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Overseas Schools information

 
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Overseas Schools information Reply with quote

This is a great source of information on overseas schools www.osid.co.uk
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IWearHighWaters



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this is basically you pluggin your own site? Would you care to mention why it's a great site? Some details? Shame on he who does the shameless plug.

Fran
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, you're asking for a more DETAILED plug.

The OSID is trying to help people find good overseas schools, and avoid bad ones. We are trying to do this by allowing people to send a request for information to a school in our database. The request has up to 145 queries (users can select the answers they would like) that the school can chose to answer if they wish. On each school record registered users can view the date that each question was first asked, most recently asked, and the number of times it has been asked. Over several years we hope to be able to build up a profile of each school in the database. If a user would like to be able to request information from a school that is not in the database they can send the info to us and we will include it. The site also offers links to international and eductaion news items. Users looking for teaching posts can elect to be notified by email when a job matching their requirements is posted on the site.

We have recently made several updates to The Overseas Schools Information Database. Users are now able to ask schools any question they like by using the 'Ask a Question' function at the bottom of the school info page. Users can also respond to the answers provided by schools by using the newly installed 'Comment on this Response' feature next to each of the questions in the school info page. It is also possible for users to include their CV in their profile. The CV is only viewable by schools, who can send a request for contact details directly to the user via the website.

And all of this for no charge.

If there is anything else you would like konw just ask Smile
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a nice site...I'll be getting some mileage out of it. However, the registration process is buggy, so maybe I won't.

Question: What's your policy on veracity of information on schools? For example, a bit of bad publicity comes in. What do you do with it? Publish or investigate?
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback but I am confused for several reasons.

1. "I'll be getting some mileage out of it. However, the registration process is buggy, so maybe I won't. "

I don't quite know how to start unravelling that.. You WILL be getting mileage out of it or won't you? What do you mean by buggy? The thing is, if you got as far as registering you can get mileage out of the site as you won't have to register again. On the other hand, if you have somehow failed to register (which we would like to know about as we can help) then you evidently WON'T be getting mileage out of it.

Which is it? Did you register or not?

2. "What's your policy on veracity of information on schools? For example, a bit of bad publicity comes in. What do you do with it? Publish or investigate?"

Bad publicity about what comes in to where?

The information on schools offered by the site has been put there by the schools themselves. If you want to know the answers to any of the questions on offer then you can ask away by ticking the checkbox next to the question and submitting the request. Whether the school answers your question or not the record of the request for the answer is shown in the school profile. It is up to the user to judge why a school has declined to answer a question. If a user wants to ask why they can do so by using the 'Ask school a question' function. If a user would like to comment on an answer that the school has provided they can do that also. They can upload documentary evidence if they wish. The final question on all the school profiles is 'Willingness to consider the above contractually binding'. If they haven't answered that one then keep asking.

Is there anything else you would like to know? Smile
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was typing my post while going through the reg process. It seems to have worked, but I was getting error messages on the second page of the application. I was trying to not select any preferences as I'm not looking for a job. I didn't mean to be overly critical...just a couple of bugs you might want to fix if you don't want people backing out at that page and not coming back.

Indeed I will be visiting the site a lot as it grows. It looks like great source of school info.

My question on veracity, I posted before getting a thorough look at the site. I see what you mean now. However, in my experience with public forums, and the competitive world of langauge schools, I've seen a lot of competitors do some nasty things to each other electronically. I was curious to know how far you, or the site operators go in verifying information provided by the school listed. There are also issues with dishonest recruiters in the electronic medium.

Hope you take that as positive feedback...
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I am aware the only boxes that need to be checked on the second page is the one confirming that you have read the privacy policy and disclaimer. If you have found that something is not working please let us know here, if necessary.

I take your point about schools posting erroneous info on their competitors, which is why schools can only be registered by us. If someone selects 'school' in the register type drop down they are simply asked to submit school info to us. We check out what has been sent and then register the school.

As to whether a valid school posts inaccurate info about themselves we cannot help. We can only go as far as we can to offer what chance there is of people finding out and challenging the info, or refusing to have anything to do with the place unless they have ticked the 'contractually binding' section. At least that way they may have some argument if they arrive at a place and find all is not as was promised. We obviously cannot visit all these schools, but we can at least offer some help to people looking for good schools.

If you have any further ideas on how this might be achieved we would be happy to listen.

We welcome criticism, but only when it is thought out and argued clearly. Smile
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good, and I'll take that as a compliment. Wink
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IWearHighWaters



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...that's one defensive site admin/owner there. Guy offered some friendly advice and you go and get all defensive. That's not good and is enough to make me not want to patronize your site. It's also amazing to me that you actually say you only welcome certain types of criticism...you might want to check that attitude at their door there old boy.

Fran
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries there IWear...the Internet as a medium allows for a lot of misunderstanding. It takes time and experience to figure it out. The OP's site is a great resource and will serve the community well.
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me give an example

" your site is $hit" = not welcome

"I find the font on your site too small to read" = welcome

There are many misunderstandings on the web and intonation is very hard to put over. Confused
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:30 pm    Post subject: Website redesign Reply with quote

Just like to let you know that we have totally overhauled the design of the Overseas Schools Information Database. We think it is now far cleaner and easier to get around. Any feedback would be appreciated.

This is still a FREE service so please help yourself.

www.osid.co.uk

We have added a CV upload facility, as well as made it easier to comment on the responses made by schools. You can also compose your own questions to ask schools.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks nice and clean...nice site made even better. No reg problems, s'far as I can see.
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

glad you like it. the only problem for us is that it is SO clean the damn Google ads have little text to go on and so are taking ages to kick in. Oh well, back to the day job Smile
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OSIDguy



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've kicked in Very Happy
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