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Wikiversity => Wikisophia[edit]

(Cross-posted on foundation-l and briefly summarized on de.wikiversity.org)

During and after our visit to the free software conference in South Africa, Angela and I talked a lot about the Wikiversity project, and the potential Wikimedia has to develop a truly global, free institution of learning as a new project.

As you probably know, these discussions are currently focused on


and the talk page.

Don't panic: We're still a long way from launching anything. I'm not going to push this until we have the server situation under control and the existing projects have stabilized a bit. Nevertheless, there's one issue that I'd like to resolve now, which is the naming of the project.

Angela, Jimbo Wales, Daniel Mayer (mav) and I agree that the name Wikiversity is problematic in that it ties the project very strongly to the idea of traditional universities. This may lead to certain expectations as to its structure and the services it will provide (e.g. faculties, degrees), but also limit the project in other ways, e.g., by being perceived primarily or only as an institution of teritary learning.

I'd like us to look at ideas for primary and secondary education as well, and I don't want to run into a wall because the established people of the Wikiversity community will say "It's an electronic university, this doesn't belong here."

Angela suggested the name Wikisophia.org/.com, which is currently owned by Peter Danenberg (WikiTeX). I loved the idea immediately: the Greek sophia means "wisdom", but also has many other meanings in the area of learning. It is specific enough to be useful and vague enough to not limit the project very early in its nature or scope.

Peter is willing to give us the name if we push WikiTeX a little to get it security-reviewed and installed on our servers, which seems like a fair deal to us.

So, after discussing this in a small circle, I'd like to announce my intention to move the relevant pages on Meta and edit the summary to reflect the name change. This does not affect the existing efforts under the Wikibooks domain which use the "Wikiversity" label, but only any potential future eLearning/eTeaching project we intend to pursue. de.wikiversity.org could be renamed and moved to the new domain once it is owned by Wikimedia.

Thoughts and comments are welcome. Hopefully, we can find a consensus on this without needing a vote.--Eloquence 22:12, 9 May 2005 (UTC)Reply

I think this is a good call. I myself have been uneasy with the way the name "Wikiversity" makes people expect in advance a long list of things that traditional universities have -- "courses", "professors", "students", "departments/faculties", "degrees", and so on.
On another note, do you (or anyone) know what the status is of the current form of Wikiversity? It seems like many people are not very optimistic about it, but I'm not sure how seriously to take that. Is it really stalled? I have a lot of ideas for a radically different way of structuring it, if people think a rethinking of the project is needed. I intend to become an independent scholar after I finish my undergraduate degree, and so I'm very keen on trying to make sure a functioning wiki-learning project happens. Zach 22:54, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Personally, I think that the current effort on Wikibooks is doomed without additional software support for eLearning -- both authoring and testing. We have to take a look at Moodle and similar eLearning platforms and determine the feature set we need before launching this officially. I intend to write a report about Wikisophia later this year, but if you want to help with the technical evaluation, that would be most welcome.--Eloquence 15:05, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think the software is a very important issue, and one I'd like to try to help with. But I think there are more issues too: a lot of the intended material/courses on Wikiversity hasn't been able to take off even though it doesn't need special software. If a part of what we are trying to accomplish is "courses", which are the equivalent of hundreds of encyclopedia articles, how do we attract people willing and competent to write them? How do we reconcile the problem of scholars fundamentally disagreeing about things with wiki ideas of collective, anonymous authorship? These are some of the problems I'm thinking about. When school finishes for me (July) I'll start posting some concrete ideas here. Zach 13:13, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Although I believe this awful coup d'etat is already on the backburner, I want to make clear - as someone who has lobbied for this project for a while - how firmly I oppose this. There is no reason why we cannot proceed under the actually meaningful name of Wikiversity (or Wikiuniversity), and make clear its differences from a real-world university - just as when people go to Wikipedia they don't expect articles written and peer reviewed by academics. Instead, we now have a proposed name that means absolutely nothing at a glance - where the names of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikisource and even Wikispecies give the reader some idea of what the project is about, Wikisophia gives them absolutely bugger all. I also strongly oppose Erik's efforts to ignore all the work that has been done on creating the e-learning mockup at Wikibooks to then go on his own tangent and start his Wikispecies-in-the-making. Finally, I'm not convinced that we actually need any more software features before going live. We can draw up courses here on the Wiki. We can administer courses here on the Wiki. We have the additional tools of email and IRC to provide other communication options where necessary. Particularly if - as I have always argued - we do not offer any form of certificate (which would just get messy) - and concentrate on the learning and teaching, then we have no need for testing software or anything along those lines. Wikiversity could easily go live today, but for a Wikinews-like proposal beforehand. I will vehemently oppose any doomed fork of this. Ambi 03:14, 5 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
Simply, I second Ambi's statement. I'll be managing the School of Communications as a preparatory/supplemental resource for collegiates. There is little reason to alter the course nor name of the Wikiversity. The only practical deficiency is an active participation by University students and professors. Downchuck 04:34, 9 August 2005 (UTC) On a related note, the Wikiversity is currently threatened with expulsion from its existing residence. Wikibooks:Wikibooks:Votes_for_deletion Downchuck 10:22, 12 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
I think those interested in this discussion would also be interested in wikibooks:Talk:Wikiversity:About. Please take a look. Cormaggio 11:09, 20 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

Vote for Deletion Comments[edit]

This is just a notice that a Vote for Deletion discussion is happening on en.wikibooks regarding its status on Wikibooks. Please keep most of the comments on that discussion page (it may be moved to a sub-page on Wikibooks due to discussion length). This notice is mainly to let people know who have not seen the notice of the VfD discussion so far. --Roberth 12:56, 12 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

Wikiversity "Relaunch"[edit]

I have made a proposal on a new time table for launching this project. I am placing the time table here for further discussion and to try and "kick start" this process to actually go somewhere. --Roberth 02:15, 16 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

See below:

  • Now to 15 Sept 2005:

Discussion for modifying the scope of this project (done on meta and not Wikibooks) will take place over the next month. *BE BOLD* and change the goals to something that can happen realistically.

  • 15 Sept 2005 to 1 Nov 2005:

Formal voting to accept/reject this project, as per New project policy and general policies adopted after Wikinews. The English version of the voting page has already been written, but translations need to be done to other languages before voting begins. Hopefully the german version can get written quickly as it already has its own wiki run under the Wikimedia server farm and semi-official status as it is.

  • 1 Nov 2005 to 15 Nov 2005:

Formal submittal to the Foundation Board for acceptance/denial/rework of proposal. This has been kicking around long enough that hopefully there are enough opinions already about the value of this project.

  • 15 Nov 2005 to 1 Jan 2006:

If approved, a transwiki to en.wikiversity.org from en.wikibooks will begin. This will be a complicated process, and there is going to be some arguing about what parts need to stay on Wikibooks and what parts need to be moved. This may get ugly simply because the distinction really hasn't been in place so far. Some discussion about this is more than likely going to take place on Wikibooks, as it already has with with the VfD discussion currently taking place.

  • 2 Jan 2006 to 30 Jan 2006:

(If approved) Cleanup of Wikibooks to remove links/redirects/other left overs from Wikiversity. The current group of admins/users on Wikibooks can easily handle this issue.

Remember that this is a proposed timetable, and can be changed, although you had better have a good reason to change the above time table. The point of this is to set a "hard" deadline on when this project can be "greenlighted" and accepted by the foundation board, or rejected. Further discussion on Wikibooks should be limited at best, and all discussion should take place here on Meta. Notes to that effect will be put on Wikibooks. The time limits for discussion were adopted primarily from the New Project Policy and are required by the foundation, except for the time table for reworking the goals of this project. --Roberth

The above time table has been superceded by events. The Board has not seen fit to provide any further feedback regarding the modifed proposal discussion. Many Wikiversity proponents have chosen to simply return to Wikibooks and continue making progress initializing specific courses, policy, prototypes or wait for further development. Everyone is welcome to produce materials at either Wikibooks or here at meta. It will be a big mess to clean up when we finally get approval but at least we can show progress to fellow enthusiasts and begin recruiting additional volunteers for what will be a truly staggering sized project. Since the FDL'ed materials can easily be relocated to other servers should the stacked Board decide it is an inappropriate project for the Wikimedia Foundation at this time, despite the well publicised goal of providing all free human knowledge freely to all persons while requesting donation, the work should not be wasted even if the stacked Board overides the community vote on the project proposal. Lazyquasar 08:42, 1 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Updated proposal[edit]

I've taken it upon myself to update the proposal a bit. Wikiversity is not planning to do research (there is already the academic publishing wiki for that. And while some courses may be graded, not all will (its up to the teacher). I also linked to the new About page that seems to have no objections so far. The about page helps to clarify the goals of Wikiversity. --Gabe Sechan 07:35, 18 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

Even if there's no research being planned at the moment, who says it won't be doing research in the future? It seems to me that all systems and organisations need to do their own research (or reflection) to continually improve. See the Wikimedia Research Network for examples of this in Wikimedia. Cormaggio 08:30, 18 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
Lets break research into two things. First, there's research into new methods of teaching using wikis. This is of course allowed and ought to be encouraged, this is how we improve. Secondly, there's academic research- investigating new theories, social science experiments, and the like. Working on a new form of math or Unified Field Theory would be an example. That is research that real world universities typicly do, but IMHO ought to be beyond the scope of wikiversity. It was references to that type of research I removed. In fact the about page puts in an exception on the original research part for wiki learning ideas. So I think we're in accord here, unless I'm misreading you and you think Wikiversity should be doing academic research? --Gabe Sechan 08:54, 18 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
I agree that the first type of research you refer to should be allowed and encouraged - that was the type I was referring to. And I agree that we should probably not encourage the second type in as far as allowing any crank theories to be published - as wikibooks:Wikiversity:About currently says: "Wikiversity is not a place to publish primary research, such as proposing new theories and solutions, original ideas (other than ideas for online wiki learning)". However, and maybe this just needs rephrasing, but I'm not sure I agree or that we can always delineate between the two. For example, if you have a sociology course, how are you going to stop the students from doing their own research? All e-learning is going to be more self-directed or conducted in small cohort groups, and this fits perfectly with the research model, whereby it is the practice itself which is the site of learning. Don't know if that makes sense, or whether I'm addressing your point completely. Cormaggio 13:10, 18 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
Perhaps some rewording is necessary on that part. Yes, a sociology class may well have students do an experiment (which can be considered research) as an assignment. The idea is more to stop people from using Wikiversity as a host for crank theories, and non-verifiable material (such as research that has not been peer reviewed). Since I ripped the wording off from wikibooks, it probably should be rewritten to be a bit less strict that their version. If you have ideas on how to do so, please go ahead and edit the page. --Gabe Sechan 16:07, 18 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
You mean I can do that? :-) Yes, I'm going to move over to that page and its talk page for now - I'm really quite concerned personally about its content, specifically its goals (eg. "The main goal of Wikiversity is to teach" - euch) Cormaggio 16:56, 18 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

something realistic. "the initial scope of Wikiversity can and should be toned down to something realistic that can be accomplished with the current set of tools available with MediaWiki software" (source.
The basic idea has always been the creation of "online courses". I think there is room for innovation in what a wiki course would be and such innovation is something that will evolve with time, but maybe we can start by looking at what already exists. Is there anyone who has gone through the list of courses and could summarize the high points? Alternatively, can someone nominate what they think is a good example of an existing course? The Wikiversity page currently points to this course which seems to just be an outline and probably not being actively developed. There actually seems to be a functioning class here. Unless there is something better, I suggest changing the link at the Wikiversity page that currently points to the "iQuantum" outine to point to the active Great War course. --Memenen 06:30, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

