Wikimedia Research Network/Meetings/2005-11-06/Log

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[20:02:14] <JamesF> Should we wait a bit, or get cracking immediately?
[20:02:17] <cormaggio> hi WiseWoman - wanna put Wikiversity on the agenda?
[20:02:29] <cormaggio> hi James
[20:02:33] <WiseWoman> cormaggio - sure! I am not sure how we proceed from the vote.
[20:02:42] <WiseWoman> Maybe we need to wait 5 minutes or so?
[20:02:48] <JamesF> Sure.
[20:02:48] <_sj_> greetings
[20:02:56] <cormaggio> well, it's still very mujch in process..
[20:03:08] <cormaggio> Wikiversity, that is
[20:03:46] <_sj_> wikiversity: edit your mind!
[20:03:57] <WiseWoman> The vote was to end Nov. 1!
[20:04:06] <JamesF> It ended.
[20:04:10] <JamesF> Didn't it?
[20:04:16] <cormaggio> yep
[20:04:37] <JamesF> 203 to 80-odd, so it definitely passed the 2:1 ratio 'requirement'.
[20:04:42] <JamesF> So now it's up to the Board
[20:04:52] <JamesF> Do you feel that it would be helpful to explore it here, too?
[20:05:00] <cormaggio> comments are still welcome on the vote pages
[20:05:11] <WiseWoman> I see - when does the board meet?
[20:05:22] <JamesF> Next weekend.
[20:05:53] <JamesF> I understand that it's on the agenda; I assume that they may make a decision on this... Angela?
[20:06:04] <cormaggio> JamesF, I think there are many studies that could be done on Wikiversity..
[20:06:04] <WiseWoman> I do feel that it might be useful to discuss what exactly the Wikiversity is supposed to be.
[20:06:12] <cormaggio> what people need/want
[20:06:26] <cormaggio> how many people we have that would have expertise/experience..
[20:06:32] <_sj_> has anyone worked on wikiversity main-page or policy content aside from what's on wikibooks?
[20:06:45] <WiseWoman> Right, I see from many of the comments on the voting that people are unsure what it is supposed to be!
[20:06:47] <JamesF> OK, onto the agenda it goes.
[20:07:03] <JamesF> Agenda, as far as I've got it:
[20:07:03] <Angela> The meeting is next week.
[20:07:06] <JamesF> 1) Where are we generally
[20:07:09] <cormaggio> sj, yes, i have
[20:07:09] <JamesF> 2) Specific topics
[20:07:12] <JamesF> 2a) SUL
[20:07:15] <JamesF> 2b) survey
[20:07:17] <Angela> But we're still open to comments. The vote alone is not the only decider.
[20:07:18] <JamesF> 2c) Wikiversity
[20:07:21] <JamesF> others?
[20:07:24] <JamesF> 3) Other business
[20:07:31] <WiseWoman> Sounds like enough for a start!
[20:07:32] <JamesF> Anything else I should add?
[20:08:07] <PatrickD> Have to tell someting about the WIki Research Bibliography if you like
[20:08:24] <WiseWoman> Sure, put that on 2d) or so!
[20:08:57] <cormaggio> interfacing with other wikis? like meatball, wikicities communities etc..?
[20:09:17] <cormaggio> just a random idea
[20:09:21] <JamesF> Possibly.
[20:09:42] <JamesF> OK, well, it's coming up to ten minutes passed eight...
[20:10:03] <WiseWoman> That's plenty of "waiting time".
[20:10:08] <cormaggio> i was thinking about this for possible software collaborations for wikiversity
[20:10:44] <JamesF> OK, first item on the agenda: Where are we generally.
[20:11:11] <WiseWoman> Lost in a twisty maze....
[20:11:13] <JamesF> I'm James Forrester, I'm the new CRO, and I have relatively little idea about everything that's going on right now, so...
[20:12:13] <JamesF> The topics that I am mainly aware of are those listed in the agenda - namely, the user survey, Single User Login, and so on.
[20:12:14] <cormaggio> I'm Cormaggio / Cormac lawler, finished my dissertation on Wikipedia as a learning community, and beginning a PhD, possibly on Wikiversity
[20:12:17] <WiseWoman> Maybe we should have a short round of introductions?
[20:12:24] <JamesF> That sounds sensible.
[20:12:27] <JamesF> Fire away.
[20:12:45] <soufron> hop
[20:12:45] <soufron> hello
[20:12:45] <soufron> sorry
[20:12:51] <WiseWoman> My real name is Debora Weber-Wulff, I am professor for Media and Computing at the FHTW Berlin. I do a lot of research in E-Learning.
[20:13:17] <soufron> hello
[20:13:17] <cormaggio> interesting
[20:13:29] <WiseWoman> I had one student do a Wiki-Thesis, I have a few more in the pipeline and some that are in early stages of planning.
[20:13:59] <WiseWoman> I helped found the Virtuelle Fachhochschule in Germany and am still teaching there as an adjunct, although I have moved on to another school.
[20:14:00] <JamesF> Heya Brion.
