Introduce the idea of piazza and what it is
Piazza is a social platform for students, designed to make the work of their professors that much easier. Students post assignments, discuss them with their classmates, and keep track of the entire course material. It is used not only by professors but also by instructors in the form of ‘Badges.’ Piazza is the official social media platform for many of the top universities and colleges in the world. Although Piazza was made for students, anyone can create an account and use it as a form of discussion forum, Twitter, or Reddit. It is also called a “teach platform” because it makes learning easier by providing everything necessary at once.
Talk about how anonymity is important to the success of piazza
On Piazza, there are two kinds of users: instructors who create courses and students that use the platform as a resource to learn. Both types of users are anonymous throughout the entirety of their experience on Piazza. Instructors can choose whether or not they want to be anonymous when they first sign up for an account. They can also chose to show their name on the course’s ‘About’ page. There is a similar option for students as well. They can choose to show their name and email on the course page. These options allow users to have their identity on Piazza or to be completely anonymous. However, it’s more common for instructors to choose the option of anonymity, which is what I think makes the platform very unique and special.
Discuss different ways that anonymity can be maintained on piazza
Instructors can choose to stay anonymous and, even then, they can edit their information on the course’s About page. There is also a PageRank system in which pages with a higher number of comments are ranked higher than others. Instructors can also manually remove any comments made on their own post or that of another instructor. Furthermore, Instructors can choose to exclude their page from other students’ searches by inputting the keyword ‘not’ in front of the name of their course.
Students can stay anonymous as well. They are allowed to choose not to reveal anything about their private information. If they do chose to reveal, they have the ability to remove comments made by other students that divulge personal information about themselves.
Another way students can be anonymous is if they chose not to use the full name school option on the piazza email registration form. Some students feel like this is needed because of some schools identities being easily traceable in the piazza domain space.
Explain why maintaining anonymity is important for both users and developers
For users, maintaining anonymity is important in that it encourages a culture of collaboration and discussion. When users are anonymous or have the choice to be anonymous, they are more apt to treat each other with respect and kindness. For example, when a user is anonymous or has the choice to be anonymous, they are able to share their thoughts about course material with other users for the sole purpose of learning rather than profit. There is no need for them to be concerned about how their words will be received.
Additionally, users will be able to enjoy using the piazza forums without fear of discrimination or being intimidated by other members who are openly hostile.
For developers, maintaining anonymity is important in that it helps encourage users to freely give their honest opinions and suggestions without any restraint. Issues and changes can be discussed on the forums without fear of losing face or receiving any negative feedback. When users are anonymous, they feel more comfortable speaking their minds because they know they will not have to worry about what others think of them.
Additionally, it is important to developers that users can freely give their respectful criticism of the software without being labeled as rude or stupid. There is a much better chance that they will be able to correct issues and improve the software if they are anonymous.
Summarize the benefits of an anonymous platform like piazza
For both users and developers, anonymity is an important part of the learning process. For students, it allows them to discuss course material without being concerned with whether they are receiving credit or not. This can lead to more productive discussions between students and a higher overall learning experience. Developers can also get better feedback while they’re creating their course material on Piazza as they are not distracted by the names of students who might take the class. Students are less likely to be biased against instructors when they’re anonymous, which is important to note when grading assignments. Finally, it can be a relief for instructors to have students discuss course material and interact with one another because it takes some of the burden off of them.
Students are also able to use Piazza anonymously for non-course material. For example, students can ask questions about their major or the college campus in general without being concerned about their anonymity. Students have been known to ask questions about how to find housing, navigate campus, and even how to apply for jobs while being anonymous.
This lack of perspective can be dangerous for students and developers alike. The anonymity on Piazza lends itself to the spread of rumors, which can cause a bad reputation for an organization or individual. In the past, there have been instances in which university professors have been falsely accused slanderously because of comments made on Piazza under their name. For developers, it is important to use a professional name when posting content to Piazza as well as keep certain information out of the public eye (such as home addresses and phone numbers).