Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/November 2006

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1-7 November[edit source]

Open University[edit source]

Open source universities are poping up everywhere. Least month it was MIT, now britian has one. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/6071230.stm and http://www.open.ac.uk/. Where did they put that list of free universities?--Rayc 06:38, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The open source community is really changing this world. We are doing it here, one edit at a time :-) --HappyCamper 22:59, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The Open University has been around for years. It's not open as in open source software but open to everyone - you still have to pay in most cases. Ian OfNorwich

Bah. Wikiversity is developing a liberation of context that is irreversible:
  1. Question Authority
  2. Ignore the obvious
  3. Make no assumptions
  4. Speak the Truth to Power
That's about it. • Q^#o
I don't think this is realistic. The authority of a teacher can't be questioned if the student has too limited information on a subject. Reality often is obvious, ignoring it could get you into trouble. Everybody makes assumptions, it is important to learn what your assumptions are before you can change them. Unfortunately, the context dictates us when speaking the truth is useful or not. Avoiding powerstruggles will probably be impossible, see politics or the edit wars on Wikipedia.--Daanschr 18:35, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Today, i read in my newspaper (a large national newspaper in the Netherlands) that a revolution is taking place at the moment in education. Open University is about to conquer the world with a new kind of learning. The European Union has put millions of euros in a project of interlingual learning at universities. Courses are translated from Dutch to English and from Italian to Turkish etc. Open Universities are founded by regular universities. Maybe it would be an idea to try to join them or to cooperate with them. A problem is that we are very small compared to them.--Daanschr 09:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Daanschr could you provide some links to this story and any background information about it?
The Open University (OU) (a State funded British distance learning institution that can confer ordinary and higher degrees) has recently launched an open courseware indicative called OpenLearn. This is similar to the MIT's OpenCourseWare project. I think there is great scope for cooperation between these projects and Wikiversity. However I think these projects are quit different endeavors to that of Wikiversity. In my opinion both courseware projects are primarily marketing tools to promote and strengthen the identity of MIT and the OU. Mystictim 12:00, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi everybody, cooperation (besides with "outside" institutions) could also be improved in the different wikis, e.g. how many of the articles from English wikipedia are also available in other languages (and vice versa) ?
I am starting at the moment to translate the German wikiversity course software test into English here. But the problem I see is, that updating the content later in all languages will be some work. Let's see where it will evolve. If there can be cooperation through many languages - or also again some languages will dominate. Hopefully this will help to gather more people for the courses, which also Daanschr above talks about, which was one of my motivations to start the course in English here. --Erkan Yilmaz 16:36, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

According to the newspaper (De Volkskrant (Tuesday 28-11-2006) page 2), the courses are all free in the future, but you need to pay for exams in order to get a diploma. Not all course material is for free online, but the aim is to make it free and to translate it into several languages. The former chairman of the Open University in the Netherlands, the former Dutch politician Thijs Wöltgens tried to get 12 million euro from the Dutch government to get all the course material for free online. The Dutch government only gave 500,000 euro, and Open University needs to get at least 500 people to study at a regular university for the money. In the Netherlands, the government tries to enlarge the amount of university graduates, because it is good for the economy. A private American organization has given 200,000 dollar (+/- 150,000 euro). People can't graduate on Open University, students can only finish single courses. The reason that graduation is not an option is that face-to-face contact with a teacher is too important for an academic education. I was wrong about the European Union. I read my newspaper to quickly this morning. --Daanschr 18:14, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

#Attribution from other projects[edit source]

Check out this post for further discussion on this topic Mystictim 11:52, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Template:Policy[edit source]

Please note the new addition to Template_talk:Policy. This is to [[raise awareness, not suspicion. I think it is a wise decision to create a place for a general treatment of Wikiversity:Templates, so I just charged on ahead, in the spirit of being bold. I know this item might be of interest to Wikiversity:Custodians, so I bring it up here. These should also note that Template messages/Project namespace (an explicit link from this template) or a substitute, has yet to be created and/or linked. To unwind, BTW, take a look at Humane Quality if you like. CQ 23:15, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Email versus User talk[edit source]

I'm new to wiki software so maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the way to get in touch with other users is via the "Email this user" button in the toolbox. Trouble is, many users don't seem to have an email address set up to recieve correspondence. This is kind of a problem, since I'm sure many people would like to collaborate on projects, and can't easily. Again, unless there's a different method of communication that I'm not aware of, shouldn't it be mandatory to enter an email address so that this beta can evolve? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Electroswoosh (talkcontribs) )

Most commincation is done through the user talk page. I'll start yours. Though you could also subscribe to the wikiversity email list (I don't)--Rayc 01:27, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I suspect that many Wikiversity participants may not know how to activate the email feature and may not understand the advantages of doing so. We could make a little tutorial about this. --JWSchmidt 01:39, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I think we should also mention some subtlety involved with the e-mail system. For example, if you mail within Wikiversity, your IP address remains hidden. --HappyCamper 01:43, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
After using wiki software, email seems a bit barbaric to me. *hehe* ...Nevertheless, a tutorial including "understand the advantages" (I don't) is probably in order. CQ 02:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)


May not fit in here perfect, but: one story about our German course software test: We were mostly communicating over discussion pages and user pages, but this was very time-consuming (waiting for the other to answer, ...) for the initial phase of the project. So we agreed to communicate over phone (which we agreed over email). And result was: we talked for 1,5 hours and could agree on many points. I would imagine that without this, this would have cost more time and nerves. So, it could be also mentioned in the tutorial to consider for initial kick-offs other (better) communication media :-( --Erkan Yilmaz 16:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Import www.gnacademy.org[edit source]

I administer the site www.gnacademy.org, a distance learning site, and would appreciate it if people would help import some of the content of that site into wikiversity. There is a lot of wiki information on distance learning, and a database that would be nice to import into wikidata.

Roadrunner 16:03, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

I know nothing about Twiki. Is there an easy way to convert Twiki page content into MediaWiki format? --JWSchmidt 20:13, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Use of Java Applets[edit source]

  • I used the following links to run a test on my user page but have not tested inside a topic file yet. I see no reason it should not work the same as the link downloads a java applet but I am not a wikimedia developer. I think we should be able to upload java distribution files (both source(GPL)and bytecode distribution files) to use in our learning modules. For an excellent example, if your browser is Java enabled click on this kinematics lesson tool[[1]]located at http://www.phy.syr.edu/courses/modsim.html
  • I think this is ok if proper credit is given because the Java applet downloads and runs in your personal browser. Bandwidth load though .... this has been visited tens of thousands of times since developed in the nineties ..... how the server bandwidth would react to tens of thousands of high schoolers all in the same month is an interesting question.
  • Obviously the preferred alternative to using others work, even if they encourage it, is to develop or find GPL'ed applets that could be installed and run on the Wikiversity servers and bandwidth.
  • What do others think of the above to enable working with additional technologies besides the wikimedia in learning modules? Can we currently upload Java applet files and source and link to them for download to interested users? Mirwin 19:07, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Motion_-_Kinematics Good place to use a link to above if we can agree on appropriate approach. Mirwin 20:09, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
There have been some other Wikiversity participants interested in working along these lines; see Interactive labs. --JWSchmidt 21:46, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Looking for online instruction examples[edit source]

I'm currently editing the Wikiversity Newcomers page.

I'm looking for recommendations of good examples of active instruction being conducted online at Wikiversity. So far I've found just one (on Hitler's Germany). I'd like more, especially those demonstrating different styles of instruction in a variety of disciplines. It's my intention to use these to form an introductory overview for newcomers.