[20:14:13] <brion> hi, beep me if i'm needed, i'm in the middle of poking servers
[20:14:16] <WiseWoman> Rdsmith4, now now, don't be like that!
[20:14:16] <cormaggio> WiseWoman: was that a thesis written wiki-style?
[20:14:18] <Nikerabbit> I'm Niklas Laxström, first year language technology student from Finland, too young to drink beer :o
[20:14:20] <JamesF> Brion> Will do.
[20:14:44] <WiseWoman> cormagio, it was a thesis developing Software that is Wikibased: it is called WikiDossier.
[20:15:07] <cormaggio> i'll look it up, thanks
[20:15:11] <WiseWoman> The student was a Finnish exchange student who was working on automatically producing a dossier on a specific topic. It worked amazingly well!
[20:15:34] * JamesF nods.
[20:15:58] <JamesF> OK, is that introductions done?
[20:16:10] <Angela> I'm :)
[20:16:14] <WiseWoman> I had at one time volunteered to collect information on work done on or about Wikis, but I have long lost my bearings on who is doing what.
[20:16:18] <odile> hello, I'm a developer
[20:16:35] <odile> I work on GNU Edu, a repository for educational resources
[20:16:43] <WiseWoman> Who is soufron and not|here?
[20:16:45] <soufron> my name is Jean-Baptiste Soufron, I am a lawyer and a PhD candidate at the CNRS and the university of Paris 2. I am involved in several publicly funded research projects in France and in Europe. I am also the legal officer of the foundation. 
[20:17:05] <PatrickD> I'm Patrick Danowski librarian tranie and member of the board of the german chapter where i care about science contacts
[20:17:28] <cormaggio> not|here is User:Here
[20:17:38] <JamesF> ... except that he's seemingly not here.
[20:17:46] <JamesF> Erik Zachte sends his regrets.
[20:17:56] <cormaggio> ahh
[20:18:04] <JamesF> As does K1v1n
[20:18:26] <cormaggio> hmm - my user survey comrades
[20:18:38] <WiseWoman> cormaggio, what user survey?
[20:18:51] <cormaggio> General User Survey on Meta
[20:19:40] <WiseWoman> Do you have a link on that?
[20:19:42] <JamesF> What state is that in?
[20:20:01] <cormaggio>
[20:20:09] <cormaggio> pretty much inactive for now
[20:20:29] <cormaggio> requiring a PERL script to get it going
[20:20:45] <cormaggio> needing translation
[20:20:55] <cormaggio> possibly a pilot study also
[20:21:10] <WiseWoman> Are you planning a pilot study?
[20:21:26] <WiseWoman> Otherwise I will put this up as a possible thesis project.
[20:21:43] <cormaggio> well, nothing's been decided on its actual administration yet
[20:22:04] <JamesF> Has an progress been made on that since last meeting?
[20:22:04] <cormaggio> Erik Zachte's your man to talk to maybe..
[20:22:15] <JamesF> Right, I will bug him about it.
[20:22:17] <cormaggio> none, so far as i can see
[20:22:22] <WiseWoman> Okay, but if it has not been started, an initial user survey as a pilot would be a starting point, and maybe a usability study on syntax issues.
[20:22:41] <cormaggio> yes, that would be good
[20:22:47] <JamesF> Yes.
[20:23:13] <JamesF> Cormac> Is there anything more you want to say about it?
[20:23:14] <cormaggio> i can't say much more on it for now
[20:23:27] <cormaggio> :-)
[20:23:47] <JamesF> OK, that's fine.
[20:23:50] <cormaggio> there's also a Privacy policy being drafted
[20:24:09] <JamesF> You mean the Foundation's privacy policy?
[20:24:15] <JamesF> Or the survey's?
[20:24:16] <cormaggio> but it hasn't had much editing for a while
[20:24:35] <cormaggio> no, I think it was to do with the WRN
[20:24:44] <cormaggio> Wikimedia Research Network
[20:24:54] <JamesF> Oh, yes.
[20:24:58] * JamesF remembers now.
[20:25:10] <JamesF> That was for all WRN-based interactive stuff such as surveys.
[20:25:13] <JamesF> Yes?
[20:25:41] <cormaggio>
[20:25:46] <cormaggio> yes, i think so
[20:25:56] <JamesF> Right.
[20:26:30] <WiseWoman> Okay, I've posted both a usability analysis and a pilot user survey as thesis projects. I'll include a link to the privacy policy.
[20:26:40] <Rdsmith4> that sounds rather like the APA research guidelines :-)
[20:26:53] <cormaggio> There's also the questionnaire itself:
[20:27:07] * JamesF nods.
[20:27:14] <cormaggio> well, you're free to improve it ;-)
[20:28:09] <JamesF> OK, well, we skipped SUL, but then I'm not sure if anyone here except Brion would want to talk much about that, and Brion seemed tied-up...
[20:28:10] <WiseWoman> That would be the thesis project: evaluate the current condition, develop a multi-language version of (perhaps an adaption), set it up, administer it, collect and analyse the results.
