Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/October 2011

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Proposed policy - Blocking policy

I have recently rewritten Wikiversity's proposed blocking policy, and I would like input from the community as to whether it could be accepted in its current state as a policy, or what changes should be made before it can be so. --Simone 14:00, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps we need an exception to the custodian self-unblock issue to account for the standard stop agreement? I like the 'unblock self to acknowledge' approach. The 'under normal circumstances' seems to account for other scenarios but could be somewhat ambiguous - after all, a custodian being blocked is not a normal scenario to begin with.
I really like the theme of this version. We don't really have a sufficiently active community to confirm it at the moment, but perhaps it's easier to leave it as a proposed policy indefinitely and confirm it at a later date. --Draicone (talk) 13:57, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Is there a formal confirmation policy process ? It can presumably become policy if there's consensus among the currently active users that it should - I think it's better to have a real policy which we can change later than a proposed policy which editors might assume doesn't hold clout. I personally feel that it should be a guideline, under Wikiversity:Blocking, but I'm not adverse to it being a policy. I'll incorporate a mention of the standard stop agreement. --Simone 15:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree the proposal makes more sense as guidelines. I think there is no formal confirmation policy process, and there has been some disputes over whether some of the current policies or guidelines hold any clout as is, possibly due to there being no consensus for confirming policies and guidelines. I think incorporating the "standard" stop agreement may be premature. The proposal and existence of a stop agreement is pretty new and can hardly IMO be considered standard. A vaguer "The Wikiversity Community may allow exceptions to self-unblocking" might be more appropriate or use of block testing as an example of an exception where blocking and unblocking oneself is accepted. -- darklama  17:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I appreciate the new attention to policies.
  • The circumstance contemplated in the Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Standard stop agreement is that a probationary custodian is blocked, in an emergency, to ensure that a direction to stop usage of tools is seen immediately, before any additional usage of tools, thus avoiding an unintentional "violation" of the SSA (of, say, specific tool use after instruction to stop). A thoughtful blocking custodian would specify that self-unblock is allowed, though that the block is under the SSA would suffice, since the SSA specifically allows this. This is, in fact, representative of a more general policy: an "ensure attention" block, and it's harmless with a custodian, because the custodian may unblock (if allowed). With ordinary users, a "get attention" block will be short.
Well, the current proposed policy/guideline explicitly states that blocks should be used to prevent disruption only. A "get attention" block is not appropriate unless the editor is uncommunicative, in which case it is not really functioning as an attention-getting block but as a standard block to prevent disruption. Although I don't think the standard stop agreement is a bad idea, you've essentially created it without any input from other members of the community, and there's no consensus to uphold it. I hence think that Darklama's right to remove it from the policy/guideline. --Simone 20:32, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
"Getting attention" is done to prevent disruption, in a case where it is feared that "disruption" will occur should the probationary custodian (who has agreed to Standard Stop) not notice a warning (or, worse, disregard the warning, since we can't tell that a user has actually noticed a warning. I called this "attention-getting" to be specific.) I did create Standard Stop, without "input," as many things are created on wikis. But nobody has objected to it, yet. It's also not been used, yet, because an occasion has not arisen. Standard Stop was created to address concerns about possible "unsupervised probationary custodians," that was alleged in the past. It wasn't actually true.
It's not a policy or proposed policy at this point, it's a voluntary agreement made by a probationary custodian to assure the community of harmlessness -- as such it doesn't need some kind of "formal approval," and "upholding" it would actually be up to a steward being requested to lift the bit. As a voluntary agreement, "community approval" would be expressed by an implementing 'crat who accepts the probationary custodianship with the stated conditions.
Nevertheless, the circumstances of this agreement were that objections were being made to probationary custodianship as an institution, when it has been highly useful to Wikiversity throughout its history. Standard Stop addressed whatever legitimate concerns might have existed. As to being mentioned in the Block guideline, I really don't care. It is, as I suggested, merely an example of a possible exception; in fact, if the blocking custodian has chosen to follow Standard Stop, that custodian would properly permit self-unblock explicitly or by reference to the SS agreement. Or prohibit it explicitly, i.e., assert that the block is not merely a matter of securing validated attention, that the custodian should not self-unblock. --Abd 22:57, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Where a custodian is blocked for policy violation, per se, such as incivility, rather than for alleged misuse or error with respect to custodial tool usage, the norm is that the custodian does not self-unblock, that the custodian is "involved" in the case and should request unblock -- or wait the term -- like any other user. So at this point, Standard Stop Agreement merely serves as an illustration of a situation where self-unblock may be legitimate. We should also remember that WMF sysops, generally, are allowed by the software to unblock themselves for a reason; it's for emergencies, and should be reserved for such. I.e., rogue custodian is blocking other sysops, perhaps all of them, or at least all that might reasonably be available. Or all opposed to the actions of that sysop.
  • It is generally true that wiki "policies" are merely strong "guidelines," because unstated exceptions almost always exist. A policy should represent likely community response to a situation should it arise, such that any user violating the policy may expect as a norm that there will be objection. However, the "objection," to be legitimate, should be on the substance of the action, not on the mere fact of technical policy violation. This is all part of the elaboration of w:WP:IAR, which reflects a basic principle of common law, it's not new with wikis.
  • Having said this, I strongly support the elaboration and increased specification of guidelines and policies, because I see a great deal of inefficiency -- wasted user effort and needless frustration -- resulting from unclarity in guidelines, here and on other wikis. Once we understand that these are not "rules" as such, binding and restricting, but merely make precedent clear even to newcomers, once we ensure that possible exceptions to policies have ready paths for exploration, we can then use the wiki for what was the most common original application: user-generated system manuals. --Abd 18:02, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, Wikiversity:Ignore all rules was strongly rejected by the community back in 2006, and we're not governed by that particular policy, although I agree with the sentiment. I think there should be strict rules concerning blocking because it is an area where administrative mistakes can cause the community to lose valuable contributors. --Simone 20:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
IAR is actual practice of the community, commonly. There was a poll back then, for sure. Practically none of those participating in that poll are still active. Some of the comments were quite uninformed about the status of IAR on Wikipedia. It was policy from early on, being proposed in 2002, and standing from then. The policy status on WP was debated for quite some time, in 2005, but it's still policy now. I notice, ironically, a certain at-one-time-highly-privileged user who, himself, ignored rules frequently, but who argued against the policy encouraging it. That would be, my guess, because he didn't want others to ignore rules.
IAR is often misunderstood. Mostly, it's the word "ignore." We do not properly "ignore" community rules. However, we do not confine our work to what is specified by rules, when there is adequate justification. As some early versions of WP:IAR specified, it's a wiki. Errors can be fixed. In the original conception, users were not punished for "rule violations," ever. A short block for a "rule violation," I'll note, is not a punishment, though the subtlety of this has often been lost. My first block on Wikipedia was for an apparent 3RR violation, and 3RR may have been technically violated. The admin, however, then reviewed the situation, and discovered that I was reverting a banned sock and a collaborating highly-involved IP editor. The admin unblocked me and blocked about every other editor in sight. (Too many, actually, I intervened and obtained unblock for some of them, even one who was seriously opposed to my position but who was a good-faith editor, an expert, though COI.) --Abd 22:56, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Help finding or creating a review template

