Wikiversity:Learning projects | how to start a learning project

How to start a learning project

The main requirement for starting a learning project is a sense of adventure and boldness.

Finding a title and parent page

One of the more difficult things you have to do at the start will be to think of an appropriate title, and then fasten the new project into Wikiversity's existing hierarchy of schools and departments.

  • Titles should generally be in English; avoid acronyms; avoid references to specific times and places; try to find a title which correctly and dutifully describes what you are doing. If you mess up, a custodian can rename or move a project for you.
  • Browse through existing schools and portals until you find somewhere to "hang" or "announce" the project. If the project extends across more than one discipline, then feel welcome to announce it (with a hyperlink) in more than one place.
  • Once you have a title, and that title exists in a school, portal, or other project as a hyperlink, all you then need to do is click the hyperlink and start editing the new page.

See: naming conventions (out of date?)

Relation to existing projects

There is an important distinction here between Wikipedia and Wikiversity: generally, Wikipedia has only one article for any particular topic and if two articles are created by accident, they will be merged. Wikiversity, however, does not adhere to this principle of exclusivity; Wikiversity can have any number of learning projects on the same topic. Ten introductions to knitting are just as valid and acceptable as one. As a matter of good practice, looking for ways to integrate with or communicate between similarly themed learning projects would be good. If an existing learning project hasn't been edited for a long time, you could also take it over and re-purpose it, rather than creating a new one alongside. It may be a good idea to search for an existing project with a similar theme before starting a new one. There is also the practical matter that it is impossible to create two pages with the same title, so your title will have to be slightly different from any existing project.

Learning project templates

In the course of time, Wikiversity hopes to be able to offer a selection of templates or boilerplate to get you started with a learning project. So far we only have this: the only boilerplate so far, and you should feel free to do something quite different from this.

A note about project-"ownership"

In principle, no wiki page belongs to any particular user, other than your own account page and its subpages. A learning project is a public good. At Wikipedia, this community ownership concept is very obvious and visible, but at Wikiversity the practice, if not the theory, is subtly different.

In the field of open educational resources, the creation of an educational resource generally requires more time and expertise, and the result tends to be rather more personal than an encyclopedia article. In addition, because parallel projects on the same topic are permitted, there is no real pressure on anyone else to "invade" an existing project. The result of this is that as a matter of psychology of editing, or as a matter of Wikiversity culture, people tend to respect and leave alone each other's contributions much more than on Wikipedia. So on the one hand, if you are worried that others will edit your resource beyond all recognition before your class actually takes place, do not fear - it would be bad manners and rather unnecessary for someone to interfere in this way, and you can recover your original material easily from the "history" tab. On the other hand, you must nevertheless remain aware that there is no such thing as page-"ownership" on Wikiversity. If you leave your pet project alone for a long time and find that another teacher has moved in and changed it, then your choice is either to cooperate with them, or create a new parallel project and put your old material there (which you can recover from the project "history" tab).

see also: Wikiversity:Original_research#Page_protection

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