I think you should just do this, and if you or anyone else finds a better one, just do that ;-) Thanks. Cormaggio 09:53, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
I also made a list of courses that are "under developmet". I did not find any course that seems more active than The Great War and Versailles, but I may have missed something. --Memenen 00:57, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
Wikiversity? Hmmm... an interesting name, if only someone could pin down the concept. I've looked at some of the existing topics that I could say I know something about (not history by the way). The currently limited content aside, I wasn't very impressed with the organization and focus. Generally speaking, to teach something you have to know a whole lot more about the subject than what you're teaching. To design a course, you'd have to have on top of that experience teaching the material. That's not something built up at the community level; it's insight each individual needs. The outlines and short pieces I looked at clearly had knowledgable creators who wanted to share with others, but an academic presentation was highly lacking. The approach is that of a tutor rather than a teacher. Now I don't have an advanced degree myself, but if that's true about this rudimentary 101-class material, then I'd have to conclude this project doesn't have a leg to stand on. Even if the error can be fixed in these early cases, who's going to be able to judge whether more advanced material is properly organized and focused? There's a reason professors teach university courses rather than folks off the street.
Rather than allowing single users to carve out corners of this supposedly wiki collaboration, I would suggest that the focus be turned to something that the common person could contribute his or her jewel of knowledge to. And rather than using Wikiversity as an excuse to write at length stuff that would otherwise be hacked out of Wikibooks and Wikipedia, I would suggest that the format be turned away from explanations and made interactive. A viable quiz format that provides users with feedback doesn't have to be boring and static so long as it can be altered in a wiki style. If that can't somehow be done with existing wikimedia software then maybe there's no point in starting. But assuming some ingenious application, the test case for this project, as I see it, is language. That's something you can't write explanations for at length since the target user wouldn't understand anyways. Thus it would prove that Wikiversity is teaching something and not just writing about it. It's also something everyone knows something about, or at least thinks they do, or something for which the success would be measurable, at least. Through conversation or essays, any native speaker, not just the professor him/herself, would have a very clear idea of how much was learned, and to what extent Wikiversity was accomplishing its goals. This is in contrast to some of these sciences and more academic topics where a professor would be happy enough to find that students have learned whatever material that professor thinks to be relevant. These make poor test cases since no one would really know how well the system worked.
In short, I'm not buying this "university-grade" euphoria. Friends and I have taken informal classes like guitar and sign language before and they don't work. For online courses, there are doubts even when offered by accredited universities. Wikiversity would put those two concepts together. And then who's going to build it? Frankly I don't feel I'm qualified to contribute to anything beyond high-school level courses, which is what I'd rate most of what's presently available even if it is taught (that is, reviewed) in college. Now, foreign-language courses fall somewhere in between. Consider that universities regularly grant degrees to people who can marginally speak the language and not to blue-collar workers in foreign lands who speak it natively. I know there'd be a lot of interest in an English course and I'm qualified to contribute. Give me a course in Spanish and I'll tell you how it compares to similar courses taught in university as well as what you can learn from marketed software. So could a lot of other people. Start with something easy yet useful and prove to everyone that the project concept works. If that much can't be done, then any certificates granted, let alone degrees, aren't going to mean squat. 18:15, 18 September 2005 (UTC)Reply
TO design a course you need to have in depth knowledge of a topic, true. However, you need the same in depth knowledge to write an encyclopedia entry. I don't really see much difference between the two. Those with the knowledge and willingness to participate will develop the material they specialize in, and polish it over time. Just like in Wikipedia. If we're worried about the dpeth of knowledge needed causing it to fail, we ought to be worried about Wikipedia as well. Yet it has managed to thrive, and I think Wikiversity will as well.
Interactive education- there's some of that planned. Teachers planning on doing IRC chats ( I will with my course as soon as my computer is out of storage), wiki forums, group projects, etc. Just because you don't see much yet doesn't mean we don't have it planned and encourage more.
I disagree with your comment on languages from the begining. Are languages good topics for courses? Sure! Are they better than math and science? I don't think so. Math and science have very easy to measure end points- did you understand the concept? If so, you should be able to solve a problem. If not, you won't. Languages are much more fuzzy- there's semantics, syntax, connotation and denotation (which can take years to learn). In addition, there are a lot of people with advanced degrees on the net, and looking at wikiversity- they can easily make sure the level of content is up to snuff on any math or science course. But feel free to start up our first languages course (at least I think it'd be the first)- the current focus on math and science is because a lot of geeks love the idea and are running with the ball. Go in there and score a point for the liberal arts :)
Who will build the courses you ask? The same kind of people who build ridiculously detailed and obscure wikipedia articles. Those who know enough to write paragraphs on the Halting Problem probably can teach a lesson on the subject. I'm not qualified to teach any language (being unilingual), but I'm qualified to teach math up through linear algebra (I actually did mentor it in college), computer science for all of undergrad education except 1 or 2 topics, and low level courses in a few other sciences. You apparently wouldn't be able to contribute to them, but think you could to a language class. Now find 50 more contributors, and our strengths and weaknesses will overlap and give us pretty good general coverage for low level courses, and some coverage for high level. I expect that we'll start out with HS level and low college level courses. Thats fine- we need that material, and its what people will need to start learning a subject anyway. Over time, more high level content will be written as we gain people capable of writing it.
One last comment- Wikiversity is not issuing degrees. Not now, most likely not ever- there's just too many problems and pitfalls with that idea. Its not a place to take an online course and get a Bachelor's, its a place to learn a subject. Meaning most likely we have motivated students, avoiding one huge problem of online courses (I know, I've both taken and helped run online courses at colegiate level). And we don't need to worry about something that doesn't exist meaning anything. Out only job is to try to put out the best learning material possible, and to improve on that material.--Gabe Sechan 19:03, 19 September 2005 (UTC)Reply
You have to have the same in-depth knowledge to teach a lesson as to write an encyclopedia entry. However, to design a course, objectives and all, you have to already have experience teaching the material in order to know how to approach the subject and break it down. That's what teachers learn to do in their profession. It would be experienced teachers who put together courses rather than just those knowledgable on the topic. Certainly there are contributors able to do this, though fewer, especially as you go up in level.
The real problem is that professorship isn't so wiki because it's not aggregate. In retrospect, any early start would have to be driven by individuals, so my assessment of the current courses is not fair. More constructively, I was trying to suggest ways in which a course would be a collection of contributions rather than a one-man show, yet without reading like a book. Forums and chat, though interactive, don't fulfill that desire.
It's not that I object to a community of learning centered around Wiktionary or Wikibooks content, or even content developed to that end. It's just that I wouldn't consider that community to be wiki, per se. The question, essentially, is what Wikiversity could offer above that. Courses are naturally interactive in that there is always feedback provided on how much is being absorbed, so it would seem that this interaction must be captured in its essence in some joint, communal effort.
On language, I'm not comparing the teaching of different courses. The point is to prove their success, or more broadly the success of Wikiversity. Certainly the professor knows if the students learn what is taught, which would hopefully be pertinent and comprehensive. But that wouldn't prove anything to the masses. On the other hand, if a department takes up the task of teaching English, say, as a second language, any English speaker would be able to judge for themselves the degree of accomplishment. A functional language school would build belief and confidence in this concept for expansion to any other subject area.
Degrees aside, I would hope that this school, which has being both online and informal working against it, could at least arrange courses into some sort of hierarchy mimicking a real university. The ultimate goal of the program, recognized or not, must be to share the same content that real professors teach and students in those brick-and-mortars are credited for learning. 20:20, 27 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

Software: If we went live today on, say, en.wikiversity.org with the set of tools we now have, would it prevent us from implementing ideas/initiatives down the line or could those functionalities be added down the line? Is the software issue an obstacle at the moment, or would it just be nice to have these things? (And what things?) Cormaggio 09:53, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

There is a list of desired software modifications. My top priority would be some type of PHP-based form that could be used for quizes or exams, with the results sent directly to instructors. I'm not a big fan of testing, but students and instructors need some kind of feedback in order to tell if learning is happening. I've been wondering if there could be some way to do RSS feeds for each course. A student should not have to go hunting for new material and assignments and other documents for courses. --Memenen 21:14, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
Ok great, but that wasn't really my question. Everyone will have ideas on what functionalities they would like, but my question is: will it be harder to implement these later on or could we just set up a domain now more or less with what we have now and add these features later on? Essentially, what are we waiting for? (I am just asking here - I genuinely don't know) Cormaggio 00:27, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

there have been discussions suggesting to open a new wikis to welcome test version of potential new projects, an incubator wiki. What is your opinion on the matter ? Do you think it might be helpful ? If you are interested, please join the next board meeting on irc (open). See board agenda. Anthere 15:28, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

In terms of incubation, I don't think it is needed specifically for Wikiversity, but for projects similar in nature that are created in the future. This is a two-year old project already, based on just the history of the en:Wikibooks:Wikiversity page. I know I am forcing the issue with the board, but it appears as though this is a project that is past due for getting a green light as its own project and seperate wiki. If the board wants to continue this as an incubation project, that is of course up to the board, but based solely on the public support for this project, I think they are ready to move on. Of course, the public vote is going to be useful anyway, and is "according to policy". I don't think the move needs to be rushed. All it really needs is a little bit of leadership to push it into the correct direction. As can be seen above, there are already many people willing to take on the reigns of active leadership and contribution once it goes to its own seperate Wikimedia project. There is no need to worry about Wikiversity becoming something like Wikispecies. --Roberth 21:42, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

Forgive me for commenting so early... I am still new to Wiki. But I wonder if we may be jumping the gun a bit. I have set up my school [1] and I am seeing a lot of benefits to this platform. I am an educator in this field, so I know the material and am learning the delivery (Wiki). I guess my thinking when one moves into Open Source Learning is that the market drives the demand just like for any other product. If the visitors of our site really want research it will occur whether specifically written into the project or not (Just like the evolution of Wikiversity.) I also see the benefit of this venue being that the market drives the advancement of the technology. Let's see how the current technology works and build from there. In this case it may be a lot easier to add than to take away down the road. As well, I wouldn't totally weigh out accreditation. I know in my field, I do have an avenue for getting this accredited... through a legitimate and well recognized source. But that will come in time and with a lot more added. Leaving this option open, or maybe setting some parameters of legitimacy may be more beneficial. With all of this I understand that we open ourselves up to the lunatics running the assylum. However,isn't that a gamble we all take with open source concepts? Do we limit ourselves for the sake of the few quacks or do we deal with those issues independently, preserving the freedom of academia? I am very excited to see what evolves out of my site. Using this venue, to me anyway, is very applicable when one is approaching curriculum development from a Constructivist view. I am approaching mine though from an Instructional Systems Design model which will be groundbreaking if it works. Just my novice ramblings. mfinney

Project description page/other languages[edit]

I've been trying to follow as closely to the letter what the New project policy suggests, and I'm not sure if having working version of the project in multiple languages is sufficient for the vote. I just don't want to jeapordize the chance for this project to succeed, and trying to get language translations is like trying to pull teeth... particularly since translators have other tasks they would like to accomplish.

Even so, the voting instructions have been translated into the requisite 5 languages, so it appears that the vote can technically begin on September 15th as planned. My intention is to make this as smooth as possible, and I'm also going to try and advertise the vote on as many wikis and mailing lists as reasonably possible. I don't see any reason that we should have fewer than about 20 votes for/against this proposal, and perhaps many more. The more languages that we can have translated before the time of the vote, the better the response will be from a wider Wikimedia user base... and more importantly how well recieved such a proposal will be with the Foundation board. --Roberth 01:15, 1 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

My view[edit]

We've had wikiversity around for a while. I don't think anything great has happened with it. It would just be better to actually make e-books in my opinion. When a bunch of people are working on e-books we'll have more stuff on wikibooks. I did take an interest into the wikiversity project a few months ago but I decided, "Wikibooks and Wikipedia seems like it has more use." The Wikiversity would be an interesting open-source project if MIT OpenCourse didn't exist.

