This is a draft manual that I wrote for the University of Duhok. My main fear with this document is that it won’t translate into any changes to the workflow for faculty and students here. The document contains information about free Internet resources for the students and faculty here, specifically:
- Full text journals,
- Search engines,
- Course materials,
- Citation style guides, and
- Free software
The basic problem is that this document is a PDF and not a living document. It is an un-wiki. One person created it, taking his best guess what a large institution wanted and needed. Once it’s written, it begins to wither on the vine.
As faculty and students discover useful parts of it, they should be able to change the document to reflect what they learned. The manual should be under constant collaborative development in Kurdish, rather than handed down from an American in English. (Yes, it’s being translated into Arabic and Kurdish.) In short, it should be a wiki.
Unfortunately the Internet infrastructure here won’t support a locally hosted wiki. I had hoped to have the IT department run a mediawiki site, but the university doesn’t run its own web server. Its public webpage is hosted off site, and the local intranet doesn’t serve web pages.
[What to do about that? Run a desktop as a server here? Please comment.]
Another problem is that I won’t have time and partners to design trainings on the manual. Many of the resources in it were easy to find. Once described and demonstrated, they are immediately useful to the students and faculty here. On their own, however, most people here won’t easily be able to read the descriptions and explore the resources. The language barrier is to high and the connectivity too slow.