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Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 1:01 PM

Homework questions have long been a source of frustration for some users. What if we had a dedicated user group or other space for students to post their questions or ask for help?

CR4 has a lot of members with a huge amount of knowledge that can be passed along to future engineers. And while text books and Google searches are a good place to start, sometimes a dialogue can be more effective in communicating specific points.

If this is something you'd be interested in being a part of, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share them here or send me a message.

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#1

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 1:16 PM

I think it is a great idea.

The members could treat the students as any student that might be currently in their life, be it a son/daughter, friend of the family, etc.

The question or problem doesn't have to be directly answered or solved. The student can be given some guidance.

That is one CR4 rule that never made sense to me. There are certainly many young people around who do not have a parent or older sibling to ask.

I for one think it would be an excellent way for this forum to contribute.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 1:29 PM

I'll second that.

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#3

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 1:49 PM

I've always been fond of this idea of a Student Support area in CR4.

I certainly would be a tutor and occasional student participant in this category. An added benefit to the CR4 community could be that administration might be able to localize student questions started in other parts of CR4 by transferring suitable threads to this student subcategory.

I again emphasize my preference of Socratic teaching in helping a student to help themselves. Giving a student critical questions to answer usually leads them to solving their own (often hidden) question instead of just answering the homework problem. If one just gives out answers then teaching stagnates.

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#4

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 2:08 PM

I agree.

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#5

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 2:48 PM

Unfortunately, there is a HUGE gap between "helping" someone with their homework assignments and "doing" their homework for them. Steering someone away from a wrong direction is vastly different from steering someone toward the correct direction.

Ex-adjunct college instructor here.

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#6

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 3:28 PM

I agree wholeheartedly!

It's apparent in some of the "homework" posts that not only are a lot of students fairly lost on important subjects, but they also don't seem to be getting the kind of guidance and challenge that marks a quality education. Maybe CR4 can be a help to students who really need it.

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#8
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 3:40 PM

One way CR4 can be helpful -- and to some extent already is -- is to teach students how to ask a question. When you're well and truly lost, whether from poor instruction or lack of exposure to a subject -- you don't always know where to start. I believe this would be part of RedFred's encomium that we give the questioner the tools to solve the problem rather than just the answer.

We all know the answer is 42. Or is it 46? Those numbers are the same color in my mind.

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#9
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 4:12 PM

I have this homework question about synesthesia....

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#23
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 9:25 AM

I didn't know that there is a name for this! I always assumed that everybody saw letters and numbers as colors. As I've gotten older the associations have dimmed, but I still confuse 2 and 6 all the time. They are both shades of yellow-orange.

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#7

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 3:32 PM

I think we pretty much do this now....but agree it would be helpful to officially endorse the practice of helping students ....

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#10

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 5:09 PM

I'm all for it, if ground rules are specific about what the forum will, and will not do for the students.

The "rubber band car" question is a good example of what a student should during to the table if they are serious about learning.

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#12
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 5:40 PM

Sorry, I was trying to type on my phone while a van driver was setting a new airport to home delivery record.

Encourage Require the student to be prepared to answer questions about their project, and to have already attempted to complete the assignment.

There are some many very good mentors here willing to help.

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#22
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 9:14 AM

How about including links to good question/answer threads -- and an explanation about WHY the question is a good one -- in the ground-rules post? Authors of poorly-presented questions can be referred back to the ground rules. This would be more helpful than the usual round of criticism that can feel like bashing to some folks.

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#11

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 5:31 PM

I agree; it would be a good idea as long as the guidelines (yet to be established) are followed. The only problem I see is with math. Schools teach "new" math and expect students to follow that outline. Most of us "oldtimers" learned math the old way, which makes sense to us. I don't understand the new math, nor do I want to. The old way has worked for me for the past 70+ years. If I were to solve a math problem using old math, it may not be acceptable as a school solution, but let's see how it goes.

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#13

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 7:35 PM

I guess I'm the curmudgeon here.

I think it is a well intentioned idea, but I think this could soon devolve into a massive flood of students looking for help, once they find a site that will do their homework for them. And the current site as it now exists will crash under the weight of the requests. -- Now I know the idea is to provide guidance, not do their work. But realistically the requests will escalate until someone here takes pity and shows how the problem is solved.

Most of the visitors will be millenials (I'd bet) and they've been encouraged too much to sit back and let others do their work. If you decide to do this, proceed with caution.

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#14
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 8:05 PM

You forget the, "My Cavalier won't start, why is that"?

"How to find the best VFD for my window fan? I need answer soonest, emergency!!"

