Hello TimNelson! Welcome to Wikiversity!

Here are some tips to help you get started:

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You will find more resources at the Community Portal. If you want to ask a question, visit the Study help desk, the Colloquium, IRC channel or ask me personally on my talk page.

Good luck!

Trevor MacInnis 03:24, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

bring some stuff acrossEdit

"If you point me at some instructions, and ensure I have the necessary privs, I'll bring some stuff across" <-- Thanks for lending a hand! The actual "bring some stuff across" does not take much time and I can continue to do that. Most of the work can be done by anyone. For example, look at the steps I went through for School:Classics fom 12:25 to 12:45. I am still not done; see the instructions at the bottom of this page: Wikiversity:Import. If you would like to help with this kind of work (everything except the actual page imports), let me know and we can make a detailed list of what steps you will help with. --JWSchmidt 12:53, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your list of steps, now at Help with the migration of Wikiversity pages from Wikibooks. --JWSchmidt 13:41, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

School:Literature and English StudiesEdit

School:Literature and English Studies, Topic:Literary Studies, School:Literature. Can you explain to me how these three pages should be/are related? Could I just change School:Literature and English Studies to a division of School:Literature? --JWSchmidt 06:27, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

NPOV vs. ConfessionsEdit

I thought with your comments at Multiple points of view, you might like Wikiversity:Confessions better than WV:NPOV TimNelson 14:13, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for heads up. I look forward to discussing NPOV, Confessions, etc. :) Reswik 17:26, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Just pointing out that "Multiple points of view" has been moved to Wikiversity:Multiple points of view - but you possibly already knew that! Just explaining the strange "you have messages" sign.. :-) Cormaggio beep 14:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for doing that. I'm actually going to axe the School of Literature and English Studies since it's basically useless now with the Department of Literary Studies. ~ATrivedi

Learning by DoingEdit

"I saw you made some comments regarding Learning by Doing, and that Wikiversity has adopted this model. Since I didn't see anything about it on the Policies page, I came here to discuss it." <-- Some things are more fundamental than what is in the policy pages. In this case, "Learning by Doing" is a slogan that captures the intent of the wikiversity "e-learning model". The Wikiversity e-learning model was developed in response to a requested by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and it was included in the approved Wikiversity project proposal.

"At the university I went to, all lessons were one of three types:

  • Lectures: learn by listening to authority/notetaking
  • Tutorials: learn by discussion
  • Practicals: learn by doing

Can I suggest that we have the same setup here at Wikiversity?" <-- At Wikiversity a general term that we can use for educational content is "learning resource". So far, learning resources have been roughly divided into learning projects and learning materials.

It is the goal of some Wikiversity participants to create a vast collection of static learning materials, many of which could be downloaded and used by conventional bricks-and-mortar schools. Wikiversity participants are free to take on this task. This is what went on at Wikibooks for several years with very little to show for it.

In my opinion, what Wikiversity needs is a collection of exciting learning projects that will attract wiki participants. If we can engage Wikipedia participants in projects that they are interested in, then the learning materials will accumulate as a by-product of those projects. Here is a familiar example of how participation in a wiki project leads to the production of learning materials: at Wikipedia, editors participate in a project that aims to create an online encyclopedia. Participants can learn about topics by editing encyclopedia articles. Viewed from the perspective of learning projects, Wikipedia has one type of "learning project": write encyclopedia articles. At Wikibooks, a physiology teacher assigned students to work on the Human Physiology textbook. Wikibooks has one type of "learning project": write textbooks. Useful "learning materials", an encyclopedia and textbooks, can be viewed as the by-products of wiki editing projects.

It is important to remember the origin of Wikipedia. Nupedia was an attempt to have experts create an online encyclopedia. The Nupedia article creation process was too slow. Wikipedia was then created and article production became much more rapid; anyone could participate, not just experts. Similarly, "the wiki way" to produce "lessons" is to engage many wiki participants (including non-experts) in tasks that will eventually lead to the creation of useful learning materials. An important part of attracting non-experts is to make Wikiversity a place where people can engage in activities that are related to their personal interests. Everyone has topics that they would like to know more about, and Wikiversity should be an inviting place that allows people to explore their interests. There are far more "students" than "teachers". Very few "teachers" have time to come to Wikiversity and edit. Wikiversity needs to encourage learners to participate and "students" will play a major role in creating Wikiversity content. Wikiversity should not make students wait while experts create lessons. Experts should create learning projects that students can participate in NOW. Once the students are engaged in the Wikiversity community, some of them will start helping to develop Wikiversity learning materials.

"My intention here is to let people choose whichever method suits them best." <-- People are free to develop learning resources using any approach they want. However, Wikiversity is now in a six-month beta phase during which the project is being evaluated by the Board of Trustees in terms of its ability to make a good start on what was in the approved project proposal. Everyone on the Board knows how wikis function. If the Wikiversity community ignores the approved project proposal and moves away from the approved Wikiversity e-learning model then we risk that the project will fail and be terminated by the Board. So, yes, people can "choose whichever method suits them best", but they should choose wisely. We should not create "policy pages" that encourage people to ignore the explicit guidance that has been provided by the Board of Trustees.

