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User:JWSchmidt/Blog/16 May 2007

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JWSchmidt's Wikiversity blog
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---- start 2008 ----
31 December - Participatory Learning
19 December - Foundation Changes
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13 November - What is Wikiversity?
10 November - Expert editors (part II)
14 October 2007 - Vandal Wiki
20 September - Collaborative video interface
4 September - Open Source Crusade
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4 August - Collaborative videos
20 July - Options for video-in-wiki
1 July - Networking Web 2.0 Websites
7 June 2007 - GFDL violations
27 May - Wikiversity namespace
22 May 2007 - Wikiversity tagline
20 May - The newbie game
16 May - Tangled Hierarchies
12 May - Navigation boxes
11 May 2007 - Forced editing
9 May - Wikipedia Learning
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25 Mar - Reliable Sources
17 Mar - Version flagging
11 Mar - Research policy discussion
10 Mar 2007 - Credentials
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28 Feb - Delete or develop?
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25 Feb - Science and Protoscience
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19 Feb - Gratis versus Libre
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14 Feb - Scope of Research
13 Feb 2007 - Review Board
12 Feb - Rounded corners
11 Feb - Open vs free content
10 Feb - Research guidelines
9 Feb - Learning resource diversity
8 February - Wikiversity referees.
7 February 2007 - Wikio.
5 February - Research policy.
2 February - Portal cleanup done.
31 January - Reliable sources.
29 January - Learning projects and materials.
27 January - Recording voice chat.
25 January - Animated GIF files with GIMP.
23 January - User page cleanup.
21 January 2007 - List of portals.
20 January - 2 more portals. "Courses"
19 Jan, - Portals and templates.
18 January site statistics - 20,000 pages.
18 January - Creating and organizing portals.
17 January - Categories of Wikiversity schools.
16 Jan. - Featured content development projects.
15 January - Wikiversity status at 5 months.
14 January - The "Topic:" namespace
13 January - Featured content
13 January - Wikiversity Bugs
12 January 2007 - Start of the blog
---- start 2007 ----
24 October, 2006 - Wikiversity history
26 April, 2005 - Wiki reality games
17 March, 2004 - Semantic prosthetic
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At Wikipedia there are no discussions by Wikipedians in the main namespace. In contrast, at Wikiversity there are learning projects with discussions by participants.

Discussions as learning resourcesEdit

How can such main namespace discussions be efficiently managed as learning resources?

Threaded discussionsEdit

One goal for Wikiversity is to develop a system for real threaded discussions (see Liquid Threads). Until threaded discussions are added to the MediaWiki software, what alternatives exist for organizing discussions by participants in learning projects?

Collapsible discussion boxesEdit

One extended discussion starts at Science teaching materials for creationism and continues on to Science and the nonphysical. I've started experimenting with ways to organize such a discussion thread within the main namespace. I'm using "discussion boxes" generated by templates such as those used at Science and the nonphysical. These discussion boxes have both expand/collapse buttons and "view discuss edit" (v d e) buttons. Unfortunately, the code in Template:Tnavbar2 that generates the handy v d e buttons only works for templates in the "Template:" namespace. In order to archive old page sections for main namespace discussions, I made Template:Tnavbar3. This new template was made by removing "template" from calls such as:

[[Template talk:{{{1}}}....

which force Template:Tnavbar2 v d e buttons to link to the "Template:" namespace. I also made Template:Discussion subpage which is used as shown at Science and the nonphysical/Does science arise from evidence or belief.

{{Discussion subpage
| name  = name of the subpage (original discussion page name & '''subpage name''')
| title = something descriptive and the dates of the discussion
| titlestyle = text-align:center;
| bodystyle = text-align:left;
| body  = the text of the discussion
}}
<noinclude>
[[Category:original discussion page name & discussion boxes]]
</noinclude>

For the subpage name, I have been using the section titles from the original discussion. In order to include the subpage back into the original page, use {{/subpage name}}.

Boxing botEdit

I wonder how hard it would be to make a bot that could automatically archive discussion page sections to discussion boxes id a section of a discussion page has not been edited for the past month. Maybe a modified ArchiveBot. I think for full usefulness, discussion page sections "boxed" in this way should have a summary paragraph outside the box.

Tangled hierarchyEdit

An interesting thing happened in the Science and the nonphysical discussion. The discussion started with the concept of the "nonphysical" as viewed by creationists and scientists. The divergence in these two views illustrates the wide gulf between creationists and scientists. Eventually the discussion turned to the problem of how to provide "useful" learning resources within Wikiversity that might help people explore and better understand science and religion.

Wikiversity has a fundamental problem with Tangled hierarchies. I previously discussed some of the namespace issues we face here at Wikiversity: for example, if we have a help page that is a tutorial about how to participate at Wikiversity should that page be in the "Help:", "Wikiversity:" or main namespace? What happens when a learning project is a content development project at the same time? I guess Wikiversity the Movie should just be equal parts inspiration and tutorial about how Wikiversity functions as a tool for learning. If we can be perfectly clear about how learning projects and content development projects fit into Wikiversity we will have gone a long way towards explaining Wikiversity.

Related topicEdit

The collapsing boxes can be used for quiz questions. I need to take some time to explore the quiz extension. I think there may need to be a tutorial or learning project to help people figure out the quiz extension.