Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/April 2008

Flagged revisions

See w:Wikipedia:Flagged revisions and discussion at Flagged revisions. --mikeu talk 00:21, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Did not read all of it, but here what I found, so others can explore more and tell us and provide other info :-)
  • see pictures here and on right side how the feature might look like later:
See also (and edit) my test page. --mikeu talk 20:37, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Finding others to learn together

I am a medical student and a newcomer to Wikiversity. I am to start studying for my Dermatology exam, and I am looking for people to study together with. Can you please point me to the right way of finding people who are interested? Attish 17:09, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Attish, welcome at Wikiversity. Perhaps the following might help:
  • try to find your topic from here School:Medicine, e.g. Topic:Dermatology - unfortunately not much yet there, but isn't this your chance to learn more for your Dermatology exam ? Read more at Wikiversity:Personal learning environment
  • Try the search button in Wikiversity (see left navigation bar)? Did it not bring good/enough results ? Perhaps this page might help: Wikiversity:Searching (there are the go- and search button, last one delivers more results) Besides the search there is also available the major portals where you can dive in. When you don't find anything, why not create it ?
  • If you found a learning project/page you can find people lately being active there over the "history"-button on top of each page or see the talk page.
  • on every user page you can find on the left navigation bar "Toolbox" the link: "E-mail this user" - if the person has activated email in his preferences (see tab "User profile" > E-mail > Enable e-mail from other users") she might react faster
  • As I see you used already the Wikiversity:Chat :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:23, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Bulk import from en-Wikisource

Hello. By Opensourcejunkie's request, I'll import the Documentary Hypothesis from Wikisource, where it was deleted in 2006. The titles are the same as they were on Wikisource, since I don't know the format used on en-Wikiversity. Feel free to poke me later if you need help moving them and deleting the redirects.

Pathoschild 21:25:06, 01 April 2008 (UTC)

Done. —Pathoschild 03:34:59, 02 April 2008 (UTC)

Peak oil (energy sustainability) learning project

I've just put in a new learning project page called Peak oil, energy, and society for a high-school class I'm teaching at The Meeting School. I hope that modification and additions will be ongoing in the next few months by members of the class, but we'll see how it goes. Visitors welcome, of course.

Finding a good place (places) to list the page was quite the difficult decision, I might mention, due to various folks using various different organization systems for sustainability topics. I'm glad to see there's a discussion on this Colloquium about organization. If I have time I might try proposing some little re-arrangements over in that area. But for now I'll focus on content for the Peak oil pages. --Frederick 22:16, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Frederick, thank you for your message. We would be happy, if you contribute here more. So, see you round then, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 20:25, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Page titles which use fwd slashes?

Just wondered how this page should be named: Operating_Systems/GNU/Linux. I don't think its meant to be a Linux subpage of GNU, but rather just that Linux/GNU was intended as the page name. Is there a way that this page title could be used without it being a subpage? Or should the page be renamed e.g., to GNU-Linux? -- Jtneill - Talk 13:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

If the page GNU does not exist, then GNU/Linux will not be a subpage if I am not mistaken. The page could also be put back at Topic:Linux if it is truly geared to be a department. --Remi 04:08, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
"will not be a subpage" - well, I did a test, and the breadcrumb trail still appeared at the top (which suggests the system thinks it's a subpage), albeit only existing pages appear in the trail. I think the real point, though, is whether the user perceives it as a subpage, and here I think the answer is "yes". I'd go with the hyphen. --McCormack 04:14, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for suggestions. I've moved it to Operating Systems/GNU-Linux and marked the old page for deletion. -- Jtneill - Talk 13:33, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
For the record, note that previous comment about the confusion caused by using a forward slash as part of the page name for GNU/Linux was made here in Aug 2007: School talk:Computer science#Linux Server Administration. -- Jtneill - Talk 04:34, 5 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimania Scholarships for 2008

I know it's still a while away, but if you need funding to get to Wikimania then you have to apply soon. Scholarships application for Wikimania 2008 is now open. We might add this to our sitenotice, or somewhere people can see it? (Also, please post on our sister language Wikiversities, so they are aware) --Historybuff 18:51, 5 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the info. Also posted in de.WV, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 19:00, 5 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Site notice is now updated. --mikeu talk 19:01, 5 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Usergroups, chapters, etc.

Something I've been wanting to do for a while is to organize groups of users for both content creation and outreach purposes. We tried to do something like this with "Wikimedia Pennsylvania" last summer -- well, first it was "Wikimedia Delaware Valley", then "Wikimedia Philadelphia", then "Wikimedia Pennsylvania", then maybe "the Pennsylvania Chapter of Wikimedia USA"... the foundation and various other groups and individuals seemed more interested in debating the structure than actually organizing a group! After that experience, it occurs to me that we might be better off trying to do something like that on Wikiversity rather than through the foundation and meta.

The gist of what I have in mind is to have usergroups function like categories, be self-organizing, and not attempt to be in any way an "official" branch of something or another: more like a "WikiProject" than a "Wikimedia Chapter". For example, I'm going to be working with our local Boy Scouts chapter to organize work on the Bloom Clock and a number of Wikibooks, so maybe they could be in "Usergroup:Boy Scouts of America Troop xxxx". That could in turn be part of "Usergroup:Boy Scouts of America", and even that group could be part of "Usergroup:Scouting Organizations". Same could be done for other clubs and organizations, churches, and schools. It could also be done for geographical regions (cities, counties, states, countries, continents, etc.), or just common interests (gardeners, hunters, skateboarders, soldiers).

I guess the thing that struck me most about trying to organize under the aegis of the foundation is that the foundation is really not at all the same things as the wikis themselves are. The wikis have worked well in part because they're self-organizing... articles and other resources are developed through organic collaborations, rather than through a top-down structure. Informal usergroups could simply organize, fail to organize, arise, or disappear without much fuss involved. Like wikipedia articles, they can be merged or split up when the need arises.

Any thoughts? --SB_Johnny | talk 13:16, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, why didn't you start it already ? :-)
Besides categories this could also be done e.g. with userboxes. Best would be, if during registration the user gets to see a link or a selection of such communities - and she can then select and automatically find someone, than searching for herself. And if possibel add herself to that group (automatically, since newcomers probably don't know how this goes).
See also the "Enhancing social features" in Wikiversity:Technical needs, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:59, 1 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
SB, i like the idea; 'specially the Usergroup namespace + category. Countrymike 21:08, 2 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I really like this idea SBJ - though it could easily be organised via Meta (which has email notification turned on). It strikes me as a better or more persistent organising platform to "meetups", which vary from location to location. (Side note - what you're proposing involves bringing together groups of "Wikiversity participants"/"Wikiversitians"/"Wikiversitans" - why can't we call ourselves "Wikilearners"?) Cormaggio talk 10:42, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The KOIIA project

Hi everybody! I (Benja) am new here at Wikiversity. I've been experimenting with making Wikiversity a personal learning environment and learning more about Wikiversity and how to use the Mediawiki software over the past couple of days.

Today, I noticed a number of edits to Swedish language pages here at the English Wikiversity, which seemed like a bad idea to me, because it means that the people here who don't know any Swedish can't contribute and don't know what is going on (since there's no Swedish Wikiversity yet, Swedish content should go to the multilingual Wikiversity Beta hub). Now, as it happens, I have studied some basic Swedish last year and really ought to practice :-), so I decided to look around and try to understand what was going on, and I think I've more or less puzzled it together. I'll invite the Swedish people to join this discussion and I hope they will correct me on the parts I've gotten backwards :-)

If I understand correctly, the Swedish materials are produced by a learning community consisting of the six participants of the first part a two-part course on Intersectionality and Education ("KOIIA 1 & 2" -- I don't know what the acronym expands to), taught by Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta during 2008 at the Department of Education at Örebro University, Sweden. (The other participants are Oliver St-John, Karin Allard, Marie Nordmark, Jenny Rosen Gomez and Sara Fröden.) Sangeeta is hoping that the group will create a learning resource about the topic of the course, similar to what a group of UC Davis students did at Queer Studies; this would replace the final exam for the course. This could be in Swedish and/or English (possibly with sections in Swedish and/or American Sign Language, but nobody seems to be into that so far).

I think that if the KOIIA group succeeds in creating a multiple-language resource about their topic, the English parts should probably go here, and the Swedish parts on the Wikipedia Beta site, for inclusion in a future Swedish Wikiversity. But for now, it seems to me that it would be best if we could keep things as simple as possible, especially since it seems that the wiki software is putting enough stumbling blocks in the KOIIA people's way already. So I made the following message box and put it at the top of the existing KOIIA pages, to help put them in context for non-Swedish-speaking Wikiversitarians:


This page is part of KOIIA ([1],[2]), a learning community associated with a research course taught at the Department of Education of Örebro University, Sweden. The KOIIA group hopes to create a Wikiversity learning resource on intersectionality and education by mid-August, 2008.

Note that since they are a Swedish group, some of the pages created by the KOIIA group may be written partially or entirely in Swedish.

It can be included in a new article by writing {{koiia}} at the top of the page. Does this seem like a good way to proceed to everybody -- continue to use the English Wikiversity, but put this box at the top of all KOIIA pages? (The text in the box is the best I've been able to come up with so far, but it's just a wiki page: if you can think of a way to improve it, please do click on "Edit this box" above and go ahead! :-))

