Please read/respond: How to structure the forum?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Chip, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Hi, everyone! has been officially open for only 5 days, and we're at about 500 posts and 150 unique users, which I think is a resounding success. Thanks to all for your support, and -- most important -- your posts, commentary, etc.

    One of the issues that has been discussed among the moderators is how to handle the increasing topic traffic. The topics are now split into two pages, but you can filter out older topics by changing the view drop-down at the upper right corner of your screen. The default is 45 days, but it can range from 1 day to all posts ever made.

    And now on to the question: Should we leave a single general topic forum, or should we create additional forums? All forums would appear on the first page of the BBS, and you'd then select the forum you want to view, and the topics within that forum, just as you do now.

    And, if we do this, what forums should be created? We'll certainly keep the "general discussions" one we have now, but what other ones? MIGS is rapidly getting to the point that it might deserve one of its own, with three lengthy threads, and certain topics such as IT degrees seem to be perennial favorite discussion on a.e.d. But those are just ideas, and what will make the board most successful in the long term is if the changes we make to it are based on community input. So here's your chance!

    Please comment...


  2. Roger Habeck

    Roger Habeck New Member

    I have been thinking about the same issue. I think that it might work better to create 3 or 4 broad sections. Perhaps something along the lines of "general DL questions" "school quality issues" "accredidation" etc. I am sure you could come up with better selections. I suspect that this might reduce download times which are taking a while now.
  3. T. Nichols

    T. Nichols New Member

    Great job on this board Chip.

    I would like to suggest a forum for foreign schools.

  4. blahetka

    blahetka New Member


    With the web format, it may make sense to split things up a bit. Perhaps General, undergrad, grad, accredited, unaccredited, theology, MBA, etc. Perhaps an option to show all messages from the board in a single view, for those that like pain.

  5. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    So far it's been fun and although I've never seen a better run web discussion forum, I'm still looking forward to a.e.d. minus the spam because of the nicer ng interface available through a news reader.

    I think it would be a mistake to try and get too specific in the forum break down, e.g., a MIGS forum. I think that these kind of things will pop up and be hotly debated for a couple weeks and then the discussion will drop way off. (I'm assuming that MIGS just drops it at this point. If they actually hire a lawyer in Penn then it might be a different story.)

    I have a hard time trying to come up with any forum breakdown myself. I'm most interested in the degree mill discussions but if we tried to make a separate forum for that then I'm afraid we'd instead be debating whether the thread goes in the degree mill forum or not! (Check for a potential infinite recursion loop here.)

    Now to go off topic, hey man are you going to award Dr. Levicoff the coveted Meritorious Service Award or what? (If the problem is that you don't think it's really coveted then I volunteer to claim that I want it. [​IMG])
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

  7. Bill Highsmith

    Bill Highsmith New Member

    Perhaps a FAQ section would be in order. Certain questions, such as "do you know of a DL CS program?" or "what's the deal with Kennedy-Western?", are frequent and nearly always receive approximately the same answer. This should probably be posted only by the administrators from quality posts in the other sections so that it does not merely mirror a debate.

    Bill Highsmith
  8. GetSmart

    GetSmart New Member

    Yeah that's right. Maybe you should be in charge of choosing. That way you can take the heat [​IMG]

  9. I'd hesitate to set up too many specific forums. I'd also argue against setting up a forum for "foreign" schools -- what's foreign depends on where you are, and we aren't all from the same country.

    Forums for 'discussion of specific schools' (the threads within this forum would, hopefully, have the school name in the topic) and for 'academic areas' might be useful.

    Kristin Evenson Hirst
    [email protected]
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest has a forum for distance learning and also one for international education with Lucile Vea as the host. While Vea's forum is not designed for distance learning, per se, it does discuss non-US institutions.

    Since many, if not most, of the schools discussed in this newsgroup are US institutions, then perhaps a thread for non-US schools would be in order.

    Russell A. Morris
  11. brucemarnold

    brucemarnold New Member

    Since a great many first-time posters want to know about CS/IS/MIS and many more want to know about MBA degrees, I believe that we should great a forum just for them and post a FAQ to them frequently.

  12. Erma

    Erma New Member

    Sir CHP,
    I think there should be a button for "edit."
    I would like to go back to correct any gramatic error or spelling or even legal stuff. For example, I just mispelled your name. Opsee!
    Thanks to whomever offering this Forum. Finally, I can exercise the Bill of Rights!
  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Tracked me down, does that mean you're stalking me? [​IMG] Now behave, these good folks tolerate me hanging around and playing only because I promised that the Flame War Follies wouldn't spill over into this forum.

    Have fun,

    Bill Huffman, [email protected]
  14. Dan Snelson

    Dan Snelson New Member


    The upper right hand menu that changes from 45 days to 2 days is not working, evertime I come back it has shifted back to the 45 days.

  15. Chip

    Chip Administrator


    I think you have to go into "preferences" at the top of the screen and change your default view to 2 days. Otherwise, when you change it, it will just change back to the default when you log out and back in again.

    Let me know if that works.


  16. Randy Kearns

    Randy Kearns Member

    Just wanted to drop by and say hello. By the way, excellent forum, good focus and good direction.

    As to your question, why don't you let the volume of posts drive this decision. Create a threshold and once a topic meets the mark, move the thread/threads to a subforum of the general postings. Clearly, MISG could become your first secondary thread. Of course a retrospective review of the a.e.d. forum could provide reasonable prediction for some of your categories, it may be better to give it some time and gauge the interests based on the postings.

  17. Dan Snelson

    Dan Snelson New Member

    Ok that about that edit button [​IMG]

    or maybe a preview of what I am about to post?

  18. mcqueary

    mcqueary New Member

    Chip already knows this, but let me pubicly cast a vote for having a separate board specifically for CS/IT DL discussions. There is enough traffic to warrant it, certainly. And it may be one of the few tools I'll be able to use to prioritize threads!

  19. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    I second Larry's idea. Since we received so many RFIs about CS/IT degrees in the ng, it only makes sense we're likely to have the same here.

    There are a number of us that have little interest in such degrees, so that would be one way to cut down the threads.

    Tom Nixon

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