Math-Teach Moderation

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Math-Teach Moderation

Haim-5
Dear All,

   Throughput in this forum has been very slow, recently.  I cannot help thinking this must be due, at least in part, to the burden of having to moderate the forum.  This raises an issue.

   Math-Teach was unmoderated for years.  The reason Math-Teach became moderated left this forum a while ago.  Maybe it is time to reconsider the need to moderate the forum.

Haim
Shovel ready?  What shovel ready?

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Re: Math-Teach Moderation

Gary Tupper
Haim, et al:

You're onto something! Do we smell the nefarious hand of the education
mafia pulling strings behind the scenes? "Conspiracy"?

Best, Tup

Haim wrote:

> Dear All,
>
>    Throughput in this forum has been very slow, recently.  I cannot help thinking this must be due, at least in part, to the burden of having to moderate the forum.  This raises an issue.
>
>    Math-Teach was unmoderated for years.  The reason Math-Teach became moderated left this forum a while ago.  Maybe it is time to reconsider the need to moderate the forum.
>
> Haim
> Shovel ready?  What shovel ready?
>
> ------- End of Forwarded Message
>
>  

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Re: Math-Teach Moderation

Paul A. Tanner III
In reply to this post by Haim-5
- --- On Thu, 10/13/11, Haim <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Haim <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Math-Teach Moderation
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 10:58 PM
> Dear All,
>
>    Throughput in this forum has been very
> slow, recently.  I cannot help thinking this must be
> due, at least in part, to the burden of having to moderate
> the forum.  This raises an issue.
>
>    Math-Teach was unmoderated for
> years.  The reason Math-Teach became moderated left
> this forum a while ago.  Maybe it is time to reconsider
> the need to moderate the forum.
>
> Haim
> Shovel ready?  What shovel ready?
>
>

We do have a model by which a forum can be moderated - even very heavily or strictly moderated - and still have a very high rate of posting.

The Math Forum discussion group k12.ed.math was a very, very strictly moderated discussion group that until 2004, pretty much kept pace with even the then not moderated math-teach. Almost all of its 24,000+ posts, which we see tallied in
http://mathforum.org/kb/forumcategory.jspa?categoryID=24
occurred until sometime in 2004, when things changed (including that excellent moderator leaving). In
http://mathforum.org/kb/forumcategory.jspa?categoryID=14
we can see the number of posts in still active groups, to compare.

Anyone in the world could post there via the web without having to become a member of a discussion group having to post via email or whatever. It was like math-teach in that regard (and unlike, for instance, math-learn in that regard, where one can post to math-learn only by joining the discussion group). (This type of open-access policy is I think a reason why the rate of posts is usually very significantly up for these types of open-access forums over those that are not open-access in this way.)

But it was very heavily moderated in that only material that was directly only about teaching or learning math was allowed, in that nothing else was allowed to be thrown in, including anything negative in the least, whether it was even the least bit insulting, hateful, or hurtful, and this included anything with even the least little political flavor. It was entirely free of negativity, even the least little bit of even just implied insults or even just implied politics.

The moderator of that forum told me that the reason that so many posts occurred in that moderated forum in such a short time was because her policy was simple: She allowed each person a very, very small number of times where she would disallow a post, with a warning to the person with each disallowing, and then afterwards, just flat out ban said person from posting at that forum. That is, she automatically blocked all subsequent messages from said person. And so she did not get overwhelmed by people constantly trying to get away with disobeying the rules. Any person not capable of controlling himself or herself simply was gone very quickly.

I was one of the top posters there
http://groups.google.com/group/k12.ed.math/about
even though I was posting there for only a couple of years, 2002-2004.

In my view, it was the best math education discussion on the Internet by far. It was nothing but a very large amount of many times very interesting discussions about nothing else but the teaching and learning of math.

I really miss it, even to this day.


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Re: Math-Teach Moderation

Bishop, Wayne-2
In reply to this post by Haim-5
Yup.

Wayne

At 07:58 PM 10/13/2011, Haim wrote:

>Dear All,
>
>    Throughput in this forum has been very slow, recently.  I cannot
> help thinking this must be due, at least in part, to the burden of
> having to moderate the forum.  This raises an issue.
>
>    Math-Teach was unmoderated for years.  The reason Math-Teach
> became moderated left this forum a while ago.  Maybe it is time to
> reconsider the need to moderate the forum.
>
>Haim
>Shovel ready?  What shovel ready?
>
>------- End of Forwarded Message

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Re: Math-Teach Moderation

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Haim-5
Haim wrote...

"Math-Teach was unmoderated for years. The reason Math-Teach became moderated left this forum a while ago. Maybe it is time to reconsider the need to moderate the forum."

Part of my withdrawal is due to a recent (even worse) poster, though those posts have subsided greatly (thankfully). Also, my son is now in third grade and the subjects are far enough along that I can finally sink my teeth into them, so I am practicing what I preach (helping him with his studies) and it takes up more of my time. But I agree, if the forum was unmoderated it would flow smoother and there wouldn't be these discontinuities. I think moderation should be an all or nothing thing. If a poster is too egregious for the forum (by the forum's owner's standards I suppose) then (after a few warnings) revoke their membership. Another way that relieves the burden of post-by-post moderation is allowing the users to ignore posters individually.

