Wikiversity:Naming conventions/Original proposal

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This policy has been generally rejected by the community, and should not be taken as accepted policy in its current form.

At Wikiversity, learning resources exist on pages in the main namespace. There are three namespaces unique to Wikiversity that are used to help organize the pages in the main namespace. These special namespaces are School:, Topic:, and Portal:. This page describes naming conventions used to keep information properly organized in these four namespaces (including the main namespace) and to present information to readers in a consistent and succinct manner.

Synopsis[edit source]

Wikiversity schools and topic pages form a hierarchy of content development projects. Wikiversity has relatively few major schools that organize content development projects for the many topics of study. Wikiversity school pages have names that start with the "School:" prefix such as School:Biology. A Wikiversity page in the Topic: namespace can refer to itself as a "Division" or a "Department" or "Center", "Institute", "Area", etc. Actual learning resources such as lessons are all in the main namespace where pages have no prefix.

Your use of the "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:" namespaces is not required. If you are not interested in the details of organizing Wikiversity content and collaborations, simply read the section called Main namespace, below, and then get started adding content to Wikiversity.

If you want to quickly organize some Wikiversity educational content pages in a novel and unconventional way, skip down and read about Portals and Categories. Portals and categories allow you to quickly create very flexible organizational structures in any way you desire.

For anything not covered on this page, use Wikipedia conventions.

Key points[edit source]

  • Capitalize only first words.
  • Do not use course numbers in titles. Please have pagenames be descriptive of content.
  • Use subpages when necessary.

Word casing[edit source]

Page names, category names, and header titles use sentence case: lowercase letters are used at the start of second words and subsequent words except when they are proper nouns. This is the same convention used at Wikipedia.

Example: Orange is indigenous fruit of Asia, not Orange Is Indigenous Fruit of Asia.

If you do page moves in order do change upper case letters to lower case letters, it is your responsibility to fix the double redirects that you create. See Special:DoubleRedirects.

Some Wikipedia naming conventions such as "Prefer singular nouns"w:Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Prefer_singular_nouns and "Redirect adjectives to nouns"w:Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Redirect_adjectives_to_nouns may prove less universally appropriate to names of educational material; we shall see and adapt. Wikipedia naming conventions are an excellent starting point for Wikiversity naming conventions providing continuity between the two sites.

However, resources such as courses (see: Category:Introductions) may warrant full capitalization.

Main namespace[edit source]

The main namespace is intended for the educational content of Wikiversity. Pages in the main namespace are given names with NO prefix, for example: Cell Biology. If you want to add content right now, just create main namespace pages and start typing in your information. If you are concerned about how to organize Wikiversity content pages, read the rest of the page, below.

Organizing main namespace content[edit source]

Wikiversity's educational content can be described by the general term "learning resources". Learning resources can be roughly divided into learning materials and learning projects. Some learning resources are "lessons". All lessons, learning activities, learning materials, and educational content belongs on pages of the main Wikiversity namespace. See Wikiversity:Namespaces for a description of how the main namespace relates to all the other Wikiversity namespaces.

In the future, Wikiversity will have many learning resources. Wikiversity organizes some learning resources according to a hierarchy of conventional academic subject areas and topics (see Wikiversity:Browse). Note that most of this hierarchical organizing system was created in order to systematically arrange the content development projects that were begun by the Wikiversity community when still at Wikibooks. The hierarchy of schools (broad subject areas) and topics (narrow academic topics) may also serve new visitors to Wikiversity who are familiar with conventional academic topics and how they are often organized in colleges and universities. There is no single best way to organize academic topics, so the system used at Wikiversity has arbitrary elements.

Conceptual maps[edit source]

The following table maps the Wikiversity namespaces onto things that people may be more familiar with. Each item is contained by the item on its left.

