Last updated
Wikiversity screenshot 2008.png
Screenshot of home page
Type of site
Educational, self study
Available inMultilingual
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created byWikimedia community
Alexa rankDecrease Positive.svg 10,727 (January 2020) [1]
LaunchedAugust 15, 2006;13 years ago (2006-08-15)

Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project [2] [3] that supports learning communities, their learning materials, and resulting activities. It differs from Wikipedia in that it offers tutorials and other materials for the fostering of learning, rather than an encyclopedia; like Wikipedia it is available in many languages.


One element of Wikiversity is a set of WikiJournals which publish peer-reviewed articles in a stable, indexed, and citable, format comparable with academic journals; these can be copied to Wikipedia, and are sometimes based on Wikipedia articles.


Wikiversity's data phase officially began on August 15, 2006, with the English language Wikiversity.

The idea of Wikiversity began with the initial development of the Wikiversity community within the Wikibooks project, however when it was nominated for deletion from Wikibooks, soon there was a proposal to make Wikiversity an independent Wikimedia project, [4] with the fundamental goal to broaden the scope of activities within the Wikimedia community to include additional types of learning resources in addition to textbooks.

Two proposals were made. The first project proposal was not approved (2005) and the second, modified proposal, was approved (2006). [5]

The launch of Wikiversity was announced at Wikimania 2006 as an idea to:

host learning communities, so people who are actually trying to learn, actually have a place to come and interact and help each other figure out how to learn things. We're also going to be hosting and fostering research into how these kinds of things can be used more effectively. [6]

Wikimania, 2006

Project details

Wikiversity is a center for the creation of and use of free learning materials, and the provision of learning activities. [7] [8] Wikiversity is one of many wikis used in educational contexts, [9] as well as many initiatives that are creating free and open educational resources.

The primary priorities and goals for Wikiversity are to:

The Wikiversity e-Learning model places emphasis on "learning groups" and "learning by doing". Wikiversity's motto and slogan is "set learning free", [11] [12] indicating that groups/communities of Wikiversity participants will engage in learning projects. Learning is facilitated through collaboration on projects that are detailed, outlined, summarized or results reported by editing Wikiversity pages. Wikiversity learning projects include collections of wiki webpages concerned with the exploration of a particular topic. [13] Wikiversity participants are encouraged to express their learning goals, and the Wikiversity community collaborates to develop learning activities and projects to accommodate those goals. [14] The Wikiversity e-Learning activities give learners the opportunity to build knowledge. [15] [16] Students have to be language-aware in order to be able to correct their classmates. By doing this, students develop their reflection skills. Secondly, they enable students to be autonomous deciding what to write or edit, also when and how to do it. Students are able to free resort to any mean of support. At the same time, it fosters cognitive development, engaging students to collaborate.[ citation needed ]

Learning resources are developed by an individual or groups, either on their own initiative, or as part of a learning project. [17] Wikiversity resources include teaching aids, lesson plans, curricula, links to off-site resources, course notes, example and problem sets, computer simulations, reading lists, and other as devised by participants – but do not include final polished textbooks. Texts useful to others are hosted at Wikibooks for update and maintenance. [18] Learning groups with interests in each subject area create a web of resources that form the basis of discussions and activities at Wikiversity. Learning resources can be used by educators outside of Wikiversity for their own purposes, under the terms of the GFDL and a Creative Commons license (like Wikipedia).

Wikiversity also allows original research (in contrast to Wikipedia which does not). [15] [19] Such research content may lack any peer review. [19]


WikiJournal of Science on display at Athlone Institute of Technology Library, 2019 AIT Library - Wiki Journal of Science (cropped).jpg
WikiJournal of Science on display at Athlone Institute of Technology Library, 2019

Several WikiJournals operate with an academic journal format on the Wikiversity website (under the WikiJournal User Group). Submitted articles are subjected to peer review by external experts before publication of an indexed, citable, stable version in the journal, and an editable version in Wikipedia. They are wholly free, offering open access to readers and charging no publication fee to authors (diamond open access). [20] Some articles are written from scratch, and others are adapted from Wikipedia articles. [21] They therefore aim to encourage experts to contribute content creation and improvement (as authors and peer reviewers), and provide an additional quality control mechanism for existing Wikipedia content. [22] This activity started with WikiJournal of Medicine in 2014. [23] The sister journal WikiJournal of Science began publishing in 2018 [21] and the WikiJournal User Group received an open publishing award in November 2019. [24]


