News Post

Site rules survey results

Jake the Admin

July 1, 2023

Over 100 people voted in the site rules survey in June. There was a multiple-choice section about which rules people thought should be adopted, as well as some Yes/No questions.

First, here were the rules that had the most support:

  • Any content posted to the site (activities, comments, etc) must not be aggressive, insulting, or discriminatory towards anyone. (91%)

  • Activity descriptions should provide a clear description of how to perform the activity. (79%)

  • Activities need to match the academic capabilities of the students at the school level that they specify. (68%)

  • Activities must follow MEXT guidelines. (61%)

The rest of the rules didn’t have majority support, so they won’t be adopted:

  • Activities that cover social issues must only cover issues that appear in the textbook that a user’s school is using. (44%)

  • Activities should not discuss social or political issues. (27%)

  • Activities must reference a specific section of a textbook. (24%)

  • Activities should not have any material that infringes on copyrights. (18%)

In addition, the yes/no question results were:

  • Should ALTopedia continue to have comment sections on activities? – 91% Yes, 8% No

  • Should the new rules apply retroactively to content posted before the rules are adopted? – 46% Yes, 54% No

  • Should it require a paid Subscriber account to post any content to the site? – 5% Yes, 95% No

Finally, I asked how satisfied people were with the site, on a scale of 1 (unsatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied):

7 – 40%, 6 – 36%, 5 – 15%, 4 – 5%, 3 – 3%, 2 – 0%, 1 – 1%

With the survey and the other communication that’s come my way, it seems like the majority of users think that the site is functioning well and helping them out a lot. For these users, a site where anyone can comment and contribute is important for the breadth and variety of ideas.

There were certainly people who were dissatisfied with the site, and they’ve been rather aggressive in proportion to their numbers, from what I can tell. Some of them seemed to be trying to intimidate me by letting me know that they knew my full name, and I’ve gotten some more personal attacks in this survey and through the site Contact form that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else.

Still, I can’t escape the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of users are happy to use the site as I’ve built it and trust me to keep running it. Web traffic has held steady, and the site reached 3000 activities in June. I think there’s a lot of potential in the site yet. But it’s grown to the point where there will be a certain part of the userbase that can’t play well with others, and there needs to be systems and rules that address these situations.

One thing I should mention is that it was important to the respondents that activities follow MEXT rules, but I’m not quite sure what everyone was intending. Being a government agency, I’m sure that there’s a copious amount of guidance and documentation that they have, but I haven’t ever had cause to look for it myself. I’ll try to find whatever distillation exists of their rules and translate it into English, but it might take a while. If you can read Japanese and are interested in helping with this, please let me know.

I’ve been building the Community Moderation system in the background, and a lot of its systems are almost ready. I’ll do a formal rules post soon, put them into the site UI, and appoint the first group of Community Moderators from users who have expressed interest in helping out. I’m hoping for mid-to-late July but it will depend on how much time I have. See everyone later!

  1. KorokCoffee July 3, 2023

    I just want to say, thank you for working hard and continuing to put so much effort into this site, Jake. ALTopedia has been invalueable for my first year of JHS and I hope the community can pull together from this situation, even if there are things we ultimately disagree on.

  2. joyceisachoice July 3, 2023

    Thank you for keeping us posted. I like your level headed approach! Gathering feedback is essential for growing in the right direction and you were able to effectively separate the majority of very grateful people who want to keep enjoying this site from those who have become bitter and unreasonable.

    I think we need to hear from the different opinions and understand the majority experience - and you are doing just that! I'm so sorry for all of the hate you are taking. Thank you for being honest about that too!! Just know that so many more of us would send appreciation your way!!!

  3. Jake the Admin July 3, 2023

    Also, this is unrelated to this post, but a recent code change I made is causing pages with large files (40+ MB) to crash when users try to view them. I'll try to fix that as soon as I can.

  4. janeenmp July 3, 2023

    Thank you very much for all the work you've put into the site. I believe altopedia is making a huge difference in the quality of English education and the engagement of students. :) You are helping literally thousands of students to have a better education every day. That's so important.

  5. Cityfan July 3, 2023

    Thank you for all your hard work, and to all those who have shared their activities.While I can put together simple Powerpoints a lot of what is on this site is far above my level. So its invaluable.

  6. Breezybird July 3, 2023

    Thank you for everything you've done and will continue to do! This site is the most helpful ALT website out there and I'm happy to see it pushing forward! Thanks again!

