• Welcome to ScapeCrunch!

    We are a friendly, online community of people interested in planted aquariums. We support and help each other learn and grow. It is our sincere hope that you will join us and find our tight-knit community valuable and fun!

    ScapeCrunch is different than Facebook Groups. Here's how:

    • It is a place where you can make long-term friends in the planted aquarium hobby and have long, multi-day talks on specific subjects.
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    Where Facebook is more like a large city-wide party, ScapeCrunch is more like your neighborhood bar "where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came." It's always fun to go to large parties but it's at the local bar that you feel people really know you. The great part is that you can and should go to both!

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Question of the Day ScapeCrunch Course(s)???

Art

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    Hi everyone,

    We have the ability to host courses just like Master Class or Udemy. Members can see their progress and even get certificates and badges for completing. It’s really cool.

    However, we’ve never put it to use because it requires that someone create the content for the course. The content can be written, audio or video. As any teacher will tell you, it is hard work when you build it but then it’s available forever.

    I can imagine courses like Plants 101, Beginner, High Energy, Low Energy, Dutch, etc. The list is long if you think about it. And, we can make them free or charge a few bucks to split between the forum and the teacher. Either way.

    Any thoughts on this? More importantly, do we have any members with some time and desire to be teachers and develop a course?

    It’s perfectly OK if there is no interest. I just want to collectively explore ways to make our community more valuable to everyone.

    Hope the summer/winter is going well for you.

    Best,

    Art

    Back To School Dog GIF by Kloeckner Metals
     
    Art I think it's a good idea.

    One of the hurdles is that when someone starts in the hobby the terms and words can sound like someone is speaking in tongues. I can see how it could be overwhelming.

    But like most things in life when you apply yourself a bit it all becomes clear. For instance we take for granted that when we say NPK that everyone knows what that is. Many don't.

    So getting up to speed on the vernacular of the hobby would be a good stepping stone for many.
     
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    @GreggZ thanks. That a great point.

    Would this be better having as a glossary post or does a course for this make more sense?
     
    Would this be better having as a glossary post or does a course for this make more sense?
    My personal two cents, what I consider a usefull approach.

    On the other forum @Zeuss was leading a small group of members that wrote an article on CO2 injection

    When the first version got posted on the forum a larger group of hobbyists offered their views. @Zeus. then edited the most useful insights/additions/corrections into the original document, that is still the first post in the thread, and also now here by @Zeuss on ScapeCrunch.

    This is a collaborative approach, that gives some consensus as well, and that leads to one "article" that gives plenty of insights for beginners without them having to read a ton of long and sometimes confusing/meandering threads. We may want to create a couple of these articles, and post them on a separate section of the forum as a reference tool.
     
    We have a separate articles section that can house formal articles. We can also do it the sticky post way. It just takes someone with some time and interest in doing this as @Zeus. did.

    Different than this is the course route. This would be classes with an exam. For example- Beginner 101 could be:

    Class 1 - planted aquarium overview
    Class 2 - basics of water chemistry
    Class 3 - basics of plant biology
    Class 4 - basics of lighting
    Class 5 - basics of fertilization
    Class 6 - you get the idea…

    We have software for all these alternatives.
     
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    This is a collaborative approach, that gives some consensus as well, and that leads to one "article" that gives plenty of insights for beginners without them having to read a ton of long and sometimes confusing/meandering threads

    I put the article together to save posting in threads and answering pms numerous times the topic thing, I just took what I considered to be the most importants bits folk needed to know to understand and get it done (by what my peers considered to be the best approach at our current level of understanding, done by reading posts and pms with experts over the years in the hobby).

    I do like the article/sticky post idea as its the goto place for starters/newbies, it can be read at the readers own pace, Re-reading certain sections. Plus if/when the consensus of the approach changes, easy to update by the OP (Original Poster) is the forum allows it with first post or admin can changes settings for an edit or Admin can do it via there access ( use to be an admin on gaming forum).

    Vids can soon be dated plus you might need to make notes (which isn't needed with a sticky Post/Article)

    My 2 cents
     
    I put the article together to save posting in threads and answering pms numerous times the topic thing, I just took what I considered to be the most importants bits folk needed to know to understand and get it done (by what my peers considered to be the best approach at our current level of understanding, done by reading posts and pms with experts over the years in the hobby).