"I just passed out of high school/college/university/medical school and don't know what I should do, help me".

"Why is 3x5 not the same as 5x3 in common core math"?

This would be different? Actually, I think real, intelligent students might impress you.

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#20
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Re: Education & StudentSupport Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 6:52 AM

I might have added that I taught full time at a college for one year, and taught as an adjunct in the evenings while working as an engineer, for many years. The pay of an adjunct isn't that good. I did it because I enjoyed the interactions with the students.

Working with motivated students is extremely rewarding, emotionally. If that's the type of student that shows up here, I'll be thrilled - and very surprised.

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#26
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Re: Education & StudentSupport Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 2:19 PM

"Working with motivated students is extremely rewarding..."

Indeed! Unfortunately, the fraction of those that were motivated (at least in the technical fields I taught) in my school had dwindled so much that I elected to take early retirement 21 years ago.

On the other hand, I suspect that those who take the trouble to find CR4 will mostly be above average in motivation. Hopefully, we'll find out. If that should not be the case, it's pretty easy to just ignore them...

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#19
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 5:58 AM

I totally agree with you Usbport and a GA, when we I was growing up and going to school, we I didn't have the internet, let alone CR4® to do my home work for me. In the 60+ years of my education, I had to solve my own homework problems. And if I couldn't understand the homework question/problem, the next day I would approach my Instructor/ professor/ teacher about the problem.

Everyday we see people here wanting/ demanding answers to their homework. And, unfortunately most of the students are from the Middle East Countries and haven't a clue about anything.

My train of thought is, someone like this guy who either skipped school, was to lazy to take notes, or just to stone to give shit, should not be given a free ride.

I've said it before, " if a student comes here asking for help and has taken their time to research the problem and still doesn't understand how to work the problem, then I'm all for helping them." But, at the same time, I spent a lot of time and money gaining my education.

There is no better schooling than the school of Hard Knocks (before, during or after) schooling. It's an education you will not forget.

I'm shocked that Lyn is all for this idea I am too. BUT students still need to follow the basic guide lines;

Look for answers before you post

Provide as much information as possible

Do not post the same thread multiple times

Include your country/region.

** Do your own homework **

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#24
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 10:18 AM

Shocked? I have been wiling to help students in the past who come here, if it is clear that they have at least tried to solve the problem and make an effort to explain what they've done already or at least are willing to describe where the difficulty lies.

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#28
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/16/2016 4:29 AM

I know you are more than willing to help anyone, student or not. I know you've helped me some over the years. Shock wasn't the best word, it was more like surprise.

"if it is clear that they have at least tried to solve the problem and make an effort to explain what they've done already or at least are willing to describe where the difficulty lies." How often do we see these type of students? If the student really did their research we wouldn't see them here and you wouldn't see them playing "Mortal Combat" chatting or texting while studying or researching answers to their homework problems. I remember making comments a couple years ago about some schools seemed to be either selling or giving students links to CR4, because there was a lot of students coming to CR4 as their first stop before doing any further research. You and some of the other members might remember that. And if word gets out that CR4 is offering help with schoolwork, the response may be so great it might crash the website.

Then internet is great for finding answers, but could it also be doing a disservice to the students, by them not having to do physical research? I personally have learned more about other subjects while at the library researching homework problems.

If students have work for their answers, then the lessons will not be forgotten very soon.

You guys and gals have a safe weekend

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#27
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 9:30 PM

"I'm shocked that Lyn is all for this idea..."

Why?

I've noticed that Lyn is frequently the first poster to note such things as lack or sufficient information, and also quite dismissive of those who just seem to be looking for an "easy out".

Similarly, he often just posts links to information that might be useful to the OP, yet at other times he will offer suggestions and guidance to those he feels deserve it.

That might be exactly what some of these students need!

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#39
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/24/2016 2:53 PM

This person would be a good example of a student using abusing CR4 for their homework. He/she claims to be "Power system engineer in substation" but if you look back at their previous posts, he/she has no clue of what's being taught in their classroom. I don't know if he/she reading their textbooks, not taking notes, cutting not showing up for class, too much wacky tobacky, or just plain over their heads.

Unless they put forth more effort in doing their own research and learning the subjects involved in becoming a "Power system Engineer" ...... They could become a danger to society.

1) AC Motor Question

2) AC Motor

3) Induction Motor Question

4) *AC Motor*

12) Circuit Breakers

13) Sub Station

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#15

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/14/2016 11:28 PM

I think it's a great idea as long as we follow Redfred's criteria or some other rules that do not just give the answers. This will keep homework questions out of other areas so that Lyn will not need to be mad at every poster. There are other sites that answer math questions (such as the Physics Forums).

