Background Level icon?...

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by WBahn, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    Here's a thought for the grinder.

    When I'm responding to someone, it would be really nice to have a feel for, at least roughly, what background and level of understanding they bring with them. Now, there's certainly no easy one-size-fits-all way to do this, but perhaps when people register (and, of course, can edit later) they can elect (not required) to pick one of several levels that they feel best characterizes their current level of understanding and/or the default level at which they feel comfortable discussing most electrical/electronic topics.

    While the simplest way would be to just use their level of formal education, I don't think this is a particularly good way. But perhaps something along these lines (can be simplified, of course).

    Pick a few technical areas, such as programming, hands-on lab experience, mathematics background, and electronics educational background (maybe one or two more).

    This, for each one, have the person rate themselves from 0-9 and offer some rough descriptions to guide people toward making reasonably consistent choices. Those ratings would then be combined into a single number. So, using the areas listed above, someone with a 3754 might indicate someone with a modest programming background who has a lot of experience with hands-on electronics, has a math background that includes a bit of calculus, and has taken some introductory electrical engineering courses. Then, along with their Username in their posts, their rating would also be displayed.
  2. StayatHomeElectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 25, 2008
    I have my doubts but it would be interesting to see how people, both novice and experienced, would rate themselves. Any takers?
  3. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    I'd be more than willing to rate myself along the lines of what I suggested, but first we would have to come up with a list of descriptors for the various areas and levels (say every even numbered level other than zero, so four descriptors per area).
  4. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    For myself, I started in HS with a major of Radio/TV servicing, working at house calls (TV repair) in my sophmore summer. Moved on two radio broadcast maintenance for my junior and senior years afterschool job. Next joined the Coast Guard, went to their Electronics Technician "A" school, and remained on active duty for 22 years advancing to Chief Electronics Technician and was the Officer in Charge at two Loran-C stations during my last seven years of service. I've had tours at Loran-C stations in Alaska, Italy, Nantucket Island, and Boise City Oklahoma. I've done a 12 month tour on the staff at Commander Atlantic Area Loran-C Branch, two tours at the Training Center teaching Loran-C equipments, taught for 10 years during the summer at the Coast Guard Academy at the Loran-C engineering course. I worked and supervised repair facilities. Since my retirement, I've fixed computers, did contract maintenance at a 1kW local AM station, and trouble shot ag related GPS equipments. About 12 years ago, I moved to Michigan and continued part time work on computer repair and worked on a couple of websites. Two years ago I relocated closer to the grandkids in Texas. About six years ago, I started doing taxes ... to kill cabin fever during the winter months.

    As far as my rating, I would say an average technician with skills further than the workbench. I certainly participate in some forums more than others. Just because I don't participate heavily, in the forums I read, I certainly try to duplicate the problems people are having, especially with the simulations.

    As a former instructor, I find the "gotcha" questions are not measuring the higher level cognitive skills of the test taker.

    Mark me down as a common technician.
  5. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    I started to type up a rubric but decided against it.

    The idea has some merit as it would allow some of us to gauge how to respond with answers.
    On the other hand, I think it would intimidate a lot of people and prevent them from asking simple questions.

    In the end, I think it would do more harm than good for AAC.

    Anyway, after a few quick posts you can get a good idea of someone's level of understanding.
    I think being patient with a slow learner is a virtue of a good teacher.
  6. Georacer


    Nov 25, 2009
    I feel the same way, more or less.

    I 'm all for any experiment, I love them, but in this case I see three reasons why this wouldn't be meaningful:

    1. This feature could be a bit hard to code into the site, which means that the admins won't have time to implement it. Moreover, as you guessed it, it will be very problematic to come up with a labeling system.
    2. This feature will benefit some 0.5% of the top membership and is intended to be mostly used by the rest. I can foresee the top 0.5% using the labels the rest not going to the trouble to benefit from them.
    3. As MrChips said, (at least for me) you don't need more than a couple of posts to weight the OP's capacity. So it's a bit redundant.