[20:28:31] <WiseWoman> Well, whenever Brion comes up for air I'd love to talk about it.
[20:28:32] <JamesF> WiseWoman> Could be very interesting, yes.
[20:28:37] <JamesF> Ah, OK.
[20:28:44] <_sj_> I'm, I did some work with online learning a few years back
[20:28:46] <WiseWoman> So maybe we can postpone this a bit.
[20:28:49] <JamesF> Sure.
[20:28:53] <_sj_> and wouldn't mind a chat about sul :)
[20:29:00] <cormaggio> WiseWoman> that would be great
[20:29:09] <_sj_> I just updated the 'specs' page on meta this afternoon.
[20:29:10] <JamesF> SJ> Should we wait for 30 mins or so?
[20:29:11] <cormaggio> Erik Zachte's quite busy these days
[20:29:26] <_sj_> sure, or put it off if necessary; just noting my interest.
[20:30:05] <soufron5> back
[20:30:11] <soufron5> sorry
[20:30:19] <soufron5> and I have a website and a blog at
[20:30:26] <_sj_> as for a user survey: this would be excellent
[20:30:36] <JamesF> Well, the main thing about SUL is that discussions seem endless and repetitious.
[20:30:38] <_sj_> especially if it's done in a way that lets researchers ask for their questions to be included
[20:30:46] <soufron5> user survey ? 
[20:30:46] <_sj_> (external researchers)
[20:31:02] <JamesF> So we might want to have a specific meeting and then make a recommendation to the Board or something.
[20:31:17] <cormaggio> soufron>
[20:31:24] <JamesF> Because essentially it's got to the point where someone has to make a decision as to which route is taken.
[20:31:48] <WiseWoman> JamesF, at some research meeting long ago there was a rather sensible migration path proposed for how to do this.
[20:31:53] <JamesF> Yes.
[20:31:59] * JamesF was part of that.
[20:32:04] <WiseWoman> I'm afraid that people are just afraid to start, in case it doesn't work.
[20:32:08] <JamesF> Sadly, when we proposed it to others, they baulked rather.
[20:32:23] <JamesF> Perhaps we could just tell them to "like it or lump it".
[20:32:30] <WiseWoman> JamesF, what was the main problem?
[20:32:50] <WiseWoman> Because the problem is getting worse daily.
[20:32:51] <_sj_> james: that wouldn't be terribly nice
[20:33:00] <JamesF> People don't want to have the possibility of losing their username.
[20:33:14] <JamesF> For most of them, it's fine if it happens to other people.
[20:33:18] <soufron5> on the survey, I have to things to say
[20:33:27] <soufron5> 1. it must not be exactly anonymous
[20:33:35] <JamesF> What do you mean?
[20:33:36] <soufron5> 2. it must protect privacy and respect privacy laws
[20:33:43] <Rdsmith4> seems to me that it's impossible to avoid some loss of username if unified login is to be implemented
[20:33:43] <_sj_> WiseWoman: to avoid making the problem worse, we should start by preventing new conflicts
[20:33:52] <_sj_> that wouldn't be controversial.
[20:34:00] <soufron5> JamesF, me ? 
[20:34:17] <JamesF> Yes, sorry.
[20:34:29] <WiseWoman> SJ, that is a good idea - not let someone start a new name that is used in one of the Wiki-Projects.
[20:34:29] <_sj_> the update I made to the specification page was largely to start with the uncontroversial points, and to evaluate statistics early
[20:34:35] <_sj_> to find out how serious merging and other conflicts might be.
[20:34:35] <WiseWoman> Is there a central database of names to start off with?
[20:34:37] <JamesF> sj> I agree.
[20:34:40] <JamesF> WiseWoman> Not yet.
[20:35:15] <cormaggio> soufron> we're also drafting a privacy policy:
[20:35:33] <WiseWoman> Is there some sort of ballpark number on the number of possible user name conflicts?
[20:35:47] <soufron5> cormaggio, a privacy policy for what ? 
[20:35:53] <soufron5> cormaggio, for wiki research ? 
[20:36:06] <cormaggio> for research done by the WRN
[20:36:11] <JamesF> WiseWoman> No, that's something we probably need before moving on.
[20:36:22] <_sj_>
[20:36:31] <soufron5> ok
[20:36:31] <soufron5> JamesF, my point is that anonymous survey have no scientific value since you can't test the data 
[20:37:05] <soufron5> cormaggio, it would need to be improved on the legal part, I can do that if you want
[20:37:09] <WiseWoman> JamesF, that could be a first step - just create a unified name database as a start and check the number of overlapping names.
[20:37:12] <cormaggio> i think the idea is that there is demographic data which will be eventually treated confidentially
[20:37:15] <JamesF> WiseWoman> Yes, I agree.
[20:37:28] <JamesF> soufron> Oh, right, yes, I see what you mean.
[20:37:31] <WiseWoman> soufron5> *no* scientific value? I beg to differ.
[20:37:42] <cormaggio> soufron just left
[20:37:54] * soufron5 is now known as soufron
[20:37:56] <WiseWoman> No, that was a zombie.
