Wikipedia and Wikimedia

I know I’m late on my post – sorry – I try to catch up.

So Wikipedia – an success story of an OER project. In my eyes it’s the most advanced and experienced OER. It’s wonderful as we can learn of the experiences made there. For example the quality assurance issue – this is in my eyes a crucial point of the OER movement. How do you make sure that the resources are actually high-quality. For me Wikipedia is a very good example where the principles of open source qa were successfully transferred into the open content area – and enhanced with specific points for content.

I was quite puzzled when I read about the interview about the three Wikipedia projects and the way they handle quality assurance and occuring problems. Processes were made by self-governance. A mixture of peer review and awarding system also incl. a “request for deletion” A flexible but somewhat sophisticated model that gained enough stability to let newbies still jump in without doing one week research on how to do it. Similar but still different approaches in different countries as not every wikipedia is similar to the other. They differ in size as well as in culture – therefore what is good for one might not work for the other. But still every wikipedia model can learn from the experience of the other.

It’s a really hard question when I think about the future of Wikipedia – I take three guesses:

  • Wikipedia will not go into any commercial direction – no add-on or upgrade features. I think this will be prevented by the editors themselves – as a consequence there will be massive need for money
  • Quality Standards will still have to be worked on (and academics should rather go and contribute then hide and complain.

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