Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/May 2012

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Reviving Highschool Help Forum - HHF

Please find the link here: Highschool Help Forum

Hello!

I had started the highschool help forum on Wikviersity a few years ago and then departed after creating the basic forum structure.

However, I feel that it can be started again, but instead of a forum, it could be used as a means to generate more learning materials. Here's how:

  1. Contributors like me post exercise questions and problems related to Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology
  2. Other editors can contribute by posting tutorials on solving those problems.

There might be several objections raised to this - most prominent being that we do not want Wikiversity to be the go to website for copying solutions to homework questions. That is not the purpose of the project.

The purpose can be defined as follows:

  1. The discussions on the questions can be good guidelines on what to THINK while solving those problems
  2. A way of collecting the experience of teachers and using recent literature on pedagogy and education to create high quality learning materials - as opposed to mere solutions.
  3. Several gems of problems that are discovered along the way can be used for extensive discussions, making them rather long, standalone learning materials that teach students the related principles through inquiries and deductive reasoning rather than explaining them the same in text form.
  4. A repository of problems that can be reused in Wikibooks and at other places

Here is the problem::

  1. Where do I find fellow contributors?
  2. How can I invite contributors from wikipedia and wikibooks over here?
  3. How best can the project be maintained so that anyone who stumbles upon them can start contributing straightaway!

--Dharav talk 06:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Some other problems to address:
  1. How is this different from Wikiversity:Help desk
  2. How is this different from Wikipedia:Reference desk
  3. How is this different from asking questions on the discussion page for any page at any project?
-- darklama  11:14, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I couldn't understand your questions. Could you restate them? Just in case they were rhetorical, I have three answers to my questions before. Please clarify. --14.139.160.4 05:24, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
People can get answers for their questions by asking on the help and reference desks, and basically by asking on any article/book/resource related to the subject their question is about. The questions and answers can be used to help improve articles/books/resources. I think people will want to know why they should ask/answer questions at Highschool Help Forum when they can ask/answer questions somewhere more prominent, more established and sees more participation. -- darklama  15:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
One of the major problems with Wikiversity at the moment is that most of the tasks that should be done here are accomplished instead on other WMF projects with more participation...--Claritas (talk) 17:12, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Book creator broken??

I am trying out book creater. I have selected all pages I needed to create the book here, but I cant get to export and save the pdf version of the book. I get the following error message:

"The file you are trying to download does not exist: Maybe it has been deleted and needs to be regenerated."

Can some one have a look at this for me? is it a bug? --Thuvack | talk | Blog 12:33, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

See bugzilla:36950. Same problem was noticed at Wikibooks. -- darklama  13:16, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks man. I will follow developments there. I have had numerous requests for a pdf version of Electric circuits Analysis. I want to test the book creator and see what comes up, other wise I will have to do page by page, merge and then upload.--Thuvack | talk | Blog 16:28, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I am sure that this book would be highly sought after, as I believe it is matured enough to be a student companion. How do I get it to PediaPress? How does PediaPress work and will proceeds go towards advancement of Wikiversity or the general Mediawiki fund? --Thuvack | talk | Blog 16:58, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Checkout http://pediapress.com - basically, create a book using the tool on a WMF wiki and then do a print order with pediopress. Some portion of profit goes to WMF. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 19:26, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Petition: Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research

Wikiversity users may be interested in voting for this petition to the USA government - https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/require-free-access-over-internet-scientific-journal-articles-arising-taxpayer-funded-research/wDX82FLQ -- Jtneill - Talk - c 19:26, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Export

There are loads of goodies in wikipedia that we need to bring hear. Someone Export it all.--Deathlaser (talk) 16:35, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

You mean bring here? --Haplology (talk) 16:57, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Wikiversity:Wikimedia Garbage Detail; one would need normally someone with admin access to restore those + bring here, if wanted. But it's perhaps also doable before: e.g. in deletion discussions contributors could be made aware of WV as a learning environment. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + Identi.ca 11:10, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Notability

A lot of the stuff on wikiversity is not notable, has little neutrality, has "I" in it and doesn't have refs!--Deathlaser (talk) 16:39, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikiversity does not require resources be notable. Every Wikimedia project has its own ideas and perspectives of what neutrality means. Wikiversity participants are free to define what perspectives are worth exploring in a resource. Other perspectives can be explored in other resources. Wikiversity participants are free to use any writing style for resources, including a first-person narrative. I think Wikiversity is lax about the inclusion of references, and sometimes references are not possible like when doing original research. -- darklama  02:15, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Deathlaser has a point that we could improve the average quality of the site by having a bonfire of the garbage...--Claritas (talk) 18:38, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Not a bonfire - just label for quality more clearly. Actually, the problem with Wikiversity can be understood by clicking on "Recent changes" at left - doing it just now, it goes back three hours. You have the equivalent of something like half a dozen editors working on the site, at least for that period. There's only so much you can do. Wnt (talk) 19:36, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I encourage you to do research and present to the Wikiversity community an objective thesis about quality, and what is and isn't garbage. An objective thesis about quality might be productive in igniting support for a bonfire. I agree with Wnt, there is only so much that can be done, but you can help by volunteering to improve the quality of resources yourself, identifying and labeling for quality, and perhaps encourage people to think more about quality by using discussion pages to initiate discussions about specific things that might help improve the average quality of the site. I would like to see the clarification templates used more frequently when resources are vague or thin on details to encourage quality improvements through precision and inclusion of specific details. -- darklama  20:22, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, there are boxes one could use: e.g.
Help:Resources by completion status (though my opinion is: a learning resource is never finished...)
Help:Resources by quality (who decides what this term "quality" really means?)
Learning resources (which some call pages) should be seen as a process which is not yet finished... ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + Identi.ca 11:19, 28 May 2012 (UTC)