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I had a long argument as to why the policy should be enforced but I wanted to make my case as simply as possible as I think the matter is actually rather cut-and-dried.
We respond to cheating when there is evidence, generally something which can only be brought by teachers or representatives of the school in question. This has happened a few times.
That said, your definition of cheating likely does not take into account a variety of subtleties that exist. For example, some schools and classes are 100% ok with your requesting outside help with your work, as long as you mention your sources. Georgia Tech's early undergraduate Computer Science curriculum is run this way, as an example.
Although they tend to only allow internal collaboration (i.e., with other students in the class).
Dgo, the short answer is that we can't know that it's cheating. There are also hundreds of questions asked every day...and only so many of us mods. However, when we get an email from a teacher or admin from a school, we immediately check into the cheating allegations and make sure that it does not go against their school's policy. For instance, most of what happens in Physics would have been against my school's honor code, but it isn't cheating.
In particular, what makes you think what you posted is cheating rather than asking for help on homework? Or perhaps even on supplemental practice problems?
There is no ambiguity in the askers motives. He is explicitly asking others to do his/her homework for him. "please can you solve i was doing work all day please"
I'm not really sure how to put this differently. What you've posted indicates that he/she is asking others to do work for them, yes. That is not a bannable offense on OpenStudy. Violating their school's honor code is, and there is no evidence (a) that they are in an official school (i.e., not homeschooled) or (b) that this is an honor code violation for a school if they are in it.
Argh, lol, it should be a bannable offense, it contributes in no way to anyone and has a tangible negative effect on the community
What do you think will happen if these users get banned? Will they learn? Will this help them try instead of leech? Or will it simply remove them from a community that can try to tease more effort out of them and convert them into better, deeper learners? OpenStudy caters in part to the desperate, because they are the ones in greatest need of help. Sometimes, this means there are people who come and put forth no effort. We want the community to try and channel these into better learners, and we try to achieve that through incentives. Our incentives as they are now are only partially effective in this sense (though they are better than nothing), but we're looking at a few alternatives that will help improve the incentives for giving quality help while reducing the incentives for giving “just answers”.
Do you think both people who are involved in the ""cheating process" should be banned? The "answerer" probably doesn't know anything if he/she is just posting the answers. A person who does this is just going to wolfram or something to get the answer, this something the "asker" can do anyways. Maybe that is the only way some people know how to contribute and I believe that the "answerer" should be not be banned (but also not rewarded a medal). Sometimes getting the answer is just what the "asker" needs in order to verify their answer. I actually have no argument for the other party. The party who is clearly asking for the answers for their homework/quiz/test.
I have seen what I would guess to be attempts at getting other people to complete the asker's homework but I would not be able to prove it. It concerns me that the asker is not interested in learning but all I can do is ignore the question or give guidance on how to find the answer. Cheating becomes a bit subjective - I start a course today that will have open book exams.
As long as they are being given the answers they seek, they have no incentive to try rather than leech. So I don't see any difference to the leech whether they are banned are allowed to continue to leech(although if he is banned perhaps he will be forced to do the work himself). I DO see a difference to the rest of the community, a good one if the leech is warned/eventually banned, a bad one if they are left to continue their tacitly approved leeching.
I still stick to the community being the ones to change this behavior. If you see someone cheating don't give the answer, but try to work with them and see if they can reach the conclusion themselves. If someone interrupts you by giving the answer, I think it would be okay if you politely tell them to delete their answer and not interrupt when you are helping them. If they continue to post the answer, maybe you can report abuse and a moderator could tell them to be considerate of other community members when they are trying to help others.I could see how this would be classified as rude. What do you think shadowfiend and Laura*?
Generally seems like a good idea. We'll discuss and see if this should become an “official policy”, if you will. dgo—our community is explicitly and intentionally one of inclusion, not exclusion. If you are not harming others, we don't want to exclude you if at all possible. That is the guiding principle behind most of our policies, and the reason why this is a subject that we've discussed at length and repeatedly for months with the same conclusions. There is no difference to the leech if the community makes no effort to channel their behavior into something more positive. In our experience, trying to do this tends to have one of two effects: (1) they capitulate and put forth some effort or (2) they become abusive/disrespectful, at which point they are reported abusive and the moderators will take the matter in hand. The key here is to stay positive while trying to encourage learning. Things get hairy when the helper decides to be derisive or disrespectful while trying to extract cooperation from an asker; in those cases, we are forced to take action against the helper, which is something we want to avoid when possible. But those are the guidelines to keep in mind: our community is as inclusive as possible, and we want everyone to adhere to our three core principles: - Be Nice (stay positive and friendly) - Be Helpful (encourage learners and be patient) - Be Appreciative (thank people for their help) We try to work these core principles not only in the community, but also in our handling of the community and in how we form rules and norms for it.
Ok thanks for your help. ;)
ok, I'm gonna learn math and set a good example. Thanks for your time.
wish I could quote shadow's last answer for truth :-)
Reporting abuse is sufficient ;) I took care of it, thanks.
To support some of what shadowfiend has been trying to say - there have been several occasions where I have seen a question from a user where it seems quite clear that they just want an answer. However, by persevering in trying to /teach/ them how to learn the subject, I have found that once they see the problem as being not as hard as they envisaged, they tend to start trying to solve it themselves. This in turn gives them more confidence which starts a positive feedback loop.
