[Foundation-l] Wikiversity

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Tue Aug 15 13:58:35 UTC 2006

James Hare wrote:

>Will Wikiversity even give out diplomas? Or will it be like Wikipedia's
>On 8/15/06, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
>>Jeff V. Merkey wrote:
>>>Has anyone considered the possibility of actually instrumenting an
>>>online course of instruction (beyond creating the content) and applying
>>>for accredidation of the whole project and going after real funding?
>>What a frightening idea!  A helpful rule might be, "Wikiversity is not a
>>diploma mill."
 From my own perspective on the topic, I think a roadmap needs to be 
laid out for what is really required for granting degrees by 
Wikiversity, which would also require formal approval at some point by 
the WMF board of trustees before the degree programs themselves are 
granted, in addition to any other accreditation standards or quality 
standards that are to be set up by the participants on Wikiversity. 
 There has been debate as to if courses should be taught at all, so the 
process of granting a degree should certainly have some incredibly high 

The reason for WMF board approval of the program is mainly because the 
WMF would have legal obligations related to the granting of any such 
degrees, and would be the certifying authority ultimately for any 
degrees that are granted.  This isn't that the board should micro-manage 
the course selection, but that a rational and well-thought out degree 
program can and should be put together by Wikiversity participants first 
that goes into exaustive detail to explain what it would take to grant 
any sort of degree.  And this is a major step for Wikiversity if it does 
occur, going beyond anything the WMF has done to date.

I would hope that some sort of "certificate of completion" could be 
issued for somebody who has completed a series of courses that have been 
established by participants on Wikiversity that might have some sort of 
merit and academic relevance.  Even this is something that should have 
some formal standards and not all Wikiversity courses should necessarily 
be something that would lead to one of these certificates.  

How these certificates could eventually become a formal degree is 
something that I have suggested should take many years of discussion and 
that Wikiversity is nowhere near ready to accomplish.  Let's get 
something started first, and worry about granting degrees when we have 
an idea on how courses can effectively be taught through a Wiki environment.

Robert Scott Horning

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