Wikiversity is a Wikimedia project founded in 2006 exploring ways to use the power of wiki to support online learning. This project was in beta phase during the first six months.
What is Wikiversity Beta?
Wikiversity Beta is a global platform aiming at coordinating Wikiversity projects in several languages. This multilingual coordination intends to deal with Wikiversity's mission and general guidelines of the project's scope (for example, about original research). Wikiversity Beta is also a place where Wikiversity projects which don't have a subdomain yet can develop.
In a nutshell, Wikiversity Beta is both a meta-wiki and an incubator for Wikiversity projects.
How is it possible to have so many languages coexisting on Beta without it becoming a mess?
Wikiversity Beta intends to take advantage of the input of its many participants (not only English-speakers). Multilingual discussions should not only coexist, but live in symbiosis. A multilingual discussion system has been proposed so non-English speakers can take part in discussions. Moreover, Beta is using the Language select feature developed on Meta, which allows users to hide foreign languages on multilingual pages.
What about separate Wikiversity projects which already have their own subdomain?
Those separate projects are growing their way. However, their participants are strongly encouraged to take part in discussions about general guidelines that will apply to all Wikiversity projects. Moreover, they are encouraged to post reports about their projects to let everybody know about how it grows.
Now we need people to take part in the discussions on Wikiversity Beta. People from existing separate projects and people willing to contribute to a future separate project should join the discussions and work together. People who do not speak English are encouraged to take part in discussions but we also need volunteer translators to translate the talk summaries.
Your multilingual system will never work. It requires too many translators.
If people really sum up their discussions, not only this will help them to focus on important things but it will not take much time to translate them. Ten days after Beta was open, its main page was already available in five languages. Now it is about 50.
By the way, it is just a proposal. Hey, if everybody speaks English, very well, we won't have anything to translate. If the system does not work, at least we can say we tried.
For a coordination project, it would be much more practical if a single language of discussion is chosen.
Of course it would be more practical; the question is: should we manage Beta the way that is easier for us English speakers or should we manage it the way everybody can take part in discussions about guidelines that will apply to all projects?
Wikiversity Beta Motto?
The shorter, the better. If you want your ideas to reach people speaking other languages, write short and understandable summaries.
What about Wikiversity projects that are currently on Wikibooks, including non-English versions of Wikiversity?
The pages could be imported (if the community decides so and licence matches) - but they can also mature on Wikibooks and then become a separate project.
What is the sense behind splitting Wikiversity up into various separated language Wikis? Would it not be better to create courses and research reports in a multilingual environment such as Beta and have them translated in as many languages as translators see fit when new pages and documents become available?
That is an interesting question. You could also ask, why this was not done for the other Wikimedia projects (e.g. Wikipedia, Wikibooks, ...).