[20:38:11] <soufron> it's ok now, I suffer from lag :)
[20:38:33] <soufron> well 
[20:38:33] <soufron> when you do a survey
[20:38:33] <soufron> you need to test your data
[20:38:42] <soufron> not to be sure they are of good quality
[20:38:47] <soufron> but to know the level of trash you have in it
[20:39:09] <cormaggio> how do figure that out "trash"?
[20:39:12] <soufron> to understand if you can rely on them to draw various hypothesis or not
[20:39:16] <WiseWoman> soufron, you can still have some scientific value extracted from lousy data. I am questioning the "no".
[20:39:16] <soufron> very simply
[20:39:16] <soufron> you check
[20:39:21] <soufron> but more importantly
[20:39:32] <soufron> you must give a way for other people to check for it
[20:40:07] <soufron> WiseWoman, anonymous data can, but it's impossible to test an anonymous survey 
[20:40:15] <JamesF> OK, well, perhaps this is best reserved for in-depth discussion?
[20:40:25] <JamesF> Rather than an over-view?
[20:40:58] <JamesF> But yes, it's something to consider.
[20:41:07] <JamesF> Should we move on to Wikiversity?
[20:41:09] <WiseWoman> JamesF, sure, I tend to get seriously off track discussing fine points :-)
[20:41:14] * JamesF grins. No problem.
[20:41:26] <cormaggio> sure
[20:41:30] <soufron> no pb
[20:41:38] <JamesF> Anything you wanted to specifically discuss about it?
[20:41:45] <WiseWoman> Yes. There was a vote, it squeaked by 2:1 just barely.
[20:41:56] <WiseWoman> I am concerned by the number of people who equate Wikibooks with a Wikiversity.
[20:42:12] <WiseWoman> There seems to be a widespread opinion that books=knowledge=learning.
[20:42:19] <cormaggio> i'm more interested in what everyone thinks we can do with it, or what we need to do in order to set it up usefully
[20:42:22] <JamesF> Yes, I saw that.
[20:42:42] <soufron> also, it's important to know that there are other projects that looks like wikiversity and that some of them are already funded
[20:42:46] <JamesF> Cormac> Is the proposal to use wikis directly for discussion? Or other tools?
[20:42:53] <soufron> like
[20:42:57] <Angela> if the project were to launch, do you think the proposal needs to be modified before that happens?
[20:42:57] <WiseWoman> I, of course, have my own special view on it: I see it as a repository for e-learning material that is open source or GPL.
[20:43:24] <cormaggio> JamesF> well, that's one idea, sure but nothing is set in stone
[20:43:34] <JamesF> Right.
[20:43:34] <cormaggio> different courses have different methods
[20:43:42] <WiseWoman> Many of the proposed (and funded!) repositories only have a very, very few items stored. And the few that are in are not findable.
[20:43:45] <JamesF> WiseWoman> Learning material or learning courses?
[20:43:45] <cormaggio> some are just sketches so far
[20:44:21] <WiseWoman> JamesF - both.
[20:44:28] <soufron> WiseWoman, but for example this project is not only a repository, it's more something like a sourceforge for researchers and teachers
[20:44:31] <Angela> one thing that didn't seem clear so far was whether it was meant to be a resource for schools, or be a school itself. 
[20:44:37] <JamesF> Because aren't (well-written) textbooks "learning material", sufficiently didactic?
[20:44:38] <WiseWoman> It does not have to be entire courseware bits.
[20:44:39] <soufron> Angela, yes
[20:44:50] <cormaggio> Angela> I'm not sure if software will be a problem to add in the future - otherwise it could go live and just grow from there..
[20:44:53] <soufron> what could be a good first step ? 
[20:44:55] <Rdsmith4> Angela, I was also confused on that point
[20:44:58] <soufron> let's be pragmatic 
[20:44:58] <WiseWoman> soufron, you mean the once-cs? I don't know that, I just opened it up.
[20:45:00] <JamesF> Angela> I think the latter, but perhaps not...
[20:45:03] <Angela> I still think the name Wikiversity is highly misleading unless we're intending it to *be* a university.
[20:45:26] <WiseWoman> JamesF, no. Textbooks are not learning material per se.
[20:45:44] <cormaggio> I think it could be both a repository of materials but also an e-learning space
[20:45:57] <WiseWoman> The so-called didactic triangle includes learners, material and methodology.
[20:46:24] <WiseWoman> cormaggio, the hard part of being an e-learning space is: where do the teachers/moderators come from?
[20:46:46] <WiseWoman> We've set up the Virtuelle Fachhochschule in Germany to be a degree-granting instituion.
[20:46:51] <cormaggio> WiseWoman> yes, i agree, it's time consuming for one
[20:47:06] <WiseWoman> We actually have our very first bachelor graduates.
[20:47:13] <cormaggio> hmm, degrees, i think that's out of our league
[20:47:45] <WiseWoman> I see the Wikiversity in a *first step* as being a repository, a place to find stuff, a place to put stuff, a place to have meta data / classifications for finding stuff.
