Wikiversity:IRC meeting:What is Wikiversity?/Summary

From Wikiversity

This page has a short summary of the discussion. The full log is at Wikiversity:IRC meeting:What is Wikiversity?/Log.


There was discussion of both the specific problem of launching the Greek language Wikiversity and also more general discussion of what Wikiversity is and how it differs from other sister projects such as Wikibooks.

Greek language Wikiversity[edit]

Zahos spoke for the Greek language Wikiversity community. Since the Greek Wikiversity has been "conditionally approved" and final approval seems to depend on a desire that "the Wikiversity people themselves indicate that it is a good idea that a new language version of their project is started", this IRC meeting was called in order to establish if the Wikiversity community agrees that the Greek language Wikiversity website should be started.

Background information to the problem of getting final approval of the Greek language Wikiversity had previously been posted by cormaggio in an email to the Wikiversity email discussion list.

Cormaggio stated the position that the apparent reason for blocking creation of the Greek language Wikiversity seems to be outside of the mandate of the Languages Committee (see 4:42).

Cormaggio indicated that he is in contact with the Languages Committee and expecting a reply (see 4:45). If the Languages Committee continues to delay approval, we can take the matter to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

Cormaggio suggested that it might help if the Greek language community can show strong support for a Greek Wikiversity (see 4:52). Would it help matters if there were a clearer list of active supporters? The rule is that "At least five active users must edit that language regularly before a test project will be considered successful".

Why small Wikibooks communities might not want to launch a Wikiversity[edit]

see 4:14 - 4:17 PM:

  • "a small Wikibooks website might not want to split off a Wikiversity in that language if they feel they can do it all at their Wikibooks website" JWSchmidt
  • "Some Wikibooks websites might define their mission to include what other Wikibooks in other languages do not allow" JWSchmidt
  • Another point could be, that with splitting forces the project will lack people to contribute

What is the difference between Wikibooks and Wikiversity?[edit]

As it seems Wikiversity and Wikibooks overlap - to some extent. Both have different approaches with similar aims (4:34 PM). Is there a way for both to exist side by side (4:30) ?

The question then was to identify what is the difference between both. In the views of the chat participants there was mentioned following differences/opinions (there were also >4 Wikibooks participants (from English, German, Dutch)):


  • is for learning materials (not books) and to organize learning processes... (4:13), is a complex space for collaborative learning (4:15), is more interactive (4:12)
  • allows primary research (4:16)
  • a more flexible NPOV (4:23), more freedom (4:24)
  • forgotten excerpts from the chat ?

What are Wikiversities in various languages doing?[edit]

to be done

French Wikiversity[edit]

The French Wikiversity (or « Wikiversité ») is one of the most active WV projects. It took-off in December 2006 and kept growing since on. Most of the activity on fr-WV is about finding or writing lessons, exercises (textual or audio - for foreign language learning, for instance) and « TPs/TDs » which are roughly exercices involving practical knowledge (wiring an electronic circuit, setting up an experiment...) the learners can do themselves in order to answer a set of questions. An example is alledgedly worth a thousand words : TD Informatique - Fractale de Mandelbrot (Mandelbrot fractal, Computer science TD).

Each lesson is part of both a Department and a curriculum (for example, an engineering curriculum may include maths, english, chemistry... lessons), and each Department is part of one of the 32 faculties. The most active faculties include : Mathematics, Physics, Engineering sciences, Biology, English, and French.

For every lesson, a list of prerequisites is given (you may need to know a bit about polynomials to begin with advanced algebra) and several « Référents » give help. They are people (teachers or students) ready to explain the hard bits, to give further insight in the subject and so forth. Talk pages are used by readers, so that they can ask questions, point out mistakes or unreadable sentences.

Every lesson is made out of several chapters, that are roughly 15-30 min text course excerpts. They are given a « niveau » (level/grade) according to which the topic is more or less thoroughfully discussed, with more or less examples, more or less difficulty... This allows us to adapt the way things are taught according to the abilities of the learner.

We really emphasise both on pedagogy and aesthetics, and verifiability : most lessons are expected to give a list of serious references. Most lessons also give links to other projects, e.g. Wikipedia or Wikibooks, where further information can often be found on a given subject.

Some statistics about the project :

  • 1338 chapters ;
  • 570 lessons ;
  • 271 departments ;
  • 32 faculties ;

Sharayanan (blabla) 18:05, 9 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Learning paradigm[edit]

to be done

Possible topics for the next meeting[edit]

See Wikiversity:IRC meetings