In any case: I think it's pretty cool that the KOIIA people are here. Even if technically it's a bit debatable whether I should say that, since you were here first: Welcome! :-) Benja 20:05, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Benja, it is nice you think also about others.
:) Benja
A template is a good way to inform e.g. people not speaking Swedish. Can you also try to email the participants about that course (as I see e.g. this person has an email: Special:EmailUser/Karina), so they are not so much surprised :-) Also they might be willing to also participate in betawikiversity.
BTW: pages can be imported also to beta from here then. I had recently imported a page here, which contains three languages now: Romance of the Three Kingdoms - could be e.g. used for people who want to learn other languages. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 20:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for replying! I've e-mailed everybody whose address I was able to find (most have their addresses on the university's web site, I'm hoping they won't mind if I contact them there). Thanks, Benja 14:56, 6 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you also. Let's see what happens next, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 14:57, 6 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Sangeeta tells me they'll have a look at their next face-to-face meeting. Benja 21:10, 6 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hello Benja, thanks for the update. I hope they know that they are welcome here and it is just for other people that they know more about the pages ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 21:15, 6 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I do hope & think I've managed to get that across :) Benja 22:01, 6 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 22:28, 6 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks very much for your consideration, Benja - I think you've handled this excellently. :-) Personally, I'm in favour of being as inclusive as possible; however, I have a number of questions/concerns about this project. Firstly, it's not clear from reading the relevant pages what is to be produced in English and what in Swedish. Swedish learning materials are clearly outside the scope of the English Wikiversity - though I don't see a problem with discussion around creating materials being in Swedish. Secondly, there's no way for anyone who doesn't speak the language to monitor what's going on with non-English pages, projects, and/or discussions (unless we can draft in speakers of particular languages). This strikes me as creating an unworkable precedent. So, what to do? Perhaps the whole thing should be centralised on beta, and then materials which are produced could be imported to relevant projects. This would then be creating a precedent for beta which expands its scope, and poses challenges for it. But personally, I think it's the most practical, sustainable solution that I can see for now... Cormaggio talk 11:23, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hosting the pages at beta is a good idea for a number of reasons. For a project that is in more than one language it makes sense to host it at the multilingual hub. There is already a start page at betawikiversity:Huvudsida. There was one attempt to start a Swedish wv that never got off the ground at meta:Requests for new languages/Wikiversity Swedish and a second attempt that is on hold due to not enough participants at meta:Requests for new languages/Wikiversity Swedish 2. Perhaps a project like this will help gather some support to move the project forward. Trying to maintain pages here that are in Swedish is problematic. How do we categorize pages where we can't understand the content? How will the pages get expanded and improved if this is not the central place for speakers of the language? --mikeu talk 11:47, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

SisterProject wiki templates - alignment

On this page, I've added some {{wikiversity|xxx}} style templates: How to use R. The boxes don't seem to align because of different horizontal widths, whereas the equivalent templates on the topic's sister wikibooks and wikipedia pages are aligned. I'm guessing this means some template tweaking needed? -- Jtneill - Talk 02:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

See also Template:Sisterprojectsearch which links to a search for the keyword on other projects. (note: the search engine on wv is not intuitive, since it only searches certain namespaces by default.) --mikeu talk 02:17, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks Mike, that's a good-looking template I didn't know of - there are other pages I could definitely use it on. I tried it out just now for How to use R, but it doesn't really work for the page because it needs the same page names for the topic on the different sisterproject wikis. Hopefully McCormack's template wizardry will come to the rescue :). Just thinking out loud,.... the individual templates for links to wikiversity, wikibooks, etc. could presumably be made to work off a central style, and then they would align? -- Jtneill - Talk 05:44, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Dodgy article

Is this page Outside the scope of Wikiversity I was about to erase it but wanted to check first. Terra 12:02, 2 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Terra, asking is always a good approach. Do you mean the page title or the page content ? Did you see already this comment at the author's talk page: User talk:Jagdpanther three days ago ?
What makes you think that it is outside of Wikiversity:Scope ? just asking. If you have some time you could be so kind to give 2 arguments why it is outside the scope and 2 why it is not ?
You can always - if you feel like a page should be deleted - add a Deletion template to it and someone will see this. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Possible approaches: (i) invalid title - probably; solution - change title (I already tried talking to the creator about this); (ii) no real content; solution - replace with Template:welcome_and_expand; (iii) title is a poor attempt at linkspam - quite possibly; solution - propose for deletion; (iv) page is a combination of multiple issues, each of which by themselves don't justify a delete, but which together do; solution: move page content to subpage of user talk page so it doesn't get lost, inform author kindly, and speedily delete. But I'm sure that if you ask 5 custodians, they'll all have different opinions! --McCormack 04:22, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
How about rename to something generic like Strategy games and make sure it is added to a category like Category: Strategic Studies. --mikeu talk 04:43, 8 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Copying or moving a page from wikibooks to wikiversity?

I am trying to build a learning resource How to use R. I found a helpful introductory tutorial, which I would like to build upon, at b:R Programming/Tutorial. What process would you suggest (e.g., copying or moving - and how)? I have also asked about this here: b:Wikibooks:Reading room/Projects#R Programming/Tutorial. -- Jtneill - Talk 04:08, 8 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It has been copied to R Programming/Tutorial. Was it just that one page? In general, you need to find a custodian to import. Either Wikiversity:Request custodian action or drop in IRC to see if someone is around. --mikeu talk 04:26, 8 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks mike, much appreciated, yes its just that page. And thanks for the explanation/suggestions. -- Jtneill - Talk 01:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Request for Image Upload Privileges

Hi I am working on a Wikiversity article for school and need to upload images today. I just recently joined, is there any way that I can have the privilege to upload images now? Thanks (The preceding unsigned comment was added by David.grant (talkcontribs) 21:26, 8 April 2008)

Hello David, please see for more info here: Wikiversity:Autoconfirmed users why this is.
Since you registered yesterday, some possibilities could be:
1. that you email someone the pictures with the info about e.g. licence (see Wikiversity:License tags and Wikiversity:Uploading files) + description (see below) and someone uploads this and you confirm logged in on the file page later on, that the info is correct.
Best would be to upload this at commons, so also other projects can access the picture. What do you say ?
2. Perhaps you have already an account at commons ?
But to not give you too much "hinderness" we can also just upload it first here and later upload to commons, so you can use the files already. Send me by email a msg and I will reply, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 21:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

recent changes, user creation and upload log changes..

Where was/is the discussion about changing the way user creation and upload log are displayed on recent changes? They were all separated (i.e. not aggregated) for like two days and now it is back to normal. --Remi 20:43, 9 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • Not sure. But the intensity of editing by the Toronto mechanical engineers was so great that RC patrolling wasn't as easy as it usually is here - a lot of stuff got buried fast. --McCormack 06:42, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Google search

Is there any shortened MediaWiki code for linking to a Google search? - or just use the full URL? -- Jtneill - Talk 16:46, 9 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Not really shortened code, but you can make links like this. I suppose you could make a template for it as well if you really wanted. Countrymike 08:09, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hi mike. I'm wondering what it would take to create a template for your above search, say like this: {{google|nz|wikiversity}} or {{google|wikiversity}} for a search or just {{g|wikiversity}}? Anyone know of something similar to copy/hack? -- Jtneill - Talk 11:22, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Try [[google:wikiversity]] please (example: google:wikiversity).
I hope there will also be used other search engines than google ? WV should not prefer one search engine more than others. More info here: Wikiversity:Searching#External search engines ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:47, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Also see the linking examples at w:Wikipedia:Searching and some search templates which we could import here. --mikeu talk 17:26, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

User age

Are there are policies which require registered users to be over a certain age? e.g., Can my 5 and 7 year old kids set up accounts? -- Jtneill - Talk 06:25, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I'm not sure about the policy side, but the practicalities are that it's not possible to check age. --McCormack 06:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
At one point there was a discussion at Wikiversity:Privacy policy but t never became official policy. --mikeu talk 11:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Jtneill, do your children want to set up accounts? (I say, let them, absolutely!) There is a challenge here to the community - because as a default we don't know people's backgrounds (age, nationality, ability, etc), we need to be careful in making judgements about contributors and contributions. Not only should we assume good faith, we should also not assume any proficiency (is there a more elegant way of saying that?). There is also a duty of care to minors, who are inherently more vulnerable - it strikes me that perhaps we would benefit from having a policy on 'younger users', with a rough cut-off age of, say, 14? Cormaggio talk 12:32, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The question is mostly about general policy. and to some extent also usability. My 7 year old has just started learning wiki, on a private family wiki - we're having a football tipping competition with extended family. But as he gets curious I'm interested to encourage him to search here - see what he finds, watch his responses, and learn from those. The question also comes out of the context of a many-threaded discussion on TALO about the recent shutting down of a primary school blogging project in South Australia which is becoming semi-famous (also known as "Al Upton and the minis"). It has provoked discussion of many online education policy issues. Interestingly, it seems wordpress, etc. don't let u/13s (I think) register (without lying). So, where can they go to participate in open online learning? Sounds like Wikiversity can be one place! :) -- Jtneill - Talk 12:48, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
You should be aware that while we managed to eradicate the pornographic main page serial vandalism last year, it might return at any time. --McCormack 12:55, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
E.g. on Wikipedia there is no requirement to age, see Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ
Also on Wikipedia there seems to be a 12 year old admin
I would like more younger humans around here. We are set for learning, so why not help them here with exactly that ? (see also: Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal)
We should try to bring them over to the dark side - I mean WV side :-) They can see that they can contribute to a greater goal, take responsibility and much more things which probably adults would not allow them in the normal world, because ... they are young and would not understand ? I am quite sure kiddos are pretty intelligent and survive unusual experiences. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:34, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The dark side! :) I love it :)
- Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side. (Darth Vader)
- Do not underestimate the power of knowledge. (me)
- Do not underestimate the power of Wikiversity. (me) --Gbaor 06:18, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
If we are to assume good faith and assume no proficiency, it seems reasonable to me to also tell parents to assume nothing when it comes to the contents of a page. Concerned parents should review a page before they lets there kids read it, making sure there kids only view pages or versions of a page that they consider appropriate. --dark lama 01:38, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I love the 12 year old WP admin story. Fantastic. I read with interest the historical discussion at Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal and have checked out e.g., Portal:Pre-school Education. These new portals look like a great way to start off. We could promote these more publically, e.g., I think the first line of links in Template:Gateways could be shown more prominently in the navigation sidebar, Main Page, and Wikiversity:Browse to help encourage those guiding youngsters and the youngsters themselves. I realise those new portals are very new, but really, they're fine - the youngsters can create the rest :) -- Jtneill - Talk 04:50, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
5 and 7 sounds a bit young to contribute by writing articles for Wikiversity (unless your kids are really gifted). However, they certainly can benefit by reading some of the material here, and might occasionally want to pose questions on the Help Desk, like "why do kitty cats scratch the ground after they pee". Of course, if the answer is over the level the kids can understand (because we don't know how young they are), the parents may need to explain some of it. StuRat 13:25, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Wikiversity is not simply about writing articles that others can use in their learning; it is about learning through participation. I think we should be doing all we can to allow people of all ages and levels to participate and learn - since this is a central part of our mission. And just as we shouldn't assume that people will be able to participate in a given resource/project/discussion, so we shouldn't assume that people will not be able to participate - I think kids have a great deal to teach the world, actually. In fact, I'd like to reframe what I wrote earlier as "make no assumptions". Cormaggio talk 14:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Agree, the age doesn't matter - anyone can participate. common error: we/People assume that we know what others want or would do.
Thinking outside the box: perhaps some test edits/vandalism are edits by animals trying to communicate or younger or elderly or handicapped persons ? There is a place for everyone here at Wikiversity. We love all of you. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Wikiversity:Make no assumptions started - nod to Darklama. :-) Yes, I would suspect a lot of vandalism to Wikimedia projects (at least of the "Dave is gay" type) happens in classrooms or in the course of coursework. This is where it's always good to be as tolerant as possible in dealing with vandalism, giving encouragement to find out about Wikiversity and how to make positive contributions. Should we make our Category:User_warning_templates a little friendlier or more informative? (Does anyone use them?) Cormaggio talk 15:54, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I use the Template:Test (btw: what does HAL say to the sentence above ?) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:58, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Which sentence? :-) Cormaggio talk 05:44, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
:-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 07:12, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Ah - maybe a reference to Dave Bowman in Space Odyssey? (I genuinely didn't know which sentence you meant!) Cormaggio talk 12:49, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
"I'm sorry Dave, but I can't allow that." StuRat 15:38, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


