There have been a few questions in the past few days which are most likely homework. As the language grows, more and more courses will adopt it, so it may be a good idea to formulate some kind of policy that aligns expectations of students looking for help here (and other forums), community members who are willing to help out, and those who just consider this noise.
To get the discussion started:
I think that asking for help on problem sets is OK, if it is clearly indicated. A homework tag would be useful. Admins should be able to add this if the question is most likely homework.
Helping with the language per se should be fine, if it is part of a larger problem. Eg if the assignment is to use a finite element method to solve a functional equation, then the subproblem of building a sparse matrix of a particular pattern should be fine. The preferred form of help is links to the documentation or examples.
OTOH, if the exercise is about learning the language, the student should make the effort, but links to the documentation should be fine.
Help should be proportional to effort. Showing a working prototype, some code, MWE, should get a enough (but just enough) help to continue if the student is stuck.
Questions about installation/setup of a working environment should get all the help possible.
- Matlabcentral says
Don’t ask to solve your homework. Certainly don’t just copy and paste your homework with not additional information about what you tried or what you are having trouble with.
- R-help’s posting guide:
Basic statistics and classroom homework: R-help is not intended for these.
I think we could experiment with being more inclusive than these two.