousand further "lost" resources on Wikiversity. The general principle is this: if a group of pages have an embedded template in them, then one can retrospectively apply useful things to them which help improve organisation. Project boxes are really just "bait" (as in fishing) - they are a way to encourage people to stick templates on their pages which can be useful now or later for hidden organisational functions. If you don't like them, don't use them and watch your learning resources disappear into the mist. (2) A few days ago, I asked myself a rather obvious question: how many complete/ready-to-use/usable learning resources are there on Wikiversity? I think User:OhanaUnited was asking something similar, and I'm sure that a lot of other wiki-projects, the Wikimedia Foundation, and 10's of 1000's of Wikiversity visitors, are also asking the same rather obvious question. So how many are there? Well, as a seasoned and very active Wikiversitarian, I think I could name 10 ready-to-use resources straight away and another 10 or so if I had some time to look around. Quite frankly, that's pathetic. Is the problem that we have some good resources but nobody knows where they are? Or is the problem that Wikiversity is the ultimate home of permanent incompletion, of interest only to anti-structuralist revivalists, where any "complete" or "ready" resource is deleted or side-lined in the name of political correctness? (Well, neither, quite). I think if people want to label their resources as "ready" (or whatever), they shouldn't be subjected to a ban on this, nor should they feel disapproved of. Equally, those who have dedicated themselves to permanent incompletion should be just as free to label themselves as such, or refuse all labelling - but please don't push your views onto others. This is a wiki, and new self-organisational structures should be allowed to emerge as the wiki grows. (3) Somewhere down the line, metadata sharing with partners is going to become reality, and I have quite a lot of experience with metadata sharing around the OER world. Wikiversity has so far pretty well ignored the rest of the OER world (and been ignored back in return). If we are going to engage, or make engagement possible, we have to start cataloguing what we've got and create metadata structures which allow sifting out resources which are worth reporting to outside projects for their directory listings. NB: Google may be enough for Wikipedia, but for something with the greater structural complexity of Wikiversity, we may need to think beyond Google. --McCormack 07:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Your first point won't make much difference with regard to these templates if nobody or only a few people wants to use them. As for point 2 and 3, there are other ways to organize content without referring to them as incomplete or complete. I don't have as much problem with a "ready" status if it doesn't imply being complete. The problems with incomplete or complete statuses is that readers might not want to read anything that might be marked as incomplete even if its at a stage where it could be a useful resource, and writers might avoid or be reluctant to improve, expand, or otherwise contribute to resources marked as complete even if there is room for expansion and improvements. I think in the long run incomplete and complete statuses will do a disservice to Wikiversity or any other wiki project that uses them.
Wikinews uses several statuses which I think are more useful than incomplete and complete, which I think would be more useful here:
  • under development,
  • requests for comments and
  • ready for publishing,
I think these are more useful and functional uses of statuses than incomplete and complete, and are closer to how the typical writing cycle works. A resource at any point in time can be under development, ready to receive feedback from learners and other people, and go back into a development phase again. This can easily repeat itself for some time, than get to the point where it could reasonably be ready to be republished outside of Wikiversity by schools or whatever, and than someone comes along finds a way to expand it or improve it some more sending it back into a development and review cycle. --darkYin yang.svglama 14:24, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to reply (briefly) here. :-) Those statuses that wikinews use are ok, but they seem to reflect the way that a news resource works (i.e. happens and then 'dates' relatively quickly). I'd say that Wikiversity resources would have all three attributes to varying extents at the same time, which depends on the context in which they are to be used (for example, a very basic resource could easily be just what someone needs to turn it into a learning project). So, perhaps we need to describe what types of uses Wikiversity resources will have, and how their development can impact on these uses? This way, we'd have a clearer way to define what is appropriate for a wiki context (particularly a diverse one, such as WV - I never wanted to raise this discussion in the context of telling people what to do or not to do). Cormaggio talk 09:58, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • "Pathetic", no. I have stared at the main wikiversity page and am minded that my edu-home has re-organised on the basis of student numbers with labels yet to be determined. The categorisation process on the right of the screen has its benefits but I believe the star of the show which took me a while to stumble on, and appreciate, is that on the left of the screen - ie the film school. Indeed like the Renoir, featured in the middle, the interest is not up front, indeed the two characters are not engaging, but it is the depth of field that the lilies behind create. Teaching how to paint is far harder than seeking the Higgs Boson - currently the largest Learning by doing experiment - where being empathetic, one on one usually, is a serendipitous exploration. So how do you catch attention, what tools can help students refocus from the bebo-lite culture we have gravitated towards. Paulmartin42 05:06, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Activity + Promotion

