links to open courses?

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links to open courses?

phoebe ayers-3
Hi all,

Here is something I've been thinking about lately. Do we have a policy
or a practice on linking to open courses in articles, for instance the
MIT courses available at http://ocw.mit.edu?

As universities increasingly move to posting their courses and
lectures online, it seems to me like these would be useful links to
curate and add to the relevant (broad) articles.

I am mostly familiar with English-language courses from US
universities, but I'm also curious if any Wikipedia edition in any
language has had discussions on this subject.

cheers,
phoebe

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Re: links to open courses?

Alan Liefting
I would not want to see them linked from within an article as a
reference. I would be ok with having them linked from the ext links
section.

Better still though they would be ideal for Wikiversity links.


Alan


On 4/10/2012 12:47 p.m., phoebe ayers wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Here is something I've been thinking about lately. Do we have a policy
> or a practice on linking to open courses in articles, for instance the
> MIT courses available at http://ocw.mit.edu?
>
> As universities increasingly move to posting their courses and
> lectures online, it seems to me like these would be useful links to
> curate and add to the relevant (broad) articles.
>
> I am mostly familiar with English-language courses from US
> universities, but I'm also curious if any Wikipedia edition in any
> language has had discussions on this subject.
>
> cheers,
> phoebe
>


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Re: links to open courses?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by phoebe ayers-3
All useful, interesting, or authoritative links on the subject of an
article should be included in "external links and further reading",
including important primary sources, open courses, and published books.

> Hi all,
>
> Here is something I've been thinking about lately. Do we have a policy
> or a practice on linking to open courses in articles, for instance the
> MIT courses available at http://ocw.mit.edu?
>
> As universities increasingly move to posting their courses and
> lectures online, it seems to me like these would be useful links to
> curate and add to the relevant (broad) articles.
>
> I am mostly familiar with English-language courses from US
> universities, but I'm also curious if any Wikipedia edition in any
> language has had discussions on this subject.
>
> cheers,
> phoebe
>
> --
> * I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
> <at> gmail.com *
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



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Re: links to open courses?

BlueJayFan
In reply to this post by phoebe ayers-3
Begin forwarded message:

>Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 19:49:01 -0600 (MDT)
>From: "Fred Bauder" <[hidden email]>

>All useful, interesting, or authoritative links on the subject of an
>article should be included in "external links and further reading",
>including important primary sources, open courses, and published books.

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_mirror_or_a_repository_of_links.2C_images.2C_or_media_files

I spend a lot of time cleaning up external link sections. There's a lot of wisdom and experience in this essay:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Spam_event_horizon

A few good links beget more good links, then everyone starts adding their links to an article. Then we get junk and spam. At that point, some readers end up going to dodgy sites that have been "validated" in their eyes by inclusion in Wikipedia; they sign up for a course at Fastbuck U instead of MIT.

This open courseware is a great movement and there's going to be more and more of it. Which courses' links will we OK for inclusion in our "History" article? Which won't we? How much time will our editors spend adjudicating this and explaining to frustrated link-adders why their links shouldn't be added?

Several years ago, following some conference there was a movement within the museum and library world to add links to their resources from various Wikipedia articles. We had well-meaning museum staff spamming all sorts of stuff. A museum in some small town with a lock of Oliver Cromwell's hair adding links to our English History article (not just our Oliver Cromwell article). This wasn't really spam in the classic sense but it added clutter and wasted editors' time.

I hope to take one of these courses so I'm very positive about the development -- I just don't think these links are good for Wikipedia.

These links come whether we want them or not, time will be wasted and people will get frustrated. Let's not add to this by encouraging the phenomenon.

Thanks,

A. B.
User talk:A. B.

PS The Oliver Cromwell's hair bit was an exaggeration but we had a lot that was just about as silly, off-topic, well-meaning and unhelpful. There really was a small town museum with some obscure Cromwelliana spamming all over.
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Re: links to open courses?

Mark
In reply to this post by phoebe ayers-3
On 10/4/12 2:47 AM, phoebe ayers wrote:
> Here is something I've been thinking about lately. Do we have a policy
> or a practice on linking to open courses in articles, for instance the
> MIT courses available at http://ocw.mit.edu?
>
> As universities increasingly move to posting their courses and
> lectures online, it seems to me like these would be useful links to
> curate and add to the relevant (broad) articles.
>

I have a mild preference against linking that kind of thing from general
articles, because they seem, well, too general to me. Sure, an open
course on statistics is a way to learn more about [[statistics]], but
there are a million others ways, too: there are regular textbooks (often
the best introduction), open-access textbooks (sometimes great), online
tutorials, Wolfram MathWorld, YouTube lecture series, etc. Curating
"more online resources about statistics" starts to seem more like a job
for dmoz or Google, than for us.

I do try to link *specific* parts of online course materials from more
specific articles. For example, if an open course has a particularly
good tutorial overview / explanation of / derivation of transformation
matrices as used in 3d graphics, imo it'd be appropriate for
[[transformation matrix]] to link it, because that becomes more focused.

Best,
Mark

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