Help:Editing rules

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Here is a set of rules that you should use. This page may seem a bit long, but the spirit of these rules is fairly simple and can be summarized as follows:

  • Stick to educational technology and related fields (in a wide sense).
  • Think of the wiki as a whole, i.e. make sure that people can find articles and quickly refer to them by linking to other articles and by adding [[category: xxxx]] tags.
  • Structure your pages with headings, e.g. use == ..... == for level 1 titles.
  • Give credits (and take if you wish)
  • Qualify the status of information
  • You should provide some information about yourself (else we might think that your are a spammer and delete the account right after its creation)

These rules are open for negotiation. Use the Discussion page to discuss.

1 Contents of this Wiki

Edutech Wiki contains articles related to educational technology and all related fields.

No spamming of any sort is tolerated, i.e. we explicitly refuse entries not related to educational technology and related subject matters! In most countries spamming is not allowed, legal action can be taken quite easily and fines can be substantial. All your actions are registered by IP ! (see also the privacy policy). We also reserve the right to block access to any user, IP number or even whole domains !

This Wiki is managed by TECFA and DSchneider and we are open to any sorts of collaboration. If you wish to discuss editorial policy and/or the hypertext architecture of this wiki (e.g. categories), please use the discussion page of this text.

2 Authorship and opinions

This wiki doesn't work at all like Wikipedia, read on ...

Identification of authors

We require that each author edits his "home page". As of Feb 2012 this information is extracted during account creation. To re-edit this information, click on your login id on the top right. Please, leave a trail that can trace you some place (e.g. your institution, a home page, etc.). Sorry, we have to implement this in order to fight spammers who did become extremely aggressive.

Spam fighting

We use strong anti-spamming measures. This is of course annoying to a regular contributor. No problem here, as soon as you are known you will be moved to an author group that doesn't need to fill in captcha's for each edit. If I don't "see" you, just ask with an email or this discussion page.

No neutral point of view

We do not require "neutral point of view", "no research", "quality" etc. as it is for instance the case for the Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Simply, follow academic standards of presentation, i.e. make sure that readers can find out whether a statement is based on solid research, on speculation, on opinion, on practical experience, etc. and whether it may be controversial.

Also make sure that the reader understands if an entry is a "good" piece or just "note taking" (see page status templates below). So far (13:24, 21 September 2006 (MEST)), most entries are just notetaking :)


If you wish, you can sign an article with your name and institution, e.g. something like this:

;[[User:DSchneider | Daniel K. Schneider]]

:''TECFA, University of Geneva''

which will show as:

Daniel K. Schneider
TECFA, University of Geneva

Of course if you modify an existing article then you may have a look at the history and add at least the wiki login names of those who made significant contributions. Also, someone else may add stuff to your stuff and add his own name. Authorship is something that may need some more discussion (and we should create an authoring template for this).

Your opinions
  • If they may be controversial, sign a statement with your Wiki user ID (or even better with your full name and a link to your wiki ID)
  • Three ~~~ insert your user ID
E.g. DSchneider thinks that these editing rules are just fine
  • Four ~~~~ insert your user ID + Time/Date
E.g. These rules need some improvement (11:21, 11 April 2006 (MEST) - DSchneider)
If you totally disagree with an article
  • You first may try to discuss (use the article's discussion page)
  • If you believe that there can't be a way to present different views and opinions within an article, just write your own entry with an other title, but link the two please.
To get in touch with an author

Some authors may not patrol articles or look at recent changes, therefore we suggest to write a message into the user's talk page.

Here is how: When you list the history of a given page you can see a list of all modifications, the author's id and a talk button, e.g.:

17:01, 20 September 2006 DSchneider (Talk | contribs | block) ....

Hit the talk link and leave your message there (.e.g "I started a discussion on the cognitive tool page, please react"), the author will see it as soon as he connects.

3 Links to external sites

If you have a useful commercial product or service related directly to one of the topics in EduTechWiki (i.e. related to educational technology, then you may:

  • Shortly describe the product or service in neutral and factual terms within an appropriate page (only meaningful pictures like screenshots please) and insert one or two relevant links to an overview or links page (no pictures, logos and such ....)
  • Alternatively, you also can create a new page, but again, make sure that its contents are informative and not "empty" marketing speech. Try to add an appropriate category and links to/from other pages.

