Jiva Technology

Tutorhub Q&A: Question of the week

Every so often, we get a question posted on the Tutorhub Q&A that kicks off a whole debate amongst the tutors on what the correct answer should be. A good example: what is the probability the sun will rise tomorrow? A simple enough question and the initial reaction reflects a simple answer: the probability is 1. But then you can see people starting to think about it: the sun doesn’t actually rise, it’s just the language we use to describe the phenomenon as we see it, there is a small chance that it could blow up and it wouldn’t appear (although the explosion would take us with it, I presume). But what’s great about this is that the student has started a conversation that goes beyond a simple answer to a simple question; you can’t help but feel that this is where the thinking really starts.

‘Conversational’ Q&A

As part of our ongoing assault on the barriers between ‘people who know’ and ‘people who want/need to know’, we’ve been working on an update to that hoary old chestnut: the Q&A site. Part of our approach is to create something that’s truly conversational. After all, if you’ve got a question that needs an answer, how many times does a single, straight answer give you what you looking for? Too often, there’s a bit of clarification etc involved, more like Q&A&Q&A…

So we’ve been taking a good look at Q&A 2.0, or more like Q&A 2.1, and I’m really please to see that’s it’s a lively area of development on the web at the moment, with our friends at Aardvark, Hunch doing some really interesting things. As is so often the case, simple problems are sometimes the hardest to solve and we’ve been really grafting hard to produce something that’s as simple to use and robust as possible. Usability is everything. We’re more than interested to talk and share with anyone in the field, so feel free to get in touch. As usual, our starting point is education, tutors and tutoring, but we don’t expect it to end there.

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