[20:47:50] <soufron> ...
[20:47:51] <cormaggio> personally, i was thinking of developing courses which could interface with other Wikimedia projects, Wikipedia, Wikibooks..
[20:48:03] <soufron> we should keep up with what we're good at : wiki
[20:48:03] <_sj_> I think Wikiversity should clearly aspire to be a university.
[20:48:06] <_sj_> it won't be at first,
[20:48:10] <JamesF> cormac> That's more as I saw it, yes.
[20:48:12] <soufron> we have more experience on wikis than anybody
[20:48:12] <_sj_> and it surely won't be accredited for a long time
[20:48:12] <WiseWoman> Then teachers at degree-granting institutions can USE this material towards courses.
[20:48:13] <JamesF> SJ> Indeed.
[20:48:19] <_sj_> but there are many people who already try to teach courses online,
[20:48:29] <_sj_> and they should have an organized place to do so
[20:48:34] <_sj_> without having to set up their own private project.
[20:48:36] <cormaggio> things like writing code for media wiki, becoming media literate, researching skills..
[20:48:36] <WiseWoman> I consider it impossible to gain accreditation for the Wikiversity. I feel it would be a waste of time and effort to do so.
[20:48:46] <soufron> WiseWoman, me too
[20:48:56] <WiseWoman> SJ - inside of an institution or outside?
[20:48:56] <soufron> WiseWoman, but we could act as experts on wiki for other projects
[20:48:57] <_sj_> I wonder what you mean by 'impossible' ?
[20:49:04] <_sj_> there are accredited correspondence courses.
[20:49:12] <soufron> WiseWoman, and help them
[20:49:12] <Rdsmith4> indeed, accreditation is a lofty goal
[20:49:16] <_sj_> these could clearly be provided via a wiki, as well as via any other method
[20:49:23] <soufron> WiseWoman, like these once-cs people
[20:49:45] <WiseWoman> I have been through accreditation with f2f program and an online program. It is an excrutiating painful process.
[20:49:49] <_sj_> a related question is, accreditation by *whom*, and of what kind?
[20:49:49] <JamesF> And Wikiversity would drive demand and quality control into Wikibooks and so on.
[20:50:02] <cormaggio> i think we shouldn't get bogged down at the moment on the accreditation issue - I think what's more important is that we give practical service to its users
[20:50:10] <Angela> I'd rather we start off with something more attainable, like being a resource for existing courses, and see what happens in a few years and whether we can move towards developing our own.
[20:50:15] <JamesF> SJ> UN. Obviously. Once we get taken over by them. ;-)
[20:50:20] <soufron> cormaggio, definitely
[20:50:20] <WiseWoman> JamesF, of course, material from Wikibooks would be useful in many courses.
[20:50:24] <soufron> before trying something complicated
[20:50:25] * JamesF nods.
[20:50:28] <soufron> we should do something simple
[20:50:36] <_sj_> angela: well, I agree with you about the name.
[20:50:41] <WiseWoman> But the didactics, the setting of a learning environment, will entail more than just the material.
[20:50:44] <_sj_> it implies something more specific than a resource for existing courses
[20:50:50] <JamesF> Angela> But that, as it stands, sounds a great deal like a specialised section of Wikibooks rather than a fully-fledged project.
[20:50:59] <_sj_> that sounds like a slightly different project to me, than what many of the voters were getting excited about
[20:51:04] <_sj_> JamesF: agreed
[20:51:26] <_sj_> WiseWoman: this is true.
[20:51:37] <WiseWoman> JamesF, I envision people reporting on the use of the material and contributing their own versions of what was used.
[20:51:41] <_sj_> didactics require organization and feedback
[20:51:44] <cormaggio> Angela> the only thing is that there seems to be a lot of motivation to get Wikiversity going but not much in contributing to it on Wikibooks
[20:51:46] <Angela> JamesF: no, it would just mean aiming at teachers more than learners to start with. Have them working together in this shared area developing stuff, but as part of their current institutions, not as a new one.
[20:51:53] <JamesF> Right.
[20:52:05] <soufron> Angela, but teachers already have their own projects
[20:52:07] <WiseWoman> For example, I teach programming using material that was originally developed at MIT. Great stuff, but there are some bits missing, for example an American glossary to explain all the American terms.
[20:52:14] <soufron> Angela, why would they collaborate with us ? 
[20:52:24] <JamesF> Angela> Interesting.
[20:52:24] <_sj_> angela: this would also be useful.  teachers regularly ask me how they might set up a wiki to use for a class
[20:52:28] <WiseWoman> And I adapt the exercises to my time slots: I have 4 hour labs, not 3 hour labs.
[20:52:37] <_sj_> I imagine they would be glad of a commmunity used to dealing with such classes, to offer them a little wiki-gardening help
[20:52:43] <Angela> Because it gives them an opportunity to share their work, in the same way collaborating on a wikibook does.
[20:52:54] <WiseWoman> Many teachers are actually happy to share, if they can use other people's stuff too. BUt they have to be able to FIND it!
