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.

Theory and Practice of Media Literacy

A resource for scholars and others interested in media literacy. This document was originally developed by graduate students enrolled in BTMM 589, "Theory and Practice of Media Literacy Education" which was taught by Professor Renee Hobbs in the Fall of 2006 at Temple University's School of Communication and Theater. Students enrolled in the course in the Fall of 2007 continue to develop, modify and expand the site, contributing their own understanding of the course readings and critical analysis. Renee: Current students and the instructor share their ideas, thoughts and questions about the readings by highlighting them. Readers are invited to participate in the inquiry process by adding questions or ideas of your own.

Girl with poster 2.jpg
Linked Pages of Interest
1. Media literacy
2. Why is Media Literacy Important
3. Intellectual Traditions in Media Literacy
4. Media Literacy in K-12 Settings
5. Great Debates in Media Literacy
6. What does Media Literacy look like in Non-School Settings
7. Research on Media Literacy


What is Media Literacy?

Media Literacy Defined

In the United States, the most widely used definition of media literacy is "the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and communicate messages in a wide variety of forms." This definition was a collaborative result of participants who attended the 1992 Aspen Media Literacy Leadership Institute. The Center for Media Literacy, however, suggests a more expanded definition of media literacy that emphasizes citizenship and democracy in addition to skills: "Media Literacy is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in a variety of forms--from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy" (Thoman and Jolls, 2005, p. 190).

Media Literacy Defined (Canadian perspective). "Media literacy is concerned with helping students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase the students' understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality. Media literacy also aims to provide students with the ability to create media products." ( Media Literacy Resource Guide, Ministry of Education Ontario, 1997)

Media Literacy is Not...

Thoman and Jolls (2005) note that, because the definition of media literacy can be so vast, it is almost easier to define what is not media literacy. For instance, they state that media literacy is not media bashing, but involves critically analyzing media messages and institutions. It is not just producing media, although production skills should be included. Media literacy is not simply teaching with videos, the Internet, or other technologies, but it is teaching about the media in society. It is not just looking for stereotypes or negative representations, but exploring how these representations are normalized in society. It's not just based on one perspective, rather, it encourages multiple perspectives and various viewpoints. Finally, media literacy is not an effort to restrict media use, but to encourage mindful and critical media consumption.

Thoman and Jolls (2005) also cite media literacy consultant Faith Rogow who cautions teachers against conveying pre-ordained denouncements of the media and challenges them to reflect on the analytical skills they teach. Are they encouraging critical environments that allow for the expression of substantiated interpretations that may differ with their own or are they inadvertently "preaching" only the "right" answers? She posits this negative approach as "fatally flawed," often resulting in the creation of a "cynical" rather than an "intellectually skeptical" attitude among students.

Why Is Mass Media So Important?

When considering the importance of media education, Buckingham (2003) first defines the central role of the mass media in social, economic and political processes today:

“The media are major industries, generating profit and employment; they provide us with most of our information about the political process; and they offer us ideas, images and representations (both factual and fictional) that inevitably shape our view of reality. The media are undoubtedly the major contemporary means of cultural expression and communication: to become an active participant in public life necessarily involves making use of the modern media. The media, it is often argued, have now taken the place of the family, the church and the school as the major socializing influence in contemporary society” (Buckingham, 2003, p. 5).

Buckingham posits that people increasingly define themselves and interact through the mass media, which serve as a cultural ‘glue’. Consequently, without clearly understanding and effectively using the media, individuals are unable to participate in public life and contribute to the public discourse. Tanya: This seems to have a narrow view of what public life and discourse consists of, I wonder if Buckingham would additionally acknowledge the active public lives of rural communities, for example, that may more often have public meetings than they would refer to blogs for community public discourse. Therefore, Buckingham concludes, traditional social institutions, which previously served as socialization venues, have ceded power to the media. Buckingham makes a nuanced and valid comment on the nature and prominence of mass media. First, we can only agree that industrialization, urban living, and more recently globalization and digital technologies, have converted mass communication into the primary means of learning about the world and society, leaving one’s print on them, and building one’s identity. The mass media, therefore, provide both the material and the channels for the construction, transmission and maintenance of culture. Buckingham, however, underlines the nature of media content as a representation and not as “transparent windows on the world”, and also stresses the indirect communication and selective versions of the world provided by the media (2003, p. 3). This inevitably raises concerns over the ability not only of young people, but of any member of society, to understand the characteristics, content and role of the mass media on one hand, and the capacity to access and use the media as an arena to voice their own opinions and to conduct a meaningful dialogue with others. Separating the understanding and the use of the media would be a misguided step.

