03-23-2012 11:01 AM
I may be feeling snarky this morning but some of the recent posts in various threads either explicitly involve school assignments or have such artificial restraints on acceptable "answers" to look like assignments.
Maybe with a discussion section for such things respondents to help will be able to target solutions better.
03-23-2012 11:15 AM
I think it would be useful for all parties. Students would get more explanations and less ready made answers, including for basic concepts, and forum members wouldn't waste time looking for advanced or sophisticated solutions.
03-23-2012 02:26 PM
This reminds me of the days when I used to participate a lot at unix.com. I think they are a very nice, if not somewhat too strict policy for posting and replying to homework questions that I feel helps benefit students a lot.
They have three very nice guidelines:
Notice: You Must Include Complete School Name, Professor and Course Number!
Community Spirit and Ethos on Homework & Coursework
Rules for Homework & Coursework Questions Forum
03-23-2012 06:35 PM
I like the idea of having such a thread, but I'm sure that a number of posters will continue to pose homework assignments as representing real work related problems.
Hey, I've been a student, and a professor, and have been at numerous levels of corporate staff and management as well.
Some people actually learn best by being given examples. Some learn by simply being pointed in the right direction. Others have absolutely no desire to learn and simply hope to be spoon fed and, hopefully (or hopefully not) get a passing grade.
If I get the impression that a poster is simply trying to get someone to do their work for them, I try to remember who they are and just avoid their posts. As soon as I hear something like "nice solution but we haven't been taught that yet", that's my clue to stop offering advice. Since when can't students learn things they haven't yet been taught?
When I was going for a Ph.D, all of my profs explicitly hoped that all of my colleagues would end up knowing more than our teachers were able to teach.
03-28-2012 06:00 AM
As always, you guys are right on the cutting edge. We have been batting around this idea too. Just haven't quite figured out the best way to manage it. You have provided some good information in this discussion and the links to guidelines from other sites is really helpful. Maybe we'll see this happen soon.
(I can tell you that usage of this site and of support.sas.com increases when schools are in session.)
Thanks again for all that you do!
03-28-2012 08:53 AM
I think a student forum is a good idea, although I probably wouldn't participate as much as I do on the other forums.
When I was a math professor, I used to participate on the "Ask Dr. Math" forum: http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
The answers often provided 50-65% of the solution and ended with a phrase like "see if you can put together the pieces (hint: use the definition of continuity)."
The students could write back for clarification or to say "I am stuck on step 5 of your recommendation, here's what I have so far."
I like the idea of encouraging the student to post information about the class; it gives the experts a way to judge what the student aready knows (or should know).
03-28-2012 11:30 AM
I don't know that we need a separate forum, but I find it better to know the question relates to a class as I tend then to answer more with concepts than with code.