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Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg

Categories provide the map with which members can find their way around WikiEducator and the connections with which members can make to each other or between resources. Both of these qualities, ease of use and connectivity, are necessary to the success of WikiEducator.


The purpose of this workgroup is to achieve a category structure which facilitates browsing related content, as well as finding specific content, inasmuch as categories are capable. The workgroup will devise and implement ways in which categories can achieve this.


The scope of this workgroup covers any subject matter that is determined to be of concern to categories, either directly or indirectly such as in tutorials or methods of improving categories' ease of use. Any matter should be discussed and agreed upon as falling under this scope, before action is taken.

The categories workgroup is a WikiEducator community workgroup established to improve and enhance WikiEducator's category structure. As such, this workgroup is committed to the core WikiEducator values:

Social Inclusion: The categories workgroup is open to any Wikieducator who would like to join.
  • monthly informational posts are sent out on the main list, including an invitation to join the group.
  • all conversations are open and available for any WikiEducator member to read and respond to.
Freedoms: The category structure, procedures, guidelines, and instructional tools, to be created by the categories workgroup, will build on the opinions of Wikieducators as to relevant and useful categorisation and will not at any point attempt to impose a fixed structure.
Improving technologies and reusability of digital learning resources: The categories workgroup strives to create a category structure and processes for building on that structure that respect the unique nature of educational content and facilitate its reuse and improvement.
Forward-looking disposition: The categories workgroup strives to create a category structure and collaborative processes for building on that structure that facilitates the use of open educational resources in all educational contexts.

(Comment.gif: added this section as indicated by policy on comm WGs. Added some initial thoughts on each point. Feel free to improve! --Alison Snieckus 19:22, 7 November 2009 (UTC))

(Comment.gif: What about replacing the "boundaries" heading with the "Time" section, and moving "Scope" to a first-level heading below "Purpose", then adding the community workgroup information to "Scope"? --Jesse Groppi 20:08, 24 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: Good, simple resolution. I like having scope closer to the top and I was unhappy with the community workgroup stuff being at the very top. Let's call this issue resolved. --Alison Snieckus 21:27, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

Specified outputs

Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg

The following outputs comprise the current focus of the workgroup's efforts. The list is revised as needed to reflect currently active work. Each output has a corresponding entry on the tasklist page. Completed tasks are listed here.

Output Tasks
A set of guidelines for the use of categories on WikiEducator Drafting categorisation guidelines
A map of the current relationships between categories Mapping out existing category structure
A map of proposed relationships between existing and new categories Brainstorming proposed category map

Determining the best category structure for WikiEducator

Procedures for category implementation and administration Determining the administrative procedures for category implementation and administration
A new category structure implemented on WikiEducator Implementing the proposed category map
A more-developed Help:Category page Further detailing the Help:Category page
An instructional tool on how to use categories properly Designing an instructional tool on how to use categories
Category-related content in the Wikieducator tutorial revised to reflect categorisation guidelines Updating the category-related sections of the WikiEducator tutorial
WikiEducator pages categorised according to categorisation guidelines Categorise pages
A recommendation to WikiEducator Community Council for installation of MediaWiki extension(s) to facilitate use of categories Determining which category-related MW extensions to recommend

Leadership style

This group is made up of equals and collaborators, regardless of whom may hold the greater amount of knowledge or experience at any one time or another.

Though the original direction has been set by the convenors, this may be changed via membership consensus at any time. Tasks may be set/suggested by any member.

If it is found that a temporary leadership role is needed in any situation, the need should be agreed upon, and the position filled by a volunteer.

Skills required to achieve workgroup objectives

We are looking for members who:

Note: These skills are not a requirement to join, but skills we expect to develop and pursue towards our workgroup objective.


It is preferred that if you wish to participate in the activities of this workgroup, you should sign up. It is not necessary to sign up in order to participate in discussion. It is encouraged that any interested WikiEducator member participate in discussions.

Note: This charter applies to all members participating in this workgroup (whether or not they appear in this section).

Member responsibilities

Members of the category workgroup agree to:

  • regularly contribute to discussions taking place on workgroup talk pages,
  • contribute to workgroup wide task completion and volunteer for assigned task completion,
  • and strive toward a consensus that realises the best and most reasonable outcomes in WikiEducator's interests.

Members and signatures

To participate in the activities of this workgroup, please sign below.

workgroup members
Jesse Groppi 16:35, 29 September 2009 (UTC) - on hiatus
Alison Snieckus 17:52, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Dr. Gita Mathur 08:46, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Valerie Taylor 14:20, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Jorge Vidals 14:44, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Nellie Deutsch 08:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Cliff Leslie 22:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
« לערי ריינהארט » at commons facebook 18:52, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Balqis Thaahaveettil 13:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Additional workgroup roles


This person is responsible for keeping the WikiEducator community up to date on the workgroup's activities. Updates (posted to the WikiEducator list) should be no more than one month apart, and should be archived to a subpage using this format: [[Workgroup:Categories/yyyymmdd - brief title]]. The archived message should be linked to from the charter, and placed in the Categories workgroup category.

The spokesperson is a voluntary position, not requiring any formal elective process. He or she may designate someone else to send the update if not available to do so himself. The spokesperson may also resign at any time, and another volunteer may take up the responsibilities. The title "Spokesperson" is listed, associated with the workgroup member who is currently serving as spokesperson, in the "Members and signatures" section of the charter.

