Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework & Coursework questions

  1. Jan 30, 2010 #1
    I'm wondering about the question in the "Homework & Coursework" section. Do you think many of them are questions from "home-exams" and the like. I.e. exercises that the students are supposed to hand in and that will affect their grades?

    Any opinions?

    Torquil
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2010 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Whether they are take-home exams or not, homework generally counts toward your grade. That is why we have the pretty strict rules that we do for the Homework Help forums section, and why we don't allow homework (or even schoolwork-like) questions in the general technical forums.

    The posters are expected to show the relevant equations and their work toward a solution, and we are limited to giving hints, asking probing questions, finding mistakes, etc.

    If you ever see a homework/coursework question posted in the general technical forums, please use the Report button to bring it to the attention of the Mentors for a possible move to the HH forums. Also, if you ever see a poster giving too much help on a question in the HH forums (like doing too much of the original poster's work for them), please also Report that post as well.

    We spend a huge amount of time and effort managing the Homework Help forums, and doing our best to ensure that the rules are followed. That's the best way to help students learn anyway, but it also helps to prevent students from trying to cheat, and to use the PF as an unfair advantage to help them improve their grade without doing the work themself.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  4. Feb 2, 2010 #3
    Thanks for you informative reply, berkeman. The last thing I would wan't to do is to contribute towards someone cheating or gaining an unfair advantage, so I'll have this in the back of my mind whenever I'm about to reply in that section, or if I see homework-like posts elsewhere.

    Torquil
     
  5. Apr 10, 2010 #4
    well this is a very valid concern , but more elaboration is needed , since it may be hard to tell where to draw the line.
     
  6. Apr 10, 2010 #5

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    We have no ability to know when a question is really something the student should do on his/her own without help (can any instructor enforce that if it is a take-home exam?), or if it is something out of a homework exercise, or even if this is from someone not in school, but simply had a problem he/she wants to attempt.

    So without knowing such a thing, we make a blanket rule that all Homework/Coursework questions, and all homework/coursework-TYPE questions should be in that forum, and that all the rules associated with that forum apply. This means that the person asking must show what he/she knows, and what he/she has attempted, and the members are strictly prohibited from giving outright solutions. This way, even if it is really something the student is supposed to do on his/her own, we have at least not contributed to an outright cheating.

    But having said that, if we obtain information that the question did come from something that the student should not have asked help for, then we will delete the thread and the member will incur a PF infraction. We take such cheating very seriously and class instructors have contacted us in some cases.

    So when you provide help to the students, make sure you provide "guides" on how the students can work out the problem themselves. There are cases where the students are either lazy, or simply clueless with almost no knowledge of how to find the answer. In such cases, simply walk away. It is always better, in this case, to do too little, than to do too much.

    Zz.
     
  7. Apr 10, 2010 #6

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I second that. Helpers shouldn't feel any pressure or obligation to get to a final solution. The burden is on the student. If a student refuses to use their brain, that is their problem, and at some point, in some cases, a helper just has to move on.
     
  8. Apr 10, 2010 #7

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    I also want to emphasize something. The HW Helpers are some of the most valuable resources that we have here on PF. You guys are putting in time and effort to help someone without expecting anything in return. I can safely say that on behalf of the mentors and the admins, we can never express how grateful we are for your efforts. That is why we try all we can to make sure you have not only all the assistance that you need, but also try to resolve any issues that you might have, either with the members of the forum, or with how things are run with the homework/coursework forum.

    This is why, if you are helping a member that is a pain in the rear end, don't waste your time in dealing with the aggravation. Let the mentors deal with all the dirty work by letting us know.

    Zz.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Homework & Coursework questions
  1. Homework questions (Replies: 2)

Loading...