"Possibly we should even have more methods of learning, possibly based on w:Theory of multiple intelligences. Basically, that theory says that different people learn different ways. Ignore the fact that Gardner had to redefine the word "intelligence" to make it mean what he wanted to refer to" <-- We have Wikiversity:Education as a starting point. We should also make use of Portal:Education.
--JWSchmidt 16:11, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

learning by doing/learning projectsEdit

"substitute local insult as preferred" <-- I hope we can all keep a spirit of playfulness as we go along! We are involved in a great adventure: learning how to apply wiki technology to facilitate learning. I have yet to find anyone who thinks they know just how this adventure will turn out. Here is something that was said at the recent Wikimania meeting, "I think we should run small experiments, tests, see what works, what doesn't, and be prepared to be flexible and change, and not be too locked into stone about how things should work." I think the spirit of that statement can be applied to Wikiversity. Wikiversity will have people trying to create conventional courses in conventional ways and I have no problem with that. However, I think there are smart people on the Board of Trustees and they had good reasons for deflecting the Wikiversity community away from an emphasis on courses. Courses are one specialized type of "learning project", one that a wiki community should not place too much emphasis on. The yellow "Where are the courses" notice is just an attempt to get people to think about the true potential of the wiki user interface. We can do so much more with wiki than just conventional courses.

"I didn't really 'get' what Learning Projects were" <-- I think it is fairly easy to conceptualize "learning project", even a course can be thought of as a learning project. What is not so easy is knowing what kinds of learning projects are best suited for a wiki. That is what we must discover. I hope the entire Wikiversity community can apply careful thought and bold experimentation to the task of finding the best ways to use our wiki tools to support learning. I doubt if anyone really has a good grasp of "wiki learning projects". We have to discover the good practices for creating and facilitating wiki learning projects.

"Thanks for your patience." <-- In a way, I have been waiting about 30 years to get to where we are now. The term "patience" takes on great depth of meaning when you have to wait decades for something. A serious problem being faced by the Wikiversity community is the need to un-learn much of our "conventional wisdom" about how education should work. Many members of the Wikiversity community have not been able to see any wisdom in the guidance we have received from the Board about things like de-emphasizing courses. The Board is trying to guide us towards ways to utilize the true power of wiki. I hope it is possible to get most people who are interested in Wikiversity to think in new ways so that we can escape the limitations of our old ways of thought. The "wiki way" is a path to great things if we can stay on that path.
--JWSchmidt 05:18, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


I am going to delete this page, unless you have any objections. I fixed the url on the sandbox, that resulted in Wikiversity:Sandbox&section=20060830025621&action=edit being created. Please let me know if you absolutely need this page, and I'm being clueless about this.--digital_me 03:11, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Comment formattingEdit

I've removed your formatting and advice on how to respond. There's already a standard practice for how comments and replies should be formatted in Mediawiki. Coupled with that is a certain expectation of what talk pages should look like. What's the point of adding a special syntax that people would have to remember? -- sebmol ? 13:06, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I did it because I find the current Mediawiki "standard practise" annoying. Examples:
# You want to insert some numbering in your comment, and it ends up looking like this
# Some people just leave things in with arrows, so it's difficult to skim and see who's saying what
# Every time you start another paragraph/bullet point, you have to put a : at the start. That means that you have to think about Mediawiki syntax, and not what you're typing. Whereas the style I use, you just insert that thing, and then in the bit where it says "Type your comment here", you can put in any multiline text you want, in standard Mediawiki format, without having to put the : down the side
However, I don't want to tell other people how to comment, or annoy them, so I changed my comment template so it says "You could", implying that it's optional to use it yourself, and changed the colorscheme to something a bit more normal.
Let me know what you think of the comment below.
TimNelson (Talk) 14:07, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Test Subject line | ID: 20060830140723 | TimNelson (Talk) 14:07, 30 August 2006 (UTC) | Indent level: 2

See, multiline comments!

  1. Easy peasy with numbering


New pargraphs are easy too, even though this is indented two layers in.

You could paste this into the reply and modify: {{subst:User:TimNelson/Comment|3|Re: Test Subject line|~~~~|Type your comment here}}
While I understand your intention with this box, I still don't support it. If you find the display of talk contributions insufficient, you can change your personal Monobook.css to display it differently. Similarly, if you think this might be benefial for the community as a whole, you can propose changing the project-wide Monobook.css. -- sebmol ? 18:33, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
It's mostly not the display I find annoying, it's the input. TimNelson (Talk) 10:05, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

bot requestEdit

I suggest that you discuss the bot with User:Sebmol. --JWSchmidt 16:50, 31 August 2006 (UTC)