(Comment.gif: I like the idea of this. I think we should specify how the person would be chosen. Maybe we should just say that the group will recruit a volunteer to serve this role. Any other ideas? --Alison Snieckus 17:21, 7 November 2009 (UTC))

(Comment.gif: Volunteering seems most appropriate. Feel free to change what I added as you please. --Jesse Groppi 17:37, 13 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: added a a sentence to say how we know who the current spokesperson is. --Alison Snieckus 14:30, 14 November 2009 (UTC))

Resources to achieve Workgroup objectives

The following informational resources may be helpful:

Potential resource issues

  1. Does this Workgroup require financial resources? No
  2. Are there any legal issues that might be of concern? No
  3. Do any of the planned outputs impact on community governance issues? No
  4. Are there any security risks? No
  5. Are there any technological dependencies which might be difficult to support or enhancements needed to fully realize the desired outcomes? Yes, the group may decide to recommend implementation of one or more MediaWiki extensions to facilitate the implementation of categories (see corresponding task). For example:
If the group decides to recommend an extension(s), a proposal, outlining the potential costs and benefits, will be submitted to the WikiEducator Community Council for approval and implementation.


This workgroup's outputs are expected to evolve as we progress and learn. Also, the time involved in some tasks may not be fully understood until shortly before work begins. Thus, few tasks will have clear deadlines, and we proceed with the broad goal of creating a category structure, including the necessary policy and guidelines, within six months of the approval of this charter.

(Comment.gif: I tried to express, briefly, that it's difficult to tell how long it will actually take, but provide a vague goal. How does this sound? --Jesse Groppi 17:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC))

(Comment.gif: I don't think this group will ever be done done. I think we should say that we will do our best to meet deadlines as specified in the tasklist. But that said, the work does tend to breakout into a few groups: policy and guidelines, creating and implementing category structure, supporting the ongoing categorization process. Maybe we could list a timeframe for each broad area. --Alison Snieckus 22:31, 20 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: I see what you're talking about. I think I have had in mind that ongoing monitoring and assistance would eventually be passed over to an umbrella group for administration. I certainly have plans to initiate the umbrella group's concept when it appears necessary to do so. How do you think that influences a time line? --Jesse Groppi 00:09, 21 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: if we have an umbrella group working on this later, then we can focus on just the parts that are needed to get categories reconfigured and "working". I edited the sentence to broadly describe what we are agreeing to complete in 6 months. See what you think. --Alison Snieckus 17:19, 21 November 2009 (UTC))

Ground rules (the process)

In an asynchronous fashion, the intended results of the workgroup will be completed by way of tasks and discussion. Tasks will be completed by voluntary sign-up on the task list. Discussion will be used to reach consensus on decisions necessary to choose and complete tasks. These discussions will take place in either this talk page, or one more relevant to the subject. For instance, discussions regarding the proposed category map should take place on the category map's talk page

Editing: For the most part, editing should take place only by individuals that have signed up for the particular task, unless the task list states that sign ups are not needed.

Communication: Communication will take place amongst members via talk page. Communications will be made no less than monthly, by the spokesperson, to the WikiEducator community via posts to the WikiEducator list.

Decision-making: Decision making will occur by consensus. See also:

External communications

Workgroup:Categories/20091106 - Request charter review

Workgroup:Categories/20091012 - First announcement

The project plan

Because of the size and ongoing nature of this categorisation effort, the project plan is viewed as a dynamic work-in-progress. Current work tasks are detailed on the Tasklist subpage. Completed tasks are listed here.

Evaluating workgroup success

This workgroup's progress is measured by the completion of tasks and the reaching of decisions determined by consensus driven discussion. The progress is monitored from the task list.

Success, however, is measured by ongoing observation, even after completion of the workgroup's immediate objectives, of WikiEducator members and their continued use of the category system. The workgroup should be deemed successful if members are seen to reliably make use of the system in the "correct" manner.


Criteria for approval

The charter adequately outlines the workgroup's purpose, work plan, and process for collaboration and will serve as effective support for the group's future work together.

The charter establishes the workgroup as a WikiEducator community workgroup, to facilitate the consideration and approval by the WikiEducator Community Council of policy and guidelines that result from the group's work.

Comments and discussion on the features of the charter have been resolved via consensus, such that no dissenting opinions remain.

(Comment.gif: some first thoughts on this; feel free to reword. And in finding the relevant bits, I notice there are a few items we've failed to include. Will go add them now. --Alison Snieckus 18:18, 7 November 2009 (UTC))

(Comment.gif: Personally, I'd rather avoid criteria that are about "following the rules". Instead, I'd like to see criteria that are based on why the rules were made. I really like your second paragraph, and I think that should be the first sentence and the basis for this section. --Jesse Groppi 17:57, 13 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: Yeah, I see the difference -- rules for rules' sake vs. what actions are enabled by following the rules. I re-wrote that bit to describe why we want the categories workgroup to be an established community workgroup. Thoughts? --Alison Snieckus 18:48, 20 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: I think that's excellent, really! Let's run with it. --Jesse Groppi 23:53, 20 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: OK, but now looking over the charter, I don't think we say specifically that categories workgroup is a WE community workgroup (except by inference from this criteria section). I think the charter should indicate this with a link to the policy. The best place I see to put this is in "Purpose". Thoughts? --Alison Snieckus 17:26, 21 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: Rearranged the top bit to clearly specify that this is a WE community workgroup. Thoughts? Is it too much? --Alison Snieckus 02:34, 24 November 2009 (UTC))
(Comment.gif: Really two issues here. I think they are both resolved. Any disagreements? --Alison Snieckus 21:29, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

Approval process

  1. Upon completion of the first draft of the charter and with consensus from Workgroup members, the WikiEducator community will be invited to "review and comment" on the charter specifics during the 30 calendar days following the post.
  2. Workgroup members will revise and amend the charter based on feedback and post a notification of the final proposed charter on the WikiEducator list.
  3. When discussions involving the draft charter suggest that it is complete and satisfactory, Workgroup members will be asked to signify approval or disapproval of the charter.