Some of my questions are being unfairly flagged as incorrect. How do I address this? I know the answer I have put is correct, but my question has been flagged as "incorrect answer". I feel the ability of just anyone to flag a question is a problem. If someone thinks they know the answer they can flag a question, thereby holding it back, and with no merit behind their flag.
The "Not enough Time" flag is another flag that reflect poorly on the question asked, but the person submitting the question has no control over the time limit... do they?
Thanks for your feedback. Flags are ultimately moderated by someone with Professor credentials, and in every case the judgment is undertaken seriously and with due consideration to both the merits of the question and the flags that have been applied. In general, we opt to rehabilitate, rather than trash, a flagged question whenever possible; we understand the hard work our users put into their test content and we want to encourage it.
Anyone can flag because it fits with the crowd-sourcing model to allow content filtering, like content authoring, to be available to anyone who takes the initiative. It's helpful to us to have anyone who has an opinion to share it in a streamlined way, and as I said, the flags themselves only prioritize a question for review -- they have no direct effect on your score or the question.
The time limit is determined basically by the length of the question, and we're working on some more flexibility in how that's counted.
I absolutely agree with Tommy. I think most of us who contribute to these tests, actually know what we're asking, it's a topic we feel at least comfortable with, and also done some research to make sure we don't educate others in a wrong way. Getting things like "off topic" when it's clearly very much on topic, or "spelling/ grammar" when it's clearly correct is something that really pisses me off. I suggest these flagging options include a compulsory explanation. If someone thinks it's off-topic, well, sure, explain why or share their thoughts on why the grammar might be bad. I think that 80% of the people who flag a question, do it so due to being frustrated because of not being able to answer the question correctly. I know, I feel that way sometimes too, and at times I almost flagged a question, but then I did some research, got to the conclusion that I was indeed wrong and sometimes I even ended up "hearting" the question because it really taught me something. That being said I do find lots and lots of spelling and grammar mistakes in already accepted questions and answers (written by others). Not happy about that, makes me feel like the test is a joke... :(
Time limit is also something that should be a bit more flexible for authors. There are tests which include quite a lot of programming code, which if you know what programming is, you also know is not really text, and cannot be processed by the brain as simple text, therefore someone who wants to answer correctly, needs to use some logic to find the answer. That takes more time, and my suggestion is that such questions would have a double time or an author-set time-limit. Length is not the only factor to take into account, but can improve the test by making it more flexible or even author-editable. There are several ways to implement this, but I think the Smarterer staff is smart enough to figure that one out on their own. :)
I agree with both of you about flags not always being relevant, and of course our best and most committed authors produce top-notch content. Your contributions are a huge asset to our community and our mission, and we're all very grateful for them.
I'd still like to stress that flags don't have any impact besides pointing to places where an editor or Professor might need to polish the content -- it's up to the Professor to make the final decision, and flags with comments tend to hold a lot more water than those without, but the last call is always from the Professor.
With crowdsourced content, it's really imperative that we invite feedback as well as contributions from our users. Even if not all flags are 100% necessary, we need them to prioritize our content curation. Every user can help us make sure our tests reflect current information and are clearly understandable, and everyone deserves a say in the process: after all, that's how we find problems like the spelling and grammar mistakes that you mentioned. Without flags, they'd go unnoticed!
Regarding the programming tests, we're currently thinking pretty hard about offering some new ways to write those questions. We're aware that they can be extra difficult given the time limit and format, and we're grateful for suggestions, like yours, as we work on redesigning our content.