Later I'll do the same for downloadable learning and teaching plans.

morley 02:43, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Good Way to Help Wikiversity Grow Predictor@Home et. al.[edit source]

Hi JW, I have established wikiversity.org projects at einstein@home and rosetta@home. If you have BOINC running on a system and working with http://predictor.scripps.edu/ you could establish a wikiversity team there. I think this might tie in well with your phage learning portal. Certainly we need the advertising we can get if we can get tens or hundreds to sign up and climb over the next few months in the ratings. People actually look at those once a while. I have at seti@home. (aWe also need a team there my acccount is messed up so I cannot reestablish another till I change email addresses I will drop a copy of this note at the collquium there are a lot of projects to cover, eight or ten listed at Berkely, google seti home takes you there) With a team name of wikiversity.org we should certainly get some exposure. Also if you are serious about establishing a wikiversity supercomputing project (great idea! I think I mentioned a couple of times and nobody was interested) in the long term then we need people to start using the software and getting familiar with it. If we have a lot of users some of the free software folks crave useful popular work. No fun to write software nobody uses. Mirwin 05:30, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe along with free learning journals being added to each school's page, we can add all the @home projects on particular pages. Just to let everyone know, I also created the Screensaver Project a while back ago to list these projects.--Rayc 20:27, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

CC-BY-SA 2.5[edit source]

The German Wikiversity uses CC-BY-SA 2.5. Why doesn't it do the English Wikiversity?

Wikiversity started at Wikibooks and the meta-wiki. Those two older wikis use GFDL, so it was natural for Wikiversity to do the same. --JWSchmidt 16:17, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Because it was always GFDL…
Does not convince me. Old contents could be nevertheless exceptionally under the GFDL and the new under the CC-By-SA.
Change is much more likely to happen when there are explicit reasons provided for making a change. What are the advantages of CC-By-SA? --JWSchmidt 16:27, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
One does not have to print with e.g. the whole license text. Since version 2.5 the Creative Commons licenses thus e.g. permit it the Wiki to call as an author.
FDL is known and tested to be copyleft or "viral". The creative commons allows copyright holders to specify a barrage of different rights and responsibities ranging from traditional copyright to public domain or attribution only. This can be confusing and conflicting. I would view using CC-BY-SA 2.5 as potentially threatening to Wikiversity's fundamental mission. Get human knowledge available online in a free format that can be modified and reused widely and freely. We already have domestic commerical publishing industry on Terra. No need for Wikiversity as a non-profit to duplicate it. Mirwin 17:35, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I remember Jimbo stating somewhere that if he had to do wikipedia all over again, the first thing he would change is that it would be CC instead of GDFL.--Rayc 02:48, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
  • "not have to print with e.g. the whole license text" <-- The intent of the GFDL is to make documents freely available. Printing out Wikiversity content for educational use without printing a full copy of the license is not a problem unless someone also tried to falsely claim ownership of that content. "wikipedia.....CC instead of GDFL" <-- This kind of hindsight is not very useful. Wikipedia was placed under the GFDL before any CC licenses even existed. --JWSchmidt 04:40, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Yes, I know that. But CC exists now, and wikiversity is just starting up.--Rayc 16:09, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
      • What are the advantages of using a Creative Commons license? How would using a Creative Commons license impact on existing Wikiversity content that is under the GFDL? --JWSchmidt 17:33, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Multilicensed images.png
We can dual-license images and other media.--JWSchmidt 00:59, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

The image question is different... someone teaching a class might want to use a few images without wanting to print out the entire coursework. For that purpose, GFDL is a Very Bad Thing, because having to print 2 pages of licencing for a handout with 4 or 5 images is awkward, to say the least. --SB_Johnny | talk 11:45, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

"Very Bad Thing" <-- The purpose of the GFDL is to make works freely available for people to use. If you simply use some copies of GFDL-licensed material (such as images) in a classroom, who is going to show up at your door and demand that you also print copies of the GFDL?. All of the restrictions in the GFDL are there to prevent people from taking GFDL-licensed material and converting it to a non-free format. Some of the FUD that is thrown at the GFDL might be tempered the new version of the GFDL.--JWSchmidt 15:43, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Cute. So why not just "GFDL" instead of "CC by 2.5 and GFDL"? Four bytes instead of 18 bytes not 4 bytes plus 3 pages. I just posted a jpg of a set with many 3d models in a Firestation fire engine bay. I have offered to send the 5MB file to anyone who emails me pending getting our learning project cisLunarFreighter setup on SourceForge (anybody willing to administer it for a while until somebody else shows up feel free, I have enough to learn as is for the moment). Is the CC by 2.5 and or GFDL suitable for these models since the *.blend file is loaded same as a document or should a GPL be used or should we label the models file as "GFDL, CC by 2.5 and GPL as apprpropriate"? It seems to me that a court case will show up eventually acknownledginng the intent is the important issue not the specific standard licence cited. Meanwhile I guess for models and sets in used 3D modeling and animation we will use all three in the final distribution of packaged files. I guess I now know I have to read the blasted licenses again (and again, and again, ...) and reinvestigate the background of the individuals controlling the license content and periodic updates to have a current meaningful opinion. Mirwin 23:56, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I'll say it again - we need to build a learning community around free content and licencing. A learning project at Free content seems to be the most obvious starting point, if anyone's willing to pitch in - or even advertise community-wide.. Cormaggio 11:57, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

8-14 November[edit source]

A problem at Wikibooks[edit source]

Wikibooks will not let me login. It tells me I must have cookies set, which I now do and provides a test screen to add two number when I try to edit anonymously. I cannot get this to work either putting a number in and hitting return, number and the submit button, or spelling the words out (one plus one equal SUBMIT BUTTON). I had cookies off for a while when I was not editing Wikipedia, Wikibooks, or Wikiversity much. I think I tried to login and now the software either on my system or wikimedia server thinks I still have cookies off. I can now log into Wikipedia and Wikiversity just fine. Some Wikibooks administrators may wish to check on this as participants here must be able to insert comments, question and improvements at Wikibooks to have an incentive to use Wikibooks and as part of our overrall premise of incremental improvement of open materials. Anyone else having this problem? Leave information here or at my talk page. Thanks! This is a problem for Wikiversity as well since I am trying to use the Blender books at Wikibooks in my learning trails. Mirwin 23:41, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I just tried to login to Wikibooks using Internet Explorer and cookie security set to "high" and could not login. I lowered the cookie security level and could then login. What cookie settings are you using?--JWSchmidt 00:33, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I am using Firefox. The cookies seem to be on or off. You can block specific cookies which I had quite a few but could not see wikibooks.org. I deleted all cookies and all blocks and now I can log in as lazyquasar. I think something is not quite right in the mediawiki code running wikibooks though. The login screen still asks you to type a word and then presents an equation. This comes up in response to putting external links in pages when not logged in but not when use the v specification in the wikimedi link format. No longer a big deal for me now that I can log on again. Unless others are having trouble not worth pursuing further. 71.161.11.216 04:33, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Attribution from other projects[edit source]

I'm looking at MIT OpenCourseWare and OpenLearn and they both [2] [3] seem to be operating under the CC License, particulary

  • to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
  • to make derivative works

Now that we are almost done transwiki-ing material from wikibooks, could we start moving OpenCourseWare and OpenLearn's stuff into wikiversity? What kind of attribution would be acceptible? Could we make a template and place it at the bottom of the page to fulfill the attribution? Finally, would this be useful to start moving over to the wiki? (Looks like someone else had the idea as well) --Rayc 23:16, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

