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[Meta] Homework Questions

First, I am very curious about why there is such a large sudden uptick of obviously homework questions. Is it just that the site is growing and so we are starting to see them now, or is there some reason there has been such a large increase in the past few days?

Second, is there a community consensus on how to respond to them?

My initial reaction is that I am fine with homework questions that are phrased well and respectfully, and where some effort has been put in to make it general or to provide an answer. But where they provide a data set and ask for the community to flat out give them the answer, I find that really irksome. I know I can hide them easily, but there is something to be said for keeping this a community centered on database professionals and people making serious efforts to understand the concepts to become professionals.

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asked Mar 26, 2010 at 01:45 PM in Default

TimothyAWiseman gravatar image

TimothyAWiseman
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9 answers: sort oldest

I'm absolutely prepared to help people with their homework, but same rules apply as in my house. I'll help. I'm not going to do it for you. So if all that is posted is a badly formatted request & some data, but no sample code that didn't quite work... they're on their own.

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answered Mar 26, 2010 at 02:30 PM

Grant Fritchey gravatar image

Grant Fritchey ♦♦
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I generally agree. I'm happy to help if someone comes up and says they don't understand a problem or if they post an attempt and need help figuring out why it doesn't work. When they just post an obvious homework question with nothing else, I find that...irksome.
Mar 26, 2010 at 03:01 PM TimothyAWiseman
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My view on this is no we shouldn't be doing other people's homework but then again so what if we do? We already know the answer so we can either help them like I tried to do in this question or just answer it, gain a bit of practise and the person asking the question gains nothing but does it matter?

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answered Mar 26, 2010 at 01:58 PM

Ian Roke gravatar image

Ian Roke
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Not sure why the sudden influx!

Have prompted one particular 'offender' to try and participate a little more, but we'll have to see. Some of the questions are gaining votes to be closed, and if they get enough votes, then the community has spoken.
[I don't feel as though I should vote on these, as being a mod, my vote is final]

I agree with you, if the questions are well phrased, formatted and the user genuinely participates, then we should allow them to continue.

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answered Mar 26, 2010 at 02:18 PM

Kev Riley gravatar image

Kev Riley ♦♦
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Hey, I just noticed. I can close questions. Did I cross a line recently. I'm not sure I should have this power. Certain homework questions might be in danger.
Mar 26, 2010 at 02:33 PM Grant Fritchey ♦♦
There is only one offender so far...and if you think the question is absolutely useless then exercise your power. After all you earned it and its their for a reason.
Mar 26, 2010 at 03:12 PM DaniSQL
I agree with @Dani. He made an attempt in one question now (the one about internet advertising skills) so I posted some real suggestions there. The rest, I have voted to close and see no problem with a mod finishing the job.
Mar 26, 2010 at 04:50 PM TimothyAWiseman
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BTW although there is uptick in the number of homework's this week there isnt uptick in the number of users posting homework's. Have you noticed all homework questions are from one user?

My view is its okay to answer homework questions if u want to but do it if you feel they made effort before posting the question or at least put effort on composing the question otherwise wait 72hrs before answering them. That way people who suddenly come across to the page in the future will get the question with answer and use it as a reference. But yet again I formatted and tried to answer one homework today :-)

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answered Mar 26, 2010 at 02:22 PM

DaniSQL gravatar image

DaniSQL
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I hadn't noticed until you pointed it out. Good catch.
Mar 26, 2010 at 03:08 PM TimothyAWiseman
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I believe the increase may be due to a combination of increased site visibility and students' homework increasing as the end of the school semester/year approaches.

I strongly agree with the majority of opinions (and worded so well by Grant) that we should help but not do all of the work. My main concern is that some of this "homework" could in fact be take-home exams. I agree with the intent of Ian's comment (that the poster who doesn't even try gains no knowledge), but giving away answers to an exam can certainly help their grade. And then perhaps one of us pays for it a year later when that person becomes your new junior assistant that was hired due to their good college grades. :)

I haven't answered any homework questions yet (that I can recall), but that doesn't mean I never will. I would prefer to only answer ones that include an attempted solution.

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answered Mar 26, 2010 at 02:39 PM

Tom Staab gravatar image

Tom Staab
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asked: Mar 26, 2010 at 01:45 PM

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Last Updated: Mar 26, 2010 at 02:21 PM