Talk:Wikiversity/Archive 2

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Summary of Ideas[edit]

Things the Wikiversity could feature

Interactivity[edit]

  • Online chat between students (can be done via IRC)
  • Online and offline study groups
  • "Lecture theater"
  • Research of interesting things
  • virtual microscope for a course oceanography
  • Assessment Tools (ie. question banks that can be pulled randomly)
            I could really use this! mfinney
  • Flash Cards (with heuristic presentation, ie. they would be cumulative and present incorrectly answered cards more often.

Teaching Resources[edit]

  • Powerpoint/slides collection
Well, if you want Wikiversity to be a Free learning/teaching enviroment/wiki/system/waddever, I really think you should try to keep it multi-platform and free/open source software, so I'd suggest OpenOffice or something. --Dawa, 02/02 6:42 GMT+1
PDF is even better for viewing, while still keeping the source in wiki format. --Pgan002
Teachers often exchange stuff like this, so we should be open for any format, but encourage open formats. --WiseWoman 12:14, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
Do you know this Web-standards oriented slide system: http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/ I am quiet sure this would suit the need for slides for a web-based university... About license, here is a quotation from the site: "S5 as of version 1.1 is explicitly in the Public Domain, so it's really out there for anyone who wants it." - Cybertooth 16:37, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Lesson plans, activities
We added startup pages for two demonstration courses: Meeresbiologie and Biologie der Antarktis with some interactive activites and some full publications, which we moved to wikisource (with permission of the ediors) Kils 18:18, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Books via Wikibooks
  • Links to usable materials that cannot be incorporated in the Wikiversity

Visions[edit]

Hi, I'll guess I'll kick this off... If Wikibooks goes down the Wikiversity line, then there needs to be some expansion. Wikibooks are fine for the actual textbooks to go along with a course, but essentially, what WikiU needs is some kind of capability (simple, nothing too complicated) for conducting online teaching. Perhaps instead of Discuss this page, there can be Questions about the material? And we could have some kind of Lecture theatre section, for textbook material split up and taught in the Lecture method style?

If you want something like that, take a look at a few e-learning enviroments, like whiteboard.sf.net and see the wikipedia entry for E-learning for more info - stuff like that ought to do the trick. --Dawa, 02/02 6:42 GMT+1

The Wikiversity line is definitely a positive road to go down. Free education! However there needs to be some heavy restructuring of Wikibooks as it is for it to become WikiU. Maybe WikiU needs a seperate site? (Though I don't know how economically feasible this will be.)

Anyway, my 2 cents. Dysprosia 10:42, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I think IRC chatrooms would be well-suited for a lecture, as well as just for a student and teacher to have a tutor-like session. LittleDan 18:32, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

From Wikibooks' Staff lounge:

I know that the name "Wikibooks" was thought of and promoted by me, but that was before we really knew where we wanted to go with this project (become an educational resource). The word "Wikipedia" is obviously the name of an encyclopedia and the word "Wiktionary" is obviously the name of a dictionary. But "Wikibooks" doesn't bring anything specific in mind. So what does everybody think of the name "WikiUniversity"? Our aim is to create a huge educational resource and I think that such a name would be more fitting to such an endeavor. --mav 02:15, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I like the name but would save it for a future vision. A University needs a library and a book store. I tend to see Wikibooks in this role. I would express two hopes now. First, that there is enough interest in this subject to soon require irts own discussion forum. Second, that we continue to build at least some experience with Wikibooks without the distraction of that discussion.

I think WikiU would need books and more. The whole question of interactive learning, distance learning, computer based instruction, and programmed instruction is much bigger than Wikibooks. IMHO it also needs more software than simple page displays with embedded links. We need to introduce pop-ups and the collapsable note windows currently under discission. We need alternative path routing based on test results, and an easy way to built these in a collaborative environment.

Belive me, I'm in favor of the idea. But I'd like to reserve the WikiUniversity name for that kind of a broader project, and I think we need a track record here before diluting resources. Its worth thinking about, and talking about. But I don't feel ready to jump in just yet.