    I do like the article/sticky post idea as its the goto place for starters/newbies, it can be read at the readers own pace, Re-reading certain sections. Plus if/when the consensus of the approach changes, easy to update by the OP (Original Poster) is the forum allows it with first post or admin can changes settings for an edit or Admin can do it via there access ( use to be an admin on gaming forum).

    Vids can soon be dated plus you might need to make notes (which isn't needed with a sticky Post/Article)

    My 2 cents
    My personal opinion is that your approach @Zeus. is probably the best, and more likely to succeed than a training with examination. As you say, the OP can continuously update, when new insights and corrections come up, and the material stays up to date at low cost of maintenance. Also, as various members will review and comment, there is an element of quality control to it. So we may see the first post, continuously updated as the consensus 'must read' for newbies or anyone interested in a refresher, and the posts deeper in the thread as opinions from members who may have different perspectives (as is more often the rule than exception in our hobby :ROFLMAO:).

    Some of these articles are going to be a lot of fun, and may trigger some excitement in our community (volunteers please on BBA, lean dosing and toxicity). But here is also a challenge, on a serious note, as we sometimes simply don't have a consensus opinion, even not for beginners, or we can't isolate one particular element from all the rest that is going on in the tank. The journey is more fun than the destination as they say
     
    I think articles are a better fit for the hobby. I feel like for formal courses to work there needs to be lots of consensus on stuff that we don't have. Even basic stuff like cycling has different schools of thought.

    I'd be interested in articles that both work to establish consensus on different topics (within the forum if not across the hobby as a whole) and articles where experienced individuals can drill into their personal approach or pet issues, even if - especially if! - that conflicts with the current group thinking.
     
    Having been a teacher and university lecturer and thinking about the mechanics and investment needed to develop a syllabus and then deliver it online, I definitely think articles are a better fit.

    They’re great for stimulating discussion. And are easy to update when new info comes along. It’s also easy to incorporate other members knowledge, when appropriate. So they can become a joint effort. I think this is how Tom Barr et al. developed EI.

    And, for instance, I also proofread and helped @Zeus. out with the CO2 article. I have a couple articles of my own I’d be willing to share here if that’d be helpful. And it’d be fairly easy to put a planted tank/aquascaping glossary together too.
     
    It looks like, so far and for good reasons, articles are being favored to courses. I appreciate everyone's input here.

    Apart from the actual content of the articles, it is important to organize them in a way that makes them easy to find. We have a few options:
    1. We can have them in a regular article post (in a forum) and then sticky that thread. This is quick and easy. The downside to this is that a) someone has to go to a forum and then discover it as a sticky, and b) there is no way to organize them further so the list may get pretty long. It isn't easy to find an article on CO2, for example, if you need to scroll through a long list of other water chemistry articles.
    2. We can create a forum just for articles but we face the same organizational issues. Again, this is easy but it gets disorganized the more articles we have.
    3. We use an article management system like Reef2Reef uses. We already own the add-on that they use. The benefits I see to this is organization and easy to zero in on the subject you want. The potential downside is that it is not in the forum structure so you have to click on the navigation bar to get to the article section.
    Would really appreciate your thoughts on which one of the above you think would work best.

    As always, thanks!
     
    Would really appreciate your thoughts on which one of the above you think would work best.

    I think the method of how the stickys/articles are shown, from all groups together to individual subsections for each topic, will evolve over time as the content increases and users/visitors to the forum changes over time.

    So initially I would suggest the easy/simple route.
     
    So initially I would suggest the easy/simple route.
    I agree with you about the evolution and the number of articles increasing over time. The downside to the easy route is that it will be much more difficult to move the posts into articles later. Essentially, it will be a huge cut and paste job because there is no way to convert a post to an article.

    This is one of those situations that you want to set up the organizational structure and then let it populate slowly over time.
     
    The downside to the easy route is that it will be much more difficult to move the posts into articles later.

    I like the stick thread, one post easy to update, move it to say ' Sticky thread' subsection initially. Easy for folk to find add comments or needed corrections. Then say its about CO2 when there is enough content on CO2. make CO2 sub section and move any relevant stickys/threads to CO2 subsection. And so on.............................

    Making subsections before there's enough content can make it look very empty/lonely :cry: IMO
     
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