On 6/20/06, Jon <thagudearbh(a)yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
A number of comments:
1. If the aim is to provide multimedia learning materials for all age
groups, not just university-level, then Wikiversity is a very bad name.
Go for another one - Wikilearning, Wikicollege, Wikischool, something
else. Just something which does not automatically imply that it is just
for university-level learning. Otherwise, you will put off a lot of your
target audience just with the name. Seriously. Give a dog a bad name...
well, you know the rest.
Yes, well, this issue has been a long-standing one, about which
absolutely no clarity has emerged. There was an initial vote to see
which domain Daniel (Mav) would buy (see:
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikiversity/Old>) - then the
debate was reopened by Erik (Eloquence) (see:
For me, the name does have its problems, but it seems to be still the
best bet to energise a community of people to contribute to it. I also
believe that we can explain a rationale for calling it Wikiversity
while providing for all levels, on a page like Wikiversity:About. No
name, it seems, is unproblematic (incidentally, wikilearning.org
already taken and active).
2. Do bear in mind that Wikibooks does use multimedia already -
at least in terms of audio files - and will wish to continue to do so. Some
textbooks already have exercises and Q&As. If these can be made
more dynamic on Wikibooks in the future, then I'm sure they will. Audio
textbooks also, to my mind, fall within Wikibooks' domain. It's not
clear to me whether the Wikiversity proposal seeks to dilute effort
on these elements of textbooks, or not.
Absolutely not - Wikiversity will not seek to undermine or dilute the
effort or material on Wikibooks. Instead, I would see the material as
potentially overlapping with eachother, but formatted differently - in
textbook form on Wikibooks, and broken down into learning activities
on Wikibooks, which could be used by teachers as stand-alone lessons.
Some material will be duplicated, but the mission of Wikiversity is
not to duplicate this material unnecessarily - indeed, to promote the
development of further material on other projects if that is a more
appropriate place for it.
3. The aims Cormac lists for Wikiversity do not appear to agree with
Michael Irwin's aims for Wikiversity. If the scope is not clear amongst
the potential initial participants, it sure won't be clear amongst potential
I think many of Michael's aims for Wikiversity are absolutely in line
with what I and the rest of the Wikiversity subcommittee want.
However, givenm that there are significantly diverse views about a
topic as broad as education, it is extremely difficult to have a
blueprint for a project which incorporates all these views. What we
have tried to do on the Wikiversity subcommittee is to make a proposal
that gives it the flexibility to develop with this diversity, while
giving it a distinct identity from other projects. I anticipate there
to be significant debate about where the project should go (as
evidenced by the discussions thus far), but I feel this will only
strengthen its development, rather than the other way around.
4. Wikiversity seems very ambitious (more ambitious than Wikibooks, and
Wikibooks, to date, has not yet delivered as much as we would wish). It's
fair to ask - however noble the ideas- why you think they will work.
Yes, understood. I personally think it will work for the following reasons:
* It is such an engaging idea - to make multilingual learning
resources available under a free licence
* Wikis are making waves in the education world (as I have seen
through working on the Wikimania program committee) - Wikiversity
should be able to occupy a central role in bringing this community
* Wikimedia is a massive name in free-content resources - I believe
that people with an interest in education will get involved because of
* One of Wikiversity's aims is to act as a spur for development of
other Wikimedia projects - hopefully participants of other projects
will be able to see the benefits that learning communities can bring
to their own projects.
* People like to help other people - many participants of Wikiversity
helping other people to learn will probably be students and not
necessarily professors/lecturers/teachers etc. This creates both
challenges and opportunities - but in order to make it work, we will
need to recognise and accept this. By providing a fully open space for
peer-learning, a user-base is opened up, which, I believe, is
unprecedented both in scale and scope.
----- Original Message ----
From: Cormac Lawler <cormaggio(a)gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l(a)wikimedia.org>rg>; Wikimedia
textbook discussion <textbook-l(a)wikimedia.org>
Sent: Monday, 19 June, 2006 1:10:41 PM
Subject: [Textbook-l] Wikiversity
Wikiversity is a proposed Wikimedia project, based specifically around
education and learning - the proposal to set up Wikiversity as a
Wikimedia project is at:
This proposal has been an attempt to address the fact that the last
proposal (see: <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikiversity>) was not
approved by the board (the background to this is summarised on the
current proposal's page).
For the last three months or so, the proposal (which was already in
development) has been extended and reworked by the Wikiversity
subcommittee is now pretty much satisfied that we have constructed a
proposal and scope for the project which gives it the flexibility to
develop, but also the clear rationale to exist as a separate project.
I'm now in the process of negotiating this with the Special Projects
Committee, hopefully to get it set up quite soon indeed :-).
In brief, the proposal is to:
*Host multimedia learning materials for all levels (ie not just
university) in all languages
*Develop learning communities around these materials
*Host research - possibly original research (though this will need to
be discussed by its community)
There is more to the proposal and scope and, if you are interested, I
would urge you to read the proposal and its related pages, which you
can find through a navigational template at the top right of
meta:Wikiversity pages. There is also a very basic mock-up of the
front page of Wikiversity, geared towards the current proposal, at:
One of the things the board last recommended was that the community be
"joyful" about the proposal before setting up Wikiversity. So, this
post is to gauge just how joyful people are about the proposal, what
you think works and what doesn't, what you would change, add, remove,
etc. I would like to use this thread to discuss what the best way
forward for Wikiversity would be, so we can give it the best start we
Cormac Lawler (m:User:Cormaggio)
(on behalf of the Wikiversity subcommittee)
PS: Please feel free to post this message (or a modification of it) at
appropriate places - I'm just posting this initially to foundation-l
and textbook-l (even though it slightly duplicates a discussion
already underway at the latter).
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