Any other opinions? :-)...LouI 04:29, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Catchy. Why not WikiUni instead of University -- catchier? Anyway, I'm impartial to the whole thing (we could have non-Uni graded books here maybe?), though I could imagine selling WIKIU sweaters in that famous blocky-style print... ;) Dysprosia 05:55, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
WikiLib...? :P -- Emperorbma 07:08, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
As in the Wiki Liberation Movement? Eclecticology
I hear you. So Wikibooks would be the bookstore of WikiU? Now that is cool! Better name suggestion from Stanford Forte; Wikiversity. Granted it could be construed as Wiki+Adversity, but I kinda like double meanings. --mav
I like that name, and the idea that wikibooks could just be wikiversity's book place (I don't like calling it a store, though). It would be nice to have wikiversity.org and books.wikiversity.org. But I don't know how the actual teaching would go on at the main wikiversity.org. Would it be automated? We could have extentions to the wikitext format to make javascript quizzes. Teaching could go on by talk-style (except in the main article namespace, in this case). LittleDan 00:50, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)
No need for books.wikiversity.org since we already have wikibooks.org. We should talk about and develop m:Wikiversity on meta. I'll move all discussion there in a few days. --mav
I kicked the discussion off with some ideas :) Dysprosia 10:45, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)
'WikiVersity' sounds good to me. How about reserving "u:" for the shorthand interwiki symbol? Jrv 20:23, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Aside from domain name issues (I know you want to grab fast, Mav :), what exactly is WikiU supposed to cover? Eloquence 15:53, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Tools for instructors to use to make lesson plans, activities and, of course, have dialogs with their students (and student to student interaction). Also look at LouI's response above and the thread talking about "WikiClassroom" at the top of this page. --mav 21:08, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I'm all for a Wikiversity, and that name provisionally is as good as any. At the same time I see the task of making this work as far more challenging and difficult than writing an encyclopedia. When we talk about libraries, bookstores, instructors, lectures, seminars and so many other concepts related to the typical modern university we are already attaching preconceptions to what Wikiversity might be. We are unjustifiably leaping ahead to some imaginary point in the future that depends on history that has not been written yet.

Rochdale was a great idea while it was still housed in the smaller residences of the co-op movement. This system of houses had been built up over an extended period of time through sound fiscal management. When suddenly it found itself the owner of an 18 storey building, the product of the clever financial manipulations of (now York University professor) Howard Adelman it had to make an impossible reconciliation between the return on capital that had been promised to the banks, and the "free" education that had been promised to its prospective students. From that point on it was bound to fail. The infamy that it gained as an 18 storey pot-smoking hippy haven was a by-product of this doomed planning. The one positive thing that one could always say about the 6th floor drug-dealers' co-operative fortress was that they had no problem paying their rent.

I believe as much now in the principle of open and de-institutionalized education as I did during the campus activist times of the 1960s, but perhaps age makes me more cautious. If we are going to grow a Wikiversity, we're going to have to give a serious look at the nature and purpose of education. When Rochdale was flourishing today's technological communications resources did not yet exist; they simply represent one more major factor to take into consideration. These tools permit us to question even more seriously and more effectively what we questioned 40 years ago.

I see the modern university as approaching a new era of identity crisis. What are they for? There is a fundamental conflict between the idea of a university as the source of original thought which doesn't pay much money, and as a training centre for elites that put a priority on their ability to earn a high salary in the future. What is the role of a Wikiversity built on Wikipedia's philosophical success in that kind of environment? Eclecticology 19:54, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Will The Wikiversity offer free degrees? If not than is it really a university?

Official degrees? No. There's no way Wikiversity could become accredited. Unofficial degrees? Maybe. Is it really a university? See my 'major point to resolve' below. --Spikey 22:08, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)
No, and that is not the point. But teachers at accredited institutions can use material here to make their instruction better. And people who want to learn for the sake of learning can gather some insight here as well. It is entirely possible, that eLearning materials land here that are so advanced, that working through them would bring credit - and in many schools, there is an "Independent Study" course to give credit for exactly that. We are currently working at my institution (in Germany) on this - we have provisional accreditation (some administrative trivia and, of course, financing still need sorted out) for a Master's program that demands 6 units of 5 credits apiece of Independent Study.

