Students --> Think before you start a thread


Captain Nice
Staff member
This is a sorta brain dump I'm having which I would like to share with students. We don't really get many students here. That doesn't mean we don't want students here. It's the nature of what Google and other search engines send our way.

During a recent discussion regarding answering student questions, one of the moderators had this to say:
Moderator said:
And it is valuable for students to realize that they need to think critically and post clear, concise, complete questions.

In one of the recent threads, the student got some confused responses because frankly his question was confusing -- "Evaluate proposals for the introduction of quality management for a given organization."

In his next post we learn that this is not really the question -- it is apparently part of the instructor's reason for failing the student. The actual question was "What key factors would be considered in introducing QM into an organisation?"

If the student had said

I had a assignment to answer "What key factors would be considered in introducing QM into an organisation?"

I wrote " xxxxx "

The instructor failed me -- he said " yyyyy "

Wow -- then we could have provided feedback. When you are asking for free advice, it is only courteous to first invest your own time to make life simple for those who might offer their advice. But when we have to keep asking for pieces of the puzzle, then it wears on the person trying to help.
I am posting this to help students ask questions here in a way which will get the most responses, and, more importantly, relevant responses.

1. Please think about the question you have and how to ask it.
2. Please remember that posting a 'Laundry List' will not get you many, if any, responses. One question per thread will get you answers.
3. Give us as much background information as you can.

A note on 'confusion': Don't hesitate to say "I was given this question and I can't get any more information from the professor and I'm not really sure what s/he is asking". I sure can't guarantee any of us will be able to read your professor's mind, but we might be able to shine some light around the edges and offer some potential interpretations.
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Staff member
In a very similar vein of Marc's comments, here are my thoughts on the subject:

The Cove is a special sort of place, made up of those who not only have a lot of knowledge in quality/business-related issues, but are willing to share them for free. Most here are more than happy to help students, particularly in the light that most of us are already do such activities. There are teachers in all different aspects here, including those training auditors and training the trainers.

The Internet has changed all of our lives fairly significantly. Long ago are the days when one would head to the library and find books on a particular subject; however, let it be said that is still an underrated experience.:yes: For the most part we type in our subject, and voila, 100,000 instant sources of information on the subject.

While that is an advancement in the ability to get information, it does have its negative effects too. First, it teaches us that all information should be instant; thus, we then seem short-changed to an extent if we don't get our answers immediately. Second, it dulls our ability to think through problems, to critically think about a subject to derive an answer.

That is certainly not a good/bad judgment statement about any one thing/person; but rather openly discussing at least how I perceive the age we are currently in.

We welcome questions from students about their assignments. Part of a good education system, to me, is not necessarily having all the answers, but knowing where to get them.

When you ask a question, please be courteous to all at the Cove, so we can return that courtesy to you. It's OK to be confused about a subject, and be confused by an instructor. While I feel most teachers are good people, some are out for their own glory and ego, and forget about the student. While that may be true, life goes on, and the "poor" class needs to be put behind you with a decent passing grade.

That said,

1. State you're a student, and ask your question. But please don't stop there. Let us know what you think it may be, or maybe what you answered, and the grade or whatever regarding your answer.

2. If you can, list a couple of sentences regarding the nature of the course, and what the areas are that are being covered. Quality is a pretty broad area that can cover management, theory, strategy, mathematical modeling, statistics, etc. So the better details, the easier it is for us to "put ourselves" in your classroom, to know the angle of the problem.

Too, when you explain your thoughts on the subject and possibly build an "agree/disagree" scenario, it creates a much easier discussion to engage. More posters then may be willing to engage in a discussion not only on your initial subject, but also on the responses posted to you. In the end, you may get a fairly broad array of responses that will give you a better basis for tackling your issue. Many times there is more than one way to answer any one question.

So, if you just come here and post "hey, here's my question. Please answer", without some background and without any information regarding where you are at with the problem, don't be suprised if your responses are less than desired. Not only list your question, but please, give us some information where you are at on the problem. That way no one has a moral issue with possibly feeling they are doing the work for you, instead of just helping.

Thank you for choosing to visit the Cove.

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