Wikiversity:Tame audience

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This is one of the few photographs in existence of a complete Wikiversity community. The Technical writing courses are one of Wikiversity's most regular sources of "tame" communities. New intakes of students for the course return here each time the course takes place.

A tame audience or tame community is a group of course participants or wiki editors which you bring yourself to Wikiversity as the coordinator of a course or other resource. It is like bringing your own food and drink to a party. The word "tame" is used to distinguish from "wild" and expresses the idea that the audience or community is a planned rather than a free or coincidental association.

Most commonly, a tame audience is the class of a teacher or educator. The teacher or educator coordinates (and perhaps contributes) to the resource, while the tame community, acting under real-world instructions from their teacher, engage in various kinds of collaborative editing and/or consumption of the resource.

Resources with tame audiences are the most common and most successful kinds of collaboratively created resources on Wikiversity.

Distinguish from:

Terminology[edit]

There is a discussion of proper terminology for the "tame community" phenomenon.

General characteristics[edit]

Tame communities tend to...

  1. edit profusely.
  2. edit chaotically.
  3. edit short-term only and leave.

The above can't really be changed. Tame audiences usually only need course credits immediately related to their real-world learning and are here because their teacher required them to be here. They may enjoy their time here and use it productively, but they are not here for the long-term. Retaining these people long-term isn't really an option. However if they are well-coordinated by their teacher, their brief and profuse editing sprees can leave behind excellent learning resources. The best results are obtained by experienced coordinators who have brought their classes here regularly.

Tame audiences also tend to run into editing difficulties and may need a high level of assistance. This is because they have to move from zero wiki-knowledge to producing a complete piece of work for their teacher within a very short space of time. Image copyright violations and almost vandal-like first edits during their initial panicked fumbling with the system are common. Experienced editors can help by recognizing these kinds of editor and addressing their particular needs. It can help to know who the course coordinator is.

Common misperceptions[edit]

Tame communities skew statistics. For example, in March 2008, the usual 10-20 or so "very active Wikiversity editors" in the Wikimedia Foundation's official statistics suddenly shot to well over 100 for a few weeks, and "recent changes" went so wild that patrollers could no longer see what was happening. The cause was one single tame community involved with one resource.

Uninvolved editors who aren't aware of different community types may confuse tame communities with wild communities. "Hey - where did you get all those students from? I haven't got any!" Well, if you bring your own community, it's guaranteed. Some editors aren't aware that that a tame community is involved.

See also[edit]