The student and teacher decide together which units will be completed, and how the grading will be worked out. So by the time we roll this out in 2007 I'd love to have some material in the Wikiversity :-)--WiseWoman 12:23, 2 May 2005 (UTC)


There's a major point to resolve before we can procede with most of this discussion: is Wikiversity to be a school (non-accredited, of course) where people come to go through courses as well as write and edit them, or is it a resource for teachers in accredited (and non-accredited) places of learning to draw upon in their own classes? This distiction is what will define th logical setup of the site. Are we targeting independent students who want a good, free education in some area, or teachers who want help with materials/lesson plans/resources for their courses? --Spikey 22:08, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm strongly in favor of Wikiversity being a teachers' resource and possibly a companion to the Wikibooks website. It would be too hard, as well as unrealistic, to go for a full school. Besides, I'd like to have a well-built way to have a forum for Wikibooks. Also, help with homework would be (extremely) useful. - Pingveno 00:21, 1 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Wikiversity can be a full educational instituition! It seems that only text and images can be provided now, but we can have lectures (by video file, or if you want interactive lectures (the ones in universities) video conferencing can be done) without much problem. for making schools, you just need lecturer facilities amd textbooks. about university i don't know, but i can think of solutions to problems.
Wikiversity can also provide unofficial degrees. I don't know anybody will see it, but if wikiversity is successful, its degrees are definately going to be recongnised. Vedant lath 10:15, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, you don't need to make it a full school, but it does sound like a good idea to provide the resources for "teachers" to help "students", and for students to ask questions to people who know about the stuff they're learning about. Nothing like mandatory subjects, dedicated teachers, etc., but more like a place where people can come to learn stuff they're interested in and where people can use their knowledge to help and educate others.



Wikiversity as an organisational tool[edit]

Not everything has to be wiki! I envision the core content being very non-wiki, for example, Powerpoint slides (or FoilTex or whatever), visualisation applets, IRC meetups, etc. We can treat this stuff like image or sound files and use the rapid collaborativeness of wiki to build organisational structure: set up hierarchies (Calculus is a Math), keep links in good working order, schedule IRC meetups and so forth. See what I'm saying? Non-wiki for content, Wiki for structure. -- Kowey 21:05, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Wikiquiz[edit]

This week I met a wikipedian who had an idea which could be useful for wikiversity: Wikiquiz. Essentially, it would be an extension of MediaWiki which allows for the creation of multiple choice tests, simple HTML-forms where you click on check boxes or select something from a drop down box. At the end of each quiz page you would have a "send" button which returns a page with your results. On "edit" you can define in wikisyntax the questions and answers. credits for this idea go to Benutzer:Tkarcher. --Elian 23:11, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The company I work for is developing a fairly robust quizzing/homework system, and we'd like to get involved in WikiQuiz for Wikiversity. However, we're a little bit weary about how everything works--we'd like to provide the basics (question authoring and quizzing for multiple-choice, numerical answer, and fill-in-the-blank questions, marked up in the standard Wiki markup), but we don't want to give everything that our business is based on away for free (in other words, we want to provide a scaled-down version of our full engine). Can someone contact me about how this would work? In case it doesn't show (I'm new to the WikiWorld), my email address is jharmon3@yahoo.com Jon the Geek 18:54, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

    • There is an open-source learning CMS (content management system), which already has a fairly good quiz engine written in PHP. It's all open source and freely reusable. It's a pretty good system. You can enter questions into a quiz just as easily as taking the quiz. I've written a script myself that does the same thing. --socrates_eight@yahoo.com 23:29, 05 March 2005

Re. quizzing, are you familiar with TOIA? Tools for Online Interactive Assessment http://www.toia.ac.uk/ George

special about language exercises: Ultimate_wiktionary_and_language_exercises

Awesome idea. That would seriously help out wikiversity. However, I think I have an idea for tests/quizzes in the mean time. Basically, the quiz is a template page that students will copy/paste into another page. Submitting the quiz is simple; at the bottom of every page, add a link to a new page, and in that new page, have the quiz copy/pasted with all the answers in it. From there, teachers and TAs can move the links from "submitted" and "graded" on the quiz page, and write comments and so forth on the quiz.