Hello WV crew. Is there anyone here who could assist me in creating a template for peer reviewing essays written here on WV. I have sketched the idea for that template out Template:Essay review. Essentially, I envision an info box for aligning on the left, right, top or bottom of a completed essay, so a reviewer can place the template and enter findings on simple checks like word count, primary author, copyright, referencing, and comments. If you have skills in creating templates like this, we'd really appreciate your help in getting ours usable for the essay assignment we're all working on in Business, politics and sport. Many thanks. Leighblackall 22:02, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I've doen a lot of template work before. If you like I'll give its a shot today - it looks pleasantly straight forward. :) - Bilby 22:13, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Here's a basic solution:
| label1 = Author
| data1 = {{{Author|}}}
| label2 = Word count
| data2 = {{{Word count|}}}
| label3 = Copyright
| data3 = {{{Copyright|}}}
| label4 = Referencing
| data4 = {{{Referencing|}}}
| label5 = Structure
| data5 = {{{Structure|}}}
| label6 = Overall score
| data6 = {{{Overall score|}}}
| label7 = Closing comments
| data7 = {{{Closing comments|}}}

---Simone 22:21, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Bilby is a champion, and thanks Simone

You see, that's what I could really come to love about Wikiversity. Bilby!! Thank you so much for your work on Template:Essay review. I posted a message for help on Colloquium before class, came out of class to find you had done it all for me! I can't say enough how appreciative I am for this, and sincerely hope you make it to RCC next year and I'll buy you a drink. Big thanks. You can watch the template in action on pages listed here over the coming weeks: and I will post a thankyou note for your work on the BPS2012 course website: Leighblackall 04:14, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Can we add Affero Buttons to Wikiversity? --Bernhard Fastenrath 21:52, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

It seems counter to our values, on first glance. Wikiversity (and all the collaborative WMF projects) are about taking the sum of what each of us knows and adding it together. That joint product is the outcome. It seems to me that looking for individual value statements, which the buttons do, recognize the individual contribution rather than the sum of them all. Philippe (WMF) 10:39, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Philippe. Additionally, not all users would use Affero buttons if they were implemented, so undue recognition would go to individuals who chose to use them above those who chose not to. --Simone 12:11, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Wikibooks and Wikiversity have resources where major contributors could be identified easily. Even Wikipedia could permit use of the button for authors who make a very major update of an article. The button could, of course, require removal criteria. After two years of continuous smaller edits a major rewrite could be seen to have become less relevant. Another author doing a major rewrite of the article could also be allowed to replace a button immediately. I also do not see any unfairness in giving recognition to some authors; is there any unfairness in awarding barnstars? --Bernhard Fastenrath 16:35, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • This is a common kind of wiki event. Three scenarios.
    1. Something has not been done. User asks if it's okay. Some other users, who may or may not understand the proposal, then say "Bad idea." Maybe a few say, "Good idea." No consensus, or "consensus" is believed to exist not to do it. If user does it, or another user does it, then the users can be accused of acting "against consensus." I've seen this accusation even when the discussion didn't reach any consensus.
    2. User does it without asking. Nothing happens. The user or someone else adds another link. It may become an accepted practice.
    3. User does it without asking. Someone complains, perhaps reverts it. Given an actual example, now, the matter may discussed if anyone cares enough to do that. For adding a single link in apparent good faith, there would be no sanction, reversion would normally be the worst of it. In this case, the discussion is deeper and more likely to be accurately informed than in the first case. This is the wiki norm for practically everything, except for pages where there is a strongly established consensus, such as policy pages, and even then, being Bold is generally allowed. Just don't revert war!
  • I'm seeing theoretical arguments above. To answer the original question, any user "can" add anything they think appropriate to any page. Where they add it may be an issue, but that was not asked. I have not researched "Affero buttons" beyond a glance, and I won't unless there is a real case, a real addition to a real page, or, at minimum, a specific proposed addition, probably on the Talk page of the intended page. If it's a user page, for an established user, almost anything is allowed if it's not illegal or uncivil.
  • One more comment. Philippe's argument is based on a theory of what "all the collaborative WMF projects" are based on. While he used the WMF account, I'd be surprised if that was an official WMF statement and it isn't necessarily true for Wikiversity, where original research is allowed, and where, as a consequence, some pages may even be "owned," defacto. (Normally, I don't like to see such pages at the top level in mainspace, but it's a reality that "classes" are being conducted in mainspace, and they are under the operating authority of a teacher, that's the status quo.)
  • Recognition of individual contributions is very common on the projects ("Barnstars," for example), and recognition encourages further contribution, so the statement, in context, is strange, as if recognition of individual contributions was somehow against collaboration. --Abd 16:43, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
I will confirm one thing that Abd said: the fact that I used my WMF account does not make it an 'official statement'. As Abd noted, it's a statement from a WMF employee in the line of their work, but not an intractable "policy statement". The WMF account simply means that while doing my job I answered it (as opposed to answering in my personal capacity). It should be read with that in mind. It's not ex cathedra or whatever the equivalent is... think of it as if a police officer were in a meeting in uniform... he can make a statement that he thinks something might be problematic, but that doesn't make it against the law... just a comment based on his own knowledge and understanding while he was in uniform. If something is an official statement from the WMF, I try to clearly say so, and it's very rare. Philippe (WMF) 19:28, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarification, Phillipe. --Abd 17:26, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Fair use and Transformation

It has been a while since I have been "here," and I have a few weeks before I have to go back under for my intensive and accelerated Psych Counseling master's degree program (1/2 yr 2go). I am sensing that there is growing "cognition" of the actual relationship between WP and Wikia, perhaps with WMF in the middle. My prediction is that the relationship will be terminated by the WMF because the relationship will soon start to look to all as if the WP exists soley (and originally) for the benefit of Wikia profits, because, well, it is obvious. What this means is that the centralized control by WP through WMF policy-making will change with increasing autonomy for the satellite WM projects.

