Wikiversity:Initial experiences

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Wikiversity: Learning by Doing

This place is for users to describe their experiences here at Wikiversity (WV). Please feel free to write your experience down, as users could scroll past this page and see how others have changed here using Wikiversity!


For starters, Wikiversity is an "exceptional" wiki... and when I mean "exceptional" wiki, I mean that this place isn't as "strict" as Wikipedia, and the other WMF wikis (you're more "loose"). Here, at Wikiversity, you're here to learn (learning by doing!)... so we all grow here at Wikiversity... one way or the other.

Honestly, with comforting users, and "let-loose" feeling here at Wikiversity, I've grown from a petty vandal that would create articles on Wikipedia about myself, to a "knowledgeable" (at least, better than how I was before). I've worked on several projects, ranging from History to Mathematics (Mathematics Properties). I have even brought on a friend here at Wikiversity: User:Atef1975, who I've invited so he (by a chance) can improve on his studies, by posting his notes online for daily review.

Although he isn't the most dedicated/active, he seems to have an interest... which was a surprise! And, since he is an ar-N (native arabic speaker), I've told him to help with the Arabic pages, so I could learn current day Arabic!

In summary: There is no better Wikimedia Wiki than Wikiversity, to be honest. I've learnt A LOT from this place, and I probably will continue using WV. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 02:04, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Planning on making Wikiversity:Initial experiences/In real life schoolmates joining WV; little essay on my views/points on bringing in schoolmates onto WV. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 02:46, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Made page :) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:44, 27 January 2016 (UTC)


My first thoughts (from a long time ago) were about the possibilities of creating new kinds of lessons in a wiki environment and my frustration with the way content was organized. After a wiki break I now have some "new first impressions" which I will share when I get a chance. --mikeu talk 03:23, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Dave Braunschweig[edit]

My initial experience was one of frustration. There's too much introductory (how to get started) content, not well defined, and some of it contradictory. Examples on the tour are all outdated. Posting on a department talk page (Topic: namespace) goes unanswered, because no one is active. Many of the pages are nothing more than incomplete Wikipedia copies or long, rambling lectures. There's not enough pedagogical design in most of the content here, meaning that it can't be reused for lessons. The learning experience for those was in the creation rather than the sharing.

But, I was exited by the popularity and quality of Wikipedia in my field (IT), and the possibility of doing "mashups" linking Wikipedia readings with YouTube videos and hands-on activities that I could develop. It meant not having to create an entire course, but only needing to curate the resources of others and just adding the pedagogical experience to those materials. It's a very powerful model that has since proven to yield better learning than textbooks alone. The Wikipedia and YouTube content continues to be developed and improved by others, and I can focus on the learning experience.

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:11, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Guy vandegrift[edit]

My first impression was excitement, until I began to look at the quality, first of other people's work, then even my own as I reread my first projects. Then I decided to roll up my sleeves and do my best. What keeps me going now is a firm conviction that someday Wikiversity will become important. I base this optimism on two closely related limitations of Wikipedia: only one article per topic, and no POV. No sane person would advocate that Wikipedia should deviate from that mode of operation because it is so successful. That leaves an opening for a different kind of wiki -- one that has not actually been created yet. But I think we are evolving in the right direction--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 04:18, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Sam Wilson[edit]

I can hardly remember my initial experience of Wikiversity, but I rather remember that I was more excited about it than I had been about discovering Wikisource (on which project I now spend most of my wiki-time). I was excited because it seemed to me to combine the best aspects of the web, being at a university, and the fun of learning — all in one place. I imagined it rather as Open University except completely open and free (as in libre and gratis). I imagined Wikiversity being a place to work on research, and develop methodologies, and explore any and every aspect of the things that one learns — all things, that is!

For example, at the moment I'm helping get some Nyunga lexicon into Wiktionary, and it seems that that is the sort of activity one could document on Wikiversity. Or an old idea I had (that perhaps I'll get back to one day) of developing some woodworking material here. Currently, I'm wondering what the possibilities are for enabling learning blogs on Wikiversity.

So all up I'd say that my initial experience was good, but that since then things have not developed as I'd thought they would. I have not at all lost hope though!

Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 09:53, 2 February 2016 (UTC)


I hadn't initially considered Wikiversity because my original research ideas have often met with critical demands for conventionalism, e.g., uniformitarianism over astronomical events causing some extinction of the dinosaurs (this was before the discovery of the iridium layer).

Wikiversity was a safe haven. When I began editing and contributing to Wikipedia, I wrote some test articles, asked for review that I was writing them per Wikipedia instructions, but received nothing. My interest there was to bring some of their articles to the state of the art or science per US copyright law. I had contributed to, written and contributed original research for half a century and wanted to prepare PD-type articles so that I could continue to submit proposals for funding. The fighting I read about and watched first-hand in the beginning there suggested caution. Instead of using my real name I chose Marshallsumter. Looking back that was a wise choice. The resulting attacks, after creating ~ 270 some articles and contributing to a similar number of others, regarding copyright violations and original research appeared to be irrational. A user there and here was apparently spearheading that effort. When someone would point out a good article, he/she would try to find at least one apparent copyright mistake and emphasize it. The fact that I used hyperlinks and cited ≥ 95 % of all statements (I counted to be sure) that were not mine meant nothing. I began preparing to take the WMF (Wikipedia) to US Federal District court for potentially libelous comments and fiscal damage to my reputation. I'd potentially lost an enormous amount of effort and had lost some 3 years. But two things prevented fiscal damage: I'd used a pseudonym and colleagues found what was happening to me from users on Wikipedia to be laughable. Whew!