[20:53:19] <Angela> People could just go off and write their own encyclopedia articles, but there's more benefit to them adding that to Wikipedia.
[20:53:27] <WiseWoman> SJ, there is a wiki included in the Moodle collaboration system, but it is pretty bad and is being replaced in the next release.
[20:53:32] <_sj_> (as long as it was on a project they could respectably describe to their peers and department chairs)
[20:53:46] <_sj_> wisewoman: and there is a really bad one included with .LRN and OpenACS
[20:53:54] <_sj_> they would prefer to have a mediawiki plugin...
[20:54:12] <Angela> And then in a year or whatever, once they've developed these resources for their own schools, we could start using it directly, and have our own learners using it by themselves.
[20:54:15] <WiseWoman> SJ, there a difference between using a wiki to communicate/collaborate and a Wiki-based repository for materials.
[20:54:34] <JamesF> Angela> That sounds very much more achievable.
[20:54:37] <_sj_> (and once we've developed similar resources)
[20:54:57] <WiseWoman> I've been fussing around with some stuff over at the Wikiversität on and off: and follow Medieninformatik
[20:55:17] <WiseWoman> We even started developing a course in how to edit a Wiki :-)
[20:56:22] <_sj_> Angela: is a gradual multi-year plan is in conflict with a grand vision for the project as a whole?
[20:56:27] <_sj_> s/is in/in
[20:56:54] <JamesF> SJ> Which "project as a whole"?
[20:57:04] <JamesF> SJ> Wikimedia?
[20:57:05] <WiseWoman> Angela, I think a multi-year plan would be a great help in structuring what we want to do.
[20:57:10] <_sj_> it seems easier to me to get new contributors excited about large, simple, less achievable goals
[20:57:13] <Angela> _sj_: I don't think so. Do you?
[20:57:15] <_sj_> JamesF: wikiversity
[20:57:20] <WiseWoman> Just having the grand vision will tend to foster chaos, I am afraid.
[20:57:35] <_sj_> WiseWoman: both is certainly preferable :)
[20:57:41] <WiseWoman> A university is not as clearly defined as an encyclopedia (is an encyclopedia clearly defined?)
[20:57:43] <_sj_> the question is whether to do away with the vision entirely...
[20:57:48] <Angela> I think it'll make us a look a joke in the press if we claim to be a university right now.
[20:57:52] <_sj_> angela: right
[20:58:18] <WiseWoman> Angela, well, it's not a Wiki University. It's a Wikiversity.
[20:58:29] <cormaggio> a timeline would be good - that's why I was thinking about the research network as doing some feasability studies to actually getting Wikiversity started (if it doesn't get going sooner)
[20:58:29] <Angela> I don't think you need to do away with the vision - just be realistic about the time frame.
[20:58:34] <Angela> no one's going to graduate next year :)
[20:58:39] <JamesF> But why called that at all?
[20:58:50] <JamesF> Angela> Indeed.
[20:59:31] <Angela> cormaggio: a feasability study sounds a good idea. How long do you think it would need to take?
[20:59:33] <WiseWoman> We had proposed to the German government to fund a Wikiversität project to collect up all the e-learning stuff sitting in drawers across the nation and catalogue that properly.
[20:59:33] <soufron> so
[20:59:37] <soufron> what is the goal of wikiversity ? 
[20:59:42] <WiseWoman> Unfortunately, we didn't get the funding.
[20:59:45] <soufron> what does it do exactly ? 
[20:59:50] <cormaggio> a year, perhaps?
[20:59:51] <soufron> I mean what will be working in the next 6 months ? 
[21:00:14] <_sj_> soufron: a repository for course materials; public discussion pages for online learning...
[21:00:17] <WiseWoman> We wanted to start a simple structure, get people to license and publish materials and to discuss their use of other's materials and to catalogue materials.
[21:00:28] <_sj_> perhaps even organization of home-schooling curricula?
[21:00:50] <WiseWoman> soufron, well, it starts working the moment it starts - just like a Wikipedia. If you are looking for material on a topic already included, you win!
[21:00:52] <JamesF> WiseWoman> Yes.
[21:00:55] <_sj_> aaronsw could comment on how well that material is organized online
[21:00:57] <soufron> but what will be the difference with other course material repositories ? 
[21:01:06] <soufron> WiseWoman, :)
[21:01:30] <odile> WiseWoman: why don't you join GNU Edu developement team?
[21:01:30] <cormaggio> soufron> we're offering free content materials for a start
[21:01:30] <soufron> I mean couldn't we get a precise project for the next 6 months ? 
[21:01:43] <soufron> something pragmatic and realistic
[21:01:43] <cormaggio> multilingual, of course
[21:01:43] <soufron> cormaggio, ok
[21:01:57] <soufron> cormaggio, so free content materials in a multilingual fashion
[21:02:04] <soufron> cormaggio, but that's very close from wikibooks
[21:02:06] <soufron> right ? 