For the most part, students should grade themselves. Basic problems such as 1+1 for example should be made into some sort of a quiz system. As for the implementation of this system, a Java Applet would do nicely to save the server bandwith. The Java Applet would be the same applet across the entire site, but would read in the quiz data and create a quiz (Mind you, I'm only a beginner in programming so if its a bad idea, strike it out :-p) . But until then, there should be no problem in printing the page out and having the student grade it old school; red pencil with the answers on another page --68.33.164.12

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How I see it[edit]

An exciting idea! Here's how I'd build it. Plan for WikiU to be like a real university, in as much as you could use it to learn almost as much as you could in a RealU. Definately use WikiBooks for the textbooks. Have volunteer tutors as "professors" to answer questions about instructional and test material. The trick (and difference from text-based article Wikimedia), is to have a way to create a pool of test problems/questions that can be graded. If someone wanted to get a formal degree, they could challenge the classes at RealU. In a decade or two, we should see diplomas become more like certifications, and less attendance reports. Employers don't care only about book knowledge though, and will want some proof that the applicant can work with other people (at least for most jobs) and that they can stick to something for at least four years.

No powerpoint, not everyone has PP. Use browser based, Java or similar. Should be able to handle complex simulations (chem lab, nuclear engineering, etc.)

- Bwood 03:17, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Don't must be PowerPoint can also Open Office Impress (that also has not everyone but who need it can load it down, and u can also import your PP Slices. All the Browser based prasentation have ythe problem they can't be changed by someone else but that should be an option in the wikiversity. --PatrickD 05:59, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Consider me Dr. Calmypal, professor of Esperanto! I think it would be a great resource for some extra study. Certified teachers should have special protected pages where they list people they've decided understand their material. Degrees would mean nothing in theory, but I might be able to back up a controversial edit if I have a degree in the subject at hand... - Calmypal 00:39, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)

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Some very interesting ideas and suggestions. University is our ideal. In many ways we have to offer basics and part of that might might involve a structure and curriculum based on a branching or self educating model. Part of this might involve some or all of the following ideas (some of which have been mentioned):

  • Awards/points/credits/lets for participation and evolvement and debits for vandalism, anti social behaviour and so on
  • General tutors available. Sometimes students (and I hope we are all students and teachers in such a collaberation) need ideas and suggestions about how or where to go. So tutors can offer themselves as on line (assuming the communication module is implemented) and be credited or rated on the helpfulness of their contribution. Students might be teachers, simultaneously . . .
  • People learn in different ways and at different rates. Wikiversity surely can cater for children and those with limited learning skills. Are we talking about education and access to learning or elitism? Many people are put off by the concept of education and schooling. Some would like to retain that excusivity? If people are having fun - they learn. Can we have more fun please?
  • Sponsored courses for/by commercial groups. I see every reason NOT to allow commercial groups to plaster ads over everything but a small message with a link to a website saying this tutorial was provided for wikiversity by (name of company) where there is clear expertise and desire to learn a system, would seem acceptable? 82.69.58.117 15:49, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Forking[edit]

While looking at the Wiki-Cookbook, it occurred to me that I have alternate recipes for some of the things for which there are already recipes. A different recipe would produce a somewhat different result, preferable or not according to a person's taste. So, for matters in Wikibooks other than recipes, it seems that there could be different approaches to reach the same result, equally valid but irreconicable to a single article. I suppose two recipes for cherry pie can go on the same page, but there are differing didactic methods for all kinds of more complex subjects. A Great Books approach to biology might start you off reading (possibly only selections of) The Origin of Species, then more contemporary expansions upon it, whereas a more conventional progression of vocabulary and concepts would simply make a reference to Darwin, a sideline blurb. It would be confusing to have these two approaches take up the same space, and advocates of the Great Books approach might be unwilling to relegate links to their great books to footnotes appended to the conventional material. And within what's considered conventional there are plenty of divisions besides--fundamentally different pedagogical tacks. In what progression should the topics be introduced? Should the density of the language be adjusted in favor of possibly difficult, concise explanations, or more drawn out ones that risk boring those who get it already? In physics, better to rely more on verbalized theoretical examples, or on mathematics? et cetera. You just can't always have it both ways. So, what about forking? For instance, to return to physics, some people need a lot more in the way of analogies and thought explorations at the earlier levels. I guess it would be the same at the higher levels, except these people might be disinclined to go that far, but, anyway by the time one gets there it seems (though I'm certainly no expert) that the level of discourse establishes a more-or-less (yes, frequently less, but still) universal pace. So you have a long road and a short road to get there. It would be a very delicate balance to strike to be able to do both within a single document, and even then you would end up in triage quite a bit. Why not just have two separate ones with a good explanation as to the likely beneficiaries of each? This would be quite an easy thing to do, although I guess no need has arisen yet except for cherry pie. -Aratuk 06:25, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)


