The Fora: A Higher Education Community

General Category => Suggestions, Comments, Questions => Topic started by: spork on May 19, 2019, 03:06:28 AM

Title: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: spork on May 19, 2019, 03:06:28 AM
While the new fora is under construction, I thought I'd create a single thread to house suggestions for new discussions -- perhaps to minimize the proliferation of redundant threads that would get few/no comments.

I suggest "Online Teaching" as a thread in the General Category > Teaching section. About half my teaching is online, others teach online, and the same thread on the CHE fora got some attention.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 19, 2019, 06:12:19 AM
Are you asking for a child board, like the CHE fora has, that would house many threads all in the area of online teaching?

I ask because all registered users can start new threads and see how the discussion goes.  A child board, though, does require an administrator.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: spork on May 19, 2019, 07:12:01 AM
No, child boards (which I am personally averse to). If folks are fine with new threads, I'll create one about teaching online. I just would prefer to avoid the spread of multiple threads on the same topic.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on May 21, 2019, 06:05:54 AM
I'm not sure if this is the place to ask, but will there be information somewhere about why this board exists in addition to/in place of the CHE fora?

Also, will threads created on here that mirror ones on the CHE fora (like Jedi Mind Tricks) have link to those, so that all of the previous discussion/wisdom of the ages will be preserved?

(I have to say, the post without recaptcha freaks me out since I have a Pavlovian expectation of that extra step.)
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: Hibush on May 21, 2019, 09:48:29 AM
I'm not sure if this is the place to ask, but will there be information somewhere about why this board exists in addition to/in place of the CHE fora?

Also, will threads created on here that mirror ones on the CHE fora (like Jedi Mind Tricks) have link to those, so that all of the previous discussion/wisdom of the ages will be preserved?

(I have to say, the post without recaptcha freaks me out since I have a Pavlovian expectation of that extra step.)

You can follow the model of Colleges in Dire Financial Straits (http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=22.msg86#msg86), where the initial post copies the first and last post of the thread at CHE forum, with links. Then there is a post back at CHE providing a link to the continuation thread at thefora.org.


This method does not require any fancy interaction between the site, nor any future coordination.

I did a couple threads that I hoped to see continue. It's pretty easy to do ones you like.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on May 21, 2019, 11:15:02 AM
Quote
(I have to say, the post without recaptcha freaks me out since I have a Pavlovian expectation of that extra step.)

I had that response here, and the opposite one there.

Except my response here was more about how freeing it was NOT to have to look at grainy, unclear photos of traffic and figure out if there were a fireplug somewhere off in the distance there.

My feeling there was...Oh, yeah, right, don't close the post yet, you have to prove you're not a zombie thread-starting spammer now...!

M.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mythbuster on May 21, 2019, 07:36:52 PM
I would suggest a health issues board. I am currently finding some of the threads there more informative than my doctor.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: downer on May 22, 2019, 04:35:29 AM
We need forums aimed at part time faculty, short term faculty, adjunct faculty, and other variations from the standard tenure-track.

Also, forums on technology and online programs that faculty have or want to use, LMSs like Blackboard, WordPress, creating your own own home page, buying computers, apps, and the like.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: eigen on May 22, 2019, 04:55:40 PM
We need forums aimed at part time faculty, short term faculty, adjunct faculty, and other variations from the standard tenure-track.

Also, forums on technology and online programs that faculty have or want to use, LMSs like Blackboard, WordPress, creating your own own home page, buying computers, apps, and the like.

That’s the complete opposite of the forum organization that had been requested in the previous discussion.

The old CHE forums divided by type of position (admin, TT, contingent, staff, grad student) which it seems like a lot of posters felt was exclusionary and limiting.

For the new design, we have areas that invite discussion for anyone involved in doing that type of work.

Could you have laborate on what you feel like the drawbacks of this approach are, or what the. See for those forums is that we’re missing in the current scheme?
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: downer on May 23, 2019, 05:18:22 AM
We need forums aimed at part time faculty, short term faculty, adjunct faculty, and other variations from the standard tenure-track.

Also, forums on technology and online programs that faculty have or want to use, LMSs like Blackboard, WordPress, creating your own own home page, buying computers, apps, and the like.

That’s the complete opposite of the forum organization that had been requested in the previous discussion.

The old CHE forums divided by type of position (admin, TT, contingent, staff, grad student) which it seems like a lot of posters felt was exclusionary and limiting.

For the new design, we have areas that invite discussion for anyone involved in doing that type of work.

Could you have laborate on what you feel like the drawbacks of this approach are, or what the. See for those forums is that we’re missing in the current scheme?

(I'm guessing that you are referring to just my first comment, not the second one about a technology forum.)