Wikiversity namespace Portal: School: Topic: Main namespace (no prefix)
Terms used on this page Portal School Division & subdivision Department Learning projects and learning materials
Ukraine Division Faculty Department Subject Topic Lesson
U.S.A. Faculty School Division Department Course Lesson
Australia Faculty School Department Unit Lesson
Example The Life Sciences Portal School of Medicine Division of Basic Medical Sciences Topic:Cell Biology Bacteria on your skin learning project

To aid in this organization of academic topics, Wikiversity uses three meta-discussion namespaces: the "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:" namespaces. These three namespaces serve to organize the efforts of Wikiversity participants while they develop the educational content of Wikiversity in the main namespace. Educational content such as lessons and learning activities DOES NOT go into pages of the "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:" namespaces. The "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:" namespaces help Wikiversity participants organize their efforts. The functions of the "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:" namespaces are described below.

In general, the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces are used to produce a hierarchical organizing system of content development projects for academic topics. The "Portal:" namespace is used in a more flexible way in order to create directories that organize areas of study that either may or may not fit into a conventional hierarchy of academic topics. In particular, feel free to make use of the "Portal:" namespace to organize inter-disciplinary areas of study that do not fit into single conventional academic disciplines. Remember, the "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:" namespaces are used by Wikiversity participants to develop and organize the many pages of educational content that are in the main namespace. For more details, see Wikiversity:Schools, Wikiversity:Topics and Wikiversity:Portals.

Each type of Wikiversity page (school, topic lesson, etc) that is discussed in the sections below can be created by cloning the boilerplate. This happens when you put e.g. {{subst:Template:School boilerplate}} on the page, and save it.

Name flexibility[edit source]

All of the examples on this page have used a school > division > department naming system. This is the default system for naming Wikiversity organizational units and it is suggested for use by the school, division, and department templates.

Note: the only names that are enforced are the namespace names and their corresponding prefixes, "School:", "Topic:" and "Portal:". Pages in the school, topic and portal namespace can describe themselves using any desired terms. You can call your organizational unit a "faculty", an "area", a "college", a "center", a "program" an "institute", a "WikiProject or whatever you like. For example, Topic:Wiki business ventures describes itself as a "center".

Learning Projects[edit source]

Where are the courses?
There is nothing that prevents Wikiversity participants from creating and attending conventional courses within Wikiversity. However, the wiki user interface is not well-suited for a conventional course format. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has directed the Wikiversity community away from courses (the Board's comments). Wikiversity participants are encouraged to innovate and create learning experiences that take full advantage of the wiki format of online community interactions. Non-traditional Learning Projects that are oriented towards learning about conventional course subjects are encouraged within Wikiversity. See: Wikiversity:Learning and Portal:Education.

Learning Projects replace what in traditional universities are called "courses", "units", and the like. In a Wikiversity context, it consists of a study guide and a collection of other learning resources, and some information about the collection.

More than one Wikiversity department can 'contain' (link to) the same learning project; those departments should cooperate to develop the learning projects that they have in common.

Course Titling and Numbering[edit source]

Wikiversity:Course titles and numbers

Degree plan[edit source]

A degree plan is a curriculum that serves as a "howto" for getting a degree or certificate in a particular topic. Among other things indicates which streams to follow.

Stream plan[edit source]

A collection of learning projects about a particular topic. If you follow a stream plan far enough, it would be equivalent to a major or minor. For example, within a Computer Science degree plan, you might have 4 streams, "Core", "Programming", "Information Systems", and "Software "Development". Everyone completing any kind of Computer Science degree would require all the learning projects from Core and at least one of the other streams. Anyone minoring in computer science would be required to do the same, but only up to a certain level.

Learning project codes[edit source]

Learning projects are by no means required to have project codes, and we expect that few will have them. But for those inclined to give "course codes" (ie. learning project codes), they should conform to this scheme. Each learning project will have an 8+ character course code. These will not be used in Wikiversity page names, as the page names will be descriptive. Learning project codes will conform to the following scheme.

General Scheme[edit source]

Characters Example Indicatee
1 S (Science) Major Portal
1 C (Computing & Mathematics) School
1-2 These exist only if Divisions and Subdivisions exist
1 C (Computing) Department
1 - Separator dash
2 U1 (First-year tertiary) Material target level
1 - Separator dash
4+ 101 Individual course codes as assigned by department (see suggestions below)

Portal codes are assigned below. Each major portal will have a list of School codes. Each school will assign the department codes.