I put my ideas for a wikischool in the wikibooks staff lounge, you should use wikibooks, but take a current version of a completed wikibook and error check it and then put it up so it isn't editable by everyone. if you want to get a degree in this read these books and take the test that goes with them. i admit that the only thing that you could get from current avialable completed wikibooks is a high school diploma (which would make a lot of publicity for the first person to get one from wikivesity). A wikiversity would require all new software to be written just for it. look up "wiki idea" in the staff lounge wikibooks --V2os 21:42, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikiversity: a lecturer's manifesto[edit]

Given the existence of Wikipedia, Wikitary, etc., the best use I could see of wikiversity would be a bank of resources for educators/lecturers.

Some Facts[edit]

  1. A huge number of (educational) resources are currently available on the net or elsewhere. If we consider access to images to illustrates the lecture, some textbooks begin to adjoin a CD with the illustrations contained in the book, as for instance the textbook of Fundamental Neuroscience (2002, 2d ED), edited by Larry R. Squire and colleagues, but you need to know about their existence and such textbooks are quite expensive. Loads of illustrations can be found by using Google’s option to look for images but there is a total absence of organization and a very important noise to signal ratio; for instance, the Google-image search gives 1.360 hits for a specific term as cochlea, and 60.600 for hearing. Some very good quality illustrations can be found by looking for companion websites to lectures in neurosciences and related fields; for instance, the companion website to the lecture “Neuroscience 524: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior”, by professor Tom Yin at University of Wisconsin (http://www.physiology.wisc.edu/neuro524/index_2002.html) contains about 100 very high quality illustrations scanned from popular textbooks; similarly, wonderful illustrations exist in textbooks, but it takes time to look for them and scan them and then, there is there is the problem of copyright, in case a lecturer wants to use the illustration in some material published on-line. The pictures that are found on other lecturers’ websites have often been scanned from textbooks but scarcely duplicate the copyright notice. If you diligently comply to the copyright laws, you should avoid to copy such resources as long as it is not explicitly stated that they are in the public domain or that you are welcome to copy them. Similarly, references to audio-video material to be used in the context of lectures, references of classic papers as well as papers to serve as readings accompanying lectures, propositions of tutorial activities that are known to work well, are all listed in Instructor’s Resource Manuals as for “Behavioral Neuroscience, Instructor's Resource Manual” (http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/kassin2/chapter2/custom3/deluxe-content.html); textbooks can be found on the net, either freely (for instance: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0070914028/81181/SantrockChap03.pdf), or thanks to a subscription from Edinburgh University (Gazzaniga, M.S., 2000, The New Cognitive Neurosciences. MIT Press, at “http://cognet.mit.edu/library/erefs/gazzaniga/”); some on-line lectures in the public domain are centralized in websites as the one of Lecture Hall (http://www.utexas.edu/world/lecture/); Powerpoint presentations can be found on fellow lecturers’ websites; some lectures’ syllabi are available on-line; they are sometimes accompanied by quizzes to let students test their own understanding about the field.
  2. Any lecturer tempted by an improvement of the quality of their presentation or educational material rapidly discovers that to find these resources is currently extremely time-consuming. The resources evoked above are spread all over the net and there is no quick way to locate them. Some websites publish repository of resources that are research oriented but to my knowledge, there is no repository oriented to the needs of (University) lecturers. There is no website where links to illustrations for lectures are found along with example of lectures (at least, I could not find one, despite hours of browsing). There is a crucial lack of central repository, a central database listing these resources. As a result, although there are loads of resources available, lecturers are not really in a position to exploit them; the lecturers have to renounce to the idea of improving their lecture if they are not ready to spend some of their evenings on that task. More importantly, the time lost by lecturers who decide to search for better illustrations for their lectures is lost again and again by lecturers looking for the same resources.
  3. Access to such resources greatly contributed to the quality of the lectures. I started as a University lecturer a year and a half ago. I had to give lectures prepared by somebody else but, for most of the lectures, I found the illustrations not adequate enough (the lectures had been created one year before I arrived). During the first year, I had the initiative to take some evenings and week-end to set up a repository of resources, with both me and my colleagues in mind. As illustrations, Powerpoint presentations, and lecture notes began to cluster my hard disk, I began to organize these. I separated text from pictures to re-organize the material in several categories: (still) pictures, audio-video material, lecture notes, relevant references (scientific papers or textbooks), glossaries, quizzes (along with exam questions and assignments), tutorial activities, websites with list of links, etc. Easy access to these resources greatly contributed to the quality of my lectures. They were rated as rather poor last year and the year before (I toke up lectures given by somebody else), they were rated as excellent this year (of course, it was not just about adding pictures, I completely reorganized the content too; see next point).
  4. The contribution of such a repository of resource is not necessarily limited to the “look” of the presentation. Again, if I rely on my own experience, browsing the net for illustrations, Powerpoint presentations or lecture notes from fellow colleagues gives the opportunity to get an idea of the different ways to organize a lecture on a given topic. Browsing the net can contribute to rapidly familiarize a lecturer with some new lecture’s contents as well as to improve his/her understanding of some specific topics. As I discovered, reading lecture notes prepared by other lecturers can help refresh a lecturer’s memory in minutes, when it would have taken him/her hours to skim books to get the same results.

