Help me prepare a Do's and Dont's list for Socratic.org?
Don't even hint condescension or scorn in answering a question. Tact is as important as Fact if you want to keep a reader's attention.
Questions will often appear that are nonsensical on the first read, but may result in some interesting research and a new way of looking at things. If you don't like a question, there are plenty of others to consider.
Other questions will come in incomplete (missing parts, data or intent), or with spelling or grammar mistakes. They may not get answered or not answered timely because no one can decode the enquiry. Over time someone will see the idea, and an answer will come to light.
Do research into the person requesting the answer. There is no point in deluging a student with university level answers to a secondary school question.
Socratic strives to answer each question as it is unique, with a response that is also unique to that question. To do so, we need to know the audience who will be reading the question and its answers.
For example, it may be very easy to launch into the derivation of the formula used to solve a worded problem in physics, but if the question does not ask for it specifically, the answer will quickly become too long and overbearing.
On the other hand we want to "teach the underlying concepts"
so the problem above should be thoroughly analyzed with reasoning behind each step that this particular enquirer can understand.
Do look up supplementary information about the question and add images.
Even if you know everything about a particular subject or an answer to a question, information is evolving at a tremendous pace, and there is something new in every field.
Check out different websites for new ideas or relevant information. Sometimes a search may lead you back into Socratic.org where a similar question has been asked.
Doshow how to check your work on completion of calculations or worded questions involving math whenever possible.
A student will be more confident if he can ensure his calculations are correct when there is no answer available to look up.
There are two ways to do this. One is to substitute the answers back into the
The other is the method of estimation where students learn to approximate the answer to see if they are close to it. Estimation will reduce mistakes and reliance on calculators and it can increase speed and accuracy.
Do not plagiarise the answers you write.
It is important that the answers you write are not copied from any source. If it is really important to copy some of the facts please do give credit to the original contributor by properly citing it.
As, each time a new answer comes there will always be a fresh look on the things and eventually result in very simple answers and explanations.