I've been checking out Portal:Pre-school Education. It doesn't yet have any featured pages, nor much categorised content. So, I've tried to start a 'fun' Crocodile module. Will see how the kids take to it! :) Feel free to contribute. -- Jtneill - Talk 16:07, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Can you help to create a fact box for the Crocodile page, into which kids can enter their favourite facts into a clean box? See here for draft Crocodile/Your facts. -- Jtneill - Talk 01:24, 13 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Import from Beta Wikiversity now available

It's now possible to import pages from beta Wikiversity - I've moved over some research policy pages (eg Wikiversity:Research guidelines). This function is only available to custodians, but you can add any other requests to Wikiversity:Import. Cormaggio talk 09:47, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

What to Do With Wikipedia

An interesting article about WP(WV?) vs. academia here --Gbaor 06:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Interesting article. I think it refers to a type of academia which is mistakenly believed to be "the keeper" of knowledge. Universities today (not all of them, of course) have become financial corporations who behave like a capitalist business venue rather than the bearers of human knowledge. Hence, Wikiversity's contribution should be highly appreciated, as well as wikipedia's. --EugenSpierer 21:05, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, though I wouldn't be so quick to frame this as Wikipedia versus academia - there is a lot of opposition to (and misunderstandings of) Wikipedia within academia, but there is also a lot of support and (critical) admiration. Academia is a diverse world - despite the fact that universities are becoming more commercially-minded, and despite what many people think! But even still, I agree that Wikipedia and Wikiversity are drivers of change within the world of education and knowledge - I blogged about this yesterday. Cormaggio talk 05:51, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
They seem to have ignored that many Wikipedia articles provide references to the traditional academic papers and sources that academia craves. They also ignored how many supposedly authoritative resources are heavily biased, such as drug studies paid for by the drug manufacturer. StuRat 16:04, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, and they furthermore ignored the evidence that Wikipedia is not nearly as flawed as everyone seems to think it is- two off of the top of my head: The study that compared Encyclopedia Britanicca entries to Wikipedia entries and found roughly the same number of errors, where EB refused to acknowledge the errors and WP immediately fixed them; and the case where a professor had his students create articles for Wikipedia and then submit them; even though he had thought they were good, most of them were quickly deleted due to too many errors and the others were quickly edited beyond recognition, again because of too many errors. And yet, the author of this article claims that Professors should have their students create articles for wikipedia because they'll be of a higher quality than WP's existing articles! --Luai lashire 01:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I enjoyed this article; thanks for posting. There were several quotable quotes that resonated with me, including:
  • "If the average university student can safely go to Wikipedia instead of consulting a specialized print reference source, then academia is broken."
  • "The most daring solution would be for academia to enter the world of Wikipedia directly. Rather than throwing rocks at it, the academy has a unique opportunity to engage Wikipedia in a way that marries the digital generation with the academic enterprise."
  • "Ultimately, the academy has to stop fighting Wikipedia and work to make it better".
  • "When professors are writing the articles or guiding their students in article production and revision, we may become much less paranoid about this wildly popular resource." -- Jtneill - Talk 13:51, 15 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The main reason why Academia can't stop being hostile to Wikipedia is that Wikipedia makes only one article for a single topic. In academic literature there are an enormous amount of articles and books on a single topic. Another disadvantage of Wikipedia is that it only summarizes knowledge. Academic literature has the advantage of deep reaching case studies and enormous amounts of unique data on an incredible amount of knowledge. The only benefit Wikipedia could have for the academic world is the talk page. On talk pages, people from all over the world can easily debate with eachother on a topic.Daanschr 16:35, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Has this page went under a major upgrade or improvement, because i've just noticed that it looks completely different - plus on Wikipedia it's totally different from what it use to look like. Terra 17:31, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I guess someone made it wiki-wide - it is also changed like this on the other WVs and also WP (en+de checked). ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:43, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Well the new layout of the Special:SpecialPages is actually much better than previously, previously it was just a list and now everything organized and easier for user's to find what they need. Terra 17:54, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Layout for Candidates for speedy deletion

Using Firefox, the layout for the third column of links in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion overlays the r.h. Administering WV box. I've checked, but can't see why this might be? -- Jtneill - Talk 23:06, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Until someone looks deeper into this, one way to fix this is like this. But one problem with this solution: the list of "Pages in category" is not immediately seen - only when user scrolls down. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 05:44, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

What do user's think of this version for a possible replacement to the original Help:Contents i've included all of the possible links which was on that page, and in my opinion it's ready to be transfered. Terra 20:26, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It looks good. Good work... On a related note, do you know where I can can get free/open language font packs, or where I might look in the help section to find out? --Remi 20:57, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Terra. Looks good - well done, and much friendlier than the current Help:Contents. Is there any order in the listing of links within each section? In some places it looks alphabetical, in others it looks like perhaps some other order. I'd suggest alphabetical might be most logical. Either that or perhaps reduce to relatively few 'featured' links per heading such as at w:Help:Contents. These are my initial thoughts on looking at/using the page. -- Jtneill - Talk 01:12, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've added a header template to the above layout on the User:Terra/Help Contents/1.0 however I'm having problems with aligning the text, I'm wanting the Communications Methods aligned in the same position as the Welcoming on the left, and also the Getting Started I've been trying to align it a bit higher but for some reason the text seems to be going of the page when I try it (in preview). Could any one have a look at it and see if they could fix it. Terra 07:27, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Terra, I had a look and I think the vertical alignment problem could be due to there being an empty cell at the top of the r.h. column. -- Jtneill - Talk 11:20, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've managed to fix it, how does it look now - I've also included the Policy link on it which could have also solved the problem. Terra 11:27, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
In reply to Jtneill, if you want order, then the category tree extension could be used, building on the "help" category. That would result in dynamic content. --McCormack 12:57, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It looks really nice! I didn't know about half of these pages :-o . I am just missing the maintance hub there (maybe in the section "Editing Wikiversity"?) --Gbaor 12:00, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Done - thanks for noticing didn't realize i've missed that particular page out. Terra 12:03, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
What do you think about a link to something like All help pages? Is there any internal way of linking to this? -- Jtneill - Talk 15:22, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
You may use plainlinks, e.g. : Wikiversity front Hillgentleman|Talk 17:11, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Nice, Hillgentleman, thanks for the plainlinks tip :). -- Jtneill - Talk 00:44, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
or you can link using Special:Allpages/Help: which is an internal way to do it. --dark lama 01:36, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
So simple, thanks Darklama. Would anyone know a way to show all subpages? e.g., all subpages for a user page. -- Jtneill - Talk 02:11, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
You mean like all your subpages? --dark lama 02:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Or maybe you want just your subpages? Or do you mean something like {{Special:Prefixindex/User:Jtneill}}? --dark lama 02:22, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that's it - lovely, I'm really in heaven now. All of those are very useful options, Darklama. Now, can I push my luck further, while we're here? I've been wondering what is the difference between using subpages (/) and subspaces (:). Usually I see subpages, but sometimes I'm seeing subspaces e.g., in the MediaWiki help pages. -- Jtneill - Talk 03:40, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Whilst in wiki bliss, I just wanted to share that I've realised that {{Special:Prefixindex/{{PAGENAME}}}} could be very useful. -- Jtneill - Talk 03:53, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've included the Special:Allpages/Help: Link in User:Terra/Help Contents/1.0 does it seem alright in it's position. Terra 16:58, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
That seems fine, Terra. I've added some other 'micro' suggestions/comments to User talk:Terra/Help Contents/1.0. -- Jtneill - Talk 00:39, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright violations

I've recently checked the Category:Possible copyright violations and found a few articles have been marked as Copyrighted material since last year, no comments were placed on most of the articles which have been tagged as copyrighted am I alright to erase them. With the above comment I wanted to check to see if it doesn't meet the criteria to be on Wikiversity mainly because of what is on the actual article. Terra 17:54, 2 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

List the articles on Wikiversity:Requests for Deletion and give the rest of us the usual 5 days to check. Then delete if there are no objections. --McCormack 04:25, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Note that if you wish to link inline to a category, write [[:Category:...]] with a leading colon. --McCormack 04:26, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
What may happen if the articles are not removed? Can wikiversity be subject to law suits? Or is the contributor to blame? Furthermore, if the articles will someday be hosted on a server placed in a country not adhering to copyright laws, are they still subject to law suits? EugenSpierer 11:39, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It shouldn't get to a law suit - it would start with a request or a take-down order from the copyright holder (or a comment from someone who just happens to notice it), which we would surely comply with, if copyright was clear. Legal precedent in Germany (the only country where a court case has ensued from Wikimedia content) has been that Wikimedia has not been held liable for misrepresentation etc on its sites - though there's no guarantee that every country's legal system will judge it this way. I've no idea about the last part of your question - I presume you're referring to mirror sites - but I wouldn't concern myself with this. In general, my attitude to copyright is to address it as quickly but also as methodically as possible - without being too alarmist, while also being sensitive to the tone of the complaint. Sometimes it is possible to convince the copyright holder to release text/images under the GFDL, which is always the preferable option. :-) Cormaggio talk 12:03, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


I think Wikiversity could do a lot better if we encouraged some sort of group system. The system would be something like a page for new people to get into groups with other new people who are interested in the same or similar subjects. They could agree to meet at times, and research different things, then upload the information gathered to the wiki. We would probably want to limit it to a sane amount of people, but other than that there is a lot of room for new stuff. Like some of the users declaring themselves teachers, and some researchers to get information more efficiently, and also encouraging research and learning through interactions with other users. (20-100 users in a group maybe?) --V2os 03:01, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

