What do you think of our great answer criteria?

2 Answers

We've updated our great answer criteria and would love to hear your feedback.


Having great answers on Socratic is a priority and it’s important for Socratic as a community to celebrate the amazing answers we write together. The current system doesn’t do a great job reflecting that priority and we want to make changes to Socratic so that it does.

To do that, we asked you what makes a great answer on Socratic, and together you put forth a bunch of fantastic ideas.

Using your feedback, we’ve updated the criteria for a great answer, and we want to create a peer-review system that badges great answers on the site.

This new system will allow trusted contributors to mark answers on Socratic as great based the criteria above. To get the system started, the Socratic heroes will be the first peer-reviewers.

If this works, over the course of the next few weeks and months, as the number of answers reviewed on Socratic grows, the people who have written these great answers will join the heroes as peer-reviewers.

Before any of this happens, we would love to hear what you think about our current set of criteria and this peer-review plan. Your feedback is really important to us—please let us know what you think in the comments!

Oct 17, 2015

Perhaps we could call them "answer guidelines" instead, to avoid confusion. :-)

The word "criteria" by a Googled definition is:

"A principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided."

Although I agree that "answer criteria" can make it seem like they are standards which a committee may look at and evaluate, what is intended is essentially the opposite. It would greatly slow others' education to pass answers through a submissions process. Instead, what happens is that IF someone meets the criteria, then a moderator marks it as a "great answer." Regardless, the answer is still published.

From the answerer's perspective, these "criteria" should be taken as nothing more than guidelines. If you want to consider a philosophical standpoint, it's like Kant's moral "law." He doesn't want us to act according to duty, but for duty; meaning, he would prefer that we follow our own moral "laws" in a genuine manner that involves not our rigid, systematic adherence to it, but our coincidental, natural agreement with it.

Similarly, these "criteria" are not for us answerers to follow, but for us to consider (if they want). As we continue to write answers, refine them based on "peer review," and improve the methods we use to refine our answers, we can work towards writing answers that are in coincidental, natural agreement with the "criteria," in a non-rigid, non-systematic way. Over time, these "criteria" should feel less and less systematic.