Private Wiki Project
Much of the business of this project will probably done through wikiversity:Private Wiki Project. This Free College Project wiki is, however the project's primary host because this is where it began, and because certain activities would be best done on a Miraheze page (see discussion on Wikiversity).
About the Private Wiki Project
This is a bold plan.
- The private wiki, wright.miraheze.org, links to 100 private wikis created for use by students at Wright State University Lake Campus. Each private wiki has two members: User:Guy vandegrift is instructor and administrator, which give the other member, a student, a place to privately write.
- All student writing assignments that are designed to improve the course. Typical assignments include expository prose, suggested exam questions, and images suitable for publication on Wikimedia Commons. Grade assessment is based primarily how the project improves either student understanding of the course, or the quality of the exams covering mastery of course content.
- Privacy in writing wikitext is essential if one adopts the conventional view that college requires grades to motivate sustained effort and to ensure that certification/graduation from the course or institution guarantees competence. This demands that the normally open atmosphere of wikis be replaced by a more private, closed writing environment. The wiki-text goes public only after it has been graded, and typically only if it is considered worthy of publication on Wikipedia, Wikibooks, or Wikiversity.
People are divided between those who believe that governments should spend less on higher education, and those who believe college education should be free of charge. It is possible to satisfy the wishes of both factions. Much of higher education can be described in very simplistic terms:
- Acquisition of knowledge (learning of facts).
- Learning to apply this knowledge (application and in some cases teaching).
- Receiving accreditation for mastery in the field (the grade).
In some cases, the application of this knowledge is difficult and time-consuming to teach. Nurses, doctors, teachers, and engineers need to practice their future trade under well supervised conditions. But the situation is far simpler for much of college education, especially in the first two years. Some disciplines are extremely suitable for this private wiki approach. For example any student wishing to become an educator can immediately begin to use wikis to develop lesson plans, lessons, and exam banks. In this way some could establish reputations as an educator without any formal training what-so-ever. Quality pages developed by a talented but inexperienced educator may be published on Wikiversity, and then improved by more experienced educators.