It’s not often that I make a ranty type post however I wanted to document a few of my thoughts.
Having “teachers pets” or favourites in a class can hinder the growth of other members, as they are overshadowed, ignored and intimidated to come forward.
People who are typically confident and vocal in a subject should ask themselves:
- Do you have to prove you are the top of the subject?
- Could someone else answer a question?
- Could someone else use your assistance or the assistance of a tutor?
For everyone else
- Afraid to speak out in front of people knowledgeable?
- Afraid to interrupt a tutor whilst they are spending large amounts of time with the “teachers pets”?
- Have reached a hurdle and feel that you could progress more with further contact time?
I’m not denying the talent that some people have, and that it can be good for staff to praise and spend time with them, however they already know their stuff and don’t require as much interaction.
Having spent a long time monitoring the games development industry I can find some similarities, the vocal and confident people seem to get developers attention, for example people calling for a nerf and complaining on forums. Compared with the people who either accept things quietly or are intimidated by forum trolls who shout them down.
Companies should find ways to engage the widest audience, not just the vocal few. People who shout loudest are rarely representative of the majority, or right.
Engagement could be through things like anonymous, or unobtrusive, simple to use polls, or reaching out to all members though things like the account center, so everyone has equal access.
Having feedback discussion on a forum thread is a horrendous idea, as the forum mentality breeds trolls.