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brendan714

Earthcache log - What would you do?

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If someone writes answers to 4 of 5 questions, he has learned pretty much (speaking of my own EarthCaches). So teaching for the last question is okay.

 

Ah - that's not quite the same as your OP:

 

I'm super relaxed if I get answers whith missing things or wrong answers. I explain the missing things and if a geocacher forgot to solve a part I encourage him to take a closer look at the next time he should be in this area. The EarthCache can be logged for sure. :omnomnom:

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I explain what was wrong. It depends on the answers, if the message with the answers is almost empty or I see that the geocacher wasn't in the field I would maybe delete the log. But this isn't happening here in my region. I own 10 EarthCaches since January and all answers and logs are really good and long. So no problems here.

 

I don't think I've ever had to delete someone who answered the questions. I can only remember deleting logs when I received no response at all.

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If someone writes answers to 4 of 5 questions, he has learned pretty much (speaking of my own EarthCaches). So teaching for the last question is okay.

 

Ah - that's not quite the same as your OP:

 

I'm super relaxed if I get answers whith missing things or wrong answers. I explain the missing things and if a geocacher forgot to solve a part I encourage him to take a closer look at the next time he should be in this area. The EarthCache can be logged for sure. :omnomnom:

 

Seems to me there are several things to think about:

 

1. How exactly can you "provide an earth science lesson" (as stated in the EarthCache Guidelines) and 2. What can you have the cacher do to show he attempted to learn that lesson. Then we can look at the 3rd: Evaluate whether the cacher learned.

 

I've never been a teacher (not enough patience) so the first two items are always the hardest for me when creating a new EC. But that's a different thread.

 

If the cacher only answers 4 out of 5 of the questions I have posed, (or only gets 4 of 5 correct) has he learned the lesson? Perhaps he has, but he has only earned a B or C on the test. But we aren't giving grades, we can only give pass/fail ratings. Do I fail him (delete his log) or go over the missing answer to reinforce the lesson? I usually choose to let the log stand and give an explanation. Not everyone is going to fully understand the topic by reading a few short paragraphs, especially if they have no science background.

 

The purpose of the EarthCache is only to provide the opportunity to learn, not make sure that every cacher is now an expert on the topic. How many students promptly forget everything after a test? (Don't bother asking me who was president during the War of 1812. But I got an A in American History.) If they make the effort, then I feel a smiley should be allowed. (And, no, I am not in favor of every kid on a sports team being given a trophy just for showing up to the games. This cheapens the performance of those kids that make all the practices, work out by themselves and get good. But if all we can do is give a cacher a pass or fail, then that is what I will do. No "Most Valuable EarthCacher" awards, except in my response to their answers.)

 

Back to the original post: Aside from the cachers who never sent any answers, I've only deleted one log. A cacher answered the easiest of 4 questions, then said he got bored and went to look at the pretty view. He failed.

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Seems to me there are several things to think about:

 

1. How exactly can you "provide an earth science lesson" (as stated in the EarthCache Guidelines) and 2. What can you have the cacher do to show he attempted to learn that lesson. Then we can look at the 3rd: Evaluate whether the cacher learned.

 

I've never been a teacher (not enough patience) so the first two items are always the hardest for me when creating a new EC. But that's a different thread.

 

If the cacher only answers 4 out of 5 of the questions I have posed, (or only gets 4 of 5 correct) has he learned the lesson? Perhaps he has, but he has only earned a B or C on the test. But we aren't giving grades, we can only give pass/fail ratings. Do I fail him (delete his log) or go over the missing answer to reinforce the lesson? I usually choose to let the log stand and give an explanation. Not everyone is going to fully understand the topic by reading a few short paragraphs, especially if they have no science background.

 

The purpose of the EarthCache is only to provide the opportunity to learn, not make sure that every cacher is now an expert on the topic. How many students promptly forget everything after a test? (Don't bother asking me who was president during the War of 1812. But I got an A in American History.) If they make the effort, then I feel a smiley should be allowed. (And, no, I am not in favor of every kid on a sports team being given a trophy just for showing up to the games. This cheapens the performance of those kids that make all the practices, work out by themselves and get good. But if all we can do is give a cacher a pass or fail, then that is what I will do. No "Most Valuable EarthCacher" awards, except in my response to their answers.)

 

Back to the original post: Aside from the cachers who never sent any answers, I've only deleted one log. A cacher answered the easiest of 4 questions, then said he got bored and went to look at the pretty view. He failed.

 

I help my nephew with his EarthCache. It's at a local iron mine. Bring a magnet and a compass, and find iron ore and magnetite. Astounds a lot of cachers! Pictures of magnetic key-holders clinging to the iron ore. Compasses pointing in different directions depending where the magnetite is. Simple but fun!

