27
   

Homework isn't a test. As long as they are transcribing it themselves it serves its purpose.

 
 
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 10:37 pm
Other than things like writing an essay for someone or providing all the backup work to a mathematical problem's solution I wonder at some of the animosity to some of the homework questions here and not having spent much time in school I'm interested in knowing why.

See, I learned huge amounts from asking questions on forums and I'd have been severely limited if people were telling me to get off the internet and use the textbook for example. I want to know what the difference is.

I see the purpose of most of this kind of homework the repetition. Learning by rote. So if they get the answer to some history question from their textbook or a forum and write it down it is roughly the same. The key step the teacher wanted was for them to isolate that bit of data and repeat the consumption of it right? And if so, what's wrong with isolating that data through a forum?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 27 • Views: 9,827 • Replies: 101

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 10:41 pm
Seems perfectly reasonable to me.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 10:42 pm
@Robert Gentel,
no argument from me -

though I see the side of trying to boist people up to look around on their own, given reasonable help.


But wait, I don't argue with a straightforward answer, much as I'd like people to explore.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 10:59 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Other than things like writing an essay for someone or providing all the backup work to a mathematical problem's solution I wonder at some of the animosity to some of the homework questions here and not having spent much time in school I'm interested in knowing why.

See, I learned huge amounts from asking questions on forums and I'd have been severely limited if people were telling me to get off the internet and use the textbook for example. I want to know what the difference is.

I see the purpose of most of this kind of homework the repetition. Learning by rote. So if they get the answer to some history question from their textbook or a forum and write it down it is roughly the same. The key step the teacher wanted was for them to isolate that bit of data and repeat the consumption of it right? And if so, what's wrong with isolating that data through a forum?


Well, I think part of the homework is generally to prompt the homeworkee to learn how to use research methods.

The internet, in terms of answers from people on a forum, unless they can be demonstrated to be experts, is not going to be acceptable at all at any point at which you are expected to cite your sources, and therefore learning to come here, for instance, is going to be of zero use for anyone wanting to go beyond middle high school, I would think.



I have no problem with helping with homework, but I am not too thrilled with just being asked to analyse a poem for a kid, or things of that ilk. I am happy to HELP...but not to DO. I don't think that sort of thing is useful where the HOW is the key part of what needs to be learned.

I am also happy to help with simple answers, or be part of a homework discussion.



For people in lower school grades, people learning for non-academic purposes, and people wanting advice it's great, and I agree you can learn an immense amount.

I think you could cite an answer here as PART of addressing a question in academe, but you'd not get away with it as a source on its own.



Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 12:06 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Well, I think part of the homework is generally to prompt the homeworkee to learn how to use research methods.


I get this part, especially when they take far longer signing up and posting a simple question than they would have taken using a search engine.

But sometimes people here treat them like they are cheating, and that they shouldn't be here at all. Instead of teaching good research methods they just tell them to go do their homework.


Quote:
I have no problem with helping with homework, but I am not too thrilled with just being asked to analyse a poem for a kid, or things of that ilk. I am happy to HELP...but not to DO. I don't think that sort of thing is useful where the HOW is the key part of what needs to be learned.


I get that too, especially how lazy some of the questions are. It certainly doesn't inspire me to do much work to answer them.

But there are a lot of lazy questions and the homeworks ones (or almost as often non-homework ones that people think may be homework) seem to draw special ire (not just on a2k, on most forums I've seen).
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 12:13 am
I don't have any problem with them asking. I just have a problem with being expected to provide answers to homework on a free forum. I am paid for teaching. I am not paid here.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 12:27 am
@Robert Gentel,
The reality is that a lot of kids don't have parents who can help them with their homework. Although it may not be the case, it also might be very likely that when a kid is asking for help with homework on this forum it's because either there's no parent at home to help him or her or no parent at home who is capable of helping him or her.

If it hadn't been for my dad in my house, after fractions and decimals, my mom, god bless her, wouldn't have been ABLE to help me with my math homework no matter how much she may have wanted to. That's true of a lot of parents. How many people who aren't engineers or math teachers remember theorems in geometry or how to do algebra?

So I figure I might be the parent substitute for this kid who is asking for help. And often, an answer is a starting place for learning. Especially in math. I know if I've been taught how to do something, but can't remember the steps exactly - if I have the answer- I can play it backward and trigger my memory in terms of remembering the sequence or order of operations for the equation.

I don't know - it's like I told my son the other day when we were doing a crossword puzzle and there was a name of a lake in Scotland we didn't know- I said, ' google it'. He said, that's cheating.' I said, 'No that's learning. It's a name of something we don't know- we'll never get it on our own. We can leave it blank and learn nothing or we can google it and learn something.'