Bob Hansen

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Re: Math-Teach Moderation

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Haim-5
Paul, there are calm forums like that still, the AP Calculus forum for example. They are hard to maintain in current times because there are so many really stupid teaching ideas making their way into public education. But there is a need for forums like this that dissect and discuss all those stupid (math) teaching ideas and thus the character of this forum will be much different from that of the one you posted. Now, why global warming appears on this forum I have no clue.

Bob Hansen


> - --- On Thu, 10/13/11, Haim <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > From: Haim <[hidden email]>
> > Subject: Math-Teach Moderation
> > To: [hidden email]
> > Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 10:58 PM
> > Dear All,
> >
> >    Throughput in this forum has been very
> > slow, recently.  I cannot help thinking this must
> be
> > due, at least in part, to the burden of having to
> moderate
> > the forum.  This raises an issue.
> >
> >    Math-Teach was unmoderated for
> > years.  The reason Math-Teach became moderated left
> > this forum a while ago.  Maybe it is time to
> reconsider
> > the need to moderate the forum.
> >
> > Haim
> > Shovel ready?  What shovel ready?
> >
> >
>
> We do have a model by which a forum can be moderated
> - even very heavily or strictly moderated - and still
> have a very high rate of posting.
>
> The Math Forum discussion group k12.ed.math was a
> very, very strictly moderated discussion group that
> until 2004, pretty much kept pace with even the then
> not moderated math-teach. Almost all of its 24,000+
> posts, which we see tallied in
> http://mathforum.org/kb/forumcategory.jspa?categoryID=
> 24
> occurred until sometime in 2004, when things changed
> (including that excellent moderator leaving). In
> http://mathforum.org/kb/forumcategory.jspa?categoryID=
> 14
> we can see the number of posts in still active
> groups, to compare.
>
> Anyone in the world could post there via the web
> without having to become a member of a discussion
> group having to post via email or whatever. It was
> like math-teach in that regard (and unlike, for
> instance, math-learn in that regard, where one can
> post to math-learn only by joining the discussion
> group). (This type of open-access policy is I think a
> reason why the rate of posts is usually very
> significantly up for these types of open-access
> forums over those that are not open-access in this
> way.)
>
> But it was very heavily moderated in that only
> material that was directly only about teaching or
> learning math was allowed, in that nothing else was
> allowed to be thrown in, including anything negative
> in the least, whether it was even the least bit
> insulting, hateful, or hurtful, and this included
> anything with even the least little political flavor.
> It was entirely free of negativity, even the least
> little bit of even just implied insults or even just
> implied politics.
>
> The moderator of that forum told me that the reason
> that so many posts occurred in that moderated forum
> in such a short time was because her policy was
> simple: She allowed each person a very, very small
> number of times where she would disallow a post, with
> a warning to the person with each disallowing, and
> then afterwards, just flat out ban said person from
> posting at that forum. That is, she automatically
> blocked all subsequent messages from said person. And
> so she did not get overwhelmed by people constantly
> trying to get away with disobeying the rules. Any
> person not capable of controlling himself or herself
> simply was gone very quickly.
>
> I was one of the top posters there
> http://groups.google.com/group/k12.ed.math/about
> even though I was posting there for only a couple of
> years, 2002-2004.
>
> In my view, it was the best math education discussion
> on the Internet by far. It was nothing but a very
> large amount of many times very interesting
> discussions about nothing else but the teaching and
> learning of math.
>
> I really miss it, even to this day.
>
>
> ------- End of Forwarded Message

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Re: Math-Teach Moderation

GS Chandy
In reply to this post by Haim-5
The 'publication only after moderator vetting' rule at Math-teach does slow down things a good bit; and I find I have the considerable burden of keeping copies of whatever I post (for inquiry in case my postings do not appear): all of this is  really quite rather a pain.  I do hope and believe that most posters here would be mature enough not to need this censorship.  

So I ask:  what really is the purpose of this 'pre-publication vetting?'  Is there any real productive purpose to it?

 I personally would be all for moderation as we find at 'math-learn', i.e.:

- -- No pre-publication vetting;

- -- Some sensible, very broad guidelines and rules based on a reasonably liberal interpretation of what the forum is intended to be about, with the moderator warning posters who cross the line;

- -- Suspending posting privileges of those who will not subject themselves to commonsense guidelines;

- -- Even removing posts that are truly offensive (these would be rather few, I believe).

It's OK, I feel, to require membership in the group to get posting privileges.

Unlike Robert Hansen, I'd have little or no objection to discuss 'global warming' (for instance) from time to time.  Sound 'math-&-logic teaching' - if and when it happens in real life - could 'contribute' in many ways to general behavior on the ground that may, over the longer haul, help prevent us humans from overwhelming Planet Earth's abilities to sustain us on it (which in turn may well 'contribute to' us being able to continue these discussions at Math-Teach).

GSC