>a page for new people to get into groups with other new people
Do you mean using things like this (categories, userboxes, enhancing social features, ...) ? Also the Wikimedian Demographics can be used with its categories to find people. Perhaps it also helps to look at Portal:Reading groups. The page/info you ask for could be mentioned either at registration or in the welcome-message.
Besides that: any user can create a wiki page where others can join - though new users need to know how to find this page. I hope every user can find the central spots to get help from WV participants: e.g. Colloquium, Wikiversity:Help desk, Wikiversity:Request custodian action
May I ask if your comment above results from your activities so far from here ? If you feel like there are not so many people at a learning project where you are yet, you could increase awareness, e.g. do again a post here, look if you have the page listed on all places where it could be or ask participants from other (wikimedia) projects: e.g. find similar topics in Wikipedia and then find interested people either from the talk page or the version history or pages which link to that page. Or even make a note in the mailing list of Blender-group itself ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 06:39, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
There is a small problem with simply creating pages, you could have a complete beginner that requires level 100 classes join a group that is doing level 400 kind of stuff. It could be worked around if there is only one such person, but it would be much better if they were time sensitive to incorporate more users into similar groups. No, it is not about my articles, the idea comes from how classical universities worked. Simply a bunch of people who wanted to learn got together to do that and research. If the same approach is applied here in a more targeted manner it could work very well.--V2os 15:05, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I totally agree - it is a real need to allow people to find people who are eager to share a learning process that is appropriate for both/all people (this could bring together two or more people at the same level, or people who are just a bit ahead/behind each other in order for the people that bit ahead to consolidate what they know, and/or which could be validated by someone that bit more 'advanced'). This requires software tools to enable people to find and get in contact with appropriate people - like the ones Erkan mentioned. But perhaps there are simpler, more currently applicable ways for people to at least let others know of their interest; this could include adding your learning idea or question to a page - either a general page, or one focused on the subject of interest. What would be good to have in place in order to facilitate this process better? Cormaggio talk 15:25, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've been thinking about this sort of problem, and for a while now I've felt that Wikiversity needs a new "hub of activity" as it were, other than the colloqium,where users could post messages basically along the lines of "I just started this resource and I need new students- anyone who is interested, please come" or "If anyone is interested in _SUBJECT_ please contact me and we can talk about it" or "Would anyone be interested in starting a group to do _blank_". People seem disinterested in this sort of thing when it's posted at the colloqium. Instead of adding this function to the colloqium's uses, it may be better to have it elsewhere- so only those who are interested in finding new groups and projects would have it on their watch pages, and so those who want to join a new, currently active group don't have to look hard to find it. --Luai lashire 21:29, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I wonder if we can involve also Wikiversity:Page creation requests for the above ideas ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 12:16, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
A group of 100 people is a nice utopian goal, but there are simply too little people on Wikiversity to fill all the vacancies. In order to achieve this goal, there needs to be an appealing way of interesting people to join.--Daanschr 16:45, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Well there would have to be people in multiple groups, and that number is more about introductory information, with the people being able to branch out into different, more specialized groups once they've learned all the shared knowledge that's used from early classes. --V2os 19:05, 16 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

To refine the idea a bit more: Wikiversity using a system of individual wiki editors who do not communicate that frequently is not getting us very far in terms of material. Most all of the subjects are incredibly lacking, and only one editor has taken part in many of them. However if we encouraged every user to join a group that corresponds to their field of study (computer science, art, etc...) from the moment they register on wikiversity, we have a much better chance of getting many people to work together on at least the starter classes. Within these groups we need to also encourage the roles of teacher (person who tries to ensure that the others understand and practice the material) and researcher (person who finds material that is important to subject and inputs it somewhere in the wiki.). Of course allowing for multiple teachers and researchers in the same groups. A system like this should be more than 2 times effective than the current setup.--V2os 23:03, 17 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

New Browse page

I've been working on a new browse page for Wikiversity for some time. I have activated this today. If you were used to the old one, the novelty will probably shock. You can still access the old one if you prefer it. The new browse page has a number of ideas behind it. (1) It makes heavy use of the category tree extension to list wikiversity content dynamically via the category system, which means the page pretty well maintains itself. (2) It uses multiple paths and metaphors which cater better for the needs of our diverse user types and which avoid any stereotyping of wikiversity (e.g. only for US universities, only for certain resource types, etc). A self-criticism would be that the page feels rather like a train-station now - but then educational institutions do actually need some notice boards which feel like train-stations. Other pages, such as portals, can adopt friendlier, decorative and lounge-like styles. Hopefully people will feel that this is an improvement. --McCormack 07:07, 14 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

This is good (and thanks!) - but I think the most confusing thing about it is not the 'train billboard', but the categories by which we have Wikiversity broken down - by: "University Faculty", "Department", and "University School". Why is it like this? (I realise that that's what we've been doing historically, but I'm asking the question with a fresh impetus.) I'm wondering if it's time to rethink our structures (see eg this proposal). Or perhaps - somewhat less drastically - we might keep some of the structure that's in the top box along these lines, but simplify the rest of the page by facilitating browsing by simply subject, user type, and resource type. What more do people need? And as far as giving a user-friendly overview of Wikiversity to parallel this page, we could make better use of the following: Wikiversity:Examples (an attempt to give some examples of Wikiversity material/activity), and Wikiversity:Featured (an attempt to 'showcase' the best of Wikiversity). Cormaggio talk 14:42, 15 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The answer to your question "why..." is that while I have a taste for revolution, I don't want to go too far on my own. The new browse page is mainly an exercise in technological innovation, but somewhat respects the status quo in terms of structure. If you wish to extend the revolution to structure, I'm with you. On the other hand, I've seen you over-simplify some things, Cormaggio. For example, after a lot of thinking about things, I reckon that you cannot combine pre-tertiary and tertiary guides - the gulf is simply too great. On the other hand, the reason I kept both "faculty" and "school" was that there was apprently a big fight about this before my time here, and I didn't want to resurrect the fight. There's the additional problem that you can't simplify the browse page until the category system itself is more coherent. The current category system reflects many incomplete attempts to rebuild the haystack, which means that if you cut out some of the multiple guides, you simply make large parts of Wikiversity inaccessible. Put it another way: the revolution must start with categorisation drives, from the bottom of the pyramid. Someone has to visit every single school and department page and recategorise them before those parts of the system can be removed from the browse page. --McCormack 13:10, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
There seems to be a few things missing, eg. Reading Groups; and it's a bit confusing to see how to edit the page given that its made dynamically from the category tree extension. McCormack, what is the best resource for looking at how one might go about using/editing the category tree extension? and perhaps we should put a link/note about this on the talk page. Countrymike 21:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
To add things, you need to edit the category system, not the page. The views depend entirely on the category system. If you wish to add a resource type "reading groups", then you must first create a category called "reading groups"; then put the category "reading groups" into the special resource types category, and then add some reading groups to the "reading groups" category. Put it another way: it's up to you (and everyone else) to really dig into the category system. It's no more difficult than just using categories properly. If you say it's "confusing" when trying to edit the page, it's because you should be editing categories instead. The browse page itself won't need much editing, and I can help anyone who's confused by it. --McCormack 13:10, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I have added some instructions to the talk page of the browse page. --McCormack 13:27, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Category:Reading groups appears now in "By Resource Type" (by moving Category:Reading lists below Category:Reading groups), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:29, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Countrymike, You are not supposed to edit it a lot- if you have the good habit of putting things into categories, mediawiki would finish the job for you. Hillgentleman|Talk 16:31, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I'm cool with the categories; I just didn't realize that you needed to add another category to the actual category page to get it to work. Thanks. Countrymike 00:55, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Good work on a portal of portals. Except that I don't agree with your views on schools and faculties: schools are "wikiprojects" organised by subjects, mostly without regard to the level; faculties were just convenient names (which some folks dislike) for portals.Hillgentleman|Talk 16:25, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Can I just add that I like the new page - and I like the old page. Do we need to replace the other? Can the old be renamed to something else - or vice-versa? e.g., maybe the new page is a 'navigation' page, maybe the old is a 'browse' page? e.g., the task I set myself on both pages was to find psychology - I found it quicker on the old page. And I haven't worked out yet what category to add to School:Psychology in order to get it showing on the new page. But I do like not only the new page, but also the potential it indicates for greater use of category-tree dynamic navigation. -- Jtneill - Talk 00:54, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Jtneill: the answer to this (the psychology problem) is that the current category system is poorly structured and needs an overhaul. The browse page currently simply reflects the category system, which has previously not come under the spotlight. Think of it as taking the clothes off Wikiversity for the first time. Should we just put the clothes back on to hide the many structural issues we'd like to ignore, or should we put Wikiversity through a complete health restoration programme by getting the categories into order? --McCormack 04:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hillgentleman: thanks for your comments about schools and faculties. I think it's more complicated than you say, because different people had different concepts at different times. But I'm all for better structuring, provided we can efficiently find everything. --McCormack 04:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Newcomers and the browse page

Has anyone thought about how newcomers might react on this ? A user probably might click on one of the categories and then I am not sure if every newcomer understands that categories are just a means to structure and not to create content there (we could actually think now: why not create there also content ?)
see e.g. this user and the edits Should we ask some recently new comers about this ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:43, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It is unlikely that a newcomer would want to edit that page; but if she really does, it would guide her to form a good wiki-habit: put your page in a suitable category so taht others can find it! Hillgentleman|Talk 16:31, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
One solution to Erkan's newcomer question is this: important higher level categories should use a template which inserts some explanatory text. --McCormack 05:01, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

A thought on transclusions

Subpages used as soley as transclusions should not be given their own page in the namespace at which they are used as transclusions. They should be in the template namespace. They arguably just contribute to clutter, especially if they serve the purpose of soley being used as a transclusion and cannot hold their own and hold no particular use wholly as an individual page. --Remi 16:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • This is a complicated one. In recent months I've tended towards the view that if a transcluded thing is sufficiently important, it can go in the main namespace. A classic example of not putting transcluded-only pages into the template namespace are staff elections. A more recent example is something like Main Page/News which I moved from the template namespace to the main namespace (along with a few similar pages). The argument against doing things like this is that if someone does a search, by default this search is restricted to the main namespace, so you don't want odd transclusion-only subpages thrown up in the results. However this argument doesn't work with Wikiversity, where all the namespaces are searched by default anyway. The strongest argument for this (and therefore against Remi's suggestion) is that a template is fundamentally intended for multiple use in different contexts (e.g. Template:image), so if a page has mainly text/image content and only has one intended transclusion, it isn't really a template at all. I can see all sorts of ways of arguing this one! --McCormack 16:35, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