[21:02:09] <odile> WiseWoman: it is what you want, and more... because it does not deal only with German stuff
[21:02:14] <WiseWoman> odile, in my free time, Sundays between 2 and 4 am?
[21:02:16] <cormaggio> yes, but I think it could and should be a lot more
[21:02:27] <odile> WiseWoman: like me
[21:02:48] <WiseWoman> soufron, no, not just books! Just a moment, I think I have an example. I have to dig for the URL.
[21:02:49] <JamesF> OK, OK.
[21:03:00] <JamesF> Shall we stop the discussion of Wikiversity there?
[21:03:07] <soufron> WiseWoman, ok so free content and not only free boks
[21:03:11] <cormaggio> wikiversity in my mind could be a community of learning communities, each focussed on specific tasks, probably feeding into Wikimedia projects
[21:03:13] <JamesF> I worry that this meeting could get swamped, and run on forever...
[21:03:34] <cormaggio> ok, sorry
[21:03:59] <cormaggio> but there's loads more to do - good ideas here for now at least
[21:04:00] <WiseWoman> JamesF, it will, don't worry ;-)
[21:04:15] <Angela> If anyone has ideas on this before the board meeting, please add them to meta.
[21:04:22] <JamesF> Yes.
[21:04:24] <cormaggio> ok
[21:04:25] <JamesF> Definitely.
[21:04:31] <WiseWoman> Where on Meta, Angela?
[21:04:34] <JamesF> Concise thoughts are especially welcome, no doubt. :-)
[21:04:38] <Angela> anywhere, but link them to
[21:04:38] <WiseWoman> I am always lost :-)
[21:05:27] <JamesF> OK, the last proper item on the agenda is Wiki Research Bibliography - PatrickD, you said you wanted to discuss this?
[21:05:41] <PatrickD> not discuss just present
[21:05:48] <JamesF> OK.
[21:05:52] <PatrickD> The german chapter has lunched a Wiki Research Bibliogrphy ists works with a wiki like tool called WIKINDX.
[21:06:10] <PatrickD> you can found it at
[21:06:25] <PatrickD> everyone can read. 
[21:06:38] <PatrickD> For writing rights you can contact me
[21:06:53] <cormaggio> what's the username and password required?
[21:07:07] <JamesF> Read-only?
[21:07:08] <PatrickD> go on read only access
[21:07:15] <PatrickD> one moment
[21:07:27] <PatrickD> I'm not so fast
[21:07:32] <WiseWoman> (Sorry to butt into PatrickD's presentation, I finally found the link for an example on what the Wikiversity could be on the topic of "Programming")
[21:07:42] <WiseWoman>
[21:08:18] <PatrickD> For writing right you have to be loged in because the revert funktion isn't so easy
[21:08:28] <PatrickD> like in a real wiki
[21:08:55] <PatrickD> if anyone liketo have wirting access you can get an pasowrt and acount by wrting me an email
[21:09:15] * JamesF nods.
[21:09:19] <PatrickD> he habe now 97 resources in english and german litest there
[21:09:30] <cormaggio> what is it for, though?
[21:10:09] <PatrickD> for stucktued literatur  mangement
[21:10:29] <PatrickD> you can export the results in bibtex or endnote format
[21:11:00] <_sj_> does it give you permanent links to a citation?
[21:11:00] <PatrickD> you can search for keywords, categories and so on
[21:11:10] <JamesF> So, like but more useful and practicable?
[21:11:29] <PatrickD> exactly that JamesF
[21:11:29] <cormaggio> ok, sounds really interesting - i was looking for something liek this
[21:11:37] <WiseWoman> PatrikD is collecting citations on everything that has to do with a Wiki - using one, about the Wikipedia, whatever. This will be useful for researchers who need some published prior art to quote at the start of their own paper :-)
[21:11:42] <_sj_> it's a pretty site.  stirling newberry will be glad to know of it
[21:11:51] <_sj_> is the idea to be a general citation database?
[21:11:54] <_sj_> or just one for wikis?
[21:12:19] <PatrickD> sj all scientific papers about wikis and wikipedia and so on
[21:12:39] <JamesF> PatrickD> The software behind it seems neat.
[21:12:45] <JamesF> PatrickD> Is it BSD/etc.?
[21:12:56] <PatrickD> but a smlall problem no documentation :-(
[21:13:04] <JamesF> We could use something like that on top of Wikidata, long term, perhaps.
[21:13:07] * JamesF grins.
[21:13:14] <JamesF> Documentation is never good enough.
[21:13:24] <JamesF> So having none is rarely as much of a pain as it appears.
[21:13:32] <JamesF> But that's very interesting.
[21:13:39] <JamesF> Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
[21:13:47] <PatrickD> look at
[21:13:53] <PatrickD> got more informations about the software
[21:14:20] <JamesF> Right.
[21:14:24] <PatrickD> I'm not so technical ;-)
[21:14:25] <_sj_> there's a somewhat related general idea at [[Wikicite]] of having a general citation index that one could link to from all WM projects.
[21:14:31] <_sj_> [[m:Wikicite]], that is
[21:14:52] <JamesF> Interesting.
