About five minutes before I posted this, a question came up in the feed asking users to come up with innovative project ideas for a highschool project with a photoresistor. The question had no research, and it was posted originally without a homework tag. While this question was deleted (maybe a moderator/high-rep user can post a link to this question) after about five minutes, it is still disturbing that a question like this could even come up.

While this is an extreme example, and I know there are other Meta questions discussing the problem of deteriorating question quality and terrible homework questions, nothing has been done. Perhaps we should delete the homework tag and go through all of those questions, deleting and editing where appropriate, maybe we need to have a better homework policy, I don't know. But something needs to be done. Besides, this would conclude many back and forth Meta discussions. =)

So if anyone has any ideas on how to help this situation, post them as answers and the community can vote up or down to show which ideas are the best. Perhaps moderators can implement them.

Thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ If you can come up with a system for electrocuting site members before they complete an inappropriate post then please suggest it to the Stack Exchange. Until we come up with something like that deleting inappropriate posts as rapidly as possible is the only action available to us. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ My point isn't that questions like that should never come up, but that the fact it did come up and the fact that there are many other questions that are bad coming up shows that there's a problem with something somewhere. One or two bad questions? Okay. Half of the newest questions are downvoted...for good reason? Not really okay, especially for stack exchange. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 15:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Right, but it's a basic principle of the SE that it's open to all, so we can't stop anyone from posting a question here. All we can do is clear up the mess afterwards. And for the record I think the site members do a very good job of weeding out the more rubbish questions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ @heather I don't think you realize that bad questions/posts are inherent on something public and anonymous such as the internet. I don't see what's so bad about deleting the questions if they're bad. That's the point of moderation/moderators, no? $\endgroup$
    – Obliv
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie Sure, but we can make the homework policy clearer or delete the homework tag, or something that makes those types of questions less welcome. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Obliv, I realize that bad questions will happen. I'm simply asking if we can take further steps such as those discussed in other Meta posts to reduce the number of bad questions. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ I fail to see how any changes to site policies would stop people posting inappropriate questions. No-one bothers to read the policies before posting. Now if we could remotely electrocute them ... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie Remote electrocution...sounds good to me. Anyway, my point isn't that it will stop it, but could reduce it. I'm also not necessarily saying we should change site policy, I'm simply asking for ideas. Honestly, I don't understand the problem with the question - similar questions have been asked before, and the problem has gotten worse since then. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Heather refers to this question (10k+ only) which was deleted by its OP at score -2 and two close votes. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ I believe there were others, including a question referencing the deletion of the homework tag on stack overflow and asking if that should be done here. As I recall, that question was highly upvoted. Other questions asking about changes in homework policy have also been asked and upvoted. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There have been discussions about toughening the homework policy at least since I joined the site in 2012. The current (and ongoing) discussion is here; if you want to further that effort then take the time to read up on that discussion and the multiple previous ones. At this stage the most helpful thing is probably (i) collecting examples of hw and hw-like questions on the closure borderline for voting, and (ii) analysing the voting data. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty, thank you $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I dont understand how any question could be bad? Isnt the whole process of learning and growing directly tied to asking questions? Isnt it the case that if someone asks a question then they obviously dont know/understand the answer? I want to help people learn regardless of what their question is. If it's related to physics then it seems to me they are in the right place $\endgroup$
    – user122066
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 20:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user122066, I'm referencing questions that are more like one of the following: 1. asking the viewer to do all of the work for them (like the original question I mentioned), 2. questions showing absolutely no effort, 3. unclear/broad questions that can't really be answered. Those are the three main examples I think of. It's not so much the question which is bad, but the way it is formatted, if that makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 21:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ heather, trust me, you're far from the first to bring this up. We've all been thinking about it for a long time. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 6:04


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