Future of this forum

Hi folks,

Just wanted to get some feedback on the forum. It hasn't exactly taken off in the way that might have been hoped for, with just three or four regular visitors and not a whole lot of engagement outside that. Forums need a critical mass of users to get going, where new visitors realise it's worth taking part and that makes other people want to take part and so on and so on. This place doesn't seem to be getting near that.

One option is to move the forum over to the EBU Forums, where there is a lot of activity amongst the TDs and Scorers. There is obviously some overlap between them and Teachers, so you might get the sort of cross-engagement that makes this forum grow. TDs might not get involved when you discuss EBTA Fee or Student Zone but they probably would when you discuss Supervised Play and (obviously) Laws of Duplicate Bridge.

What do you think? I can't promise that the forum will suddenly flourish and turn into the valuable resource we want it to become, but it might have more of a chance.


  • Personally I think the teachers forum should not be included in the main EBU forum. Ther might be a problem there as on this forum I have given my name but on another I have deliberately choosen a Peudo name partly for my own "self respect" on this forum I am more open. So how will you deal with that change for all registered users on here?

    If this forum is really going to work then it needs a bit more participation from those in EBTA. Sadly one can't just start something and "hope" it will grow. There is the same problem with the "club administrators" forum in that someone has to kick start it. That forum hasn't even been advertised on the EBU website. Where have you advertised the "Students zone"?
    Yes the TD forum is "lively" but I suspect that if you survey the participants you will see that not many "Club" directors participate. There are about 600 affliated clubs and all of those probably have at least two club directors, so do we know whether 1,200 directors (at least) view or comment on the TD forum?

    So rather than close something down why not use it as a tool. EBTA could set out to ask questions of teachers, such as what is difficult for you to deal with. These questions need to be asked and then followed up with suggestions within the forum. The other thing is that some get into difficulties and wont ask for help and just struggle through. It just need the right questions being asked. I find it very very disheartening that no one has taken the opportunity to address the problems already raised by "the regulars". john I agree with your attempts on the Laws of Duplicate Bridge and I have deliberately injected comments to see if anyone at the EBU would follow up and "do" a national review. I also found the thread "From the EBU Manager" a missed opportunity to instigate some form of discussion, even admitting some sort of "disaster" that happened at the beginning of her first 12 years of teaching. This is where we, as teachers should be looking for help and support. Yes I am aware of the saying "you can take a horse to water but you can't make them drink" but if you don't have any "water" they will die.


  • Just to add to the above. The TD forum works well because Gordon and Robin both contribute with good advice and personal experience. The Scorers forum works because there are a few people that contribute who know about either scoring programs or Bridgemates (SteveFoster and JefferyS to name but two) in addition to Gordon and Robin. So those forums show that some input from EBTA is need to make this the "go to" forum for help and support for teachers.


  • Thanks Chaz.

    For an idea of the numbers, the other forum gets about ten times the visitors that this one does. So no - there aren't 1200 TD users, but it'll at least be a few hundred. They might not all post, but they'll be lurking in the background learning things. Of course, not all of them will be interested in teaching, but you would think some would.

  • I agree with Chaz
    I am surprised that you have come to this conclusion after only 7 months however during this time we have had 1 mention in Accolade with no mention in t he 7 issues of EBED news. Hardly pushing it use by teachers
    During this time

    I agree that we only have a few contributors

  • I agree with Chaz
    Since starting the forum there have been 1 issue of Accolade with a mention of the the forum and 7 issues of Accolade without a mention During the same period 31 members have joined with mainly 3/4 members participating, 29 discussion topics and a significant number of views. Notably there has been 13 Teacher Educators have joined, I assume these are the Teachers in the "know", all but 2 have a number of visits but have not participated in any discussion to take thinks forward or answer any of the questions raise. Unlike Gordon and Robin.
    Simplw question have been raised with no answer perhaps that is why teachers are not participating ie

  • ............(forum not behaving)
    How many teachers are there?
    Who are the EBTA?
    We hear from other sources about new BfA materials - no confirmation or details
    Why has the price gone up? (not allot of money but it would be nice to know)
    Perhaps with more engagement from EBTA or EBED more teachers would consider joining.
    In this day and age keep the forum as a EBED owned but put a link on the EBU site.
    I note that only one person has joined the forum since January, there was Teacher Training in February was the Forum "sold"
    The Forum has terrific potential for Teachers but they must be led not ignored.

