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Loony Londo

Earthcaches

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I had thought that Earthcaches were meant to be educational and you learned from

1) preparing your answers to the question asked by the earthcache web page

 

2) receiving feed back from the cache owner

 

Three times recently I have prepared my answers to an earthcache and sent off my replies and heard nothing from the cache owner.

 

I feel that to complete the educationalional experience the cache owner should always reply with the answers or at least whether you are right or wrong..

Do other earth cacheowners agree?

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Well, it's not covered in the guidelines but is common sense for me. Finders of our ecs always get an answer and a thank you, and I know you do that as well with yours. I wish more people would, really :(

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I agree with you 100% Loony Londo. Every e-mail answer to my EC's receives a response from me - including a thank you. IMHO that is the LEAST a CO can do.

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EC owners are under no obligation to respond just as virtual owners are not obligated. I would just assume your answers are correct or correct enough to not need further discussion.

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I figure the educational experience was the earthcache and the presentation from the CO on the cache page.

If I don't receive a reply from the CO, I assume I did learn the lesson, correctly answering whatever educational requirements were asked.

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I feel that to complete the educationalional experience the cache owner should always reply with the answers or at least whether you are right or wrong..

Do other earth cacheowners agree?

 

I'm not an EC-owner (as I'm not willing to comply with the language guideline and be forced to offer my caches in German too), but I hope you do not mind if I post in this thread too.

 

I'm very frustrated by having received no replies to the big majority of my EC answer mails and this included cases where I clearly wrote that I'm not sure about some answers and even

mentioned several variants not all of them can be true and on what aspects I'd appreciate more information.

 

The reason for no reply in those cases could hardly be that there is nothing to comment on in my answer mail. It is rather that only a small minority of EC owners really cares about the educational

aspect at all. I guess most would only react if they receive no answers at all, some not even in such a case. However it also appears that the majority of EC loggers does not care either.

Judging from the logs on ECs where I found it difficult to come up with definite answers to some questions, the average logs leaves me with the impression that the authors of these logs did not

even think about the aspects that bothered me.

 

From the educational point of view, ECs are a big failure in my area - they can serve as a guidances for locations of geological interest to be visited, but nothing more. There are a few exceptions of course.

 

Meanwhile I'm not any longer disappointed when I receive no reply, but rather positively surprised if I receive a reply and even more if it refers to what I have written and not only tells me that something like

"Ok." To make things worse, there are even ECs which teach wrong things, like one in my area where people are led to a deposit of leucophylitte and are taught a lesson about talc - the big majority gratefully thanks the

EC creator for being led to talc and having learnt about talc at the site.

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I always respond, but it's rare that someone gets something blatantly incorrect in their response.

 

Remember that Earthcache owners are just geocachers and imperfect human beings. Like everyone else, they get busy, or let things slip their mind.

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I figure the educational experience was the earthcache and the presentation from the CO on the cache page.

If I don't receive a reply from the CO, I assume I did learn the lesson, correctly answering whatever educational requirements were asked.

I go even further: the educational experience is whatever I put into it, which I demonstrate to myself by writing up coherent answers. Just like in school, the grade is just a stroke that has no bearing on the educational experience. If I think there's a danger my answer isn't going to be accepted, I go back myself to study more, I don't bother making the CO tell me I'm wrong.

 

Good thing, too, since while I do normally get a response from the EarthCache owner, the responses are almost always stock text that's entirely neutral on whether I actually got the answers right. That makes me suspect that most COs are primarily interested in whether people put in the effort and don't really want to penalize someone that tried but, for whatever reason, didn't actually learn the lesson. And you know what? I don't think I want to be penalized if I misunderstood a question or misidentified a stratum or made a really bad estimate (although, of course, I acknowledge that the CO is free to be as strict as he wants to be).

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I feel that to complete the educationalional experience the cache owner should always reply with the answers or at least whether you are right or wrong..

Do other earth cacheowners agree?

 

No, I do not agree. But, normally I respond with a "thanks for the visit" message to the finder.

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I feel that to complete the educationalional experience the cache owner should always reply with the answers or at least whether you are right or wrong..

Do other earth cacheowners agree?

 

No, I do not agree. But, normally I respond with a "thanks for the visit" message to the finder.

 

I do not know your ECs, but personally it's a reply that is related to my answers and comments I appreciate to receive.

I do not mind to receive a thanks for the visit, but that's not at all what I care about (like for any other cache too).

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I go even further: the educational experience is whatever I put into it, which I demonstrate to myself by writing up coherent answers. Just like in school, the grade is just a stroke that has no bearing on the educational experience.

 

Apparently your view and mine on learning do not match. The important input from the teacher's side is not a grade even though unfortunately so much value is put on grades.

 

While I do not regard ECs as exams, even in the case of an exam, a good teacher will make students learn something in addition at the exam stage and will have more important things to convey than just a grade.

 

 

If I think there's a danger my answer isn't going to be accepted, I go back myself to study more, I don't bother making the CO tell me I'm wrong.

 

The important aspect for me is to learn and to get feedback on the aspects I'm not sure about and not getting accepted my answers.

In the ideal case answers to an EC should be accepted also if some detail of the answer was not correct or someone asked a question.

 

My doubts about my sent in answers for ECs have never been at the level that I feared to be denied a found it log but my goal is not to increase my number of logs for ECs. The learning process is not satisfactory to me when it is only about whether my answers are sufficient for a log.

 

It's a completely different issue not to accept answers/allow a log and to provide some feedback, additional information etc.

