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User:Leighblackall/Wikipedia in Education Symposium, University of Sydney


Why do Universities and the like readily engage in iTunesU and Youtube, but not the Wikimedia projects? If they did engage, how should they and what would be their relationship to the communities of volunteers? Are they a risk to the projects with their force of paid editor advantage, conflicting interests and establishment culture? I wish to discuss these questions with others who have experience using Wikimedia projects inside educational institutions, or who have experience advising against such work. I hope to find collaborators willing to look into these issues and co-auther a paper.



Legal and marketing

Managable activity

Perceived threat to authority and control

Creative Commons licenses are not customisable - leading legal to worry about their role

Lack of control presents problem to brand management

Why do universities engage itunesu etc, but not Wikimedia?

MOOC, itunes etc - appear to have a revenue model that the university can capitalise on..

But using Wikiversity positions the university in the most used space online

Copyright, marketing, ease of use is not a real issue. Academics avoid and overcome bigger barriers every day.

Is there a potential conflict of interest, biasing effect and other consequences if a university and knowledge professionals engage the projects?

Eg. An India-based project has disrupted English WP with poor content, as has a Canadian-based project, because the student were poorly "socialised".

Eg. Jack Lee has generated excellent coverage of Singapore's legal cases

Eg. Search engine optimisation wars are a threat to quality in WP

Eg. Big pharma tried to give protocols to Wikipedia, but the volunteers rejected the offer

We need knowledge and guidelines for teachers and students engage Wikipedia. It seems this issue relates to historic issues of managable class size might inform this work

We need the Wikimedia community and representatives to engage in more than Wikipedia. Wikiversity, for example is most closely aligned to higher education - why is Wikiversity not our main lobby platform?

Suggestion that an easy starting pount for institutions is simpy to make information available, in copyright that can be used. This happens to be a good way to promote a brand..

See the Education Notice Board for hot discussion about educational use of Wikipedia

There is a need for a roadshow

The universities need a method of recording and accounting for activity...


Leigh started using the Wikimedia projects in 2005, and started using them within institutional education in 2006 when he began working for Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand. In that time he co managed the Wikibook project, 'The Anatomy and Physiology of Animals' (featured), was the primary author on the Wikibook, 'Open Educational Practices: a user guide for organisations' (commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Education), and initiated and managed the Wikibook project, 'Sustainable Business' for the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. He attempted to engage Otago Polytechnic with the Wikiversity project in 2006 but found some resistance in the project at the time, but most resistance in the Polytechnic. They elected to engage the Wikieducator project instead. From 2006-2009 Leigh worked with Otago Polytechnic, managing their Wikieducator effort. In 2009 Leigh moved to Canberra to work with the University of Canberra. He instigated and initially managed the 'History of Paralympics Australia Project' across Wikiversity, Wikipedia, Wikinews, and Commons; as well as instigated and managed a submission in Wikiversity to the university's review of their Intellectual Property Policy. Leigh co managed two Recent Changes Camps at Canberra, and has run 3 wikimedia editing workshops for Wikimedia Australia. He is now piloting open educational development at La Trobe University, using the Wikimedia Projects.

Work of noteEdit

  1. Writing the Wikibook, Open Educational Practices: a user guide for organisations (Otago Polytechnic)
  2. Managing the Wikibook project: Sustainable Business (Otago Polytechnic)
  3. Co managing the Wikibook: The Anatomy and Physiology of Animals (Otago Polytechnic)
  4. Instigating and initially managing Otago Polytechnic's use of Wikieducator (with an urealised intention to migrate to Wikiversity)
  5. Instigating and initially managing the History of Paralympics Australia project across Wikiversity, Wikipedia, Wikinews, and Commons (University of Canberra)
  6. Instigating and managing a submission to Uni Canberra's review of Intellectual Property Policy in Wikiversity
  7. Co managing 2 Recent Changes Camps at the Uni Canberra (2010 and 2011)
  8. Supporting the Uni of Canberra's National Institute of Sport Studies into using the Wikiversity platform
  9. Assisting the University of Wollongong Journalism course to trial Wikinews and develop the Video Journalism subject on Wikiversity
  10. Progressing my own PhD research work on Wikiversity.
  11. Now instigating and managing a pilot of open educational development using the WMF projects, primarily WV at this stage, at La Trobe University