A Cat-Preserving Operation (catamorphism) wrote in suggestions,
A Cat-Preserving Operation

Add information about degrees granted to Schools section of userinfo

Add information about degrees granted to Schools section of userinfo

Short, concise description of the idea
Within the Schools field of userinfo, there should be a way to specific whether you (a) received a degree from a given school -- and if so, what degree, in what year; (b) attended that school without graduating; (c) took classes at that school as a non-degree-seeking student; or (d) perhaps there are other possibilities I'm forgetting.

Full description of the idea
For example, my userinfo lists five schools I attended. It would be nice if I could specify that I received a B.A. in 2001 from Wellesley, received an M.S. in 2004 from Berkeley and am currently attending Berkeley with the goal of an M.I.M.S., and took classes as a non-degree-seeking student at U/Mass, Brandeis, and MIT.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Allows users to specify information about themselves more precisely
  • Allows users searching for other users by school to more precisely refine their search results

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Might be confusing for users who don't understand the difference between being a degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking student
  • Might be confusing to apply this idea to high schools (which generally don't allow non-degree-seeking student)
  • Might be difficult to come up with a list of all possible degrees (though it's easy to list the most common ones)

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • The database schema that represents school information would need to be changed.
  • The code for displaying data in the userinfo would also need to be changed.
  • Finally, the UI for managing school info would need to be changed to provide a way for users to enter this data.

Edit: A lot of people are saying "why not just put this info in your bio?" My philosophy is that if it's possible to encode information in a standard way, you should. The bio is for data that can't be captured by any fixed schema. If a lot of people are going to include their graduation year in their userinfo, there should be a standard field for it so that it can be searched on and so that everyone knows where to look for it.
Tags: schools directory, ~ submitted - needs retagging
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