The new version of the Help:Contents is fully activated the old format have been moved to Help:Contents/Old for users who still wish to use it, however though those who have been assisting with the new version will be able to fix or add links directly to the Help:Contents without having going within the user-page Contents - so it may prove useful to some of you with it being updated officially, also I've updated the Header on the Wikiversity:Help desk. Terra 19:31, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


A user have asked me to protect their userpage which can be viewed via here - I've asked for a reason for wanting a page protection but there hasn't been any problems to qualify for page protection - I've only semi-protected three of my subpages because they affect my entire userpage and subpages. Terra 08:21, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I wonder if this protection request derives from this this edit? Interesting issue. Is there any policy or guidelines about the Wikiquette of editing other's user pages to which we can refer? -- Jtneill - Talk 08:38, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Not to my knowledge - there may be one on this site - but I think i've heard of one on Wikipedia, they have a lot of Policies but that's for Wikipedia though, and the Policies are different on each Wiki sites. Terra 08:44, 18 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
About editing user pages: see here: I invite others to edit mine.
See also: Wikiversity:Be bold. There is no mine or yours here in wiki-verse : it is all ours (Mediawiki software offers when creating a new page for everyone the "edit this page"-button). I think many problems in the world are because of such thinking ("this is mine and not yours"). But together we can reach a better way - not by bringing "bad behaviours" also into this world. See also Rousseau's quote about fences ("The first man who...") here.
Wikis work best with trust: if we go about what might go wrong in the future (and there surely are many things), we would have to initiate more security mechanisms. And with every of these we become a less freer place. But even if one does these, a smart person always can find a way around this. We can be a place for anyone (see also possible ways to turn into constructive editors)
"To assume good faith is a fundamental principle on Wikiversity".
So, what arguments are there to protect or not to protect that specific user page mentioned above because of that edit ? We recently had a discussion here about protection. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 08:31, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting, great stuff, Erkan, I love the Rousseau quote and am a fan of 'trust is what makes wiki go around'. So, if a user page is just another page which anyone can edit, then we should get over our taboo about editing other user pages. In this case it seems we should be careful not to discourage others who provide accurate edits by protecting against them? The manner of course could have been different, but that's a separate issue. Particularly if this was an accurate edit, then it seems to me that the response should not be to protect against such edits. If a user wants a space which is not edited by others, perhaps it should be on another domain? At the bottom of editing all pages it says "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." -- Jtneill - Talk 11:14, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Erkan, I liked the text on your user page, so I put it here and modified Template:Edit page - see what you think:
This page (and any subpages) are part of Wikiversity. If you have ideas to make the content "better": Be bold, edit!
-- Jtneill - Talk 11:27, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I like the template - and I tell you why, because
  • you left out: "You will get also feedback to your edit."
This was actually still in the thinking process from the real world: "threatening" others that their edits may be controlled again. So I like that you removed this.
  • and added: "(and any subpages)"
this is also going one step further, because the idea counts for all pages
I have replaced the text on "my" user page with this template.
I just see this and other things as a part of developing: everybody starts fresh in the wiki-verse and I think with time and many edits one gets to realize more truths. Though I must say I also still fall back from time to time into old habbits :-( Since Wikiversity is all about learning, let's see where this learning experiment with "explicitly reminding of open user pages" will go (for oneself and others).
I am sure there will also be (good and bad) side effects, so nobody is forced to join so openly. I think for many editing other users pages is easier than to accept that someone edits ones user page. Because that involves that you are able to handle e.g. critiques. People should not forget: we can revert anything in the wiki verse. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 12:01, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
This is nuanced territory. I've always followed the etiquette of not editing another person's user page unless it was reverting vandalism. I don't see it as a taboo, I just think it's being polite, and recognising that another person has organised their user page in this way, which they find appropriate. If I don't understand or disagree with something, I would bring it up on their talk page - clearly, editing it to reflect my view would simply be provocative. I think it's useful to allow people to have their own personal space (such as the nurturing of a personal learning environment) - though which does require some guidelines in order to mitigate badwill. Furthermore, I think a culture of trust needs to be extended to trusting that someone has their page that way for a reason, and that "merciless editing" is not such a productive stance when thinking of the individual. I've had constructive edits of my user page (eg [1] :-)), but clearly the edit which prompted this request was quite sneaky vandalism (to anyone else, it could well have been the user themselves, editing while not logged in). Even still, I'm not sure this is cause for protection, even though I agree with more thought around how pageprotection processes can be used as an educational tool. Cormaggio talk 12:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Besides reverting vandalism there is also possible to correct typos, making better interwiki links to wikimedia projects (than http:...). In the German Wikiversity I have seen how someone called this "service". Personally I have made all these 3. I just think now what other reasons I had to edit user pages ?
"merciless editing" is definitely a way to scare a newcomer off from the wiki project :-( So, it is definitely a good approach to tell the person whose user page is edited or going to be edited to inform about the change why it was/is going to be done.
"Actually I also want others to learn with this." - this is for me a point where I would like to do more. There could be made e.g. a survey who edited so far user pages or not. And then ask: why ? Probably it is a boundary which users set themselves though technically it is possible in a wiki. Mediawiki enables the "edit this page"-button right from the begin.
Let's see how it goes with that learning project "explicitly reminding of open user pages". Everybody is invited to improve this user page (there is certainly some things to improve). ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 10:17, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The learning project Did you ever edit another userpage than "yours" ? was initiated - please share your ideas. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 11:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

New main page

I've been working on Main Page 0.5 for quite some time now. I'd like to ask people their opinions on activating this as the Wikiversity main page now. The current main page (from December 2007) is my rather hurried attempt at updating the August 2006 version. The new one (Main Page 0.5) has a very great deal more in it. The text is largely an effort between myself and Cormaggio. The colours were discussed some weeks ago in another thread. One of the more radical changes is the substitution of "yesterday's featured project" for Wikiversity's first ever "picture of the day", which is a rotating schudule of (currently) 100 educational images with captions and carefully selected links to useful categories at Commons. The navigation has been updated to use the dynamic category tree extension (on the right), and I have started to create new portals and guides into which this new navigation system can link. Anyway, shall I activate it? What changes would people like to see? --McCormack 13:30, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Very Impressive, you two have done very well - I think it's ready to be activated. Terra 18:01, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It looks quite nice. It would be nice to have an updated main page sooner than later. It displays fine for me on IE but in FireFox there is a horizontal scroll... [ posted by Remi ?]
As far as possible changes, it would be nice if we could have the whole space filled somehow. Additionally, the whole right bar seems a little squished in FireFox, and no horizontal scroll. However, it seems aside from the horizontal scroll it could probably be implemented and be beneficial. --Remi 05:06, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, Remi. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, you are correct that different browsers and screen resolutions need checking. If you could take a couple of screenshots and post them to my talk page, that would be great! --McCormack 06:00, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think that horizontal scroll was there yesterday - I suspect its the size of today's picture? 06:03, 21 April 2008 (UTC) -- Jtneill - Talk 06:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
On horizontal scrolling: the background is that educational pictures are more detailed than pretty photos, and so they tend to need more space; hence the picture of the day takes up quite a slab of space in the centre. However I think this is worth it. For people with small screen resolutions, this can result in a play-off between an uncomfortably narrow right hand column or horizonal scrolling - i.e. you get one or the other. If people think that horizontal scrolling is better, then I can force a minimum width for the right hand column. --McCormack 06:42, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I kind of liked the old plain colour scheme because it leaves the dynamic content to stand out e.g., esp. featured project and featured picture. 06:03, 21 April 2008 (UTC) -- Jtneill - Talk 06:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC) (grrr, since signing up for unified login, I seem to get regularly logged out???)[reply]
Erkan says that on old Safari browsers (3.0.4) the right hand column can just cut over the sister projects box. --McCormack 06:40, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Nice, the horizontal scroll issue seems to be fixed. The question popped into my head; how would it be if the help section was moved to the bottom middle? It seems it may balance out the layout some. Oh, I see it is at the main page now. Nice. : ) --Remi 15:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, Remi. On your suggestion about the help box: you've missed my cunning plan, whereby the right-hand column (inc. help box) is also a standard part of all major portals - see, e.g., Portal:Secondary Education. One can also balance things out by deleting some old news items. --McCormack 16:45, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
We'll by all means... That sounds good and reasonable then. =D --Remi 21:29, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Horizontal scroll is back today... --Remi 01:19, 24 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I still need to fix some of the maximum image widths - did some of the music ones this morning. --McCormack 06:01, 24 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion page opened up for this topic

I've created a FAQ and discussion page at Main page learning project/April 2008 Redesign. --McCormack 12:12, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

A Proposed Course Model

I think that in order for WV to dramatically increase its number of learning projects a non compulsory model should be devised, with which authors could build course and which would not require the author to add a whole lot of content, thus making it easier for him to start a project and rely on learners to add content and discuss it. I am therefore proposing that course be based on reading lists (and potentially external links to the reading list items). Each learner would then be able to read an item from the list and write down a summary of it or correct an existing summary. By standardizing courses, clutter can be avoided and efficiency increased. I am not proposing, however, that this course structure be mandatory. EugenSpierer 08:31, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for this Eugen. I think it's a fine model - have you seen Portal:Reading groups? (A good example of something similar to what you propose is Ivan Illich: Deschooling Society.) However, perhaps you're proposing something different from a reading group, per se. You might also like to take a look at the page on Wikiversity learning model, which I've been hoping to develop and discuss, eg Wikiversity learning model/Discussion group. However, feel free to create a new 'meta' page on, say, "models for developing courses". Cormaggio talk 09:49, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I have read those pages, yes. This is not meant as a reading group but as a proper course structure that would make it easy on anyone who wishes to write a new course. He/She would only need to devise a reading list instead of rewriting any information relevant to the course.
I am currently working on a course based on this model. I'll start with it and see it the model has any potential or if it catches on.
And this brings me to an interesting question. Can a reading list be copyrighted? EugenSpierer 10:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
We should perhaps talk of resource types rather than course models, and yes, the resource types should be considered an open-ended thing where educators can experiment with and add new ones. The issue of whether or not a reading list could be copyrighted might turn on how original and non-obvious it was, which might in turn depend in part on its length and detail; but I wouldn't recommend googling for every reading list you can find and mass copying them onto Wikiversity on the assumption that they are all public domain, if that's what you have in mind. --McCormack 10:46, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Ofcourse not. The original author's consent should be acquired beforehand. EugenSpierer 12:57, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Well, it might be better to actually generate one's own lists, rather than go off googling. Building a collaboratively developed reading list for and by the people interested in that subject strikes me as a better way of developing a learning project/group/community, than simply adding someone else's list, regardless of its licence. Cormaggio talk 16:28, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
You are right, but I believe not many people have read enough about a certain subject to write down a big enough reading list for what I have in mind (a very detailed course). The effort can be collaborative or based on an existing reading list, which would give such a course a strong base.EugenSpierer 16:44, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Topic subpages & research page location

