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teaching - learning - discussing - creating - thinking

This page is about how learning takes place on Wikiversity. See also Wikiversity:Learning (on Wikibooks).


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.

Learning by doingEdit

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 togetherEdit

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.

Learning groupsEdit

(This content was moved from Wikiversity/Modified 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 sourcesEdit

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: Service community and Citing Sources


  • Lave, J., Wenger, E. (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press