Point here being: the US Supreme Court has given us great latitude to use material from the Web (esp. images), and as questionable WP policies become more narrowly applied to the WP, it seems that we need to take a close look at Fair Use law as well as Transformation (which is actually unrelated to Fair Use, because it comes to us through the Google use of thumbnails. Yes, we can apparently use any image as a postage stamp sized version in the way Google does, and feel safe about it except for possible threat from the WP and/or agents of Wikia (AOW).

Okay, now I will attempt to catch up -- your friendly consiguelie psychologia, --JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 19:07, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Huh? This is important stuff! They way things are going at WP, the self-appointed minigards are attacking any newly created pages, which means that new pages need to be created here and transported to the WP, or not transported as may be the case. We can make a much better page with better graphics when we cannot supply the graphics ourselves or find highly-aesthetic public domain material. "Occupy wiki sphere?" --JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:12, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
  • This relates to an Assembly process I've just proposed, see Wikiversity:Assembly#Fair use policy. There are difficulties with the existing EDP, Exemption Doctrine Policy and how some interpret it. We need clear guidelines that respect the actual needs of our users, as well as considering critical WMF needs re fair use, and there are some deep and unresolved philosophical issues involved, specifically the way in which the goal of "free content" paradoxically is being considered to restrict content to that which is clearly free, whereas fair use legally exempts much. Thus a conflict arises where restriction to "free content" prevents the usage of content that would improve a resource, and which would clearly be legal, or that, at worst, still creates no legal hazard for the WMF. This is not an issue likely to be resolved through drive-by comments, it will take work and possibly negotiation with the WMF. We have the right, as a community, to establish our own EDP as being what we enforce, and we have the responsibility to make this clear to our users and custodians so that they don't waste their time. There is a gap between the policy and actual practice, and, procedurally, the existing policy is sometimes difficult to apply and enforce.
  • By the way, it is part of my long-term vision for Wikiversity that WV becomes an incubator for WP content. Long story, but it would be the resolution of many long-term conflicts, and could lead to far better WP content in some cases. --Abd 17:47, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
What's wrong with the Wikipedia incubator ? Wikiversity should host multimedia and interactive educational projects and courses, as well as original research. Most content suitable for Wikiversity is going to be unsuitable for Wikipedia and vice-versa, simply due to the differences in the way information should be displayed here. --Simone 00:58, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Simone, you are correct about "most content suitable for Wikiversity" not being suitable for WP. However, what I see is that WV will become, for many subjects, far larger than Wikipedia, and certainly far deeper. Further, as part of a Wikiversity resource, students may draft a Wikipedia article as an exercise, in which they respect Wikipedia guidelines. Indeed, some classes have drafted many articles for porting to Wikipedia. (Thus they are training in, not only the specific topic, but also in Wikipedia guidelines.) Such a draft article could then be proposed on Wikipedia as an en-masse revision. I've seen this done where an improved article was created off-wiki, and the result was a vast improvement in the article, in a flash. It might take an RfC, but this is well-known about deliberative process: choices at any given moment should preferably be binary. This or that. The question for the RfC would not be each detail of each article, but, rather, which is the best article overall? If there are problems in the Wikiversity version, should it be adopted, they could still be fixed later! --Abd 19:24, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Simone (nice to meet you) Wikipedia is far from a perfect world, and is eroding rather than perfecting, which is what are attempting to do in our own ways (perfecting that is!). Suitability of material in either place depends on supporting material to make it useful material to others, wiki structure is also important for communication, which is the whole point of writing in a public place. The only major difference is "original research" however you define it. I have been getting away with eye-witness accounts as supporting material on smaller pages on the WP, which suggests the erosion of control that I mentioned. Original research to me means "synthesis from my brain" (based on supporting material), but build to models that I create and test myself to navigate my life better. (A model only has to predict behavior and provide some benefits.) So, I am suggesting that you forget what wiki things should be and create a very distilled version of wiki for yourself to apply in your writing.
A major use for the Wikiversity is to start pages here as research, then re-structure then to be iron-clad, and then copy them over to the Wikipedia with enough strength that the self-appointed mini-guards cannot delete it for spite. (Mini-guards from Aaron Beck, Prisoners of Hate, accurately describe the tea party atmosphere on the Wikipedia). So this "given" parallels ABD's idea above. Research -> fact.
There are many images that I see that I want that I have gotten permission to use, but cannot because the "givers" cannot edit the webpage to put "CC-BY-SA" under the pictures. That is a show-stopper on the WP. Here that should not be a problem, but I think we need a policy that we retract pictures if there is objection from the "givers," unless it is clearly in the public domain or open otherwise. We use stuff in the scope of fair use and transformation (was we define them) but without being too assertive so as to stay under the legal radar. If we follow Google's model, we have to put a link to the source, which may attract the attention at the other end, but that's OK, we only want to please.
Thanks ABD, I will look at those links, and don't forget differing Transformnation--perhaps we need our own IP Transforation article, or lesson! BTW, psych is coming along swimmingly--3.95 gpa.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 18:42, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Sampling material: Fair use and Transformation

