Ownership, status, granularity and category

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The biggest differences between Wikipedia and WikiEducator are the ideas of ownership, status and granularity

  • Wikipedia - articles are units, the creator expects others to add and change the content, pretty much any content in an article is useful even as a placeholder. The fundamental premise is that casual collaboration is essential. Some administration is required to make sure the whole is consistent and "ownerless"
  • WikiEducator - pages may be standalone or part of a complex hierarchy, the creator has two types of content - sandbox for personal use, or educational resources (course outlines, lessons, commentary, discussions, projects, resources) in development, in use or abandoned. Casual collaboration might cause problems. The creator wants/needs to retain ownership and control.

I think this has implications for Categories - who decides, who assigns, who "fixes"

Vtaylor (talk)07:23, 14 October 2009

Briefly, yes ownership has come up as an organisational issue WE have. I think the resolution I am most friendly toward is the use of namespaces, in combination with subpages to indicate ownership level. The user namespace indicates solitary ownership, the main namespace indicates non-ownership, and a new namespace (Workgroup?) could indicate private group ownership. If we used workgroup as the group namespace, we would need to differentiate between WE administrative workgroups, such as this one, and content development workgroups.

Jesse Groppi (talk)13:11, 14 October 2009

This sounds like a Wayne / OER Foundation / WE council issue as it is at the core of WE OERs creator / ownership and use.

Wayne? Randy? Other Council members? Do you have anything to contribute on this?

Vtaylor (talk)13:52, 20 October 2009

Hi Valerie,

The purpose of an open collaboration is to facilitate collaboration.

I think there are two solutions and or implementations.

  • For pages created by individuals who definitely do not want collaboration on their content -- best to use the Username name space. This sends a clear message that collaboration is not intended.
  • Another solution may be to set up institutional "portal pages" and listing all materials which are institution specific as subpages from this portal page.

However -- I think a more practicable solution would be to develop a template or content box -- which clearly states that the page is intended as a dedicated resource for some purpose or another. This way other users will know to respect the "ownership" of the page and not implement any changes. If they want to remix the page -- they can copy it over to another page in the wiki and work from there.

I don't think its smart to introduce another layer of "namespace" areas in the wiki to distinguish / or identify pages of this type. This has not been a problem in WikiEducator so far --- so lets resolve this the wiki way. Personally, I don't see this as a Wayne / OER Foundation / or WE council issue. Lets develop a solution which we adopt as de facto practice in the wiki.

Mackiwg (talk)16:25, 20 October 2009

I agree that WE should provide a choice.

Nelliemuller (talk)05:29, 21 October 2009


I'm not sure what you mean by "layer of namespace areas", or what problem you're thinking of. Could you clarify?

Jesse Groppi (talk)11:56, 24 October 2009