The Wikiversity community is participating in an experiment in education. Just what can be done with wiki technology as a tool for education? In order to answer this question, Wikiversity is devoted to supporting constructive interactions between Wikiversity participants. Wikiversity is devoted to individuals and individuality. Conventional "bricks and mortar" universities are constrained by the expense of existing in physical space. Conventional universities tend to clump students together in to groups for a coordinated "factory" approach to "assembly line" education. Wikiversity exists in a virtual learning space where the individual interests and needs of learners can be respected.
In order for Wikiversity to serve individual needs, it is important that each Wikiversity participant to be an ACTIVE LEARNER. This means sharing your interests, goals and educational experiences with other members of the Wikiversity community. By sharing, others will learn of your needs and help point you towards resources and activities that will serve your needs. By sharing your experiences you move out of your personal world of learning into the Wikiversity community space where learners help build Wikiversity while they learn. The distinction between learner and teacher is very flexible within Wikiversity. No matter what you are learning, there will almost always be other Wikiversity participants who can learn something from you.
"I want someone to teach me FOO."
At Wikiversity, who is that "someone"? If we all adopt the spirit of community learning, then we realize that "someone" is US. Particularly at the launch of Wikiversity we must all engage in learning projects and participate in the construction of Wikiversity.
The Wikipedia model
Today, there are many people who are simple "users" of Wikipedia, people who read the content of Wikipedia but do not edit Wikipedia articles. At the start of Wikipedia (when there was no content), there could be no simple users.....Wikipedia participants had to be active editors and create the content. Wikiversity is in a similar situation and needs active participants who can be both learners and wiki editors. However, it is the goal of Wikiversity that its participants will always be active wiki editors, even after there is a large amount of "educational content" and "learning materials" in Wikiversity.
Wikiversity is devoted to active learning and learning by doing. The fundamental unit of Wikiversity community structure is the Learning Project. Learning Projects are wiki pages where groups of interested participants come together to share questions, ideas, and answers as they explore a topic. An individual's learning goals are met within Wikiversity by participation in suitable Learning Projects. It is up to each of us to design and participate in the Learning Projects that will allow us to grow towards our goals. Reach out and join in.
Where are the courses?
There is nothing that prevents Wikiversity participants from leading and attending conventional courses within Wikiversity. However, the wiki user interface is not well-suited for conventional courses and 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 for online community interactions. Non-traditional Learning Projects and other projects oriented towards learning about conventional course subjects are encouraged within Wikiversity. See: Wikiversity:Learning.
People can learn when they edit wikis. Wikibooks has one kind of learning project: make textbooks. Wikipedia has one kind of learning project: make encyclopedia articles. Wikiversity is the place for every kind of learning project that does not already take place at other Wikimedia projects.....that is the special role for Wikiversity.....the creation of many new learning projects that support the learning goals of Wikiversity participants.
Kinds of Wikiversity Communities
All Wikiversity activities are oriented around learning. Two special types of activities are service activities and research activities.