Project boxes are attractive and very useful little boxes which you can add to any resource page on Wikiversity using a quick and easy template. There are loads of project boxes, and you can make more. This page shows you how.
This not only looks great and feels like fun, but it also categorises the page under history, science, non-formal education, secondary education and completed resources. These categories are doubly important, because they are used in turn by Wikiversity's major portals and navigation systems. In other words, the resource which contains the boxes becomes much more easily findable via a number of different navigation paths.
Q: I'm not sure which of these templates to use for my resource. My resource fits into more than one.
A: Never feel you can only choose one box from any particular category. You can insert as many as you feel are relevant to your resource. They don't conflict with each other. In fact, it's very normal for an educational resource to be relevant to two discplines or across two or more levels of education, for example.
Q: Where should I put this on my page?
A: Probably either at the very top or the very bottom. It's really a question of your own taste. User boxes have traditionally been placed at the top of user pages, so if you can't decide, put your project boxes at the top as well.
Q: How many should I use?
A: The more, the merrier. In general, please try to choose at least one from each category of box to ensure that your resource is fully classified.
Q: Do I have to use these?
A: No. You are free to ignore them. However, by using project boxes you will help organise and categorise Wikiversity, making it more user-friendly, and you will also help compile correct metadata records for sharing data with other educational sites and promoting the work of Wikiversity elsewhere on the web.
The project boxes project is a Wikiversity metadata tagging system. The projects boxes project has two fundamental premises:
Nobody likes metadata and nobody ever voluntarily tags a resource with proper metadata or classifies it.
Userboxes are addictive.
The (almost) logical outcome of these two premises is that metadata/classification must be hidden behind a system similar to that of Wikipedia's userboxes if it is to have any chance of widespread adoption. Project boxes are just like user boxes, but applied to educational resources, and have multi-dimensional classification systems hidden in them.
Project boxes stack automatically on the right. They do not need an enclosing box (unlike userboxes).
Metadata / classification
Project boxes have a hidden metadata function - i.e. they silently categorise resources into categories which are used automatically by navigation systems in the main page, major portals and Wikiversity browse pages (and perhaps elsewhere). In the future, the metadata structures created by the use of project boxes will allow metadata extraction by Mediawiki extensions for sharing and cataloguing of resources with other Open Educational Resource sites (outreach, external cooperation).
Project boxes only classify the pages they are in when these pages are in the main namespace or in the Topic namespace. This is because project boxes are for classifying real educational content! A parser function ensures that if a project box is used in another namespace (e.g. for the purpose of helping or discussing project boxes), no categorisation occurs.
The original concept includes the idea that project boxes should always link back to a help page about the type of project box involved. If project, boxes, are to catch on, information about them should be easily accessible.
Some project boxes link to related portals (e.g. educational level, subject).
A suggestion has been made that the project boxes should link to the categories they create (in cases where there is no equivalent portal, such as completion status).
Project boxes generally have a formal name (systematic naming convention for admins) and a shortcut (user-friendly and memorable).