I'm trying to get my head around some structural aspects of WV and am pondering:

  1. Can/should a page in the topic namespace have subpages? Or should it essentially link out to content in the main namespace?
  2. Where could/should a research-focused page for a learning topic be located? e.g., given "Topic:X", where could/should a page about "X research" reside? (Note that "X research" may be a research project; or it may intially just be a summary of research in a field). Should the page be "X research" in the main namespace, or "Topic:X/Research", or something else? -- Jtneill - Talk 15:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Given the chance (!), I'd do the following to the topic namespace, in order of preference. (1) Get rid of it. (2) Try not to use it. (3) Redirect to more appropriate namespaces. (4) Use subpages only for subcomponents of pages (as with portals and the main page). I'm not sure I represent consensus here, though! --McCormack 17:58, 24 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
As I've understood it, the topic namespace is there effectively as a disambiguation page for multiple resources on the one subject, and as a means of organising links to relevant content (and of course, creating new links). I think the topic namespace is quite handy - I'm not sure what you're suggesting in its place, McCormack. In any case, I think content should be in the main namespace, so a research page on X could be called "X research", "X/Research", or more specifically named variants on these, eg. "A mixed methods approach to understanding inclusion in schools". In the "topic" way of doing things, this would be linked to from Topic:Inclusion, Topic:Research on schools, Topic:Mixed methods research, etc. Cormaggio talk 18:30, 24 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
If I understand you correctly, the Topic mainspace is intended as an intermediary between a disambiguation page and a portal. I'd suggest that portals and disambiguation pages are sufficient by themselves and that there is no sufficient gap or gulf between portals and disambiguation pages which justifies a namespace of its own. For example, there is already sufficient flexibility in the portal concept for distinction between major, minor and perhaps further gradations of portal - and this is easier for people to understand. So what are the chances of establishing consensus on exterminating the Topic namespace, do you reckon? --McCormack 19:53, 24 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks McCormack and Cormaggio. I think I'm clear now that subpages (whether about research or other matters) would not belong as part of a Topic namespace page (unless perhaps they contained transculadable content used on the Topic page in question). I am still pondering though (like you) what Topic is for. According to Wikiversity:Naming conventions#Topic it could be for a department, division, centre, etc. and contains organisation of the development of materials. I guess I'm curious to know what advantages there are in having such content at Topic:X compared to X? -- Jtneill - Talk 00:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
On Wikipedia, a disambiguation page is for topics whose names overlap or have multiple meanings (eg "reflection") - on Wikiversity the scope for overlapping is much greater, encompassing also different learner levels, different audiences, and different perspectives. A topic page is meant to serve all those functions, as well as allowing for links between related subjects, which wouldn't be fully covered under "disambiguation". Also, a topic page is meant to be easily editable so as to facilitate development of new content in a given area - a portal page is meant to be user-friendly to the person looking for content, but it is not so easy for people to edit such template/code-heavy pages in order to develop their own content. Any alternative to the topic namespace would have to have both a highly flexible organisational function, and to be easily editable for a newcomer who wants to add content in a given area. And as a side comment on all this, I think we need to have a fairly intuitive system that encourages people to be as specific as possible in their naming of pages; as well as, recognising that people don't always do this, a manageable system for 'wiki-structuralists' to rename, interlink, and disambiguate pages of a similar topic, in order to help people find and develop related content. Cormaggio talk 09:10, 25 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Does this mean that Wikiversity:Naming_conventions#Conceptual_maps no longer applies? --McCormack 09:28, 25 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I have added the first few sentences of your definition to Wikiversity:Topics, because it is the most illuminating thing I have yet seen about topics. Could you extend your comments by explaining how the school namespace fits into this? --McCormack 09:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Personally, I would like to see the School namespace phased out, and I am now wondering about Topic too. :-) I've spent the intervening time between my last comment and now reading the naming conventions talk page - for JWSchmidt's background on Topic and School, see Wikiversity_talk:Naming_conventions#History. I've never been fully happy with our structure, which has clearly caused significant and prolonged confusion - I personally dislike calling anything a "faculty", "department" or "school", and would prefer some system for simply aligning a group of people around a particular subject area (see discussion on "groups" above). I'm now wondering if Portal and Category should be our only structuring namespaces, and have organiser pages (analogous to disambiguation pages, but slightly expanded) in the main namespace for the variety of resources etc on any given subject. The most compelling reason I see for having any other structure would be to enable people to guide learners along a certain learning path (sometimes previously referred to as "streams") across existing resources which span several subject areas. You might also call this a "course", but I see the possibility of paths that do not follow the route of courses created so far (eg Filmmaking), which are pretty much self-contained units. "Paths" could be organised by the Topic namespace or a new one - but really, any naming for structuring knowledge or activity is going to be problematic. And, of course, phasing out or replacing the Topic or School namespaces would be a massive undertaking... Cormaggio talk 10:22, 25 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I thought that the Topic namespace was actually very well argued for in SB Johnny's approach, here - a quite simple Topic + Categories idea that required almost no ontological overview of Wikiversity to get things going and somewhat organized. Self-created and maintained portals just get us back to the old department/school/faculty mess that's been bothersome for so long. I'd be more in favour of promoting the use of Topics and then using the type of Category extension being used in Wikiversity:Browse to create portals to content. If possible Portals should be automatically generated while Topics are simple to edit, add learning resources (in the main namespace), etc. SB Johnny put it like this: "Topics are annotated by human editors who create a sensible narrative connecting the resources linked from a topic. Categories are added so that the software can keep track of pages, and so that the software can be employed by human editors to make interpretations using DPL and other functions that enable the MediaWiki to do automated things that human editors don't have time to do." Countrymike 02:12, 26 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The arguments for the Topic namespace sound fine - in theory. The practice, however, seems to be rather messier, e.g., what to do with something like this Topic:Visual Basic, which is basically a course. Should it simply be moved to Visual Basic? -- Jtneill - Talk 11:13, 26 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The main (and perhaps conclusive) argument against the Topic namespace is that almost nobody understands it and it invariably gets used for courses. One can, of course, find a coherent definition for the Topic namespace, just as Cormaggio does. But a coherent definition does not necessarily entitle the entity to its own namespace - an entity with Cormaggio's definition could just as well be confined to a box on a multi-box portal, or to a subpage in the Portal namespace. A portal should not just be a user-friendly guide to an area of Wikiversity - it should also be a one-stop guide to that area, because one-stop is user-friendly. Just some thoughts. --McCormack 11:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Well, the existing definition in Topic:topic doesn't help clear things up really. I'd argue that out of all of them Topic actually has the most basic definition and could lead us out of the faculty/school/department silliness. Topic:Visual Basic should probably be moved to Main and referenced from something like Topic:Computer Programming, have a category Computer Programming attached to it and voila. I'd vote for removing all namespaces except Topic and Portal. Countrymike 02:33, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
FYI, I moved Topic:Visual Basic. -- Jtneill - Talk 23:58, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

(Unindenting), I presume you mean all namespaces apart from the Wikiversity, User, Mediawiki, Help, Image, Template, and Category namespaces? :-) That would mean just removing School (as per below). Topic can work fine - but I could see its function being replaced by a page in the main namespace that had a short intro, setting the subject in context, and then listing the resources in and around that subject in the same way that a Topic page currently functions. 'Setting the subject in context' would mean you can follow links between subjects and their hierarchical or related subjects in the same intuitive way you can read a Wikipedia article, and follow its links. This would also help with more intuitive interlinking - currently we need to do a lot of redirecting to make links from related pages to Topic:X as opposed to X. Cormaggio talk 09:45, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


At User:OhanaUnited/Sister Projects Interview‎, OhanaUnited has asked for internal links to be prefaced with v:. I initially didn't do this, because v: doesn't work it seems from within WV - it only works from sisterproject sites. Can v: be added as a shortcut within WV? -- Jtneill - Talk 13:53, 26 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The shortcut does not seem to be working as documented at meta:Help:Interwiki linking. The v: should be working. --mikeu talk 14:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
wv: doesn't work either. Where should this be reported? -- Jtneill - Talk 01:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It seems like it's not ready yet, I'll push it back by a week so that you guys can polish it. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

JEE Course

I would like to create a course for JEE, the new Java Enterprise Edition. Everbody who is interested in contributing or participating, please join in and drop me a note, if you want! --baum 10:31, 22 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Welcome around here baum. Perhaps it could help others, if you add some content, so others can see how it will go ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 17:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Erkan, You're really everywhere, immediately! Yes, that's a good idea. I decided to start on my own, while everybody is welcome to join in --baum 10:00, 3 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

OMG! --rawrbitch 10:00, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Level assessment

I think one of the most important things that should be established is a method of reliable student assessment. I propose such a system to include the idea of apprenticeship, where highly ranked contributors could teach newly arrived students about a certain topic and rate their progress formally by assesing the apprentice's contribution to wikiversity. Ofcourse such a system would require a system of contributor ranking which, I suggets, should be based upon a person's contributions to wikiversity in the past and a joint assessment of their quality.

