Monday, March 29, 2010

Learning about educational collaboration

Have you ever wondered what educational institutes have collaborated with Wikiversity to create learning resources? Recently Beta Wikiversity began compiling such a list. I think this list has the potential to inspire and encourage other educational institutes to use Wikiversity for their collaborative learning goals.

English Wikibooks has had a list of class projects for 4 years now. Their list also includes the book that the class is collaborating to write, and the teacher or moderator that is responsible for the class project as a point of contact should any problems arise that need addressing. English Wikibooks also has a class project guide for teachers to address some common issues that have come up both for teachers and Wikibooks.

One teacher that has asked their students to collaborate in writing a book for one than one semester or year has created a separate edition of the book each time. Books hosted by Wikibooks do not normally have editions. Recently there has been an effort to address this by merging existing editions of the book.

Wikibooks' approach to class projects seems to work for the most part even when issues arise. However class collaboration often leads to the exclusion of collaboration by anyone else that would like to help. For now such collaborations are likely impossible, and people that want to do it are likely out of luck. To me this means when it comes to Wikibooks, true educational collaboration does not yet exist.

Wikiversity lacks a guide to help teachers that want to coordinate a class project, but that hasn't gotten in the way of teachers or class projects. Collaboration on Wikiversity has usually been inclusive of collaboration by anyone and tends to encourage it. To me this is the true meaning of educational collaboration.

What can Wikiversity learn from Wikibooks? What can Wikibooks learn from Wikiversity? I think Wikiversity could learn a thing or two from Wikibooks' experience and helpful attention to class projects. I think Wikibooks could learn a thing or two from the more friendly, upbeat, and inclusive nature of teachers and class projects that happen at Wikiversity.

Maybe some kind of project exchange program that allows Wikiversity and Wikibooks to learn from the cultural differences of the two projects could help facilitate a positive change for both projects.


  1. "project exchange program": I'd like to see that. Though actually that is practically in our own hands, we decide what we do with our time. At the moment I know of a few Wikibooks participants also helping at Wikiversity (but the other way around, I did not see that much. Though one could say: we all are wikimedians and not part of a single project).
    I've seen imports from Wikibooks to Wikiversity and I remember (?) there was also once a collaboration from Wikiversity participants to create a book on Wikibooks, I wonder if I can find it?

    "Collaboration on Wikiversity has usually been inclusive of collaboration by anyone":
    yes, e.g. I could join Social Psychology from James

    Erkan YILMAZ

  2. I had someone express an interest in the Wikibooks-Wikiversity relationship on my talk page:

    However, when I replied to their talk page, I got no further response. Suffice it to say that I'd prefer not to be left out of any efforts you come up with.

  3. I think a functional exchange program requires both material and discussion integration. A project exchange program might involve some sort of Student Orientation. An Orientation is a course introducing a new situation or environment. An Orientation can help new students to integrate a set of attitudes and beliefs.

    An orientation would fit perfectly within what Wikiversity does. Achieving material + discussion integration might be harder to pull off for Wikibooks. Wikibooks isn't a help desk so the idea of helping people learn outside of writing a book is a bit foreign/awkward. How to pull it off in an acceptable and useful way for Wikibooks is the tricky part.


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