View Poll Results: Should non-student requests from new members be subject to a waiting period?

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Thread: Poll-3 Waiting period for non-students

  1. #1
    Elite Member mmm4444bot's Avatar
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    Poll-3 Waiting period for non-students

    This poll is for the active membership. The poll is anonymous (no one, including moderators and administrators, can see who voted). You'll see the current tally, as soon as you cast your choice.

    This poll concerns the possibility of setting a waiting period, for non-students' requests for help. Threads authored by new members who claim their request is not related to schoolwork (eg: class assignment, quiz, academic project) would be published but closed for X days.
    "English is the most ambiguous language in the world." ~ Yours Truly, 1969

  2. #2
    Elite Member stapel's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by mmm4444bot View Post
    This poll is for the active membership. The poll is anonymous (no one, including moderators and administrators, can see who voted). You'll see the current tally, as soon as you cast your choice.

    This poll concerns the possibility of setting a waiting period, for non-students' requests for help. Threads authored by new members who claim their request is not related to schoolwork (eg: class assignment, quiz, academic project) would be published but closed for X days.
    I've seen what happens when the "waiting period" is waived (or the back-end script forgets to impose it; whatever). It ain't pretty!

  3. #3
    Elite Member mmm4444bot's Avatar
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    What I have in mind is manually approving moderated threads from new members as usual, but requests that are clearly not schoolwork would be approved -- and perhaps moved to a separate board created for non-students -- and then immediately be closed. It would be up to moderators to manually close the thread. Moderators would also be responsible for checking the threads/board regularly, to note threads that have been closed for more than X days and reopen them. If such a thread gets overlooked, then any active member who desires to contribute can post a message on the Administrative Issues board or contact a moderator by private message to request the missed thread be opened.
    "English is the most ambiguous language in the world." ~ Yours Truly, 1969

  4. #4
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    I would like to know why students would presumably be getting a priority here.

  5. #5
    Elite Member mmm4444bot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quick View Post
    I would like to know why students would presumably be getting a priority here.
    That's a very good question, Quick, as it goes to the heart of what started the current discussion about this web site's mission and the purpose/protocols of the forum.

    Ted (the site owner) had more than one goal, when he created this web site. As a programmer, one goal was self-enrichment, with respect to technology. He desired to learn the ins-and-outs of html coding, operating and maintaining a server, and other stuff that comes with these.

    A second goal was to help math students. He created the forum as a place where students could communicate with other students.

    Over time, math instructors, math tutors, and other people with an ability to help joined in. They began to regularly help students with their homework questions.

    The forum has been active for more than 15 years, and it's not uncommon for freemathhelp threads to appear in search-engine results. During the last few years, we've had an influx of many visitors who are not formal students, yet they join the forum to ask math-related questions.

    Some of the old-timers feel that the forum ought to remain focused on students. Others feel that members ought to be able to contribute to any thread, if they have something on-topic to share -- regardless of whether the member requesting assistance (or the 'whole enchilada', as the case may be) is a formal student or not.

    I hope that I speak for a majority of active members when I say (1) we believe that academic dishonesty is rampant in our information age, (2) we want students to learn to stand on their own two feet, (3) we want more students to become critical thinkers, and (4) it's better to tutor than to spoon-feed.

    Hence, another issue is that we cannot always tell whether a formal student is posing as a non-student, fishing for others to complete their homework for them.

    The membership has become a very diverse group of people with a lot of different backgrounds, experiences, knowledge, perspectives, and opinions. Perhaps, the forum has grown beyond a service for students only. On the other hand, majority rules; so, perhaps, the forum will return to providing a service for students only. Or, maybe there exists a happy place somewhere in-between.

    My goal is to maintain the forum as a helpful place, free of friction (as reasonably close as we can get). But I don't own the joint. I'm hoping the active membership will join the discussion, and that we can reach an accord over some basic matters of mission and protocol.

    At this point, it's only a discussion.

    Ted is thinking about these issues.

    The regular contributors are thinking about these issues.

    I expect the discussion to take two or three months, before any changes are made.

    Thanks for participating!
    "English is the most ambiguous language in the world." ~ Yours Truly, 1969

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