Wikiversity:Adding content

Note: There is a tutorial about editing existing Wikiversity pages and starting new pages and also some help pages about editing. You might also be interested in the adding content tutorial.

This page is intended to help you add educational content to Wikiversity. Wikiversity is devoted to providing support for both conventional schools and for self-motivated active learners who want to participate as Wikiversity editors.

Quick start

I want to start adding information to Wikiversity NOW.
Use your browser to navigate to a Wikiversity page that is closest to the topic that is of interest to you. Click on the edit button for that page; an edit window will open. Find a good location and then type:

[[new page name]]

in the edit window. This will create a hypertext link to the new page. Click the "Save" button. Now find the red link you just created that says "new page name". Click on that link and start editing the new page. Type in your information.

Note: you can place this text: {{subst:Learning project boilerplate}}
into your new page to get started.

Educational content

The first thing to think about, when adding your own content is how it will be used (and by whom). Try to gear your learning materials for a specific audience - this could be simply "beginners", or it could be "K-12" (or however the educational system you are working in is structured). Some sort of note on the page on who you imagine will use this material and how it will be used would be useful.

When actually developing material (or participating in any kind of Wikiversity learning project) on Wikiversity, many feel that the main thing that is currently needed is content. Even if you want to engage in some active, collaborative learning, there will still need to be some sort of content on Wikiversity which can be used to pose problems, generate ideas etc. Try to develop material which could either be used by a self-study student, or by a teacher in their class. This is one of the fundamental roles of Wikiversity: providing free, educational content for all learner levels.

Others feel the key to content formation is participation. It is possible that a multiparty discussion of specific topics could leave a sufficient trail of FDL'd (Free Documentation License) material that a talented editor could revise into a lesson. If you choose to limit participation to discussion with other participants, please try to create an appropriate space where the discussion is FDL'd and may be easily revised and relocated or deleted to make space after a few weeks. For example: people interested in engineering topics can gather and leave questions or comments at Portal:Engineering Discussions.

If you want to find out about the licencing of our content, please see more on Wikiversity:Licences.

Another way to help create content is ask questions, leave a comment, or join a discussion already regarding the available material on the discussion page. Nothing inspires volunteer authors like seeing their contributions in use.

If you wish to make a major contribution, consider creating a lesson plan.

You may want to think about the reading level of your content - is it appropriate for the people you are gearing it towards. Generally speaking, a reading level of two grades/years above the person's assessed level will lead to them becoming frustrated. (McPherson, 2006)

Should you add it here, or on another Wikimedia project?

Wikiversity does not duplicate other Wikimedia projects. If you wish to add material that's already suitable for a textbook, it may be best to add it at Wikibooks; if it's most suitable for an encyclopedia, it may be best to add it at Wikipedia. This can avoid duplication of effort.

However, if you wish to maintain the integrity of your materials within a course structure, it may be best to adapt them to a format which is appropriate to this project, and/or create "further reading" in other projects, like Wikipedia and Wikibooks.

One method of version control which may be useful to established courses creating an online component for the convenience of students consists of creating links to specific versions of the material. This capability is available from the "history" log accessible via the history tab at the top of the Wikimedia page view. The static list of links may be placed anywhere and a custodian asked to protect it. Registered users may protect specific pages they create. One good location for a list of links to protected or archived versions of specific material is a subpage on the course syllabus. Now students have access to the original material easily as they proceed through the course and also the modified materials the entire community is attempting to improve as they use it. Using this method assures a static reading list while allowing collaborators to attempt to improve the current default version served to arriving viewers.

It is appropriate to add draft materials and notes here which are of a current quality substandard for other Wikimedia projects or purposes. It is then easy to collaborate on improving them to the point it is feasible to insert them into other projects and then link or point at them from within local or external materials or web locations. Instructors, mentors, and learners of all categories are welcome to collaborate on pedagogical materials of all types and levels here at Wikiversity.

Material here or there can be easily used as part of a Wikiversity course. Other projects may link to Wikiversity materials as easily as we link to theirs when appropriate.

Using Internet resources

Textbooks at Wikibooks and resources elsewhere on the Internet can be used as materials in a Wikiversity syllabus, and should generally be linked from the module rather than duplicated here.

Links to useful materials around the web are useful and welcome but it is critical that they be identified as external links so people do not assume they are copyleft material.

Learning adding content

Introduction to Wiki summarizes references on learning wiki editing.

See also

External links


  • McPherson, Keith (2006) Wikis and literacy development. Teacher Librarian, Vol. 34, No.1, pp:67-69.