Stephen Downes 'awards' WikiEducator as the best educational wiki supposedly on account of it being the most active. But I had a look at number of edits and new users, etc. and estimate that its about a third as active as WV. Can anyone help point me to how/where we can find some solid facts about WV activity? WE are milking it on their Main Page. No big deal; but it suggests WV could be do better in promoting itself. -- Jtneill - Talk 16:34, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Well numbers can always be read so and so (never trust a statistic, which you didn't manipulate yourself :-)).
Here some figures only considered for the English Wikiversity (the other Wikiversities not included)
About activity - should this consider Wikiversities in all the languages ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:33, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
[30] User:Remi/Stats The blog post did say "apparent"... so that could be subjective. :) --Remi 00:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Geez, I went probing in the archives ... seems there's a quite an interesting and ongoing history here, like two species evolving. Exciting stuff. For the record, some earlier comparative WV / WE stats, observations, anddiscussion: Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/December 2007#Size comparison. -- Jtneill - Talk 12:47, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Erkan, I'm sorry, I only just clicked on your figures - I didn't realise they were so "instantly new" and useful; well done. The data is very interesting; do we have say a page for ... ok, so I added the material to Educational wikis#Wikiversity and Wikieducator. I suggest a way forward here is NPOV research, transparent data, etc. -- Jtneill - Talk 14:40, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
As for figures Bebo gets lots more than Wiki because ? --Paulmartin42 05:00, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
There can be many (not immediately visible) reasons for this (including also this). I encourage you to start a learning project here to uncover - some of - the mysteries of the influence factors. The automatic stats you can find always on my user pages on both projects. Have fun, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 15:48, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

@Jtneill: and do you think that only one criterion for this "award" was just a traffic. I would say, that there could be more criteria, which places WE in front of WV. WV is a mess, but I dont feel that this "mess" is something wrong. I understand it like an experimental phase of the project.--Juan 09:46, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Promotion by an unusual way

Yesterday I thought quite a lot about possible ways of advertisement and promotion of WV in the world of Open educational resources . McCormacks comment above namely "Wikiversity has so far pretty well ignored the rest of the OER world (and been ignored back in return)" stuck in my head. Two more things came upon my mind: 1. a politician who stareted his live pre-election television debate naming the good things, which were done by his opponent during his premiership; 2. my own experience with specific sites, which I visit quite regularly, because of the interesting links I found there.
So... My idea is this: Let's promote ourselves with promoting other OER resources. This may include heavy interlinking our pages with similar ones on other OERs or even (and this is the main part of my suggestion) on our main page similar to "today's featured project". There is quite a lot free space under "Community" and "Development" for a "selected OER resource" which may circulate on daily/weekly basis. Pros and cons: One may argue, that we can loose readers, even participants this way, what is surely true. The possibility exists. On the other side we can assume (but not demand) that we get something similar in return from those OERs. Also it would be a bald and I think pleasant move from us towards cooperation between OERs (hopefully will be noticed also by bloggers and others). And the main advantage to the end of this entry: It is the best for the learners, people who came here to educate themselves. --Gbaor 06:06, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

