Welcome - Introduction - Finding Experts - Validating Experts - Hints & Tips - Conclusion

Ask-an-Expert Projects

Hints and Tips for Eliciting Responses

Hints and Tips for Eliciting Responses
   Now that you've seen a couple Ask-an-Expert sites, I'm sure you're eager to use online experts in your lesson. Before you begin, you should know that every Ask-an-Expert web site is slightly different and has different rules for submitting questions. Some will answer any question submitted while others select only a few.  Some sites have very quick response times while others may take days or even weeks. Keep in mind that most experts offer their services voluntarily. Here are some hints and tips to elicit responses:

Review the rules for submitting questions. Your question may already be answered in a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section.
Don't ask simple questions that can be researched easily. For example a NASA expert may not answer what "NASA" stands for. 
Experts will generally not answer "homework style" questions (e.g. "X+1=6, what is X?"). They will assist students with problem-solving skills or direct them to appropriate research sites and materials.
Include the grade level and location of your class in the message. Experts try to respond appropriately to the student's grade level so a 4th grader would not receive an answer involving advanced calculus.
Send a test message to the expert prior to using him/her in the classroom to gauge age appropriateness and response time.
Interactions with experts can expose students to new career paths. Asking questions about what the expert does as part of their job are just as valid as asking subject specific questions.

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