Can we make it easier for posters to follow the guidelines?

lev888

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
2,155
Let's say you ordered something at amazon.com and never got a confirmation email. After an hour on the phone a representative tells you: "Ah, Mr. Smith, you forgot to enter your zip code!"
If this could happen amazon would have to triple its customer support staff.
Why doesn't it happen? Easy - you can't place an order without providing your complete address, including the zip code.
I looked at recent posts in Beginning Algebra, Intermediate/Advanced Algebra, Geometry and Trig. Out of 62 posts 34 don't follow guidelines. That's a lot of time wasted by tutors asking for additional information and a lot of time spent by posters waiting for help.
Yes, posters should read the Read Before Posting threads. And we should read all the owner's manuals and user agreements. LOL, as the kids say.
Solution: if forum software allows, I would suggest to split the main post section into two: 1. Problem 2. My work/context. If either is empty the Post button should not work.
 

Subhotosh Khan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
24,653
Let's say you ordered something at amazon.com and never got a confirmation email. After an hour on the phone a representative tells you: "Ah, Mr. Smith, you forgot to enter your zip code!"
If this could happen amazon would have to triple its customer support staff.
Why doesn't it happen? Easy - you can't place an order without providing your complete address, including the zip code.
I looked at recent posts in Beginning Algebra, Intermediate/Advanced Algebra, Geometry and Trig. Out of 62 posts 34 don't follow guidelines. That's a lot of time wasted by tutors asking for additional information and a lot of time spent by posters waiting for help.
Yes, posters should read the Read Before Posting threads. And we should read all the owner's manuals and user agreements. LOL, as the kids say.
Solution: if forum software allows, I would suggest to split the main post section into two: 1. Problem 2. My work/context. If either is empty the Post button should not work.
This may require "expensive" modification of the software!

and

You can bring the horse to the water but drinking is a different issue!!
 

mmm4444bot

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
10,505
… split the main post section into two: 1. Problem 2. My work/context. If either is empty the Post button should not work.
I like the concept, lev, but I don't think XenForo provides for that type of customization.

As a moderator, my system is simple. If a new-member thread in the moderation queue shows no effort, I delete the thread and notify the member to read and follow the guidelines. (If the thread contains a lot of text or formatting, I bounce the copy back to the author by private conversation, and I explain why.) For members whose posts are no longer being moderated, I send them a reminder about the guidelines, and, if they continue to ignore their responsibilities, then I start deleting those threads and append a note as to why.

I've been deleting (or bouncing) about a dozen threads a week, but recently I haven't been on the boards much because I've had to return to work. (The lion's share of moderation is now being handled by our other active moderators.) However, it is my pleasure to continue deleting threads that contain no efforts, as I have time. I note also that more than half of the new members whose threads I delete never repost.

😎
 

Jomo

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
10,557
This may require "expensive" modification of the software!

and

You can bring the horse to the water but drinking is a different issue!!
The keyword in your response is may. Can we find out for certain what the cost will be? Are we sure that this hasn't been somewhere else and we can use that program?

Yes, you are correct that we can bring the students to the forum but we can't make them post correctly. But if we do not have to ask for additional information from the poster this will be good for the helpers. Sure we will lose a lot of students and we need to figure out how to prevent this? This is a complicated situation and the solution should be carefully thought out.
 

Dr.Peterson

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
11,533
At my former site, we had three submission fields, summarized as Question, Difficulty, and Work (though we didn't automatically reject submissions with an empty field), and a good number of people just copied the same thing into all three. One issue is that some questions are hard to split up that way (even into only two parts), so it just made students jump through another hoop that hurt the diligent more than the lazy, by making them worry whether they had filled in the form correctly.

I do believe the automatic acknowledgement message included a reminder of the rules, which could help a bit. I think it said something like, "While you wait for a response, you might want to check that you have included all the information we need."

Perhaps the fact that they can't see their posts (and edit them or add to the thread) until they have been moderated, makes things a little harder here.
 
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