Has there been any feedback on A week of community closing: what should be disallowed homework? ?

My impression is that it was all a bit underwhelming and the close ratio was largely unaffected. Has there been any discussions amongst the mods, and if so what conclusions did you reach?

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think there has been any private discussion among the moderators, but I may not know because I was away from the site for most of last week. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 4 '14 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ There wasn't. We've all been busy, I think. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Mar 4 '14 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ I brought this up several days ago in chat. My view is that most questions that should have been closed, did get closed. In many cases though they weren't closed fast enough to stop answers from being provided. Allow me to quote what I posted in chat: "Despite aggressive efforts to rapidly close homework questions, I don't think it's working. For example, user41607 has asked 5 homework questions. All 5 have been put on hold yet all 5 received answers user41607 deemed worthy of accepting." $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Mar 5 '14 at 1:27
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    $\begingroup$ My follow up chat post read "So if I were user41607 I'd just keep asking homework questions all day. Sure we're not a homework help site in name, but we are one in practice.". $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Mar 5 '14 at 1:28
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    $\begingroup$ Feedback: I'm exhausted after issuing record numbers of close votes and downvotes. I'm also wondering if maybe I'm a terrible person who hates children. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Mar 5 '14 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ @BrandonEnright that probably would have made a good answer $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 5 '14 at 7:24
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    $\begingroup$ same cc @ChrisWhite $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 5 '14 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ although on second thought, perhaps John was looking for feedback on what kinds of questions should be considered off topic, based on what people wanted to close during the week? We do need to resolve that somewhere. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 5 '14 at 7:25
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ I think John is actually looking for feedback from moderators about what you all thought of the week and what the future plans are. I think we proved we can close questions; albeit probably not fast enough. I think we also showed all of the 3k users that review queues really start to suck after a while. Finally, I think we demonstrated to the rest of the site that we really need to give our moderators some leeway to unilaterally close the egregious questions. $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Mar 5 '14 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @BrandonEnright: in the (good old?) days we would not just close homework questions but delete the answers to them. I guess we all mellow with age :-) $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Mar 5 '14 at 7:42
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie I recently heard mention of that. I really don't know how I feel about that. It definitely aggressively tackles the effortless homework question problem but I feel like deleting information is wrong and even a bit spiteful. I'm all for closing homework questions aggressively but I'm not sure I'd support deleting answers to them. $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Mar 5 '14 at 8:20

There has been no private discussion among the moderators about this, and we're not planning on having any. Nothing about the results of the experiment really needs to be kept private, so whatever discussion we have will be on meta posts or in the chat room and thus everyone can read it themselves.

Personally, I've been very busy for the past week and haven't had a chance to think about it much, but I have been hoping to see some hard statistics on closures during the week the moderators were avoiding closing homework questions. (And perhaps also afterwards, since I think I've only closed a couple of HW questions myself even since the trial ended.) My impression, to the extent I noticed anything different, was that there was little difference in what types of questions got closed, it just took longer to do it, but I wasn't keeping a particularly close eye on the site so I'm not particularly confident in that assessment. If that impression turns out to be correct, it would mean there are no significant changes that need to be made to the scope section of the homework policy, except perhaps with regard to graduate-level HW questions, which we didn't get a chance to examine during that week (simply because nobody asked any, that I know of).

  • $\begingroup$ Which, if the data shows this assessment to be true, that also means the mods should resume closing the homework questions, even if unilateral. If the same types of things got closed but just took longer, then let's not make it take longer. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Mar 6 '14 at 3:16

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