Frequently Asked Questions

What is WikiToLearn?[edit | edit source]

Imagine a world where educational material is freely available to everyone, always up-to-date and written by thousands of experts and educators.

WikiToLearn is an open platform where students, researchers and key people in the academia can create and refine notes and textbooks, tailored precisely to their needs, and giving them the power to customize the teaching beyond what traditional textbooks allow. Our philosophy inherits from the very foundation of how science works. We believe that “Knowledge only grows if shared” and we want learners to “Stand on the shoulder of giants!”.

WikiToLearn was founded in September 2015, when a group of students from the University of Milano-Bicocca had the necessity to share their notes to study for their exams. Many different universities and research centers from all around the world have since decided to join.

Legally represented by KDE e.V., and part of KDE, WikiToLearn was born as a non-profit community and an open source project, which wants to provide free and collaborative textbooks with the help of University and Academia.

How does WikiToLearn work?[edit | edit source]

Anyone can contribute to different topics: every page is editable and you can start making an impact right now!

Whether you’re a student, a teacher, a translator or a programmer, you can start contributing to WikiToLearn! Visit join.wikitolearn.org for all the possible options!

How do you ensure reliability?[edit | edit source]

Reliability of content is ensured through a simple, non-blocking review process. Every page, after it is modified, is considered a draft. Experienced users with working knowledge on the topic can later review the course and ensure it is correct and well written, giving it a "seal of approval". The resulting PDF is later exported as "reviewed version", a copy is uploaded on Wikimedia Commons, and every user on the website can choose whether to download the last version available, or the last reviewed version.

All editors also have the possibility of assembling their own books, specifying a precise revision of the content which they want to download. This gives everyone the possibility to assemble their own books, even if they don't have the reviewer privileges on our platform.

What about different ways of explaining the same topic?[edit | edit source]

We support and encourage multiple courses for one same topic! We realize it is a fundamental and enriching practice to see a topic from many different point of views, and it is a behavior we want to encourage. This is why we don't have a single reference course for a topic, but anyone is free to create their own, explaining it from whichever angle they prefer.

What differentiates WikiToLearn from other wiki projects such as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikiversity?[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia wants to create a free encyclopedia, not free textbooks. It is not focused on academic learning and it is not optimized for it: it is a place where you go to look up facts, not to learn.

Wikibooks and Wikiversity are projects which are indeed closer to us. There are two main differences: our unique focus on learning and delivering the best didactical experience, and the software development freedom to grant our users the best experience possible.

Not being hosted by Wikimedia Foundation (and instead relying on similarly resilient infrastructure from GARR) means we are not subject to restrictions on the software, which we can customize for the best book editing experience. For example, we integrate external elements in our infrastructure, provide a PDF generation feature, and in general offer a streamlined and compelling user experience.

We are also working to provide features which are very hard to integrate in a standard MediaWiki, such as collaborative editing and many other features needed for using a wiki platform in an educational environment.

We also have a strong focus on offline usage of the content, from the layout of the pages to the content type.

What differentiates WikiToLearn from other online learning platforms such as Khan Academy, Coursera...?[edit | edit source]

We focus on writing ONLY educational textbooks, no videos, no MOOCs, no direct interaction with your teacher. We believe that there are projects and software tools better suited for that job, and while we aim to integrate with them, we have no intention of being a replacement.

The focus of WikiToLearn is on the collaboration: we believe that if everyone can contribute to a common knowledge, everybody benefits. And it is very hard, if not directly impossible, to do that with video editing and more advanced tools. The outcomes that we want to achieve are high quality, evolving, exhaustive and proofread textbooks.

Who can I contact if I need more help?[edit | edit source]

If you need further assistance, or if you simply want to meet and join the community, this is what you are looking for: https://join.wikitolearn.org/ . You can also:

We are always happy to answer! :-)

How can I as a student use WikiToLearn and how much does it cost me?[edit | edit source]

Cost? What cost? WikiToLearn is free as in freedom, and free as in “free beer”. :-) The only motivation that keeps us going is our love for a free and diffuse knowledge.

That said, there are many ways in which you can work, depending on your interests and abilities. If you are a student or a teacher, usually it does not take much to figure out how to contribute content, which often already exist, because they are useful to the whole world. Promotion is also vital, a poster attached to the right place can have great impact.

In any case, almost every team can be reached by joining a room on https://chat.wikitolearn.org. Don't forget to check out also https://phabricator.kde.org/tag/wikitolearn/, our main tracker of activities.

The best thing to do to start contributing is to reach us and speak to us directly. Usually, some WikiToLearn developer is always active and on the web. :-)

We are looking for people who share our love for the free knowledge who can help us grow this reality.

What is LaTeX?[edit | edit source]

LaTeX is a document preparation language for high-quality typesetting. LaTeX includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. For more information, visit: http://www.latex-project.org

In which languages can I find material and/or can I write on WikiToLearn?[edit | edit source]

The list of the languages that are currently open is in the homepage. Missing yours? The only requirement In order to open a new portal, is a community of people willing to help and actively contribute. If you would like to start up a new language, just get in touch with us!