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Submissions/Wikiversities: get over the content, serve the flow

From Wikimania
This activity will take place on Friday, August 11, at 11:00, in Salon 5 (2nd level). Check the Program to confirm.

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 8022
Title of the submission
Wikiversities: get over the content, serve the flow
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
birds of a feather discussion
Author of the submission
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Country of origin
Brazil and France
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Garoa Hacker Clube
Personal homepage or blog
<https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/User:Solstag>, <http://hubzilla.com.br/channel/aleabdo>
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

At first glance, one could question Wikiversities' role within Wikimedia. Most of their pages resemble, and often are, copies of Wikibooks/Wikipedia content, which could have been developed within those projects, benefiting from their more thriving communities. As a learning platform, it is immediately disappointing, let alone comparisons to MOOCs.

Yet behind the scenes, lost between maintenance edits and secured by Wikiversity's openness to original content, you'll find a number of people quietly using it as a space for group and personal notebooks, of study and research. They are not building content for others, but for and of themselves. From lists of useful links - many to Wikipedia, - to lecture notes, to the organization of class project teams, it is not the usual Wikimedia content. However, it is valuable that this content is being produced openly. That people are sharing how things are being learned somewhere, that they are doing it in a way that embeds them in the Wikimedia ecosystem and invites contributions to sister projects, that they are learning to work collaboratively and using free licenses. All this fosters free culture among people and institutions that have much to contribute to Wikimedia's success.

So, might this be a true calling for Wikiversities? Should we start gearing these projects towards that? It doesn't take much. It would involve admitting that the bulk of regular content belongs elsewhere, usually Wikipedia or Wikibooks. And it would involve promoting Wikiversity as a space for groups of students and researchers to organize their activities, often around flows of content mostly housed elsewhere.

This will be a session to friendly discuss these ideas. I will warm up the discussion with some meaningful examples, and an account of Portuguese Wikiversity, which has partially undergone such a transition.

What will attendees take away from this session?

Understand current issues of Wikiversity and help the project think of ways forward.

Theme of presentation
  • Sister Projects
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Any level (if required, intermediate)
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
50 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Submission is a Draft
Final submission

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Strongly endorse. Time is coming to focus on original works to achieve our movement's vison. Freely sharing information between human be could not be done if we don't support publication of original works Lionel Scheepmans (talk) 10:53, 5 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I agree with your abstract, but doubt I will be able to attend the conference. Wikiversity is a place for teachers and students to write, but if it evolving into a useful body of work, the pace is extremely slow. Wikiversity needs to survive because someday that might change. For example, OpenStax textbooks are just coming out, and that might make it more fashionable to create open teaching materials under a CC license. Also, it is important to find wikis where students and researchers can work in private. One such wiki is Miraheze. See, for example https://wright.miraheze.org/wiki/Main_Page. --Guy vandegrift (talk) 18:54, 6 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. I'm following that Portuguese transition with interest. --Daniel Mietchen (talk) 01:31, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. This should be interesting! --Joalpe (talk) 22:34, 15 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]