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Wikiversity: The Free Online University

Brief Background


Screenshot showing the other projects of Wikimedia Foundation -- the organization behind Wikiversity

Screenshot showing the other projects of Wikimedia Foundation — the organization behind Wikiversity


Wikiversity is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation – the same organization that runs Wikipedia along with a couple of other websites that provide free access to educational materials. Its large depository of online courses and other learning materials is contributed by Wikiversity users from all over the world — some of whom are professional scientists, mathematicians, and health workers to cite some examples.



Wikiversity Sample Lecture

Screenshot of a sample lecture depicting the standard format of a Wikiversity article


Being a sister project of Wikipedia, Wikiversity shares the same appearance and navigation style as the hugely popular online encyclopedia, making it easier to navigate for users who have used the former at least once in the past.
Topics are grouped into major and sub-categories which are listed in a neat outline that you can see at the top of each course material.

Additional information, just like in Wikipedia, can be viewed by following hyperlinked texts which may lead to either another related article on Wikiversity or to an external site.


Ease of Use


Wikiversity Homepage

Screenshot of the Wikiversity Homepage showing the many links that will take you to different places around the site


Appearance wise, we find Wikiversity pretty easy on the eye because everything is neatly arranged, so if you already know what you’re looking for, you can just head straight to one particular category and save the rest for later exploring; however, the experience might prove to be a little different if you’re still taking a look around and checking the available resources.

With the large amount of data available in the site, it can be rather easy to get lost in the maze of links if you don’t know exactly where you’re heading to or where you want to go.

It also may prove to be a challenge to people who are not too familiar with technical terms as some of the names used in the categories are either technical in nature or may not be familiar to people who have limited English vocabulary.


Learning Resources


Wikiversity Course with Quizzes

Screenshot of a sample course showing an accompanying audio file and a short quiz


If you’ve ever spent an hour or more of casual browsing at Wikipedia, you probably have an idea of just how much resources the online encyclopedia has. The same pretty much goes for Wikiversity, although because it’s still under development, its online courses and other resources are still considerably few when compared to its more established sister. There are also topics that have been started, but are still waiting for more contributions several months or years later.

Adding more audio lessons, video tutorials, interactive quizzes, and progress trackers on the site is still being discussed, so if you’re the type of learner who prefers lessons that you can see or hear or are only motivated to study if you have access to immediate feedback or assessment, this might not work too well for you.

With all of those said, what Wikiversity lacks in interactive materials it makes up with the thousands of articles it offers on a wide variety of subjects from the sciences, technology, and communication to name a few. Add to that the free research materials that you can find on the site and you’ll probably have your hands full for at least until the next couple of weeks or so.

If you’re on your summer vacation, this is the best time to give it a try.

Good luck!

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