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From Wikiversity
Project proposal
About Wikiversity (draft)
Online Course
What Wikiversity is not
Wikiversity subcommittee
Moving Wikiversity forward
Wikiversity overview
Wikiversity in Wikibooks
(originally at the meta-wiki)

teaching - learning - discussing - creating - thinking

This page is for exploring how learning takes place on Wikiversity. The model we are talking about is based on "learning by doing", or "experiential learning". We believe this to be the most appropriate model for a wiki-based environment, which is all about participation.


Materials will be hosted on Wikiversity as stand-alone content—to be used as part of a non-Wikiversity course, or for self-study—but they could also act as an initiative for further work, on Wikiversity or other Wikimedia projects, or elsewhere in general. Furthermore, the use of these materials within the community will inevitably also constitute a type of collaborative learning. However, the material that Wikiversity hosts may be used in any way, depending on the people who use them and the context in which they are used.

Experiential learning[edit]

  • Everyone participates
Might be nice to have a page access/edit access ratio calculated and presented to give us an idea of what the reading participation is compared to the edit/crumb dropping participation.
  • Everyone "brings themselves" to the learning environment—ie your previous experiences
  • Everyone assists with improving the instructional scaffolding while using it.
  • Reflective cycle (keeping a journal)
other forms? Playing a simulation, deriving an equation, painting a landscape, making money on a stock exchange, presenting a business plan, filing organizational registration for a non profit, ...

Learning by doing[edit]

The process of actually learning on Wikiversity is primarily through experience—"learning by doing" or "experiential learning". Editing a wiki is an active, participatory process, involving action (editing, being bold) and reflection (discussion). Learning activities on Wikiversity need to focus on their wiki-based potential and the fact that they are based on collaborative, communal processes—see Learning community, or some ideas for different learning groups below.

Learning together[edit]

Fundamentally, though, learning is seen as a part of taking part in Wikiversity—in this, the following quote from Lave and Wenger (1991) may be useful:

"There is a significant contrast between a theory of learning in which practice (in a narrow, replicative sense) is subsumed within processes of learning and one in which learning is taken to be an integral aspect of practice (in a historical, generative sense)." (pp:34-35)

In other words, it is through taking part in developing and critiquing materials that people will form learning groups/communities and both further their own and the group's learning and generate new knowledge in the process. Wikiversity is about facilitating learning, and, as well as hosting excellent materials which may be used off the shelf by casual users, it is also designed to allow for this type of collaborative learning to take place.

Critical thinking[edit]

  • The ability to critically assess information, beliefs etc—including your own beliefs
Media 113[5]
  • A key skill in all areas of life [6]
  • Common to educational programs on citizenship, media literacy ...

Learning groups[edit]

(This content was moved here from the Wikiversity project proposal)

  • A learning group on a subject might write lectures collectively using readings they have done (chosen collectively). These would be a way for the group to get down the major points that they have learned. It might look like lecture notes that students take in regular university classes. These notes act as a guide for users to then take the knowledge they have gained and apply it to improving Wikipedia articles and writing Wikibooks. On the other hand, the group might chose to meet in chat rooms. These learning groups might not use wiki format lectures.
  • They might, collectively, create assignments to get a better understanding of the material and to contribute to the Wikimedia community. One example would be to have the group set out to improve a Wikipedia entry based on information learned from the readings and discussions. Another, most likely as a final project once the group has completed it's learning objectives, is to write a Wikibook based on what is learned from the group. This wikibook could then be used in future groups who decide to study the same subject, and they might perhaps again improve upon the wikibook based on what they have learned (possibly using sources the first group did not).
    • For example, users could form reading groups. Imagine an assignment where users read book X for author Y. User A learns information that is useful for Wikipedia, and adds a citation to book X in some Wikipedia articles. User B quotes a sentence of book X in Wiktionary to demonstrate how to use a word. User C mentions book X or author Y in a Wikibook. User D learned much from reading book X, but never contributed to Wikipedia, Wiktionary, or Wikibooks using that knowledge. All four users benefited by using talk pages at Wikiversity to discuss confusing or interesting parts of book X.
    • Another example would be the query expedition. It might be organized as a pool of best guess with individuals or teams taking pro, con, strawman, idiot user, or other roles in the attack/defense/hybridization of the final answer to 1.) deliver to the query originator and 2.) evaluate per compare contrast procedures against initial WAGs for credit, glory and learning feedback. This product would obviously be posted somewhere safe from deletionists until other teams had a chance to evaluate how best to integrate the newly found and created knowledge artifacts, data and links into other Wikiversity resources such as the brainstorming stash or inevitable to do and wishlists.