There are currently seventeen different Wikiversities: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish; Wikiversity projects in other languages are being developed at the "beta" multilingual hub.[ citation needed ]

For newly established specific language Wikiversities to move out of the initial exploratory "beta" phase, the new Wikiversity community must establish policies governing research activities. Wikiversity may act as a repository of research carried out by the Wikimedia Research Network, or others who are involved in wiki-based, or other research. Wikiversity hosts original research in addition to secondary research, unless a specific language group decides upon no research. It is expected that researchers will respect and update guidelines for appropriate research through a community consensus process. [25] [26] Currently the English Wikiversity hosts more than 376 research pages. [27]


PCWorld reported the Wikiversity project in 2007, when the most popular course was on film-making. It compared the project to Massachusetts Institute of Technology's "MIT OpenCourseWare", noting however that while free, MIT's offering was "not free enough for Wikiversity". [28]

In their 2008 book on Empowering Online Learning, Curtis Bonk and Ke Zhang noted that if "the Wikimedia Foundation can nurture credible resources and communities within Wikiversity, it will send serious shock waves throughout higher education." [29] Steven Hoffman, in his 2010 book on teaching humanities, wrote that Wikiversity could do for higher education what Wikipedia had done "for the traditional encyclopedia". Hoffman noted that Wikiversity courses could look much like traditional online university courses, except that they were open in every sense. He did not expect Wikiversity to replace traditional universities, but could supplement them for "retiring baby boomers" spending time and energy on "education as leisure". [30]

The Association for Psychological Science noted in 2018 that Wikipedia, often "Internet users' first source of information", is constantly changing in search of accuracy, accompanied in this by Wikiversity, its "lesser-known sister site". [31]

J. Rapp et al, writing in 2019, commented that Wikiversity allowed readers to become active contributors; writing materials "can be regarded as a learning task for advanced Wikiversity authors in general." They noted that the Wikijournals differed from conventional journals in being transparent about reviewers' backgrounds, possibly facilitating interdisciplinary discussion, and in revealing the stages in the development of an article (by versioning). [32]

See also

Related Research Articles

History of Wikipedia Historical development of Wikipedia

Wikipedia began with its first edit on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Its technological and conceptual underpinnings predate this; the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993, and the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia was proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000.

Wiki type of website that visitors can edit

A wiki is a knowledge base website on which users collaboratively modify and structure content directly from the web browser. In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language and often edited with the help of a rich-text editor.

MediaWiki Wiki software

MediaWiki is a free and open-source wiki engine. It was developed for use on Wikipedia in 2002, and given the name "MediaWiki" in 2003. It remains in use on Wikipedia and almost all other Wikimedia websites, including Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata; these sites continue to define a large part of the requirement set for MediaWiki. MediaWiki was originally developed by Magnus Manske and improved by Lee Daniel Crocker. Its development has since then been coordinated by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikibooks free resource library of books hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation and edited by volunteers

Wikibooks is a wiki-based Wikimedia project hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation for the creation of free content e-book textbooks and annotated texts that anyone can edit.

Wikisource Wikimedia project, an online digital library of free content textual sources on a wiki

Wikisource is an online digital library of free-content textual sources on a wiki, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikisource is the name of the project as a whole and the name for each instance of that project ; multiple Wikisources make up the overall project of Wikisource. The project's aim is to host all forms of free text, in many languages, and translations. Originally conceived as an archive to store useful or important historical texts, it has expanded to become a general-content library. The project officially began in November 24, 2003 under the name Project Sourceberg, a play on the famous Project Gutenberg. The name Wikisource was adopted later that year and it received its own domain name seven months later.

Esperanto Wikipedia Esperanto edition of Wikipedia

The Esperanto Wikipedia is the Esperanto version of Wikipedia, which was started on 11 May 2001, alongside the Basque Wikipedia. With over 271,000 articles as of June 2016, it is the 32nd-largest Wikipedia as measured by the number of articles, and the largest Wikipedia in a constructed language.

