And I'm not given to gratuitous humility.
One student asks a question about an exercise, and almost immediately there are several responses: somebody points out another way to approach the problem, somebody suggests R code, somebody points to a useful reference section in the text, somebody provides a diagram ... all thoughtful and effective, and, above all, selfless.
Stat 2X is an extraordinarily respectful and productive community. It has none of the rant-a-thons that plague other networks. Hysterical posts are few and far between, and dealt with calmly by students. I've disabled anonymous posting. It has no place in an academic setting, in my view, and I won't respond. So it's pointless, and it's gone.
I wonder if students know how much they affect the quality of the instruction. My lectures aren't "canned" or produced far ahead of release. I'm creating them as we go along. I have to, or else they'll be dry as dust. I don't know how to teach the non-existent student.
When I teach in a lecture hall, I'm continually making adjustments depending on how the class is responding. I can't do that in Stat 2X. So I have to find some other way of keeping myself from not feeling freeze-dried.
For this, I use the forum. I'll go quickly over some topics, and dwell on others, partly because I'm predicting student comprehension based on what I'm seeing in the forum. I know there's a huge silent majority out there, and they're likely quite different from those who are active on the forum, but the forum is what keeps the class alive.
As I record the lectures, I'm grinning to myself because I'm predicting that atopos will provide the R code for this, or that susanaust will be at hand with the necessary details about that, or that prasannasimha will notice that this connects deeply with that, or that pauljm will calm down any flurries of student anxiety, or that klionheart will explain this better than I've done ... the list is endless, and I will try to acknowledge them all as the weeks pass.
Thanks also to Lai Lai from Myanmar, for reminding us of things we take for granted. We should all be able to any line we want, and discuss its merits.
Jamie, thank you. The entire Stat dept office is thrilled. They arrived the day before my kid was due for major surgery (he's fine now, thanks); your timing couldn't have been better.