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Is it my imagination?

Posted by stevenv 
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Is it my imagination?
May 21, 2006 12:23PM
Not sure if I'm imagining it or what but does anybody think there are less people participating on the Osprey forums than there were last year?

Maybe its just because of my subject selection that gives me that impression.
avatar Re: Is it my imagination?
May 21, 2006 09:31PM
I've already said as much in another post. When Osprey was piped though SOL before, eveybody using the fora on SOL were actually posting on Osprey.

Because of this, a large number of people who used the Comp. Sci. fora on SOL don't know they were actually using Osprey and now are feeling a bit lost on myUNISA.

On there, the Comp. Sci. lecturers have told everybody to use the Osprey website for the discussion fora. Unfortunately, most people don't READ the opening notes on each subject's main page. This is evident by the number of "topic category" posts on the myUNISA fora.

Because of this, I suspect that most of the people here are those who've used Osprey directly before, those that actually read the lecturers instructions, or have been referred by an existing user.

Once everybody knows about Osprey, the quantity of posts will increase.
Anonymous User
Re: Is it my imagination?
May 22, 2006 10:30AM
when I was undergrad there were tons of people writing on the forums on osprey. Now that I am postgrad I see there are very few people writing anything i nthe subjects I am doing - I just took that to be because a lot less people carry on with post grad subjects
avatar Re: Is it my imagination?
May 28, 2006 08:50AM
Nobody writing on any of my forums but im also postgrad so it could just be a postgrad thing, the social forum seems far mroe active then before though.. (Probably because people have lots to moan about)...
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 05, 2006 02:47PM
Forums on "myUnisa" is just non existant when it comes to activity, some don't even exist!
avatar Re: Is it my imagination?
June 05, 2006 04:46PM
Yeah we know that, this thread is about the osprey forums though not the myunisa ones winking smiley
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 01:50PM
Think people will have more to say as we get deeper into things ie assignments 2, 3, 4 etc. I have snooped around some of the undergrad forums and they do seem livelier though... and some of them do seem to be into their third assignments already. Postgrad is dead though.
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 03:15PM
Maybe they could liven up the forums a bit, as in asthetically. Another possibility is that with hundreds of thousands of forums out there, they with their colourful, bright design... hmmm...
just a thought.
Mel
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 04:01PM
Maybe they're not the most attractive looking, but people post here (mostly!) to discuss academic issues - we're all adults here, surely we have no more need for bright colours and pretty pictures? These forums serve a specific purpose, for that very reason they're different to the rest of the forums "out there".
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 04:11PM
Don't think the problem is with the visual aesthetics of the forum, I think the problem lies in the transition from SOL to myUNISA: most people haven't the faintest idea that Osprey even exists and that they were essentially posting on Osprey when posting on SOL so now that there's no more SOL, all those people are no longer communicating on these forums. The best thing that they could do, in my opinion, is integrate the Osprey forum into myUNISA (like it was with SOL). That way there's only one single forum service (the tried and tested one I'm using right now) that all students make use of: let's not even get started on the forums that are currently in myUNISA. I actually got an email from myUNISA the other day with an attachment containing a link to a "manual" on how to use the forums there; now tell me, if you need a manual to use a forum, you seriously have to question its usability and whether anybody would actually make use of it at all smiling smiley

I quote from the manual:
Academic staff must initiate a forum before students can participate. By creating a category as well as a topic and message, the lecturer in question activates a forum. It is for the lecturer to decide whether the subject should have a forum or not. If you disagree with the lecturer’s choice, please contact him or her directly to discuss it.

Why is it that a lecturer gets to decide whether or not a subject can have a forum? Surely its up to the students paying to study the subject to make this kind of decision. And as to the notion that if a lecturer decides a subject should not have a forum, its up to us to beg and plead with the lecturer to enable it for us, bollocks!

Mel
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 04:14PM
I think these forums are fine just where they are, on a kind of "need to know" basis. I like the fact that I can post a query here and then not have to sort through all the rubbish on the other forums trying to find an answer. As I remember, the SOL forums became nothing more than chat rooms on tpoics anything but course related, and for some reason, UNISA didn't seem able to control them.
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 04:21PM
I wouldn't entirely agree with you on that, I remember that last year there were a number of knowledgeable people posting on the SOL forums and this year either (a) they all stopped studying at UNISA, (b) aren't doing any of the modules I'm doing or (c) have no idea that there are forums out there other than those provided by myUNISA.

However, I can totally agree with you on the fact that we don't need forums filled with complete rubbish but if we had to combine the functionality provided by the Osprey forums with the *assumed* staff numbers at myUNISA (taking on the roll of moderators), we'd have a most excellent online service for all students studying at UNISA.

For more information on the "manual" for the myUNISA forums:
http://www.unisa.ac.za/myUnisa/docs/Newsletter2.pdf
avatar Re: Is it my imagination?
June 12, 2006 07:05PM
Hi there

Mel, I don't know what subjects you took in previous years but the fora that I was using didn't seem to be plagued non-academic postings. I found them very useful as I still do.

I agree wholely with Stevenv that the relative inactivity of Osprey this year is that people simply do not know it exists. Case in point is that the Social Café forum is a lot busier this year than it was last year simply because it was advertised better and the link is now with the other subjects.

I think that Osprey should be the de facto forum provider for the SOC students since it's taylor made for us (thanks to Mac). It would be great if they could plug Osprey into myUNISA like was done on SOL so that more students could interact. (in fact I think I'll add that to the suggestions topic)
Anonymous User
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 13, 2006 02:41PM
Hi

I only used ospreys forums and I found that my subjects forums stuck only to the subject - not all kinds of other things.

I think the forums are great - other wise I may still be sitting trying to pass second yera subjects
Re: Is it my imagination?
June 18, 2006 10:06AM
I used SOL for forums last year, switched to using Osprey directly when myUisa turned out to be usesless.
In the end it's always better in sticking with somethign done b someone who actually studied what he was taught.
Or remembers what he studied.
Maybe whe should introduce , who's that guy again? the one who wrote the INF120 textbook? The design of Everyday things.
ANyways...we should let him loose on the myUnisa creators.

Anyways...I enjoy posting on Osprey
avatar Re: Is it my imagination?
July 06, 2006 06:22PM
Ok, We can settle the debate. There are definitely less people using Osprey this year compared to last year. How do I know? There's a link to the 2005 forum list at the top of the page. Open up the list in a separate window (or tab) and then do the same for this year's list.

There are a few differences in the number of fora listed but if you scroll both lists so the first forum on each os COS101-S, you can quickly flip between the two and compare the Posts columns.

You'll also notice that this year's most popular forum is COS111-U (at time of writing was at 551 posts) while last year's was COS340-A (with a massive 1002 posts)
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