Lock a mentoring requests while a mentor is working on it

Currently, a mentoring request is reserved for a mentor for 30 minutes right after clicking on «Start mentoring».

Sometimes I take more than 30 minutes to type up my initial message. Sometimes I think of refreshing the page in time; other times I fail to see the deadline coming.

When I fail and someone else picks up the request, this is especially frustrating. After all, I just spent 30+ minutes working on that request.

:pray: Would it be possible to have the deadline extend itself automatically, e.g. on activity in the text field?

The UI could have some kind of mechanism to say “I commit to mentoring this one” so it can be locked while you’re working on it. If the mentor chooses to “uncommit”, it can go back into the queue.

I assumed the present design was chosen because it was foreseen that some mentor candidates would neglect to uncommit (e.g. by forgetting to).

Hmm, 30 minute expiry for no commit, 60 minutes expiry with commit and no comment.

One strategy some people use is to provide a brief response with a comment that they’re typing up a more comprehensive response. You can give something shorter and high level or comment on a few items while you then type out a longer response.

Had the same situation many times. It’s really frustrating. Thought about what Isaac suggests, too. But it felt a bit “wrong”. But maybe the best way for now.

I suffer the same feeling as @deleted-user-33691, but also this workaround is not always applicable, as sometimes after a 45 min investigation I conclude (for varying reasons) that I actually should not accept the request.

True. I do use this strategy, but it does feel “wrong” - what if the student sees your brief comment and gets put off or so?

TBH, I personally don’t spent more than five to ten minutes of first time low rep students. They often don’t return, which made me feel burnt-out and frustrated. I now give an overview of the most important suggestions, and if they do reply, give more detail.

I will use a comment something along the lines of “I may be running out of time, so I will be back with a full response in a bit…” And I usually post the full commentary within a few minutes. I see nothing wrong with that.

Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes the student withdraws the mentoring request, That can be particularly frustrating when you know you are within the time limit, but… it’s gone. It will say the session is locked by another mentor, but, in fact, the student withdrew it.

I’d happily just extend this to an hour as the simplest quick fix?

Oh, I didn’t know that. Yeah, that’s not nice.

How does it work now if you open up the request and see they’ve asked a question you don’t want to deal with. Does the clock start at that time, or only when you click “Start mentoring”?

I ask because, beneath the “Start mentoring” button it already says “You have 30 minutes until the session returns to the queue for others to mentor.” I would think you wouldn’t see that until the clock starts. An hour seems a bit long to return to the queue if you decide not to mentor it. A countdown might be nice, however long the time is for.

The “Start mentoring” button locks the solution for 30mins. We can add an “extend” button and other things, but that’ll just be work that’s more than 5mins to do and so be added to the neverending backlog :)

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I’m failing to come up with good reasons not to do this, and I do expect this to cover most cases, so I say :+1:

I’ll let you know as soon as I run into this problem again. With this extension, it might take a year :stuck_out_tongue:

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