Poll result: How to respond to homework questions

Tom Pledger Tom.Pledger@peace.com
Wed, 3 Sep 2003 15:35:03 +1200


The stream of votes has dried up, and the ICFP people and monthly
digest people have had an opportunity, so here's the collated result.
22 people voted.

(A) Give a perfect answer.
(B) Give a subtly flawed answer.
(C) Give an obfuscated answer.
(D) Give a critique of what the questioner has tried so far,
    or ask to see what the questioner has tried so far.
(E) Give relevant general advice without answering the specific question.

	Approve		Neither		Disapprove

A	1		6		15
B	1		4		17
C	3		4		15
D	20		2		0
E	21		1		0

Combination	Count

+ADE -BC	1
+BDE -A		1
+C		1
+CDE -AB	2
+DE		3
+DE  -ABC	11
+DE  -BC	2
+E   -ABC	1


Some votes were made conditional on the tone and content of the
question.  I smoothed these out for ease of collation, e.g. "+ADE -BC
if ..., otherwise +DE -ABC" became +DE -BC.

15 of the votes were accompanied by some descriptive text.  There's
not much I can do to tabulate that extra information, but here are a
couple of the things I thought stood out.

  - Some of the 11 like-minded people showed clearly that they're
    university staff: they gave longer forms of their email signatures
    than they normally use for posting to lists @haskell.org.

  - "D and E are what I do when a student fronts up to my office
    wanting help with homework I've set. I'd have no problem with
    (informed) third parties doing the same."

(If you sent me descriptive text, didn't keep a copy yourself, and
were expecting me to relay it to everyone, please let me know.)

- Tom