I am not sure about the academic degree but some official status confirmation of the long contributing user may be interesting. This can be something like a recommendation Wikipedia community can issue, something that cannot make the major item in CV but can help in application to some jobs. The path of getting the official status may similar to the path of getting the administrator rights, through voting, but differently from administrator rights it could be just reward for the valuable contribution. The official printed document could be issued by foundation for such people Audriusa 11:28, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
- Granting degree to the passive reader, not to the contributor, would require to arrange some kind of exam, including somebody evaluating results. Currently it is not obvious how to do this reliably because after the first try all questions become public. Granting some status in exchange to the contribution is less problematic as the contribution itself can be considered as an exam replacement. Audriusa 14:30, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia should be a College, not a University
Oxford University does not have any students or classrooms. The students are all enrolled in the various colleges dotted around Oxford town. These are independent organisations from the University. The students study and learn at the Colleges and then they do an exam set by the University and (if they pass) they get a degree from the University.
A number of UK universities are setting up franchises overseas where they do a deal with a school in Singapore or wherever. The school gets teaching materials and the right to brand itself with a famous name and the right to put students up for the parent University exams. If they pass the exam the get a degree from the University even if they have never visited it.
Wikipedia shouldn't get involved in that kind of franchise deal however we can provide teaching and learning materials for all kinds of qualifications. Once students have learned what they need to know they then have the option of approaching an independent organisation where they can demonstrate their ability and get the qualification. This are not just Universities. Organisations issuing professional qualifications (Engineers, accountants, master mariners etc.) may be an even better target. If students don't want to study all on their own then they can find independent tutors to coach them online (for a fee much less than a University would charge). Setting the Curriculum, providing Tutors and carrying out exams would all be independent of Wikipedia - we would just provide a collection of learning modules tailored to match that curriculum.Filceolaire 14:38, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
It seems to me the costs of an academic degree would be enormous, just for staffing the accreditation process alone. An academic degree is conferred on someone who undertakes a series of highly-defined, required steps, and completes them at a required level of quality, all as part of a recognized university. But looking at the spirit of this request, would a certificate be an adequate substitute? By certificate, I mean an official document that states someone has contributed a certain number of verifiable hours or mastered a defined set of activities. Somehow, hours would have to be verified. A certificate doesn't have to be accredited. Certificates are something that many volunteers value greatly and such are used at a variety of organizations that involve volunteers. Someone would have to make the decision to grant the certificate, ofcourse. Eventually, someone will be refused a certificate, and this refusal would have to have clear and easy to defend. But before that's discussed further, would a certificate be a more appropriate and realistic avenue for recognition and meet the spirit of the original request? Jcravens42 19:56, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Rules for self-certification
One could publish rules for self-certification, which would avoid the overhead of an official certificate (and an accreditation process). --Fasten 17:56, 3 January 2010 (UTC)