Another question regarding Buckingham’s position concerns the extent to which people are aware of the broad implications of the media’s influence on their lives and how the public is reflecting on them. Since the views of protectionists or the ‘moral majority’ often take the front seat, the public debate may fail to address critical aspects of the mass media in modern society.

Traditional social institutions like the family, the church and the school may refuse to recognize the mass media’s growing influence and attempt to restore traditional relations of power, to denigrate the mass media, instead of adapting to the new conditions. The ordeals of media education initiatives and activists indicate that the predominant response is one of opposition and reluctant acceptance rather than openness, cooperation and accommodation, and this signals not just a reactionary response by traditional bastions of social order, but also further setbacks for media education. Tanya: for readers of this, it may be important to add Buckingham's optimism in his views towards 'a new paradigm.' I think his discussion about the move 'beyond protectionism' that outlines the changing views on youth's relationships with media will garner supporters for the media education movement.

Key Themes and Ideas

Media literacy draws on the concepts of the larger critical literacy movement, begun in the latter half of the twentieth century, which stresses the expansion of the term literacy beyond just the interpretation and construction of meaning. Critical literacy emphasizes the socio-cultural, political and historical contexts within which the process of meaning-making is embedded and hence influenced. Media literacy teachers help students understand and explore various themes such as race, gender, class, power and identity, situated in popular culture texts.

Examining Media Representations

Media literacy is a valuable way to explore issues of representation in K-12 classrooms. Students explore representation by examining and deconstructing media portrayals of gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability. Lessons in representation serve to examine how roles are socially constructed and how personal identity is shaped in political, historical, and cultural contexts which include an examination of issues of power and hegemony. Representation can be explored in meaningful ways by: using examples from various historical periods and making connections to their socio-historical context; investigating the economics behind representations, recognizing that different people have different readings of the same text; scrutinizing what is missing from a representation; and inviting students to express their own identities.

General themes discussed in a typical media literacy curriculum may include: journalism and information; advertising, propaganda, and persuasion; representation of race, gender, and social class; and narrative and visual structures and conventions in storytelling for fiction and non-fiction (Hobbs, 2007). The topic of representation explores the relationship between media portrayals and the complex social realities that people like.

Five Core Concepts of Media Literacy

The Center for Media Literacy in Santa Monica, California, created the five core concepts of media literacy, using the Canada's eight "Key Concepts" for media literacy (Pungente, 1989) as a guide. The Five Core Concepts are:

  • All media messages are constructed.
  • Media messages are constructed using creative language with its own rules.
  • Different people experience the same media message differently.
  • Media have embedded values and points of view.
  • Most media messages are constructed to gain profit and/or power. (Thoman & Jolls, 2005, p. 186)

After discovering that many teachers had trouble incorporating the Five Core Concepts into their curriculum, the Center for Media Literacy developed Five Key Questions in 2002 to use alongside the Five Core Concepts. These five questions can be adapted for various age levels.

Core Concept/Key Question 1: All media messages are constructed. [Who created this message?]


This concept acknowledges that media texts are constructed by authors. The final product is not a natural or objective text, rather, it is made up of various elements that was created by authors (writers, photographers, directors, producers, etc.). Many decisions go into the creation of a text, and the audience sees the end result. The audience does not, however, get to see the ideas that were rejected along the way, which could have produced endless variations on the media text. By asking who created the message, students are able to conceptualize both the human element behind the media text and the process of actually piecing a text together (Thoman & Jolls, 2005, p. 192).

Core Concept/Key Question 2: Media messages are constructed using creative language with its own rules. [What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?]

Each media text has its own language, which can be understood through careful consideration of the sounds and visuals that are employed to convey meaning. One of the ways in which students can learn to analyze the language of media texts is by creating their own.

Core Concept/Key Question 3: Different people experience the same media message differently. [How might different people understand this message differently from me?]

