Tool Category: Problem Solving Tool, Feedback Tool, Networking/Social Tool

Description: “Google it!” How many times have you heard that expression? Got a question, “Google it!” Need a recipe, “Google it!” Who wrote that novel, “Google it!” Well Quora is a website created specifically to answer any questions you might have.

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge.

  • Quora is your best source of knowledge.
  • Ask any question, get real answers from people with first hand experience, and blog about what you know.
  • Choose from over 400,000 topics to create a feed of information tuned to your interests.
  • Ask any question and get answers from real people with first-hand experience.
  • Create a blog to share knowledge by writing posts about any topic.

Quora serves as a blog, a social network for answering questions, and a place where users can go and engage with other users with similar interest.

Need to Know:  It has a similar feel to Facebook and Twitter but revolves around asking and answering questions.

What You Need: All you need is a keyboard, a mouse, and an internet connection. It’s a web-based application and requires no downloads or installations.

The Steps:

  1. Go to www.quora.com and create an account with your Google+, Facebook or Twitter account. You can also create an account using your email account, click on the link labeled “Sign Up With Email”.
  2. Follow the step-by-step instructions to set up your account and preferences. QuoraStart
    1. Select topics you are interested in.
    2. Find friends to make your feed more social (Quora will ask permission to access your Facebook friends).
  3. Once you are done with the setup, you will be taken to your feed (which displays your friends and topics of interest). You can select to have “Top Stories”, “Questions & Answers” or “Blog Posts” displayed in your feed. QuoraFeed
  4. In the feed, you can answer questions posed by Quora users.
  5. The menu bar to navigate Quora is at the top of the page. QuoraNav
    1. Home – your feed
    2. Open Questions – questions from other Quora users waiting to be answered.
    3. Notifications – notifications when users interact with your activity.
    4. Name – your name affects your settings and preferences including “Profile”, “Blogs”, “Messages”, “Stats”, “Your Content”, “Credits” & “Settings.”
    5. Add Question – allows you to ask a question to have answered by Quora users.
  6. To pose a questions, click on the blue button labeled “Add Question”.
  7. Type your question and click Next. QuoraQuestion
  8. You will be prompted with a box to “Check For Existing Questions” similar to your question. If your question, or similar, appears, click on the link. If your question, or similar, is not listed, click on the blue button labeled “My Question is New”.
  9. You will then be prompted to categorize your question into a topic.
  10. When someone answers your question, you will receive an email notification and see a number right over “Notifications” in the menu bar.

Educational Resource: Quora has a whole topic devoted to education with the tagline “The art and science of improving thinking, knowledge, skills, and values.”

Users are encouraged to create a profile in Quora to build a reputation in their field of expertise.

In the Teaching Environment: This would be a semester long project for the SBMI introduction to health informatics course. This course is meant to teach our grad students about informatics so I feel that if students engaged in Q&A’s in Quora, they would learn more about informatics outside of the classroom.

Rather than engaging in discussion, each week, in our learning management system (Moodle) the student will be required to ask and answer a question in the Quora informatics topic.

Advantages: Whenever I have a question that needs answered I simply Google it and, more than likely, will continue to do so. Where Quora comes in handy is that you see questions you would never have thought to ask and you see answers by people in your position/situation. It’s a great tool for exploring and learning new things.

No ads and no charges, it’s like a search engine for questions.

Disadvantages: None

Recommend: Yes. It is a great tool to see answers to questions your never thought to ask.

Audio Review


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