  1. use free material freely
  2. use fair use and transformation in the ways educational institutions and google do, but retract material where there is objection from donor.
  3. use emails from donors as proof of donation as different from the free use activism of WP (which I want to discuss separately--very suspicious), and retract material if donor retracts donation.
  4. definitely retract material if there is a threat of lawsuit --JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 18:56, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
The fundamental issue is the aim of Wikiversity to produce free-use educational resources. This creates a degree of conflict - the free content requirements don't really allow for non-free content to be used, as this limits the ability of people to reuse the material. However, there is a need for a certain amount of non-free content in order to make an effective educational resource. Thus the solution is the exemption doctrine policy, which permits limited fair-use of non-free media where it is necessary. Widening the EDP to the extent that you are suggesting would be both counter to the Wikimdiea Foundation policy, so it won't be possible, but it will also weaken the free-use part of Wikiversity's aims. - Bilby 19:07, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
As I mentioned below, if it is free for us in the US, it is free for anybody using it in any "signatory" nation, and other nations just take material such as hard-core communist.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 01:22, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Bilby has stated the issue, in fact. There is a conflict in goals. Above, Bilby states the "aim of Wikiversity" as being "to produce free-use educational materials." The community, however, incorporates "learning by doing" as part of its operation, and the goal of "free use," to most users, means that they can use Wikiversity for free. But some segment of the WMF community wants "free content," i.e, content which, paradoxically, anyone could reproduce and sell. This conflicts with the goal of maximizing the educational experience of our users. There are, indeed, possible conflicts with the WMF licensing policy, and these are conflicts intrinsic in the positions I've described. The conflict exists on Wikipedia itself, in fact. Which is more important: a readable, interesting, engaging encyclopedia article, or one which anyone can take, and without taking out "fair use images," for example, and print and sell? And that is the only practical difference, because if someone takes the material and uses it for nonprofit educational purpose, they will enjoy the same fair use copyright exemption as does the WMF.
  • So, my question: why are we standing on our heads, to enforce this relatively narrow fair use policy, which many users obviously find counter-intuitive, in order to facilitate *sale* of the material?
  • To be sure, the issue can be a bit more complicated, because of varying laws in different countries. In any case, we need to understand that "free use" doesn't mean that it's free. And it refers not to what is visible on-line of Wikiversity, but to publication elsewhere, and specifically publication for profit. At least as far as U.S. copyright law is concerned.
  • We can negotiate a broader fair-use policy with the WMF, but we can't do that without an expression of what we want. We are not going to get a good response from the WMF unless we ask coherently. In formulating what we want, we should not assume that anything is impossible, unless it's actually illegal (we could still ask, but it would be a waste of time). The WMF is not legally required to give us what we want, but I'm sure they will consider it if we make our request clear. We are not ready for that yet, but we will be. --Abd 19:46, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • To John Bessa, the "policy" you expressed is more or less the position that I've been finding many content providers take. Second Life, for example, pretty much has that. They are actually a for-profit provider, so they have substantial risk. Wikipedia would be totally safe with this policy. The WMF has elected to do something else, but it's not clear which came first, a WMF policy or the general position of the "free content" people. One thing we need to make clear. We are not talking about anything that violates any law in the United States, the jurisdiction that hosts Wikipedia. We are not talking about increasing the legal risk of the WMF. It's not on the table. My guess, though, is that handling take-down notices efficiently would represent far less wasted labor than spent by legions of eagle-eyed editors who devote their time looking for possible license violations. --Abd 19:46, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
    • What I am thinking is that we may be able to "loosen" WMF policy for the "outer projects" as, for example, the "mini-guard" population has decreased by 70%, and they are busy protecting pages important to them such as w:Occupy Wall Street, and long-term encampments such as w:Ayn Rand. At then end of the day, the whole point is to serve more people with educational support, and whatever does that within the law (and doesn't anger people) is a good thing, and a post-modern WMF would probably allow it.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 00:47, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
  • As I've previously made clear, I don't believe there's any good reason to change our current fair use policy. Simone 20:06, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Simone, are you working on research or educational pages? Because if you are, then you should know that you can benefit from the ability to use illustrations that are outside WP restrictions.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 00:47, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
If the wish is to change Wikiversity to creating only free content for non commercial use, you will need to argue for changing the terms of use and the license to CC-by-NC from CC-by-SA. This isn't going to happen, as full free use is a fundamental aspect of the projects, Wikiversity included, whether or not they are seen as "outer". As we operate under that license, we need to abide by its requirements in order to meet Wikiversity's mission, and that includes limiting the use of non-free media, even if it does mean that we need to stand on our heads to do so. Generally, though, I find that the existing EDP is broad enough to include non-free media that is necessary for developing educational resources, so on the whole I don't see it as a significant hassle to meet its requirements. - Bilby 00:53, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) Straw man argument. I'm arguing for a fair use policy that better meets the actual needs of our users, while still respecting the goal of free use. It's obvious that compromises are necessary, and that anyone who uses material from Wikiversity must take care that none of the material is improper for their use. The issue here, to be sure, is what is "necessary" for developing free media. Suppose we can develop a resource that is interesting, engaging, attractive, that represents Wikiversity as a great place to learn, or we can develop the same resource, with the same information, but it's dull and boring and unattractive. Is what is needed for the former situation "necessary:? Necessary for what? My answer: necessary to maximize the value of our content for learners. This can, under some circumstances, increase the number of fair-use images, thus creating work for those who want to republish, and, as I've noted, this only impacts those who are not reusing the content for nonprofit educational purpose. Otherwise fair use would protect them as well. Where do we strike the balance?
And who is being protected? In the cases under discussion, generally, it's not the copyright owner. It is not our users. It is someone who wants to sell the content. But, in fact, they already must review content for non-free images, we are, by avoiding non-free content and supposedly doing the work to create replacements for free use, making it, occasionally, a little easier (read cheaper) for them. What we are trying to do, with strong avoidance of fair use, is shift the burden of finding replacement images onto our users. Frankly, I had not realized the larger implications of this, but it is starting to make a what I've heard elsewhere about the politics of the situation make sense. We'll see.
The claim that I will "need to argue for changing the terms of use" is bogus. I see no change in them. The TOS already covers the situation, some WMF content is not free, period. That's not going to change. The only change I'm suggesting we consider is our own EDP, and it's our right to propose our own. If the WMF doesn't like it, it only governs our behavior as a community, it does not deprive the WMF of the right to control what is on the servers, it does not bind them at all. That right of the WMF is not being challenged. --Abd 01:30, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Bilby, I think you are using the word "free" as if it is written in concrete. These concepts are changing rapidly. If one is 20 yrs old or under, it has been in flux for one's whole life: Open source, GNU, Sound samples, Google thumbnails. We might as well make change if we are to fulfill our destiny as an "outer project!"--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 01:18, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

An example

Design Science License (DSL) -- I found this on a page with some tube circuit material, to paraphrase for brevity, "permission is granted to sample:

  1. if work is under the same terms
  2. can not be confused with the original
  3. authorship credit is given (for instance, via a link in the thumbnail)
  4. differences are attributed"

Fair enough, since we have similar terms, but this DSL is not on the pull down, so uploading violates WP-inspired policy. We are talking about sampling to build our own pages, and to answer arguments above, anything legal for us is legal for everybody under US law.

