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Best places for general discussions and questions?


I might not understand the intended definitions of the current categories. I wanted to start a thread to ask people what they've been doing since the last LCL. I wasn't sure if something like that would be better for "Ask," "Share," or a possible new category just for discussions that aren't directly on-topic to the LCL2 course.

Thanks for any help!


Fair point! In our minds, The way we framed it, 'Ask' seems to only be about questions related to the assignments/course and 'Share' is about sharing resources, events, etc....Doesn't leave much room for friendly discourse. I'll edit the Ask category description to hopefully make it more clear that it is also a forum to pose questions to the group at large. How does that sound?


Sounds good to me! LCL doesn't strike me as a place where we'd incur a smiting from the ban hammer for posting in the wrong place on accident, anyway, but yeah if Ask and Share are open to friendly discourse maybe the clarification will be more inviting to some. Thanks for considering this! smiley


Just add discussion category smile



In my mind, there are lots of types of interaction and content that could work to enhance, encourage, and help grow the LCL experience. Many of those types of interaction and content may naturally try to flow in, too, even if not directly-related. For me, there's something important about conversations that are not directly course-related. Especially for a MOOC on creative learning, there's a spirit of the topics at hand in the course that is important to feed, and not just with questions, conversations and resources that are directly course-related. We need a freedom to share art, an openness for opinions, and room for rapport. It seems like they allowed and encouraged plenty of that last time, and I hope the thinking is the same.

After seeing the reply from @Grif it looks to me like any ToS-friendly question is welcome in Ask, Introduce Yourself is just for introductions, Course Announcements are just for official announcements from LCL organizers, About this Forum is for meta discussion about LCL and the LCL forum, and everything else goes in Share. There was also mention of location-based forums, and I imagine there may be team and group-based forums or other potential forums later on, but as it is looks like general discussions can go in Share? I might still not understand correctly.

Having stated what I think I have understood (in case I've misunderstood, so someone can point me in the right direction), here are some of my thoughts:

  • On one hand, I like the idea of including general discussions in a forum category titled Share. To me, it could potentially encourage a free and open loosely-defined idea and practice of sharing in a very important and positive way. If we get in a habit of going to a place called Share to engage in general discussion along with other types of interaction more commonly associated with sharing such as resources, projects, media content, community announcements, etc., we might also get even more in the habit of seeing discourse and general discussion as an act of sharing (and less in the habit of wasting opportunities to collaboratively share and grow on lesser ideas such as negativity, insults, closed-mindedness, and heated debate). We didn't really have much of a problem with that in the last LCL, everyone was inspiring and positive that I encountered. But anything that might help encourage even more of that is okay in my book, if it would actually have an influence. Letting general discussions stay in Share also cuts down on the number of forums to work towards simplicity and help avoid confusion. What do you think?

  • On the other hand, I am also a fan of category- and subcategory-proliferating forum organization. I could see how a separate category just for general discussion could be useful. I could also see a sub-category within Share having usefulness. I could see usefulness in more categories and/or filling out existing categories with sub-categories to work towards organization. While too many categories and subcategories may be distracting and confusing, too few areas can also be distracting and confusing. If the Share category really is intended to work more towards resources and content than general discussions, then general discussions there might become a distraction away from the intended purpose.

I could see it either way: general discussions are okay in Share, or a new category/subcategory just for general discussions. I think a certain liveliness found in part in areas where general discussion is allowed and encouraged helps to noticeably fuel real life into the whole thing in very real and alive ways. People have a place to just talk, get to know each other, share opinions about closely-related topics or even some topics that are just important to them. I'm not advocating for a spam category by any means, but a part of me does agree with you that I would enjoy a separate area just for general discussions. There's certainly also the possibility that LCL intends to discourage general discussions altogether, but I haven't gotten that impression in the slightest.

What are your thoughts here, or do you have any strong feelings about this? Would you still suggest just adding a discussion category? Why or why not?



in the LCL1 we had (is still there) the discussion tab inside the google community and it worked. I think it's easy to understand. Is the place where freely talking about LCL topics. In my opinion Share is the place where to share useful resources like projects, readings, links.
Ask can be something like Discussion but often you don't have a real question but just ideas or thoughts to share, or news
Anyway, maybe is not so important. Also because there will be always posts in wrong categories smiley smiley



I might be making things unnecessarily complicated!

But thanks for discussing this with me. I do not think this ship is going to sink if someone posts in the wrong place by accident, if the categories are not perfect for everyone, or anything related. I think we will be fine.

I do not see anything wrong with looking at different options, though. Having opinions about it all does not pose a threat to our success here. On the contrary, we never know when we might actually help improve things with opinion and feedback! This is an exciting experiment and while Media Lab is very much in control, they really are letting us help shape this in ways. We might not all get exactly what we want or expect, but all of this helps.

You are right, I remember that we have a Discussion tab on the LCL1 Google Group now.

My mind seems to naturally seek out an Ask forum for things like questions asking for help or support, that may be natural for others, too. Especially if there were support and help questions going on in the Ask thread, I would naturally feel like a discussion question I wanted to post would somehow distract or detract from others easily getting help for their issues and finding help others have been given about the same issue. That may not be logical, and even if a lot of people have that same kind of gut instinct it may not be best to cater to that just for that reason. But the feeling is there. On the other hand, I don't think I would feel at odds for wanting to post a discussion question in an area just for discussions.

I'm still not sure how I feel about general discussions as part of Share, myself. I have to wonder how crowded it would be with different types of posts on one hand, but then how beautifully diverse in types of posts it would be on the other hand.

I have to say that the old Discussions tab did seem more natural. It seemed like a nice balanced mingling of LCL topics and camaraderie. We also had other tabs:

Staff Announcements
Offer to Teach & Learn
Weekly Email
Introduce Yourself
Ask the Panel

I liked these, but one benefit we already have over the old system is easy access to descriptions of our new areas.

From what @Grif mentioned, it looks like they are not done with the forum structure and we aren't yet looking at a finalized set of categories to post to.

Maybe we can help with that? I'm going to make a new thread about brainstorming different types of categories we might use, what they could be named, and what the descriptions could address. Maybe we can get more people with feedback and help find ways to improve things.

Really, the place is already pretty awesome. But I am always available to throw around ideas, it can't hurt.

Thanks for tossing this around with me!