However, it does. Wikibooks has many books that aren't completely developed yet and need more work. --Cyberman 05:31, 16 September 2005 (UTC)CybermanReply

Does MIT OpenCourse exist in every language of the world, or even two ? Or only in english ? Anthere 06:00, 16 September 2005 (UTC)Reply
I love MIT OpenCourseware. Don't get me wrong. But it has multiple, significant, failings.
  1. THey don't accept additional material from the community.
  2. Related to the above- the quality of the material heavily depends on the professor and his liking for the project. Some are amazing. Others are just syllabi
  3. They have a focus on helping fellow educators- meaning syllabi, lesson plans, etc are the focus. Our focus is on helping students. Meaning instructional content is the focus
  4. Its impossible to add new classes to their project. Even if they have no similar course yet.
  5. The scarcity of material, and its close linking to non-free (as in beer) books can make learning new topics difficult. I tried following some of the chemistry classes. I had a year of college chem. I failed miserably.
I don't see us as being made obsolete by OCW. I also don't see OCW as making us unnecessary. We have different goals and strengths. If anything we can compliment one another's efforts, as a student now has multiple resources to choose from. This is always a plus- the more available ways to learn material, the higher the chance one of the ways will make sense to the student.
As for Wikibooks- I see even more of an opportunity for the two of us to build off one another there. Classes require books. Wikibooks will be the repository for our class books. In producing a class, you need to assure the book is high quality. One can even think of Wikiversity as a set of annotations and extra non-book materials for a wikibook, increasing the chance it will be understood by the readers.--Gabe Sechan 16:46, 16 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

I would also be happy that those voting remember that wikiversity will not be in english only. So, while other structures to compare to wikiversity exist in english, they may not in italian or japanese. I hope people can vote thinking beyond their mother language. Anthere 18:11, 16 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

First impressions[edit]

This is an excellent concept. I have 2 comments so far. Firstly nowhere have I seen a reference to the potential value of Wikisource in this work. Secondly, I would like to see Wikiversity being a vehicle for the study of the history of technology world-wide. There seems to be a tendancy in academe today to place the history of technology as a small part of the history of science. Much historical investigation concentrates on the history of the impact of technology on society, rather than the histories of the technics themselves. Certainly in the UK at least the secondary schools curriculum concentrates on the social history of technology such as the slums in the C19 and the history of the evolution of machine tools, without which the Industrial Revolution would never have occurred, is ignored. Apwoolrich 07:58, 16 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

Currently, an attempt has been made to organize wikiversity around conventional academic divisions. This makes sense as a starting point for wikiversity, but it does not mean that wikiversity must remain trapped in conventional approaches to learning. One of the great opportunities for wikiversity is that instructors will be free to abandon traditional categorizations of human knowledge and offer alternative ways of learning about the world. I agree that a strong case can be made for placing human tool use and technology at the center of an intellectual analysis of the human condition. I'm starting to think that the true power of wikiversity might be in the construction of "Portals" that are similar in character to the topic portals of wikipedia. In constructing a wikiversity portal, an instructor (or, hopefully, a cooperating group of instructors and students) will be able to provide students with a coherent strategy for making sense of the world, a launch platform that will appeal to certain students and allow them to explore the world from a certain perspective using certain organizing principles. Such portals will probably be the "schools of thought" that will attract students, particularly if they build on the best information available and point students towards viable strategies for living constructive lives in the future. --JWSurf 17:50, 17 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

I guess I'll just leave my view here, since this seems to be where people are giving their first impressions. I think that if anyone wants to contribute anything (of value) to one of the wikimedia projects, we should let them. If wikibooks is turning down some of stuff that wikiversity could accept, then you should have wikiversity in order that the contributions don't just get deleted. Secondly, from the progression of Wikipedia, I think I can see some of the odder classes that will start up, like “Introduction to Yu-gi-oh card play”, or “Learn Klingon”. Odd-ball classes that wouldn't be taught anywhere, but for some reason flourish here. Probably would have more people sign up for them than any “History of the French Revolution” class. Just be prepaired for things that don't fit in a normal university, My view is that the courses should be free, the teachers, material preparers and graders should all be done on a volunteer basis. If you try to charge anything for this, it will never get off the ground. Try targeting students who are fearing taking a course next semester and want to take a wikiclass on it the semester before for practice, teachers who are grad students out looking to prove that they can be professors, and classes that people want. Just some ideas, anyone else?--Rayd 22:00, 23 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

A Distributed Self-Organizing Teaching System[edit]

The hardest part of on-line courses for credit and certification is testing and evaluation. That requires manpower, and vigilance against cheats. And global standards, and political controversy. Its a bureaucratic nightmare!

In the spirit of the user-operated self-organizing nature of Wiki, I would propose a more distributed, school of thought model of e-professorship. As in the days of the ancient Greeks, a professor puts up his shingle and waits for customers. The e-shingle advertises your accredation and credibility, publications, academic record, etc.

If a student wants a degree, they seek out a reputable professor in the appropriate Wiki-department of their specialty, and registers, paying whatever tuition the individual professor charges. This is a very powerful aspect of this scheme, because it is self-funding. Professors with greater reputations can charge higher fees, and insurance against gouging is guaranteed by the free competition with other professors. In any case the fee paying is done completely independently from Wikiversity, as a private transaction between the student and the prof. This keeps Wikiversity "pure", not open to corruption.

When a student signs up for a course, the professor adds a student page to his "students" list. All tests and exams are designed by the individual professors, who are responsible for checking on the identies and integrity of their students. The professor has to watch out for cheats, and he stakes his reputation on the merit-worthiness of his certifications. When credits or degrees are awarded, they are posted on the student's page, which is moved to the Graduates list on the professor's page, free for all to verify. The degree basically states that Professor So-and-so testifies to the fact that in his judgment this person is worthy of the degree awarded. It is up to the prof. how he reaches this judgment.

The role of Wikiversity is to accredit the professors. All the professors in a specialty pool together to form a department, and select a Dean from amongst themselves. The Dean in turn checks on the credibility of the professors and certifies them as valid professors of his department. Like the individual professors, individual departments have to protect their own credibility by watching out for fraud or abuse. Departments should rise or fall on their merits. And the departments elect a President from amongst themselves, and the President in turn certifies the departments as valid departments of Wikiversity.

Isn't that what Wiki is all about? Slehar 18:25, 17 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

Would you advocate some sort of feedback system and ranking for the professors?--Eshafoshaf 13:20, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
Yes of course. The first feedback is from each of the students of a professor, who are required to evaluate the professor at the end of the course. The second feedback is peer acceptance by other professors of the same department. Professors voluntarily self-organize into departments and specialties, and there can be multiple departments of the same specialty, like different "schools of thought", each of which has its own collective reputation. Finally, Wikiversity offers an umbrella ranking of all of its departments, and the Wiki-dean of each department is responsible for identifying and eliminating cheats and charletans. Slehar 12:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Very good thinking.

I think "ranking" is a mistake. Either someone is in or out, but processing feedback would be important.

The idea of "voluntarily self-organize into departments" might be okay, but ther ewould need to be ground rules.

Wiki Style Peer Review[edit]

I have read a lot about how the Wikiversity could allow teachers to "set up shop." But one thing I haven't seen is the idea of havnig students do projects/assignments/homework and then having a peer review of the work. As an adult learner, I am much less interested in having someone tell me what, when and how to learn. However, I am extremely grateful for the feedback that a Wiki community offers. This could be codified in the software by having quees of assignments that community members could annonymously "grade." As I post my work, I might get 2-3 feedback comments. This would allow different rates of learning, would open the courses up to other content, etc... Thoughts?--Eshafoshaf 22:11, 6 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Its a good idea for those who don't mind putting their work out there for fear of being insulted. In fact, I think I mentioned something similar on the wikibooks page once. We don't even really need to wait for software fixes to do this- we could just have a pages of links to hw assignments uploaded, and you can put the hw on the wiki. Then we could leave comments on the talk page. We can even have it as an iterative process- you upload, we advise, you fix, we reinspect, and so on. That can be a lot more helpful than just "#1,2, and 5 are wrong".
The only real problem with this is you need to keep a community of volunteers around to grade the homework. Most wikis you read, fix, and move on. Keeping people around to help others is doable I think, but more difficult.--Gabe Sechan 22:32, 6 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
I agree that you could implement this using exisiting tech, but I am in favor of a process that enforces a queue of assignements. Left to the current wiki process, I am afraid that it would be difficult to ensure that all the assignments would be graded. Further, it would be nice to have annonymity but still be able allow users to track which assignments have been responded to. I really like the idea of an iterative process!
You make a good point about getting the community of volunteers. However, I think we might find, at least for certain subjects, we might find a whole new community of users for this type of system. In fact, as an educational model, teaching is the best way of learning and this philosophy could be applied within WikiVersity by making assignments to grade other particpants work. So English II students grade English I, etc...--Eshafoshaf 13:17, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

I don't think a software change will help much, we could just use different cats and templates. You can see this in action at the Academic Publishing Wikicity, which is centered around developing professional-level wiki journal articles with a peer-review system to critically assess them much like with the Featured Article system. Anyway check out the Wikicities tour] to see each step of the Peer Review process. I think the system they've worked out over there would work well for this proposal too. Unfortunately it's not until something is actually reviewed that we'll know if it works well or not. :( Garrett 03:44, 8 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Some thoughts on content format[edit]

In my opinion the current format of wiki pages is deficient. I assume that in the very near future people will want to have low power devices that mostly consist of an OLED or e-paper display, a small processor with a WLAN interface and a long lasting accumulator. With an e-paper display that keeps its content without permanent refresh the device could turn itself off and only resume to render a few new pages. If the processor of the device is too inefficient for the rendering process the rendering could even migrate to a computer on the network. An important precondition for this is a well defined page format because you want to be able to turn pages instead of scrolling in large web pages. A description for a possible format for books is the JAR book. WikiTeX is trying to bring latex objects to wiki, what I'm suggesting is to bring a pixel exact rendering standard (like TeX) to wikiversity, at least as one possible choice for rendering. I would suggest to assume an edgewise (portrait mode) rendering device with 768 pixels width and 1024 pixels height as default (or assume 300 dpi and choose a sensible page size). A well defined book format would also ease the publishing of such books (e.g. as bittorrents) with revision numbers and errata pages that list changes between old books and newer versions. Such a book format, if not implemented as plugin for the browser, could also be easily implemented in a proxy or http daemon. For small devices, unable to render a book, the final format could be TIFF or another image format. --Fasten 08:59, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

I'm not so sure that this is a good idea. First off, I disagree that e-paper is going to get big anytime soon. THey just aren't very convenient, hurt your eyes after a while, and generally just don't really fill a need. I'm really skeptical of all that "electronic X is the next big thing" talk. We were all supposed to be using tablet-pcs and gotten rid of laptops and desktops by now, and I sitll don't know anyone who owns one.
I disagree. E-Paper is an obvious development. A production quality e-paper will be close to indistinguishable from actual paper and people will simply refuse to buy newspapers when an e-paper can be used to read books, newspapers and anything else with the same convenience but much more control about the content. There isn't anything technologically challenging in designing low power computers with WLAN and large, convenient e-paper displays once e-paper displays have reached a certain quality. My point is that for e-paper as a medium it would be wise to get rid of any scrolling requirement today. Wikimedia could help in developing an open and free draft standard here. --Fasten 15:23, 12 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
ePaper To Be Used For Newspapers and Magazines by 2007 --Fasten 17:02, 14 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
Beyond that, pixel perfect rendering isn't necessarily a good idea. The reason HTML originally got popular was that it was easy- a lot of computer semi-literates could understand b,i, and a tags. Then the programmers got at it and added XHTML and DHTML and CSS and removed simple to understand tags like center with div. And people stopped using HTML. Wikitext was born as a way of simplifying HTML, to make things even easier. A small featureset, but easy to use. And life was good again.
Pixel perfect rendering doesn't have to mean any changes to the wiki language, it just means that there would be a layout standard people could aim for in their layout and that standard would help people to put wiki pages on devices that don't allow scrolling but allow to turn pages. Writing wiki pages and viewing wiki pages on web browsers could remain entirely unchanged, only the authors of books would be asked to occasionally verify their layout in the book format. --Fasten 15:23, 12 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
Now if you introduce latex, we have a wiki that is not easy to edit. This means we have a high barrier to entry. We lose a lot of contributors, and less content makes us grow slower. This obviously isn't good. A wiki needs to be simple and easily edited by the vast majority of people if we want it to be usable. --Gabe Sechan 18:00, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
I wasn't promoting WikiTeX, that seems to be in preparation already, and for scientific papers this is an advancement, for everything else it is available as an option but is not required and is not likely to chase away wiki users. If LaTeX was used as a backend to render books, which may not be a bad idea, LaTeX would not appear as a part of the user language (see WikiPDF). --Fasten 15:23, 12 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

A possible rendering option could also be HTML with CSS PrintLayouts. If there are wiki pages with printlayout tags I offer to write a HTML Browser component in Java (based on SWT Browser or the Swing HTML component) that honours them and allows paging).

