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I have been using OpenStudy for around 6 months now, and I noticed one or two things I wanted to give feedback about: 1) It seems as though that the only subject that I get answers to in is math. Other subjects seem relatively quiet. For an example, if I posted a question about a difficult math question, and I said I need help in the question, I would get help in less than five minutes, sometimes even a minute or two. However for other subjects, there are a lot of questions which seem to not get answers, because quite frankly, some of them are just trying to recieve homework answers rather than understand the material (at least, per my observation). This takes away from the people who actually need help understanding the material in other subjects, like myself in several cases. 2) Secondly, I have noticed that the chat boxes get filled up with irrelevant discussions (often times in my observation, from new users), about things that are not even on subject. Sometimes, I'll ask a question or paste a link to a question I have to get help, but it'll get ignored quickly because of the irrelevant conversations by users. Some times, these discussions fall under "report abuse"... I don't paste my question again in the midst of these conversations, because I don't want to appear as if I am scamming the chat (which, of course, is against the CoC). These are just two of my observations I have noticed so far since I have been using OpenStudy in March. Comments, thoughts, etc., are of course welcome.
The pace in math differs from the pace of discussion in the other groups. Most questions in the quieter groups are eventually addressed - those that are worth addressing, and "Quick gimme an answer so I can finish my online test even though it is multiple choice and I was too lazy to post the options" is not worth it - in their own due time. Responses usually take the form of discussion over the course of a few days as people in wildly different time zones have the option of responding and counter responding to each others' points. This is not necessarily worse or better than the model in the math group, just different. If you are seeking understanding rather than answers, it is good to specifically indicate that in the question. You might describe in detail what you do and do not understand about the subject and specifically identify which aspects of it you would like help with. My feeling is that people who demonstrate that they are interested in understanding are quickly and well helped, given of course that there are only three or four 'tutors' in some groups and they might not live in your time zone. My difficult math questions are never answered and I always end up closing them after a couple days. As for the chats, they are mostly silly and irrelevant. The argument for them is that they provide a non-study focused outlet for social energies. I'm not convinced. Perhaps the site would do just fine with one general chat rather than one for each group. Or perhaps it could be eliminated and not missed. That particular discussion tends to promote much controversy.