As a result of a question posed in the Find Answers space, a question was quickly--perhaps too quickly--marked with a Correct Answer flag. In response to @buellj , I took full blame for quickly marking that question with the Correct Answer flag--mainly because in that case, I felt that @chofer 's suggestion to contact support was the best approach for something this specific and one that we in the Community could not readily replicate. Even so, a question with a Correct Answer flag doesn't disappear from view, and when a question is well tagged, it will remain prominent in search results. (By the way, here's the original question--now a discussion--that sparked the exchange: Canvas iOS App Lag? Delays seeing new course edits? )
This gave rise to @buellj 's question below: When is a question a question, and when is it a discussion? How and why do questions get a Correct Answer flag?
Message was edited by: Stefanie Sanders
I guess this brings up a question and reveals something that the champions may know about but others do not. What is the purpose of questions - are they moderated by champions and the idea is to close them out quickly? If so, let's change this to a discussion. It would be great if the "rules" could be explained somewhere.
@buellj , great question! Here's a page for questions - First time asking a question? Click to learn more. - and here's a page for discussions - How do I start a Discussion in the Community?. The links to these pages are right under the "Ask New Question" and "Start a Discussion" buttons on the Find Answers page.
To me the biggest distinction is that a question has a right or wrong answer, which we (as a Community) would like to get marked so that way if other people have a similar question they can quickly see what the *right* answer is. A discussion is something with no real right or wrong answer, but something where there might be a lot of possible answers that would work.
Does this help/make sense?
@kona has pretty much nailed it. We don't have cut-and-dried rules per se (and I love that you're referring to "Champions"! @chofer and @kona are true Champions in my book!). We do try to mark questions with "Correct Answer" flags as soon as possible, with the understanding that marking them as such doesn't make them go away--and we are always taking that action with a touch of trepidation, knowing that we might not always be getting it quite right in the eyes of the primary interlocutor.
Speaking for myself, I'm conditioned to think of "Questions" as binary; they either have a correct answer or they do not. "Discussions" are open ended. The beauty of the new Jive community is that it gives us so many more options; as you may recall, in the former community we didn't have any provision for discussions or blogs.
Speaking of those new options in the new community, I'd like to do two things here:
So before I change this to a discussion, @buellj , does #2 sound good to you?
... which we (as a Community) would like to get marked ...
The desire to mark things as "correctly answered" sometimes leads to frustration on the part of the question poser (QP).
However, when people are answering a lot of questions, they sometimes don't attempt to fully understand the question before they answer it (even when it's a good question). For example, if someone asks "Where can I find information about squares?" and someone answers "Here's some information on rectangles" it will probably get marked as correct., even though a deeper reading by someone knowledgeable in that area might reasonably infer that the QP was looking for the difference between a square and rectangle.
Now we're getting into the breakdown between discussions and questions. I agree with Kona that questions (in the Community) should have answers and Discussions may not. Many QPs don't want a discussion, they just want an answer and sometimes it's not as simple as a single correct answer. A bigger issue I find is that people ask a question in a feature request, but that's besides the point. Any teacher understands that many questions may have multiple correct answers. Some of them are better than others and some of the better answers may not be as usable by the QP as some of the simpler, but not as complete, ones. In the Canvas community, though, only one answer can be marked as correct.
I'm told that's what the marking something as helpful thing is about. Except that sometimes people find things helpful despite being an incorrect (and possibly downright wrong and bad practice) answer.
And now that I'm typing this up, I don't know if I'm in a discussion or a question. I hit the Advanced Editor button when I started and I can't find anything on the page or in the URL that indicates what it is. There aren't any links back to the original item to see where I came from, either. Just more that adds to people's confusion.
Sometimes the question needs clarification but the QP never comes back to provide it and so something is sitting in the unanswered questions queue for a long time and a goal is to keep that list short. Other times a question is answered right away, but it doesn't get marked as correct and just sits there waiting for something to happen. There was one I was going to respond to, but the first poster had answered it correctly so there was nothing for me left to say - yet it stayed in the unanswered queue for much longer than some of those that could have benefited from a discussion.
Hopefully this illustrates some of the problems with marking things correct. The point is that there is a delicate balance between marking something correctly and waiting to see if something better comes along. Generally, I think the Coaches do an exceptional job with a difficult task of deciding when to mark things correct, although sometimes I think a little more caution could be exercised.
Unless, of course, it's my answer and then by all means mark it correct right away -- just kidding. What would be nice is to be recognized for providing a correct answer. Yes, you got points for likes and helpfuls along the way, but there is something special and fulfilling about getting it marked "correct" and there is no recognition until you reach 25 of them and get the badge.
I was just replying to a question in the Find Answers space, and to me it was more of an open-ended call for suggestions than a question that required a right or wrong answer. The QP, as @James terms it, didn't realize that he had created a question; he actually meant to create a discussion, and he asked me how to go about creating a discussion in Find Answers. So I made this graphic for him; maybe you can all find use for it as well.