What (important) contribution Wiki could bring to lecturers[edit]

  • A catalogue of resources for lecturers/students. The catalogue would provide references to a variety of resources to be used in the context of lectures (links to pictures, audio-video material, references of papers to be provided as readings, lecture notes, Powerpoint presentations, textbooks published on-line or off-line, quizzes, tutorial activities). This project should offer the possibility to encode these resources in a shared database so it can easily be shared with fellow colleagues around the world.
  • Examples of Bank of resources:
    • Database of quiz/test/exam questions. I just designed one for my own use.
    • Bank of pictures to illustrate educational material. Examples: http://viperlib.york.ac.uk/, http://www.pics4learning.com/. I have on my hard disk more than 500 high quality images to be used as illustrations for lectures. They are organized by theme, and stored in powerpoint files (because powerpoint allows to store textual information, images, video, and sound in the same document and because any arbitraty ordering of the pages can be imposed).
  • It could be completed by a set of "technical documents"
    • Guidelines for teachers, as for instance http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/teaching.html. This could be guidelines on writing descriptors and learning outcomes, an introduction to the different types of learning styles, guidelines on how to prepare lectures on powerpoint, or examples of how to implement quiz/test/educational exercises (an example at http://lang.swarthmore.edu/makers/index.htm)
    • Guidelines for students. This could be guidelines on how to make a presentation, guidelines on how to write a good report, information about plagiarism, etc.

There will be a need to dedicate a certain amount of time to decide of the best way to encode these different types of information. Inspiration may be found in the following product: Catalyzer and Mercat, recently developed by Axiope company (see http://www.axiope.com). Catalyzer is a catalogue creation software which lets the user take control of the structure and content, with predefinition of field types for a large variety of electronic documents. The information stored in this catalogue can be shared with fellow colleagues via internet, thanks to Mercat.

Difficulties to foresee[edit]

  1. Copyright issue. To prevent a possible request to withdraw the resource following the discovery of a breach of copyright, authorisation to publish a reference to a given resources should be obtained for every entry of the (public) database by the person who adds this resource to the database. For resources other than pictures, link to the original resource will be provided, no local copy will be made (still, authorization to publish an entry referring to that link should be obtained). For pictures, it is, I believe, more desirable to offer a preview of the picture, so that the user can immediately make a decision about whether to download it. In order to minimize the risk of a copyright fraud when doing so, the following line of action is proposed: (a) display a preview of the picture when copyright authorization has been received; (b) display a preview of the picture in black and white or with a stamp over the picture if the copyright holder has agreed to a copy in that format; (c) display a picture containing only a stamp “copyright not obtained” for any other resource of picture type.
  2. Referencing. There will be a need to cross-reference the resources stored in a database, such that a person can define a search based both on the type of resource (video, quiz, etc.) and on the field of study. This could be quite time-consuming. + there may be a need to define the level of study (school level, 1st year undergraduate, post-graduate; for instance for quiz questions) and therefore to decide of equivalence between different educational systems.

