Wikiversity:Make no assumptions

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You can help develop this proposal, share your thoughts, or discuss its adoption as a Wikiversity policy, guideline, or process. References or links should describe this page as a "proposal".

This proposed policy is an attempt to address questions of audience and community in Wikiversity; who Wikiversity resources/projects are developed for, who will use them, and who will contribute to them (and how). The exception to this policy is Wikiversity:Assume Good Faith - to assume as far as possible that people are trying to make a positive contribution to Wikiversity.

Make no assumptions

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  • Age - Wikiversity is set up to serve learners of all ages and levels, and to involve people of all ages and levels in its development.
  • Ability (includes 'disability') - Everyone has a range of abilities and weaknesses in different areas. It is worth thinking here particularly of people who have a specific 'disability' (blindness, ...)
  • Access - Not everyone has high speed access to the internet
  • Quality - We are trying to ensure that Wikiversity resources reach the best possible quality, but a wiki is a work in progress, and therefore it is likely that a given resource is still in development. You can make suggestions about a resource's quality on its talk page.
  • Appropriateness - Wikiversity participants often write contents for learners without much thought on who might see it. Even if a page's description or introduction suggests otherwise, you should not make any assumption about its suitability for viewing by children or that it won't be found offensive by you or someone else. Use discretion as you deem appropriate before reading any pages or referring other people or children to pages.

These things can make a difference - but note that they also may not make a difference. A nine year old may not understand a passage of complicated text, but it is very possible that they can. An active contributor to Wikiversity may not have mastered some relatively basic wiki-editing syntax. A person accessing your resources might not have a high-speed internet connection, and therefore will not be able to easily download video. A person with, for example, autism may be fully able to participate in a learning community.

Examples of assumptions

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The following are examples of assumptions that people could (and do) make, but which are not necessarily valid, or not valid at all.

Anyone can understand this resource

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Again, not everyone is you. Not everyone is a native English speaker, not everyone knows basic trigonometry (just for example), not everyone thinks about what your resource assumes in terms of knowledge or skill. Where possible, make this explicit prominently in your resource (e.g. a note at the top of the page, saying that it is developed for a class of 13-15 year olds studying ancient Greece), and link to resources that might be of help in building this requisite knowledge.

Learners can't contribute learning resources to Wikiversity

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Wikiversity is not simply about writing articles that others can use in their learning; it is about learning through participation. In other words, developing complex learning resources is not the only way to contribute to Wikiversity. However, developing a set of questions, or compiling a set of links about a given subject is itself creating a learning resource - and remember that this is a wiki, so it might simply be a starting point for a resource's development.

[X type of person] can't contribute to or participate in Wikiversity

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Wrong. Wikiversity is for everyone - all ages, learner levels, and languages (though this is the English Wikiversity - you might find a language you're more familiar with in the List of Wikiversity projects or the Multilingual hub). If you cannot contribute to or understand a given resource or project, please say so by leaving a comment on the page's talk page.

See also

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