There are some issues where your job title does not make any difference to the topic, and so for those I agree that it is silly to separate discussions out for different groups.

However, there are some issues that are relevant to just being a grad student or just being a part time worker. That seems very clearly true for being a grad student, although these fora are not particularly aimed at grad student life.

In regards to being a part time worker, I think of issues like strategies for getting more job security, maximizing income, how many places to teach at, how to get jobs at places with better students, when to ignore "mandatory training" and "required faculty meetings" and where to meet students or keep student papers when you don't have an office. These sorts of discussions depend very much on one's faculty status.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 23, 2019, 06:12:01 AM
In regards to being a part time worker, I think of issues like strategies for getting more job security, maximizing income, how many places to teach at, how to get jobs at places with better students, when to ignore "mandatory training" and "required faculty meetings" and where to meet students or keep student papers when you don't have an office. These sorts of discussions depend very much on one's faculty status.

I agree and I started a thread for those topics: http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=34.0.  Contribute questions and concerns to that thread or start your own threads on relevant topics.  Let's see how the discussion progresses and decide a new board name based on the discussions being had.  We might be surprised at how certain areas overlap (e.g., grad students who also teach as adjuncts at other institutions) instead of deciding now what the organization ought to be.

Likewise, I agree that faculty probably have technology concerns.  Let's start the discussions as threads and see what develops instead of starting a board that may get little initial traffic based on what a similar community had been doing recently.  I've gotten us started with http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=84.0
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: ciao_yall on May 23, 2019, 06:44:08 AM
We need forums aimed at part time faculty, short term faculty, adjunct faculty, and other variations from the standard tenure-track.

Also, forums on technology and online programs that faculty have or want to use, LMSs like Blackboard, WordPress, creating your own own home page, buying computers, apps, and the like.

That’s the complete opposite of the forum organization that had been requested in the previous discussion.

The old CHE forums divided by type of position (admin, TT, contingent, staff, grad student) which it seems like a lot of posters felt was exclusionary and limiting.

For the new design, we have areas that invite discussion for anyone involved in doing that type of work.

Could you have laborate on what you feel like the drawbacks of this approach are, or what the. See for those forums is that we’re missing in the current scheme?

(I'm guessing that you are referring to just my first comment, not the second one about a technology forum.)

There are some issues where your job title does not make any difference to the topic, and so for those I agree that it is silly to separate discussions out for different groups.

However, there are some issues that are relevant to just being a grad student or just being a part time worker. That seems very clearly true for being a grad student, although these fora are not particularly aimed at grad student life.

In regards to being a part time worker, I think of issues like strategies for getting more job security, maximizing income, how many places to teach at, how to get jobs at places with better students, when to ignore "mandatory training" and "required faculty meetings" and where to meet students or keep student papers when you don't have an office. These sorts of discussions depend very much on one's faculty status.

How about a single discussion board for adjuncts? With the caveats that...


Deal?
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on May 23, 2019, 08:05:36 AM

How about a single discussion board for adjuncts? With the caveats that...

  • No adjunct-related whining appears on other threads. If people want to talk about or read things adjunct-related they can go to that board. But please don't keep dragging every discussion into such a conversation.
  • Nobody responding on those threads is allowed to say "just get another job if you don't like it."

Deal?

On the old RMP forums, some common topics had PSAs which were re-published every couple of months or so, identifying key argumants about common issues. (The main one I remember was about "I have a crush on my prof!!!!", which indicated consensus about when and why it was a good or bad thing.) This helped to cut short periodic rehashing. Perhaps this could work for things like an adjunct thread which could mention points on both sides, such as "some people have few choices due to spouses having a full-time job" as well as "lf you have to live out of your car maybe you should rethink your options" so that people feel less need to restate these things.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: aside on May 23, 2019, 09:39:19 AM

How about a single discussion board for adjuncts? With the caveats that...

  • No adjunct-related whining appears on other threads. If people want to talk about or read things adjunct-related they can go to that board. But please don't keep dragging every discussion into such a conversation.
  • Nobody responding on those threads is allowed to say "just get another job if you don't like it."

Deal?

I like the concept, but then someone has to police what constitutes "adjunct-related whining" in comparison to simply posting from the experience and perspective of an adjunct.  Your second caveat would be easier to moderate.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: eigen on May 23, 2019, 02:57:44 PM
My suggestion for most of these things would be that we start with threads, and if the discussion magnitude grows such that it would consistently fill a forum, we move it there.

For instance, I'd suggest threads specific to adjuncts in teaching (for teaching issues), or general issues for contingent faculty in the "general academic" discussion.