The first thing that strikes me is that both those sites use a Non-Commercial version of a Creative Commons licence - this is generally rules for exclusion within Wikimedia projects (on the grounds that we explicitly allow our content for commercial use - with attribution), though I'm unsure if we will apply that policy in the same way here. The other thing that strikes me is that, though we open-content projects could all borrow from eachother and, by logical extension, all end up with the same repository of shared material, it might be an idea to keep to our own material, developing it here, with the efforts of our contributors. I'm not saying we exclude everything that doesn't come from within our participant base, but nor do I think we should just dump in everything. IMHO (for now) :-) Cormaggio 00:11, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Sure! Read, cite, derive and link to MIT OpenCourseWare and OpenLearn, but why start compromising principles now? Nothing in Wikimedia has succeeded honorably thus far. Honor their work by proving that you understand it enough to use your own words! CQ 03:15, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what you mean here, so curiosity forces me to probe deeper.. :-) In what way(s) do you think I/we could be compromising principles? Whose work are you thinking we need to honour? How do you see this to be done? Cormaggio talk 18:20, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Categories and Namespaces[edit source]

Xlbnushk 16:05, 10 November 2006 (UTC) -- I've got a couple of issues to bring up.

1) How should the categories be organized? Right now I'm working on the Japanese language course, and I'm putting every related article into Category:Japanese, Category:Foreign Language Learning, Category:Language and Literature, and Category:Humanities, based on the hierarchy of the faculty, school, division, and course. This may become a problem because, for example, Category:Japanese now shows up within Category:Humanities and that sort of trend could really clutter things up. Would it be better to place articles and categories only within the category of their immediate parents? In other words, Topic:Japanese would go only into Category:Japanese, which would go only into Category:Foreign Language Learning, which would go only into Category:Language and Literature, which would go only into Category:Humanities. (This is, of course, setting aside things that fit into multiple same-level categories.) Since a category page ultimately display subcategories, a course category page could still be accessed from, say, a faculty category page. Now that I think about it, I do believe that this is a much better system and should be the standard. I'm going to implement this system for at least the Japanese course as an example. See the result at Category:Humanities.

2) Perhaps namespaces should be reorganized to fit the various levels of articles that we have. Using my previous example, the Japanese language course fits into the Foreign Language Division of the School of Language and Literature of the Faculty of Humanities. The "division", "school", and "faculty" attributions have not been properly discussed, and I feel that proper discussion is necessary. As it is now, the Foreign Language Division and the Japanese course are both topic-level articles. This is confusing. Also, there might be the need for a further breakdown of levels to accomodate the organization of lessons. What if I wanted to create separate beginner, intermediate, and advanced level Japanese courses, or courses with very specific goals? The next level we have below courses is lessons, and this system does not allow for lessons to be grouped except under courses, which is inconvenient for organization. I'm not saying that my idea necessarily should be instituted, but I think other people may have such concerns as well and that we need to revisit the topic and come to a definitive conclusion. The namespaces page and the naming conventions pages have handled this to an extent, but they didn't effectively collect user votes. What say you?

So can we define the material as in category (Japanese Reading K4-K5) category (Japanese Reading K9-12) etc.? It seems to me that specific lesson or learning trails have to be interlinked from within the lesson no matter how we preceed with topic names or categories. Regarding the Division, School, etc. debate it is not clear to me yet that all these top level categories are useful beyond giving newcomers confidence to place some material somewhere which they will be able to find again. Mirwin 21:34, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia has a well-developed set of guidelines for categories. I think the most useful rule is, "Articles should not usually be in both a category and its subcategory. For example Golden Gate Bridge is in Category:Suspension bridges, so it should not also be in Category:Bridges." --JWSchmidt 16:31, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

namespaces. The first issue for namespaces is the distinction between main namespace content and "meta content". The main namespace (pages with no prefix) is for pages that are the actual education-oriented content of Wikiversity. The Wikiversity project proposal identified two major types of learning resource that are central to the project's mission: learning materials and learning projects. Most Wikiversity content that can be thought of as being learning materials or learning projects should be in the main namespace. If there are various organizational levels or categories of learning resources, they can be organized using categories and portals. Portals, as developed at Wikipedia (see w:Wikipedia:Portal), when combined with categories provide a versatile system for organizing related main namespace pages. I think it would be a mistake to start dividing main namespace content into subsets that would be assigned to new namespaces. Any proposal for doing so needs to explain clearly the reasons why Wikiversity should make new namespaces for main namespace content; in particular, such a proposal needs to explain why new namespaces would be better than using the existing system of portals and categories.
meta content. Wikiversity pages that are about how Wikiversity functions and how the Wikiversity community can develop educational resources can be thought of as "meta content". I think Wikiversity participants should view pages in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces as content development projects. At Wikipedia, all content development projects are simply placed into the "Wikipedia:" namespace. I think the Wikiversity "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces are a useful innovation in providing two new namespaces for content development projects. At Wikipedia there is a pseudo-namespace for content development projects; the names of all of the content development projects start with "Wikpedia:WikiProject" (see w:Wikipedia:WikiProject. At Wikiversity, pages in the "Topic:" namespace can be called divisions, departments, centers, institutes, etc. Wikiversity "Topic:" pages are content development projects for narrow topic areas that fall within broader subject areas of the Wikiversity schools. Yes, it would be possible to divide up the pages in the "Topic:" namespace and split them into a set of new namespaces, but would that really be less confusing? --JWSchmidt 20:33, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Xlbnushk 21:05, 10 November 2006 (UTC) -- I see what you're saying. I've been doing a lot of organizing recently, and I'm actually quite comfortable with the setup. Topic pages can be organized into hierarchies via the use of categories, so I guess there is no absolute necessity for further namespaces.

Additional namespaces might not be necessary, but if anyone can think of how a new namespace would help we should give it serious consideration. It is better to act now while this wiki is still new, small and more flexible....in the future there will be too much momentum to easily change course. --JWSchmidt 21:36, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Xlbnushk 21:42, 10 November 2006 (UTC) -- If we're going to have more namespaces, we should have one for each different level. Portals already satisfy the top tier, then schools, then divisions, then topics. It doesn't really matter what they're called, but we could use some variety towards the bottom, something to branch out from topics. If special namespaces are for development pages, then we definitely need more. The only pages not involved in development are going to be specific lesson pages.

Xlbnushk 04:04, 11 November 2006 (UTC) -- Again, if special namespaces are the standard for development and coordination pages, then we definitely need more. Special namespaces allow users to see the overall purpose of a page at a glance. They also make it much easier to understand the hierarchy when seeing multiple pages from multiple levels at once. The categorization system allows us to create hierarchies, but it is not more for reference and not optimal for organization.


"If we're going to have more namespaces ..... we could use some variety towards the bottom, something to branch out from topics ..... we definitely need more." <-- If we are going to have more namespaces we need a list of names for the new namespaces, descriptions of how the contents of those new namespaces will differ from the contents of other namespaces and reasons why having the new namespaces will improve Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 06:54, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


The Purpose of Namepaces
The purpose of namespaces is to identify pages. If a page has a purpose, it should be identified clearly. Vague names or no names helps no one. Robert Elliott 15:03, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes - for me, every namespace (except for "Main" which is the lack of a namespace), simply indicates that it is an organiser page. "This page will guide the reader to useful content in this area". I already wonder whether we have too many - my constant question is: "Is it intuitive for the newcomer to find and/or contribute to content?". If it is felt we need to develop further namespaces, I agree that they need to be clearly justified in terms of their usefulness, and that this should preferably be done sooner rather than later. Cormaggio 16:02, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
If we are operating on a structure that is not represented in the namespaces, that in and of itself is a cause for confusion. We need to make a decision on this instead of arguing. Where and how do we propose the change formally and put it to vote? --Dnjkirk 11:37, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I started a page where proposals for new namespaces can be listed and then discussed. --JWSchmidt 13:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Honesty/Integrity[edit source]

Since more freedom is allowed on wikiversity than wikipedia, I suggest honesty and integrity as an over-reaching principle because in wikiversity we need to know that we are in companies that we can trust. It may be related to civility but it is different. We need this line because, in contrast to wikipedia, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether somebody is honest or not. Thus the honour code (do not intentionally deceive) is much more important here.