The project is under development at http://dolphin.sourceforge.net/book/ --Fasten 14:45, 19 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

A suggestion on categorization and content standardization.[edit]

I'm working on a project (ESP) that contains some ideas that might be useful for wikiversity. In this project I'm dealing with ethical code policies that should follow easily recognizable standards. For this purpose the ESP XML schema allows documents to extend each other, like classes in object oriented programming languages. An empty document that only defines a standard for required content, but offers no content is called a schema in ESP (similar to an interface in Java). Documents can extend documents with or without content. Transferred to wiki documents this would mean that a book might declare to follow the content schema for a course "Stochastic I", which itself might be one of several schemas for a category "Stochastic I" (so as not to force all courses to follow the same schema to describe the same topic) and fill that schema with content, following the required chapters and paragraphs in layout. The advantage would be that a common course layout could be offered in different languages, following the same schema; it would also be possible to implement the same course schema several times by different authors who disagree on how the material is best presented. Last but not least existing courses could be enhanced by extending them and exchanging only a part of the material, that a specific author or the requirements of a specific branch of science require to be different. As an example, "Stochastic I" for physicists might differ from "Stochastic I" for biologists in the selection of examples but both could extend a common "Stochastic I" course for mathematicians. --Fasten 09:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Hey, welcome! I seem to have ended up working through your comments in reverse order, but I got up to here in the end.
Yes, the courses would most certainly be structured via templates (hopefully they can be layered in MediaWiki 1.6) that would apply to individual courses, whole departments, or even the entirety of Wikiversity. The interrelation and tiering of these won't be hard to organise, it's already been done on a much larger scale on Wikipedia.
Anyway, many many thanks for all your brainstorming. There's some really good ideas here. :) Now, on to the individual points... Garrett 16:25, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
I wasn't referring to templates as used by Wikipedia. The suggestion was to have a content schema for the layout of chapters and possibly subchapters that defines a structure that must be followed by all courses that claim to implement such a course schema. Similar, but without the requirement for strict order, would be a thorough categorization of the content and course schemas that require a subset of their categories to be referred to by a course in order for that course to be considered an implementation of a course schema. This would still mean that any course schema could have several implementations but students would be able to navigate through the content of these courses much more precisely and possibly learn with different sections from several courses to cover a topic. That would, by the way, be an individual learning trail. Writing down such a learning trail with cross references to wikipedia pages, wikibooks, lecture notes, exercises and whatever other material seems adequate could be a learning trail as described in the next paragraph. --Fasten 10:46, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
Oh, yes. I understood what you were meaning by my past-midnight brain didn't quite carry it out. Anyway what I was meaning was that those rules would be helped along by templates. Yeah. :) Garrett 09:02, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Learning trail[edit]

On top of that there could be learning trails that put material that should be learned in any easily understandable order with transitional passages, forks and cross references to similar material in lecture notes or other courses. A learning trail would also allow to permute the content of a book so that lecture notes could be written to follow a course schema strictly and the actual ordering used by the lecturer could be provided as a trail on top of that. A learning trail could also verify preconditions in knowledge and redirect the reader to previous courses when knowledge is missing. A trail would be a customized learning experience, possibly connecting pieces of different courses to reach a well defined educational goal. As a trail would be more a selection of existing bits and pieces authors of trails would not have to follow schemas. --Fasten 09:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

I can't quite visualise the best way to do this at the moment, but I know exactly what you're talking about! There will most certainly be clear learning objectives for each course (again, templates help here) as well as each "day" of the course, hopefully much like a well-laid-out correspondence course I once took. But these are the things we can go wild doing once we've got our .org to breathe in. Garrett 16:25, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
see above (my reply to A suggestion on categorization and content standardization). --Fasten 10:46, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
This is just a techonologist's pipe dream. There is no one clear, true path to knowledge that can be codified. Verifying preconditions is poppycock. First, it cannot be done. Second, even if it could, material is always at least dual-use: for learning purposes and for reviewing purposes. You don't want to have to take a bunch of tests just to review a detail. When developing a course you often give the students links to material to be read. But the most important part is that they DISCUSS this material with others. So I see the Wikiversity only offering material for teachers to include in their trails (the trails not being part of the Wikiversity). -- 20:51, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply
The Java Tutorial has trails, which was probably the reason why I used the term. When I first read the word "trail" there I imagined that this was a specialized ordering and collection of concepts and exercises to reach a specific learning goal. While this is true the Java Tutorial doesn't have any other structure at that level: the trails are groups of lessons. A schema could define what content a course needed to provide but not try to impose unnecessary order. A trail could then be a selection and ordering of content, possibly from different sources, and provide extra content and (cross-) references which a lecturer deemed necessary. Lecturers often do exactly that: They introduce their own didactics and that means quite often selecting and reordering content and adding further explanations. I'm not sure the word "trail" is the best choice but I do think the concept is sound and an implementation would, obviously, be easy. The wiki system is very flexible and might require further structure and some restraints to allow the concepts to fit. Creating variants and customized versions of existing material may become more important when the number of interested teachers and lecturers grows and the potential for disagreement on how a specific topic should be presented grows because of the number of participants. At some time all the more important courses might have been written and refinement in different variants could become the main issue. The wiki page naming scheme could become impractical at that time. --Fasten 21:16, 29 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Wiki Scholarship[edit]

Wiki scholarship could be a mapping between course schemas or course categories and users that every user could provide him - or herself. This way everybody could document his own standard of knowledge but there would be no need for verification. --Fasten 09:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

I'm not sure how this would be best implemented but it would probably be akin to the Babel templates and "Wikipedians by XYZ" catting. Definitely one of the harder things to get "right". Garrett 16:25, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Peer Review[edit]

Similarly to scholarship peer review could be presented as a mapping between theses or research papers and scholars who claim expertise in an area. The mapping would reveal who discloses to have read what publication and, if given, what his opinion on the publication was (or if reading of the paper was aborted for lack of quality). Peer Review could also be applied to courses and even homework essays, if they were published on wikiversity. This could, and probably should, be combined with eprints --Fasten 09:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

This eprints thing looks fascinating, but until someone programs a wikitext interpreter to format pages dumped via Special:Export it just won't be feasible due to our license. Perhaps we could have a multilingual subdomain, journals.wikiversity.org, to serve up "published" journal articles. A peer review system for journals is already being experimented upon, see The Academic Publishing Wiki for a fully functional wiki-based peer review system. And of course people will be able to critique our courses, not to mention the inevitable Featured Course voting. I am not entirely certain if articles will be classed as being part of our goal; if not they can just go on the wikicity. Garrett 15:41, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Lecture notes[edit]

To aim for something similar to OCW a wiki standard for lecture notes would be useful. I remember very high quality lecture notes in LaTeX from my own studies in computer science. This is probably not the most common case and also lecture notes might be restricted in circulation by the lecturer, depending on local legislation and the willingness of a lecturer to have his or her lecture notes circulated. Students who are allowed to post lecture notes to wikiversity could build a repository of lecture notes, similar to what is available locally at every university and (at least in Germany) is usually maintained by a local student representation (Fachschaft) in every single department and, unfortunately, usually only in paper form. This would probably require wikiversity to categorize lecture notes by university, departments and lecturers but it would still be possible to categorize lecture notes additionally by course/content categories that have a significant overlap with the given lecture notes. Lecture notes could also extend lecture notes of previous years and only modify the parts that have changed in content. --Fasten 09:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

I think you've kind of misinterpreted our goals as far as this is concerned; we are not a digital/wiki version of your local prof's handouts. If a lecturer comes to us and wants to GFDLise his notes we would absorb them into the nearest related Wikiversity course's notes (or perhaps into some sort of holding bin until an applicable course exists), but they would no longer be associated with the originating class in any way other than with GFDL-compliant source credits. Also due to the wiki nature there would not be a separate page for each year's run of a course, rather the same page would be constantly recycled; any notes not currently being utilised would be put in that day's /Archive so that they are excluded from the course but still available when/if needed again. Garrett 15:24, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
I perfectly understood that this was not yet a goal. I suggested it as a goal. I also wasn't talking about handouts. Lecture notes may be available as handouts but are also often written by the students following a lecture, that was what I was referring to.
  • What is the difference between a lecturer publishing his or her lectures or students (with permission) publishing the lecture notes?
    • In the latter case you probably get significantly more lecture notes.
  • What is the advantage to a clear association to university and lecturer?
    • Students will find this much more useful and be motivated to contribute themselves.
  • What is the disadvantage to a clear association to university and lecturer?
    • The system might become a storage for lecture notes of arbitrary quality. When there is a clear distinction between lecture notes and courses the latter do not have to be affected by the quality of lecture notes in any way, however.
Universities that are reluctant to put their own lecture notes on outside systems could also be linked into the system with their own local wikis, running compatible software. --Fasten 09:59, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
Ah, I see! Well certainly I think it would be possible to do this, but it will need a lot of thought to get done right, and indeed to somehow convey to a visiting student, despite the overpowering Main Page interface, that there is a place where they can submit their notes to us. And if we can't effectively convey to students everywhere that our service exists I'm not sure it would be very widely used. Of course it will eventually spread like Wikipedia, but the problem is finding out about this particular service in the first place. Garrett 09:02, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
I'd use a link Lecture notes on the wikiversity main page. --Fasten 10:34, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

e-Paper black boards[edit]

Here is something slightly off-topic that might be interesting for wikiversity anyway: Around 2007 there will probably be a general supply of cheap e-paper. What might be interesting is a standardized rendering for (parts of) lectures to such black boards. A lecturer could create a selection of material (maybe a self-made learning trail, maybe not) and arrange it for rendering on a black board. Some work on standardizing this in an open and reproducible manner would be nice. As a possible initiation to this an open hardware standard for black boards would be nice; this could be a wikibook guide to building a conforming black board. An open standard for this would be better than the usual selection of proprietary products. It would also be a good idea to explicitly not treat an e-paper black board as merely an oversized monitor and just redirect a computer desktop to the black board, if only to avoid the usual, awkward and powerpointless experience of redirecting a desktop to a beamer. --Fasten 11:22, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Idea: A backplane made from circuit board tiles with resistors for every measurable X or Y position measures the position of a pen in front of the board (like a Graphics tablet). The pen's writing movements are fed back immediately into e-paper draw instructions inside the black board, without an attached computer. When the pen is inside a control area on the board an USB-attached computer receives an event and replies by rendering on the black board, which may include rendering a popup-menu from inside the control area, if required. Some default operations, like paging forward and backward, half a screen up or down or moving rectangles could also be implemented entirely in the black board, without an attached computer.
I suppose the idea is misplaced here. I have started a project on savannah.gnu.org: blackboard.nongnu.org. --Fasten 07:57, 5 November 2005 (UTC)Reply


It would be useful to have a standard for annotations, so that students could attach individual explanations or references to courses or lecture notes without editing the material itself. The "What links here" button is close but not quite good enough: It cannot expose links to individual paragraphs and it requires that the user makes use of the button without knowing that there are annotations. At least the presence of annotations, and possibly a categorization, should be immediately visible in the margin. --Fasten 09:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Ah, yes indeed. I've already designed a system whereby a user can quickly edit a section and add something along the lines of {{ann|Why this equals 12 instead of 10}} at the end of a line's punctuation as if it's a footnote/endnote number, thus resulting in this.?32 The number beside the ? would be auto-generated. It would take you to [[(pagename)/Questions/Why this equals 12 instead of 10]]. Thanks to the awesome inputbox extension you would see the initial content in the edit box and some basic guidelines in the preview space above. For ease of use the annotation button can be added to the toolbar, maybe with a Javascript prompt to guide you through its use. I can throw together a fully-functioning example (minus the Javascript) if anyone's curious to see this in motion. Garrett 15:06, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
What I had in mind is a system of annotations where everything that has a URL, possibly containing parts separated with a '#', can be referred to by an annotation that does not have to be incorporated into the page itself. This will be an important part of ESP, by the way. --Fasten 10:28, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
Well that can be as-such done now but isn't very user-friendly. It's easy to link to another section of a page (#e-Paper black boards) but you can only link to the nearest heading rather than to the exact paragraph/phrase referred to. Also if you then visited the linked-to page there would be no visual indication on the section in question that someone was actively discussing it. At some point in time such a feature will no doubt be added, but for now editing and adding an annotation template is the only way.
However this is not an entirely bad method; the template adds a bookmark meaning the link on the annotation page will take you directly to the very line that was annotated, and in fact the annotation editing box will fill in details like this for you. The only real difference between some special system and the current method is that you must edit the page to add the {{ }} thing, after that it would be identical to a dynamic system. Garrett 09:02, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Portuguese language[edit]

