I've posted my first DRAFT of this paper. I believe it is important to have a solid dialogue about creating an assessment framework to determine the quality of OER based wikis. I'd really like some feedback. Or if people are interested, even start editing the article itself. ::Peter Rawsthorne 21:02, 28 July 2007 (CEST)
Peter, we need to include a definition for the so-called "non-commercial" label, as few people seem to realise this does not stop the exchange of money. With the NC clauses, you can recover all costs, including salaries and overhead expenses. You just cannot aim to generate a "profit" or "surplus". So NC materials CAN even be used in a listed company, so long as they either treat the materials separately and aim to not make a profit on that particular project, or if they revert to the IP holder to ask for permission to use the materials. Honesty is needed to make a convincing case! There is a clarification of this in COL’s guideline  --Pwest 18:42, 29 July 2007 (CEST)
Thanks Paul. I will include this in the papers next edit. To follow Philip's line of thinking. What kept you from editing the paper directly to include what you were thinking? I think this would be a 'nut we need to crack' if a wiki is going to be used for scholarly pursuits... -- Peter Rawsthorne 05:06, 31 July 2007 (CEST)
what is a wiki anyway?
First off, great read, very interesting. But let me make a few points.
Does anyone know of any research into the language style prevalent in (or because of) wikis? This paper is written in the typical tone of a scholarly article, presenting itself as a snapshot of reality. It is odd that while hosted on a wiki, and talking about wikis, of which the most notable feature is dynamics, this scholarly reflection uses a rigid style, that is not too amenable to editing, for otherwise it would might not be seen as a scholarly exercise. This is not a criticism of the article itself. It is rather an observation of my ignorance of (and sudden realisation) how language style and wikis influence one another, and are interrelated.
Now to what a wiki is. What I feel I have to point out is that one point that does not seem to make the light of day is that wiki is merely A technology, and that "wiki Software" is but a tool. i.e. "wiki Software" is not a 'Solution' of a 'Platform', just a tool for collaboration. Wikipedia is a 'platform' of a 'virtual environment'. The software is simple a tool that takes on different roles depending on how it is deployed. Think of the wikis that can be integrated into Moodle. There the wiki itself is the OER, not its content (or maybe both together). In that context I doubt the quality model presented would apply. What about the OpenWrt wiki? http://wiki.openwrt.org/ Its content can be very useful OERs if you are teaching people how to write software for embedded systems, but its quality criteria might be very different than those presented here. They might also be applicable, but its a different scenario, that need a different anaysis. While wiki based, it might need to be considered differently, more like the quality of material from an external source like Flickr or Youtube.
Therefore I think it is important to highlight the difference between wikis delivering OER content, and wikis used for other collaborative activity (which might also produce OERs, albeit incidentally), and Wikis which are the OER in and of themselves. (not to mention the grey area where all these roles overlap)
The other point is the need to decouple the "Wiki Methodolgy" or the WikiWay, from the technology. While it is probably true that the only effective way of using the "Wiki Methodology" is through wiki software, remember that people used to play games of chess via snail mail before e-mail came about. The WikiWay could (in theory) be done using pen and paper via snail-mail, and techniques such as editor's marks, redding etc ...
It is the WikiWay that challenges the traditional views of quality, NOT the technology. The criteria for fitness for use must also take into account that contents editability, so-to-speak, the sustainability of the content.
--Phsi 09:33, 30 July 2007 (CEST)
Philip, great feedback! Thank-you. I'm surprised by some of your comments. As I feel quite aligned with your sentiments. -- Peter Rawsthorne 05:30, 31 July 2007 (CEST)
The scholarly wiki way?
When I started writing this paper I seriously considered just posting it to the wiki and completing it in the wiki way. Only the paper was a part of my Masters work so it needed to be an individual effort. Once I got it to a 'publishable' state I then published it to the wiki to see what happens... It would seem the language of following APA guidelines makes it restrictive. I think we need to create scholarly guidelines for writing in a wiki so it could be considered 'scholarly' or for some kind of credential (I know this brings up the subject of credentialism, but important)...
Wiki vs. Content
I believe the statement of the wiki being the content is valid. I have found quite a difference in wiki software that has an impact on the content, yet I also think most content could go into most all wiki software. So the software is separate from the content cause the same content can be put into any wiki software. So in my mind the wiki software is the tool. Yet, when refering to a wiki, most would consider wiki software and content the same thing.
Wikis and OER content
The whole point of what I am hoping to create is a discussion about the quality of OER content in a wiki, and to create a framework that can assess the quality. I was hoping that would come across by referencing quality from three perspectives; educational, informational and wiki. Maybe I missed a couple of perspectives? the quality of the open culture, the quality of community... Yet I also believe these attributes are captured in history flow where they use discussion, edit cycles, language to assess the quailty of the content... I was thinking if we added consideration for pedagogy this would take a history flow approach into open education...
Who is the learner?
I agree whole heartedly, the wikiway challenges the traditional views of quality. In a learning environment it all goes back to the learner. Quality should be measured based on the skills and knowledge acquired by the learner. As I believe (see my TTST vision) that the ones learning the most about wiki based education in a developing world context are us, the participants and contributors to WikiEducator; not those reading and viewing the wiki, but those participating. So how do we assess the quality of this? By WikiEducator becoming the exemplary education based wiki?
In the end
I really want to open a solid discussion about assessing the quality of OER based wikis. And I'd like all those participating to contribute so we can get everyones mind share on what that looks like. If it would have been better to start in a different way, so be it. My experience has been that someone has to invest (make the effort) in a well articulated position and let it grow from there (kick the ball out onto the field)... So if you want to change something in my paper, ignore what restricts you and go for it. Maybe we will end up also developing a new standard for wiki based scholarly works?
-- Peter Rawsthorne 05:41, 31 July 2007 (CEST)