Because audience members all differ in backgrounds and life experiences, we are positioned to interpret media texts in different ways. Two people who consume the exact same media text may come away with completely different meanings.

Core Concept/Key Question 4: Media have embedded values and points of view. [What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?]

Media texts are not objective, they all contain values that tell us who or what is important. By virtue of what is omitted, they tell us who and what is not important as well.

Core Concept/Key Question 5: Most media messages are constructed to gain profit and/or power. [Why is this message being sent?] Most media messages are made in order to create an audience so advertisers can market their products. It is important for students to understand this financial motivation in order to discern whose interests are actually being served.

How Media Should Not be Used in Education

In Teaching the Media (1985), Masterman writes a provocative chapter, discusses and critiques four schools of thought regarding the media: media as agents of cultural decline, media as popular art forms, media as aids to learning, and media as agents of communication. Clarifying what media literacy is NOT, he claims that media literacy is distinct (and better) than these traditional approaches to the use of media in the classroom. Masterman's claims are still contested among media literacy educators.

Media and Cultural Decline

First, Masterman discusses the impact of Leavis and Thompson’s book Culture and Environment (1933). This book, which was essentially the first serious discussion of media in regards to education, was essentially an elitist argument suggesting that English educators needed to take on the role of a “bastion of cultural values” (qtd. Masterman, p. 39). The arguments set forward in this book had a powerful effect on the development of English teaching, and the adoption of an academic perspective of cultural resistance. This philosophy towards English education continued, and had a profound effect on America and Britain, and led to both countries long-standing aversion to the types of media educational practices long engaged in by other European countries. Masterman contends that this elitist perspective which Leavis and Thompson put forward was in part due to the economic interests of professors whose career was based on the supremacy of “high culture” and the perpetuation of traditional class and power systems.

Discrimination Skills

Second, Masterman discusses the rise of the view of media as a popular art form. This school of thought took shape among a new generation of educators who liked popular culture forms and did not feel that media was necessarily culturally corrupting. However, this view of thought did not embrace media as acceptable culture; rather, it sought to discriminate between media. This school of thought rose largely from the Newsom Report (1963) which stated, “We need to train children to look critically and discriminate between what is good and bad in what they see” (qtd. Masterman, p. 52). Accordingly, as contended by Hall and Whannel’s The Popular Arts, teachers should endeavor to discriminate between high and low media forms. Further, while this school of thought encouraged greater inclusion of media into classrooms, teachers continued to primarily focus on the idea of defending against the influence of media. Overall, this popular arts movement led to the separation of film from other media and the founding of film as a specialized course of study, and to the subsequent neglect of television and press from academic studies. Finally, this movement failed to produce a philosophy for studying or understanding the media.

Media as Transmission Tool

A third perspective viewed media as aids to learning and disseminators of knowledge and experience. This perspective holds that media can be used in an educational setting as an aid to learning, and that media can be used to link the isolated world of the classroom to out-of-school influences which present diversity of culture and environment. As such, this perspective calls for integrating media with teaching, and the inclusion of media in all subjects. This use of media can serve to draw on students’ own media experiences, and also present a “livelier and more interesting classroom environment” (p. 65). Renee: This perspective is certainly made more complex by the use of certain media literacy videos, whose purpose is to transmit key theoretical ideas from media and cultural studies (i.e., video from the Media Education Foundation). Based on the arguments offered by Eco, I wonder about the design and instructional characteristics of 'media about media.' Perhaps they model analytic skills that help people develop their own capacity to analyze. Or perhaps they supplant critical thinking by replacing it with another type of persuasion?

Communications as an Academic Field

A fourth perspective presented by Masterman suggests that media are agents of communication. Masterman argues against this perspective and the inclusion of media in general Communication Studies programs of study for several reasons. Masterman argues that Communication as an academic field lacks discipline, fails to acknowledge the differences between communication forms in interpersonal and mediated settings, seeks to develop a top-down model of communications, is ideologically driven, and lacks any important findings. In some respects, Masterman’s argument seems to indicate that this perspective is flawed because it is too limited in scope and fails to take into account broader issues.