I think that while there are different takes on specific issues, dividing the community by rank or job type, especially with such a small community, is problematic.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: aside on May 23, 2019, 04:36:58 PM
I think that while there are different takes on specific issues, dividing the community by rank or job type, especially with such a small community, is problematic.

Absolutely agree.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: ciao_yall on May 23, 2019, 05:05:26 PM
...then someone has to police what constitutes "adjunct-related whining" in comparison to simply posting from the experience and perspective of an adjunct.

It's like porn.

You know it when you see it.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 23, 2019, 06:28:30 PM
...then someone has to police what constitutes "adjunct-related whining" in comparison to simply posting from the experience and perspective of an adjunct.

It's like porn.

You know it when you see it.

I don't want to be the mommy continually checking for naughtiness.  I will be the cop of last resort as a service to the community, but I'm not going to be mommy to anyone over the age of <checks current calendar> 10.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 23, 2019, 08:54:33 PM
I'll start some of the proposed useful-to-adjuncts discussions as their own threads in the relevant boards and let's have a discussion.

In regards to being a part time worker, I think of issues like strategies for getting more job security,
http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=34.0 explicitly offers unionization as a possibility for discussion

Quote
maximizing income, how many places to teach at
http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=34.msg781#msg781

Quote
how to get jobs at places with better students
http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=86.0

Quote
when to ignore "mandatory training" and "required faculty meetings"
http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=87.0

Quote
where to meet students or keep student papers when you don't have an office
http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=88.msg782#msg782
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on May 24, 2019, 04:29:11 AM
I'll start some of the proposed useful-to-adjuncts discussions as their own threads in the relevant boards and let's have a discussion.


Should there be a specific place for explicitly non-financial issues? Discussions about logistics regarding office space (or lack therof), uncertainty about scheduling, and so on, but without explicit or implicit focus on how this affects paying the rent would potentially be of interest to many who are not freeway fliers. I know if I could avoid the "paying the rent" rabbit hole I'd still like to talk about the other things.

Anyone else think this has merit?
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 24, 2019, 05:27:19 AM
I'll start some of the proposed useful-to-adjuncts discussions as their own threads in the relevant boards and let's have a discussion.


Should there be a specific place for explicitly non-financial issues? Discussions about logistics regarding office space (or lack therof), uncertainty about scheduling, and so on, but without explicit or implicit focus on how this affects paying the rent would potentially be of interest to many who are not freeway fliers. I know if I could avoid the "paying the rent" rabbit hole I'd still like to talk about the other things.

Anyone else think this has merit?

I thought that's what I did in starting most of those threads.  What did I unintentionally do for the, say, office space thread where I purposely refrained from finances?
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on May 24, 2019, 06:04:02 AM
I'll start some of the proposed useful-to-adjuncts discussions as their own threads in the relevant boards and let's have a discussion.


Should there be a specific place for explicitly non-financial issues? Discussions about logistics regarding office space (or lack therof), uncertainty about scheduling, and so on, but without explicit or implicit focus on how this affects paying the rent would potentially be of interest to many who are not freeway fliers. I know if I could avoid the "paying the rent" rabbit hole I'd still like to talk about the other things.

Anyone else think this has merit?

I thought that's what I did in starting most of those threads.  What did I unintentionally do for the, say, office space thread where I purposely refrained from finances?

Those individual threads are a great idea; maybe what's needed is a PSA based on your listing of those threads for new members who are adjuncts so that they can find all of those threads. The old "Non-Tenure Track" board was kind of a beacon, but it led to the same issues bleeding into all kinds of different threads. Helping people find relevant threads without the beacon is the trick. (There were all kinds of boards I never looked at on the CHE fora, so if there were threads that may have been relevant in them I wouldn't have known. As always SPADFM, so my experience may be unusual.)
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 24, 2019, 06:33:56 AM
One way to raise awareness of how very much Some Situations Are Different From Yours (SSADFY) is to discuss everyone's concerns as a normal part of teaching, service, research, job hunting, etc. instead of fragmenting into very targeted interest groups by job title.  If nothing else, it's a great reminder to the chairs/deans/others who are reading about the breadth of experiences that constitute academia and perhaps encounter suggestions on how to improve working conditions.

SPADFM so part of the point in starting with only a handful of boards when we have only a few handfuls of threads was so people could browse quickly through everything.  I'm having deja vu here because that's how I interacted with the CHE fora back when they were starting out.  The quick browse through each board is pretty easy since most boards have single digits of threads.

Going forward, what I read in various places is more people navigate the way I have for years using "show unread posts", "show new replies", and "view recent posts" so that grouping by boards is less necessary for those who are registered members.  A click brings up the one page of new stuff since I last visited and that's pretty easy to scan.