At the launch of Wikiversity I tried to establish Hunter-gatherers project as a learning project that would encourage Wikiversity participants to find, link to, and evaluate online learning resources. --JWSchmidt 07:29, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I think this idea couldnt be done. You cant do interwiki linking and external link allready work. On the other hand, I dont think so this have a sense.--Juan 09:53, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Minimal requirements

I want to ask, what are the minimal requrements to keep a page at VW for longer time. I am asking it, because there are numerous pages without any content. Shouldn't we delete them, if they are empty for some time (let's say 1-2 months)? In case of need, they can be very easily recreated. --Gbaor 10:03, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

  • It's a radical idea and one for which I certainly have some sympathy, but it rather goes against the established way of doing things. Rather the opposite: the normal thing at WV seems to be to create or allow creation of any page with anything approaching a reasonable title, and hope that one day someone might expand it. However I think we should be focussing our limited manpower on finding well-developed resources in the haystack and promoting these and more like them, rather than deleting thousands of empty pages. See: Wikiversity:Featured. --McCormack 10:34, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Deletion decisions: there are suggested guidelines at Wikiversity:Deletion policy. I advocate the use welcome templates on empty pages. We can treat empty pages an an opportunity to educate Wikiversity visitors about how to edit and participate in the process of content creation. I think decisions about page deletion should be made on a page by page basis (is the page potentially useful? will the page just be created again if it is deleted now?), not on the basis of an arbitrary criterion like a time limit. --JWSchmidt 14:24, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I also tend not to delete pages. I see it as a motivation factor for newcomers to build on something existing (even if it is not much). But one side effect can be that people could see this as "blind alleys" and get a negative opinion, see e.g. here (search for "blind alley"). ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:40, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree with all of you at some extent: "focussing our limited manpower on finding well-developed resources" (McCormack); "educate Wikiversity visitors about how to edit and participate" "page by page basis deletion decisions" (JWSchmidt); "for newcomers to build on something existing" (Erkan Yilmaz)
On the other hand the question is, what will be a reaction of people, who visit WV not to contribute but to read/learn something (our target group). In case they will search for birds, etiquette or applied math basics (the latter has at least few links), they won't be pleased. It could be rather discouraging to them looking further in that topic on WV. We have good resources, yes, but one time we also will have to take care of these pages. Maybe when Wv will be better developed...
Two more notes:

1. Shouldn't we vote about and move Wikiversity:Deletion policy among official policies (nearly after two years of its existence)?
2. Talking about good/hidden resources... I have found this page in the school namespace. This tiny looking school holds unbelievable amount of uncategorized, unlinked text worth to browse (I hope it isn't copyvio). --Gbaor 06:07, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Gbaor has raised a very good point here which I hadn't thought about before - namely, that if there is an empty "birds" page, and a visitor does a search on "birds", they will, of course, end up on the empty page and not be pleased. Moreover, the empty birds page prevents the search from defaulting to a text-content search with a listing of pages by relevance. This is probably the best possible argument against hosting a few thousand stubs. On the other hand: the new version of the welcome-and-expand template has a lot more helpful content than it used to - and specifically the ability to run a search across 8 different sister projects. --McCormack 06:30, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

From above: "It could be rather discouraging to them" to find empty/stub pages. <-- 99.999% of Wikiversity remains to be constructed. People should not get past our Main Page without realizing this. To make it clear, we should change the Main Page....maybe put a big banner at the top that says "Under construction, we need your help!" --JWSchmidt 07:43, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

@Gbaor: I think this is not a good idea. This is Wikiversity, this is different thinking. Lets leave them in peace, if they are longer time incative and someone needs the page name - he might overwrite it or just kill data and write his own. Also be carefull on deffinition. Inactive project doesnt say that noone use it and study. There are severel types of projects or pages, which - when they are completed - they are ´static´ and they dont need to be eddited more. Also the problem with the page deletion is, that it is an extra operation, because deletion doesnt mean to kill the data - so they still fill the server. Just one difference is that deleted pages are not visible for normal users. So the key how to break people fear from reediting these pages may be don via "McCormack´s" templates.Juan 10:00, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

