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My opinion about homework help rules

  1. Mar 18, 2013 #1
    I believe that the rules of the homework help forum are too strict so I think it would be great if people can give more obvious directions so that problems are solved faster.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2013 #2


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    Can you elaborate with examples? The homework help rules are in place to prevent a forum developing where students can cheat by getting the answers without gaining proper understanding of how.
  4. Mar 18, 2013 #3


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    Which part of the rules is "too strict"? Have you seen other HW-help threads in which a lot of help have been given successfully? What is your explanation for those to work if you think the rules are too strict?

  5. Mar 18, 2013 #4


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    Hi VertexOperator! :smile:
    faster doesn't necessarily mean better :wink:

    (hmm … i remember you had a thread How can I be really fast at maths?)

    the aim of pf is not to get you extra credit today it's to get you a better mark in the exam (and of course to understand the subject better)

    making you do extra work today takes you time, but probably means you'll remember it better, and have a better idea how to approach similar exam problems

    i often prefer to start with a one-word or two-word hint … for some people, that works, and they get the satisfaction of doing it themselves (and the security of knowing that they could have done it anyway, if they'd thought of that word! :rolleyes:)

    (in this case, the two-word hint would have been "festina lente" :biggrin:)

    for others, it doesn't work, but they can always come back and say i've tried that, can you give me another hint? :smile:

    but you may be right … maybe some people (including me) are being too subtle …

    can you link to any examples?​
  6. Mar 18, 2013 #5
    Hello Vertex,

    When I was also a new member here, I also urged for full solution. But this is not the way !!! When you solve the question on the hints yourself, you will find that your understanding has enhanced much more and you'll be able to tackle such problems whenever you happen to wage war against them.
  7. Mar 20, 2013 #6
    . . . knew where this one was going when I first saw it. It's a very delicate concept. Discovery comes in the strangest of places, where you never expect it. How much help to give? Just a little and let them sink or swim? Or a lot and nurse-maid them through it? It's all a very non-linear phenomenon; the smallest of effects can have the most dramatic of consequences. Sometimes they just need to get nurse-maid over a hump and then they flower. Others, when not helped enough get discouraged and the Riemann hypothesis remains unsolved.

    I for one believe in giving as much help as needed to get them to understand it even if you have to just work it for them. But I know that would be against the rules so I'm careful not to go over the line when I help in the homework form. Still though I can't help suspect a few great minds are getting left behind.
  8. Mar 20, 2013 #7
    Before I found PF, I was somewhat active on Yahoo Answers. But I got extremely irritated because nobody ever put in effort and I just had to solve it for them so that they could blindly copy my solution.

    So I searched for another forum and I found PF. I got to say that if the homework rules of PF were lighter, then I would never become active here. And I dare to say that a lot of the current homework helpers wouldn't be here without our homework rules.
  9. Mar 20, 2013 #8


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    The point of homework help is not to solve problems. It is for the student to learn how to solve problems.
  10. Mar 21, 2013 #9
    I just learned something new. :smile:
  11. Apr 4, 2013 #10
    Same here. I used to answer questions on another website but after meeting PF I never went back because at the other website the culture was to simply give worked out solutions. And from the perspective of receiving help, I don't feel guilty or lazy asking for help here since I know I will get hints, not solutions.
  12. Apr 4, 2013 #11

    I like Serena

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    I'm happy to say I have seen quite a number of "converts" on PF.
    People who no longer want a quick solution to their immediate problems, but who have come to prefer to learn.
    I know for a fact that quick solutions are the way to make sure a poster does not learn anything.
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