Having said that, this conversation needs its own discussion page (or lesson) as it is getting long and will include legalese. And there is still the transformation issue; at what point does derivative work become original work, either with art or google (this is NOT fair use--but involves artistic modification in GIMP or Photoshop)?--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 01:14, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

These discussions can take place anywhere, but there is a proposal to set up a Wikiversity:Assembly committee to study the issue and prepare a report seeking full information and consensus. See Wikiversity:Assembly#Fair use policy. It hasn't been seconded, I'm not in a rush. But any registered user may register as a member of the Assembly, see the Assembly page, and any member may second it. That committee will presumably study all commentary related to this, including discussions from the past, and may solicit testimony and response. --Abd 01:36, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I am conceiving of this discussion as a lesson in IP to which we can bring in concepts as well as misconceptions (solo band Girl Talk thinks transformation as art is fair use--wrong! Art has nothing to do with it; it is all the business of the courts, which is equivalent to big business.)--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 13:58, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposed discussion space

It's becoming apparent that there is a conflict between various goals: maximizing quality of educational resources, making creation of resources efficient (i.e., practical for ordinary users), and pursuing WMF policy that as much content as possible be "free use," i.e., publishable by anyone, anywhere, subject only to the CC-by-SA license.

The last goal is often presented within a framing of avoiding copyright violation, but fair use does not violate copyright, and is not unlawful. Many issues are involved, and what I'm raising could be difficult to address. If we don't address it, we will have one of two problems, and, in fact, we have both. We will have content which violates WMF policy, as the policy is stated, or we will see images provided that are legal but which will be deleted because of the policy, which ordinary users, it seems, do not understand and do not expect.

We can address this with our own Exemption Doctrine Policy, and, should that be -- or appear to be -- in conflict with WMF policy, we can negotiate an agreement. My view is that we should write our own EDP as to what this community wants to enforce and support, and policy cuts both ways: it can prohibit and it can allow, and the clearer our policy is, the easier it will be for all involved. Recent discussions have brought out that the opinions of those currently most active in enforcing fair use policy here, regarding the meaning and intention of our EDP, differ from the views of the user who wrote that EDP, and this simply brings out how much confusion there exists on this issue.

Here, I'm raising one detail. Our EDP does not allow fair use files in user space:

Fair use content is only allowed in learning resources in the main Namespace and on media file description pages in the image namespace. If a media file containing copyrighted content is used, the image description page must contain a description of the intended educational use of the media file.

Many users upload photos of themselves and place them on their user page. A user may not intend, by this, that the file is then in the public domain or licensed under CC-by-SA. They may not intend to allow any other use of that file. Yet, I will argue, these photos serve an educational purpose, in that they build the sense of community here. It is not illegal for these users to upload and link to these files. However, it does interfere with the WMF policy, but the WMF policy was clearly not addressing user space, except as user space might be abused. That is, they did not want to permit "fair use" in user space because then anyone could start hosting stuff from others claiming fair use. The policy does not contemplate the issue of a user uploading their own files for their own user page. Yet it is being applied against this case.

I have proposed an addition to the EDP policy that covers this issue. We should not be preventing users from placing their own photos on their user page, and we should not be demanding that these photos be "free content." And we should not be wasting the time and resources of our community enforcing a narrow interpretation of the policy prohibiting all non-free content outside of mainspace (and filespace). We can carve out specific exceptions without opening the door to abuse.

The proposed addition. --Abd 14:59, 18 October 2011 (UTC)the above was slightly modified, there was edit conflict with the response below.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that there is room for negotiation with the WMF. The board resolution is very clear on EDPs:
Such EDPs must be minimal. Their use, with limited exception, should be to illustrate historically significant events, to include identifying protected works such as logos, or to complement (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works. An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals. Any content used under an EDP must be replaced with a freely licensed work whenever one is available which will serve the same educational purpose. [1]
Photos of living people - even if (or especially if) people upload photos of themselves - are clearly replaceable, and largely prohibited under the resolution. I can't see sufficient wriggle room there to allow non-free photos in userspace on the grounds of "building a community" - that is well outside of the terms of the resolution.
More generally, this is not a copyright issue. Whether or not fair use is legal, the real issue is whether or not non-free images fit within Wikiversity's mission to provide free content learning resources. We don't limit the use of fair-use media because of some incorrect reading of copyright concerns, but because non-free media is largely incompatible with the CC-by-SA license, and because WMF policy is to limit the use of such media. The EDP provides for exceptions, and this is fine as there are times when you will need to include non-free media to make viable learning resources (for example, it would be nearly impossible to create resources teaching the use of specialised software without at least some screenshots). But if we stretch those exceptions too far we will be in violation of the spirit and letter of the resolution. - Bilby 14:55, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) The Board issued that resolution over four years ago. It's clear to me from the content that the needs of a collaborative educational community were not considered. That's not wrong, it's just incomplete. We are free to determine our own EDP. It is explicitly allowed. This is the relevant language:
Such EDPs must be minimal. Their use, with limited exception, should be to illustrate historically significant events, to include identifying protected works such as logos, or to complement (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works. An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals. Any content used under an EDP must be replaced with a freely licensed work whenever one is available which will serve the same educational purpose.[2]
That policy specifically allows exceptions to the exclusive list that follows, it only requires that they be limited. What I've proposed as a change to our EDP does establish an exception, and it's clearly limited to a very narrow use (and if that's what the community wants, we could make it even narrower). The proposed change does not conflict with the language of the resolution. If we do modify our EDP, and the WMF objects to it, I assume we will negotiate. Otherwise we can just do it, assuming we find our own consensus. --Abd 15:35, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I can't imagine that "limited exceptions" is going to extend to "people who wish to upload photos of themselves to their user page, but don't want to use a free license." The intent of the resolution is to limit non-free media to what is clearly necessary, and I can't see this as fitting in that category. - Bilby 15:55, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

The conflict here appears to be between Wikiversians who want the freedom to educate and research, and those who want to disguise it. Or, more accurately, want to preserve the WP version of freedom which appears only to be the annexation of the pubilic domain for advertising revenue for the benefit of Wikia, which, to the World, is obvious. I propose to resolve this conflict by requiring that all Wikiversians be educators--which has been propsed many times. There is after all the Wikipedia for those who want to be killer-clerks (or -chihuahua), as well as endless other Dawkins-oriented sites. As I have stated many times, my goes languishing because I work here, so I have an anti-Dawkins option, for sure. But I hate to see yet another fully-human site fall to mediated glandular responses.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:28, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