Your are not allowed to:

  • Add links to pure marketing sites or to spam pages.
  • Create many links from many pages (links in 1-3 pages should be enough)
  • Create promotional pages (based on hype and not facts)

I will block offenders plus their IP address forever - Daniel K. Schneider 15:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

4 New articles and conventions for titles

Improve old contents
  • Before starting a new article: search the wiki to check if there is already an article. If so, try to improve it. But this is no obligation. Start something fresh if you feel more comfortable.
New article titles ( important ! )
  • Never use capital letters except for the very first one (the only exception are proper names).
Good: Educational theory
Bad: Educational Theory
  • Use singular (e.g. theory, not theories)
  • Don't use articles
Good: "Xy theory")
Bad: "The xy theory ..."

If a term for an article title has too many meanings:

  • Create a small page that lists various meanings and insert a "disambig" template (see below).
  • Then write your article under a more specific title.
  • To see some examples look at the Disambiguation category

5 Templates for page status

Since this Wiki (so far) is mostly used as a note taking device, it is useful to tell users something about the status of an entry with a banner. For this purpose we created some templates that visually add a kind of status to pages and in addition insert the page into what we call a maintenance category. E.g. have a look at.

Technically speaking, templates refer to code inserted between {{...}}.

We are not yet sure which templates to use here, e.g. the Wikipedia has lots, but we certainly can do with less. See the Category:Templates for a list of templates in this wiki. Here are the most important ones:

  1. Disambiguation pages (Template:disambig):
    • These are small pages that will split an ambiguous term into more specific terms (specific articles). Example: Activity
    • Insert the disambiguation template {{disambig}} at the end of the article (will insert a message and disambiguation category.
  2. Under construction (Template:Under construction):
    • Use the {{under construction}} template if you are working on an article and want other people to know about. Once you stop working on it you may revert the article to "incomplete" or "stub"
  3. Planned contents, i.e. stubs (Template:Stub)
    • Use the {{stub}} template if you just want to create an article add a few definitions, references and links, but without really working on it.
  4. Incomplete articles (Template:Incomplete)
    • Use the {{Incomplete}} template to signal that an article is ok as a resource, but that it should be further improved in various ways (e.g. by adding new sections, reorganizing contents, etc.)
  5. Rough draft (Template:Rough draft)
    • The {{Rough draft}} template is for people who are afraid to publish really unfinished things. DSchneider never uses it, but it was a request from our students ...

Please do not edit the templates themselves ! (unless you know about wiki programming).

6 Structure and categories

Please make sure that your articles are structured and that they belong to some category. Also try to link articles to each other.

Structure of articles
  • Use titles, e.g. == Level 1 == , === Level 2 ===, etc.
  • Insert at least one category at the end of each article !, e.g. [[Category:educational technologies]]
  • You may suggest new categories if needed ! Use plural, not singular. (Categories are auto-creating, we will decide together if we keep yours ...).
  • See the start page for a list of major categories, or look at the full list
  • use complex links when needed, do not use: "(see here)".
Bad "this is a frequent statement in behaviorist theory" (see Behaviorism)."
Good: "this is a frequent statement in behaviorist theory".
Good: "this is a frequent statement in [[Behaviorism | behaviorist theory]]".
One article = one topic
  • Create new pages for topics that are also relevant to other articles. This is not an iron rule. You can, within article introduce and redefine a concept that is treated elsewhere (in this case don't make it too long and add a link to article in question).
  • Note: There is a system to compose articles from several pages if needed.
Organization of content
  • There are no rules. Most of what you currently see in this wiki is simply the result of DSchneider's way of doing it. Of course at some point it probably would be nice to make a distinction between research-oriented articles and more practical ones or even find a way to deal with both types of information within a single one.
Bibliography and citations within an article
  • There are no rules for the bibliography and citations. Doing it right is probably too time consuming (open to discussion)
  • But please make sure that you add the full references for citations (so that people can find them).
  • Also make sure to add some "open content" links for people without access to commercial services.

7 Images, quotations and citations

Inserting an image
  • To insert an image you can do better than [[Image:xxx.png]], use something like the [[image: .png|frame|none| ]] template.
E.g. [[image:input-process-output-paradigm.png|frame|none|Input-process-output paradigm]]
Document an image (when you upload it)
  • Please add a description for images that you upload
  • Indicate the source (avoid using pictures that may be undercopyright or ask permission to reproduce)
Cite please !
  1. Always quote the source, never copy/paste from the web without indication of the source and if possible date of retrieval
    • Do note copy whole pages, even if you cite the source. Use some "liberal idea" of fair practise.
  2. Use the quotation templates if you want
Useful shortcuts
  • Five ~~~~~ inserts the current date.


"At the time of writing it was ~~~~~" will produce:
At the time of writing it was 17:04, 18 May 2006 (MEST).
  • The {{retr}} template is a shortcut and will show as:
retrieved, 17:17, 15 September 2006 (MEST)