New wikis -

New wikis on the way, maybe... --Remi 06:16, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

They were created:

  • ['wikinews']['cs']
  • ['wikinews']['hu']
  • ['wikipedia']['ext']
  • ['wikipedia']['gan']
  • ['wikipedia']['hif']
  • ['wikipedia']['kaa']
  • ['wikipedia']['mdf']
  • ['wikipedia']['myv']
  • ['wikipedia']['sah']
  • ['wikipedia']['srn']
  • ['wikipedia']['szl']
  • ['wikisource']['li']
  • ['wikiversity']['cs']
  • ['wikiversity']['ja']
  • ['wikiversity']['pt']

– Mike.lifeguard | @meta 03:26, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


I should therefore say 'congrats' for opening 3 new language editions of Wikiversity. I hope they thrive. – Mike.lifeguard | @meta 03:27, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Well thanks! I know that cs is going to thrive:-)Juan 10:02, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikizine needs HELP!!!

Walter, the main guy behind the Wikizine, needs assistance. Mostly writers and info about the projects, from the projects themselves. Projects like... Wikiversity!

If you have some time and want to write a bit about something you like (or an area you'd like to see improved by more contributions), please continue to read:

Helping can by reporting news, especially from non-English wikis. http://report.wikizine.org And by helping actually creating a Wikizine edition http://meta.wikizine.org You find there are the also link to the editors mailing list.

Thanks, Historybuff 01:20, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

see also: meta:Communication Projects Group/Meetings/2008-05-28/Log, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 06:08, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Import please

From en.wb:

If you don't want any of that, let us know. Thanks! – Mike.lifeguard | @meta 03:22, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I think that is a good opportunity for the fresh appointed/probationary custodians to learn another tool (Special:Import). There is enough material for all of them :-) Anyone up to the task ? Start reading here: Wikiversity:Import - also pester us in the chat :-) We can do this then also step by step together then. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 15:57, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
YesY Done I've imported the articles which Mike.lifeguard wanted to be imported, this is my first attempt to import the articles so I hope I've done it correctly. Terra 19:10, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Thx very much Terra - will check now your importing. Good would also be when importing pages to here that on the place where they are imported from the pages are marked or someone informed, so they can be deleted - will do this now.
Besides this would also be great if someone would integrate the imported pages into the existing places here at Wikiversity. See you soon, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 19:53, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
done, except the things below ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 21:23, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
BTW: Mike.lifeguard:
  • I don't see any subpage here - could you verify please (were they deleted already?)?
  • [31]: Herb deleted this page - perhaps you can have a look, if it can be imported here (if content suitable) ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 21:04, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I missed this one (Terra was way faster). BUt at least I improved 'books a little bit with b:template:transwiki complete template. Erkan please remove it, if the process is not finished yet.--Gbaor 08:58, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

A number of pages I tried to import previously wouldn't have been able to import and had a failed import message, which I presume that the page itself might have already have been transfered over here, however though I was wondering what Mike.lifeguard said about the subpages of the Exercises article over on wikibooks saying that he wanted the subpages being transfered over here according to the Special:PrefixIndex page only the main Exercises article was available so I just imported that article as well as the other articles which Mike.lifeguard wanted transfering, I'm pleased that I've done it correctly and will have a look at the updated page of Wikiversity:Import. Terra 18:02, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Gbaor, thx for the template. It is now added in the description here: Wikiversity:Import#Notes for Custodians (was not uzp to date, since the m2wv template was deleted at Wikibooks). ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 05:57, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Exercises has no subpages - my bad. Will check the deleted one in a minute. The error Terra encountered is because there are too many revisions to import. There is no hard number, it just fails sometimes :( You can try again (a few times!) and it may work. Another trick is to import only the top revision (which always succeeds) then import all revisions (remember that it will merge histories if there are previously-imported revisions, which is why you much check that the target doesn't exist before importing normally). – Mike.lifeguard | @meta 23:42, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Regarding this, there is no useful content (as is the case whenever you see {{query}} or {{qr-em}} quoted/mentioned in the deletion reason). – Mike.lifeguard | @meta 23:44, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Do not move pages...