[21:15:09] <JamesF> OK, so.
[21:15:17] <JamesF> Anything more people would like to discuss?
[21:15:18] <PatrickD> _sj_ this ist not for all literature in wikipedia is more about it and other wikis 
[21:15:20] <_sj_> (I know jakob has thought about that as well.)
[21:15:22] <_sj_> right
[21:15:31] <_sj_> patrick: it's cool :)
[21:15:33] <_sj_> the categories especially.
[21:15:53] <cormaggio> thanks, Patrick
[21:16:09] <PatrickD> we will creat an alias  http.// soon
[21:16:42] <_sj_> one last thought re: wikiversity -- would it be useful to have a chat with people from other big e-learning projects?  U. Phoenix online, MIT's OpenCourseware, related projects in Europe & India?
[21:16:59] <_sj_> (if some of them could be wrangled onto irc...)
[21:17:02] <cormaggio> i was thinking about that, yes, Sj
[21:17:15] <JamesF> SJ> Sounds sensible, yes.
[21:17:25] <cormaggio> as part of several feasability studies
[21:18:06] <cormaggio> i will be doing at least one for my current masters, and then hopefully extending it for the real thing in my PhD
[21:18:08] <WiseWoman> SJ - how do we identify the people? I don't think many are interested in cooperating, they want to work on their market shard.
[21:18:15] <_sj_> I think many academics, far from laughing at the idea, are privately wondering if such a project -- with a strong p2p (sic) learning component -- could work out.
[21:18:17] <WiseWoman> OpenCourseware is, btw, a joke.
[21:18:42] <JamesF> WiseWoman> It is?
[21:18:44] <WiseWoman> It is a page of links to homepages MIT teachers use. There is some good material buried there, but it is almost not possible to find.
[21:18:47] <WiseWoman> And it is NOT courseware.
[21:18:52] <_sj_> wisewoman, we can find out who is interested... 
[21:18:59] <WiseWoman> I mean, they are serious, but I find it a joke.
[21:19:27] <WiseWoman> Everyone goes on and on about all this free material, and it was free before - these are their webpages, collected in one catalogue. Whoopie.
[21:19:46] <JamesF> WiseWoman> There were free before?
[21:19:51] <_sj_> perhaps we'd have to start with *former* teacher at some of the commercial institutions :-)
[21:19:53] <WiseWoman> Yup!
[21:19:57] <_sj_> teachers*
[21:19:59] <cormaggio> I think advanced students should also be a target of ours - in that they will be motivated to get work done and not care about affiliations etc
[21:20:02] <JamesF> WiseWoman> For most universities it's not freely available, thuogh.
[21:20:04] <WiseWoman> This is a marketing gag!
[21:20:29] <WiseWoman> Actually, in the US there is quite a culture of sharing material.
[21:20:54] <JamesF> Oh.
[21:20:56] <PatrickD> sorry i have to leave ... hope to see you soon all
[21:20:56] <WiseWoman> This is not a prevalent in Europe (or rather Germany and Sweden, my two points of reference).
[21:20:57] * JamesF shrugs.
[21:21:00] <cormaggio> bye Patrick
[21:21:02] <JamesF> Or the UK, FWIW.
[21:21:06] <JamesF> Bye PatrickD.
[21:21:47] * PatrickD is now known as PatrickD|away
[21:21:47] <cormaggio> But what about the TEFL world?
[21:22:14] <cormaggio> this could benefit from sharing resources, and this is worldwide
[21:22:24] <WiseWoman> The TEFL people share a lot of material, too, as far as I can see.
[21:22:35] <WiseWoman> But it is just on the textual level.
[21:22:45] <WiseWoman> I mean also sharing software and animations and all sorts of stuff.
[21:22:51] <cormaggio> yes, I just mean we could further facilitate this process
[21:23:01] <WiseWoman> For example, I am currently having a student develop a der/die/das-Trainer as her thesis.
[21:23:27] <JamesF> OK, well, I think that's the entire agenda done.
[21:23:35] <WiseWoman> This will be useful for teachers of German the world over. We will put it in the Wikiversität when it is done.
[21:23:47] <WiseWoman> JamesF, no, there was "other stuff" :-)
[21:23:48] <JamesF> So, unless someone wants something more discussed, I'll close it here.
[21:24:03] <cormaggio> WiseWoman: sounds good
[21:24:04] <JamesF> WiseWoman> Yes, but that was more a question.
[21:24:08] <JamesF> And I just asked it. :-)
[21:24:23] <JamesF> We can keep discussion Wikiversity after the meeting closes.
[21:24:26] <odile> WiseWoman: please put it in GNU Edu, it is done already!
[21:24:52] <JamesF> Anyone not want the meeting closed?
[21:24:58] <odile> (i mean your der/die:das)
[21:25:22] <WiseWoman> odile, do you have a link for the GNU Edu?
[21:25:34] <odile>
[21:25:37] <JamesF> OK, closed. Thank you everyone for coming along.
[21:25:48] <JamesF> Next meeting in a fortnight or maybe three weeks.