 

For example, I have not yet denied anyone who did my virtual a found it log even though some people got some answers wrong. Most have been ambitious and wanted to rework their answers if they got something completely wrong, but noone was forced to do that as all of them have demonstrated that they dealt with the matter. In some cases my comments are just minor comments providing extra detail depending on what someone wrote me. For example, if they are unsure about something or ask a question, they will always receive a reply taking care of these aspects and sometimes I provide them with links, additional references etc if someone shows an extended interest.

 

That makes me suspect that most COs are primarily interested in whether people put in the effort and don't really want to penalize someone that tried but, for whatever reason, didn't actually learn the lesson.

 

Providing feedback on sent in answers is not any sort of penalization (of course assuming that the feedback is properly formulated and not

like "you idiot, you failed on everything"=.

 

And you know what? I don't think I want to be penalized if I misunderstood a question or misidentified a stratum or made a really bad estimate (although, of course, I acknowledge that the CO is free to be as strict as he wants to be).

 

Don't you want to be told that you misunderstood something or maybe made a mistake? I want to know that and it definitely helps me in my personal learning process.

 

Not everything can perfectly learnt in self study manner without any form of external feedback. Of course it is not about questions like "Estimate the height of the rock" that I have in mind, but for example, it is not always easy to determine what kind of rock one encountered at the site and there is nothing bad with having doubts about one's most likely answer.

 

When visiting EC sites I typically leave with more questions than I had before.

Edited by cezanne

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I can't remember the last time that a EC owner contacted me, other than the one in Tennessee that deleted my find because they did not like my photo. I had to contact GSA to have my find reinstated. Same EC owner did this to my account in two States, so it was a personal issue and not an issue about my answers. :(

 

I enjoyed EarthCaches more when they were not educational, but took you to interesting places. Now that they must teach a lesson on geology, I don't care much for them at all, and moved on to the Waymarking site to get my "Earth Caching/Virtual" fix. :)

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The important aspect for me is to learn and to get feedback on the aspects I'm not sure about and not getting accepted my answers.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect EC owners to be tutors.

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The important aspect for me is to learn and to get feedback on the aspects I'm not sure about and not getting accepted my answers.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect EC owners to be tutors.

 

It hardly makes sense to ask questions in an EC and then not to care about the anwers and whether people understood the concepts and have been able to answer all questions completely (why then bother to ask the questions? just to get the cache published?).

 

Read through e.g. some of the questions raised in ECs by terratin (I use them as example as the caches are available in English and have questions that are not trivial to answer). Not receiving a feedback to one's attempt to answer such questions and one's attempt to come up with explanations for the sent answers, weakens the laerning effect considerably.

 

Personally, I think that with the way ECs are run right now in my area they fail to meet their highly set educational goal.

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It hardly makes sense to ask questions in an EC and then not to care about the anwers and whether people understood the concepts and have been able to answer all questions completely (why then bother to ask the questions? just to get the cache published?).

They ask questions so they can confirm you made an effort to understand the lesson.

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The important aspect for me is to learn and to get feedback on the aspects I'm not sure about and not getting accepted my answers.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect EC owners to be tutors.

 

I have about 40 Earthcaches. I send notes to most people that email me. If someone has additional questions, or want to know if they were missing the mark, i will do my best to answer. However, if someone sends a TFTC on the log, and a bare minimum of an answer, I sometimes will not respond. They took no time or effort to reward me with a nice log or email. They had two chances to let me know. If the answers are correct but minimal, why would I want to.

 

My job as an Earthcache owner is to teach them about the location, and make sure they send in answers. It is a bonus if they are exited, interested enough, or want to know more. In those instances I try to respond.

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It hardly makes sense to ask questions in an EC and then not to care about the anwers and whether people understood the concepts and have been able to answer all questions completely (why then bother to ask the questions? just to get the cache published?).

They ask questions so they can confirm you made an effort to understand the lesson.

 

Actually just making an effort does feel shale to me. For being to learn, I need to know whether I'm right or wrong in my conclusions (sometimes the most effective learning comes from mistakes).

 

What you wrote made me wonder whether if the EC owners cannot be expected to reply to the sent in answers, there could be at least the option to get access to the EC owner's version of the answers once the EC owner clicks a checkbox clearing that account for the access.

 

I need to admit that is very unsatisfactory for me if for example I'm asked which one of five listed varieties of a certain mineral is to be found at the EC location and I answer that I could not decide between A and B (with explaining all what I tried to take into account) and that I wonder whether possibly both could be present, and I receive no reply whatsoever.

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The reason why I published earthcaches is I love urban geology and being able to walk to a spot in Central London to find rocks which are milions of years old covered with fossils. I want to share that excitment by having details of these sites on the web as earthcaches. I want people to learn how to look and analysis what they see.

 

I find it hard to understand why peple design earthcahes and do not want to help people understand them by letting people know the correct answers?

 

I think the guidelines need to be altered to say that earth cache owners are strongly urged to answer . every email they receive . Perhaps when they apply to publish an earthcache they should be asked to tick a box undertaking to answers all emails sent to them. I would propose that the web pages should make it clear earthcache ownership can be great fun but they do require some work. Lets keep earthcaches special . It is not about the numbers!

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I figure the educational experience was the earthcache and the presentation from the CO on the cache page.

If I don't receive a reply from the CO, I assume I did learn the lesson, correctly answering whatever educational requirements were asked.

 

This is how I see it too.

 

However, it is nice if the CO replies, even if it's only "You're Correct"

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I own 20 Earth Caches, I reply to 99.3 percent of the emails

When I reply, they get a "Great Job, Thanks for visiting my EC" type of response

 

If 1 or more answers are incorrect, I'll usually let them know the correct answers.

 

Right after the MEGA event I co-host is usually when I miss an email or 2

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