Hi, here is discussion to wikiversity in portuguese language, if anyone is interessed (and sorry for my very poo english; if you need to talk with me, talk only in portuguese, please)--555 20:01, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply


I just thought I'd add some links to other online learning environments and resources so we can see how things are done elsewhere, and hopefully generating ideas we could use ourselves. Please keep adding your own findings... Cormaggio @ 11:13, 22 October 2005 (UTC)Reply


Given the number of OCWs I posted from the latest newsletter, it seems that we ought to make sure our efforts are interchangable. All their work is based off a CC BY non-commercial only license. While I don't care for the noncommercial only rider, making that an acceptable license for our site might be wise.--Gabe Sechan 12:04, 22 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

I don't care which basic license we go with (GFDL or CC-by-sa) since the differences between them are near-negligible, but I don't like the sound of a non-commercial restriction. For example, if a professor wanted to print off some of our material and sell it to real-world students as an optional study aid he couldn't as such do that under this restriction. Nor do I think we should have dual-licensing other than between GFDL and CC-by-sa, that's just going to make it a pain for the end user, as they would have to ensure that none of the document's contributors use the nc condition for their edits. Certainly it's something to consider in more detail and perhaps even call a vote on, but unnecessarily restricting ourselves just so we can siphon content off of and be compatible with traditional universities might not be a good idea. Garrett 08:46, 23 October 2005 (UTC)Reply
BY licenses are absolutely against the WikiMedia spirit. Commercial redistribution is crucial to many ways of getting material to people.
Actually it's only the NC (non-commercial) attribute that prevents commercial use; see this example license--it allows commercial use while still having BY. Rest assured that whatever license we go with will be in the spirit of the GFDL. Garrett 21:28, 5 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Editing one's own mind[edit]

Want to develop an online university? Don't have $100M to get it off the ground? Here are some more free resources...

Developing Wikiversity[edit]

Following on from last Sunday's Wikimedia Research Network meeting, I thought we needed a page on developing Wikiversity, which I've set up at Moving_Wikiversity_forward. I think we need to think out what we can do now, what we could do later, and what we need to do in order to do the things we probably have to leave until later. Ideas would be greatly appreciated. Also, feel free to rename and redirect the page - I'm not sure about the name. Cormaggio @ 00:39, 8 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Current status[edit]

What is the current status of the project? The board meeting was supposed to be on Nov. 13, but I cannot find any details of a decision one way or another. Physchim62 14:11, 24 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

From November 13th, 2005 Board Notes:
Wikiversity proposal (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikiversity) not approved, but we will approve it if some changes are made and if the community seems joyful about it, which may or may not require another vote. The board recommend rewriting the proposal to exclude credentials, exclude online-courses and clarify the concept of elearning platform. to be rewritten to exclude credntials and to clarify concept of e-learning.
NOTE: The above was not changed in any way from the version viewed as of timestamp following this note. The source is a semi-protected page and the text might have minor changes made to it, please review the source of this info before taking any action. --Robert Harrison 17:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

In my view, the board is wise to request that the Wikiversity proposal "exclude credentials". While it has been suggested at various Wikiversity discussion pages that Wikiversity should concern itself with accreditation, I don't think "credentials" were really part of the actual proposal. The proposal did include: "E-learning. A framework within which members of the community can actually take courses online." Most of the development of Wikiversity has centered on rather conventional ideas for creating "courses" in wiki format. I suspect that there needs to be some serious thought given to just what format and content a viable Wikiversity course should have. In my view, a basic constraint should be that a Wikiversity course take full advantage of the wiki interface (students must be wiki editors), otherwise, it is not really a wiki university. I think Wikiversity needs to start with some "unconventional courses" that will attract wiki editors by serving existing needs of the Wikimedia community. Once Wikiversity starts to have an established community of its own, there will be enough participants to make more conventional courses possible. See Moving Wikiversity forward and the Wikiversity Core Courses Initiative. --JWSurf 05:09, 30 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

No to Wikiversity - I think of Wikiversity not as a university, but as a wiki. I dislike the idea that Wikiversity should make "courses", because I believe that these would be too similar to "books" at Wikibooks. Now with the Moving Wikiversity forward page, someone suggests that Wikiversity is for contributing content to Wikimedia projects - but there are already project namespaces and an entire Meta-Wiki for that purpose.
It is interesting that the Board rejected Wikiversity in its current form, and recommended the exclusion of online courses. As I interpet this, this limits Wikiversity to (1) a discussion forum and (2) a place for non-NPOV or original work. If Wikiversity wants to implement 1, 2, both, or neither, the proposal should be changed. --Kernigh 17:39, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
I, too, welcome the exclusion of a Wikiversity granting any kind of degree or certificate, which would need accreditation and just is not feasable. But the exclusion of eLearning is something that I just do not understand! I see the Wiki for offering *links* to online courses and to comments on the use and quality of the courses, as well as categories, for online courses that are already available. It should also be a place where we can, in a wiki-fashion, collaborate on the construction of additional material. Is there a reason WHY the board wanted this excluded? -- 18:35, 4 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Willing to be a pilot program for the University[edit]

The idea of a legitimate online university would be incredible. Taking it to a level of a "free" online university would be life changing. I have just completed my research for my doctorate and my dissertation is on web based learning. Some of the factors that came glaring out to me on my research was the following:

  • the education must take a "community" approach, not just a bunch of stagnate web pages. The key seems to be that students must be able interact beyond the classroom, something that traditional web based learning has not done (wow... web based learning now has a traditional model...LOL)
  • there must be accountability built into the system. Simply having students sign up for a course and finish when they feel creates too much of a student drop out rate and often creates the "mystery student."
  • the same "community" must be built with the faculty... see comments above.

One of the things I am piloting with in Wikibooks is a certification course for firefighters wikibooks:Fire Officer IV. Actually, this is more of a curriculum. If the pieces are available listed in the proposal (ie, Powerpoint upload, video streaming, chat, and so forth) I would love to be a pilot for Wikiversity. This project creates a number of obstacles to overcome as it is following an Instructional Systems Design model rather than a Constructivist (a model that would more easily fit into this type of environment). If this works I could add other courses. Any takers? Mfinney

Thanks Mfinney, I think I understand where you're coming from (though not your course exactly), but just to point out that the actual explicit formal 'learning' aspect of Wikiversity has been controversial up until now. It may be simply a repository of learning resources (including curricula etc.) at the beginning with the possibility of eventually evolving into a full learning platform. I don't know if what you had in mind could be contained in the repository framework - if not you will either have to join the campaign for Wikiversity to become a full e-learning platform or to look to other platforms. Sorry if this is not what you want to hear, but I'll happily answer any questions you have, if you like. Cormaggio @ 23:52, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Actually it would work fine within the current setup... I believe this would have to be a gradual process to get the support and buy in for it. Setting up a curriculum repository would be a great start. Perhaps as Wikiversity evolves, so would the buy in. The only issues that would be helpful... a way I could upload Powerpoint, test questions, and skill sheets... I could work around the last two...but the first one would be critical.... Mfinney

I'm still trying to figure out what the board means by its requirement that the Wikiversity proposal be modified so as to "exclude online-courses". During this week, I have seen an increasing amount of discussion at Wikipedia about the need to find ways to support Wikipedia articles with good sources and references. Currently, there are many scattered efforts within Wikipedia to promote this. Maybe Wikiversity could get a start in the world by making an organized system to support those Wikipedia efforts. I suspect that many Wikipedia editors need help in learning how to find and cite good sources. People who try to add material without providing verifiable references could be "sent to school" at Wikiversity where experts in various fields could point to sources and help Wikipedia editors learn how to find and evaluate sources for use in Wikipedia articles. Starting Wikiversity with such a "service mission" might not seem relevant to people who have a particular educational goal such as creating an online "certification course for firefighters", but it might get approval from the board and provide an initial source od Wikiversity participants. Wikiversity could then grow from there in less service-priented directions. --JWSurf 14:12, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

This makes a lot of sense, but it's still unclear how this is different from the various Wikiprojects that exist on Wikipedia to check sources, facts etc, and why it needs a separate project. (I say this despite agreeing with you that this is exactly along the lines that we might well be most successful - just thinking aloud.) Cormaggio @ 00:46, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
Let me first mention Wikinews. I suggested there that it would be useful to have a "space" at wikinews for researching news topics. I was told that it was not a good idea! I have started using the education wikicity as a place to do research for Wikinews. The way things are at Wikipedia, most discussion of research (what little there is) and preparation of articles takes place on article talk pages. I agree that there is no reason that article talk pages and their subpages and more robust projects devoted to research, citations, and references could not work to do what would be possible today at a Wikiversity. However, it might be better for Wikipedia to let Wikiversity lend a hand in these improvement efforts. I was just talking on IRC today about how nice it would be to have a Wikiversity "course" that would teach Wikipedia editors how to use tools such as this. But it really goes deeper than just using existing Wikipedia tools. Wikipedia editors could benefit from guides about how to find good sources in various domains of knowledge. For example, I could make a guide for how to find good sources for biology-related articles. Anytime I saw someone adding material to Wikipedia biology articles without providing good sources, I could "send them to school" at Wikipedia to learn how to find sources and cite them. Yes, such resources could be built inside Wikipedia, but why not have a special place for it (Wikiversity), a project specialized for research activity? Frankly, the culture within much of Wikipedia is a death zone for promoting the ideals of finding good sources and deciding POV debates by careful evaluation of sources. Yes, it is possible to improve matters by working inside Wikipedia, but I think there would be advantages in having a centralized place to specialize in research and training people how to do research, a protected environment where the research ethic could dominate. I'm talking about things like an institutional memory. At Wikipedia sources are brought in, pulled out, lost, ignored, rediscovered in an endless swirl. Wikiversity could be a place where ALL sources relevant to a Wikipedia article are kept, compared, studied. Nothing needs to be a separate project. You could do everything in a single wiki. I just feel like the whole scholarly research effort that started inside Nupedia has struggled to find a place in Wikipedia. Jimmy has trusted admins locking down disputed articles such as Alan Dershowitz and editing them while disputes continue on the talk pages. Wikiversity could be a "cool down zone" a step removed from POV pushing at Wikipedia articles, a place where people could learn to find good sources, list them, describe them, compare them, then take the best back to Wikipedia. --JWSurf 04:58, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
John, you're absolutely right. I think that one of Wikiversity's key identity components would be research - both in how you outline above, and also in the form we were talking about before, ie creating self-directed, research-oriented courses. Possibly the self-directed courses are a bit much for some people, but the first type would surely be both beneficial and practical right now. I think we now need to write this into a concrete, coherent kernel idea (with room for expansion later) here (on content page) - bullet points, and examples preferably (ie. list those resources with a section on what to do with them). <sound of whip cracking> Cormaggio @ 17:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
I hear the "virtual whip", but over in the real world I have to write an emergency modification for a research study protocol this weekend. Starting Monday I will be able to help with crafting modifications to the Wikiversity proposal; hopefully someone can find a way to satisfy the Board. I'm still not sure what they are looking for. --JWSurf 18:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Here is my direction from here for setting up the firefighter component: 1.) I set up a trial course outline to help me get used to using the software (somewhere there is a sysops guy considering suicide because of me I am sure...LOL) 2.) I went in and set up a Wikiversity: School of Fire and Emergency Management where the other Wikiversity stuff is set up. 3.) I posted the Fire Officer IV course outline to it. 4.) I am working on an article for a couple of the fire service training magazines on the concept of "open source learning" and "open source curriculum development." 5.) In January, my program I oversee will be starting a Fire Instructor I (How to be an instructor) and Fire Instructor II (How to develop curriculum). The concept we are throwing around here will be introduced and part of their certification requirements will be to set up a course in the Wikiversity. 6.) From there, I can begin the heavy promotion and getting other emergency services agencies to begin adding to it and editing.