At Wikiversity, people should not move pages because of spelling corrections. (Example: (Move log); 18:10 . . Remi (Talk | contribs) School talk:Music and Dance moved to School talk:Music and dance (casing).

Moving at Wikiversity does not move a page. It simply creates a second page. This leaves the incorrect page still out there.

We must find a way that a page and all its references to it are changed for spelling corrections. Robert Elliott 04:13, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Robert, I'm not sure what the problem is here with moving because:
  • The "old" page becomes a redirect, so there are no broken links created and the user-end experience is the "same" (they are redirected automatically).
  • And the old redirect pages are not listed in search, etc. -- Jtneill - Talk 04:58, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Wikiversity is new and growing
There will be many reasons to change page names as Wikiversity continues to grow. A single change is no problem but many pages (such as this one) are receiving multiple name changes. Then things get messy.
Currently, the programming at Wikiversity is not designed for a school which is always growing. Therefore, we have to start thinking about a better system which will allow for a name change without creating a redirect. Robert Elliott 21:23, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
That would break links, and an automatic way to update links to a page will probably never be implemented in core software. Unless you convince a developer that you want to run a bot 24/7 to bypass redirects and they should therefore allow configuration such that redirects are not created, this is going nowhere fast. I'm not sure you understand the implications of not having the redirect.
Note that the English Wikipedia has not failed yet due to creating redirects every time a page is moved, and they have grown far more than Wikiversity has. – Mike.lifeguard | @meta 23:38, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Alternatively, if double and triple (or more) redirects would not create hard stops, and would instead describe the path that the redirect took, this would allow for changes to be made without causing disruption in the flow of the user experience. But no one wants (I assume) hard stops caused by anything more than a single redirect. -Remi 00:23, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Just thought I'd point out two major points on moving and redirects:

  • The reason for moving a page is to keep the page's revisions history - copying and pasting a page's content to a new page loses all the context of a page's development. So moving pages is most definitely good practice.
  • The reason for having a redirect in place after a page-move is so that links to the page are not broken. A "better system" as proposed by Robert would have to automatically change all links at the same time as changing the page's url - or follow Mike.lifeguard's proposal for a bot that ignores redirects.

