Problems with discussion boards: After being involved with StackExchange for a couple of years, I've really grown to despise standard discussion boards. All those meandering threads, no commenting, no ability to edit questions to improve them, inadequate cross-referencing of questions, no markdown support, no voting for good answers; no rss subscription options, the list goes on...
Educational context: I have interacted with a few course management systems that include discussion boards for students to ask questions. These systems also lack most of the great features of the StackExchange model of Q&A.
- Is there a way of deploying a StackExchange-style Q&A site for a university subject?
- Are there any examples of people doing this?
- Does anyone know whether StackExchange themselves have considered this market?
I realise that there are open source clones of stack exchange in existence. However, my concern is that they take a bit of effort to setup.
- Ideally any system should be very simple to deploy for the lecturer, and easy to learn for the student.
I think you should take a look at Discourse. It is by Jeff Attwood the other coinventor of Stack Overflow.
In his blog he has mentioned all the design decisions that went into its development.