While such a point is accurate, this position does not take into account developments and growth within the field of Communication Studies nor do they consider the fact that much of modern Communication theory has continued the process of democratization which originally helped to bring media into the educational setting in the first place. Masterman’s consideration of Communication Studies as a quasi-vocational field demonstrates a very limited view which is not representative of the academic field as a whole. Further, his critique of this perspective as ideologically driven seems odd; ideology seems to be a crucial part of all cultural studies. Thus, overall, Masterman provides an overview of several ways of thinking about the media. Masterman’s discussion is not, however, without a perspective of his own.

Political Economy of Media as Necessary Content for Media Education

In Teaching about Television (1980), Masterman positions the teacher as responsible for demystifying (for and with students) the process by which media deliver ideology. However, in his critique of this seminal media education text, Alvarado (1981) points out that the medium itself is a part of ideology rather than a disseminator of ideologies. Furthermore, ideology is only part of the media education project for Alvarado, “it is not enough to analyze the superstructural levels of the media—TV ideology—for it is also necessary to teach about the material and economic bases of the television institutions as it is necessary to teach about the bases of other state apparatuses” (p. 199). According to Alvarado, Masterman devalues teaching the political economy of media because of an assumption that students will find it boring or too hard. Alvarado takes issue with this rationale, suggesting that it proceeds from a disrespect of the student's capacity for interest, from a lack of creativity on the part of teachers (or an assumption of such a lack) in finding ways to connect student interests/discourses with the study of political economy, and, most forcefully, from a pedagogical ideology normalizing a false conceptual split between knowledge and methodology (see below, Teaching Methods as Media as Ideology).

Implicitly, Alvarado’s critique of Masterman calls for media educators to acquire some expertise in political economy of media and to assume the responsibility for leading students to acquire and use knowledge of political economy in their own thinking about media. At the very least, media educators must lead students to pursue questions that necessarily lead to research and facts that allow them to consider the determining influences of the economic base (terrain) on the ideological field.

Teaching Methods as Media as Ideology

Alvarado (1981) warns that the common sense wisdom of everyday teaching practice must be critically analyzed as ideology. The legacy of progressive discourse (e.g. positioning the teacher as facilitator, privileging the learner’s expertise and interests, focusing on experiential learning, etc.) should not be assumed as naturally better than traditional teaching methods. “Political and ideological shifts undertaken by ‘progressivists’ have emphasized questions of method at the expense of a concern with what was being taught” (201). One of the casualties of this retreat from content driven curriculum in media education is the possible exclusion or peripheral placement of political economy content, such as broadcast structure and media ownership (see above, Political Economy as Nescessary Content). Alvarado claims that the separation of method from content is a false distinction of conceptual convenience. Methods should not be chosen on their own merit because their merit does not exist apart from the content they use and the ideology they operate within as they are practiced through particular content. In other words, content and methodology must work in harmony with an awareness of the ideologies they may serve.

This fair warning follows from a critique of Masterman’s seminal text for media education, Teaching about Television (1980). Masterman positions the teacher as responsible for demystifying (for and with students) the process by which media deliver ideology, but Alvarado points out that the medium itself is a part of ideology rather than a disseminator of ideologies. Similarly, teaching methods should be thought of as media with ideological implications. If we always follow student interest and build from student experience, will we encounter key concepts and knowledge necessary for understanding how media operate and produce culture? Is it realistic or even respectful to always subordinate the knowledge and expertise of the teacher? Do we have a responsibility, in addition to facilitating critical and creative faculties, to train students to participate and compete in the current social formation?

Media Literacy and Childhood

Buckingham discusses the debate on the relationship between children and media. He states that there are two very prominent, but contrasting views on the topic. Writes Buckingham (2003), “On one hand, there is the idea that childhood as we know it is dying or disappearing, and that media are primarily to blame for this. On the other, there is the idea that media are now a force of liberation for children – that they are creating a new ‘electronic generation’ that is more open, more democratic, more socially aware than their parent’s generation” (p.19). This difference of opinion is nothing new; media scholars debated the role of media long before it was associated with media literacy.

Is this really killing childhood? The debate rages. On one side, the argument can be made that media is not ending childhood early. This could be equated back to the “Which came first? The chicken or the egg? argument. The argument in this case however, is: do media reflect society or does society reflect media? To be totally cliché – it is true that times have changed and people are indeed exposed to certain elements of life sooner, but when was the last a ten year old was asked to file taxes, pay bills, write TPS reports, or anything of the like? Children are still able to enjoy childhood. As using media does not necessarily make a person media literate, it is the child’s environment that contributes to their awareness level of the media’s role. (Hans: Isn't the concept of "childhood" a creation of the industrial modern age? The idea of having an extended, protected childhood is a relatively new idea - in times past, children 'grew up fast' as well, worked at young ages, etc. Maybe what we are seeing in the media isn't really so new after all.)