The thing with the forum as opposed to google is that here there's room for interaction. There's room for continued questions and instruction. It's more of a starting place than just the ending place with an answer and no chance for further instruction.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 12:30 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I have no problem with helping with homework, but I am not too thrilled with just being asked to analyse a poem for a kid, or things of that ilk. I am happy to HELP...but not to DO. I don't think that sort of thing is useful where the HOW is the key part of what needs to be learned.


Yes. Doing a student's homework for them by supplying the "right answer" simply defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. Which is to encourage them to research widely & think about all the information they've come across, then make an informed assessment on the basis of their research ... to reach their own conclusions, on the basis of that research. The "correct answer" to the research isn't the point. The search for an answer - & making sense of the available information - is the point.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 12:49 am
@Eva,
Eva wrote:
I don't have any problem with them asking. I just have a problem with being expected to provide answers to homework on a free forum. I am paid for teaching. I am not paid here.


But they don't expect you specifically to do it necessarily, just someone else who might be willing to on a site dedicated to such generosity.

I'm paid to do a lot of things that I give away for free here. Sometimes I have to tell people they are asking for too much to get a good likelihood of an answer but I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of publishing my little bits of code modifications to open source projects or providing free help on subjects I'm paid to consult on. There may be others who feel the same and don't have the problem of being faced with their day job on their leisure time (I certainly get how that can be annoying, any geek confronted with a broken computer at every friend's house gets it).
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:05 am
I'm glad you get it.

I give away more of my time and talent than you could possibly know. That is NOT why I come here. I'm sincerely sorry if that defeats your purpose, but it's how I feel.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:16 am
@Eva,
I completely get it and certainly don't blame you if you don't want to bring your work to able2know, but I just wonder why the homework gets what seems like additional ire.

For example, lots of the translation, legal questions, computer questions, etc are asking for a lot but they rarely get told off. I wonder if it's just that it's easier to talk that way (not talking about you, of course, but a theme I see across forums across the internet) to a child.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:18 am
@msolga,
But in those cases wouldn't it be better to prompt them along that path instead of the "do your own homework" brush off?

Some people do that well but others seem to think they shouldn't even get the encouragement to think for themselves on a forum either.
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:35 am
I think some A2Kers get irritated because they don't think A2K should be a service where students can dump their homework off and have someone else research it for them. It's great if you can answer questions off the top of your head, but I would probably dig around and check my facts before I posted any answer...all the while thinking, "Why aren't they doing this instead of me?!"
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:53 am
@Robert Gentel,
Certainly A2Kers (including me, of course) could do far better in explaining the virtues & benefits of students doing their own work.

It is possible to assist a student without doing all the required work for them. Or, to put it another way, without simply supplying them with the "right answers" with little or no effort on the part of the student asking for assistance.

We are not doing them any real favours at all if we simply supply them with acceptable "answers", while not addressing the ways to finding those answers for themselves. We are encouraging them to be lazy & find easy solutions to questions they should rightly be grappling with. This is what the goals of education are about, afterall. Learning to think, form your own conclusions & to effectively function as an informed member of the society you live in . ... say nothing of a becoming a responsible, thinking member of this planet.

(Call me an idealist, if you like. But that's the best possible outcome of a sound education to me.)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 06:02 am
In some cases which involve history homework, the instructor expects the student to produce what the instructor thinks is the correct answer. This type of question can be readily seen when the question involves asking for the impact of this or that person or event, or when the question is of a leading nature. History is a highly interpretive subject, and questions which require the student to interpret, and include very specific references to persons or events are usually a sign that the instructor expects the student to provide the interpretation they've already had in class. No way we can help them with things like that, unless the answers are very obvious and unambiguous. (An example of the latter would be the student who asked, in so many words, for the impact of the "civil war amendments"--but questions which call for interpretation which are that straightforward and unambiguous are awfully rare.)

Other cases are obviously calling for original work by the student. I used to be rather naive about that. One member here came and asked a question which showed that they (the class) had been looking at relations between Canada and the United States, and the question pointed to, but didn't necessarily require, a discussion of the Aroostook War. So i mentioned that (and Farmerman gave a detailed description of the event), and then i pointed out that i found the 1866 invasion of Canada by Fenians coming from the United States more dramatic and interesting, and wrote a detailed essay about Colonel O'Neil and his boys who invaded from near Buffalo, and defeated a Canadian militia expedition sent against them.

This joke replied something to the effect of: "I love you man." Then he was gone. And never came back. For a while, i would look at the profile, to see if the clown had posted again--no way. I felt rather stupid, and realized i had been used. That's not a big problem, but the amount of time i spent writing a concise essay was. We had another guy show up asking about the so-called "Battle of Britain," and i and a number of other members gave detailed answers, because the guy had honestly said he was writing a paper for university, and wanted pointers on where to look, and who and what to look for. We asked him to let us know how he did. Complete silence from yet another person who used our services, and didn't even bother to stop by to say thanks.

