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    (Original post by Gingerbread101)
    If everyone could give me a succinct post of their current beliefs then I can do this, but it'll take me an age to look through 200 posts of discussion and find people's ideas, where they've changed their ideas and what the current ideas are
    (Original post by ghostwalker)
    Do you realise the implications of that post? No one is keeping track of decisions/ideas.

    I dispair of TSR, and I've had enough for the foreseeable future.
    Actually, Fox Corner did a reasonable summary of the first 8-9 pages: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...9#post69549414

    My own summary (having just gone through all the pages again from scratch);

    In terms of "action points":

    (1) More specialist helpers for the Math forum with the power to actually "do things" (e.g. remove full solutions, trolls, etc).
    (2) Possible template auto inserted when people start threads in the math forum: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...3#post69458858
    (3) Way to "tag a study helper / expert" (to get attention of people of one of the experienced posters who can provide "authoratative" help).
    (4) Guide to posting to be more prominent (currently always bottom of the stickies) [Latex] buttons in the text editor.
    (5) Force attachments to be right way up (by technical means).

    These aren't in any particular order, but to my mind (1) is by far the biggest issue. I freqently find things aren't picked up when reported for quite long periods of time, and when the issue is "maths-related", the moderators often don't understand the issues.

    The main issues raised (even if no obvious action point to fix them):

    (a) Posts that should be for F38 being posted in other forums (F85)
    (b) Full solutions.
    (c) Posters giving help inappropriate to the level of the OP.
    (d) Less able posters feeling intimidated. Legibility of attachments.
    (e) Use of LaTeX Exam papers being posted when they shouldn't be (specifically 'locked' mock papers)
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    (Original post by ghostwalker)
    I dispair of TSR, and I've had enough for the foreseeable future.
    I understand your frustration, but I'll just say that I'd personally consider it a great loss if you stopped posting here, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
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    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    They're content blocks underneath the first post in a thread and under the stickies in the forum with links to top content around the site I think!

    Also HI USY! :hugs:
    Interesting :beard:

    Hi Lois! :awesome::hugs:
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    I understand your frustration, but I'll just say that I'd personally consider it a great loss if you stopped posting here, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
    Definitely, it'd be a huge loss!

    ghostwalker
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    I think that lots of people put in a great deal of effort to help others in this forum, they do a pretty good job. Some of the ideas mentioned in this thread sound good!
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    I think I agree with most of DFranklin's list. The suggestion given in (1) is particularly good. Several of the most useful people on here (DFrank, notnek, ghostwalker) can certainly be trusted with mod-like privileges and would help clear up the study help forum (less work for you guys as well) and make it more inviting for people to post. I can't see any downside to it...?
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    Thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread with their ideas for improving F38.

    There are some very helpful suggestions which we are keen to take forward.

    F38 occupies a unique place in study help and in TSR in general. It is the largest subject forum and benefits hugely from the regular contributions of a number of very experienced mathematicians. Thousands of students have benefitted from their expertise over the years and they have been instrumental in F38 developing a national reputation.

    We realise that the thread moved in an unfortunate direction and are keen to learn lessons from that.

    Here are some aims/principles that might help us move forward
    - Recognise that F38 is a unique case in Study Help
    - Recognise and support the work of key members of the forum
    - Make F38 a welcoming, supportive and helpful place for all Maths students
    - Continue to encourage users to find their own solutions to problems rather than provide solutions

    In terms of actions around these aims:

    - We are in the process of making some more Community Assistants to specialise in F38. These will all be experienced members of the forum
    - A key role will be moving threads, editing their titles when appropriate and ensuring that discussion guides thinking rather than reveals solutions. They will be able to edit posts (eg putting solutions behind a spoiler) and move threads throughout study help. In fact there is already a noticeable improvement in thread placement
    - The CAs will also be encouraged to create threads that are of interest to and/or help maths students at all levels
    - Simple role descriptions for CAs in Maths are being created that will stress the unique identity of that forum and the ethos of guiding rather than telling students.

    Ideally we would like one or more of these CAs eventually to join the ST and so provide more effective communication between users of the forum and us in the CT.

    There are a number of other suggestions in this thread. Fox Corner has made a helpful summary of key issues and there are probably a few more that can be added to that list. We’ll work on those and report back.

    I hope we can all work together to improve F38 and that key members of the forum will continue to offer support to the next generation of maths students.

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    (Original post by The Learn Ranger)
    ...
    I'm glad to hear that more CAs are being considered. Since I started a few weeks ago, I'm finding that I have to pop in regularly to move up to 10 threads per day to F38 so more help would be very welcome. Regulars who know the forum well and visit F38 often would be top of my list.