What am I missing? The biggest issue I will have to overcome is the "free" concept. For some reason with the fire service, free gives a conetation of sub-standard. Any thoughts on how to get past this? Mfinney

Great - just do it! This page isn't really for discussing individual courses - you can do that through the talk pages of your course. I don't know what software you need to set up - that might be relevant here allright. (Or do you simply mean getting other people used to wikis?) However, if it's just uploading Powerpoint etc., this is all standard fare - you can save Powerpoint as a PDF file in all Mac browsers - I'm not sure how it works for PC but Open Office has a Powerpoint equivalent which will allow you do this. And finally, the only way you'll convince someone that something is of quality, free or not, is whether it looks, acts and feels of quality - that's up to you.. Cormaggio @ 00:46, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
Does Firefox have this capability? Failing that it's possible to output PDFs using the PDF Creator virtual printer. The installation is a bit of a pain (I had to uninstall my real printer completely before it would install correctly) but once you've crossed that hurdle the faithfulness of the conversion is amazing. Garrett 06:18, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your encouragement and suggestions. In my usual nature of doing things... instead of a pilot... I just took the leap of faith and set up the school Wikiversity:School of Fire and Emergency Management As well, I went out and did some research on Wikibooks to see what was out there in this arena and emailed the authors there to consider writing curriculum packages to go along with their books to post on the site. So from there it is wait and see... once I have a reasonably good collection of curriculum packages going... I will send the site out for review and make it public within the fire service... so far though the feedback has been extremely positive... definitely viewed as ground breaking for the fire service. I guess my thoughts are that all of us involved in this have a huge opportunity to do something monumental for education and academics... the idea that an evolving courses and availability to anyone who wants it will truly change the landscape of academics. I view this as a parallel to the open source movement battling the empire of MS. Here we have the opportunity and challenge to take on the proprietary world of higher ed. I really hope the hurdles with the board and the proposal don't become too great because what we are doing here greater than all of us. As well, the end goal leaves us with no other choice but victory. Just my ramblings.

This is certainly an unusual course, but then again that's the very thing we want to be offering and can offer due to our distinction from a traditional establishment. Now we just need to get the proposal to be more acceptable... Garrett 06:18, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
Absolutely - see my comment above (made simultaneously with this one). And yes, we'll definitely have to have a range of different courses and/or materials (whatever the scope turns out to be) - and this one sounds great. Cormaggio @ 17:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Looks like we are moving forward. I have a meeting in February to begin forming the Open Learning Project consortium. These folks will be the ground breakers to building the curriculum packages here. It appears we have gotten a nationwide response to wanting to get involved. Doing this as well under the auspices of the accreditting body so they are supporting it. Hope this Wikiversity works out... cause this train is leaving the station. mfinney

who's sysop of de.wikiversity.org[edit]

hi, i asked to get admin at the german wikiversity [2] but didnt get an answer since there is nearly no activity...

anyone knows whos sysop there?

mfg Tomen

Doesn't seem like there are any... [3]
You'll need to go straight to the top at Requests for permissions, someone there should be able to help. Garrett 06:26, 9 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
thanks alot Tomen 08:11, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Draft Charter[edit]

I have had a go at producing a draft chater which might satisfy some of the Board's worries: it is available to be ripped apart at Wikiversity/Draft Charter. I have replaced the idea of courses with the term "learning materials" to emphasize the fact that we are in the business of helping self-learning rather than teaching in the conventional sense. "Wikiversity: No more 8am lectures!" now there's a slogan! Physchim62 16:38, 11 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

"Wikiversity: No more 8am lectures!" <-- Funny! My first university course was calculus at 7:30 am. There can be worse things than an 8am lecture. --JWSurf 16:56, 11 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
Having lectured at 8am, I can assure you that my students received a large amount of information, much of which was not encombered by any pedagogical considerations whatsoever. Anyone recognise the situation? Needless to say, Wikiversity should be different! Physchim62 18:15, 11 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
Why do they not want courses? If it's just materials then it really is just like wikibooks. I'm completely disappointed, as I was beginning to build a course myself but now I guess I will have to stop. Wikiversity is useless if you can't have courses taught and directed. --MateoP
IMHO It would be a mistake to stop developing courses simply because the board finds it easier to just say no and request clarification and mandate noncompetition with wikicities(dot)com and mandate no volunteer shall fill out paperwork or investigate process of accreditation. Interesting that a initation of a process that might take decades should be put off ... the strength that wikimedia demonstrated was concurrent development by highly motivated collaborative volunteers. Keep a copy of all your materials and download other FDL stuff you think useful to a new startup. If the board kills/slows wikiversity via dictation and hiarchy imposed upon internet volunteers fed up with it in the real world ... a strength of the open development paradigm is the ability to fork a mismanaged project. No single point of failure exists where thousands of experts must endure and overcome infinite attempts to convince a single financial interest that a proposal does not potentially compete with their personal interests. Perhaps MIT or OIT (Oregon Institute Technology) would be interested in pioneering how to put a wikiversity on a self sustaining financial basis. A couple of million dollar grant from DARPA for Grid Engineering, Management or Research would go a long ways towards an initial information with a known published namespace that could used to allow web traffic to find us. 12:29, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

On-line Course Objections[edit]

I don't understand the objection that the Foundation board has with on-line courses. As I see Wikiversity, it is for both development of curriculum and for organizing/registration of students for lecture-type courses or for self-guided studies. Based on what the Foundation board is objecting to, it cuts out the guts of what Wikiversity could be. I know that it is overwhelming to think about, but Wikiversity could be so much more. A "no course" policy but only publication of instructional materials really scales back Wikiversity to only be an appendage to Wikibooks, or confusing what Wikiversity and Wikibooks is really about. I also see no objection from the board over the fact that on-line courses are currently being held with the current incarnation of Wikiversity via Wikibooks, nor any attempt to stop that practice. The Wikibooks VfD is not objecting to that practice, just that it would be better handled in its own seperate project space.

Why is it that Wikicities keeps coming up in these new project proposal discussions as well? Wikicities is a neat idea, but it has nothing to do with Wikimedia projects (or so I've been told numerous times). Non-compete with Wikicities ideas? Why? The only reason to even worry about Wikicities is because two of the members of the Wikimedia board have a direct financial interest in Wikicities. Or Bomis.com for that matter. --Roberth 18:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

I think the Board wants to see e-learning that takes full advantage of the wiki user interface and that does not try to reproduce conventional university courses in a wiki format. I think we need to find a name (other than "course") for the basic unit of Wikiversity. I am not good at naming things, so "learning project" is the best I can come up with. By "learning project" I mean a set of wiki pages where a community of scholars come together to do research and learn about a topic. --JWSurf 18:50, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
"Scholars" is also a bad choice of word. Anyone should be able to be a studen or teacher at a wikiversity "learning project". I agree with Roberth, simply having learning materials that someone self-teaches themselves does make wikiversity basically just Wikibooks + external sources. Discuss that takes place while the wiki is being written is essential. --MateoP 16:26, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
I am also at a loss to see precisely what is the Board's problem with courses: did they like the experiment with b:Wikiversity:The Great War and Versailles or did they hate it? I am guessing that they didn't appreciate the manner in which it was tied to the presence and commitment of a single editor. Do the Board want us to be as much like a university as possible or as little like a university as possible? After all, Jimbo is well known for justifying intervention on the grounds that "we're trying to write an encyclopedia here"; wikibooks is throwing us out because they have a rather narrow definition of "textbook"; much of the opposition at the vote was along the lines "the software isn't ready". I see nothing wrong with attempting to place "traditional" university courses in wiki format, just as I can see that the wikiversity project could offer great potential for exchange and curriculum development. A University course is not simply a textbook, nor is it simply the degree at the end. Physchim62 11:12, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
I'm with you guys. I was developing the first programming course, that is definitely on hold until this is figured out. I understand (and agree with) avoiding accreditation, but without courses I don't see a wikiversity existing. All thats left is wikibooks 2. --Gabe Sechan 18:21, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
Please do not cease and desist with the programming courses! If a fork is required we will need some enthusiastic programmers to come with us to create and maintain our web space. Since highly expert and established programmers tend to already be heavily involved in various open source projects it is appropriate for new startups (such as we will be if wikimedia has no place for elearning faculty or student body or drop in participants) to find ways to recruit or create their own supporting open source development and maintenance team. Further, the Board will inevitably cite a collapse of enthusiasm or participation in the face of their adverse actions as justification that the community is not yet ready for tackling elearning projects under the umbrella of the nonprofit. Easily alleged that it is much better to tackle them on a sustainable profit basis making somebody wealthy via the next dot.com internet fraud fiasco. (diff^TM) With an active group of participants demonstrating to each other the viability of the proposed non profit enchilada (a free online university!) a successful fork should be inevitable should the Board continue to drag their feet. 200/300 filtered eligible internet savvy voters is a pretty good nucleus should things continue to go poorly at en.wikiversity.org, de.wikiversity.org, et.al. Sincerely Lazyquasar 01:31, 21 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Going live with my first course in February. Got to work out a couple of details that are holding me up. First is the testing instrument. I think I have an avenue through my institution as I have to show secured testing. Will have that finalized by the time I go live. Second is the video problem. Can't convert video to .ogg. I've tried everything... even followed the links on the different helps that are offered through Wikimedia. So will have to host that from an alternative site. Otherwise... will be ready to go with my first course on the Wikiversity. If goes well should see a lot more responding. As well, will be adding 15 new courses beginning this month. -- 05:47, 15 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Teaching & Research: It CAN be done![edit]

There is nothing in the concept of Wiki that is antithetical to either teaching OR research. In fact, Wikiversity offers the most promising framework for all of the functions of academia, and it can do it better than traditional academia! You just have to structure it right! After all, the most important function of a university is a system of accreditation, for students (earning degrees), for professors (whose teaching credentials are assured by the institution), and for researchers (whose research is also accredited by the institution). We just have to get away from the idea of Wikiversity accumulating vast sums of money from students and government grants, and then dispensing them on teaching and research, as in the old-fashioned "brick and mortar" academy. Thats the centralized Soviet concept of academia. We need the self-organizing distributed self-accreditizing concept that is the core principle behind Wiki.

First, in teaching, cut out the middle man, and have students pay directly to professors of their choice that they find listed in Wikiversity, which provides the framework where professors can "hang their shingle" and advertise their availability, as in this example professor's shingle. The professors in turn accredit each other by forming voluntary associations under various "departments", and they appoint a dean from amongst themselves to vouch for all the professors in the department, as in this example dean's page. The professors in a department check each others' credentials, and judge each other during disputes. Each professor in turn accredits and validates the students that they teach, watching out for cheats and charletans among the students. And clusters of departments can associate into mega-departments or instititues, again based on their mutual reputations. Finally, Wikiversity as a whole validates all the departments and institutes under its tent, using the same kind of self-validation seen throughout Wiki. If a scandal occurs, then immediately, students, professors, deans, and Wikiversity itself, will quickly distance themselves from the offender, so the system polices itself.

And research can be funded in exactly the same distributed self-accreditizing manner. Interesting research is posted on Wikiversity, describing the objective and methods of the proposed research, the principal investigators, budget, and funding needs, and interested funding agencies or even private individuals can pick and choose the research they find most interesting, then they send funds direct to the researchers themselves, again cutting out the middle-man and the need for mid-level bureaucrats to make big financial allocations. Instead of one giant government bureaucracy allocating millions of dollars by way of requests for proposals, complex reviews, and panels of experts, the funds can trickle in $10 or $20 at a time, but from millions of small private doners who think the research is worth funding.

Not only can Wikiversity perform the same functions as academia, it can do it much much better! Contemporary academia is riddled with waste, abuse, ignorance, and incompetance, in all of its current functions. The evil of tenure corrupts established professors, and distorts the market for professorships, forcing post-doctoral students, adjunct professors, and non-tenured faculty into a submissive role of sychophantic servitude which comes close to slave labor, and good teaching is never rewarded, often punished. The anonymous peer review system protects established theories from any serious challenge from alternative paradigms, and massive government funding, along with restrictive bureaucratic rules that govern every smallest detail of academic life, result in stifling ineptitude, political correct nonsense, and bureaucratic bungling at all levels of academia.

It is high time that an alternative paradigm be given serious consideration, and the Wiki concept of collective distributed decision making offers the brightest hope I have seen for a much improved academic system.