I will mention for perspective that the CHE Nontenure Track board has had about 30 threads in the past year.  In contrast, the CHE In the Classroom board has had about 30 threads in the past month while CHE Job-Seeking Experiences has had about 30 threads in the past 2 months.

If someone would like to curate a thread labeled something like "Useful threads for novices", then I encourage folks to do so.  However, all novices have access to this thread and can click for themselves if looking through under 10 boards of averaging under 10 threads each looking for interesting topics is not their cup of tea.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 24, 2019, 07:33:00 AM
I would suggest a health issues board. I am currently finding some of the threads there more informative than my doctor.

I encourage you to start a thread or two to bring over current discussions or get the ball rolling.

The numbers from the CHE Health Issues on the Job thread indicate 15 threads in the past year and a half.  They are important threads, but that's not a lot of active discussion to warrant starting with a designated board.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on May 27, 2019, 08:09:45 AM
The Spousal hire question has come up three times in the past week on one board, forum, or another.

Is there a thread for that already on these fora (before I start a duplicate?)

What board should I put it in?

M.


ETA: Or maybe it could just go here:

   http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=92.0

Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 27, 2019, 01:34:59 PM
The Spousal hire question has come up three times in the past week on one board, forum, or another.

Is there a thread for that already on these fora (before I start a duplicate?)

What board should I put it in?

M.


ETA: Or maybe it could just go here:

   http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=92.0

That does seem like a good place for it, although maybe it's too complex an issue to have the consensus view(s) easily summarised? Shrug. What do you think?
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on May 28, 2019, 05:08:56 AM
Is there a way to set your personal time zone? I looked around on the profile settings but didn't see it.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 28, 2019, 05:12:03 AM
The Spousal hire question has come up three times in the past week on one board, forum, or another.

Is there a thread for that already on these fora (before I start a duplicate?)

What board should I put it in?

M.


ETA: Or maybe it could just go here:

   http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=92.0

That does seem like a good place for it, although maybe it's too complex an issue to have the consensus view(s) easily summarised? Shrug. What do you think?

I think we probably want a continuing discussion along with the brief summary.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 28, 2019, 05:14:00 AM
Is there a way to set your personal time zone? I looked around on the profile settings but didn't see it.

Click Profile.
Hover over Modify Profile and select Look and Layout.
On the line marked Time Offset, try Auto Detect.  If you'd rather be a bit more sneaky, then choose a different Time Offset.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on May 28, 2019, 05:19:52 AM
Is there a way to set your personal time zone? I looked around on the profile settings but didn't see it.

Click Profile.
Hover over Modify Profile and select Look and Layout.
On the line marked Time Offset, try Auto Detect.  If you'd rather be a bit more sneaky, then choose a different Time Offset.
Excellent! Thanks.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: downer on May 30, 2019, 03:42:53 AM
Given that we are constantly dealing with different hardware, online software, webpages, and more, and given that this is an ever-increasing  and ever-changing part of our jobs, I really think that there needs to be a separate technology section on the Fora. One thread is not going to do.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 30, 2019, 05:49:18 AM
Given that we are constantly dealing with different hardware, online software, webpages, and more, and given that this is an ever-increasing  and ever-changing part of our jobs, I really think that there needs to be a separate technology section on the Fora. One thread is not going to do.

You are free to start any discussions you like.  When the volume of discussion reaches the point that collecting a set of threads together is the logical thing to do, then we'll do it. 

The point of waiting is to see what naturally arises as people discuss because we might be surprised at what the set is.  After all, the previous fora technology discussion board was not all that active with only 15 threads in the past year.  For perspective, the CHE In the Classroom had 15 threads in the past two weeks and CHE Job-Seeking Experiences had 15 threads in the past month so it makes sense to start with those boards as being active areas.

With many people mentioning that they read using "unread posts since last visit" and "show recent posts", the exact collection of boards may be less important to many of the most active people.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: aside on May 30, 2019, 07:15:47 AM
With many people mentioning that they read using "unread posts since last visit" and "show recent posts", the exact collection of boards may be less important to many of the most active people.

I imagine most of us read the fora this way, or by "Show new replies to your posts."  I do sometimes look at boards to find something specific, thus having like things grouped together is helpful, yet for me this is not a common path into threads.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on May 31, 2019, 06:55:45 AM
I've been thinking and I'm giving an additional answer to:

Given that we are constantly dealing with different hardware, online software, webpages, and more, and given that this is an ever-increasing  and ever-changing part of our jobs, I really think that there needs to be a separate technology section on the Fora. One thread is not going to do.

I agree with that list as an ever-changing part of our jobs.  However, because it's a huge part of my job as a computational materials scientist not immune from office work and bureaucracy, I categorize my interests, concerns, and questions differently.