Personally, I don't see a problem with current practice/technology - there's nothing wrong with redirects (provided they are kept relatively tight - not getting into double/triple redirects). Cormaggio talk 16:25, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Long past that state...
I am trying to develop traditional courses at Wikiversity. This is a huge experiment. Not all my experimentation is correct.
Often, I design a page which turns out not exactly what I want and I need to change its purpose and name. My preference is to change the file name to make my changes clearer. But currently, I refrain from making these page name corrections because it will cause a redirect. Even with self restraint, I am far beyond simple redirects. If I made all the corrections that I need, I would be about six or seven redirects deep.
Contrary to what everyone thinks, the system does not handle redirects well. It frequently burps and does not follow all the redirects. Occasionally, I see the wrong pages... which the next time I select the page, I see the correct page.
We need to find a better way. Robert Elliott 01:19, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Is there perhaps a more fundamental issue in developing a naming scheme for pages within a certain structure - in this case, a "traditional course"? If you had a scheme, would that help? Or is that just in fundamental contradiction with the experimental nature of the process? Would it help to devote a page to your naming scheme(s) and experiences? (Eg. Filmmaking/Naming scheme?) Your course, being by far the most developed course on Wikiversity, could be a case study we could all learn from. Cormaggio talk 23:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Reply on June 3
I posted my naming scheme about 6 months ago. At that time, everyone thought it was too complicated but as courses are developing, it might be the correct solution. ( I will try to find it again.)
Still, because of the experimental nature of the courses, the naming scheme hierarchy is still changing. Note: It will change even more to allow for automated student assignment posting if I can find someone to do the basic programming. See below. Robert Elliott 18:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Robert Elliott, We may try meta:redirect.py. Hillgentleman|Talk 03:30, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
meta:redirect.py
I am using a regular Macintosh (not server) so I don't think I can do any of that... even if I knew how. Robert Elliott 13:29, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Oh I absolutely have to agree with Robert Elliot here... I've seen a lot of page moving lately moving things to "non-capped second/third/etc. words" lately, often with the edit comment "naming convention". Keep in mind that this is not wikipedia, and search oesn't work in subpaged projects no matter how you configure things. This is a case of the "maintenance people" getting in the way of the content creators, and is (IMO) frankly obnoxious frustating. Categorizing and organizing is an entirely different thing from moving pages around, and moving pages without discussion and careful investigation is quite disruptive. --SB_Johnny | talk 00:27, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi! I am sure that you comment was meant good, and I'd like to react to it in few points. 1., Wikiversity:Naming conventions are here, and although they are just proposed guidelines, I try to adjust the page names according to them; 2., creating content is the most important work here, no doubt. But sometimes "non-capped second/third/etc. words" make big difference. Just compare Category:Interdisciplinary Studies and Category:Interdisciplinary studies, Category:Social Sciences and Category:Social sciences and many others (I am working on them, and also on a general solution that will be proposed here). So... Maintenance is needed, sometimes even with pagemoves. Robert: I won't rename/move your pages, if you don't want it now. Just tell me. ;) There is plenty of other work to do... --Gbaor 05:47, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Please see {{category redirect}} for the solution mentioned. I thought about a similar template, but due to lack of time just modified the one from WP. --Gbaor 06:45, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, with categories in particular keep in mind that they can be used differently in subpaged projects, and sometimes nearly-duplicate categories can serve a particular function. It's generally worth taking the time to ask whomever is actively putting things into the categories about them before diving in. Also keep in mind that categories might be used in DynamicPageList scripts, so changing a category name can cause unintended damage. --SB_Johnny | talk 10:20, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi John! Than you for this! DynamicPageLists are great! I don't how how, but I will use them. Do you (anybody) know about any particular page/place on WV, where the "DynamicPageList" is used (to identify/modify the categories there)? Certainly I don't want to cause any damage to anybody. Still I think we should unify the category system (upper-lower cases) while often there is no connection between the 2 cats. See the examples above and many other in Special:Categories.
"to ask whomever is actively putting things" -quite hard to follow if you aren't online 24 hours a day, while there is no record of this in category pages, but I will give it a try. (Music and video - Robert Elliott; psychology - Jtneill -- anybody else?) --Gbaor 06:38, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Robert, I realise this isn't necessarily the solution you're after, but would it help if you were able to delete pages (that way you could tidy up your own double-redirects, etc. after pages get moved (rightly or wrongly by yourself or others). I can personally say that in setting up less complex content with subpages, I've found the need to do quite a bit of moving/deleting of subpages in order to evolve/refine the structure. -- Jtneill - Talk 22:32, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Reply
A new MOVE PAGE function should correct all links to the page. Just deleting pages will not correct the links. Changing the links manually will be a problem on popular pages. Robert Elliott 10:19, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
  • There's several double-redirect cleanup bots running on en.wikipedia. User:MetsBot and User:RussBot come quickly to mind. I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't mind running an instance of their bots here, as the modifications to the code would be minimal. Titoxd(?!?) 05:09, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Titoxd! Those bot pages just mention double redirects and no higher mutliples (ie triple, quadruple redirects). I've asked on their 'owner's' pages if either can be used for more complex redirects, and whether it would be possible to modify them for Wikiversity. Cormaggio talk 10:02, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
User:RussBot is turned on here now. Cormaggio talk 22:37, 5 June 2008 (UTC)