    And more collaboration to improve the maths forum in general would be great.
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    Thanks.

    We're hoping to get few more CAs to focus on maths in the next week or so. They will all be experienced and regular users of F38.
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    I'm not entirely sure why this thread has been reopened. Another round of upset could be right around the corner.

    At least notnek is now a Community Assistant - one step in the right direction.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    I'm not entirely sure why this thread has been reopened. Another round of upset could be right around the corner.

    At least notnek is now a Community Assistant - one step in the right direction.
    It just didn't seem right to leave the thread on a negative note.

    I felt a response was required that recognised the positive suggestions in the thread and gave an indication of some of the ways we are responding.

    Hopefully we can all work together to improve F38.

    We do already have an extensive list of suggestions so don't necessarily need any more unless any key points have been ignored.
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    I wonder - how feasible and helpful would it be for the Study Help Member of the Month award to be brought back from years ago? Most people who won it were from the Maths forum and if it's advertised well this time round, it could encourage more people to post helpful things. It may help other, quieter forums too.
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    (Original post by The Learn Ranger)
    In terms of actions around these aims:

    - We are in the process of making some more Community Assistants to specialise in F38. These will all be experienced members of the forum
    - A key role will be moving threads, editing their titles when appropriate and ensuring that discussion guides thinking rather than reveals solutions. They will be able to edit posts (eg putting solutions behind a spoiler) and move threads throughout study help. In fact there is already a noticeable improvement in thread placement
    Full solutions really need to be removed, not put behind a spoiler.
    More generally, post reports in F38 need to be seen by someone who is knowledgeable about the this forum. It's often not possible for someone without a mathematical background to tell if someone is trolling. It shouldn't be the norm for reports not to get responded to for a day, either.

    - The CAs will also be encouraged to create threads that are of interest to and/or help maths students at all levels.
    :puke: (Sorry, but that's how I feel). The (short lived) GCSE thread shows how well trying to encouraging people ti "artificially" create threads works.

    - Simple role descriptions for CAs in Maths are being created that will stress the unique identity of that forum and the ethos of guiding rather than telling students.
    I confess I'm frustrated that I've explicitly asked your staff what a CA can actually do and had no response.

    Ideally we would like one or more of these CAs eventually to join the ST and so provide more effective communication between users of the forum and us in the CT.
    Again, ST and CT are jargon terms that aren't really very helpful to general posters here IMHO. My initial guess was that they mean "study team" and "community team", but looking I think ST is actually "support team". But again, the question is what do they actually do? I have actually a fair looked for this information on TSR and been unable to find it - I don't think I'm particularly clueless when it comes to finding info on the web, either.

    [And the fact that Community Assistants has posted on here saying words to the effect of "I don't know exactly what my role is supposed to be", I'm sure I'm not the only person confused].
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Full solutions really need to be removed, not put behind a spoiler.
    Spoilering full solutions by Community Assistants is a short term solution - they have a direct place to contact the support team and we can then remove the post and card the user the spoilers are just to keep it under control until we moderate it
    More generally, post reports in F38 need to be seen by someone who is knowledgeable about the this forum. It's often not possible for someone without a mathematical background to tell if someone is trolling. It shouldn't be the norm for reports not to get responded to for a day, either.
    the support team can no longer see reports, as they're all done in house by the people who work at TSR. They don't have enough resources to employ someone specifically with Maths knowledge, so by getting knowledgeable CAs and Support Team members, this can be done by them without them seeing the reports.

    :puke: (Sorry, but that's how I feel). The (short lived) GCSE thread shows how well trying to encouraging people ti "artificially" create threads works.
    I'm sorry that the idea isn't very appealing to you, but it's the main role of the Support Team - I've been glad to see that the GCSE thread is now being used I think we can agree that thread creation is very trial and error, and that by having Maths knowledgeable CAs, they will know what people want.

