Tips on how to comment

Hi everyone!

Prof. Hertzberg introduced me in class on Monday, but for those of you who didn’t catch it, my name is Thomas Briedis and I am taking over for Suchit as the TA for Aesthetics of Design. So far, I’ve read the posts and comments for the week before spring break and have started to look at this week’s posts. It’s been fun! I’m impressed by so many of your projects, and am looking forward to following them for the next month or so!

That being said, I do have a few suggestions on how to write comments that I hope will help you all get full scores in the coming weeks. For most of you, the amount of extra work you need to put down to get a full score isn’t very significant.

The purpose of the comments for Aesthetics of Design is to give useful feedback to the authors of the posts you are commenting on. This feedback should include something that can help improve a project. Simply posting “This is a cool project, I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out!” is of course a nice comment to receive, but it isn’t directly helpful. Try to ask a question, see if you can think of a solution to a problem that the author is struggling with, or maybe you notice a potential obstacle that he or she hasn’t thought about. Many of you will have experience prior to this class that you can share. You may know of places where you can get good deals on carbon fiber, or that bearings from one supplier work better than those from another. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, nor very time consuming to write comments like this. At the end of the day, you will all benefit from it.

I know that Prof. Hertzberg has talked about ways to formulate this kind of feedback. One of the most famous techniques is the Sandwich Technique were you “sandwich” constructive criticism in between positive feedback. If you would rather use a different technique, that’s okay with me, but make sure to give some positive feedback amongst the constructive criticism.

Finally, I have received some questions by email that indicate a need for clarification on the commenting rules. The general rule is to write at least one comment on a teammate’s post, and one on a random post. However, if all of your teammates already have more than one comment on their posts, you may go ahead and substitute writing a comment on a teammate’s post for a comment on a random post that does not yet have any comments. You may do the same if none of your teammates have written a post by the day the comments are due. If you end up not commenting on a teammate’s post for one of these reasons, it may be a good idea to let me know by email, just to make sure I give you full credit.

Thank you all for your time! Let me know if there are any questions! Good luck commenting!

Thomas

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