StackExchange: A Game of Discussions #fsi2014 (Notes)

These are notes from the session “StackExchange: A Game of Discussions” from FSI 2014.

When you get a good answer to a question, you are more likely to go back to the person who gave the answer with a new question (and to recommend them to others).

When you are asked a question, you listen, then consider whether to respond. You are more likely to answer a good question (or refer to someone who may be more knowledgeable). Or, you may provide a partial answer or use comments to get clarification

StackExchange: 90+ Q&A sites, 2.4 million users, 4.7 million questions, 9.2 million answers

  • Post questions, get responses from other users. Good questions get better answers, bad questions get comments (or closed)
  • Moderators close questions that are unanswerable or poorly written (can’t ask others to do your homework)
  • Benefits:
    • Helps students to develop better questions
    • Faster response time
    • Contribute to community
  • Use in the classroom: must have 100 reputation points by end of the semester (gain by answering, giving good answers, having questions up-voted)
    • Can create a display of questions created by classmates
    • Can create reputation leaderboard (gamification, creates competition)
    • Can create table view of changes to reputation to track progress
    • Found a correlation between use of Stack Overflow & grade increase (p = .35, not strong but positively & significant)
    • Project on GitHub for the widgets:
    • So far, students haven’t complained (except for not being able to make 100 pt change b/c they haven’t logged in since first day)
    • Works with students to help them formulate better questions (particularly difficult for students with English as a second language)

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