# Students ignoring posting guidelines

#### Jomo

##### Elite Member
I must be losing my memory in my old age as I seem to remember that the admin tried to make students read the posting rules before posting but I forgot how they were trying to do this. Can someone please remind me what it was?

To be honest I am getting tired of reading posts only to see that students showed no work. Can we have a shorter version of the posting rules that they must read before posting? Maybe having students type showing no work = no help before posting would do the trick--possibly only until they have a certain number of posts?

#### Subhotosh Khan

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I must be losing my memory in my old age as I seem to remember that the admin tried to make students read the posting rules before posting but I forgot how they were trying to do this. Can someone please remind me what it was?

To be honest I am getting tired of reading posts only to see that students showed no work. Can we have a shorter version of the posting rules that they must read before posting? Maybe having students type showing no work = no help before posting would do the trick--possibly only until they have a certain number of posts?
My opinion is:

We encourage this behavior by posting reply to the posts "without any work shown". If we simply ignore the post - after reminding them of the rule - then we would have nothing to complain about.​

#### Jomo

##### Elite Member
It is usually first time posters who show no work.

#### mmm4444bot

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
… I seem to remember that the admin tried to make students read the posting rules before posting …
Are you thinking about the site owner, Jomo? This forum has no active administrator.

… Can we have a shorter version of the posting [guidelines] …
There is already a summary. Do you think it ought to be shortened? We're open to suggestions.

Ted had previously posted that he'd added to the registration-confirmation email a notice for new members to read the posting guidelines. The last time I'd checked, it didn't happen. Later, Ted added a notice to the top of the forum's front page; it displays the first time a new member logs in. Regardless, some students don't realize until after they first post that we have guidelines.

Roughly twice a year (before school starts and before finals start), we see a noticeable increase in new-member registrations. The number of threads started with no efforts shown grows proportional to registrations.

There will always be students looking for a handout or otherwise not interested in the material. There will always be people who don't follow instruction. If you're tired of seeing threads with no effort shown, then it may help to take a short break from the boards.

In general, the tutors here each approach a lack of effort shown as they see fit. At a minimum, I would like to see a link to the guidelines (sans personal opinion), a polite request to show work going forward, a suggestion as to the exercise's very first step, and then a chance to let the OP respond.

By the way, do you remember seeing Ted's perspective, posted on the temporary /forumx? Ted wrote that he has "never had an issue" with members posting a completely-worked solution as a first reply. Clearly, viewpoints span the entire spectrum, and an ideal solution (if there's even a "problem") does not exist.

#### Jomo

##### Elite Member
I have considered taking a break from the forum but I would rather not do that.

Is it possible that before a new student submits a post that they must type a short sentence stating the posting policy. Something like showing no work means you will not get any help.

I could be wrong but I feel that if someone intended to make a post with no work shown then they wouldn't write that line and therefore can't make the post.

Can we take a poll on my suggestion?

pka

#### pka

##### Elite Member
I have considered taking a break from the forum but I would rather not do that.
Is it possible that before a new student submits a post that they must type a short sentence stating the posting policy. Something like showing no work means you will not get any help.
I could be wrong but I feel that if someone intended to make a post with no work shown then they wouldn't write that line and therefore can't make the post.
Can we take a poll on my suggestion?
Thank you Jomo, I like your suggestion. However, some overzealous moderators may not understand that concept. I just had a reply deleted along with a directive not to post answer. That shows ignorance because the student said s/he was what the Brits call a mature student doing a course in engineering. The post was about function composition. What I posted was absolutely not an answer but rather simply the first step in the compositions. Far from a finial answer. I have over sixty years of teaching experience along with three advanced degrees in mathematics and computer sciences. Moreover I am product of R L Moore's system of discovery leaning. So I do not give out answers, only basic hints.

#### mmm4444bot

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
… Is it possible that before a new student submits a post that they must type a short sentence stating the posting policy. Something like showing no work means you will not get any help.
It is possible, but I'll let MarkFL comment on the feasibility of implementing features that don't come with the software.

By the way, if a student were to type the required statement but still not show effort, are you thinking the additional software could recognize and handle that situation?

Can we take a poll on my suggestion?
You are free to create a poll.

$$\;$$

#### Jomo

##### Elite Member
I'd be surprised if there would be a significant number of students who typed the required statement but failed to show any work. If it were me looking for a complete solution then I would go elsewhere after reading that statement.

Software can recognize many things. We have a huge amounts of posts and we can find statements, diagrams, etc that almost all posts with shown work have. We then tell the software if the posts don't have ..., then don't post it. We will certainly have posts not appearing from time to time. Again, I do not think this will be a problem. Students can easily go to another forum asking for help if they are aware that we will not help them if they show no effort.