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Thread: Homework Hints

  1. #1 Homework Hints 
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    Apr 2007
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    This is test about whether the The science forum(TSF) should slightly loosen its unwritten rule (it's explicit in some sub-forums) that homework questions shouldn't be posted.

    We still want to discourage people coming to TSF to get quick answers.
    If a member is stumped about a question they may post their homework question here to get hints and suggestions.

    Other members may provide only hints. Hints should be thought provoking such as providing a different perspective, or perhaps a useful broad resource that might allow the someone to find the answer within.

    As a simple example from my own field:
    4. Which of the following best explains how pressure decreases with height in the Earth's atmosphere?
    a. It decreases at a constant rate (linear decrease)
    b. It decrease quickly at first then more gradually (exponential decrease)
    c. It decreases at a rate of 9.8 millibars per kilometer
    d. It decreases in the troposphere, increases in the stratosphere, then decreases to the top of the atmosphere

    (added at the excellent suggestion of I-feel-tiredsleepy)
    The poster should include at least a short paragraph that indicates they're at least thinking about the problem and "engaged in the learning effort."

    Hint might be "Is air compressible?

    Or another: "Imagine a tall stack of water balloons and how thick the balloons at the top might be compared to those near the bottom of the pile."

    Anyhow I hope that illustrates the idea. Homework hints provides an outlet for those scientifically interested but confused about something, getting an enriching answer that might help deepen their understand and trigger them answering their own question.

    Ask your homework questions in this stickied tread. We'll see how it goes.

    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; August 13th, 2011 at 03:43 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    On the issue of homework help in general. I don't approve of threads that make this help readily available with no effort. There is nothing wrong with people seeking advice or clarification on homework, as long as they show they are engaged in the learning effort and are not looking just to have their homework done for them. Sometimes concepts can be difficult to grasp without help, and students shouldn't be penalized because of that fact.

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  4. #3  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    I will never give the answers to homework problems. It is detrimental to the student and I think it gives the wrong impression of the forum. This is a place of learning, not cheating.

    I fully support people coming here for HELP with homework, but they have to put in some effort. When my students ask me for help with a problem, I don't even give them a hint until they give me at least one answer, right or wrong.

    From my perspective, if someone asks for help and shows some attempt at working the problem themselves, I'll gladly help them if I can. Asking questions is key to learning, but someone coming here the night before something is due and asking us to fill in the blanks won't get any help from me.
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