I was welcomed and helped here by user Abd. Something completely missing at Wikipedia. Dominant group was initially put up for deletion here. With some caution from Abd, I let the process take its course. I wasn't going to put anymore effort into WMF projects. The dominant group project survived. The user apparently spurring the attacks on Wikipedia who was also here has been apparently blocked on both for other activities. Sweet! It's been a win-win. I've been able to submit proposals for potential courses and original research even to the WMF. It's been both learning by doing and by writing. Hopefully some of what I've written has helped Wikiversity in return. I wouldn't recommend going through what I went through on Wikipedia to anyone. Cheers to Wikiversity! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 21:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


At first I was excited about Wikiversity, and worked with a colleague at the University of Westminster on a course. However I soon found that not everyone at Wikiversity was as considerate as I would have liked. Indeed some people seemed to be smarting from unpleasant experiences on Wikipedia, but rather than learn how better to interact with other people preferred to use the relative lack of constraints on Wikiversity as an opportunity to disrupt other peoples work. I originally thought what an amazing potential Wikiversity has. Now I wonder how likely is it to realise even a fraction of those potentials. Leutha (discusscontribs) 15:08, 10 February 2016 (UTC)


Some difficulty in traversing W/U site. The reason I bailed out of site was because you asked me to enable cookies. I will not do that, as much as I might wish to participate. James Reilly, (Australia) 0418 996 548. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dumbowski (talkcontribs) 23:16, 13 February 2016 (UTC)


I had been thinking there should be a place such as Wikiversity, and was wondering how to go about proposing it to Wikimedia Foundation, when today I was astonished to discover that it already existed, and had existed for many years!

After looking around, my excitement gave way to surprise that the project had not advanced further over those years. Why was it still a big jumbly mess surrounding pockets of great content?

This page is for initial experiences, so please don't take this as anything other than my first impression. But my impression is that the project hasn't reached its potential because it is too ill-defined. Whereas Wikipedia has one article per topic, collaboratively polished by a diverse group of people, Wikiversity doesn't have the same tight focus. I guess I expected to find "one lesson per nugget", collaboratively polished. I use the term "nugget" to mean the smallest chunk of learning that can stand alone, such as "How to solve a quadratic equation", or "Introduction to covalent bonds" or "compound interest". Each nugget would have an associated lesson, and also an overview page listing its prerequisites and linking to relevant learning resources, quizzes, etc. Nuggets would of course be grouped into larger bundles - e.g. several nuggets to a module, and several modules to a course.

Now I need to look around Wikiversity further, to see what gems I can find; to try to learn why the project is structured as it is; and to work out whether (or how best) I can contribute within that structure. Thanks for all the work that people have already put into the project - it's a delight to wish for something and then discover that it already exists! Eiffel (discusscontribs) 10:54, 21 February 2016 (UTC)


There are dozens of courses with no content. Some have an outline of topics, but nothing in the outline topics either. Why not delete these, as they are confusing, take up space, and apparently are never going to be finished. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by AgentCachet (talkcontribs) 22 February 2016‎)


The reason I log in the Wikiversity is that I want to improve myself and learn more things.Hope to become a life-time learner. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leolauwhut (talkcontribs) 9 March 2016 at Help:The original tour for newcomers/1‎)

Jon michael swift[edit]

Hey all, I'm really grateful that folks are holding this project together; I had the instinct that this was how education should be and I'm glad I found a community that shares my passion for this kind of education. The trickiest part is just getting oriented to all that there is! At first I was really struggling to get the code for page editing correct and then I learned about the visual editor. That helped a lot. Still, I came with a plan and there's an obvious learning curve to getting into it. I can definitely handle it, but as I bring students in (especially younger ones) they may struggle more with the first editing and orientation. I think making the visual editor the default would help less web-savvy users get started. I also find it a little unwieldy to find the right discussions and the right people. The whole interface is very raw and text-based, making it a little less inviting to find other projects. I also understand that since things are community-built that not everything is at the same stage, but most of the places I looked first seemed to be at very undeveloped stages and that's a little disheartening. I think giving new users an even stronger set of examples of what the best projects look like in the tour would really help.

Nevertheless, I can tell that this is a robust community with a grand vision and I'm throwing my chips in with this team for sure. Look forward to meeting you, Wikiversity!

--Jon michael swift (discusscontribs) 23:23, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Patrik Näsfors[edit]

I just found this site a few hour ago, while searching for free online learning resources, specifically IT security and some certification, which I also found, so that was positive. Thanks to Dave Braunschweig for creating that project!

The reason for searching, is because I am attending a course, which is primarily based on a regular book and that is not free of course. Because there is so much information available (for free) on the Internet, I initially thought about creating my own website or blog with links to content covering the topics we will go through.

After a while I found a few free MOOC courses, but those did not fit my need, so I continued to look and ended up here. The course I found is not complete, but now I don't have to create something from scratch, but can append to the existing project. The chance that it will be found and used by others are also a lot greater, when it will reside here. So all these are positive things.

A big negative side, as I see it initially here at my first visit, is that there is no possibility to track my progress. Since the concept of this site is learning and "projects" consisting of (potentially) a lot of pages, I would consider it essentially to track progress and do some more interactive stuff. It's perfectly fine that you can access and edit all content without registering, but I think there should be some tracking/interactive options for registered users who would like that option. The above page says "None of this currently exists on Wikiversity", but it doesn't say why. Is it because of technical issues that it is difficult to implement, limited resources to get it implemented or "political" issues that you don't want to do it? I'm just wondering.

Despite that, I think I will start using it anyway. That was my first impressions :-)

Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 02:59, 26 April 2016 (UTC)