  • I do hope that we can make this a go to place for teachers but it may take a little longer to get going. There is a link on the EBED website to this forum but I would very much welcome your ideas on how to promote it.

    This forum is not specifically for EBTA members. EBTA is (as you know) the English Bridge Teachers' Association which is run by EBED but online forums like this can be for any bridge teacher, anywhere.

    I expect that this forum will be different from the TD forums in that questions about the laws can have very specific answers
    whereas questions about teaching can be a matter of opinion. I hope that when the forum picks up there will be lots more posts with "Can you recommend .....?", "Where can I find...?", How do I .....?"
    ..... and teachers from all around the country will chip in with suggestions. :)

  • Thanks Lorna

    Some observations/ideas
    How many Teachers are there? I would have thought the 37 members signed up for this forum is only a small fraction (?), so an attractive message about the forum is not getting to all teachers. Direct email to all EBTA members? Mail all teaching clubs?
    I am aware that you can view the forum without signing in, can you “see” how many more views the forum gets?
    Of the 37 forum members 11 have never visited, having asked for access, not visited? Is there a problem of access? I had problems when I started. Follow up on the 11 members. Automatic enrollment of all paid up EBTA members?
    Perhaps the Professional teachers are wary of contributing as there is a potential to give away their trade secrets. How many club teachers (unpaid) are there?
    Upgrade contents to make it an EBED vehicle for communication with Teachers
    The EBED should use the forum to canvas for ideas or explore options. The Advisory Board can open up their deliberations to a wider teaching audience for comment and enhancement.
    Likewise, the EBED could use the forum to explore what Teachers want/ need from say Book 3 or Fast Track 2 that we know are being explored by the EBED. There is no other vehicle for gaining Teachers views
    Give teachers a reason to participate rather than wait for the few active members to raise issues that they may interest them.

  • Sorry - wrong thread for the above
    EBED Board Meeting 6th March 2019
    “There are 615 teachers currently on EBTA database”
    What are they all doing, Does the survey give any hints - if everyone introduced 8 new members a each year more than enough to cover “wasteage”.

    6% signed up on the forum!!!!!!!!!!!!! Something missing some where. I notice the latest 2 emails did not mention the forum has the EBED given up on us.

  • Hi John
    I have deleted your comment which was accidentally in the wrong thread. I see that you have also added it to the relevant thread. Thanks for your comments. There are lots of projects on the go within EBED, all aimed at improving things for our teachers. We can't achieve things overnight but we hope you agree that we are making small steps in the right direction.

    @john said:
    Sorry - wrong thread for the above


  • Hello
    I accept any criticism aimed at me for not contributing earlier. I don't doubt I read about it in Accolade/wherever, but I tend not to use social media / internet forums. Although I first signed up last December, I never really got round to looking at it properly until a month ago.
    I think the only way you will increase participation is by directly 'prodding' all teachers - by sending a bulk email to all teachers on your books, just on this topic, selling the potential advantages to all teachers of actively participating. This would bring the forum more obviously to everybody's attention, rather than hoping that they notice it.

    Having said that, although there are relatively few contributors, the various topics have been looked at many times, so perhaps it is being very useful to lots of teachers. Whilst I appreciate that John/Chaz/others are frustrated at the lack of active contributors, I'm sure their efforts are appreciated by many - teaching is, after all, a largely altruistic exercise.

    Now the teaching year is (almost) over, I will try and find more time to trawl through the various topics.


  • Hello IanC (TreshamBridge)
    We hope to keep on mentioning our forum in some of the articles we have in English Bridge. Eventually the message will reach more teachers so we are optimistic.

  • Is it possible to have a setting in a forum for you to get a notification email when someone posts to a thread that you have been reading or have contributed to? That would make it easier to track and follow.

  • Try the little wheel in the top right of the screen. You should get a list of notification preferences. Then tick the relevant box.

    @tonys said:
    Is it possible to have a setting in a forum for you to get a notification email when someone posts to a thread that you have been reading or have contributed to? That would make it easier to track and follow.

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