Why? Because instructors know better than experienced jumpers? I think that the potential for abuse in an 'instructors' forum is high. Newbies reading will think that all information is good information; bad idea.
The topical forums are pretty low volume and allow everyone to particpate. Want to make sure your information is read? Post with clear and obvious thread titles. Write articles for the 'non-forum' pages.
Having a forum where every newly minted instructor, coach, or otherwise, can post under the guise of "Instructor" is a Bad Idea, in my opinion.
Having a forum where every newly minted instructor, coach, or otherwise, can post under the guise of "Instructor" is a Bad Idea, in my opinion
You missed my point.
My point is a forum for instructors to ask questions of other instructors, that would be the perfect place for newly minted coaches, AFF, TM, etc to ask questions from other similarly rated persons with more experience to answer.
For instance, there is a lot of information posted in various forums specific to instructing, but it gets lost/burried, thus someone may not get information that they could use.
The idea for the forum isn't to have a place for students to ask instructors questions, that's the point of the S&T forum.
You're right, I did. However, I still think it's a bad idea. The forum will be riddled with bad/conflicting information, and because it's instructors talking to instructors, the newbies are still likely to see instructors posting and take their word as gospel. Unless it's hidden from the general public my objection still stands. A hidden instructors forum, I'd be all for that. Otherwise, let's just keep it in S&T.
That'd be nice, wouldn't it? Problem is that most people want information spoon fed to them, if they can get a quick answer from some random online instructor, they'll take that any day over having to research the info themselves.
There are quite a few requests for forums out there. I do agree that it may be time to start adding some of these. I am however also thinking about how to add them without making the list of forums go on forever. The current thinking is that there may be sections of forums that are not visible from the main page.
For example: we may have a Safety and Training section with 1 or 2 forums available on the main page and then a link to other topical forums where you need to drill down one level before you see them. Adding new forums will also increase the workload on the moderators - I think they may have to much on their hands already.
Jim - I hear your concerns about abuse. Their was also a request for a forum for certified riggers only. In both cases their is an option to make the forums available to those groups only. If the idea is that they share information amongst themselves then a closed forum is not a bad idea. Public discussions can still happen in the open forums...
What if you just added a link in the S&T forum. Then its out of the way, but instructors would know about it (hopefully, possibly over time), then it keeps the main forum listing clean and gives the instructors a place to discuss things. Such as the on slaught of TM threads/polls in the S&T forum lately (which have actually helped a good number of TMs out, to my understanding).
1) I am a strong advocate of an Instructor Forum 2) I understand and support the need for it to be a closed forum . . . I think it would flourish to its full potential that way. 3) Question: how do you filter participants? Confirming credentials seems to be a difficult task. Using the USPA DZO database would work for USPA rated Instructors, but Instructors rated by other organizations/manufacturers would be harder to verify.
My only real objection to a closed forum for instructors (riggers too for that matter) is that a lot of good information would not be available to potential instructors (riggers) since they would not be able to access it.
Perhaps a forum that is "read only" for those who don't have the credentials to post to it?
I've never advocated a truely "closed" forum, although I can see how my last post can be read that way. That was not my intention, I was just suggesting that it could be linked in the S&T forum, to keep the forum list from growing much too large.
A read only for non-instructors wouldn't be a bad idea, since other questions for instructors really do belong in the S&T forum; however, I don't want to see something that seems elitest. I just want to see a good location for all the really good instructor to instructor information to be located and a place for instructors to talk to other instructors about issues (without it getting burried in one of the other very active forums).
One interesting side effect of an "instructors" forum would be the need to verify identities and credentials for the posters. Perhaps that would work together with the discussion in the "identities" thread?
Personally, I think S&T is just fine for posting instructor-related topics as it is. The fact that it, and all the other forums, becomes spammed-up with incessant post-whoring is another topic altogether. Having an "instructor only" forum that others could still post to would lead to the same thing happening. There is a certain percentage of registered members out there who have little or no skydiving experience whatsoever, yet feel they just must ask a bunch of philosophically-based technical questions in the "specified" forums. Those are the types of people who make our job of keeping threads and the general tone of the forums on track complete murder.
It's my opinion that any very-specified rigger or instructor forum would have to be very-heavily moderated to keep out the riff-raff and "lookey-loos".