I am looking for a free online (Q & A) platform service for using in my math classes which permits the students to ask their questions, and supports Mathjax/Latex like on Mathoverflow/Math.SE/Matheducators and its platform resembles to that of stackexchange websites.

I already know the service piazza but its platform is not as user-friendly as that of stackexchange websites. If there is not such a service, suggesting any other alternative would be helpful.

  • $\begingroup$ Unable to find an alternative. $\endgroup$ – Name Sep 22 '15 at 6:28
  • $\begingroup$ Since this question is now over 5 years old, has Piazza improved to your liking? $\endgroup$ – Nick C Dec 2 '20 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Name: Could you elaborate a little more on what exactly is not user-friendly about piazza? I'm not trying to defend their product, but if you share some specific criticisms, that may help us find an alternative for you. $\endgroup$ – Brendan W. Sullivan Dec 10 '20 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ By complete coincidence, I just received an email alert from Piazza that they are moving to a paid/ad model in 2021. So, there's that. $\endgroup$ – Brendan W. Sullivan Dec 10 '20 at 17:19

I'd just give them a sort lecture on the etiquette at MSE, caution them that the teacher and the assistants will be keeping an eye on the site and deal with "Please do my homework" appropriately, and let them loose. Just having the same people (class mates, assistants) answering questions gives a narrow range of answers, learning how to find relevant material by themselves is very valuable, being able to answer questions from others helps building confidence.

To counter "copy/paste" homework (which will happen regardless) my assistants select a small group "at random", their grade is according to an oral interrogation on what they turned in. I'm not interested in them doing the work on their own as much as I'm interested in them understanding what they turned in.

  • $\begingroup$ @RoryDaulton, fixed as you say. Get those mixed up all the time. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – vonbrand Aug 7 '15 at 17:31

Some Stanford lecturers are switching to Ed discussion as an alternative based on this recent article from Stanford daily.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The OP says they want something free. Ed isn't free, is it? All they have on their site that you linked to is an offer to "book a demo." $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Dec 2 '20 at 14:12

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