For example, a fake article may appear on wikiversity, which is beyond anybody on wikiversity to point out the mistake. On wikipedia, it would just be deleted, because it cannot be supported. On wikiversity, we might have to keep it until somebody finds out the fault. This would be okay if the fault was a genuine mistake, and often the mistake can be corrected and it would become a contribution to the society. But if it were a hoax, then it would have wasted the time of many readers in the mean time. And I have not heard of wikipedians being banned because of intentionally deceiving. I am not sure if Civility and disclosure cover such grounds. --Hillgentleman 23:42, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

The essence of what you have written is quite thoughtful, and very far reaching. What you wrote suggests that Wikiversity and Wikipedia differ, so let me try and qualify what that is. In my opinion, a participant on Wikipedia contributes for the purpose of disseminating knowledge, whereas on Wikiversity, it is done for (or supplanted with) the purpose of learning. Someone who contributes to share knowledge feels they are able to do so. Someone who wants to learn realises that they cannot. Wikiversity is a santuary where these two spheres of thought coexist, and in fact are nurtured - this is not quite as apparent on Wikipedia. In some parts of Wikipedia, this may be nonexistent. I might digress and write more on how and where this occurs, but I want to keep this response rather balanced.
I hope we do not adopt too much of the civility or transparency jargon too much - although I think it would be good to build a new framework inspired by their reasonable success. My concern on the former comes from the observation that many editors become very adept at using passive aggressiveness to compensate for their abrasive editing style - this is not necessarily a net benefit to the Wiki. Disclosure is also difficult to define - perhaps "sufficient disclosure" or some other moderated concept should be introduced. I have found that there are many complex situations on the Wiki where disclosure of information is not appropriate, because compromises the well being of particular editors, the Wiki as a whole, or various gradations between the extremes.
I have been of the sort that feels the Wiki cannot possibly preemptively codify for every nuance of sophistication that can occur. What appropriate aim to strive for on Wikiversity, would probably include a wholistic set of principles or ideals. Leading by example might be very appropriate and complementary to honesty and integrity - a tremendous amount of behaviour is learned by observation on Wikis. Well, we'll see if these posts make a splash or not on the colloquium!! --HappyCamper 04:20, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
That's a very interesting response, HappyCamper. I'd love to hear your thoughts (held back for now ;-)) about the differences between Wikipedia and Wikiversity (as well as Hillgentleman's). But on the difference you do outline, I'd like to add my own perspective. You say that Wikipedia is about "disseminating knowledge, whereas on Wikiversity, it is done for (or supplanted with) the purpose of learning". This is true, of course, and I would only add that, while both projects are about constructing knowledge, however Wikiversity is about this in a very literal, explicit sense.
I agree that it's going to be very hard to create policy for every social eventuality on-wiki. That's why we need to come up with a simple set of general groundrules about what it means to participate in this space, and let the community decide and interpret how it implements this. Persistant trolls will - well, persist - but it is up to the wider community to set norms or examples, as you say, and to codify this within groundrules for good practice. Honesty and integrity sound like very easily "trollable" concepts, but they are also fundamental, in my mind, to providing for broad education. I'd be very happy if it were to work alongside the other related policies/guidelines (like Disclosures and Civility) - hopefully to strengthen our identity - but I just wonder if it will make it any easier to deal with persistant trolls and/or people from radically different worldviews (think, for example, neo-fascists). Cormaggio 16:28, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
The Wikiversity community has been called upon to develop a project where participants can move beyond the restrictions of the rule for "No Original Research". Original research and academic freedom take us beyond the confines of the traditional Wikimedia Foundation Neutral Point of View policy (NPOV). One possible path into this new territory is to establish policies for Scholarly ethics and open declaration of all departures from NPOV. --JWSchmidt 16:38, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Looks like we already have a Scholarly ethics page. Been seeing this a lot recently, people coming up with ideas very similar, yet just enough difference that one can't find it in a search. I would like to restate my pigionhole complaint now. :)--Rayc 18:32, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I will bite. What was (or provide a link) your pigionhole complaint? Mirwin 20:30, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
"A bigger problem I see is how will we piggon hole people to work on other people's stuff?"- from October. If bob is working on the history of ships and boats in canadian, and joe wants to work on canadian maritime history and doesn't know about bob, how do we get bob and joe to work together?--Rayc 21:21, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

content moved to the next section <-- if people give some thought to placing pages in categories then it becomes much easier for people to find related pages. --JWSchmidt 17:22, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

In response to Rayc, I think that, while we should be obviously encouraging collaboration (and making it easier for people to see how and where they could collaborate), having two pages that are similar is no bad thing - provided that they differ enough to be kept separate. One of the whole points in Wikiversity is that there will be multiple materials on the same subject - this is one way in which we differ substantially from Wikipedia. However, that's just a general point - not necessarily addressing Ray's question (to which I don't have an immediate answer). Cormaggio 01:26, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Search and links to related pages and web sites. When enough people show up interested in a subject someone will add links to sparsely connected pages to improve the materials. This is a natural easy contribution for newcomers to make and in the case of pigeonholing above will serve as an introduction between people and other pages. 71.161.5.15 18:40, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

The Use of "Category"[edit source]

The theory of Categories
I have not found a clear explanation of how to use Categories. At first, this seems to be a simple tool but in reality it is the foundation of a compete database structure. We need more information on how to use "Category". (Yes, I realize there is a HELP page for Category but so far, I cannot figure it out.) Robert Elliott 16:49, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Right now, all Wikiversity has in the way of information about categories is taken from Wikipedia (see Help:Category). A major page at Wikipedia for learning about categories is w:Wikipedia:Categorization. Maybe Wikiversity needs a short introductory tutorial about the use of categories. --JWSchmidt 17:17, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, what is done about pages that are subpages of categorized pages, like Topic:Foo/Intro_to_Foo? If Foo is category:foo, when I don't think Intro_to_Foo should be in a category.--Rayc 00:34, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Categories are useful for groups of related pages. If there are only two pages about Foo, those two pages can just be linked to each other and it may be that nobody will get confused. It does not hurt to put a subpage into a category; that provides a second way for people to find a page besides having to find the link to it. Also, it does not hurt to plan for the future. A category that starts with one or two pages might come to have many pages in the future. --JWSchmidt 02:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
To extend: "Foo" is a subject (like "Philosophy" - we have both School:Philosophy and Topic:Philosophy). School:Philosophy links to Introduction to Philosophy, which, at the moment, is a single page, but it could very well be a course in itself. There is a Category:Philosophy, and there is also a Category:Introduction to Philosophy. The former category will include all Wikiversity material related to philosophy, while the latter will include all material within that course (if it becomes a course). However, as is apparent, our system is slightly confused. Topic:Philosophy links to Philosophy 1000 (labelled "Introduction to Philosophy"), but doesn't mention Introduction to Philosophy, which is linked from the school instead! This isn't such a big deal if they're all in Category:Philosophy (or a sub-category) - categorisation can work to find all directly relevant material (and other peripherally-linked material can be listed on a Portal, School, or Topic). However, I think we need to look further into making a course structure apparent in a single organiser page. We also need to make our present namespaces intuitive to understand, which, I think it's fair to say, aren't. All namespaces need to be justified - for what it's worth, I'm still open to the idea of abolishing all namespaces in favour of having simply Portals and Categories, and then working on a smart system of tracking and/or finding material through metadata, for example... Cormaggio 11:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

a justification for the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces[edit source]

"the idea of abolishing all namespaces" <-- I assume that means abolishing only the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces. Here is a justification for the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces.

