Frankly I don't like it, it puts labels on people and causes a divide.
What forced prefix are you talking about. Clearly I'm missing something.
I went to put up a new thread ( https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...itride-sheet-for-thin-film-dep-fusion.827366/ ) but before it would post I had to select a "prefix" to show what level of education I have.
They are intended to help the thread starter express their personal level and the level of their thread. This helps the thread starter receive replies geared towards their level and for repliers to gauge how interested they are in checking it out.
Engineering does not have prefix levels... yet.
Well, I can say from my experience that putting labels on students based on where they are it in their education will inhibit discussion. I work with many graduate students and it didn't take long for the Professors to realize those I have the best communication with were not initially aware of my 'undergrad' status.
mesa started the thread in a physics forum, I moved it to engineering as making sheets of BN is not particle physics.
We had several threads where the discussion was either way too basic for the OP, or way over their head. Both are not helpful, so the prefixes indicate at which level an answer should be.
There is no perfect solution. We are trying this program because we've seen a spike in members being frustrated when receiving advanced replies in which they can't begin to understand.
I am all for trying new ideas and I can see your point, but this will also have a negative impact on undergrads/high school students that are capable of having these discussions. I would suggest making the 'prefix' voluntary.
Either way it will be interesting to see the results. Things will change and hopefully for the better; at least so long as people leave their predispositions about hierarchy in academia out of it, although now we all have labels ;)
We can't verify member's abilities, so if an udergrad wants to ask an advanced question and thinks they can handle the advanced responses, then by all means that member should label it as advanced.
We aren't labelling the student, we're labelling the thread. If you have a graduate-level question about quantum field theory and want a thread at the graduate level... You can mark it A even if you're still an undergraduate.
Indeed, that's one of the advantages of an internet forum - if you have the background to handle an advanced discussion, you're in - your posts and not your resume are speaking for you.
Wait a second, perhaps I am mis-understanding the 'prefix' system. The assumption I made is that this is supposed to show what level of education we have as they are labeled 'high school', 'undergrad', etc., etc.
I am okay with that, but the first time using it (before having a nice discussion with you three about it) it seems we are supposed to put our level of education. Duly noted, although this will cause similar confusion in the future as people begin to use this new system.
I would like to add, I do like the idea of having more custom tailored answers.
No, it refers to the level of answers the user is looking for.
I get that now, the labels could make someone think otherwise (like me for example;)
Thank you all for the quick and informative responses!
I tried to make this clear by describing the prefixes "Thread Level: Undergrad" etc rather than "Your Level: Undergrad".
A noble attempt, but it didn't work this time around :)
Separate names with a comma.