Mmmm, feedback is like fresh ingredients. As a result, we’re able to bake sweet treats (designs) and create delicious dishes (features). These two factors produce a recipe that attracts great company (OpenStudy’s Community). There is enough to digest in this post for a family of 12 so we’ve broken it down into four bite-size portions.
Let’s walk through the major features added to OpenStudy.
1. Channels turn to Study Groups and Topics
This is a big one. We found the channel structure was confusing and unscalable. To fix this we’ve converted Channels to Study Groups and Topics. View FAQ’s about these changes below.
2. Rating System – How Valuable Are Your Contributions?
Your contributions can now be rated. This allows a user to know how valuable their input is to the OpenStudy community. A detailed How It Works is below.
3. User Feed Changes – Items Important To You!
The user feed in your OpenStudy profile is more customizable and dynamic. What does this mean? Users have more control of what they see in their feed and greater flexibility with their feed changes. Read more about the changes below.
I hope you are hungry…
Below are FAQ’s about Channels turning to Study Groups and Topics.
What are Study Groups?
We like equations at OpenStudy: Study Groups = Groups of People
Example of a Study Group: MIT 6.0 Intro Computer Science (OCW)
What are Topics?
Topics = Subject Material
Example of a Topic: Computer Science
Do I now join a Study Group?
Yes, on OpenStudy you now join a community of people you want to study with and they are called a Study Group.
Can I create a Study Group?
Yes, Yes, and Yes! Study Groups are now user created. Want to get your whole class involved? Start a study group! Want to do a project with just a few participants? Start a Study Group!
What do Study Groups look like?
Below is the home page of a Study Group. Click on the image to enlarge.
Study Groups create a much more structured online learning experience.
How do I use topics?
Topics on OpenStudy provide much greater discoverability. Now, in a few easy clicks, you can see every question and studypad created in a particular topic. You can go to the Topic home page (pictured below) and view all the content that has been added to that Topic.
Can I add topics?
You can add topics to Study Groups and questions.
How can I stay connected to a topic?
To keep connected to a topic, you’ll want to follow it. This creates the ability to have an “all you can eat” portion of any subject on OpenStudy.
This is what a topic page looks like:
Topics are a significant improvement to OpenStudy’s “One Big Study Group” mission.
How the Ratings System Works on OpenStudy
- Each Question/Studypad has a rating system where users can rate how helpful other users’ contributions are.
- Each Study Group has a list of the most helpful members.
- Each Topic has a list of the most helpful contributors.
- Each User can see who helps them the most as well as how helpful they have been.
The following is an example of a rating system within a Question:
In the studypad, each contribution by a user can be rated helpful. To do this, you click on the “thumbs up” next to the helpful contributor. This gives a new viewer of the question/studypad an idea of who’s contributions are the most valuable. An important note is that you can only rate the contribution one time, but you can take that rating back and give it again as many times as you’d like.
The following is how Study Groups show who are the most helpful members:
The column of users on the right are the ones who have been rated most helpful in this Study Group. The number indicates how many questions/studypads they’ve been rated helpful. Note* You can still be rated as the most helpful contributor in a Study Group even if you’re not a member.
The following is how a topic page shows who are the most helpful contributors within the topic:
Very similar to Study Groups, the column of users on the right are the ones who have been rated most helpful within the topic. The number indicates how many questions/studypads they’ve been rated helpful. Note* You can still be rated as the most helpful contributor in a topic even if you don’t follow it.
Want to know how helpful you’ve been on OpenStudy? The higher number of helpful contributions the more helpful you’ve been (image below)
Who has helped you the most? The column on the right shows who’s most helpful to you (image below).
3. User Feed Changes
The user feed has two main views:
- Top Items – We bring you the top questions, studypads and activity from your Study Groups, Topics and People.
- All Items – This views shows all items in your study network.
Browsing your feeds is much simpler.
- You can now see, at a glance, the unanswered questions in your entire study network.
- You can also filter their feed by one topic at time.
We are confident these changes will create a much cleaner, useful, and enjoyable experience. Now we are headed back to the kitchen to keep cooking. Feedback (fresh ingredients) is always welcomed at feedback [at] openstudy [dot] com.