Earn karma points

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Using social networks to provide community learning and peer support
The OERu and the WikiEducator community is an international philanthropic collaboration to widen access to free learning opportunities using open educational resources (OER). We rely on your help to support each other.

You determine the quality of our support. Through the Karma system users earn rights to perform a variety of moderation tasks:

  • As a learner, you can reward and thank our volunteers by voting on questions and answers you find particularly useful. This is how our volunteers build reputation and earn "karma" points.
  • Share the gift of knowledge by providing answers to the list of unanswered questions.
  • If you don't find a question you are looking for, you can help future learners by adding your question to the data base.

In this section we explain:

  • how community members earn karma points, and
  • the reputation system for unlocking moderation features of the software.

How do academic volunteers earn reputation points?

When a question or answer is voted up, the user who posted them will gain points. These reputation points are called "karma points". Karma points serve as a rough measure of the community trust in the user. As community members earn more "Karma", various moderation tasks are gradually assigned to the users based on those points.

For example, if you ask an interesting question or give a helpful answer, your input can be voted up by a community member. On the other hand if the answer is misleading - it can be voted down. Your participation in these community voting activities is important for moderating and improving the quality of our volunteer learner question and answer support forum.

Each vote in favor will generate 10 points, each vote against will subtract 1 points. Over time the best questions and answers emerge through your participation.

Basic rules of the karma system

Icon key points.gif
Key points
The karma system is based on the following rules:
  • There is a limit of 200 points that can be accumulated for a question or answer per day.
  • Users are restricted to 30 votes per day. When logged into the system, you can check your remaining votes for the day by clicking on your Username link which you will find on the top right-hand side of your screen.
  • You can't vote more than once for a question or answer. However, you can change your original votes.
  • Users can't vote for their own questions or answers.
  • Users can't earn karma points for questions or answers assigned to the community wiki which enables community members with sufficient points to edit questions collaboratively. A minimum of 75 Karma points are needed to edit a wiki community question.

Point thresholds for different moderation tasks

The points accumulate provides a rough measure of the community trust in the user. The responsibility level of moderation tasks increase as community trust is earned through participation in question and answer community. The thresholds for different moderation tasks may change over time as our community experience matures. Changes in the thresholds will be determined by the community and updated on this page.

The table below explains the minimum reputation thresholds for increased responsibility and corresponding moderation privileges provided by the software.

Moderation privilege Required Karma points Explanation
Upvote 5 Voting up answers or questions is the first feature enabled by the software. It requires users to post questions and answers which earn points from other users who have already earned the right to vote.
Add comments 10 The next step in the process is active engagement in commenting on questions and answers.
Downvote 50 Voting down a question or answer requires a higher level of demonstrated engagement to earn this level of trust.
Accept own answer to own questions 20 The system is designed on the assumption that the proposer of the question is in a good position to accept the correct (or best) answer. Consequently accepting your own answer to your own question requires a higher level of trust determined by community votes on answers to other questions.
Open and close own questions 25 Based on the principle that the question proposer is best positioned to determine whether a question has been answered correctly, they have the ability to close a question and are required to provide publish their reason publicly. For example: "Question is answered and right answer was accepted"
Retag other's questions 50 The use of tags is an important feature in finding questions associated with specific courses or topics. The ability to retag requires some community experience in the use of tags thus requiring a higher reputation to retag other's questions
Edit community wiki questions 75 Users who post community wiki questions do not earn karma points for votes open wiki questions, therefore a higher level of community trust is required for open editing.
Edit and answer 200 Editing answers posted by other members requires a higher level of experience with the technology and corresponding levels of community trust.
Delete any comment 200 The ability to delete comments requires higher levels of trust and experience in the community.

How can academic volunteers monitor their karma points?

Current level of Karma points displayed next to Username
When you are logged into ask.OERu.org your Karma points are displayed next to your username. Karma points are also displayed on the profile pages of registered users. A list of users can be accessed by clicking on the "People" link at the top right-hand side of your screen.

Users can also access a public history of their Karma from the individual's personal user page by clicking on the "Karma" link which displays a graph and Karma change log.