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

Why is a living thread deleted?

  1. May 3, 2015 #1

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...he-minimum-surface-area-of-a-cylinder.811882/

    was a thread of a newcomer, with 6 posts, 3 from the OP and three ones from me. I tried to understand the OP and guide him, and he answered, and I was waiting his next post when a mentor just closed the thread down with the note "Since the OP has not provided a statement of the problem or any efforts toward solving it, I am closing this thread." That was wrong. The OP made the problem statement clear and showed some results, which I wanted to make be explained.
    It happens quite often with the threads of new people, which certainly discourages them and raise bad feelings towards PF. I think the mentors must be more patient towards new members.
    I also feel hurt as I have done some work with that thread - in vain.

    Elizabeth
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2015 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    When a member doesn't fill out the template correctly, the post should be reported and not replied to, then you have wasted no time and the member receives proper instructions for posting homework . The member will receive a note similar to this
    So if you see a member posting in homework without filling out the template, please report instead of responding. :smile: You did ask them repeatedly to show their work and they kept ignoring you, that is not a good use of your time, which we value so highly.
     
  4. May 3, 2015 #3

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Please note that there is a sticky thread in the General Math forum that contains all the warnings and info that would have answered your complaint here. Similar notices have been posted in almost all of the relevant forums, indicating that such type of question does not belong in those forums, and that there's a likelihood that the thread/question will be deleted.

    Zz.
     
  5. May 3, 2015 #4
    "...When a member doesn't fill out the template correctly..."

    Perhaps a mentor ought to be held to a greater standard of clarity then someone on their first post? If you are relying on people like Ehild to help people out, perhaps you should respect HER idea of what she wants to do with her time! No matter how many posts you have now, I assure you that you were a newbie yourself once, and someone like Ehild held your hand. Any tower, no matter how mighty, must have a ground floor.
     
  6. May 3, 2015 #5

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That's why we have very clear instructions for posting homework.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/guidelines-for-students-and-helpers.686783/

    And no, I wasn't lucky enough to have a place like PF to get help with homework, there was no internet when I was in school, I did my homework alone. Kids these days have no idea how lucky they are that they can go online, fill out a simple template explaining their problem and what they have been trying to solve it themselves and running into trouble, and get help, and many won't even do the bare minimum and fill the template out!

    By helping students that won't bother to fill out the template, they are giving preferential treatment to these students, it's a bad example "oh, you don't want to follow the rules, ok, you don't have to follow the rules". It's unfair to the good members.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  7. May 3, 2015 #6

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    I agree that there are better options available here than just closing the thread.
     
  8. May 3, 2015 #7

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    A new member wants help, and those instructions are long and complicated. Some people do not even understand English well. Fill in the template ... How one fill them if he/she does not understand the problem text?
    One registers in the morning, writes a thread, starts to communicate with a Helper, and his thread gets closed in the afternoon. It is hard.
    It would be more human to explain the rules and help one with his very first thread, instead of punishing him.
    Sharni Kelaart completed the problem text in his second post, and provided some solution in the third one, when Mark closed the thread.
    As the problem text wanted the solution using a graphing calculator, he might have got those results with it. So it was not true that the OP has not provided a statement of the problem or any efforts toward solving it. He did, not in the first post, but in the second and third ones. And next time, he would have done it properly.
     
  9. May 3, 2015 #8

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    That is a quotation from the Instructions.
    It means: Do not dare to post if you do not know enough.

    It can be that somebody does not understand what is expected from him. Like in the thread in question:
    What if somebody does not have a Graphics Calculator? How to fill the template?
     
  10. May 3, 2015 #9

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    When I was a kid, I learnt that reporting about other kids was bad. I usually explain a new member that he/she has to use the template and needs to show some attempt for the solution. But I try to help, if I can.
    In this case, the OP was not ignoring me, but tried to respond.
     
  11. May 3, 2015 #10

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I've never understood how reporting bad behavior by others was a bad thing, letting them get away with things is bad, it's teaching them that incorrect behavior is rewarded or at the very least, allowed and condoned. And you're not reporting bad behavior in these cases anyway, you are simply letting the mentors know that the student, for whatever reason, has not followed the rules, maybe they didn't read the rules, maybe they think rules are optional. For the forum to be fair to everyone, everyone must follow the same rules. No preferential treatment or bending the rules for some while others follow the rules.

    All I can say is that you are very valuable to us ehild, but we must ask that all students follow the same rules. The student you were helping has simply been asked to repost using the template, according to the same rules as all others, that's all. No punishment.
     
  12. May 3, 2015 #11

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Evo, you speak as an old lady now. I know you are not !
    Well, I did not get any help when I was a young student, either. Our Maths teacher was quite evil, and she did not know Maths well, and did not explain things. The other kids were terrified. So I went to school one hour earlier and helped my schoolmates to do the homework. And I am going to help till I can.
    Elizabeth
     
  13. May 3, 2015 #12

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm probably old enough to be your mother.

    You are a great, exceptional person, and one that we hold in very high esteem. I've put this thread to the attention of the mentor that closed the thread, they are not here right now.
     
  14. May 3, 2015 #13

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    We came from different circumstances, Evo.
    I do not consider not using the template a bad behaviour. I do not think it is necessary. And the first posters might not understand why it is so important.
     
  15. May 3, 2015 #14

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    I think the converse might be more likely ;)
     
  16. May 3, 2015 #15

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Or I am probably old enough to be your mother. :devil: (You can check my age)
     
  17. May 3, 2015 #16

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If you're older than me, you were doing homework on clay tablets. :smile:

    Anyway, as I said, I have brought this thread to the mentor's attention for when they come back.
     
  18. May 3, 2015 #17

    ehild

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Well, it was not clay tablets, but I did calculations at my first workplaces with book of 10-digit function tables, and did addition and multiplications with hand. There were no calculators yet, and no access to computers.
    Thank you. I hope I will be able to go ahead with the thread. It is an interesting problem.
     
  19. May 3, 2015 #18

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    As with anything in learning, the best thing one can do is educate them sooner rather than later on what is appropriate behavior.
    Imagine the same thing happening in a classroom - say a student just blurts out questions, interrupting the teacher. It is up to the teacher to explain the process by which questions are asked and answered, for the sake of everyone. It is not up the asker (or the asker's friend who does not regard freestyle q&a as bad behavior) to decide how this process happens.
    You may have come from different circumstances than Evo, but I'll bet they're not so different that you didn't acknowlege that one's mentors/teachers/profs know what they're doing when they require structure.
     
  20. May 3, 2015 #19

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Same here, we might be the same age. :smile: At work, I would have to calculate distances between locations using an algorithm with longitude and latitude and did it all on paper, no calculators, no computers, I remember when microfilm started to replace a lot of paper records, that was a big deal.
     
  21. May 3, 2015 #20

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Nobody disagrees with this, the question is how to educate them!

    This is not quite a classroom environment, there are fundamental differences. This is more a one-one conversation between student and teacher. The teacher should still decide how the process happens, but there are better ways than just saying "the conversation is over until you read this long text and do as I say".
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Why is a living thread deleted?
  1. Deleted thread (Replies: 32)

  2. Deletion of threads? (Replies: 10)

  3. Delete a thread (Replies: 3)

  4. Deleted thread (Replies: 15)

Loading...