Locked discussions on questions
What is the point of having the discussion in the first place if most of them are locked?
Those that are locked are probably that way due to large quantities of garbage (no longer visible as the posts would have been deleted). If a sentence discussion is regularly polluted with political/religious/stupid posts, it's usually locked. If you have a question regarding the grammar (etc) of the sentence, just post it in the German discussion forum with a link to the sentence.
Edit: In addition to what Alexis said.
The discussions are locked after moderators have cleaned them. You likely stumbled upon one that had 100-300+ questions in it. You can not see them, but they are still there. The discussion is locked because all questions regarding that discussion have been answered. We come across many repeat questions, and there are only so many that can be asked from one sentence, so once those are answered, they are shut down.
Hi Alexis. In the past two days, I've encountered a bunch of new sentence discussions that take me to a 404 Error message. For example, this new Spanish sentence discussion "We will help my brother" that has one comment :
Or another one, in the French sentence discussion forum that I frequent: "D'accord, si nous pouvons" :
Not all of them are broken, so I can still see some of them and answer the questions. Is there a reason behind this, or is this just me?
Edit: If I go to the activity page of the person that asked the question, I can read the whole question (if they're not long), which are all legitimate. But as soon as I click on the sentence discussion itself, error 404.
I find the locking of discussions to be unfair to those of us who did not start with a particular language at the beginning. Note that the discussions seem most relevant when linked to from a particular exercise. Because wading through all the discussions is only marginally useful as reference, the suggestion to open a new random discussion is not very helpful.
Developers of online courses need to think hard about how to manage forums for self-paced courses that have long lifetimes. Late comers benefit from the wisdom of those who went before but they also have to suffer through much nonsense to find the nuggets.
My own personal feeling is that discussions should be lively and some what "real time." They serve a different purpose than a reference manual on a particular oddity in grammar. A reference, which is a distillation of past discussion wisdom on a particular item, might also be useful.
Maybe I am dumb but I think the software for handling and searching the discussions is hard to use. Fixing this could be a great undergraduate project.