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Getting the Most Out of the edX Discussion Forums

  1. Before making a thread about your problem, do a quick search to see  if your question has already been addressed. It’s often the case that  there will be one or two threads asking the same question that has  been answered.
  2. When making a thread, be as specific as you can, both in the title and body of the thread. For example, “Need help” isn’t a good title. A better title would be “How do I set up the initial equation in Homework 2, Question 5?” The same idea applies to your actual question. Instead of simply posting all your working out and asking for somebody to come along and correct it, you should be asking specific questions. By doing this, you find the error yourself, so you learn more as opposed to having somebody find it for you.
  3. If you’re answering a homework-related question, it’s better to give hints and use the Socratic Method rather than explicitly answering their question. Instead of saying “Your equation should not have a factor of ‘G’ in it”, it would be better to say something like “Review your notes on [topic] and check that you are setting up the equation correctly”.
  4. If somebody else has answered a question and you think it is a good answer, upvote it by clicking on the Vote button.  It lets the thread creator know that the community thinks it is a good answer. If you see a blue tick next to a post, it means that a Community TA or a staff member has officially endorsed the answer as a good answer.Screenshot of a discussion forum thread being up-voted.
  5. If you use maths in your post, please use LaTeX to format it! It is much easier for everybody to read neatly formatted LaTeX equations rather than plaintext symbols which take longer to mentally parse.

Photo of Mungo Aitken ImageMungo has taken several edX courses including 3.091x Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, CS191x Quantum Mechanics & Quantum Computation, as well as acted as a Teaching Assitant for 8.02x Electricity & Magnetism and 2.01x The Elements of Structures. He will soon be a Teaching Assistant for Walter Lewin’s introductory physics course 8.01x Classical Mechanics.