  7. yukiyuki3094 July 3, 2023

    Thank you so much for sacrificing your time to maintain a healthy atmosphere, and a really helpful website to us ALTs. Haters can hate all day, but they will never be able to do the work you've put into this website. These has been really a lifesaver for me and my work since I have some co teachers who asks me for activities like 5 to 10 minutes before our class. lol

    Hopefully, these people hating are REALLY GOOD ALTs that they don't need anything from this website when teaching their kids. With their attitude, I hope they can find happiness and peace once in a while. lol

  8. Bonjure289 July 3, 2023

    I LOVE this website. This might sound kind of.. strange coming from a teacher, but I signed up to be an assistant language teacher, and I have to be the main teacher, and create lessons for 20+ classes every week. So it is a lot, and unfortunately.. I am really not the creative type. This is not my ultimate favourite job, but I do love the kids, and I love this country. This site makes my work life so much easier, I appreciate all the efforts behind the activities, and from Jake as well.

  9. Rilakkuman July 3, 2023

    Thanks, Jake. お疲れ様でした。

  10. ashizurimisakimajo July 3, 2023

    Thanks for the results. I'm curious to see what will come next!

  11. Domdijock July 3, 2023

    Thank you so much for taking the time to deal with this Jake! You don't deserve any hate for what has happened, and I wish people were more reasonable and understanding of the countless amount of effort you have put into this website without expecting anything in return.

    We appreciate you and I'm excited to see the changes you make fall into place! If you ever need any help, I'd be willing! My Japanese isn't fluent, but I can read a decent amount (N3ish level) to help translate some things too if you ever need!

    Thanks again for everything. This website has saved my ass so many times, I will def continue to use and support it! :D

  12. crisxselda July 4, 2023

    Thank you for always keeping us posted. Your hardwork and dedication to this site has saved many ALTs like me on so many occasions. I will support this site no matter what.

  13. onighost July 4, 2023

    Thanks for all that you do here Jake, this site is an incalculably valuble resource that takes so much stress out of the job. It's a wealth of knowledge, information, inspiration, and life savers when your teacher asks for an activity with no time to prepare!

    Anyone who has personally attacked you or sent any form of hate should reflect on why they think it is at all acceptable to attack someone who is voluntarily giving us their time and money to provide this amazing resource, and re-evaluate their outlook on life. I hope they can become better people.

    They may be a small minority, but they will always shout the loudest. Please remember that for every one of them there are hundreds of super grateful ALTs who have your back and appreciate you, and thousands of students who are reaping the benefits of this platform you are providing us.

    I look forward to seeing the site grow and progress, and all the amazing new activites yet to come!

  14. the_een July 5, 2023

    Thanks for all you do, Jake. I can only echo what others have said before: this site has been invaluable to me and so many other ALTs (and even a few JTEs I know!). You're doing a great job!

    P.S. I have N2 and have to do a lot of reading/communicating in Japanese as a part of my role, plus a little translation experience, so I'd be happy to help a bit with the translation stuff from time to time.

  15. ratclass July 5, 2023

    thank you for all your hard work. it is appreciated very very much

  16. deedeek July 5, 2023

    Yes, kudos to you Jake, for having to go through the ringer these last couple of months. I'm sorry it's been difficult, definitely more than we know, but this site is INVALUABLE to me, and I don't know what I'd do if it wasn't here! I told a fellow ALT friend about it recently, and she thanked me, saying that it has been so helpful for her too. This site truly makes me a better ALT cause sometimes I get so confused with the grammar points and don't have a CLUE what I'm doing, so knowing I have this site to fall back on is super comforting. I hope moving on, the people who have acted in bad faith can reflect on themselves, the activities they post, and the comments that are unnecessary and caused a snowball of hate.

  17. kusobaba July 6, 2023

    Really pleased to see these results. As I expected to see the vast majority of users are decent reasonable folk who appreciate your work on this site. Thanks again.

  18. zheng July 6, 2023

    The new adopted rules sound good to me. I'm glad we have systems being built in place to prevent/limit future discourse. Thank you for your hardwork on the website.

  19. Motel_Umi July 10, 2023

    Literally don’t know what I would do without this website, omg thank you so much for making this job 1000x times easier and thanks everyone for making so many amazing activities that make my classes better :)!

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