For example, I have ongoing research questions regarding trade-offs on desktop & local cluster & remote supercomputer, scheduling software, data management when we're talking terabytes on a regular basis, integrating VVUQ & SQA & QMU, trade-offs on python wrappers and Fortran/C/C++ for workhorse number crunching, and version control systems.  I wouldn't think to put those questions in a general technology forum here with a very broad audience, but I would be an active participant in someone else's research questions here in those areas.

I have ongoing teaching questions on content related to integrating computation into STEM courses as well as topics like "modern" physics is from the early 20th century and I know there's active research in changing that curriculum.  Also in the teaching category, I wonder about tradeoffs in pedagogical value for opting for certain delivery mechanisms that make my life easier but may not be optimal for learning as well as bringing education into at least the late 20th century state of the art for expectations of skills and knowledge in using standard devices.  I may even start a thread on a different board soliciting opinions on where general education has gaps because modernizing curriculum has to include effects of technology on society and some communication skills that weren't an issue even 25 years ago.

I have questions related to service and administration regarding better/worse systems to share information where the interested individuals experience regular turnover and we need some coherent way to keep the enterprise running when we don't have significant overlap in time on job.  I want to discuss the tradeoffs in having data entry be distributed to "everyone" and the training requirements so that everyone can do the data entry in a coherent fashion on top of all their other duties that require an expert in ways that basic data entry does not.  Is it really reasonable to have faculty do significant data entry when there are so many other things they need to be doing that can't be distributed to other people?  Can we put in place systems that work well together so less manual data entry is needed all around?

I have questions related to my non-work life that weren't even a wild dream when I was a child.  Yes, I've acquired some habits and devices on ad hoc basis, but would there be easier/cheaper/more convenient habits and devices that would solve my home problems?

Thus, when I am working on my list of questions to ensure we have engaging discussions on start-up here, I don't think, "We need a technology board to put all these questions!"; I think, "Does this category need a new question to keep people visiting or should I hold off for today since we have several active threads?"
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: Juvenal on June 03, 2019, 08:29:13 AM
I skimmed through the major categories and the subcategories within and did not see anything directed to "Retirement: Preparing for; Managing it"  Certainly some fraction of the fora are either close to retirement or actually in it (as self is; although I continue to teach a course once or twice a year)

And maybe I missed the old "How Do You Save Money?"  But if it's not there, maybe a more general sub-category on "Money Matters" in the appropriate major category?  Unless, of course, money is something of trivial concern to fora members.  Now you tell one.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on June 03, 2019, 09:17:45 AM
Everyone should read the latest post to the CHE forum which updates the timeline and plans for transition, take-down, etc.

I can't copy on this phone, but changes will begin July 1, with more details in the post/new thread itself.

Just FYI.

M.

[This post on the Future of These Forums thread (https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,264325.msg3646322.html#msg3646322) is probably the correct link -- Polly]
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on June 03, 2019, 06:16:19 PM
Sorry for the double, but I'm confused...

I was going to invite someone on the CHE threads to this forum, who just had their VAP confirmed, figuring I'd start a thread if there wasn't one.

But it's not really clear to me where it should go...with the threads on 2018 and 2019 TT groups, or in the threads that include the grad-school life thread(which seems out of place there, but...maybe that's why I'm confused...??

Directional help appreciated...

M.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: eigen on June 03, 2019, 06:19:52 PM
This is the prompting I need to re-start the VAP Support Thread, I think:

https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,50153.0.html

I've started it under "General Academic Discussion".
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on June 03, 2019, 06:29:09 PM
Great, thanks!

M.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on June 03, 2019, 09:04:33 PM
But it's not really clear to me where it should go...with the threads on 2018 and 2019 TT groups, or in the threads that include the grad-school life thread(which seems out of place there, but...maybe that's why I'm confused...??

I intentionally started a 2019 summer/fall new job thread that is not limited to a TT cohort ( http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=89.0 ).  VAPs may need extra support, but the joy of a new job isn't reserved for TT only.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: aside on June 05, 2019, 08:37:00 PM
Sorry for the double, but I'm confused...

I was going to invite someone on the CHE threads to this forum, who just had their VAP confirmed, figuring I'd start a thread if there wasn't one.

But it's not really clear to me where it should go...with the threads on 2018 and 2019 TT groups, or in the threads that include the grad-school life thread(which seems out of place there, but...maybe that's why I'm confused...??

Directional help appreciated...

M.

Okay, you apologized for a double post.  Why do we do that?  We have a thread to answer that question!
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on June 06, 2019, 05:19:53 AM
Umm... if you were asking me (not sure) it's a form of courtesy, like not bursting back into someone's office 6 times with "something you forgot to say," but thinking through your claims on others' time and attention and putting all your thoughts together before hitting "send," I think.

