In CSE 241-Databases and Systems and Applications, we use a website called Piazza. Piazza is a sort of social network like environment for classroom usage. In Piazza, students can ask questions to both their fellow students and instructors alike. Instructors can also post pertinent information such as room changes, class cancellations, homework tips, and anything else. Students can choose to post question anonymously if they would rather not expose their identity. This gets rid of the common barrier of “I don’t want to ask a stupid question.” This Q and A board is helpful because sometimes you might have been wondering about something and someone else might have asked the question already. This also adds a sense of community in the class. Students can also choose to directly ask instructors. Besides this Q and A board, Piazza also contains a resource section. In CSE 241, coursesite is only used to homework submission; the actual assignments are posted on Piazza instead. The resource section also contains class notes and the syllabus. Personally, I think Piazza, is pretty useful since no one really uses the coursesite discussion option (most people do not even know about it!). The only issue might be an excess of notifications if your email settings are not changed.
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