Learning in and with an open wiki project: Wikiversity’s potential in global capacity building


  • Teemu Leinonen
  • Tere Vadén
  • Juha Suoranta




wikis, learning, education, wikiversity, wikipedia


There is a chance that Wikiversity will become the Internet's free university just as Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia on the Internet. The building of an educational entity demands considering a number of philosophical and practical questions such as pedagogy and organization. In this paper we will address some of these, starting by introducing several earlier approaches and ideas related to wikis' potential for education. We continue by presenting three commonly used metaphors of learning: acquisition, participation and knowledge creation. Then we will present the main principles of two existing alternative educational approaches: free adult education and free school movement. To test these educational approaches and practices on Wikiversity and increase our understanding of the possibilities of this initiative, in the spring of 2008 we implemented an experimental course in Wikiversity. We conclude with several recommendations essentially advocating for Wikiversity and the use of wikis in education. However, more than just presenting our opinions, as authors we aim to make an educated - traditionally and in the wiki way - contribution to the international discussion about the future of education for all in the digital era.

Author Biographies

Teemu Leinonen

Professor, New Media Design and Learning Media Lab University of Art and Design Helsinki

Tere Vadén

Assistant Professor, Hypermedia Hypermedia laboratory Tampere University

Juha Suoranta

Professor, Adult Education Faculty of Education University of Tampere




How to Cite

Leinonen, T., Vadén, T., & Suoranta, J. (2009). Learning in and with an open wiki project: Wikiversity’s potential in global capacity building. First Monday, 14(2). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v14i2.2252