M.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on June 06, 2019, 05:40:01 AM
Umm... if you were asking me (not sure) it's a form of courtesy, like not bursting back into someone's office 6 times with "something you forgot to say," but thinking through your claims on others' time and attention and putting all your thoughts together before hitting "send," I think.

M.

Sometimes when I see a couple of posts in a thread that sort of go in different directions, and so I want to respond to both. Typically I'll quote both and respond to each within a single post, but I'm curious if two separate posts would be a valid exception to the "no double post" guideline.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: downer on June 06, 2019, 06:22:51 AM
When someone posts 2, 3, 4, 5 or more posts in a row, they are dominating the discussion, and stopping it from being a discussion at all.

One might say the same thing about extremely long posts.

Of course, others have the ability to reply as much as they want, so these forms of postings don't really exclude others. But it is more like a real discussion if people limit themselves to a post at a time, of no more than moderate length.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on June 06, 2019, 06:40:54 AM
When someone posts 2, 3, 4, 5 or more posts in a row, they are dominating the discussion, and stopping it from being a discussion at all.

One might say the same thing about extremely long posts.

Of course, others have the ability to reply as much as they want, so these forms of postings don't really exclude others. But it is more like a real discussion if people limit themselves to a post at a time, of no more than moderate length.

As one who tends to post a lot at length, I am frustrated by people who treat a written discussion as though it should follow the rules of a spoken discussion.  Yes, face-to-face with a handful of people, we should all take turns because we should use our skills to read the room.

However, asynchronously with random people popping in and out of the discussion, it makes more sense to me to act as though we're all writing letters to the editor and post responses to continue a conversation with whomever is still around instead of waiting for that next turn that may never come because I chose wrong in responding to only one of the six posts to which I could respond.

I am also amused by the idea that one should obey a tiny word limit when the goal is productive discussion in areas where many words might be needed to explain a complete thought.  250 words is a double-spaced page of writing.  Are we really as a community of people who think deeply and then want to discuss going to limit individual contributions to less than one page of writing?  Sure, I can tell you about my dinner/pet/kid/joke in under 50 words, but what about something that really matters?

I have to wonder if some people come here more for affirmation that their thoughts are correct than truly exploring an issue and learning what SPADFY means at a deep level (249 words).
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on June 06, 2019, 06:45:48 AM
Umm... if you were asking me (not sure) it's a form of courtesy, like not bursting back into someone's office 6 times with "something you forgot to say," but thinking through your claims on others' time and attention and putting all your thoughts together before hitting "send," I think.

M.

Sometimes when I see a couple of posts in a thread that sort of go in different directions, and so I want to respond to both. Typically I'll quote both and respond to each within a single post, but I'm curious if two separate posts would be a valid exception to the "no double post" guideline.

Thoughts?

I prefer separate posts for separate thoughts.  Quoting multiple posts and making one response seems to me to make sense only if those posts are closely related.

Again, I think of written discussion as being different from spoken discussion so that I'm not worried at all if one of my colleagues writes me two or three times in response to my one letter/email back.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: downer on June 06, 2019, 08:45:00 AM
There are different kinds of online discussion. In my online classes, I often have discussion boards where I reward very long posts. I also emphasize formatting to make it easier for readers to be able to discern the structure and main claims of posts. Other times, I suggest to long-winded posters that they would be more effective by being more concise.

I have had colleagues who regularly write lengthy missives in a faculty email discussion. Similarly in discussing academic blog posts. Sometimes it is effective, but more often most of the points made get lost.

I'd say that there's room for personal style variation on The Fora, but the norm is still closer to a verbal discussion or an interaction on Facebook than a formal online discussion.

Back to my original point: I see no substantive difference between writing many consecutive short posts and writing one long post.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: aside on June 06, 2019, 10:09:36 AM
Umm... if you were asking me (not sure) it's a form of courtesy, like not bursting back into someone's office 6 times with "something you forgot to say," but thinking through your claims on others' time and attention and putting all your thoughts together before hitting "send," I think.

M.

Yes, I was asking you, because I started another thread for discussing the issue of apologizing for double posts, and you were the only one to reply to it, thinking I meant only posting the same thing twice.  On that thread I clarified that I also meant apologizing for posting twice in succession with different content.  I did not intend to be impertinent with my comments to you above; I'm just interested in why folks apologize for double posts when they contain different content, which is why I started the other thread, and why I posed the question to you here when you did not respond again on the other thread.  No malice or judgement intended!  So, the discussion I hoped to spark there is happening here instead, which is fine. 
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mamselle on June 06, 2019, 12:38:33 PM
No problem.