    I confess I'm frustrated that I've explicitly asked your staff what a CA can actually do and had no response.
    Apologies you've had no response to this - Community Assistants have two main roles: content creation and keeping the forums tidy. Under the second one, they can move threads to the right places and edit them. They can't remove posts however, this is down to the Support Team. Fox Corner will be released a more detailed role description soon

    Again, ST and CT are jargon terms that aren't really very helpful to general posters here IMHO. My initial guess was that they mean "study team" and "community team", but looking I think ST is actually "support team". But again, the question is what do they actually do? I have actually a fair looked for this information on TSR and been unable to find it - I don't think I'm particularly clueless when it comes to finding info on the web, either.
    Again, apologies about this. The Support Team (purple usernames) are DBS checked official volunteers who have moderator powers and who develop content and projects in their forum. You can find a list of all of the Support Team here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Meet_the_mods
    The next level up is then Section Leaders (light blue usernames) who are each in control of a section of the Support Team, and who work more behind the scenes
    After that is the Community Team (red usernames), they aren't volunteers, buy are employed by TSR in their offices. There are specific CT for each area (for Study Help we have Fox Corner and The Learn Ranger) who develop content plans, and who work with the development team on technical issues

    [And the fact that Community Assistants has posted on here saying words to the effect of "I don't know exactly what my role is supposed to be", I'm sure I'm not the only person confused].
    As we rushed to try and get new CA's, this was poorly explained to them at the time, and has been amended since then

    I hope this helps
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Full solutions really need to be removed, not put behind a spoiler.
    More generally, post reports in F38 need to be seen by someone who is knowledgeable about the this forum. It's often not possible for someone without a mathematical background to tell if someone is trolling. It shouldn't be the norm for reports not to get responded to for a day, either.

    :puke: (Sorry, but that's how I feel). The (short lived) GCSE thread shows how well trying to encouraging people ti "artificially" create threads works.

    I confess I'm frustrated that I've explicitly asked your staff what a CA can actually do and had no response.

    Again, ST and CT are jargon terms that aren't really very helpful to general posters here IMHO. My initial guess was that they mean "study team" and "community team", but looking I think ST is actually "support team". But again, the question is what do they actually do? I have actually a fair looked for this information on TSR and been unable to find it - I don't think I'm particularly clueless when it comes to finding info on the web, either.

    [And the fact that Community Assistants has posted on here saying words to the effect of "I don't know exactly what my role is supposed to be", I'm sure I'm not the only person confused].
    Thanks for this. I can see Gingerbread101 has already responded but I will be back a little later with some additional information on the points you raise.
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    (Original post by Gingerbread101)
    Spoilering full solutions by Community Assistants is a short term solution - they have a direct place to contact the support team and we can then remove the post and card the user the spoilers are just to keep it under control until we moderate it
    But they don't actually keep it under control, when all it takes is a single click to see what they've written.

    I'm not saying every full solution should immediately be removed, but for example, when someone has spent hours over the course of a day pushing someone towards being able to solve a problem for themselves and someone jumps in and posts a full solution, it's a massive slap in the face for the person who's been putting in that time, and I'd (personally) have no problem removing the post.

    the support team can no longer see reports, as they're all done in house by the people who work at TSR. They don't have enough resources to employ someone specifically with Maths knowledge, so by getting knowledgeable CAs and Support Team members, this can be done by them without them seeing the reports.
    So, unless I'm misunderstanding you, the problem with this is: If I make a report saying "NotReallyTerryTao has written a load of irrelevant made-up maths here to confuse the OP", the knowledgeable CAs who can actually judge if this is the case aren't seeing the report, and (from experience) the in-house TSR staff who can see it are very unlikely to actually say "yeah, he's obviously trolling, I'll deal with it" when they don't actually understand the material under discussion. It basically ends up being "it's pointless making math-related reports, as they won't ever be seen by someone who understands them".

    sorry that the idea isn't very appealing to you, but it's the main role of the Support Team - I've been glad to see that the GCSE thread is now being used .
    So, after 4 weeks of absolutely no interest, notnek specifically tagged 20 people and asked them to look at the thread, and you had a small flurry of responses that have now stopped. Possibly it will grow, but TBH I think it's an artificial thread and applying life support is only going to go so far.

    I think we can agree that thread creation is very trial and error, and that by having Maths knowledgeable CAs, they will know what people want.
    Well yes, but if they're constantly getting nagged to create content threads where there's little-to-no-demand, you're going to have rather a lot of trial and error, and not that much success.

    Again, apologies about this. The Support Team (purple usernames) are DBS checked official volunteers who have moderator powers and who develop content and projects in their forum. You can find a list of all of the Support Team here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Meet_the_mods
    The next level up is then Section Leaders (light blue usernames) who are each in control of a section of the Support Team, and who work more behind the scenes
    With respect, a hierarchy table doesn't tell me anything about what the various people are actually able to do. "Moderator powers" covers a pretty wide range of possibilities.
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    (Original post by Gingerbread101)
    Spoilering full solutions by Community Assistants is a short term solution - they have a direct place to contact the support team and we can then remove the post and card the user the spoilers are just to keep it under control until we moderate it
    the support team can no longer see reports, as they're all done in house by the people who work at TSR. They don't have enough resources to employ someone specifically with Maths knowledge, so by getting knowledgeable CAs and Support Team members, this can be done by them without them seeing the reports.