When Wikiversity existed as a set of pages at Wikibooks, most of the Wikiversity pages were organized around this page: b:Wikiversity:Wikiversity Schools. In addition to the many pages for "schools" there were also a few pages such as b:Wikiversity:Social Sciences. As an example of a "school" page, look at b:Wikiversity:School of Biology; it was basically a list of more specific topic areas within the broad subject of biology. As an example of a "topic" page, look at b:Wikiversity:Microbiology. Like many of the "school" and "topic" pages that had been started at Wikibooks, the "Microbiology" page had little educational content; it was a starting point for content development. So we can ask the question, what should have been done with these "school" and "topic" pages when they were imported to the Wikiversity website? And what about pages such as b:Wikiversity:Social Sciences?

Choice 1) Put all "school" and "topic" pages and pages such as b:Wikiversity:Social Sciences into the "Portal:" namespace.

Choice 2) Put some of the pages such as b:Wikiversity:Social Sciences into the "Portal:" namespace. Designate most of the "school" and "topic" pages as content development projects.

content development projects vs portals. A portal is a user-friendly page that connects people to wiki content. At Wikipedia, content development projects are called WikiProjects. Here at the start of the project, Wikiversity has very little actual content and is in need of content development projects. At Wikipedia, the content development projects all exist withing the "Wikipedia:" namespace. At Wikipedia, the names of the content development projects all start with "Wikipedia:WikiProject". For example, look at w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Science. Notice that there is a hierarchy of WikiProjects with the "science directory" WikiProject linking to many other WikiProjects that deal with specific science topics such as w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Molecular and Cellular Biology. NOTE: the WikiProjects do not substitute for portals, so, for example, there is also a w:Portal:Molecular and Cellular Biology.

In the case of Wikiversity, the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces were created as new namespaces for the "school" and "topic" pages that had been created at Wikibooks. The pages in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces can be thought of as Wikiversity content development pages. At Wikipedia there are two types of content development pages, the WikiProject directory pages for major subject areas and the actual WikiProject pages for specific topics. Rather than put these two kinds of content development pages into the "Wikiversity:" namespace, we put them into the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces.

Are the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces confusing? The "Wikiversity:" namespace is the "Project:" namespace. In my opinion, the "Wikiversity:" namespace should be for discussions of how Wikiversity functions as a Wikimedia Foundation project. The "Wikiversity:" namespace is the place for pages such as policy pages. Pages for content development projects are not for meta-level discussion about the project, they are places where wiki participants collaborate to develop and manage the actual main namespace content of the project. I think it makes sense to have content development projects outside of the "Project:" namespace. I think most people who are interested in the educational mission of Wikiversity are familiar with the idea of a "school". There should be very little confusion over the idea of participants in a school organizing their collaborations according to specific topics.

my conclusions. Having converted pages such as b:Wikiversity:Social Sciences into portals and "school" and "topic" pages into content development projects in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces, Wikiversity now has a basic system of portals and "WikiProjects". The Wikiversity content development pages are very important pages. I think it is a useful innovation to place these pages in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces. The "School:" pages can function like Wikipedia WikiProject directory pages. The "Topic:" pages are where Wikiversity participants who are interested in a topic can come together to collaborate and plan the main namespace pages that will hold the educational content related to that particular topic.
--JWSchmidt 15:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks John, it's taken me until your final paragraph there to realise what the School: and Topic: namespaces are good for, and also, crucially, how they differ from eachother. (And also, you're correct in thinking that it was these two namespaces that I was dubious about until now - sorry for leaving that unclear.) However, from what it looks to me, this isn't how these namespaces are being used in practice - does this then mean we need to go through each Portal, School and Topic, and see how they need to be restructured? Cormaggio 16:47, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I have been having discussions about the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces with various people for the past three months, mainly at Wikiversity talk:Naming conventions but also on this page, in IRC #wikiversity-en and at Wikiversity talk:Namespaces and Wikiversity:Namespaces/Proposals for new namespaces. It seems to be difficult to find people who are willing to say, "Oh, I see, sure, let's use the school and topic namespaces for content development projects". I am ready to do so, but I am reluctant to act without some kind of consensus. I think the most organized way to establish such a consensus would be to make a policy page for content development projects and make it policy for this wiki that content development projects exist as pages in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces. --JWSchmidt 18:35, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I see, sure, let's use the school and topic namespaces for content development projects! I love it! (...and to your original beef way up there, I am encouraged to review my contribs to make sure I've categorized stuff properly).
BTW, Cormaggio, In listing the gamut of Philosophy morsels, you appear to have ommited the most imPORTant one — Portal:Philosophy, which according to the prescribed structure is the tip of the whole structure and ought to link to all of those other things you touched above. Yet this portal does'nt yet exist! (per 05:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)) What's up with that?
Furthermore, restating JW's discourse, subjectively and historically, it is worthy to note that on Wikipedia, the Portal: namespace was a long time in the making, evolving from obscurity burried in the project namespace as Wikipedia:Wikiportals. WikiProjects began very slowly to emerge as groups of Portal maintainers with much discussion about the commitment to such ongoing long-term efforts. At long last the Portal namespace was created with a prominant place for WikiProjects in the portal skeleton. Getting this structure in place was a painstaking, collaborative, massive endeaver.
Here, we have the luxury of a Portal namespace at the outset, but not yet a culture of commitment and continuity. It seems logical to me that Schools should be responsible for Categorisation by class, kind, type, etc. in the form of a library, taxonomic, statistical or some other classification theory or schema. Such a classification of categories is explained at Wikipedia:Classification. Using templates to classify categories as I touched on in the discussion here is also described. CQ 05:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Duplicate file names[edit source]

Eventually, we will need to deal with the problem of duplicate files names. While this can wait a few years, people should be aware of the problem.

The problem is teachers of two different courses are beginning to use the same file names (or attempting to since Wikiversity does not currently allow this.)

We need to be able to have a lesson page called Lesson: Creating the Storyboard in a course in Basic filmmaking and a course on Filmmaking for drama departments and a course on How to create TV commercials. Robert Elliott 16:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

There are two solutions to this problem. First, more specific page names can be used such as Creating storyboards for films and Creating storyboards for TV commercials. The second solution is to use disambiguation pages. I think Wikiversity only has one disambiguation page so far: Language. --JWSchmidt 17:30, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Code which doesn't work[edit source]

On one of my personal pages I've tried to include a link to Category:Wikiversity_Essay_Contests using the double bracket convention Category:Wikiversity_Essay_Contests|Wikiversity Essay Contests. Doesn't print there, or here either. Check the code for this item and you'll see what I mean.

