"Handouts" wiki

Recently on WCENTER (the email list for people interested in writing center work) the topic of "handouts" has come up again. This discussion has occurred previously and IWCA established a "handouts" web site committee to develop a web site that would house resources for the writing center community. I rather liked that idea, but felt that the usefulness of the web site would be considerably constrained if it were bottle-necked through an overworked web master or site editor.

Given my role as IWCA Web Editor at that time, I proposed the use of a wiki to solve the bottle-necking problem. Almost immediately, however, a disagreement arose about the academic rigor of such a site if it were left completely open to anyone and (perhaps) everyone editing it. I believe that this concern is valid, but I also think that constraining the wiki to a select group of editors has stifled the project.

This morning, therefore, I took it upon myself to try to revamp the IWCA Handouts Resource wiki by placing a very specific disclaimer on the page that states that IWCA does not vouch for the content for authenticity or endorse any particular method described. I also noted very specifically that the site is open to anyone to edit, not just a select few. I think this is the only way that the resource is going to develop. No doubt there will be bad information provided and approaches that others don't endorse. I believe, however, that such conflict will work itself out collaboratively. If we have to flag pages as problematic, then that decision will be made collaboratively.


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