I've become cynical about it. I often will answer as ambiguously as is the case with the question asked--if the student gets any benefit from my answer, they will have had to do some work to understand it. Other times, i ask questions in return, which a perceptive student might use to learn if they attempt to answer the questions themselves. Sometimes, the answers to the questions are so obvious, i don't give them a serious answer, because it's obvious they've been paying no attention in class--but i do like to point that out to them.

Sure, it's a judgment by me on the sincerity of the person asking the question, and whether or not they can really benefit from my help--but you can't through life without making judgments. Sometimes, it's not homework at all, or it's homework which can be guided, so i answer when other people are showing up to say they won't answer because it's homework. If someone is asking a confused question about the Alien and Sedition act, the jailing of newspaper editors, the phony war with the French and the 1800 election, then it's obvious they have been paying attention in class, but that they either haven't understood, or (more likely) it was not coherently explained to them--so i'll help them.

Of course, sometimes it's not homework. The appalling amount of interest in Hitler, for example, and the inference (usually borne out in the responses to what i post) that the person posting admires Hitler or thinks he has been unfairly treated in historical accounts--in those cases, i'll post just to assure that other curious readers are not lead astray (the "Hitler wasn't all bad, he did some good" kind of post leaps to mind). Other people show up with other stalking horses. Conspiracy theories are often the occasion for an especially contemptuous reply. ("Yes, i believe that there was a conspiracy carried out on September 11th, 2001. It was planned by Al Qaeda, and carried out by 19 Muslim fanatics.")

It's not necessarily an easy call, but i see no reason to apologize for making the judgment, and i don't think members here can be justly criticized for making the judgment.
0 Replies
 
oolongteasup
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 06:17 am
@Robert Gentel,
there you go again Rob, getting others to answer your questions instead of working it out yourself

i quite like homework questions but suspect its because i never did any
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 06:18 am
Oh, and by the way, i don't buy the argument that transcribing one of our responses does the student much good, unless they're trying to learn English, which is about the only case i could think of in which that would be true.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 06:25 am
Doing homework is very, very important. I know that is true.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 06:34 am
Part of learning is learning to think. I often asked teachers to teach my kids how to learn.
Part of learning is learning how to think for oneself.

I like to see some kind of effort by a kid. I often ask "what do you think" or what have you got so far.

I try to guide or encorage the kid to figure out the answer rather than provide potted knowledge. Sometimes i will post teasers that can help a kid to begin thinking about the subject matter for themselves.

farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 06:38 am
@Robert Gentel,
I recall several of the homework questions that set and msolga had mentioned. I get really torqued off when an obvious upper grade kid will ask for a specific derivative solution or (even more telling) a specific reaction product in chemistry. If all the kid is doing is transferring the assignment here and then walking away and , sfter its answered, we never even hear from the kid again. That displayes an attitude that does not seem to celebrate pwersonal success or mastery.

I recall one where some small group of kids (all from the same class no doubt) asked
"What were the three main causes of the AMerican Civil WAr. "

Thre were actually more than merely three, and by getting 3 "reasons" , the students entire intellectual quest was over.

AS far as pro bono, we all do lots in opur fields for others for free and , ususally these things involve hydra headed problem solving and not "Quick, gimme the 3 reasons for the Civil War"

I , on the most prt, have quit getting involved in homework questions unless I sense that the student has already done some initial analyses and is either

1 using us as a QA of their own work

2 or is asking a more detailed analysis based question that seemingly departs from what the teacher originally assigned.

3 HOWEVER ,I will NEVER answer anything to do with spelling or punctuation because what I do in writing my posts has been punished as a minor felony in the several states.

I can recognize the setup questions that a teacher has constructed. Many times , they need to be analyzed and the question needs further sub catagorizing. To recognize that and make the teacher aware that you , the student, had gone beyond the teachers horizon is what teachers live for. I get really depressed at some of the shittly set-upped questions that these kid are given and the kids dont even bother to critique thw questions.

Being a public school teacher in this age must be frutrating if the teacher is one of these Imperious types whoise utterances are the final word. I know that my students run me in small circles when it comes to questions regarding resource extraction and environmental concerns. However, ya gotta love it when youve been shown some new , undreamt of point in your own analysis by some really sharp bunches of students.

I
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Lola at the Coffee House - Question by Lola
JIM NABORS WAS GOY? - Question by farmerman
Adding Tags to Threads - Discussion by Brandon9000
LOST & MISPLACED A2K people. - Discussion by msolga
Merry Andrew - Discussion by edgarblythe
Spot the April Fools gag yet? - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Great New Look to A2K- Applause, Robert! - Discussion by Phoenix32890
Head count - Discussion by CalamityJane
New A2K feature requests. - Discussion by DrewDad
The great migration - Discussion by shewolfnm
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Homework isn't a test. As long as they are transcribing it themselves it serves its purpose.
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 12/06/2021 at 12:47:56