# Thoughts on related issues -- over & above style guide recommendations ......

Hi Jesse

I'm not sure how the guidelines could be perceived as an incentive, other than for qualification for QAF awards.

While somewhat abstract, I think we can develop and promote a WE culture of striving for quality as an incentive. That is, when users are ready to take this step, rather than policing poor "quality" because, for instance, ESL users may not have the language skills to adhere to our language conventions or may not have the technical skills to implement more sophisticated wiki syntax.

I'm also going to be a little revolutionary, and suggest we purposely omit a reader-posted tag, because I think that deters from collaboration, promotes laziness, and creates a negative tone.

I see your point regarding the risks associated with laziness or detering collaboration. Just checking here -- -I don't see this as a "reader-posted" tag but rather a primary author request to move to the next level of improving quality by adhering to style guidelines. Ideally -- this should be a process where authors can opt into improving their work by adhering to style guidelines. I think its better to have a scenario where WikiEducators can ask -- "How can I get my resource to look so good/impressive?" rather than "I'm embarrassed because the style-guideline police are doing a bunch of stuff on my page which I don't know how to implement". Style-guideline gurus could be pro-active and post invitations to assist with improving pages -- but we should allow freedom for users to do their own thing until they are ready for the next level. This is more of a process and implementation issue rather than the detail of the guidelines themselves. Clearly we will need to separate the process from the content of the guidelines as such.
We'll have enough work with folk opting to improvre the quality of their resources --- but I think we need to wait until they're ready for the ride :-)
Personally I don't see the opt-in scenario as taking away the importance of guidelines --- Educator's by nature want to do the right thing. Half our users are over 45 years old and are taking personal "risks", in most cases, publishing to the Internet for the first time in their lives. Having a stranger redirect or moving a page because it doesn't adhere to a style convention for naming pages can be a daunting experience -- particularly when you don't have the requisite wiki skills to understand how this works :-)
I think we need to be smarter than WP and figure out creative solutions regarding how we can deal with this challenge. The OER Foundation is committed to sourcing the funding we may need to implement technical solutions to achieve this aim.
If we do a good job, with corresponding tutorials training etc --- we'll promote the implementation of good style -- prevention is better than cure :-)

Personally, I think the style guidelines should be part of the requirements of the QAF award, but because of the subjective nature of some of the guidelines, there should have to be some sort of consensus by the award team that the guidelines have been met.

Yeah -- it seems that we would need to categorise the guidelines between "objective" & "subjective" guidelines. For example, the guideline on capitalisation for new pages is reasonably objective, whereas a guideline relating to proposed structure for hierarchy may vary according to subject discipline or preferred pedagogical approach. We'll need to think carefully about how we incorporate these requirements into the QAF.

Part of the development of the guidelines should include adding them into the tutorials and skills training materials. Perhaps this should also be one of the outcomes in the charter?

Agreed -- I think this should be specified as one of the outcomes in the charter.

20:44, 17 July 2009

I'm totally agreeing with what you say. What if we come up with a way our "gurus" can point out potential issues to authors?

16:22, 18 July 2009

Yeah --

I think we can come up with a smart way for our gurus to point out and help with potential issues -- eg templates that include links to resources and online training opportunities to improve style guide compliance.

This is coming together rather nicely :-)

17:00, 19 July 2009