There is a conflict here, between two different approaches. Both approaches have value, and it's our task, as a community, to seek consensus. Identifying one side or another as "wanting to disguise" something or "wanting" this or that is possibly uncivil and will not help the situation. We do have two users, one being a probationary custodian, who have started to work intensively on cleanup. The PC has been responsive to suggestions of restraint, and the cleanup work being done by the ordinary user is largely seeking conformance of content to policy (according to his interpretation). It's true that both users seem to be here as other than "educators." However, we don't expect, in a university, that a custodian be an educator. We do expect, nonetheless, that they respect the educational purpose of the institution. We could require this or that of our users, and suggestions have been made in the past, and they are probably impractical. We are not only educators, we are also students and others who wish to support our educational mission in various ways. We are part of the WMF. The real issue is that we need more efficient process for decision-making, as well as better documentation of guidelines, so that user time is not wasted tilting with windmills, or creating content that is just going to be deleted, etc. We need to support cleanup efforts such as are being undertaken, and we simply need to make it much more clear what is "mess," to be cleaned up, and what is allowed and encouraged. We've been, historically, reluctant to do that. How's it working? --Abd 16:03, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

What we would have to do to allow users to use non-free images of themselves in their userspace

  • Amend clause 1 of the EDP to allow for non-educational uses of non-free files. This contravenes the statement in the licensing policy statement that "EDPs must be minimal".
  • Remove clause 2 of the EDP, because any fair-use photograph of a user is replaceable, as the same user presumably has access to photographs of themselves which could be released into the public domain. The licensing policy states "An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals"
  • Amend clause 5, removing the requirement of a "specific educational goal".
  • Remove clause 7, to allow fair use files in userspace.

Out of these, the last two are possible. It's simply not possible for us to have an EDP which is in agreement with WMF policy and allows users to have copyrighted images of themselves in userspace. It's very simple: if you want a photograph of yourself on your userpage, find one which you don't mind being all over the internet and release it with a free license. We should have done the file cleanup in 2007, not now, and it's a pity that there's resistance to implementing a global policy. Simone 18:24, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

There is a far simpler solution, and it has been proposed on on Talk for WV:EDP. List specific exceptions, narrowly described so that they don't become barn doors to drive problem files through. Simone, what if I don't want a photo of myself plastered all over the internet? I just want to show it to the Wikiversity community. A list of specific exceptions, each one vetted as benefiting the wiki, does, in fact, further educational purpose, and only a narrow vision of Wikiversity as only being about content -- instead of also being a "learning community -- would fail to see this. This is one reason why some users want to see custodians, especially, be "educators." I don't agree, I think there is room for all here. I'll just say that most "educators" would immediately understand the educational value of these photos! Most people learn better as a member of a community. There are some who might be different, and there may be a disproportionally high number of these among "Wikipedia editors." But that's speculative!
There are some huge issues here, but one thing at a time! There are questions about "global policy." What does that mean? I'm not trying to answer that question!
For now, though, I'll note that the board resolution Simone has selectively cited is about "notable living persons," and it is obviously thinking of Wikipedia articles. What is being considered here is radically different, and the wording of the Resolution specifically allows us to make exceptions. That's what's being proposed, and we should make those exceptions considering the welfare of Wikiversity and the Wikiversity community, and not some imagined and supposed command from on high. They want us to decide on matters of our own welfare. If a conflict arises, we will work it out, I'm confident of that. I highly doubt that a real conflict would arise if we explicitly allow users to upload non-free snapshots of themselves to their user page! The reality is that we have mostly allowed it, for years. We need to bring policy and actual practice into synchrony. That's all. --Abd 18:55, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I myself seriously doubt that your exception is possible, but perhaps it is. I've asked the WMF community liaison as to whether is. -Simone 20:00, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
That's a Bad Idea, though certainly Simone is welcome to ask whomever whatever. It's a Bad Idea because it would probably take a Board resolution to approve this, and I would not ask the board to spend time on this until I knew that the community here actually wants this exception, and I don't know that -- except by weak inference from actual practice. Nobody, not Simone and not myself, should negotiate with the board on behalf of the community without being authorized by the community. The EDP I proposed does not violate the Board Resolution that has been cited, it is a proposed local exception, and the existing resolution specifically allows such exceptions, and does not prohibit the specific and narrow exception proposed. If the community approves that or a different EDP, and if someone has a problem with it, they can ask the Board, or the Board itself can assert its authority on its own initiative. As the matter stands, we do have some local issues about interpretation of policy and, again, the Board is free to protect its interests. To ask the board now, though, would effectively be asking the board to spend money or time on something without a necessity.
The question for me, and for us, is what does this community want? It's not "what can this community get?" It's possible that we might want something we can't get, but it's practically certain that if we don't ask for what we want, we won't get it. --Abd 22:03, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Maggie's passed it on to the legal department - [3]. I'm not trying to have the global copyright policy altered (lol). All I'm enquiring is whether your amendment to the policy is possible under the current global policy. We're wasting time discussing fair-use "profile pictures" if your solution (which is basically the only viable one which won't involve them all being deleted) isn't in accordance with wikimedia foundation copyright policy. However, if the legal department say it's fine, without caveats, then I can't imagine I or any other editor will oppose your suggestion. I don't personally believe it will be, but let's see. --Simone 22:54, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Sampling law seminar

As Abd suggests on my discussion page, "You are flooding the Colloquium with edits." So, I am moving the discussion to a seminar: Sampling at the Wikiversity. Naturally, I will be moving the text (bots and all).--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:54, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

John may have misunderstood my suggestion, apparently. I was referring to his penchant, common among newbies and less common with more experienced users, of making many small edits to the same section instead of one or two, as well as not using edit summaries. John is, of course, welcome to create that seminar, just as he was welcome to comment here. --Abd 16:07, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
John, please do not move text from other editors to your new page, in case that is what you intended. It is also considered improper to remove your own text if there has been any response to it. Entire discussions may be moved if you expect consensus on the move, but that's probably not appropriate here. --Abd 16:09, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Post-classical poem

this sums up my current views on philosophy, medicine, and landed estates

ego is isolation

  • proper (as in city proper)
  • proprietary
  • property
  • real property
  • real estate
  • estate annexation
  • improper
  • eviction


  • measure nature
  • ruler
  • implement the ruler to human nature
  • rule

--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 14:05, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikiversity:In the media - anyone knows of some things to add?

