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Help for the Homework Helpers?

  1. Feb 25, 2006 #1
    I was wondering, would it be possible for there to be an "I've been helped" system in which threads can be marked so that those who haven't gotten help can attract the right attention? For example, I still need help but my latest thread makes it appear as though I've already been helped because it's three pages long... What if it was marked or unmarked so that homework helpers could know which threads they need to check? Just thought I'd throw it out there.:redface:
     
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  3. Feb 25, 2006 #2

    Moonbear

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    I can't answer whether it's possible, but I do like the idea. Something that a student can click on that says, "Problem solved, thanks!" Maybe a big gold star or something like that could show up in the topic index. :smile: I know not all students would bother, but at least it'll help sort through some to identify ones more likely to still need help vs those that the student has positively identified as solved and can be ignored.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2006 #3
    Thanks, I'm glad you like it.:smile:

    Right after I posted that I thought, "What if a student doesn't click said button?" and then thought, "Ah, what if the homework helper were to click it once they think the problem has been fully addressed?":biggrin:
     
  5. Feb 25, 2006 #4

    ZapperZ

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    There is a problem with that system, though. We have many people who simply "ask and run" and never come back. And then we have people who simply won't tell us anything. And then we have people who just don't read instructions.

    So we could end up with TONS of those signs indicating that they haven't been helped, when in reality, they have.

    And having the Homework Helper indicating that a question has been answered doesn't work. What if the helping thinks one way, but the person who asked doesn't think the question has been answered?

    My suggestion is, if your question hasn't been answered, then say that explicitly in the thread and make it address that issue. If your thread has been hijacked to discussing another problem and not the you posed, report it!

    Zz.
     
  6. Feb 25, 2006 #5

    Tom Mattson

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    That's why this idea was shot down when Doc Al proposed it some time ago. If we rely on the students to use the system then we will most likely end up in the same boat as we are in right now. A 3 page thread that hasn't been resolved will still tend to be overlooked.

    If you are going to rely on the students to use the system then they have to have some incentive to use it. I think a better approach would be to implement a student-activated "I STILL NEED HELP" flag, which a Mentor or Homework Helper can turn off upon resolution.

    Whaddya think about that?
     
  7. Feb 25, 2006 #6
    How about if helpers mark it at their discretion, but if the poster is still having trouble they could unmark it?
     
  8. Feb 25, 2006 #7

    Tom Mattson

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    That would have the same problem as the original suggestion. I know from experience that most students who come here for help aren't going to voluntarily take extra steps that don't result in them getting more help. Once most students get the help they need they forget about the thread and about PF until the next time they need help.
     
  9. Feb 25, 2006 #8

    Bystander

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    That also resolves the question, "Is this thread so old that any comment now is a waste of my time?"
     
  10. Feb 25, 2006 #9
    maybe if you have that "i still need help flag" it shouldn't be an option until the thread's been around for say 24 hours, or has so many posts. like its just a greyed button until then. so not every thread has one, and only people sticking around for answers can use it? i think that'd be really helpful.
     
  11. Feb 25, 2006 #10

    Moonbear

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    I guess I was thinking the student activated "Problem Solved" flag wouldn't solve the problem entirely, but could at least narrow the field. But, I like your solution better. It also solves the problem of students who feel they need to keep bumping their thread up to the top of the page when it isn't getting attention (though, yes, usually those are the ones where everyone is ignoring it because they haven't shown any work, but it's a less annoying way of accomplishing the same thing). Then, the question is, when would it get turned off? Would it be when someone replies? I guess then the student could keep turning it back on if their problem still isn't solved, and if they never return, it just goes off and stays off.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2006 #11

    honestrosewater

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    Would it help if the permanent, student-activated flag, instead of being deleted when someone replies, was replaced with a flag that expires, say, in a day? It seems that with the flag being deleted, people might tend to get only one response each time they activate the flag. I'm not suggesting the flags would need to look different, just function differently.
     
  13. Feb 25, 2006 #12
    I had the same idea.:biggrin: :wink:
     
  14. Feb 25, 2006 #13
    Well, I suppose threads that haven't been unmarked/marked would just get a second check. If the H.H. sees that the thread is done, they could mark/unmark it themselves.:smile:

    The main idea behind this is to help those who need help get it, really.:smile:
     
  15. Feb 28, 2006 #14

    enigma

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    I don't know how feasible it would be, but I think a problem resolved flag could be tied to the student's cookie.

    Assuming a hit-and-run where the responses provided answer the question
    Student posts question.
    Some time later, a homework helper posts a response. This triggers a flag for activation.
    Student logs in later and checks their thread. If they don't respond, the 'problem solved' flag activates. If they do respond, it will turn off.
    If the problem is not really solved, the student can reset the flag if they want.

    The OP and mentors have access to flip the flags whenever.
    Homework helpers can flip the flags after a time period and/or after the flag is initially triggered.

    It won't be perfect, but the goal isn't implementing a perfect solution... just cutting down on the threads that the helpers need to check.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  16. Mar 1, 2006 #15
    You could also use multi moderation. With a click of a button, you post an automatic response "problem solved" or similar and the thread title gets a prefix "[Solved]" or simmilar. The moderators could decide when the question is answered and use multimoderation. The automatic message could also contani ex. "If you want to ask something else, please start a new topic" or simmilar. Besides PF probably has FTP access so they could do it differently.
     
  17. Mar 10, 2006 #16
    Who can and where are they?:tongue2: :rofl:
     
  18. Mar 10, 2006 #17

    Astronuc

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    The administrators, Greg and chroot, would have to determine if structural changes are feasible.

    I would like to add something that indicates attachments need approval. I and other have had to wait for some time for a poster's attachments to be approved. And I'd rather not pester mentors with PMs.

    Would it be feasible to give "Homework Helpers" permissions to approve attachments, but only in the HW directories?
     
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