However, an alternate argument could also be made, specifically, that the media are showing images, writing lyrics, and posting content that previous generation were not exposed to until much later in life.

Related to this is Buckingham's assertion that media literacy is creating a new generation of media savvy entrepreneurs. While being “children” by viewing channels such as Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Disney, and Nogn, children are also realizing that not only are shows for them, but so are the commercials. Children are beginning to see the difference in the programming they watch alone and the programming they watch with their parents. This has changed the nature of progrmming and advertising as well; as children as viewed increasingly as "sophisticated, demanding, 'media-wise' consumers" (Buckingman, p. 31), media has adapted as well. (Hans: In what ways has the media adjusted programming or advertising to treat children as "media-wise" kids?)

Still, and argument can be made that this is not a bad thing that will lead to the demise of society because children are beginning to be aware of their surroundings. Creating this ’electronic” generation is making children more socially aware, which will inevitably lead to more sound decisions – involving media or not. Children will be able to understand why certain are portrayed in certain product commercials. They will start to pay attention to the products they buy, channels they watch, and sites they visit. This awareness is not leading children down the path to crime and early pregnancy as critics of media suggest.

Media Literacy in the Home

Buckingham also makes the clarification that one cannot classify children as a homogeneous group. There are many other factors, social factors that influence this classification. One salient point that he makes is that “At least in the UK, research suggests that children are now much more likely to be confined to their homes, and much less independently mobile, than they were twenty years ago; and while parents now spend much less time with their children , they are attempting to compensate for this by devoting increasing economic resources to child-rearing” (Buckingham, 2003, pg, 21).

In this instance, the media are just another outlet for these children to learn. Due to unfortunate home circumstances, they are left alone and feel alienated. The media are not teaching them to be socially defunct or encouraging bad behavior, but they are providing an outlet to children with no other communication at home.

Online Resources for Learning More

  • PODCASTS: Learn about Reel Vision[1], the Boston filmmaking group that works with young people (Episode 15)
  • ORGANIZATIONS: Understand Media [2] European Centre for Media Literacy [3] Alliance for a Media Literate America [4]
  • WEBSITES: Media Literacy Clearinghouse [5] MediaLiteracy.com [6]

See also

References

  • Alliance for a Media Literate America. (2005). Operational policy: Corporate funding. Retrieved October 1, 2006, from http://www.amlainfo.org/home/about-amla/policies/operational-policy/operational-policy#8
  • Alvarado, M. (1981). Television Studies and Pedagogy. Screen Education, 38, 191-206.
  • Buckingham, D. (2003). Media education: Literacy, learning and contemporary culture. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Christ, W. G., & Potter, J. W. (1998). Media literacy, media education, and the academy. Journal of Communication, 48, 5-15.
  • Goodman, S. (2003). Teaching youth media: A critical guide to literacy, video production, and social change. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Heins, M., & Cho, C. (2003). Media literacy: An alternative to censorship. (2nd ed.). Free Expression Policy Project. Retrieved October 1, 2006, from http://www.fepproject.org/policyreports/medialiteracy.pdf
  • Hobbs, R. (2007). Reading the media: Media literacy in high school English. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Hobbs, R., & Frost, R. (1999). Instructional practices in media literacy education and their impact on students' learning. New Jersey Journal of Communication, 6(2), 123-148.
  • Kist, W. (2005). New literacy’s in action: Teaching and learning in multiple media. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Masterman, L. (1980). Teaching about Television. London: Macmillon.
  • Thoman, E., & Jolls, T. (2005). Media literacy education: Lessons from the center for media literacy. In G. Schwartz & P. U. Brown (Eds.), Media literacy: Transforming curriculum and teaching (Vol. 104, 2005, pp. 180 -205). Malden, MA: National Society for the Study of Education

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Featured article star.svg Quality resource: this resource is a featured learning resource.










--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:

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)
[7] 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?)?
  • [8]: 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)