It is recommended that the individual learning project codes be assigned in a way that reserves a certain number of digits for the stream, and a certain number of digits to uniquely identify the learning project. For example, the Computer Science department, which is unlikely to ever have more than 36 streams (26 letters, 10 numbers), could safely use a single digit for the Stream identifier. The Language Aquisition department, on the other hand, may have hundreds of streams, so they would require three digits.

Portals and codes[edit source]

Portals are user-friendly pages that quickly quide Wikiversity browsers to learning resources. There can be a portal for any category of learning resources. The Wikiversity portals for the largest academic categories are listed at Wikiversity:Major portals. Other portals can be placed in Category:Portal.

  • A: Arts and Humanities
  • G: Generalities
  • E: Science and Engineering
  • S: Social Sciences

Material Target Level codes[edit source]

Category Years Name
P 3 Preschool
J 6 (k-5) Junior School
M 3 (6-8) Middle School
S 4 Senior School
U 3+ Undergraduate
G After completeing undergraduate Graduate

Examples[edit source]

  • ECC-U1-S1: Introduction to Software Engineering (suggestion -- use S instead of 0)
  • ECC-M3-C4: Basic computing (First year Secondary (Year 7/Form 1) level core computing learning project)
  • ALA-U1-ENG01: Basic english learning project (ie. English as a Second Language)
Again, please do not use these numbers in page names

Learning Materials[edit source]

Learning resources are the lowest level in the hierarchy. Two types of learning resources are lessons and research projects. Lessons and research projects are placed into pages in the main namespace (these page names have no prefix). Learning resource pages are linked to from divisions, subdivisions, or departments.

More than one Wikiversity department can 'contain' (link to) the same learning material; those departments should cooperate to develop the learning materials that they have in common.

Study guide[edit source]

A study guide is a list of hints and learning resources for a particular topic. A study guide can include

  • Links to resources (textbooks and the like)
  • Hints for studying a topic
  • Information on converting material learning into academic credit
  • Names of people interested in tutoring a particular topic

Lessons[edit source]

Lessons are where most of the teaching material will be located. Course numbers should not be used to indicate the name of a lesson. The name of a lesson should describe the topic being taught, so instead of saying "Wiki 101" (which uses a course number), the name of the lesson should be "Introduction to Wiki". Lesson pages are defined as "main namespace pages that serve to be read and to educate and provide information."

Lessons should not be subpages of schools (see below). Each lesson should have a unique title, for example The rise of the Roman Empire and The Fall of Rome, instead of the named Part 1 and Part 2-type titles listed above. Such title types are okay as temporary measures, or if a better name is not possible (for example, splitting a large lesson into two parts).

Research Projects[edit source]

Research projects are pages in the main namespace as well, only involve collaborative research to achieve a certain goal. Unlike lessons, the different pages relating to a research project should be subpages; for example, Project, Project/Evidence A, Project/Evidence B, etc. While lessons can be learned independently, research projects should stick to one similar title.

More on subpages[edit source]

Other uses of subpages could include:

  • Answers
  • Assignments
  • Homework
  • Discussions
  • Notes
  • Anything else that would make the main namespace harder to navigate and would not fall within another namespace.

Topic:[edit source]

Pages in the topic namespace are meta-discussion pages to help Wikiversity participants plan the development of main namespace educational content. Educational content such as lessons do NOT go in the topic namespace. As discussed above, the educational content of Wikiversity goes in the main namespace. Link from "Topic:" namespace pages to educational resources that are on main namespace pages.

"Topic" is a generic term at Wikiversity with a special meaning: "Wikiversity schools organize learning materials that are related to a large number of specialized academic topics." For example, the Wikiversity school of Mathematics is concerned with academic topics such as Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics, Pure Math, Statistics and so on. In order to organize the many topics in the Mathematics School, use is made of pages in the Topic: namespace. These pages can serve as divisions, subdivisions or departments. These Wikiversity organizational units are described below.