As many others, I am ready to contribute to this catalogue for the fields I cover in my lectures. I am more than willing to share my knowledge, experience, and resources that could be useful to this project. In the past, I published a museum website used for tutorials (http://www.ulb.ac.be/psycho/museum.html), I published a paper on how to increase the intereractivity of web-based educational materials, and I recently submitted a project to an e-learning grant for some kind of similar project. I have a large number of resources ready to share. But I am afraid, I can only dedicate evenings and week-ends to this (that is the ones I am not working on my own stuff). But that's the point, what is missing is a system by which lecturers could share their resources with a limited cost in terms of time... and do this in a better way than the current one, which consists to produce a multitude of largely overlapping and largely redundants resources spread all over the web. What is needed is a structure which allows the easy sharing of resources and that's exactly what Wiki projects are about!

The main problem is not in the writing, but in the finding. Libraries are concerned with this, as they have been spending hundreds of years findig ways to make books accessable to researchers. We need to duplicate (and enhance!) ways of finding information, otherwise this will be just One More Big Linklist. --WiseWoman 12:28, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
Operational Scenario
A new Wikiversity expert has arrived and wishes to improve his professional lectures on day job and the free materials available at Wikiversity regarding derivation of critical mathematical models in fluid dynamics. He/she quickly sketches/storyboards the slides and animations desired for in class presentation and linking into the related Wikiversity courses. These are then scanned and uploaded and a request is sent via email to the Wikiversity email list (to be established) and an opportunity posted to related art classes. The instructor states desired file formats and provides a link to appropriate free tools. Several things can now occur:
  • 1. There is no response so the instructor creates their own illustrations and animation for next year as well as contacting their local art department for help. With any luck this work will eventually be uploaded to Wikiversity by the instructor.
  • 2. Somebody at Wikiversity with interest and talent in free art tools sees an opportunity to post an accredited product online and produces the requested art.
  • 3. Sombody else browing the web in this field already has or is aware of existing illustrations, art or animation serving the same or similar subject matters and provides a link. Somebody else takes the initiative to contact the owners, acquire permissions and uploads the better (not perfect) imagery while we wait for (1) or (2) to create a better piece of the puzzle.
  • 4. Something else occurs which results in artwork better than the scanned sketches and storyboards.
All of the above is difficult to have happen without a permanent namespace, some simple policies and procedures, etc. so that people can easily complete small simple tasks they are interested and leave the results for somebody else to impove upon.
It would be helpful for current instructors and/or students to start outlining course materials under appropriate schools, course titles, or subject presentations or seminars. As people see interest in topics of interest to themselves and easy ways to help accumulate the materials, they will start contributing pieces of the puzzle. Wikipedia was built in part by exceptional editors contributing exceptional material. However, a very large part of it was built by ordinary web browsing contributing a paragraph, link, or picture a piece at time. Others merely corrected typos or deleted obvious (to themselves) mistakes or errors. The effort only adds up if someone puts the outline in place and starts initializing it. Lazyquasar 08:29, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Possibly, need to distinguish learning from teaching[edit]

I am not sure wikiversity is the best name. First, it evokes diversity more than university. Second, various resources could be shared across different levels of education (primary and secondary schools). On the other hand, something like Wiki4Learning is too vague (wikipedia is also for learning). Then, there is the issue that most of the comments above relate to learning materials to be published on Wiki. Here, what I propose is the creation of a resource to help in teaching activities. Is it that we need to create a separate resource: Wikiteaching?

--mlange 01:46, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I like the Wikiversity name. Perl 02:22, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think a major differential from wikipedias could be the inclusion of 'Specialists' i.e. users who actively specialise in one area, and are marked as such. In any 'Discuss This Article' they would have highlighting, and their response would carry more weight in 'I Don't Get It' options (calls for help).

