Cetis 2014: Open Knowledge: Wikipedia and Beyond

Title: Open Knowledge: Wikipedia and Beyond

Event: A half-day workshop session at the Cetis 2014 conference.

Facilitators: Brian Kelly and Simon Grant, Cetis

Date and time: 13.30-17.00 on Tuesday 17th June 2014

Venue: University of Bolton


Wikipedia is great resource for open education, but what challenges need to be faced to make it into an even more valuable educational resource? It remains the most significant encyclopaedic reference based in user generated content which seeks to develop an “open commons” based on consensus approaches and use of Wikipedia’s “Five pillars” principles which includes content being provided from a neutral point of view.

Participants with no experience of Wikipedia editing will be invited to create a Wikipedia user profile, and to understand the basics of creating and editing Wikipedia content. Experienced Wikipedia editors will have the option of sharing a lightning talk on what they consider to be its most significant challenges.

The session presenters’ view of the challenges includes a skewed demographic of editors, and a culture that can too easily descend into edit wars, and conflict between “inclusionists” and “deletionists”. Can we envisage changes to make Wikipedia better, or that could seed a better alternative? Could aspiring editors be required to learn and prove their understanding of the governance principles before being allowed to edit? Can consensus process be trained? And would different approaches such as those taken by GitHub, the P2P Foundation, etc. help to improve the culture?

The session will raise awareness of the key issues with Wikipedia, and prepare participants for more effective use of Wikipedia as consumer and author, and perhaps even as reformer.

Draft timetable

Time Title
Wikipedia: Opportunities and Challenges
13.30 Introduction
13.40 The Context
14.00 Group discussion
14.45 Reflections
15.00 Break
Beyond Wikipedia
15.45 Introduction
16.00 Open session
16.45 Conclusions
17.00 Finish


The slides are available on Slideshare and embedded below.

[slideshare id=35689901&doc=wikipedia-and-beyond-140610051534-phpapp02]

In addition a backup copy of the slides is available on Authorstream.