Global Text Project brings wiki textbooks to the world An interesting idea; it’s arisen from an XML book that was developed as a wiki, when a class hadn’t got a book covering what was needed. In terms of content management, pages are locked, so that though edits can be made, they aren’t live until they’ve been approved. The XML book is hosted on Wikibooks, though the two that they are working on seem to be currently on the GlobalText server.

The aim is that they will develop 1000 books, each to be sponsored by a Global 1000 company – so there will be some advertising. Students who make significant contributions can earn up to $100, which, for a student in the majority world (the main intended audience), is a significant sum. The initial language will be English, though all will be translated to a range of other languages.

By trying to get sponsorship, they’re clearly thinking about the long term & sustainability issues; which are important; I’ve seen a great many good ideas that don’t get off the ground due to lack of financial support.

The aim is very much to gear the books for the needs of first and second year undergraduates in the majority world, not those in the West.

The original article has been slashdotted, so the server could start to suffer from too many hits for a while.

One thought on “Global Text Project brings wiki textbooks to the world

  1. There seems to be a growing trend of self-publishing materials and providing materials in an open manner, such as using wikis or publishing under the creative commons (such as Tom Reynolds’ Blood, Sweat and Tea, which has recently made the news headlines).

    I hadn’t really appreciated the benefits of this approach before, but with this example, and the new role I am moving into at Cardiff University I shall certainly be keeping this idea in mind.

    It clearly has the potential to

    a/ drive down the costs for students (Western or Majority World) and
    b/ provide Universities with the ability to deliver perfectly tailored course materials.

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