The "Topic" namespace is for organization of the work of Wikiversity content producers. The names of topic pages always start with the "Topic:" prefix. Pages in the "Topic:" namespace can serve as special portals that organize Wikiversity content for specific academic topics of study. Divisions can contain (link to) subdivisions and departments. Subdivisions contain (link to) departments. Departments contain (link to) educational content that exists in the main namespace. Departments are the smallest organizational units at Wikiversity. school > division > subdivision > department

Example of a topic page: Topic:Cell Biology.

Divisions and Sub-Divisions[edit source]

Large Wikiversity schools with many departments can make use of divisions to help organize related departments. A division can contain subdivisions and/or departments, as well as some learning resources. However, as described below, most learning resources are associated with departments. Subdivisions provide a way of organizing smaller divisions (subdivisions) within larger divisions.

Note, a page for a division can list some lessons, if needed. Most lessons should be listed on the pages for departments. An example of a division is Computer Science

The names of pages for divisions start with the "Topic:" prefix. There is no "Division:" prefix.

Divisions do not contain schools.

Note, categories are not divisions, but there should be a category corresponding to each division.

Departments[edit source]

Departments are contained in either a school, a division, or a subdivision. Departments are the smallest organizational units of Wikiversity and concern themselves with a narrowly defined topic of study.

Note, categories are not departments, but there should be a category corresponding to each department.

An example of a department is computer programming.

The names of pages for departments start with the "Topic:" prefix. There is no "Department:" prefix.

School:[edit source]

Wikiversity schools are part of a three-level system for the organization of Wikiversity content. Schools on Wikiversity are specialized portals that organize the efforts of many related divisions and departments. Wikiversity schools, divisions and departments are intended to organize the activity of Wikiversity participants. Wikiversity schools organize large academic topic areas. Wikiversity schools can promote collaboration between Wikiversity participants from several more narrowly defined academic divisions. Schools at Wikiversity are large organizational units such as Business. The main page for schools should link to their smaller organizational divisions and/or departments. A school does not contain other schools. The goal is to have relatively few Wikiversity schools.

Note: more than one Wikiversity school can 'contain' (link to) the same department; those schools should cooperate to develop the departments that they have in common.

The name for a school page always starts with the School: prefix. For example, School:Business.

Note: categories are not schools, but there should be a category corresponding to each school.

Portal:[edit source]

As described above, the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces are used to organize academic topics into a hierarchy. This hierarchy will provide a window into Wikiversity for those from the outside who are used to hierarchical arrangements of conventional academic disciplines. The hierarchical system used at Wikiversity will not fully satisfy everyone, and with time it will become increasingly unimportant to Wikiversity. As is the case at Wikipedia, the "Portal:" namespace is available for Wikiversity participants to use freely in any way that they want so as to build non-hierarchical networks of learning resources. If you feel frustrated by the limitations of the "School:" and "Topic:" hierarchy, leave it behind. Create your own categories to contain pages that are related in any way you like. Any category can have a portal that serves to organize and discuss the content of that category.

Category:[edit source]

Each portal, school, division and department should have its own category. Every page should be categorized. This increases the ease at which people can navigate around Wikiversity and access content that is of interest.

In addition to this, Wikiversity schools, divisions, departments and learning resources can be combined as needed into additional "inter-disciplinary" categories.

Stubs[edit source]

Stubs are a long-standing tradition on Wiki sites. These are basically placeholders (please use {{placeholder}} if appropriate) for articles, lessons and other materials that are planned and yet to be fully developed. A red link is a sure indication that a page has yet to be created for a name/title appearing on an existing page. Sometimes, however it is desirable or convenient to create a Stub for a page that is planned. Wikiversity:policy does not encourage or discourage stubs, but if you create one, please observe the guidelines stated at Wikiversity:Page creation requests. Thanks for your consideration of these matters. CQ 00:33, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

See also[edit source]