The page certainly exists. Here's the full URL:. What gives? — morley 22:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

It works for me, but the Colloquium does below in it.--Rayc 05:06, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Make links to category pages like this: Category:Wikiversity Essay Contests
or like this: the Category for pages about Wikiversity Essay Contests.
--JWSchmidt 13:50, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, to make a category appear "inline", you need to preface it with a ":" after the opening square brackets like [[:Category:Foo]] - otherwise it will appear with all the other categories at the bottom of the page. Cormaggio 20:42, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

User Preferences[edit source]

Is there a documentation page on User Preferences? Haven't found one. For instance, in the Templates Policy section of the Colloquium JWSchmidt mentions the eMail feature. Although I included mine within Preferences, JW seems to imply there's a simple way of making contact with users by eMail from within Wikiversity if that user has set one up. Or am I misreading his remarks?

In any case there should be documentation for all the Preferences features and a link towards it from the Newcomers page.

morley 20:14, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

If the user has set up the email feature, you will see an "Email this user" link in the left-hand sidebar, along with "Special pages" and "Upload file" on their userpage. Cormaggio 20:48, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Subpages[edit source]

I noted that the subpages I created for Topic:MediaWiki:

...don't link back to Topic:MediaWiki. Are subpages a no-no for the Topic: namespace?

Should I move them to be subpages for MediaWiki Project instead? Would this be OK with other participants? I'm attempting to get Wikiversity:Templates a bit further along, so I thought it reasonable to associate it with the MediaWiki Project. Or should we move them to main namespace articles:

or as a main article and subpages like:

Should Wiki 101 be moved to MediaWiki or MediaWiki 101? Thoughts? Feedback?

Also, what about Wikiversity:User subpages in the User: namespace? Do we have an established policy? Where is the comprehensive guide to the use of subpages? CQ 20:22, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

We should have the subpages feature activated for the "Topic:" namespace. I do not understand why subpages are not active by default. w:Subpages --JWSchmidt 04:22, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Didn't they ban subpages in wikipeida? Maybe instead of a topic: namespace, we should have a topic tab, a talk tab and a main page tab, where the topic tab could be the same for many pages.--Rayc 06:57, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
At Wikipedia the main namespace pages are supposed to have a "flat" structure with no subpages. Traditionally, encyclopedias have articles with sections. If the article is too large you start converting sections into new articles. Subpages are used in the "Wikipedia:" namespace. In particular, they are useful for WikiProjects. For example, see w:Wikipedia:WikiProject WikipediaWeekly/SpecialEpisode1/transcript. In my opinion, the "Topic:" namespace should be used for "WikiProjects" (content development projects). --JWSchmidt 13:43, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Motto contest - extending[edit source]

I think it is a good idea to extend round 4 of the motto and slogan contests by another month, at least until December 15. About twenty-five persons have selected mottos or slogans so far in round 4. Rounds 1-3 had over seventy participants. For some sort of quorum, it seems like it would be good to have fifty or more participants in round 4. Comments? Reswik 03:26, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

It'd be nice to have more people's votes/comments - there doesn't seem to be any clear favourites in either contest - though perhaps two more weeks would be enough? But can I also take this opportunity to say how vehemently opposed I am to any of the "Set learning free" mottos that are proposed? The motto, remember, is what will be put beside Wikiversity's logo on the front page of our sister projects. Look at all the other projects' mottos - they give a clear description of what the project is. But all mottos is this group are pure advocacy - of course, all other Wikimedia projects are a type of advocacy too, but they don't need to "sell" themselves on this point. I don't care for any of these as slogans either, but as mottos, they are unhelpful and entirely inappropriate. Cormaggio 07:51, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
However, on a more positive note, I'll also take the opportunity to thank you, Doug, for all the work and great care you've put in to this contest. Cormaggio 07:51, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. :) To respond: 1) I think only 5 or 10 more people might participate in the next 2 weeks. So, I think 2 weeks probably won't be enough time to finish this round. I hope that participation picks up at some point in the next few months. More people participating (over a 1 or 2 month long period) will lead to a better sense of what the community prefers. 2) Perhaps we could subset the contest now or in 2 or 4 weeks for those options with more than 3 or 4 supporters. This would give a sense of momentum and simplify things, leaving 2 or 3 options for each contest. 3) I personally agree that the "set learning free" group doesn't work well as a motto (for use with the logo on other wikimedia projects) and, given the current trend, I don't think that group will win out in that category. But, perhaps some yet-to-be-developed version/revision of the "set learning free" group options might make for a rather clear slogan statement. 4) Just as in the logo contest, I do think there will need to be another round, round 5, for refining the finalist motto and slogan. -- Reswik 02:45, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

16 November 2006[edit source]

License issues[edit source]

Wikiversity takes copyright issues very seriously. In an effort to curb upload and distribution of unlicensed copyrighted materials, I'm proposing the following process to handle files lacking license information.

  1. If you find a file without a license and/or attribution, you can tag it with {{subst:ulu}} and notify the user by placing {{subst:ulu notice}} on the user's talk page.
  2. The user will be given a two week deadline to add all missing information. {{ulu notice}} contains an extensive explanation of the steps necessary to do that.
  3. Files who have not had license information added within two weeks after giving notice will be deleted automatically and removed from any page that uses it.

I have tested this on Image:AccelSummary.gif, uploaded by User:HarveyBrown. So what do you think? Does this sound doable? sebmol ? 09:46, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Cormaggio 09:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
To me too. Congrats. guillom 09:57, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

HarveyBrown here. I don't like it. You haven't given me any way to add the information you want. I uploaded the image (which I created myself) again, choosing the item that means I created it and I'm giving it away, and I've still got the warning. Harvey 06:16, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


So Wikiversity has a form that people fill in when they upload a file. But we are not satisfied with the results we get with the form. So we end up wanting people to use a "meta-form" (Template:Information) inside one of the fields of the form. It seems to me that a better solution would be to change the "Special:Upload" form so that it has input fields for all of the required information. Can we change the input fields of the "Special:Upload"? Alternatively, is it possible to have

{{Information
|Description=
|Source=
|Date=
|Author=
|Permission=
|other_versions=
}}

automatically inserted into the "summary" field when the "Special:Upload" page opens? Also, the instructions are cryptic. What does "proper information" mean? If a license must be specified by the uploader, then why not make an input form that requires that a license be specified? It is a silly game to let people upload files without the required information if we are just going to delete the files. --JWSchmidt 14:29, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

What I set up mimicks the procedure at most Wikimedia projects. It is indeed silly that it's done this way but it's the best we have at the moment. The form doesn't provide much flexibility. sebmol ? 17:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
If we could have better, what would it be? --HappyCamper 20:46, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
The spanish wikiversity voted to only allow media from the commons. Would that work here? See:

