146

The (homework) tag should be burninated and blacklisted. This means that we will request the SE team to completely remove the tag from the system and ensure that it cannot be re-created. This will result in a large number (at present over 900) of untagged questions, which will be the responsibility of the community to fix. Upvote this answer if you agree ...


68

"In your opinion, what are the reasons that some answerers prefer to post full solutions?" One reason that I don't see mentioned yet is that we are a bunch of show-offs. When we can solve a problem, we're very proud of ourselves, and we want everyone to know we can solve it, so we post a full solution. Hints aren't enough - we could be hiding the shameful ...


50

I am strongly against downvoting complete solutions, and I believe such behavior would have a negative long-term impact on the site as a whole. I went over my reasons in detail in this past answer, A Consolidated Homework Policy, and I have pasted a large portion of that answer below. I also want to link to Professor Hamkins answer to the question What do ...


47

It is reasonable for a student to have "no clue", but a question should not simply consist of [copy-paste of problem statement] I have no idea. kthxbai. I would like to remind everyone that there is no option to close a question as "homework showing no effort". The closest official close reason we have is "missing context or other details," and to ...


46

Judging from the comments, this proposal may be viewed as wild and potentially damaging to the site. This answer is to put this proposal into perspective and compare it to the other StackExchange sites. Here's the current Maths.SE stats (ref.): This ranks maths.SE second amongst all StackExchange sites with regards to the number of questions asked per day ...


44

While I agree with quid's1 answer, let me add a point I consider very important: You do volunteer work when you answer questions, and you are entitled to do it on your own terms. If you think a conversation is going in an unwanted direction, you can leave it. It is polite to tell the other party as much, but I would not consider you obliged to do anything. ...


42

This is an interesting idea. I definitely see the appeal of getting learners of mathematics on this site. Used properly, Math.SE can be an incredibly effective resource for learning mathematics. There is no rule preventing your posing a question and requiring your students to answer this question. There are a few odd interactions that may occur, though. I ...


36

In my answer in the thread What should we do with poorly posed questions? I suggest being extremely lenient to all users regardless of how bad the question is, and offering suggestions for how to clean it up. That was 2 years ago, and since then, the site has grown considerably, undergoing several changes in the user base. I believe that now we should be ...


36

The (homework) tag should be left as is. Upvote this answer if you agree with the above option. (Downvotes will be ignored, so please do not downvote.)


31

I am posting this in order to give users an opportunity to vote for an opposite proposal. (Since it is a pretty radical change, I think we should also weigh the arguments against the removal of the tag.) I am making this post CW - feel free to add arguments why you consider this tag useful. Why the homework tag could be useful: It helps users who do not ...


30

I personally care very little about whether people cheat on their homework or not. In all the courses I took and in all the courses I taught, it was fairly clear and accepted that people cooperate on homework and there was no clear line on what is allowed and what is not. Trying to get rid of "cheating" on homework is plainly not realistic and not someting ...


30

You can downvote, and with enough reputation vote to close. You can also leave comments pointing this out, although try not to get into very long meta-discussions on the main site. There is a limit of six questions per 24 hours for a user, and 50 questions in a 30 days period. So any abuse comes to an end. If you do see a user opening a second user in order ...


30

Tim Gowers has a series of blog posts on this topic and related topics. In one, he says: Let me introduce a notion of fake difficulty. Every pure maths supervisor at Cambridge has had conversations like this: Supervisee: I found this question rather difficult. Supervisor: Well, what were your thoughts? Supervisee: Erm … I don’t know really, I just looked at ...


28

It's a big problem. A while ago there was a big push to close all obvious homework questions, with no evidence of student effort, as "not enough context" but that drive seems to have dissipated. I've noticed that a larger proportion of non-elementary questions get 0 votes, 0 comments, 0 answers than ever before (sometimes even for questions with large ...


25

Can we please stop asking “Is this homework?” Only if we please stop providing full solutions to homework-like questions.


25

There seem to be (at least) two main categories of user that answers questions here: (1) users who view MSE as a place to teach, and (2) users that view MSE as a quiz site/rep game. I'd wager that the overwhelming majority of answers are given by those in group (2) that neither care about, nor even realize that the arguments being waged on meta exist. The ...


25

Firstly: I personally have never downvoted any questions.... Then you are not fully participating in the site. You should vote early and vote often. Also, the mouseover text on the downvote button states: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful. Now, as to homework questions: There is a major difference in ...


24

This is not an answer for or against the proposal. This is merely some comments about the technical aspects of the proposal: I think that we can in fact ask SE to nuke the entire tag and blacklist it, if that is what people want. (There are already a few tags that are explicitly blacklisted; examples include the old "algebra" tag (now split into abstract-...


24

I am pretty new in this community and honestly do not know if this question is too out of place here, please let me know and I will delete it. It's fine. Indeed, if anything it came up too frequently already... :-) When I try to give an answer to something that looks like part of a homework, I avoid going into too many details, just giving enough ...


23

Generally, hints are given when it seems better that the OP understand how to do the problem rather than being given the answer. Usually, this is when the question is tagged homework, or it seems very likely that the question is from a homework assignment. In this case, the OP (you) understands the problem, so I see no reason why you should not provide a ...


22

Short answer: Your question is great! I wish more people asked questions like you. Long answer: Of course, anything can be improved. :P Let's address your specific concerns: How to title the question so that it can be relevant for someone apart from just me? Do I describe the problem as its given, along with unnecessary physical details? Do I describe ...


22

The important points are these: A user submitting material from this site as their own work and using no real effort of their own is (under normal circumstances, where they are not given permission to do so) guilty of academic dishonesty. It is immoral to facilitate academic dishonesty. So to address these two questions: Why is so important for the ...


20

Whether or not a question is homework or not, is not a major concern of mine. It is typically quite difficult to determine, and in those cases where it is more or less obvious the question is normally lacking for other reasons, too (see below). What is a concern of mine is the quality of questions. "Prove [something]." (and nothing else) is not a question ...


19

The opposition to fully answering homework questions roughly amounts to: The OP will get away with cheating on their homework, or at least without learning anything from it. MSE shouldn't facilitate this. Usually, any other visitors will not be hampered by such considerations. So as soon as a full answer has been there for 10 minutes, the OP will likely ...


19

In general I don't answer homework problems, because in general they only seek for a solution, not for a better understanding of the problem I don't think this statement is true. I have asked a lot of homework questions here, and I do appreciate it to get a really good hint, but getting a good (full) solution, I do appreciate as well. I think there is a ...


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