--EugenSpierer 11:32, 9 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I like the idea of w:apprenticeship. But I also think that each learning resource and course would want to evolve it's own system and assessment style. -- Jtneill - Talk 16:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The problem with your idea, Eugen, is one of staffing and time. Even at a university with salaried staff, this would be a rather people-intensive task. At Wikiversity, with a thin scattering of volunteers doing the admin, it's currently not practical. For the moment, the best we can do in the way of tutoring and mentoring is training people to do maintenance tasks - see Wikiversity:maintenance. See also w:Service awards for something fun. --McCormack 06:51, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I think that assessment is something we need to think about - it may not currently be practical for a student to expect their contributions to be assessed, but it is at least possible for an active contributor to assess another contributor's progress. I like the idea of apprenticeship, but I think this kind of initiative could include the assessment or feedback of a peer learner, and not necessarily someone who is 'more knowledgeable' (by whatever criteria). This kind of thing could be organised by templates on people's userpages - the question for me is how the process would be validated. Cormaggio talk 12:13, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting thoughts... perhaps some self-assessment models/tools could be part of the 'package'. I see there is Wikiversity:Assessment, but its about assessing wv content, as opposed to assessment of achievement of learning objectives. Is there somewhere else where this topic has been previously discussed? -- Jtneill - Talk 12:32, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, I'm not sure - perhaps more on IRC than on-wiki - but this is where JWSchmidt could be helpful with his encyclopedic pointing skills. ;-) The Instructional design people set up an assessment template that worked for their course, but I agree with you that different courses and groups will have their own methods and criteria of assessment. I think that Wikiversity:Assessment should probably be merged with Wikiversity:Feedback and/or Wikiversity:Quality to make way for a more focused discussion on assessment models for Wikiversity. (Actually, Eugen already mentioned a possible "contributor ranking" model which would address validity, and which has been discussed in relation to article validation - however, this needs much thought to work properly, or at all.) Cormaggio talk 12:46, 10 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

What do you think of adding multiple answer questionnaires to reading lists, in which learners could test their own process of learning? I am thinking about structuring some bioethics courses for wikiversity, which would consist of solely reading lists, questionnaires for each item in the list and their answers. --EugenSpierer 23:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

That sounds absolutely fine. So, how are people to test their own learning with a questionnaire? Are you thinking more of a quiz? Or do you envisage other processes alongside a questionnaire (such as keeping a reflective diary/blog)? Cormaggio talk 07:12, 12 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I am thinking about a self assessment in quiz form, yes. The learner should read the text, maybe summarize it in his own words and then have the quiz just to make sure he understood the text correctly. In this way, I am both avoiding the need for someone to voluntarily check the learner's understanding of the text, as well as minimizing the amount of initial text that I would have to write in order to get the course up and ready. EugenSpierer 06:34, 15 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

A lack of a preponderance of learning materials may in one sense hinder ability for a lack of reliable assessment. When a diverse set of learning materials are well developed and communities formed around these, perhaps some sort of assessment will naturally emerge. I like your suggestion though. : ) --Remi 09:02, 3 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

User:OhanaUnited/Sister Projects Interview - the earliest publication date is April 21

Would someone help summarizing the statements made so far on User:OhanaUnited/Sister Projects Interview ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:05, 20 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The new date for publication is Apr. 28. --mikeu talk 12:03, 26 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The first merge was done. Please someone have a look about this - also assume good faith if you find something not mentioned (which is actually important), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've given this a light copyedit and tidyup; its now over at w:User:OhanaUnited/Sister Projects Interview/Wikiversity. If others get a chance to take a look that would be good. -- Jtneill - Talk 11:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thx very much, Jtneill. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:01, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Removing the school namespace

This extends Cormaggio's point above about removing the school namespace. Cormaggio was in favour of this, but saw it as a large job. I've checked the contents of the namespace, and most content is either redirects or academic subject titles, and the volume of material once the redirects are ignored is quite manageable. I'd say that removing the school namespace can be done and is not a massive job. The topic namespace is rather larger and more confused. --McCormack 11:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

So, what would be done to current school pages? Would they be gradually migrated to main space articles? What if there is already a main space page of the same name? Would 'schools' still exist (e.g., could/would School:Psychology become Psychology, but still be called School of Psychology?. -- Jtneill - Talk 07:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I think it would have to be a case-by-case thing, depending what's actually been put there. In some cases which I am more familiar with, conversion to a portal may be more appropriate. It is also conceivable that content might be split between a relevant portal and a mainspace page, or simply go to the mainspace. Or if we decide to keep the topic namespace, then merger or conversion (of parts or all) to that namespace may also be part of each individual solution. Looking at your example of School:Psychology, it would appear that the schools have also usurped some of the functions which are better carried out by the Category system. --McCormack 07:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
An example: School:Psychology (just some quick suggestions). (1) The topics section is really just a list of which pages need a category leading from Category:Psychology, so I'd ensure all the existing (blue) Topic: pages have an equivalent Category: and then rely on the CategoryTree to lead to the listed topics; the CategoryTree could go on Portal:Psychology (which does not exist yet and might make better sense!). (2) The list of journals and external resources should go to Psychology Learning Resources (mainspace) and be categorised under Category:Psychology where it will show up prominently in the CategoryTree. (3) The list of uncreated courses is a hangover from the early days and should be deleted. (4) The created courses should be checked for proper categorisation (CategoryTree listing) and perhaps some chosen as featured content for the new Psychology portal. (4) The participants list could be moved to the talk page of the new portal. (5) The rest could probably go in boxes on the new Psychology portal. At the same time, the portal should become more friendly towards resource creation, which the current School: page isn't. --McCormack 07:39, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks - these are very helpful suggestions and I can see how they can work. I've copied and modified your suggestions and started on them: School talk:Psychology#Restructuring. -- Jtneill - Talk 12:48, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I needed to try this out (disbanding a School) to get a feel in a practical way for how it would work and what an alternative might look like.... so School:Psychology is no more. It took ~90 mins to sort through the material and transfer to other places, mostly as suggested. In the process, I found need to create Topic:Psychology for pasting nascent and legacy ideas. As a result of this experience, I find myself more in favour of Topic: (at least it is generic and flexible) and less in favour of School: (unecessarily fixed nomenclature) than I was before. See what you think of the damage and what could still be improved. -- Jtneill - Talk 00:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I was under the impression that the Topic and School namespaces were intended to be like wikiprojects on wp. For example, see w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy and esp. the talk page which is where the action is. The layout and content there is very different from w:Portal:Astronomy. But, yes, there is a lot of confusion about what the current namespaces are for. I agree with Cormaggio about the dislike of "faculty", "department" or "school" namespace wording. I do think that at some point we will have a need for something like wikiproject pages, although currently there don't seem to be enough editors for this to really take off. I tend to agree about phasing out the school namespace. Another advantage is that the default search only looks in mainspace and won't pick up on topic or school pages. --mikeu talk 11:55, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
(This is in part a response to JWS' comments below, but also comments above) ... I am pondering that it appears that the WMF rejected the initial WV proposal in part because of its reliance on the traditional notion of courses and it was strongly advised to be more innovative...e.g., learning projects and yet surprisingly traditional hierarchical structures seem to have been approved and tried (e.g., School:) with, in many ways, predictable results. If School:, why not Faculty:, Department:, etc.?? A mess. I am yet to find a School: page which functions anything like a bricks and mortal school, dept, faculty, etc. - they are generally from what I can see rather lonely and slightly embarrassing pages. I would be interested to see some active School: pages. So, I think the School: content should be put in the mainspace where it is more likely to be found and edited back into learning projects. Nascent ideas can go on Topic: pages. Topic pages can be anything - Schools, Centres, or projects, etc. So, I don't see any need for a new structure proposal other than a clear explanation of what can be done with existing School: content. Migrating from School: is a tidying up / refinement of the existing structure. -- Jtneill - Talk 04:07, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
[The following comment was moved from the voting section. --McCormack 04:19, 28 April 2008 (UTC)] comments. I'd like to see some discussion of the idea that Wikiversity Schools can function as content development projects. As far as I can tell, the idea of wiki content development projects was invented at Wikipedia and given the name "WikiProject". I really do not care what they are called, but I think we need to be creative and open to ways for providing collaborative workspaces where wiki participants can come together to develop content in various topic areas. What does it mean to say that "the Wikiversity community no longer believes that the School namespace serves any useful purpose". Does this mean that we do not need to provide workspaces where participants can collaborate on content development in large subject areas? Is the idea that we can get by with just the topic namespace and do not also need the school namespace? I agree with that sentiment in general, but it is also the case that hierarchical structures are a natural way to organize large amounts of material. The Wikiversity community naturally developed a hierarchy of school and topic pages and I do not see that such a hierarchy hurts anything. Such a hierarchical organization really is not that hard to understand......such organizational structures are widely used....I wish people who are upset by this one could explain why they are disturbed by this structure rather than just call for its destruction. What does "Nomenclature (school) makes no sense" mean? Should we use a different name such as "wikiproject"? I accept that even at Wikipedia many participants do not make use of the wikiprojects, I suspect most Wikipedia users do not even know that wikiprojects exist....they are really for dedicated contributors in particular subject areas. I suspect that most Wikiversity participants do not understand the concept of a wiki content development project. At one time the major Wikiversity pages were heavily linked to the Wikiversity pages that explain content development projects and the role of the school and topic namespaces....most of those links have been systematically removed. This is a sad and destructive trend for Wikiversity. Maybe those Wikiversity participants who have no interest in school and topic pages as content development projects could simply ignore these pages and leave them to other people who do want to collaborate on content creation in particular topic areas. --JWSchmidt 03:38, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I agree we need some space and methodology for content development - and perhaps we can start to clarify how the Topic structure can be used for this. (In an ideal world, I'd still prefer to phase out Topic and replace with a system like I sketched above, and perhaps add a different namespace with a more appropriate name to indicate its content developing function.) To me, the name is not trivial - and our current names have probably contributed to the "faculty/school/department mess" we find ourselves in. I also have no problem with subject hierarchy (I think it would be completely idiotic to deny it) - but this should surely be taken care of by Categories and Portals. I'm still mulling Topic, but I really don't see how School helps us in any way - or ever has done. Cormaggio talk 12:43, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Sometimes there nothing better than a reality check to help one forward with these things. User:Jtneill's comment above about his experiences with the psychology School and Topic pages is interesting. Remember that User:Jtneill is an expert in this field. While "disbanding" the School page and creating a Portal, he found that it was in fact useful to have a Topic page as well (despite initially being less in favour of this). It might be useful to examine what he, as an expert in that field, found it the right thing to do. --McCormack 12:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I wonder if my comments would mean much since I've been hovering under the radar for quite a while. I think it is very important that we have structures on Wikiversity that people can make analogies with in the real world. However, if a particular structure does not seem to work, then isn't the simplest solution simply to edit as one sees fit? If the school namespace doesn't seem useful, then isn't the solution just not to use it? I think we need descriptive, not prescriptive policies on how to organize content here. If it isn't clear that it is so, we need to make it clear, and that would probably do Wikiversity a lot more than removing the school namespace. Just today, I had the motivation for populating a school. I had an outline and a list I was ready to type up...and then I saw this on the Colloquium! It's just discouraging. --HappyCamper 14:01, 1 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I thought this might be a helpful link Special:Random/School. Hit it a few times or more and see what you think. -- Jtneill - Talk 14:58, 1 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Yes there are abandoned schools, but it couldn't be the reason to wipe them out completely (as namespace). I think we should delete the unusable ones - also true for unusable mainspace and Topic articles (examples). If other structure than school is more appropriate (case of School:Psychology) than it could be done that way.
From my point of view> Portal as sum of schools - School as sum of topics - Topic as sum of specified learning materials are completely understandable and reasonable. --Gbaor 07:09, 2 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Voting for ending the School namespace