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#16

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 12:11 AM

I'm all for it!

I'll be glad to help when I can.

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#17

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 3:09 AM

I'm in favour of the concept, but fear that if there are more than even 20 per day, we would become blase and not read them, or maybe cherry pick and then leave many dissappointed.

I also feel that we should only provide "guidance" rather than answers. For instance, an answer from me in Australia would be unaware of the codes/regulations applicable in other places.

I would suggest that if it does go ahead, then the requests should be "calssified" in some way (maybe career/physics/chemistry/electromechanical/....) and the responses be "generalist".

It might also be handy if it was locked to max three mentors so that the participants don't get confused by multple opinions from a whole swarm of us. Still allow the rest of us to "spectate" on the interaction. If we have concerns over the direction that is being taken, we know how to use personal mail and the reporting process that would be invisible to the OP.

Willing to help where possible.

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#18

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 5:23 AM

Good idea. Main problem I foresee is persuading the students to post in the correct section (unless some of you nice admin-types were tasked with regularly scanning for such posts and moving the thread to the appropriate place - this could be quite an onerous task if word got around that CR4 was the "go-to" place for stuck students - it also means that we on this side of the pond would prob'ly face a lot of clutter until office hours start over there (we already have this problem with the snake-oil merchants). Week-ends and US public holidays could also be a bit frustrating.).

Think there'd have to be a very prominent indication to the students re. the existence and location of the section (maybe a permanent banner?).

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#21

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 8:16 AM

Sounds like a plan to me, as long as we aren't held liable for any errors we make.

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#25

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/15/2016 2:01 PM

USBport -- We need more curmudgeons as teachers, instructors, educators (wink,wink)!

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#29

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/17/2016 2:08 PM

I think that most of us here are (still) sharp enough to distinguish between a student seeking "assistance" and one seeking "answers". One thing that would be handy is a voting mechanism to allow for distinguishing between the two so that

Some ground rules for posters and responders might help limit frivolous questions as well as questionable responses.

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#30
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/17/2016 2:19 PM

I like your idea Ram, "One thing that would be handy is a voting mechanism to allow for distinguishing between the two"

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#31
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/17/2016 2:28 PM

Ditto!

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#32
In reply to #29

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/17/2016 4:08 PM

I agree with the sentiment and a student guide is probably a good idea. However will an actual voting mechanism really be necessary. An obviously lazy student will still likely find a CR4 gauntlet of snide replies.

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#33
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/18/2016 8:44 AM

I'd like the student area to be a place without a "gauntlet of snide replies." It might be possible to help even "an obviously lazy student" by pointing them in the right direction without giving the answer.

I agree that there will need to be an additional set of rules for this section.

But overall -- I'm happy to see such a positive response in support of this project.

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#34

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/19/2016 11:37 AM

In reading the thread it occurred to me that what we needed was a "moderated" forum for students. One in where a new question could go to a moderator to decide if it was the type of question that should be posted to the forum for discussion or not. I am willing to bet that some of us regulars would be willing to act as such a moderator, I know I would.

As one who enjoyed a full and well rounded apprenticeship where several mentors taught me my trade, I see this as the modern version of the time honoured tradition of tradespeople/engineers passing on knowledge to those who follow them.

We need to teach students how to do the critical thinking themselves to allow them to come to the desired solution.

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#35
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/19/2016 2:48 PM

This is a good suggestion. I am absolutely going to be looking for volunteers to help moderate. Glad to know you are interested.

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#36
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/19/2016 4:33 PM

I agree that this is an excellent suggestion. Having a moderated forum for students should also prevent snide remarks from even starting.

Oh, you should also add my name to the list of volunteers.

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#37
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Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/19/2016 5:25 PM

Excellent idea

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#38

Re: Education & Student Support Area on CR4 - Any Interest?

07/20/2016 12:20 PM

If a (poster) is ''up front'' enough to seriously ask directly for help with homework, schoolwork, school projects, and the like, then (we) could be serving a higher academic function by trying to (mentor) them, at least a little bit, by allowing such a (blog), but with no direct, or indirect, guarantees on our part, with the admonition that our (advice) is free, and can, in no way be required to be worth any more than the ''cost'' to such (posters) of such (advice)...

.

(i.e.: Yes, do read that as a conditional ''yes-vote''...)

__________________
''illigitimi non carborundum...'' (i.e.: don't let the fatherless ones grind you down...)
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