On 6/13/06, Michael R. Irwin <michael_irwin(a)verizon.net> wrote:
Regarding Wikiversity .... there are still some of us
Wikiversity be a standalone project for developing and delivering
educational materials of all kinds. When a textbook is ready for
Wikibooks or a multimedia animation is ready for wikicommons then the
participants at Wikiversity can be trusted to migrate the materials if
it is appropriate.
Absolutely. I hope Wikiversity will be able to complement other
Wikimedia projects, and that participants of both/all projects work
out ways of sharing (possibly even slightly overlapping content)
between projects. But I'm not sure what you mean exactly here - I
personally think Wikiversity shouldn't be developing an encyclopedia,
a collection of textbooks, a media repository etc _on Wikiversity
itself_ - does that mean that, in your eyes, I'm arguing for a
Wikiversity which *won't* be a "standalone project for developing and
delivering educational materials of all kinds"?
It should not be dictated by outsiders to Wikiversity participants what
materials they can control in their own project space for maximun
I certainly wouldn't want that to happen. That's why I'm trying to
develop as broad a scope for the project as possible, while still
giving it a clear focus and rationale (ie. to combat the argument:
"keep Wikiversity at Wikibooks").
The typical argument concerns duplication of data on hard drives and
duplication of effort. Regarding the first I hope we can ignore it
given Moore's law, the current price of hard drives and the liklihood
that Wikiversity will be approved in two or three decades. Regarding
the second, writing, studying and wikis are all about duplicated efforts
and integration/separation of the same.
I don't know to what extent of shared content you're arguing for here
- I agree that it'll probably be a bit messy, but I still think that
we should be encouraging people to build materials where they're most
likely to survive. In my mind, at least, Wikiversity will be a hub for
learning, which could then be consolidated by creating content for
It will be a serious damper on Wikiversity's community to routinely have
groups showing up insisting local materials be relocated and deleted
locally only to find out that the other projects have inappropriately
modified the material or otherwise damaged their easy utility by
newcomers to Wikiversity.
Not sure I understand this. If other projects, say, Wikibooks, made
the material into a textbook from what was a collection of learning
sheets, well, the learning sheets would surely be always kept at
Wikiversity. If material was modified into a more advanced level, then
the more basic version would be always retrievable from the history
and forked into a new book. It's a wiki, right? Or have I completely
misunderstood your point?
Personally I think that the anticipated Wikiversity participants can be
trusted to work with other projects to locate mature materials
effectively. There should be no inflexible mandate built into the
project ground rules. To establish an effective pleasant learning
environment (the only kind that will prosper) the participants need
maximum freedom with minimal effective core guidelines.
I think "minimal" is right - but I'm also continually aware that we
need to provide the rationale to get Wikiversity going (btw, what do
you think of the current proposal?). We also need (at some stage) to
develop policies that will keep Wikiversity as stable as possible,
avoiding the kind of fuss that the Wikibooks debate on 'gaming guides'
(etc) has made. Still, Wikibooks has always had policies on its
content (though, as this case shows, they needed to be be given
further detail), and Wikiversity will have to do likewise - otherwise,
there will continue to be uncertainty, and potentially end up with an
intervention from Jimbo - which is far from ideal.