The Quora website is essentially a question and answer forum, which allows individuals to customize their inquiries and seek answers from the larger community. The site also allows individuals to add personal credentials, which one would assume is intended to lend credibility to answers that they provide. No verification of credentials appears to be made, however.
The content of the site is almost entirely composed of user-generated questions and user-generated answers, with an individual user’s personalized feed curated using a computer generated algorithm based on user-defined variables such as people of interest and topics of interest.
The most direct beneficiaries of the educational activities are the users. In posing questions they are interested in, and being able to receive feedback from community ‘experts’ (which occasionally, may actually be true experts) the users are able to engage directly in useful and productive dialogue. On a wider scale, the site has enabled an ability to download or view questions and responses in a printable format, as well as embed or copy links to the site’s version of the questions. This functionality allows much wider dissemination to a broader community.
As would be expected in today’s social-media centric age, the site also allows for sharing of the questions and responses through popular sites such as Facebook, and Twitter, further increasing the audience available.
The site has an integrated login with a Google (or facebook) account, which allows for seamless integration with educational institutions that are utilizing a Google Apps environment.
A significant concern in the moment of ‘fake-news’ concern, is the potential abuse of what the site calls “upvoting” to answers that are deemed as most appropriate or most favorited for particular questions that have been published. This process of upvoting theoretically leads to answers which are increasingly factual however I suspect that it could also be easily abused, or even lead to upvoting of answers that are written by individuals who are particularly popular for insignificant reasons, or of a particular political bent that is popular.