A couple of cachers came through and logged TFTC. No answers to the questions. My nephew e-mailed them asking for the answers. One deleted her log. The other relogged when his find was deleted, and insulted my nephew. This was brought to GS's attention.

Everyone else came here to try to learn something, and answer the questions. Whether they answered all the questions correctly is not relevant. They tried, and they learned something. And most enjoyed it.

On the other fin, we've seen a number of EarthCaches That don't seem to be teaching anything. Like the series in the landfill.

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This has been such an entertaining thread that I want to join in the fun too – though I’ll probably get blasted out of the water for my heretical views. I’ve always wanted to go to the annual Earthcache Event to discuss many of these ideas.

 

We’ve logged over 1,000 and developed 30 (gave one away and one is pending) earthcaches. We do it because it’s fun. We do it because it brings us to interesting places. For us, the “learning” experience is not about passing the CO’s test, but learning about where we are and what we’re seeing. I’ve gotten pissed when the CO requires doctoral answers. It takes the fun out of it. I’m fine with lame questions. Just bring us to an awesome place and tell us what we’re looking at. I don’t want to be a geologist. Don’t give me a lot of gobbledygook. Tell me what’s interesting about the place. I’m also ok with questions from a sign. I can learn from that. That’s why they’re there. I might not have read the sign if you hadn’t asked questions from it.

 

All this being said, my response to your original question is a question. How did it feel to delete their log? How does it feel to go back and forth with them over this? I don’t know about you or the other posters, but I get an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. Kinda takes the fun out of it for me. Maybe I’m just not self-righteous enough to feel good about it. I might call them on it, but I wouldn’t delete their log. They were there. If I wanted to “educate” them, I might tell them that they were missing the point by going at night, and that LPC’s were a much easier smiley. It’s obvious that’s all they were interested in.

 

At the end of the day though, it’s just a smiley, and just a game, and cheaters will be cheaters. Cheaters aren’t hurting you by logging your traditional cache without signing the log, or by logging your earthcache from their armchair. As we all know, they are the ones who are being hurt by their dishonest behavior. Your deletion doesn’t change that. It just creates angst.

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All this being said, my response to your original question is a question. How did it feel to delete their log? How does it feel to go back and forth with them over this? I don’t know about you or the other posters, but I get an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. Kinda takes the fun out of it for me. Maybe I’m just not self-righteous enough to feel good about it.

The key is to not consider yourself an antagonist. We're all friends here. If you have to point out a problem or even delete a log, you should do it assuming it's an honest mistake that will soon be corrected, perhaps requiring your help. There's no reason to consider any other possibility or imagine any unsavory motives by the other player. No matter how obvious you think it is that they're cheating, as you've discovered, it takes all the fun out of it to believe they are, so don't.

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To go a little further on this, what about those who send the following instead of answers?

 

"My English is bad and I couldn't understand all the questions so I didn't answer any."

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To go a little further on this, what about those who send the following instead of answers?

 

"My English is bad and I couldn't understand all the questions so I didn't answer any."

 

Delete for failure to meet logging requirements.

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To go a little further on this, what about those who send the following instead of answers?

 

"My English is bad and I couldn't understand all the questions so I didn't answer any."

Delete for failure to meet logging requirements.

+1

Yeah, I agree.

If their English was that bad, and they didn't trust google, really odd they even headed to it.

Sounds like just another, "see what I can get away with" to me. :)

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To go a little further on this, what about those who send the following instead of answers?

 

"My English is bad and I couldn't understand all the questions so I didn't answer any."

Delete for failure to meet logging requirements.
+1

Yeah, I agree.

If their English was that bad, and they didn't trust google, really odd they even headed to it.

Sounds like just another, "see what I can get away with" to me. :)

Ditto.

 

I cut people a lot of slack with wrong answers to my EC questions, as long as it's clear that they actually visited the site and made some effort to answer the questions. But there has to be at least some effort on their part.

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To go a little further on this, what about those who send the following instead of answers?

 

"My English is bad and I couldn't understand all the questions so I didn't answer any."

 

But they managed to log the English you've quoted"? ROTFLOL. Delete. No Message. Done.

