This website is a discussion forum set up solely to facilitate discussion in Mark McClure's math classes at UNCA. The site is generated by the Discourse open source software,
This post is meant to introduce you to the basics of discourse. There is another Meta Question that describes how to enter groovy typeset mathematics, code, and images. We'll also discuss the site and play with it in class some. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
- Participation is mandatory - you can earn 30 actual points for your grade! That's not a huge amount and it's not hard to get those points, but it should be enough to motivate folks to get started. Hopefully, the benefits of a high quality discussion forum will become clear as you participate.
- There are two classes using this site: Real Analysis (Math 492) and Numerical Analysis (Math/CS 441). Thus, I've tried to organize the site a bit as follows:
- Participation is by invitation only. While anyone can view the contents, I've only invited students in the participating classes to join.
- Users are broken into two groups Real and Numerical - each with their own set of permissions. A few users are in both groups.
- There are three main categories of questions:
- Real for students in Real Analysis. Only users in group Real can post or reply here.
- Numerical for students in Numerical Analysis. Only students in group Numerical can post or reply here.
- Meta which contains information about this site. Only I can post here but students can all reply here.
- Students can view all the content but might want to filter the view to view the topics in just your course.
So, how do you get those points?
Discourse, has a built in trust level system. You start at trust level zero and can increase up to trust level three by participation. Specifically, to make it to trust level 1 you must
- Spend at least 10 minutes
- Reading 10 posts
- Spread out over 5 topics
To make it to trust level 2 you must
- Spend an hour
- Over 10 days
- Reading 20 posts
- Spread over 10 topics
- Reply to at least 3 topics
- Receiving 3 likes an
- Dishing out at least 5 likes of your own
To make it to trust level 3 you must
- Spend at least an hour and a half
- Over 20 days
- Viewing at least 20 topics
- Replying to at least 6 topics
- Giving at least 10 likes
- Receiving at least 8 likes of your own
Most importantly, you earn 10 actual class points for each trust level.
It's really not particularly hard to make it to trust level 2. More importantly - the real benefit of Discourse is that it is a genuine opportunity to learn!