    I'm sorry that the idea isn't very appealing to you, but it's the main role of the Support Team - I've been glad to see that the GCSE thread is now being used I think we can agree that thread creation is very trial and error, and that by having Maths knowledgeable CAs, they will know what people want.


    Apologies you've had no response to this - Community Assistants have two main roles: content creation and keeping the forums tidy. Under the second one, they can move threads to the right places and edit them. They can't remove posts however, this is down to the Support Team. Fox Corner will be released a more detailed role description soon


    Again, apologies about this. The Support Team (purple usernames) are DBS checked official volunteers who have moderator powers and who develop content and projects in their forum. You can find a list of all of the Support Team here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Meet_the_mods
    The next level up is then Section Leaders (light blue usernames) who are each in control of a section of the Support Team, and who work more behind the scenes
    After that is the Community Team (red usernames), they aren't volunteers, buy are employed by TSR in their offices. There are specific CT for each area (for Study Help we have Fox Corner and The Learn Ranger) who develop content plans, and who work with the development team on technical issues


    As we rushed to try and get new CA's, this was poorly explained to them at the time, and has been amended since then

    I hope this helps
    Perhaps a problem that is being highlighted here is that no one knows what Support team members do as they are, quite frankly, invisible!

    With all due respect and this is by no means personal, but I think anyone from the study help team who posts in maths would be in a good place to, with your guidance, drive changes and discussions, but you're having to do this yourself without much support from them, and okay, 'moderation' is being put in the hands of the CAs but then it feels like the ST are not doing much when perhaps they should be? I'm not sure what the spec is for their role anyway but as you know, moving threads around regularly can be quite time consuming and takes the fun out of helping someone out, so it would be good to have all hands on deck but at the moment it feels like the support team is invisible in what may be one of the biggest areas of study help.
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    A couple of ideas for making it possible for CAs to remove posts

    In the PS advice area we have a forum available for the PS reviewers only - so any threads/posts for obvious deletion can be moved there by the PS helpers (who have thread/post moving/merging and sticky/unsticky powers).

    There is also a little used adviser forum and the old ask a PS CA forums which could be used for targeted reports/conversations with the CA/mod team. Those forums are like AtCT so posters can only see their own threads.

    Would it be worth having a maths specific subforum along these lines that
    a) maths regulars can use to report full solutions posts or mathematical trolling directly to the maths CA/ST members
    b) anyone posting full solutions could have their posts moved into so that someone from the CA could thank them for trying to help but explain why full solutions aren't helpful/point them at the guidelines (I don't know what the card is like for people who get one for full solutions but making it clear help=good/welcome and explaining the best ways to help is the only way to stop repeat offenders and turn them into contributors).

    It's a bit labour intensive but then stuff like this always is - that's why it's a good idea to have as many CAs as possible
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    With all due respect and this is by no means personal, but I think anyone from the study help team who posts in maths would be in a good place to, with your guidance, drive changes and discussions, but you're having to do this yourself without much support from them, and okay, 'moderation' is being put in the hands of the CAs but then it feels like the ST are not doing much when perhaps they should be?
    I do feel a major issue is not having a way to report things directly to the CAs dedicated to the forum. I've reported quite a few threads that need moving myself recently, and of course they all end up bypassing the CAs and going to the paid staff. And to be honest, the response time for post reports (in F38) just seems really poor compared to 5+ years ago.

    I'm not sure what the spec is for their role anyway but as you know, moving threads around regularly can be quite time consuming and takes the fun out of helping someone out, so it would be good to have all hands on deck but at the moment it feels like the support team is invisible in what may be one of the biggest areas of study help.
    The frustrating thing is that TSR seem to be far more bothered about "content creation" than actually enabling people to manage the forum. As you say, moving threads is time consuming, but it's not particularly hard, and this forum has quite a few posters who are trustworthy and would be perfectly capable of moving stuff, removing solutions etc. But I think far fewer would be prepared to put up things like being nagged about content creation.
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    (Original post by notnek)
    And more collaboration to improve the maths forum in general would be great.
    The Learn Ranger

    Yes, I think this is important. I often see posts in the Biology et al Study Help thread from people who are asking questions of essentially a mathematical nature regarding calculations or simple stats. Some integration between the different Study Help areas would be great, so people can be encouraged to use and explore all of them and see the science threads as a coherent whole, as well as using them solely discreet 'subject' fora.
 
 
 
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