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I'll just share my own opinion - as a person who is a big fan of EarthCaches, as one who has found about 50 of them, as an owner of about 3 of them, and as a professor of geoscience at the college level. I think that grace is better than the letter of the law. I have seen how people attempt to log my ECs, and I've seen a lot of COs comment about their responsibility to make sure the logs meet the criteria, and I've experienced trying to log other people's EarthCaches. Seeing the experience from a lot of sides helps in how I think about it. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that I think many COs take this stuff way too seriously, and all they seem to care about is protecting the "purity" of the logs, so that ZERO fake logs get through the process. The problem is, this gets to the point that it can really lose the "fun" aspect entirely. Many COs are adamant about not wanting to allow any disingenuous logs to be filed, and so they toe the line hard on what it takes to log the cache. I understand their passion and I appreciate their zeal, but I think that some of them take it too far. Yes, EarthCaching should should require the cache logger to demonstrate something educational, but it should also be fun and inspiring. The Geological Society of America wants people to learn about geology, and this is a great way for that to happen. I think if we as COs work too hard to make sure there are no "fake logs", then we run the risk of ruining the experience for the vast majority of people who are trying to enjoy the outdoors, learn something new, and log their caches. As a CO, I'd rather err on the side of letting a few fake logs through the process than ruin the experience for everyone else. I've been to a few sites where the questions were so bizarre that we just decided that cache wasn't worth logging, because the CO had sucked all the fun out of it. And let's face it, if someone really wants to cheat, it's not that hard today with the information available on the web, no matter how hard COs try to make sure that an actual visit to the site is required (and yes, we try, and should). But I mean, think about the person who's making fake logs - that person has got to be pretty lame to live their life like that, cheating at an online free "game". What kind of a loser does that?!? Most people who do this are genuinely putting in a reasonable effort. I've had people get the questions so completely and utterly wrong before that I would have sworn they never visited the site - but they post a picture of themselves smiling and having a good time at the cache site that I realize that they aren't trying to cheat, they just really didn't understand what I was asking for. Lame people just trying to create fake logs aren't really into EarthCaching, and so they aren't going to stick around for something they really don't care about for very long. They'll be gone before too long, and a few fake logs won't damage the community. So as to the original post, personally I think 5 questions is just too many. That's a lot of details for any person who visits the site to record, and I think 3 questions would make for a better experience for the geocaching community. And I would encourage grace when it comes to the logs, and not be a real stickler for exact answers to exact questions.

 

I own 3 and have found 175 and I completely agree here....this should be pinned somewhere as the anthem on Earthcaching.

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I'll just share my own opinion - as a person who is a big fan of EarthCaches, as one who has found about 50 of them, as an owner of about 3 of them, and as a professor of geoscience at the college level. I think that grace is better than the letter of the law. I have seen how people attempt to log my ECs, and I've seen a lot of COs comment about their responsibility to make sure the logs meet the criteria, and I've experienced trying to log other people's EarthCaches. Seeing the experience from a lot of sides helps in how I think about it. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that I think many COs take this stuff way too seriously, and all they seem to care about is protecting the "purity" of the logs, so that ZERO fake logs get through the process. The problem is, this gets to the point that it can really lose the "fun" aspect entirely. Many COs are adamant about not wanting to allow any disingenuous logs to be filed, and so they toe the line hard on what it takes to log the cache. I understand their passion and I appreciate their zeal, but I think that some of them take it too far. Yes, EarthCaching should should require the cache logger to demonstrate something educational, but it should also be fun and inspiring. The Geological Society of America wants people to learn about geology, and this is a great way for that to happen. I think if we as COs work too hard to make sure there are no "fake logs", then we run the risk of ruining the experience for the vast majority of people who are trying to enjoy the outdoors, learn something new, and log their caches. As a CO, I'd rather err on the side of letting a few fake logs through the process than ruin the experience for everyone else. I've been to a few sites where the questions were so bizarre that we just decided that cache wasn't worth logging, because the CO had sucked all the fun out of it. And let's face it, if someone really wants to cheat, it's not that hard today with the information available on the web, no matter how hard COs try to make sure that an actual visit to the site is required (and yes, we try, and should). But I mean, think about the person who's making fake logs - that person has got to be pretty lame to live their life like that, cheating at an online free "game". What kind of a loser does that?!? Most people who do this are genuinely putting in a reasonable effort. I've had people get the questions so completely and utterly wrong before that I would have sworn they never visited the site - but they post a picture of themselves smiling and having a good time at the cache site that I realize that they aren't trying to cheat, they just really didn't understand what I was asking for. Lame people just trying to create fake logs aren't really into EarthCaching, and so they aren't going to stick around for something they really don't care about for very long. They'll be gone before too long, and a few fake logs won't damage the community. So as to the original post, personally I think 5 questions is just too many. That's a lot of details for any person who visits the site to record, and I think 3 questions would make for a better experience for the geocaching community. And I would encourage grace when it comes to the logs, and not be a real stickler for exact answers to exact questions.

 

I own 3 and have found 175 and I completely agree here....this should be pinned somewhere as the anthem on Earthcaching.

 

I own 3 and have found about 255. DITTOS.

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They didn't fulfill the logging requirements, nor did they make anything resembling a good faith attempt to fulfill the logging requirements. That is on them, not you.

 

I disagree. A grade of 80% is passing in any school. Geocaching now has higher standards than a Harvard Ph.D. program???

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