I think that the current priority is to make modifications to the Wikiversity proposal that will satisfy the Board. --JWSurf 21:39, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply
I like most of your ideas for getting started JW but I think you are wasting our time and effort assuming the Board can be satisfied. In the face of an approx. 200/300 vote to proceed (filtered to "eligible" "voters") they provided us back skimpy, confusing, contradictory direction regarding their requirmements before they authorize the obvious namespace, which is apparently already owned or controlled by the wikimedia foundation. This is consistent with past modus operandi vis a vis the NPOV. Confusing, incorrect, contradictory direction is provided and then "Larry (a former employee/co-founder) or Jimbo (owner/founder) or the stacked board says ... is handed down to a crowd of argument weary confused participants. Any grumpy outspoken opponents of this less than rigorous or fair process are labeled and lynched and eventually the remaining sheep wander into the shearing pens.
Fortunately the shepard is a pragmatic fellow. When Nupedia failed on him due to excessive top down direction provided to recruited scholars ... Wikipedia resulted. From total top down "peer" reviewed editorial direction to completely open anonymous wiki anarchy which could be slowly *guided* or molded into a satisfactory Encyclopedia development team. Now that critical mass has been achieved to interest more serious contributors we (the community benefiting from the wisdom of the stacked board) can experiment with community improvement via small increments such as we shall reject anonymous page starts and assess whether we (collectively or Jimbo or the stacked board?) like the resulting "community" of contributors free contributions better or worse. Notice the exploitation of the initially available diffuse efforts of the masses and then incremental ejection of "unsuitable" contributors for the benefit of the project and the prestige and other benefits it confers upon the Board and remaining "suitable" or "valuable" "Wikipedians".
I agree with you that helping "unsuitable" Wikipedians or Terran Grid Accessible Sophonts self educate to increase their perceived value to the Board is an excellent way to gain the current Board's authorization to initiate Wikiversity effectively. However, I think we might wish to consider medium and long term growth rates and potential. It is not clear to me that Wikipedia specifically, and other Wikimedia projects in general, can sustain themselves longterm with the sole governing ontological distinction being "Jimmy says ..." Notice how when the conflict resolution peaks out at the arbcom it is necessary (and sufficient) to resort to whether Jimbo's common sense dicatates that reasonable people might hold the position of the defendents. Might be much better to initiate things inefficiently as we are doing and then fork to a different non-profit NGO with a community developed and approved charter, namespace, and initial procedures regarding how to agree to disagree. This would recreate the initial environment that led to Wikipedia's success ... active interested participants trying out methods and procedures that seemed beneficial to themselves while ignoring others efforts until their methods proved themselves. Rapid concurrent development and evolution with standardization and reinforcement by enthusiastic volunteers as they individually perceived potential success or benefit to the project or themselves.
Compare and contrast the above with the current Board's vision of a centralized Wikiversity hiearchy. We own the servers, collect and spend the donors' monies, and just say no when we feel like it with little transparent or coherent feedback. Figure out how to make us happy despite confusing, contradictory, feedback or we do nothing to assist your efforts.
To summarize. Perhaps we should just ignore the Board and proceed with effective action. 1. Edit Boldly 2. Define and apply some rules and standardization as we discover and agree to them as an effective group of associated learning communities. 3. Pre-approved exceptions to every rule possible as we (the participating communities or their legitimate representatives) find ways to minimize negative consequences to the satisfaction of most of the rest of the ratifying communities or participants. 22:49, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

I think that there should be some consideration for a School of Education on Wikiversity.
Be brave - start one yourself! -- 18:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

I have read a lot of what has been written and think that some differentiations would be helpful. I've divided the Wikiversity activities into four levels. The lower levels are completely voluntary and democratic. The higher levels require more expertise and accountability, and the services offered are actually worth money, even when no money changes hands. In some cases, they could only work when money changes hands, even on a not-for-profit basis.

The LOWEST level is to make it a completely democratic on-line learning community. That is, learning is the goal and people share and pool ideas in a forum. If you learn that's good. If you don't, you drop out. No big deal-its up to you. I don't know how sustaibable it would be, but I gather that it is what one of the above commentators would prefer.

The SECOND level is to develop a body of first class learning materials of various kinds. It would be possible and very useful to the wider world, and shed Wikipedia in a good light. It would be a resource for anybody to use, including accredited institutions. It would take lots of hard work, but it's a known procedure. I'd only be concerned if cranks and nut used it to soapbox irresposponsible ideas. It's a symptom of the internet that people will give valuable digital material away for free.

The THIRD level is to provide systematic instruction of some kind, which could include the supervison of research or the writing of learning materials. I agree with the comments already made that some sense of community is important, and that there really needs to be someone in the system with legitimate expertise. But this could work well as a community education or Professional Development program, for which accreditation is often unnecessary.

The FOURTH level up is more challenging. The implied parallel to a university is a bothering aspect, with the implications of faculty, classes, assessment, degrees, institutional stability, and recognition. It would be sensible and more honest not to pretend to be that. There is the suggestion of a degree mill producing worthless qualifications, making Wikiversity an unreputable body that good people will avoid. Consequence: the standard of everything else at Wikipedia goes down.

It would be quite possible to prevent such problems (any reputable insitution works hard to do so) but it could only come with someone having authority. It could be quite democratic, but could not at all be anarchic, and one of the above writers has not clearly made that distinction. ("self-organizing")

Some universities are self accrediting in that they are established by Act of Parliament that gives them both the rights to act as accreditors and as degree providers. But very few are "self-accreditizing"(sic). That kind of thinking is usually associated with unaccredited schools trying to establish credibility without a formal, independent quality assurance process.

It would much simpler to split off the assessment process altogether to avoid the issues of qualifications, accreditation, and recognition. Let other bodies do that. As Principal of an an accredited college, I know we already have protocols for recognizing prior learning (the accreditor requires it), although it could be remarkably difficult to authenticate work done in that way and students would need to demonstrate a substantial set of competencies.

No accredited college can provide those services for free and it would be a marketing disaster anyway; people usually equate free with worthless. So money would change hands, but people would get something good.

It would be enough to provide a wiki to colleges to state what they do and how they do it, and their offical accreditation. I'd strongly prefer that unaccredited colleges be disallowed, even if they were legal. That's better than being a clearing house for diploma mills.

Next wiki.

Some of what i've said has been discussed above. It appears that wikis are an ideal system for one knd of qualitative research using an open spaces approach. That's what we're doing here; gathering ideas in a naturally occuring marketplace. The only step to go is analysis.

Ross Woods, ACAS

The more I read the various pages of debate, the more there seems to be lots of agreement. The catch is the implementation timeline; there seems to be lots of opposition to trying to do some things at early stages, and lots of agreement on how it should start. I think that some comments simply had mistakes, and other things were misunderstandings that got sorted out in the chat. A few fiercely idependent souls tend to disagree with anything, and it's really their temperament; their comments can alternatively be interpreted as part of the consensus as necessary objections to it. There was also some good discussion on the limitations of what wikis can do.

See here for an analysis of Wikiversity. By the way, the spread of discussion over a number of VERY long pages is starting to get tangled.

I've just had a quick look at that link - very interesting! Is this the basis for your doctoral research or is it even part of it? I agree that the discussions on Wikiversity are quite difficult to negotiate - I think it may become easier when a clear consensus of a starting point and then an outline for future potential development of this proposal is formed. Can you help in this regard? It would also help if you logged in and signed comments with a name and date stamp - you can do this by clicking login at the top right hand corner of any Meta window (it's easy - just username and password needed) and then sign in by typing ~~~~ after your comments. But thanks. Cormaggio @ 11:07, 7 February 2006 (UTC)Reply
In the Synopsis section there is a remarkably severe error of fact. "The wiki community is presently a completely democratic on-line learning community using only a wiki format. " There is nothing democratic about wikimedia, wikipedia, or wikiversity. Asserting that non binding opinion polls in which there is no way to accurately count legitimate votes (one sock puppet one vote) is not "democracy" as I learned it in Poly Sci 201. A better case could be made for parallels to a team, ad hoc committee, a cult, a gang, or almost any other group with ill defined rights and responsibilities with non binding opinion polls presented formally or informally to the "leaders". Lazyquasar 06:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Wikimania and conference proceedings on Wikiversity[edit]

I just got through with a huge set of complaints about my transwiki of the Wikimania proceedings from Wikibooks to here on Meta. It really doesn't belong on Meta either, but it IMHO is a better fit than Wikibooks at the moment, especially as the Wikimania content violates strongly the no original research prohibition on Wikibooks. Here is a new thought, however:

Wikiversity, as a seperate independent project, might just be the perfect place to host content like conference proceedings.

Think this through for a minute. I'm not trying to "dump" content onto Wikiversity, but I'm trying to point out that things like academic conferences are precisely the sorts of things that academic institutions like the proposed Wikiversity are strongly oriented toward encouraging. Most of the current Wikimania proceedings read like lectures anyway on some point or the other, and most of the content that is going to be developed on Wikiversity will be largely looking like the content within these proceedings as well, including the multi-media resources that were attached to the proceedings abstracts.

The problem here (and the solution as well to this problem) is that in order for conference proceedings to be added to Wikiversity, it will require a formal admission that Wikiversity is permitted to do original research. This, by itself, will give the Wikiversity proposal something unique for all of the Wikimedia sister projects as the only place where original research will be permitted, and IMHO the ultimate justification for its existance.

There are also smaller conference groups that may want to preserve their proceedings in a public forum, and Wikiversity may be an idea place to do that.

The point here is that each of the Wikimedia projects are specialists at a certain kind of knowledge, and that Wikiversity can be the concentration of original research on all Wikimedia projects... especially toward academic development. Much, much more can be done with this train of thought, but there are many of the opponents to Wikiversity that were also participants with Wikimania and submitted papers into the proceedings journal. If you could suggest that Wikiversity is a permanent home to this sort of content, it might be the final thing to get Wikiversity off the ground. --Roberth 17:23, 26 February 2006 (UTC)Reply

Yes, this is what I think also - that Wikiversity as a site of original research could make real breakthroughs, and have a clearly distinct identity to all other Wikimedia projects - you can see above where I've already mentioned this and background discussion (see also wikibooks:Talk:Wikiversity:About). However, I don't know how this viewpoint would go down with the wider community. On this note, does anyone think that we should finalise this proposal and give it to the community for debate, or simply present it to the board? If we're not all fully convinced, we could have the research question as an optional add-in, while having a solid kernel that we here, at least, can agree on. Or do we agree? What say ye? Cormaggio @ 00:05, 27 February 2006 (UTC)Reply
Note that both Anthere and Angela have contributed to the Wikimania proceedings, and Anthere was in particular quite pissed that I removed the Wikimania proceedings from Wikibooks. I think if we use this argument to show some legitimate content that needs to find a home, and is a rationale for allowing some limited original research materials on a Wikimedia website, they might warm up to the idea quite a bit more. My most relevant argument to removal of the Wikimania content on Wikibooks was that there was not going to be a community in place to maintain the content once the Wikimania participants left and went on to other things. By having a clear place on Wikiversity as not only being acceptable content but even encouraged, this would provide the user community to fight vandalism, perform proofreading, fix and maintain links, and other management that would be necessary to watch over a series of proceedings journals like Wikimania. Wikibooks is simply not set up to deal with that kind of content. Wikiversity could also be home to other research journals as appropriate and subject to community standards to make them relevant. IMHO this is the keystone to making Wikiversity a unique proposal and fills a very necessary gap in coverage by Wikimedia projects. This would be adjunct to and not be strictly necessary for the learning environment proposals as well, but it is an example of how having Wikiversity as a seperate project free to establish its own policies can grow in new directions with a distinctively different flavor as a project, where restrictions imposed on Wikiversity at the moment by being on Wikibooks is actually a major restraint to this sort of growth.