I'm laughing in the library (trying not to do so too loudly...)

Complications from trying to be so polite not intended!!!

M.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on June 06, 2019, 06:13:40 PM
I'd say that there's room for personal style variation on The Fora, but the norm is still closer to a verbal discussion or an interaction on Facebook than a formal online discussion.

I read as much as I write.  I see no consensus on that view to make it a true norm.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: spork on July 22, 2019, 06:14:04 AM
A book club thread, to talk about books that many academics are reading and that have implications for work, public policy, or society in general? Or would a separate thread for each book be better, with moving them all to a child board at some point?

This would be different from the "What Have You Read Lately?" thread -- more of a debate on what authors are saying. I often read books on weighty topics that might be far outside my academic discipline. Sometimes what I read affects what or how I teach, so I like to hear what other people think of these books. For example, I'm part of a multi-campus group that is now reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, in part because of administrators' interest in "diversity/inclusion initiatives." Past examples include Roy Scranton's Learning to Die in the Anthropocene and Matthew Desmond's Evicted.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: lucy on July 25, 2019, 07:20:51 AM
I would suggest a health issues board. I am currently finding some of the threads there more informative than my doctor.

I encourage you to start a thread or two to bring over current discussions or get the ball rolling.

The numbers from the CHE Health Issues on the Job thread indicate 15 threads in the past year and a half.  They are important threads, but that's not a lot of active discussion to warrant starting with a designated board.

I agree the traffic was slow, sadly :(
Which kinda indicated to me how hard it is to have a major chronic illness and succeed in academia, and the overlap of the two categories must be small,
but it was the only place I could find where people were dealing with chronic illness issues in the academic setting and the only people who could help me when my back was against the wall in getting my needs met.

With that said, if there will be no "Health Issues Board", maybe a "balancing work and life board" where the "health issues board" was embedded. That board got a lot more traffic.

If not, where would you suggest to start "health threads", I don't really see a natural fit, but maybe you do...

thanks :)

Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: namazu on July 25, 2019, 10:46:03 AM
With that said, if there will be no "Health Issues Board", maybe a "balancing work and life board" where the "health issues board" was embedded. That board got a lot more traffic.

If not, where would you suggest to start "health threads", I don't really see a natural fit, but maybe you do...
Lucy, I think a health issues thread would be a valuable addition.

For now, maybe try the "General Discussion" board: https://thefora.org/index.php?board=1.0

(Other life-situation-support threads, like "Caring for Elderly Parents", are there.)
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on July 26, 2019, 05:38:12 AM
With that said, if there will be no "Health Issues Board", maybe a "balancing work and life board" where the "health issues board" was embedded. That board got a lot more traffic.

If not, where would you suggest to start "health threads", I don't really see a natural fit, but maybe you do...
Lucy, I think a health issues thread would be a valuable addition.

For now, maybe try the "General Discussion" board: https://thefora.org/index.php?board=1.0

(Other life-situation-support threads, like "Caring for Elderly Parents", are there.)

"General Discussion" is where the couple other health-related threads have gone as well as the life-situation-support threads.  That is the natural place for now for something that isn't clearly one of the three work categories or job searching.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mahagonny on August 06, 2019, 01:46:54 AM
When someone posts 2, 3, 4, 5 or more posts in a row, they are dominating the discussion, and stopping it from being a discussion at all.

One might say the same thing about extremely long posts.

Of course, others have the ability to reply as much as they want, so these forms of postings don't really exclude others. But it is more like a real discussion if people limit themselves to a post at a time, of no more than moderate length.

As one who tends to post a lot at length, I am frustrated by people who treat a written discussion as though it should follow the rules of a spoken discussion.  Yes, face-to-face with a handful of people, we should all take turns because we should use our skills to read the room.


'Frustrated' is a bullying tone.


I am also amused by the idea that one should obey a tiny word limit when the goal is productive discussion in areas where many words might be needed to explain a complete thought.  250 words is a double-spaced page of writing.  Are we really as a community of people who think deeply and then want to discuss going to limit individual contributions to less than one page of writing?  Sure, I can tell you about my dinner/pet/kid/joke in under 50 words, but what about something that really matters?


You didn't have to say 'I am also amused.' You could have just said "I disagree."

Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: marshwiggle on August 06, 2019, 06:41:42 AM


As one who tends to post a lot at length, I am frustrated by people who treat a written discussion as though it should follow the rules of a spoken discussion.  Yes, face-to-face with a handful of people, we should all take turns because we should use our skills to read the room.


'Frustrated' is a bullying tone.