Related articles[edit]

Wikipedia's School and university projects page. Maybe Wikiversity could have a "virtual university" where people from real world institutions of learning could interact. Could Wikiversity have some sort of outreach program for making educators in the real world aware of the educational uses of wiki?



I'm setting up some educational wikis at http://coedit.net/. See the WikiClassroom wiki for some related ideas. I'd be glad to collaborate if I can.

I would distinguish between some of the different ideas for "wikiversity" I see on this page:

  1. An online (virtual) school employing a wiki engine and other resources.
    • Sounds interesting, but we'd need a lot more than just a regular wiki. You need synchronous communication tools too (chat), and a lot more, like grading, etc....basically, a learning management system.
  2. A "bank of resources" where for example teachers can upload and share items like powerpoint lectures.
    • You might check out various learning object repositories.
  3. A library of wiki-based educational books.
    • This is already being covered by the wikibooks project.
  4. A public, online resource for creating, sharing, and delivering wiki-based courses.
    • (similar to the first idea) It sounds like some of you would like something like SourceForge, where you can create and host an open source project, except here, the projects are not software, but courses on various subjects. That sounds like a great idea. CourseForge? ClassForge? Of course, you might end up with 300 courses on how to cook macaroni. Perhaps "students" should be able to post requests for courses they'd like to see, too.
--DougHolton

You are right. We should distinguish different kinds of material. I also propose WikiAbstracts and WikiReviews. By the way I do not like the name Wikiversity neither. I prefer "WikiUniversity" -- Nichtich 21:55, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Am I wrong in thinking that the dominant assumption here is that the wikiversity would function either as (1) a wikified version of a traditional school or (2) a tool to augment or supplement such schools? Because it might also be worth considering forwarding a decentralized teaching model (Wikigogy? From Wikigogue, leader of the quick?) wherein the production and distribution of knowledge is not assumed to be dependent on the one-to-many relationship of traditional pedagogy, but a more wikilike many-to-many relationship. (Hmm. I need to go re-read my en:Philosophy of education#Freire.)

Of course, the whole reason one might desire a Wikiversity is that people want to acquire sophisticated knowledge they don't have yet, and need to acquire it from those who have it, but this role could be played by whole communities of those who are in the know, including, increasingly, the "students" as they learn. This would comprise a sort of journeyman's rebellion, with everybody getting together to boostrap themselves and each other along...Kukkurovaca 00:47, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Let´s organize the Wikiversity[edit]

I would propose to create something like: Wikiversity:Organization On this page we may:

  • Discuss and work on how Wikiversity is going to be structured.
  • Organize them by topics.
  • Create the different departments where specilized users may talk about their own topics.
For example Wikiversity:Department of Linguistics
  • Create a Wikiversity:multilingual coordination to promote the coordination with future wikiversity proyects in other languages. (Even though somebody wrote that Wikiversity should be firstly only in English. Why cannot other languages begin parallel discussions about their own wikiversity?: "University" is related to Universalis, I think that we shouldn´t close doors to other wikiversity realities)

--Javier Carro 08:53, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

Here are some specific starter page ideas for when we find a space to get started (maybe we should just go ahead and start back over on the wikibooks wiki, and delete this page):
  • start with a front page using the wikibooks front page as a template (with multiple languages)
  • have a welcome page for each language
  • a FAQ page
  • a topics page for each language
  • a page for those interested in creating a new course - go through a series of questions - what language, what topic area, what name(space) to use for the course.
  • a page like Wikibookians - list all those participating in building the Wikiversity
  • try to get a sample course off the ground quickly to illustrate how to do various things (organize the course pages, handle student questions and discussions, upload and use multimedia resources, link to existing wikibooks and wikipedia resources, etc.). An easy to understand course.
This is hard and easy at the same time. There are tons of materials out there - but very few people are willing to be the first ones out. It is easy to make a bad course and a lot of work to produce a good one - so many people prefer to try and sell the good ones (of course, many bad ones are sold as well....). --WiseWoman 12:33, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • create a standard infobox that each course should fill out - with fields such as: course title, "prerequisites", estimated time, languages, topics covered.
I started testing out pages for the actual Wikiversity here. --DougHolton 17:00, 16 May 2004 (UTC)