Open educational resources educational materials that can be freely used and reused

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. There is no universal usage of open file formats in OER.

Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet. This kind of learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary means of communication or as a common resource. CSCL can be implemented in online and classroom learning environments and can take place synchronously or asynchronously.

Tamil Wikipedia Tamil language edition of Wikipedia

The Tamil Wikipedia is the Tamil language edition of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation. It was established in September 2003 and crossed 91,000 articles on March 2017. The Tamil Wikipedia is the 59th largest Wikipedia and the second largest Wikipedia among Indian languages by article count. It is also the first Wikipedia of Dravidian origin to possess more than 10,000 articles. The project is one of the leading Wikipedia among other South Asian language Wikipedia's in various quality matrices. It has more than 91,610 articles and 109,691 registered users as of March 2017. It crossed 100,000 articles on May 2017.

History of wikis history of wiki collaborative platforms

The history of wikis is generally dated from 1994, when Ward Cunningham gave the name "WikiWikiWeb" to the knowledge base, which ran on his company's website at, and the wiki software that powered it. thus became the first true wiki, or a website with pages and links that can be easily edited via the browser, with a reliable version history for each page. He chose "WikiWikiWeb" as the name based on his memories of the "Wiki Wiki Shuttle" at Honolulu International Airport, and because "wiki" is the Hawaiian word for "quick".


WikiEducator is an international online community project for the collaborative development of learning materials, which educators are free to reuse, adapt and share without restriction. WikiEducator was launched in 2006 and is supported by the non-profit Open Education Resource Foundation (OER). A variety of learning resources are available on WikiEducator: direct instructional resources such as lesson plans and full courses, as well as learning-support resources, such as individual school portals and funding proposals.

Wikitravel Collaborative wiki travel website

Wikitravel is a web-based collaborative travel guide based on the wiki model and owned by Internet Brands. It was most active from 2003 through 2012, when most of its editing community left and brought their contributions to the nonprofit Wikivoyage guide.

Wikimania Annual series of international conferences for users of the wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimania is the official annual conference of the Wikimedia Foundation. Topics of presentations and discussions include Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, other wikis, open-source software, free knowledge and free content, and social and technical aspects related to these topics.

Wikipedia community Community of contributors that create and maintain Wikipedia

The Wikipedia community is the community of contributors who create and maintain the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Individual contributors are known as "Wikipedians". added the word "Wikipedian" in August 2012.

Kiwix offline Wikipedia reader

Kiwix is a free and open-source offline web browser created by Emmanuel Engelhart and Renaud Gaudin in 2007. It was first launched to allow offline access to Wikipedia, but has since expanded to include other projects from the Wikimedia Foundation as well as public domain texts from Project Gutenberg. Available in more than 100 languages, Kiwix has been included in several high-profile projects, from smuggling operations in North Korea and encyclopedic access in Cuba to Google Impact Challenge's recipient Bibliothèques Sans Frontières.

Wiki Conference India is a national Wikipedia conference organised in India. The first Wiki Conference India conference was held in November 2011, in Mumbai, the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It was organised by the Mumbai Wikipedia community in partnership with Wikimedia India Chapter with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation. The conference is positioned as the annual national flagship event for Wikimedia in India and is open to participation from citizens of all nations. The focus is on matters concerning India on Wikipedia projects and other sister projects in English and other Indian languages.

Outline of Wikipedia Overview of and topical guide to Wikipedia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Wikipedia:

James Heilman Emergency physician and Wikipedia editor

James M. Heilman is a Canadian emergency physician, Wikipedian, and advocate for the improvement of Wikipedia's health-related content. He encourages other clinicians to contribute to the online encyclopedia.

WikiConference North America Conference of Wikimedia community from North America

WikiConference North America, formerly known as WikiConference USA, is an annual conference organized by the Wikimedia community in North America. The first two events were held at New York Law School and Washington, D.C.'s National Archives Building in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The third annual conference, rebranded WikiConference North America, was held at San Diego's Central Public Library in 2016, with a pre-conference day at Balboa Park. WikiConference North America 2017 was held in Montreal in 2017, as a pre-conference to Wikimania. The 2018 and 2019 events were held in Columbus, Ohio and Cambridge, Massachusetts, respectively.


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