Course Wiki

Last modified: May 12, 2012, 05:04 PM

Question / Answer FAQ

This is the FAQ for the Discussion section of the site.

What should I do before asking?

Search the discussion forums. Unless you are on the bleeding edge of the course, ie well ahead, your question has probably been asked before and answered. By asking the same question again, you dilute the answers and make them harder to find while making more work for the volunteers that answer.

How do I get a member of the course staff to answer my question?

The discussion forum is very busy, and, although we try very hard, the course staff cannot answer every question. However, the community is quite active, and your fellow students are often providing very good responses.

If you want to increase your chances of getting the community and staff to look at and answer your questions, please tag your questions appropriately. Below are the types of tags that the course staff will be paying particular attention to:

  • concept - questions about a high level concept - example "What does KVL have to do with the Lumped Element Abstraction?"
  • assignment - questions about a homework or lab - example "Is a kilocalorie 1000 physicist's calories or 1000 dietitian's calories?"
  • admin - questions about course policies, tools, due dates, or other kinds of logistics - example "Where is the line between collaborating and cheating?"
  • tech - questions about error messages or other technical issues - example "I keep getting an 'unknown error' when I try to input answers to problems"
  • feature - commentary or feedback on a feature of the course - example "It would be really nice if we could download the course instead of having to stream everything"
  • course - general questions about the MITx 6.002 course
  • S1E2 - questions about S1E2
  • S1 - questions about the concepts in Sequence 1
  • Lab1 - questions about Lab 1

What kinds of tags can I use to target the community of students?

  • social - for introductions and community forming, either to invite people to a facebook group or to invite people to share information on the course forum
  • español (etc) - for discussions in Spanish (etc). Note that the course staff makes no promises about supporting non-English languages. However, tagging your language will make it easier for fellow students, who might speak your language, to filter and help.

What kinds of questions should be avoided?

Please avoid asking questions that explicitly ask how to complete any graded part of the course. If you are having trouble with a concept that a graded part of the course references, feel free to ask about that. However, posting your solution-in-progress and asking other people to look for your mistake is not okay.

Who moderates this community?

Two sets of people: course staff and star students. In order to determine which students get moderation capabilities, we have a karma-point system which rewards students for their contributions with the ability to contribute even more.

How does karma system work?

Students on the forum get points based off of their activity in the forum. The main method of getting points is to ask good questions and give good answers.

When a question or answer is upvoted, the user who posted them will gain "karma points". These points are used to determine how much moderation power a student has. If you like a question or answer, be sure to thank the contributor by up-voting their contribution. If you have enough karma, you will have the ability to down-vote bad contributions.

Each vote in favor will generate 10 points, each vote against will subtract 1 point. There is a limit of 200 points that can be accumulated for a question or answer per day. The table below explains reputation point requirements for each type of moderation task.

Each student starts out with 1 point.

Points Required Action
1 upvote
1 add comments
1 accept own answer to own questions
1 open and close own questions
15 downvote
50 edit community wiki questions
100 retag other's questions
1200 close other's questions
5000 edit any answer
5000 delete any comment

Why can other people edit my questions/answers?

A significant amount of the value of questions is the fact that they are going to be read by other people later. Therefore, making those questions as clean as possible is a priority, which means allowing other people to clean up those class resources.

Still have questions?

Ask! We have a forum for it.