About trying to get the board to look again at Wikiversity: I think it is time to make sure it gets put on the agenda again for board action. The question I have is how do you put something on the agenda? The usual pages on Meta don't seem to be monitored any more, as they all contain points of discussion that are more than a year old. I guess I could e-mail the board members direction (I have 4 e-mail addresses + a generic board e-mail address as well if necessary) but I think that is simply silly and unnecessary. I do wish the board would simply give a thumbs up or down on this project proposal so we as a community can then decide where to go from here. --Roberth 15:35, 27 February 2006 (UTC)Reply

Roberth, I think putting the Wikimania proceedings on Wikiversity as orginal research is a simply brilliant idea! It might be appropriate to note that they will receive public review or participant review rather than peer review. This could be a problem if some of the authors have thin skins or no patience for expending effort helping the public understand basics. In the long run I think we might be able to develop participant or public review journals or publishing opportunities that are perceived by some academics as beneficial in terms of publicity and shaking out issues and arguments that will be useful when discussing funding or possible uses for their work with funding authorities. Some established authorities might even find the public interaction stimulating or useful in tracking down errors in reasoning or related work. It might become fashionable for academics short on editing assistance or time or needing to assess effectiveness in conveying complex new material to a less informed audience to prepublish slides, pdf files, or other materials on Wikiversity prior to facing the brights lights at a professional conference or command performance with grant reviewers or department heads. Is it inappropriate for a P'hd candidate to predefend his thesis periodically with his buddies at Wikiversity while the research is in progress or prior to defending it to the review panel of advisors? If so, perhaps we can work productively with high school senior's research (primarily scholarship in the U.S.) papers or college student's papers in their early draft stages or if this is prohibited by their instructors, then a set of related papers, contributed after receiving their grades, might form the basis for useful classes or seminars at the High School or lower levels of interactive mutual instruction soon to be happening at Wikiversity. Yet another way to go might be to take a set of related papers and launch a collaborative scholarship project of special interest to a group of Wikiversitians .... I think User:JWSurf has already covered this type of thing pretty well. I think however we might productively diversify sooner rather than later. Rather than only targeting helful scholarship with fraticidal battling groups of grumpy Wikipedians engaged in edit wars .... we could branch out. Say a trade study regarding current NASA plans for Mars and how they are related to Mars Societies' desires. Invitations issued to appropriate usenet groups and online space advocacy forums. Might be just the thing to attract some space interested techies with no desire at all to write encyclopedia articles or abstract textbooks. Obviously we will need to reinforce success and drop flops like hot potatoes. It is the wiki way! 8) Lazyquasar 09:29, 1 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
Absolutely - I think all the points you've raised here, Lazyquasar, are really powerful potential directions for Wikiversity. Obviously, the concept of "review" is inherent in a wiki, and, though we can't promise that a piece of research submitted to Wikiversity will undergo a thorough peer review, we can simply encourage this to happen. It may very well be that an academic side of Wikiversity would emerge which undertakes the task of peer review and, while I would love this to happen (and, as you say, it throws up real possibilities of future collaboration), I still think we should treat this pragmatically, rather than advertise: "submit your article to Wikiversity for peer review" - unless, of course, the community develops this way ;-) Cormaggio @ 11:33, 2 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

forums and wikis - getting best of both worlds?[edit]

Just another perspective on the subject: In my opinion there are forums on one side and wikipedia, wikibooks etc on the other. On one hand, in Wikipedia etc people collect results of thinking/work but a collaborative elaboration of results is not possible (therefore the discussion page is by far not enough) and on the other hand in forums people do thinking/collaborative generation of results but without making them persistent or finally structuring them to be understandable or even detectable for others. I.e. there exists quite a gap between forums and wikis so there should be sth to close this gap - but what side shall it come from?

From the forum's side? - I can't see anything there that comes close to this, but on the wiki-side there is this Wikiversity project that is quite close to what is required to close the gap above: it already delivers the facilities to make the results 'sticky' and could provide facilities for elaborating them collaboratively (like extended discussion pages). Thus, I think Wikiversity can become a highly valuable thing in the future, closing the gap between forums and wikis by leveraging best of both worlds: collaborative work like a forum and accessible results like a wiki.

--Sterling 23:33, 28 February 2006 (UTC)Reply

An interesting and useful perspective Sterling. I think you are correct. I think all we need to do to prototype your plan is setup the forum or email list software such that all conversation submitted to it is FDL'ed and publicly available for cut and paste efforts. This might be done on the initial setup sheet where advice is given regarding terms and conditions of contributing to the forum or list. This would allow summaries of lengthy linear discussions to be easily summarized point by point or step by step and placed on the proper wikiversity wikimedia page. It might be nice eventually to allow a list of participant handles to be attached so that proper attribution is available to automatic tracking tools .... or maybe this would be required by the FDL attribution requirements. Perhaps prototype via a simple working agreement to establish appropriate discussion pages and then summarize and delete when it is agreed the discussion is complete and satisfactorily summarized? Lazyquasar 09:44, 1 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Elvis may be leaving the building[edit]

While we are stuck waiting for stacked board approval methods are evolving to use the wikimedia software to meet academics needs for easy rapid open publishing.

Notice the elegant "leave me and my article alone" list button at the top of the article. No fancy programming required, just a simple notice that the author is tired of interacting with you and/or your gang members/sock puppets specifically on a page he/she initiated and maintains. Compare and contrast this to the "There can be only one" policies at Wikipedia and Wikibooks. Note I do not advocate forking community policy pages unless no ratification procedure implies the necessity of cabals, gangs, or factions for mutual protection from other cabals, gangs, factions, trolls or meanies. Your thoughts regarding this external development are welcome at: forking[4] or research[5]. Lazyquasar 07:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

I'm not too worried about that - the academia wikicity has been around for a while now (you might have noticed that that paper was written by our very own JWSchmidt, last July). Angela has already posted to the Community Portal there that content from that wiki could be transferred to wikiversity, further indicating the possibility of hosting original research. If Wikiversity is to host original research, it may well parallel or overlap with the developments on that wikicity, and, even though I'd like to see all that that wiki is doing being done on Wikiversity, I could also see the two existing side by side. Can I ask, though, that discussion on Wikiversity remain here on Meta? It seems that changes to Wikiversity on Wikibooks are more about the content, whereas here on Meta and on foundation-l, we are discussing the project itself. Thanks. Cormaggio @ 13:51, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
Sure request away. Can you give me some examples of discussion on Wikiversity that have no future pedagogical value at Wikiversity? Perhaps I can then apply proper criteria when evaluating specific text for forking, deletion, or migration between meta and Wikiversity vs. between various instruction sites or materials at Wikiversity or linked to offsite? Sorry. Allow me to clarify. It would seem to me that stalled development efforts locally will increase interest in how to avoid ineffective methods in future forks. This will enhance market demand for negative information. Perhaps we can start the curriculum locally at en.wikiversity.org with this DO NOT! information and become a shadow meta site vs. a an actual instantiated stealth Wikiversity. An abstract useful pattern to avoid concretely illustrated rather than a general public working tool expensive to maintain via donations and potentially drawing profitable traffic away from revenue hungry associates. Lazyquasar 04:01, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

If the overall goal of the Wikibooks project is to produce free, open-content texbooks, then I don't see why the incorporation of another project such as Wikiversity can't be used to make good use of the material being created. If nothing is done with the books being created, such as teaching them or forming them into a curriculum, then I see a lack of importance in Wikibooks itself. Wikiversity gives Wikibooks a purpose. cheers, --Zachjones4 02:01, 20 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Wikiversity and scientific research[edit]

(Moved from Wikiversity/Thinktank)

Who has the responsibility for the development policy of the scientific side of Wikiversity?

I would like to discuss the unique chance to put the Wikiversity on the top of the actual development in the scientific research, Nature description and understanding.

Peter Jakubowski


Proposal - done?[edit]

Current proposal
Wikiversity:Online Course
What Wikiversity is not
Wikiversity subcommittee
Moving Wikiversity forward
Wikiversity (overview)
Wikiversity in Wikibooks

I'd like to propose Wikiversity once again for formal consideration (to the board via the Special projects committee, per due process). But before I do so, is there anything anyone wants to bring up about the proposal as it stands? Does it satisfy your needs? Do you think it's workable? Would you want to contribute to it? Is there anything that you'd like to see which isn't there? It would be good to also read other relevant pages, such as Wikiversity/Scope and Wikiversity/What Wikiversity is not, in order to give your overall ideas. They would be most appreciated. Cormaggio @ 22:30, 5 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Wikiversity – Final Push[edit]

I'm basically an outsider from Wikia:Perl who is very interested in the state of the Wikiversity:Main_Page. Someone has to make it very obvious to everyone where the current discussion about Wikiversity is located, and what is going on to get it fully activated and fully realized.

Your stuff

Like Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikibooks, your Wikiversity should be a major content component. It's obvious, and it only makes good logical sense.

Everything worth doing is difficult. I see your frustration, and I understand it completely. I've learned that all opinions count, and I'm all for the Wikiversity, so I'll do what I can to help advocate and reactivate your great project. Where exactly do I go to find the Wikiversity activation subcommittee? I'm still looking for it, but there is so much stale 2005 information to wade through in the Meta-Wiki discussions about Wikiversity, and that is a complete shame! It's time for me to begin shaming them a little bit, for you, me and everyone else in the world.

My stuff

I will use Wikibooks:Wikiversity as it is, until we can all use the Wikiversity:Main_Page together. I don't suffer your very serious namespace problem. I'm currently satisfied enough with using Wikia:Perl to refer to The Perl Wiki's main page, and that short referential prefix is just as good to me as something else like Wikicommunity:Perl or whatever someone could dream up to easily say main:Perl, central:Perl, global:Perl or home:Perl in the markup language. If it ends up that Wikiversity:Perl makes complete sense to me and we all share the same universal opinion, then I will be able to relocate everything within your future namespace quite easily.

I'm an experienced Systems Engineer now, but I originally got my Electrical Engineering degree from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, where the huge university and the little communities around it grew into what is commonly referred to as Happy Valley. So, I just want to create Wikivalley:Perl, the Happy Valley of the global Perl Wikicommunity, like that very well known little town that I experienced first-hand.

In my particular case for this global Perl Wikicommunity prototyping and experimentation, I believe that what I'm currently setting up in Wikia's very opinion-friendly domain is a very correct general Wikicommunity structure and methodology, because Perl spans a vast number of informational topics and many academic interests, and I also must mention common politics, bureaucracy, authoritarians, etc. I simply hope to be The Good Shepherd for the Perl people all around the world to get them to use all the Wikimedia project components as much as possible, so that the Perl Wikicommunity information gets put into the proper locations and integrated correctly.

Once I get the Perl Wikicommunity prototype implemented correctly, then I or someone else will be able to abstract the general Wikicommunity model for other global Wikicommunities to begin implementing themselves correctly.

Our stuff

Please get and keep everyone involved correctly, reopen a Wikiversity forum for current debate, like I did in Wikia:Perl:Forum:Debate for Wikia:Perl#Opinion, and get this good thing done ASAP.

Thanks. Eric R. Meyers --Ermeyers 23:02, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

There is nothing wrong with continued use of these pages for discussion of Wikiversity, using Meta, or other pages on Wikibooks. In deed if you want to start a whole new page like Wikiversity:Final Push, you are welcome to do that, and it won't be removed from Wikibooks (or if it is, I will wheel war and undelete it). The only reason to move discussion like this to non-Wikimedia sites is if you are afraid of retribution or unable to get "approval" of such pages. --Roberth 14:42, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
As an outsider, I've been looking all around Meta for the one place to go. Where is the one place to go here for Wikiversity? That's all I'm asking.:) I'm not suggesting that you go offsite to debate, but I am suggesting that someone set it up here and steer the Final Push discussions to one central place, and inform everyone of that place to go to watch, observe and complete all of the last discussions. --Ermeyers 14:59, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

I apologize. I've seen the many frustrations expressed about the Wikiversity project, and to me it's a real shame that everything took so long to move Wikiversity into its proper namespace, and please don't anyone take what I said personal by an means, because I just got to know you guys. I said "a little bit," so I hope that I didn't hurt anyones feelings. This thing needs to be done-done. Here's my very simple Wikiversity and Wikia:Perl#Education perspective: Get it started. Get it out there. Get the "teaching for the sake of teaching" and the "learning for the sake of learning" happening. Figure out the other stuff later. Find what works. The End. --Ermeyers 16:52, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Wikiversity:Main_Page – The Final Push[edit]

Can this be the place? --Ermeyers 15:12, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Hi Eric, the current proposal is at Wikiversity/Modified project proposal - that's where all live notices will go (as well as Wikibooks:Wikiversity). This page (Wikiversity) is basically an archive of the old proposal which was rejected by the board. As to the Wikiversity:Main Page suggestion - we've been developing a basic mock up at Wikiversity/Example, but, really, we're currently pushing for this to be set up in its own domain at wikiversity.org. Btw, I've replied to your comments on your Wikipedia talk page - apologies if that's not where you go most frequently. Cormaggio @ 15:54, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
Ok. Now I know.:) Thanks. --Ermeyers 16:11, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply