Learning in Wikiversity

October 31, 2007

picture-1.pngCormac Lawler, University of Manchester
More information
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Main_Page
http://cormaggio.org
Wikiversity is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, so it is a sister project of Wikipedia and other projects such as Wikibooks. It was launched in August last year after three years development.
‘Wikiversity is a community for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities. It is a multidimensional social organisation dedicated to learning, teaching, research and service.’ It includes a repository element. There is space for people to store their documents. These are then editable and can be discussed and used by others. There is also a learning space in which people can learn in a ‘wiki way’.
The intentions of the project are to create and host a repository of free-content learning resources, to co-construct a wiki model for learning and to engage participants in the definition of their own learning.
Usage
Wikiversity is a multilingual project, currently in 5 languages (Wikipedia is now in around 200 languages). It is also for all learner levels – it is not just aimed at university level students. It is growing at the rate of around 34 new accounts every day, so now has over 15,000 user accounts. However, only 375 people have edited the wiki more than ten times – which is not a huge level of participation, and there are only five to ten users who could be classified as ‘very active’.
Issues
If anyone can upload any research, does that give it some validity which it does not necessarily merit? Is peer review necessary?
Research
Cormac is currently asking:
• What is a viable model for learning in Wikiversity?
• How are the provision and practice of education mediated by the wiki environment?
• How is the Wikiversity community providing for learning?

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