I also am uneasy at times with the "www.DoMyHomework.com" aspects of the site. It is quite common in biology to see the same question asked - and answered - several times over the course of a few days. When I copy and paste the suspect question into Google, I get hits in test banks from which universities draw quiz and exam questions as well as links to the online quizzes themselves. I see scanned and uploaded homework assignments; I see questions posted with a question number and (3 points) right there in parens. None of this proof positive of cheating (what I personally consider "cheating), but it's a strong indication of it. I am also a concerned that the medal system encourages the answerers to indulge the leechers. A twenty question quiz is twenty medals, for whatever e medals are worth, and there are a few users who routinely give single letter answers to multiple choice questions in exchange for a medal a piece. It is easy for me to point out problems as I am not responsible for trying to solve them; however, I think it is a real issue and one which merits consideration.
Okay so the example that dgo gave is an excellent example. I see atleast 4-5 of those each day? Do I now have the permission to report them??
There certainly are no easy answers, but these discussions are useful explorations of the issue. I'm glad to see them!
If you see someone posting and reposting the same question, yes, feel free to report abuse.
Perhaps I'm a bit late on this discussion, but here is an example of someone that I believe was (is) looking for just the answer to their homework problem and how I handled (am handling it): http://openstudy.com/study#/updates/4f3942c2e4b0fc0c1a0e0b3b It's easy to suspend/ban someone doing this. It's much more difficult to guide them in the right direction without giving into their demands for the answer. I think I am getting through in this case.
Laura, do you mean exact duplicate or abstract duplicate?
I mean exact duplicated. You can report abstract duplicate, but that's not quite the same thing. What I do in that case is say "Hey, [user], you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this concept since you're asking similar questions at once. What specifically are you having trouble with? That way, we can help you understand it better!"
Hey, [user], you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this concept since you're asking similar questions at once. What specifically are you having trouble with? That way, we can help you understand it better! -Laura* <\quote> I am gong to save this as a template lol
It's a great template. I love the direction we've taken here: how can we guide these people? Ultimately, jagatuba didn't really get through in the above circumstance. But there was no fighting, no banning, no suspension, no disrespect, and that person may return when they realize they need to actually understand what's going on. If not, they've effectively “banned themselves”.
Jaga, I love what you did there. That's pretty indicative of what Jaga, Redwood Girl, and I all try to do in the writing section. Whether it works or not is another question.... I'm glad you guys like my template! I usually get either an actual question on the process or they just go away. Usually they stop asking similar questions, but I keep watch for a while, just in case.
By work, I mean get the user to keep engaging instead of just getting someone to give the answer.
That is nice! Looks like Jaga had this person engaged, for a time anyway. What drives me crazy is when you begin work in this direction and someone else comes along (another younger person, another student, I'm thinking) and just plunks down the answer, typically in one word or even just the letter of the correct choice from multiple response.
Irks me no end! Don't know whether a private word with folks who do that would make any difference.
We all talked about this issue in another thread and when that happens (whether after I've tried to begin a discussion or not), I do try to come in behind that person and offer some of the reasoning behind the choice. I figure, the person who asked *may* care, if she/he looks at it. Or someone else browsing may care, and take something away from the discussion.
I like Laura's template response to multiple postings of essentially the same question. I'll be borrowing it as well, I think. I've seen that happen and wasn't sure what the appropriate response was, what the site's policy on that was.
In terms of the overall discussion and the larger issues, I love this that shadowfiend had to say back at the start --
"OpenStudy caters in part to the desperate, because they are the ones in greatest need of help. Sometimes, this means there are people who come and put forth no effort. We want the community to try and channel these into better learners, and we try to achieve that through incentives. Our incentives as they are now are only partially effective in this sense (though they are better than nothing), but we're looking at a few alternatives that will help improve the incentives for giving quality help while reducing the incentives for giving 'just answers'. "
As well as the subsequent comment regarding "inclusion, not exclusion." I'm going to try to keep this in mind. I'm afraid I'm coming more naturally from something similar to dgo's point of view, and the others who have posted along these lines. I'm trying to keep the bigger picture in mind now.
Hey I just had a brilliant idea. We already have a Code of Conduct page. Would it be so bad to have an OpenStudy Etiquette page? You could more firmly establish the type of community that we are aiming to build as well as bullet point issues such as we have been discussing for the last few days; deleting while someone is answering, giving away the answer while it is obvious that someone else if providing a more detailed explanation, ect. These would not be warn-able offenses or anything, just a list of suggestions on how to improve the community by respecting it's vision. Just and idea.
I love it!
Jagatuba, I think that's a very good idea, also!
idea is good but, noone read conduct which is warnable, who will read etiquette? :D
I'm mortified that I started what turned out to be a highly medaled and great-idea-laden thread with a horrible-tasting grammar error two words in! *blushes* Anyhow, +1 to all the great ideas, specifically Laura's template and jagatuba's etiquette page. I'll start using the template right away. I hope it works!
Even if no one reads it, at least we would be giving it our best effort. I don't agree with the logic. Just because we know that the neighborhood kids will not stay off our lawn does not mean that we shouldn't bother telling them to stay off our lawn. I also don't think that nobody will read the etiquette page and even if only a few do, would we not be moving the site the direction that we want? If we can convert just a few to respecting the vision of the site it can go further than that through the lead by example/peer pressure factor.