I thought there would be more :-( ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 20:54, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

  • We're mentioned in passing on a Slovak news website post from two weeks ago - [4]. --Simone 21:26, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

any news to present people on Main page - since April 2011?

edit here please, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 13:21, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

more: Wikiversity:School_and_university_projects#Current_and_future_courses
please remove from the main page if you do not want to be listed, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 02:27, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

TAO (a project which the WMF partners/sponsors), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 02:52, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

site notice

Can a site notice be made? it seems like finding above info is too much when one could just ask the guys themselves to add it...
Something like: If you are using WV to faciliate courses, ... please list yourself at: Wikiversity:School and university projects ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 17:40, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Personal learning environment (PLE)

Wikiversity:Personal learning environment: I was wondering how/if/which people here still use/consider WV as a PLE? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 23:51, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

...and here some thoughts in my blog, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 12:50, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
next step here - someone wants to join the fun? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 18:51, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Bye guys

Initially I had fun sorting things out here, once I got used to the habit of some users of writing talk page comments as lengthy as Proust..

I can't cope with the stress of all the drama related to my RFC. I really can't. I was happy to help out and use sysop tools, and I'm grateful for the help SBJohnny and Dark Lama gave me. But I can't say anything good about people like Abd and John Bessa, who have nothing better to do than disrupt good faith attempts to improve this wiki. If you wonder why Wikiversity's got such a bad reputation, it's because these users drive away people who have time to give to the project. You know, this place isn't in a good state. I thought I could sort it out, but I was wrong. Someone who has a significant amount of community support is going to have to make some hard decisions if Wikiversity's going to get better. I don't have the patience. This site is currently just being used a free webhost by academic institutions, and as a deposit for fringe rubbish deleted from more reputable site. That's sad. It has the potential to be much more.

I'll still be around on Commons and Wikipedia, if you would like to contact me. I'm sorry to go in such a dramatic way, but that's how I do things. I don't like drama myself, which is ironic. --Simone 01:12, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I've deleted my user page, talk page, and my request for custodianship. I'd rather that you didn't restore any of them.
My status as a custodian has been removed at meta per my request - [5]. Good luck. Hope others succeed where I've (personally) failed. --Simone 01:34, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to hear :-(
Well, the RFC at least should be restored (it's part of WV history + others can learn from it also), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 02:30, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I intend to restore it, but I'll courtesy blank it when I do. This is unfortunate. I'll point out that I spent a month working my livin' tail off doing routine work on Wikiversity, that I then was recommended for full custodianship, and there were some objections, including one from Simone, and a compromise was reached that I would continue as a probationary custodian, even though no actual problematic actions were asserted. It was all about some sense of my dangerousness, not demonstrated by any recent action. Far more significant issues were raised about Simone's actual work and actions, and the same compromise was suggested, so ....
Simone's parting statement speaks for itself. There are some issues raised, if anyone wants to address them. The free content issue does not depend on Simone, I'm not going to drop it, we need clear policy supported by consensus, and there is no reason we can't have that. As I wrote many times, I thank Simone for raising the issue, and wish her well. John Bessa will survive. Being blocked is good for the soul. --Abd 03:02, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to see you go, S Larctia. Good luck in your future volunteering. Epic fail for WV :/. --SB_Johnny talk 12:41, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

"Epic failure" is precisely why I don't want to be part of control strategies over others, because it becomes precisely the Roman Empire model which, we are learning, was the work of Plato transported by Plutarch, a Greek Roman consul. I am apparently the Barbarian who actually has real, natural information, which is being repressed by "civilization" which is as much a noun as "transition." The fact that I was singled out in late September to be labeled as a disruptor for making a clerical error not withstanding. As I cannot actually say what is on my mind, let me suggest you read between the lines, because it may help you understand what the rest of this control structure stupidly confided in me without remotest concern for my own confidences.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 22:46, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Nah, you're just some guy who can't keep cool. 23:43, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
You should really log in, or, if you don't have an account, create one.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 00:09, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
The contribution is clearly from S Larctia, see [6]. Not a problem in itself, but since Simone has claimed to have left Wikiversity, deleting her Talk page (restored for transparency, but blanked), yet is continuing a useless "debate," poking and provoking, I'm almost concerned enough to warn and consider blocking. Both of you, please stop this. You can say what is on your mind, John, but not necessarily at any time or at any place. Please demonstrate that you have the discipline to express yourself within civility policy. --Abd 01:02, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, that wasn't the most appropriate comment. -- 17:08, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Creating meta information

Would you help me to identify where one can find meta information (e.g. here at Wikiversity or other wikis or elsewhere)? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 15:08, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

This is a super question. (I would say meta-question but meta is already used here!) If we look at the meaning of meta we will find that it is most often used (in this context) as meta-data: this means aggregating data into something that has meaning beyond the reach of the individual data (Aaron Beck, 1975). I would say that in our context, this means creating a narrative description from the material that has been aggregated simply by being wiki. Wiki by itself does not mean wikified, that has to be done by a wiki-expert, which is everybody here, to create conceptual structure. I attempt to popularize the idea here with Wikiology.
For the moment, I think that only the Google search engine (or possibly others) has the AI necessary to actually dig the aggregate material. From there it is the responsibility of Wikiversians to create wiki structure from this.
If we really want to meta-cize, then we need to make wikification a priority (if not criteria) by promoting wikiology.
I would suggest changing the {{wikify}} template to mean wikiologize, that is create a conceptual structure from aggregated information, which could mean organizing "walls of text." These are my thoughts for the moment.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:30, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Template:wikify: ok, let's see how your suggestion will be
AI: agree machines should help, e.g. also access to the DB could help. Though it's then just what we think of what the original contributor wanted? Probably asking the contributor for some thoughts would be good (e.g. brick + mortar institutions + thoughts on WV (Wikiversity:What I have learned, Technical writing/Our experience, Wikimedia experience), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 11:36, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Another good point. You are right about DBs. (I only mention search engine AI (SEAI) as an assistance tool primarily to get started with "metacizing" a topic.) I attempted to create a WP page on Complex structure, but it was deleted. Complex structure is the "skeleton" of object-orientation, which is highly visible in Perl OO structures. It is also how a fully conceptualizing human (which is most of us) "catalog" our experiences, which in psychology is "symbolizing" -- a word also used in program structure and function. So we need a DB that is built on a complex structure back bone, that is fully object oriented, and may potentially become fully functional -- which means that the DB objects are "evoked" to create a functioning model, rather than "kicking off" a procedural program. Good stuff here, I am glad you brought this up. Just as an aside, XML is such a structure but it is specialized for the Web, WWW publishing to be specific, so it is crippled for other things -- we need something less defined. If we get this metacizing DB going, then we can actually probabaly create a WikiML that is not XML at all but a object-oriented structure to define and construct all of wiki knowledge--which is potentially all of knowledge -- good stuff!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 14:23, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Here is a link to an announcement for a talk that I gave on the topic back during the hey-day of technology: puny, perl-unix of ny. I will attempt to restore the page, because I concentrated very closely on simplifying the complex structure process (actually complex data structure, with data being redundant).--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 20:28, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