[4] --Rayc 23:14, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Ah, it took me a little while before I realised you had a translation of that page. I don't know...what does sebmol think? If I recall correctly, I remember German Wikipedia passed some sort of resolution a while ago where everyone had to load their images on commons. What's the experience been since that was implemented? --HappyCamper 23:23, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
That's not entirely accurate. We had a survey where IIRC the overwhelming majority supported promoting uploading of free content to Wikimedia Commons. There are still files uploaded locally which IMO is a good thing because
  1. Disabling local upload is not practical at this moment. Both Spanish and Portugese Wikipedias have received a lot of criticism for disallowing local upload because resources on Commons are not sufficient to deal with the increased number of uploads. This has to do with the severe shortage of sysops Commons is facing as well as a lack of native language contributors who can provide help texts and other assistance in a manner that will successfully reach users from those communities (e.g. educating them about license issues, how Commons works, what they need to know before uploading, etc.).
  2. Commons is not appropriate for all kinds of media. This is especially important for fair use of copyrighted material which is not acceptable at Commons (many countries do not recognize fair use as a legal principle) but which traditionally has been accepted on English language comunities.
  3. Project-specific media which will likely never be used outside of that project should not be uploaded to Commons. This includes diagrams of project-internal structures, pictures of project meetings, user pictures for users not active in other projects, etc.
Other than those exceptions (and one peculiarity about German copyright law I don't want to go into here), all content is uploaded to Commons. I strongly support this approach because it's both practical (so people on Commons won't hate us and send mean e-mails) and fitting with the goal of Commons as a free media repository and Wikiversity as a free learning community. What do you think? sebmol ? 02:53, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
I have to think about it a bit more carefully, because when I read what is written, it does not make sense to me yet. I think what you're saying is that materials which make sense to be shared should be put on Commons. For other things, a local upload might make more sense. I thought it was generally like this for most Wiki projects? Anyway since Wikiversity is new, we can really use this opportunity to streamline the image uploading process, especially for new users. What I think we do need is an "unambiguous" image/media policy which would help users on Wikiversity to act with confidence when handling image copyrights, et cetera. However, this sounds a bit like a zero-tolerance policy, which I don't think would be a healthy approach. Let me get back to this a bit later? --HappyCamper 17:24, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

(Deindent) I'm a bit confused about what the Spanish wikiveristy did then (we should push for a monthly beta report...have we done ours yet?). As a correlary to getting rid of uncopyrighted stuff here, maybe we could set up a hunters and gathers subproject that goes and bugs wikipedia uploaders to put there user created images on commons.--Rayc 20:29, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Report time?[edit source]

Are we still wanting reports from the other wikiversities? [5] I find one of the only useful things on beta is that you get a chance to hear what other wikiversities are up to. Yet no one has done a report since september. Want to submit ours to guilt the other two into doing one? :) --Rayc 20:38, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Anyone who is interested in doing reports about Wikiversity can drop by Wikiversity Reports. We can make a text version of the report for the project's second month's (so far it only exists as a podcast). There is an outline for a report on the third month of the project. --JWSchmidt 22:24, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Logo Colour[edit source]

Please note that somebody has started the vote for the logo colour for wikiversity on meta:wikiversity/logo.--Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 08:47, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Not a vote yet. We are only deciding which candidates to nominate for the voting procedure. However, to all of you reading this, please note that the current general consensus in meta:Wikiversity/logo is that the logo color has to be changed. --Asahiko 11:46, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Was that the consensus of meta users or the consensus of wikischolars? --Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 23:48, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Could we have each pillar in the logo represent something?--Rayc 21:41, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

  • In my impression, the academic gowns have blue stripes for science, white for arts, red or yellow for other things. But I am not sure if that is standard. Is that what you have in mind?--Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 00:10, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Motto Contest: Round 5[edit source]

Round 5 of the motto and slogan contests has started.

Please help us select:

  • a final motto group
  • a final slogan group

Round 5 of the motto contest has been started now, based on comments in these discussion strings, "extending round 4" (on the Motto contest talk page) and "Motto contest - extending" (on the Colloquium). --Reswik 08:54, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Barnstars?[edit source]

Well, are we going to do barnstars? Or maby something along the lines of a Wikiploma? Just asking.  Heltec  talk 

Wikiversity has a barnstar that has been awarded to a few users. Pardon my oncological biases, but Wikiploma sounds like some kind of wart or tumor. --JWSchmidt 20:34, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

ok, thanks.  Heltec  talk 

We should have some sort of award for a student who learned something.. not nesseraly a diploma, but a barnstar for learning if you will.--Rayc 21:40, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Dainsyng.gif - the dancing happy flower should do the trick. --HappyCamper 21:44, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Lol, we should put that on the barnstar page.  Heltec  talk 

We now have Category:Award templates. CQ 19:08, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Custodian Symbol?[edit source]

Well, currently our custodian symbol has Wikipedias logo on it. Maby we sould make another? Or is the Wikipedia one good?  Heltec  talk 

(PS: Maybe a Contest?)
A sad attempt by me: Custodian.png

Maybe a wrench, or a garbage bag? I know, the colloms could form a garbage can and the world could be the top of a garbage bag--Rayc 00:11, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

So maybe something like these?  Heltec  talk 

Custodian2.png Custodian3.png

lol, yes that looks good.--Rayc 05:21, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I rather like the mop, maybe we can get something along the lines of the current symbol? sebmol ?

Yikes! Those hammer and wrench logos are a bit brutal for my liking. I'd prefer something a little friendlier - the mop is good.. Cormaggio 10:22, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Lol, very true. The mop is best. I just don't know how to make a mop on photoshop. anyone else wanna try?  Heltec  talk 

I think it should involve a scaffold, and stick-figure holding a squeegie :). --SB_Johnny | talk 22:26, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

File:Wikiscofold.png

Lol, squeege's too small, i might need to give him a red squeege. Still trying to figure out mop'  Heltec  talk 

File:Cusmop.png that what you guys mean?  Heltec  talk 

Suggest Renaming Category:Page moved from Wikibooks[edit source]

Well, I've been hunting around for something similar to w:WP:CfD, but have failed to find it, so I've come here. I believe Category:Page moved from Wikibooks should be renamed to Category:Pages moved from Wikibooks as it seems that, since the category is a collection of pages, the title should be pluralized. There are very few pages in the cat, so updating all pages in the category to point to the new one would not be a difficult task--could even be done by hand, were one so inclined. Thoughts? AmiDaniel 07:13, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Ah, I now see that the category has been forked to my proposed new title and many of the pages in the category updated accordingly. Seems quite odd to fork a category... In any case, I'd still like to propose either redirecting the current category name to the new one or deleting it, and repointing all incoming links to the pluralized form of the category name. AmiDaniel 07:16, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I suspect that most people do not care if it is "page" or "pages". Since you do care, feel free to fix this duplication of categories. --JWSchmidt 15:32, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Alright, will do. I suppose I should apologize, since after discussing with Sebmol on IRC, I've concluded that I'm quite anal, and, coming from the backgroung of enwiki, quite a process wonk :). I'm not quite used to the lack of convention and structured proccesses on Wikiversity yet, but hopefully in time I'll grow to understand it :D. AmiDaniel 20:11, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, we love anal process wonks here, too. We're all about people learning a better way so who better than people like you to start with :-P sebmol ? 22:19, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Capitalisation[edit source]

There are also a lot of pages with capitalised titles. That make them slightly harder to find, unless I use google.--Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 22:23, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

"There are also a lot of pages with capitalised titles. That make them slightly harder to find, unless I use google Quote from:Hillgentleman " True, maby that should be another maitnance thing? De-caping titles?  Heltec  talk 

Well, I'm not sure about that one. On most wikis, the convention is to capitalize only the first letter of the title and any (in English at least) proper nouns; however, the convention here has seemed to tend more toward the standard title format of capitalizing all words except for articles and pronouns fewer than five letters. I personally find the latter more appealing to the eyes, though it's clear that Wiki search had problems with them--perhaps we could consider using Google search by default on this site? Then again, I have the feeling this wiki is meant more to be browsed than searched, unlike, say Wikipedia. Before we go about moving all pages with non-standard capitalization, I think we should first go about figuring out what the convention should be, what best suits this wiki, and indicate that on Wikiversity:Naming conventions. In the meantime, and completely off topic, could I perchance get an admin to update MediaWiki:Noarticletextanon to include relevant links to page logs and policies? :D Perhaps use w:MediaWiki:Noarticletextanon as a starting point. The default text is really undescriptive and agitating. AmiDaniel 00:51, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it would be beneficial to codify that at the moment. Everything on Wikiversity is moving concurrently, and in a way, I think it's probably better to let a project like this grow up organically, and then modify it a bit later to conform to various norms. I think the rule of thumb which works best right now is simply to do what makes the most sense for a particular sort of content. --HappyCamper 05:59, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
  • The problem of Capitalisation is more pronounced for the Categories. It would be better if everybody follow the same convention for capitalisation for categories. I wanted to create a category Quantum Mechanics, but before that I needed to check if the category Quantum mechanics already existed.---Hillgentleman|User talk 12:47, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Mathematics[edit source]

