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We all love Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter.

Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well?

Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

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Final Results

Net Score: 8 (Excellent: 8, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 6 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 3 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 4, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 3 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: -2 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: -4 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 5)


Net Score: -4 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 5)


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    $\begingroup$ This is useful. It shows that one user asks questions (e.g. #s 5, 7, 9, 10 in this list) which lead to posts that mostly need improvement. Meanwhile, of questions from other users, 50% lead to posts that are excellent. $\endgroup$ – user173 Oct 1 '14 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ I see the list as rather disconnected and hardly crying out "math educators!" $\endgroup$ – amWhy Nov 22 '19 at 21:52
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Oops -- I did all of them, and it seems like maybe the queue is clear and no one else gets to do any? This was not my intent at all! It was an interesting exercise.

In particular, I found it fascinating that even when using only vaguely related search terms, all of the questions in the self-evaluation queue came up very very high in Google's search results. Only the "math / war / history" question was hard to find -- I had to resort to searching for math war history -"math wars" to get it to come up.

Anyway I hope others are able to go through those questions; it was nice to see and made me feel better about the site.

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    $\begingroup$ Don't worry, I still see them. Thanks for taking the time to participate! $\endgroup$ – quid Sep 21 '14 at 7:26
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First, a positive observation:

After a decline in visitors/day that had the numbers dipping quite low, it bounced back a bit to 600+/day. Hopefully this ratio can continue to go up -- along with the quality of questions and answers provided.

Second, an area that continues to need work:

One can see from the proposal page that the one area in which MESE "Needs Work" is in the number of questions posted per day. I'm not sure that the recommendation of 15/day is what it takes to indicate a healthy beta, but I think that the current average (1.3/day as of Sept. 30, 2014) is definitely too low.

I think it's worth continuing (cf. Questions) to think about how we can make high-quality potential users aware of this site, and encourage them to join and post questions and/or answers.

Moreover, on the subject of questions and the prompt from this post:

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

I think a fair number of questions would benefit greatly from better titles; cf. Answers in the previous linked meta.MESE post.

Given the rated list posted here, I'd say How can I demonstrate triangulations of surfaces with real hands-on objects? is a great title. On the other hand, to say nothing of the content, I think the fourth highest rated question has an inadequate title: Teaching math in an engaging way.

I might also note that the highest rated question, Moving From Rote Learning To Creative Thinking, may still be lacking with regard to its title, but even this version exists only because I edited over the OP's original name (back on Aug. 9) of How does one correct the influence of bad pedagogy from childhood?

Summary:

  1. My sense is that more users with more questions remains a crucial element.

  2. For users already here, editing question titles to add specificity might be nice.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree that we should continue to think about attracting new users and content. On a positive note, during the last weeks (after the summer) we have a solid and steady increase of new visits, and also the percentage of traffic we get from search engines continues to grow. One can thus hope that slowly but steadily the site develops enough 'weight' to attract users all by itself. $\endgroup$ – quid Sep 30 '14 at 12:41

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