See: Wikiversity Learning Projects

Citing sources[edit]

Some Wikimedia projects, especially Wikipedia, need to cite sources. Learning groups at Wikiversity can study such sources and teach users to cite them.

For example, the Wikipedia article Wikipedia:en:Effects of the automobile on societies cites no outside sources. But if it did, the article would not cite every outside source about said effects of automobiles. Wikiversity could make a list of references to outside sources (including ISBN numbers, URLs, and links to Wikisource and Wikiquote) for studying effects of automobiles on societies. Wikiversity users could study some of these sources and provide comments. They can also use the sources to edit the Wikipedia article, thus adding those sources as citations.

See: Wikiversity:Service community and Citing Sources


One of the questions we will have to ask ourselves in providing for educational activities is: "how are we going to manage assessment?"

Consider the following quote:

"in order for students to become effective lifelong learners, they need also to be prepared to undertake assessment of the learning tasks they face throughout their lives" (Boud, 2000, p. 152)

We are developing a model of peer learning on Wikiversity - one in which people educate themselves and each other (through experience). A sustainable model of peer-learning involves giving people control over their learning - so that they, themselves, will be equipped with the skills they need in life, and also be able to apply those skills to help others in their learning. See also Keppell et al. (2006).

Other models of learning[edit]

  • "Acquisition and repetition of facts" (?)
  • Exposure to subtle models. Repeated exposure, daily (via many different individual models, people, personalities).
  • Sui generis. Creation from first principles. Rediscovering the work of others through personal insight.
  • Original Work—Learning by doing creatively.
  • Formal debate, analysis, or discussion with others. wikireason.net [7]

Other Learning Communities or Possibly Useful Research Results Online[edit]

TikiWiki is a CMS/Groupware/whatever and is used in several educative contexts. This website is dedicated to help that use and gather useful components to make it easier. -- 19:21, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This software tool attempts to facilitate organized online classes by broadcasting messages and responses in rounds to all participants. Might be a way to tame wild wikis for courses which need or want more traditional accountable participation from registered members only. Downside, must initially complete "Who are the leaders here games and discussions" so management or facilitation authority is established and correctly setup in the software project for the group. Introducing leader point of failure for the group. user:lazyquasar
This article analyzes open content production and potential advantages to the university system of Africa. It identifies as essential transparent comprehensive information access and communications between all team members as essential. Cabals or secretive bilateral gossip or exchange of information is identified as destructive to the overall productivity and survival of the production team. 06:01, 13 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • http://wikireason.net/wiki/Forum_Entrance This online learning community seeks formal debate, analysis, or discussion with others. Could be incredibly useful site for specific groups of Wikiversity participants for appropriate activities which could later be referenced or incorporated into Wikiversity materials or processes. "Wikiversity is not a debate club or chit chat student union .... wikireason exists for that! 8) 03:08, 2 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It identifies areas students in the course are invited to participate in documenting. It references Wikibooks as a resource: http://econwiki.lse.ac.uk/wiki/The_textbook
Its license is a creative commons sharealike (link on front page http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/) that would seem to preclude direct cut and paste interaction between its material and Wikibooks or Wikiversity. Obviously paraphrasing or cross checking facts remains legal.
  • http://communitiesofinquiry.com/ A breakdown of issues, pedagogies and methodologies relevant to creating, developing and researching online learning communities - based on Rourke et al. (2001)

We are not sure...[edit]

What all the possible learning modes, methods, preferences, factors, etc. are using wikis with other online and physical world resources are or may be. It would be extremely helpful to our Wikiversity:Research Network and the Wikiversity:School of Education if you share your thoughts, observations, wild ass guess (WAG), opinions or hearsay regarding how wikis and other resources can be used to aid and inspire useful, civilly responsible learning either directly or indirectly.

This is an interesting link [8] with a table that discusses how overlapping groups influence each other and propagate information over networks. Has some interesting implications for how Wikipedia, Wikiversity and other large global focal points might need to organize for effectiveness. user:lazyquasar


  • Boud, D. (2000) Sustainable Assessment: rethinking assessment for the learning society, Studies in Continuing Education, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp:151 - 167
  • Keppell, M., Au, E., Ma, A., Chan, C. (2006) Peer learning and learning-oriented assessment in technology-enhanced environments, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education Vol. 31, No. 4, pp: 453–464
  • Lave, J., Wenger, E. (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D.R., Archer, W. (2001) Assessing social presence in asynchronous text-based computer conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, Vol. 14, No. 2. Available online at: http://cade.icaap.org/vol14.2/rourke_et_al.html

Further reading[edit]

  • Dewey, J. (1966) Democracy and education. New York: Free Press. Originally published in 1916
  • Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

See also[edit]

  • Learning goals - Wikiversity learners share their goals with the community.