I am also amused by the idea that one should obey a tiny word limit when the goal is productive discussion in areas where many words might be needed to explain a complete thought.  250 words is a double-spaced page of writing.  Are we really as a community of people who think deeply and then want to discuss going to limit individual contributions to less than one page of writing?  Sure, I can tell you about my dinner/pet/kid/joke in under 50 words, but what about something that really matters?


You didn't have to say 'I am also amused.' You could have just said "I disagree."

You seem to be overly invested in peoples' perceived "tone", (which is notoriously hard to read in electronic communication), rather than on their arguments.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mahagonny on August 06, 2019, 09:44:27 AM


As one who tends to post a lot at length, I am frustrated by people who treat a written discussion as though it should follow the rules of a spoken discussion.  Yes, face-to-face with a handful of people, we should all take turns because we should use our skills to read the room.


'Frustrated' is a bullying tone.


I am also amused by the idea that one should obey a tiny word limit when the goal is productive discussion in areas where many words might be needed to explain a complete thought.  250 words is a double-spaced page of writing.  Are we really as a community of people who think deeply and then want to discuss going to limit individual contributions to less than one page of writing?  Sure, I can tell you about my dinner/pet/kid/joke in under 50 words, but what about something that really matters?


You didn't have to say 'I am also amused.' You could have just said "I disagree."

You seem to be overly invested in peoples' perceived "tone", (which is notoriously hard to read in electronic communication), rather than on their arguments.

What I've been reading lately is the members here who have contracted and moderated the venue are hoping that more posters are going to be attracted to the place. I think they have a problem.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on August 06, 2019, 04:32:47 PM
The problem most recently identified was lack of content in some areas. 

One way that someone who wanted to help make these fora a success could help is by participating in ongoing discussions and sharing additional perspective on why SPADFY and other takes on situations being outlined in the original post.  Additional valuable content by a seasoned professional will help retain forumites, especially on some of the support threads where people are kind to each other and write encouraging posts during tough times.  Joining an ongoing support discussion thread is one way that people make friends here and often become friends who share concerns and very personal details out of public view.  The public discussions are only one way that forumites support each other.  For those who only interact publicly, try sending a personal message to someone who is giving good advice and thank them or ask your related question.  Many well established forumites respond positively to those PMs because they want to help.

A second way a person who wanted these fora to succeed could help would be to start new threads on topics not yet covered.  Perhaps those discussions would be related to work to give advice to lurkers who perhaps aren't ready to post yet.  Those new posts could be in the form of asking advice as a public service to prompt discussion because experienced professionals know what newbies in several areas should be asking, but may not know to ask.  For example, Zharkov used to be the expert on negotiating good job conditions; that's a niche that remains open and in need of a seasoned professional.  As we go into the fall term, starting threads on prepping for the classroom and preparing to say no to additional unpaid tasks could be very useful to the newcomers.

A third way a person who wanted these fora to succeed could help is by being the friendly voice of reason on a variety of threads, even when harsh truths must be shared.  We could always use another someone with a friendly tone who points out positive, concrete actions to take to ameliorate unforeseen current situations, not just listing the walls that will be faced in the current harsh US higher ed employment landscape.

We have many active forumites making these new fora interesting and productive; I look forward to seeing even more of our newer forumites taking positive actions to engage with the community.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: mahagonny on August 07, 2019, 04:37:27 AM
When someone posts 2, 3, 4, 5 or more posts in a row, they are dominating the discussion, and stopping it from being a discussion at all.

One might say the same thing about extremely long posts.

Agree. Unnecessarily wordy posting is tiring to read.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: notmycircus on August 30, 2019, 01:34:18 PM
About a month ago I started skipping over that person’s comments.  Less is more and life is too short to feed someone else’s needs.
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: newprofwife on October 09, 2019, 09:05:50 AM
How about a thread about the two-body problem? The old one had some really good tips. Even if the spouse is not an academic, this is such an important topic for academics with families. For me, it was really tough finding work after we relocated twice for my husband's job. Even thought I am a higher edu professional, my uni doesn't have support for spouses and I had to interview just like everyone. That is one of the hardest parts of being married to an academic. You have to move to a new place, start all over, support their career, and you have to try to find a job that pays the bills in the middle of nowhere without knowing a soul.               
Title: Re: Suggestions for New Threads/Discussions/Forums
Post by: polly_mer on October 09, 2019, 05:36:39 PM
How about a thread about the two-body problem? The old one had some really good tips. Even if the spouse is not an academic, this is such an important topic for academics with families. For me, it was really tough finding work after we relocated twice for my husband's job. Even thought I am a higher edu professional, my uni doesn't have support for spouses and I had to interview just like everyone. That is one of the hardest parts of being married to an academic. You have to move to a new place, start all over, support their career, and you have to try to find a job that pays the bills in the middle of nowhere without knowing a soul.             

http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=624.0