Wikiversity Has Been Approved, and About the Citizendium Project

The board at Wikipedia has finally approved the Wikiversity project and given it its own domain. Wikiversity is meant to be an online learning and course-centered wiki space. You can create or take your own wiki-based course. It should have plenty of resources and people to draw from in the Wikipedia community. I would love to eventually see some technology improvements, such as those used by LMS tools such as Moodle. Support ways to link to forums or real-time class chats and IM sessions, ways to embed whiteboards, java applets and simulations, support for multiple choice quizzes and tests, etc.

In other news, Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has announced a fork called Citizendium. I have heard of numerous other forks, so I’m not sure this will take off. The difference in Citizendium is that qualified editors will be recruited to oversee the content of various topic areas. Also, no anonymous or pseudonymous editing will be allowed, only real names are used.

I think there are ways to improve Wikipedia quality, accountable, and accuracy without forking. Have qualified editors review articles, and either edit them or highlight passages they approve. Any content that has been reviewed and approved by an editor can be shown with a yellow background, for example. Text which has not been reviewed by someone qualified can show up as normal. For text which an editor does not approve of, the editor can either edit it like a normal user, or he can highlight his disapproval, and the text will show up for example with a light red background, along with some explanation. Since Citizendium is mirroring Wikipedia’s content at first, perhaps it can use some similar kind of strategy.

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