A number of users have expressed support for retiring the School namespace. I suggest the matter be expressed as a formal resolution and put to a vote. Looking at the practicalities, I suggest the following resolution: Retirement of the School namespace: the Wikiversity community no longer believes that the School namespace serves any useful purpose. No further new pages should be created in this namespace. Over an indefinite period of time, existing content should be moved to other namespaces, as appropriate in each case. Once content has been removed from the namespace, the developers will be asked about the practicalities of programmatic removal. (Please discuss above and keep this section just for voting and very brief comment). --McCormack 05:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • Agree. Reasons: (i) Nomenclature (school) makes no sense (we need to be more flexible); (ii) Usage is currently not consistent and confused; (iii) an (arguably) unneeded legacy of initial WV proposal; (iv) Schools are not included in main search by default. -- Jtneill - Talk 14:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Support, see above discussions. Countrymike 22:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Oppose Not support - As of now, this seems like way too big of a move. The school namespace could be focused less upon by users, and not by force. It's existence does not have to impede progress in other areas of Wikiversity. --Remi 23:45, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • [A very long comment (in opposition) by JWSchmidt was moved up to the discussion area just above; please keep this section for voting and brief comments. Thank you. --04:19, 28 April 2008 (UTC)][reply]
  •   Oppose - We can remove the old structure when a new structure is developed which is found to be more useful.
Reminder: We will need the School name space once someone develops a complete school. This will happen... someday!!!! - - We are not finished yet so let's not get too excited about saying what is and what is not. Robert Elliott 03:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Support It's never been clear what this structure actually does to facilitate the development or finding of content - and to me, it just adds to a confused conception of Wikiversity as a traditional university. (We can and do support traditional models and structures, but we don't need every such structure, and this is one that I see as actively damaging.) Cormaggio talk 12:27, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Oppose - explained above --Gbaor 07:09, 2 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Oppose (weakly) - yes, I know I'm contradicting myself, but I realised this conflicted with other things I was doing. The school namespace can be used as a subdivision of portals for those paths through Wikiversity which use a university metaphor, which is what the namespace mostly already does. On the other hand, we need to make this namespace behave itself - i.e. template at the top of every school page telling people what the namespace is for (i.e. tertiary sub-portal). --McCormack 07:26, 2 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Oppose Yes, it doesn't seem to be working, but then, what is? At least let's see if anyone can get it to work before deleting it.--Rayc 21:51, 2 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Some comments from a lazy learner: Originally "topic" and "school" pages were community spaces. (See wikiversity:naming conventions.) The names "topic" and "school" appear to be somewhat ad hoc (they were established before I joined) but we may imagine that a topic page is for a group of people actively working on a specific topic (e.g. topic:string theory), whereas a school is for a (perhaps) looser group of people working on a field, or a range of topics. (e.g. school:theoretical physics). They differ from portals in that they are work-oriented, especially for topic: pages; Whereas Portals are entrances to (parts of) wikiversity for everybody. The word "school" with its multiple meanings may confuse some folks, and everybody may have her own ideas of what "wikiversity schools" should be, but still they are useful, at least for providing spaces (redundantly so, but still! it is good redundancy) for people to collaborate - especially for the future growth. Hillgentleman|Talk 10:45, 3 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Support, after a great deal of thought about it. In the beginning, the schools were to serve as a way of organizing content and helping newcomers find topics of interest. However, the schools have been poorly maintained, and as such only serve to muddle things and create the appearance of a series of ghost towns. --SB_Johnny | talk 16:13, 3 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Support There's too much overlap between all these classifications. If we want to make Wikiversity more usable, then it needs to be organized better. Deleting the school namespace will help do that. Wesley Gray 20:33, 3 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  •   Support Replace it with something that makes more sense. --Luai lashire 22:07, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Winding up the vote

At the current point of time, the voting is 6:6 (or 6:5 in favour if you ignore my weak vote). There is clearly no likelihood of consensus on this issue, even if the vote is held open for longer. Some of the opinions on both sides are strong. To me it looks like the "pro" side have the stronger and more coherent arguments, but that does not create consensus. Many of those who opposed the move nevertheless expressed various kinds of dissatisfaction with how the namespace is working, so I think we can say that there is (vaguer) consensus on the need for reforming this namespace, giving it a clear purpose and then tidying it up in line with whatever definition emerges. --McCormack 06:24, 8 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I am happy with this outcome because it seems to be a true reflection of the collective view - we are undecided. We think there are some problems with the current namespace structure. But simply removing the School: namespace is not the best solution. It will solve some problems, and it will create others. I have been mulling over it. Whatever namespaces are chosen that are not default will be contestable and will not always be used in the way in which they are originally intended. Stuff in these extra namespaces tends to become lonely and lost. I think wikipedia works best because almost all content is in the mainspace. I would move that this is in an important principle and criteria. My thinking then goes like this:
  1. Could the content reasonably go in the mainspace? If yes, put it there.
  2. Could the content reasonably go in a default namespace? If yes, put it there.
  3. What's left? Anything?
PS Can we move this soon to a Wikiversity:Namespace subpage or somewhere like that? -- Jtneill - Talk 00:36, 9 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I've set up a page to facilitate and gauge support for meetings between Wikiversity participants - at Wikiversity:Meetings. This has been previously proposed as part of IRColloquium and Wiki Campus Radio - both of which have not been active recently - but I wanted to set up a general space where this could be more comprehensively discussed, planned, and revived. Rather cheekily, I've proposed a meeting about learning on Wikiversity, which I'd like to pursue as part of my/our research. Please sign up, comment on this meeting or the page in general, or propose a different meeting. My own hope is that these meetings could be a way of facilitating a richer dialogue between Wikiversity participants, discussing what's going on, what can be improved, or even just what we're thinking about these days. Hope to talk to you soon. Cormaggio talk 12:30, 30 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

What a wonderful idea! I think a similar page should be set up where people from the same geographical vicinity would be able to meet in person. I am from Israel, how would I go about looking for fellow Israeli/Jordanian/Egyptian/Syrian/Lebanese/Palestinian wikiversity learners? EugenSpierer 06:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Hello Eugen, did you see already: Wikiversity:Meetup ?
btw: the info you request is actually sensible. If someone was willing to give that info you can find it of course
  • E.g. you could use Wikimedian Demographics with its categories.
  • or Category:Language user templates with the babel templates. Select one and check the "What links here"-link in the left navigation "toolbox". Then you see the users who claim to speak that language in a certain degree. Who knows, they may come then also from that country ?
  • also you could explore the Language ressources here to find people contributing in the wished language
  • Another possibility would be to go to beta wikiversity and check if a Wikiversity project exists in your desired language and then check the version history of that language pages to find contributors. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 11:20, 2 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I've added a suggestion on the page to have two meetings - one on Tuesday @ 23:00 and another on Wednesday @ 09:00 (both UTC). Please indicate here or on that page if that would be ok, or if we should modify it. (I'm wondering, for example, if Tuesday's should be earlier.) I'd like to announce this before the end of the weekend, so objections ASAP, please. Thanks. Cormaggio talk 20:11, 9 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

8 mins after your edit: How about Monday 12th May ?, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 20:21, 9 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've replied over there. (I hope people will notice this, now being quite far up the Colloquium - or have the meetings page on their watchlists..) Cormaggio talk 11:22, 10 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Japanese Wikiversity

"Hungarian Wikinews, Erzya and Extremaduran and Gan Wikipedia, and Japanese Wikiversity are approved projects currently waiting creation."

Just so you know what is stewing:

[show] Wikiversity Bulgarian 2 Verified as eligible 19-Dec-2007 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Catalan 2 Verified as eligible 28-Dec-2007 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Czech 2 Verified as eligible 23-Dec-2006 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Finnish 2 2 Verified as eligible 28-Mar-2008 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Gilaki 2 Verified as eligible 14-Jan-2008 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Haitian Creole 2 Verified as eligible 06-Feb-2008 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Hebrew 2 Verified as eligible 19-Dec-2007 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Hungarian 2 Verified as eligible 03-Apr-2008 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Korean 2 Verified as eligible 19-Dec-2007 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Limburgish 1 Discussion 01-Mar-2008
[show] Wikiversity Persian 1 Discussion 30-Jul-2007
[show] Wikiversity Polish 2 2 Verified as eligible 04-Apr-2008 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Portuguese 2 Verified as eligible 19-Dec-2007 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Swedish 2 2 Verified as eligible 19-Dec-2007 analysis
[show] Wikiversity Turkish 2

From: Meta:Requests_for_new_languages#Open

--Remi 01:05, 14 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Japanese Wikiversity won't be created until GFDL 1.3 is released. Portuguese Wikiversity has been included in the next batch of approvals and Finnish is in a very good way. All the others still have a lot of work to do.--ZaDiak 12:31, 30 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Czech, Dutch and the Portuguese requests have been included in the next batch of approvals.--ZaDiak 13:54, 20 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Portuguese and Czech wikiversity are now waiting for creation too.--ZaDiak 06:38, 24 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
All 3 Wikiversities are open since today. The WV community is expanding - everybody watch out ! ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) PS: Tag a learning project with completion status !! 15:50, 26 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yay! :)--Remi 10:51, 29 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yup! Already registered on czech (and german) --Gbaor 12:55, 29 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

How to archive?

Could the process of archiving talk pages be explained? (Quick search didn't find much.) How can a talk page be archived in such a way as to retain the edit history? Among other things, I am wanting to archive School talk:Psychology. Is this best done manually or automatically? If auto, how? -- Jtneill - Talk 14:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Archiving is done through a manual cut and paste to a new subpage - the edit history will be in the original page's history (and you'll be able to tell when to go back to if you check when the subpage was created). Cormaggio talk 16:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
How about: to move the talk page (e.g. to: Talk:Psychology/Archive) and then edit Talk:Psychology by overwriting the redirect (and make a link on the new talk page to the archive) ?
For archiving there can be used also the User:ArchiveBot. More info at: Template:Auto archive. E.g. fo rthe Colloquium it is: {{auto archive|target='Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/((Month:Long)) ((Year))'|age=21|mincontributions=1}}. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:13, 28 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I feel this process is the same on Wikipedia. So do we need the same processess? What about to delete it? More older participants know, that there is somethik like a history. I mean, if I found a page name I want, I may found a version (e.g. Botany and its version Botany v.1, Juan´s Botany etc.) or (if inactive, longer time inactive) I may just delete it and over paste.--Juan 09:33, 1 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]