IP Seminar

I am suggesting converting the intellectual property (IP) argument above into a seminar. The immediate reason is that I was apparently trashing the discussion process by preventing other edits, so I thought about my ideas about having editors work in separate sections to keep from stepping on each other's POV, or "world-views" as we use in psych. Then I realized how easy it would be to create a seminar where each participant puts his or her topic view into a sub-section, and then new sections are created by evaluating the input to that point.

Here is the section I started to create: Intellectual_property#Sampling_at_the_Wikiversity Just to look at WP's reasons for success for a moment, I think its power is in that it introduced a unique concept: wiki mono-diet of encyclopedia pages where everything is an article, even discussion. What I think the WV needs is something similar: a mono-diet of learning -- every article (within reason) is lesson--a teachable moment.

This would work for IP, because IP is so subjective; we would not only come to consensus, everyone would get evaluated, and we could actually give grades. We could also require supporting material: citations. This would make us respected by the brick and mortar educators, which is something we desperately need. --JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:39, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Class is open! (This is not a longitudinal (meaning 20-yr) study, this is here and now, and if you don't participate--forever hold your piece!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:58, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
That's really funny. "Peace," John. No, John, Wikiversity users are not obligated to "now, or forever hold" anything. There is only w:TANSTAAFL, but genuine consensus is dynamic, it is not bound by the past. --Abd 17:52, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
You know what? I am trying to make this site real, and all you can do is say "peace" like someone who is up to no good, and ridicule the only idea I can think of to make this real. Seems like WV has no hope any more.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 21:31, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

New evaluation material

I think the goal has to be to keep it light, so that students feel attracted to the seminars. I did evaluation on a boat contruction / designing forum, and it worked great, I evaluated on how "human" responers where as "human 1.0." is totally human. People who gave reasonable suggestions, which were about angle of heel, got high-human ratings, others tell me I am stupid, for instance, got low human rating.

From my on-line counselling course, I realize that there need to be levels. As we will use Agile concepts of cyclic learning with milestones, then proficiency in commenting earns the marks to move. That is, if you have thought-out ideas, then you get + marks.

  • ++
    You really get the topic. If you can see effects of the topic to related issues, meaning contiguous or neighboring issues, then you are acheiving an important current-education goal, which is seeing the world as a Whole systems model: +++.
  • +
    You can move on to the next topic.
  • 0 (or even)
    You can practice this topic in the real world.
  • none yet
    Keep at it, you will get there!

I think that, for evaluation, anybody can go back and update their material (keeping within word limits) to improve their evaluation, and hence the effect of their research and synthesis on WV policy. In other words, +'s mean effect on the environment.

Also, collaboration is a must here as with every wiki effort, so the effort to mutually improve writing with "co-synthesis" should also get ++ by virtue of being mutual.

Wikimedia: Global Education Program Metrics and Activities Meeting - online - in ca. 1h

I'll join, feel free to do also :-) info, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 14:08, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Terms of Use update


The Wikimedia Foundation is discussing changes to its Terms of Use. The discussion can be found at Talk:Terms of use. Everyone is invited to join in. Because the new version of Terms of use is not in final form, we are not able to present official translations of it. Volunteers are welcome to translate it, as German volunteers have done at m:Terms of use/de, but we ask that you note at the top that the translation is unofficial and may become outdated as the English version is changed. The translation request can be found at m:Translation requests/WMF/Terms of Use 2 -- Maggie Dennis, Community Liaison 00:42, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

what is alrat?

-- 02:53, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Open access week

The last week in October is Open Access Week: Upcoming: 2011: Oct 24 - 30 2012: Oct 22 - 28 2013: Oct 21 - 27 2014: Oct 20 - 26 2015: Oct 19 - 25[7] -- Jtneill - Talk - c 10:54, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

S Larctia globally locked

Discussions are archived for review purposes. Please start a new discussion to discuss the topic further.
  • Note. To complete this, S Larctia was unlocked, and her Wikipedia account has been unblocked. It's looking like checkuser error. S Larctia is a user in good standing at Wikiversity, and is welcome to participate here. --Abd 17:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm unlikely to be active here in the near future, but thanks for the notice. --Simone 18:09, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Due to other checkuser evidence and further investigation, blocked at as banned user Claritas; see here. Adrignola 14:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, it was pretty clear from the start that this was somebody's "fresh start account". Thanks for the update, FWIW. --SB_Johnny talk 21:03, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Funny, that might be the very same kind of pseudo "checkuser" evidence as before, there is cause to be a bit suspicious, and if they could misidentify as Poetlister, then they could misidentify as someone else. I'd seen and mentioned the apparent connection to Claritas without being explicit. This ID could be an error as well. Doesn't really matter here. I was concerned about Simone's undisclosed past, it's iffy giving permanent admin privileges to an unknown, but had she been open, that obstacle would not have existed. I've looked a little at Claritas history. Not all blocks and bans on Wikipedia are, shall we say, just and necessary. Simone, here, showed adaptability and an ability to understand that there might be different points of view to be considered. Those are qualities that I'd think Wikipedia would want. Claritas made an offer not to sock, and it's not clear that there was any abusive socking (but maybe I missed something). The offer was not accepted. Wikipedia has no procedure for accepting offers, short of ArbComm, maybe. There isn't anyone home. ...'nuff said.
It used to be considered that users who were not disruptive would not be checkusered and blocked for being socks. I saw many CU requests denied as "fishing," it was necessary to establish disruptive behavior of some kind, unless something was truly blatant. Increasingly, though, I've seen checkuser blocks that come out of the blue. No complaint filed, no misbehavior, just pure ban enforcement, applied at the discretion of the checkuser. Which makes the checkuser into an enforcement officer, losing the neutrality of the position. Structural failure. --Abd 11:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)