Do we need a Portal for mathematical sciences, under which we may have school:mathematics (or pure mathematics), school:statistics, school:applied mathematics, school:financial mathematics, school:actuary (or combinations of the above), etc? The problem right now is that mathematics is often considered part of the faculty of science, whereas applied mathematics is part of the faculty of applied sciences or engineering.--Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 03:46, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it would be safe to say that we should tend towards what you think would help make the organization and presentation of the material easiest. --HappyCamper 06:02, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Right. Portals, schools and topics can all interlink - it's potentially head-wrecking to try to put something into one department and consider it hence 'excluded' from another one - the whole point of having organiser pages is that they can collate linked subjects together on one page as far as is possible. So, by all means, set up Portal:Mathematics and include links to the subject areas you mention. In fact, I'm surprised it hasn't been done before. Cormaggio 11:30, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Portals for the researcher[edit source]

It just occurred to me that this might be something interesting for Wikiversity too. Let's say I'm interested in organic chemistry. Then, I make a portal that links to all the relevant sources, academic journals, resources in the field. And then, update as necessary. Sounds good? Or does it sound too much external-linkifying? --HappyCamper 17:56, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

This sounds fine. I'd say they would be "resource subpages", rather than "portals" - in other words, the chemistry resources would be at (something like) School:Chemistry/Resources or Topic:Organic chemistry/Resources. However, this is just semantics how we name these things. But when you say "Wikiversity too", does that mean this has been done elsewhere also? And finally, on external linking, I think we can afford to be a lot more liberal with providing a comprehensive, but quality, list of external links - something which none of the other projects really need to do, but which seems entirely appropriate for Wikiversity. Cormaggio 18:43, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
"Too" as in "as well", or "complementary"...at least, when I was typing it. This has been done before - I think what I have in mind is essentially something that an academic librarian might maintain. --HappyCamper 00:54, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
If it is a topic in the usual sense, with the focus on a few closely related questions, I would rather use a specific Topic:, such as Topic:Riemann hypothesis.--Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 03:06, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
What about having one "Research" portal?--Rayc 18:33, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Research?--Rayc 01:32, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
With what contents?--Hillgentleman|User talk 01:44, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm confused. But I'll wait 2 months and see what happens. --HappyCamper 04:42, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I think Portal:Research is a good idea since I hope research will come to be a significant part of Wikiversity. We have Category:Research and every large category can have a portal to provide user-friendly access to the contents of that category. I also like the idea of having pages for each topic area that provide links to useful online "resources in the field". I would put such pages in the main namespace. For example, I have started making pages that link to online resources for biology (examples: Molecular evolution/Intermediate filament proteins, Human Genetic Uniqueness Project). What we also need now is for anyone who has an interest in research to participate in creating Wikiversity policy and guidelines: see scope and guidelines. --JWSchmidt 01:49, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Right now this portal for research contains mostly meta contents. It serves a similar role to the research board for a university. And of course it should be here. But is it what Rayc had in mind?---Hillgentleman|User talk 02:17, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I thought it do what portals do. Only instead of focusing on Asteroid Surveys, we would have one for research (how to research, external research, our research, research into research on wikiversity, etc...)--Rayc 01:14, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikiversitys Esperanza?[edit source]

Its easier to keep something then to make it, so I was thinking that it would be easier to keep the sense of community Wikiversity has then to remake it in the future. So I’m wondering if anyone’s interested in making a "Wikiversity Esperanza"?-----[Anonymous user: 02:07, 25 November 2006 66.17.230.239 (Talk) (→Wikiversitys Esperanza?)]


Possible names: As we don’t want to copy wikipedia, what would it be named?

Nominations:

Well, turnes out that esperanza is... currupt. So i change my vote, to no.  Heltec  talk  23:29, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Oh hells no. Messedrocker 23:32, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm with Messedrocker here--hell, no. On Wikipedia, Esperanza began as a "community-uniting" organization, yet it quickly became the safe-haven of the MySpacers, with a ridiculously influential power structure that grants special priveleges to its members and degrades its non-members. It promoted the idea that you could get your way by threatening to leave the project, became a sure-ticket to adminship (which resulted in many completely unqualified, incompetent admins), and accomplished only dividing the project between those who thought Wikipedia was an encyclopedia and those who thought it was some form of social networking. Please, let's avoid making the same mistakes here--my suggestion is that Wikiversity's Esperanza be created directly at /dev/null, to spare us all the effort. AmiDaniel 23:56, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Esperanza's problem was that it was a group that promoted a strong community on a site that valued individualism. It is a prime example of what a sub-community on a large wiki can become. Esperanza fits better in here, because our focus is not the creation of articles or books, but learning communities. Saying someone is a "mySpacer" is just a cop out as that it doesn't provide a particular fault. That being said, I do see the concept of having a "leader" of a community as harmful (like those that appointed themselves dean of particular schools here). If we get an Esperanza like group here it should focus on helping users build communities, and less on building there own. --Rayc 01:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
True, but theres still the problem of the eventual curruption. Unless its officaly run by Burocrats, i guess.  Heltec  talk 
No, Wikiversity doesn't need an Esperanza. --HappyCamper 04:40, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Good, I'm not alone in thinking that way about Esperanza then! I'd also advise against it: the entire wiki is a community already, and the wiki isn't for social networking (not even this one from what I can tell, although I'm new here). --Kingboyk 20:44, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
  • No. Wikiversity doesn't need an Esperanza. The reason the English Wikipedia needs one is because at times it feels like a desolate place, due to the wiki's sheer size; Wikiversity doesn't have that problem yet. (And I guess my opinion is worth something...) Titoxd(?!?) 05:25, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

New Discipline: Futurology ?[edit source]

I am a sysop on the Future Wikia and as thus I am representing the wikia in asking whether or not I may transport some of the information regarding futurology and predictions to Wikiversity. I've made over a thousand contributions on the Future Wikia and I have had experience as an admin and bureaucrat on the Future Wikia for several months. If it's agreeable to you, I'd also like to apply for admin status on Wikiversity as well. Thank you.--Yunzhong Hou

It's difficult to answer this question precisely because there is no existing content regarding that topic on Wikiverisity on which to base a response on. The instructions on becoming a custodian be found here. --HappyCamper 04:57, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe there could be a Topic:Futurology within Interdisciplinary Studies, which already has Nanotechnology. --JWSchmidt 02:04, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
What is futurology? (What questions does one ask? What are the methods in finding answers? Examples?)---Hillgentleman|User talk 02:11, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Flashcards![edit source]

Test and Quiz now has flashcards for teacher use. Use it to build large databases and test the learners, use them as Spanish vocabulary builders. Use them with Java keywords. Even use them to trick people on the Colloquium with simple math, like what is 1+2? --Rayc 08:19, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Rayc, I don't see it here...I see it in the MediaWiki code though... --HappyCamper 16:59, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Take a close look at the question I pose above. The answer isn't always 3.--Rayc 01:15, 28 November 2006 (UTC)