How about having certified tutors? There is this website I know that allows anyone to be tutors but people can choose to be certified through the website by taking one of their exams in a certain subject. Usually there are tests for different subjects like Calculus or differential equations. This will allow us askers to distinguish people who really know the subject and who we can trust from people who just know the answer. It can also work as a reference where we can refer to these people if we need help. We can have a badge on the name of certified tutors. What do you guys think?
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This is just a summary.
We prefer to rely on the SmartScore system to indicate helpfulness and worth. It's proved quite accurate.
RyanL, I think it is an intriguing idea. I could name a couple users with very high smart scores who got them by answering many simple questions or by getting it flat out wrong many times over.
But in general, I too prefer the current more democratic, community oriented system where users are not divided into 'tutors' and 'students' by anything so formal as certification. We acquire certain reputations for either being good or not. And I see difficulties in implementation: OpenStudy would need some way to administer certification tests in such a way as to be sure that the person being certified is indeed the person writing the test, etc.
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@blues Well there is a lot of thought into this and this is just a scratch of it by all means this is something that can be altered in order to fit this sites needs. It can be as formal as you guys want it to be with having very intense exams or it can something as easy as answering 4 or 5 questions.
The way I see it is that mathematics is an umbrella of many subjects so it can be difficult to find the right person to help you. So far from what I have seen there hasn't been a problem with helping the people who are asking questions because most of them are very basic questions that college students can do. But I bet that you guys also want to expand this to higher level students. In that case not everyone can help you and finding someone for a certain subject can be difficult. The badge would mean that this person can help you at this subject.
For new student signing in this will give them the opportunity to shine out when they are a low level where they are most likely to be ignored or not given the same attention as higher level score users.
I also believe this can be combined to the idea of letting higher level account users the customization they "deserve" for all the hard work.
So, the problem I hear you describing seems like it would be better solved by having subtopics under math.
I guess so.
Finding the right person to help you amounts to posting your questions in the left so that the right person can review it and give you assistance. I do not readily see that having separate subtopics would facilitate getting the right person to the right question. It may slow down the onslaught of the question feeder at best.
"because most of them are very basic questions that college students can do." This seems more like a personal illusion to me. Many of these basic questions in the math forum are the result of college students not knowing the basics ... imo