Dealing w/ Student Questions

Wayne Woods wgwoods at ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU
Mon Jan 31 18:38:59 EST 1994

I think that, at the moment, the number of student posts is minimal
and nothing really needs to be done, apart from the occasional rebuke
for those that were obviously too lazy to look up a text book. 

The problem is merely academic at this stage, and it is that the number
of high school and undergrad students with access to the net is increasing

Then the problem will not be that a few students abuse the system, and
should be controlled by their teachers, but that the number of
student posts could come to equal or exceed the number of 'researcher'
posts. Remember that there are more of them than us, and they adapt to
computers much faster than the average researcher! :^)

Would you want, for example, to read a bionet.molbio.methds-reagents group
that contained 100 posts a day, 50 of which were from students with problems
with their assignments/projects? I think that readership of the group
would drop very fast. It wouldn't be a matter of just ignoring student posts
-just sorting through the list of subject headings would be formidable!
The numbers might seem like an exaggeration to some, but I think we can
seriously expect that students are going to latch on to bionet as a convenient
source of info in a big way. 

I think that eventually the bionet will have to have either a separate section
for students, or force institutions to ban student access to the group.
It's not that readers don't like helping students, it would be just sheer weight
of numbers!

But maybe it's really too early to discuss this seriously???
(having already been so long-winded myself.....   :^) )
Maybe we should wait and see what happens first.


Wayne Woods
Dept. Microbiology
University of Melbourne
wgwoods at

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