Submissions/A University Teacher's Experience with Writing Wikibooks

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This submission has been withdrawn by the author.

Submission no. 3002
Title of the submission
A University Teacher's Experience with Writing Wikibooks
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Martin Kraus
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Aalborg University, Denmark
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikibooks is the Wikimedia Foundation's project for collaboratively creating and distributing textbooks — including the possibility to buy printed copies of the books (via PediaPress). As such it might be considered an obvious platform for writing textbooks that accompany courses in higher education. However, there are many obstacles to overcome: legal, technical, practical, esthetical, etc. After starting to edit wikibooks six years ago, my personal attitude as a teacher towards wikibooks evolved from extremely skeptical via very motivated to a reasonably well informed position in which I understand some important benefits and disadvantages of using wikibooks for teaching specific modules, in particular, modules about computer programming. In this journey, wikibooks became a tool that not only benefited my students outside the classroom (and readers worldwide) but also allowed me to improve my teaching within the classroom and thereby helped me to overcome some of the damage that slide-based presentation programs did to my teaching style. In the presentation, I hope to share as much as possible of my experience with wikibooks, including the reasons for my initial skepticism and my reasons to give it a try anyway, various technical problems and some ways to overcome them, legal benefits and disadvantages, detailed examples of using wikibooks for teaching and learning activities, feedback of students and effects on their learning, etc. Most of my professional teaching experience with wikibooks is based on the wikibooks Cg Programming and GLSL Programming which I wrote to accompany a course on computer graphics programming at Aalborg University in Denmark. Further examples will be drawn from the wikibooks Spanish by Choice and Canvas 2D Web Apps. Additionally, one chapter of the latter book was adapted to use an extension of MediaWiki for literate programming, which is one of many interesting features of wikis that could benefit online textbooks in the future.

Education Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
computer with internet access for the presentation

Interested attendees

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  1. Wikibooks and expert contributors are both topics that need a higher profile. I'll be very keen to see this. MartinPoulter (talk) 16:13, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Ralgis (talk) 16:40, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 22:52, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:23, 1 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Add your username here.