While we as a community not only accept but (I feel) encourage the asking of questions for the purposes of homework, it tends to be a point of contention.
Questions which are obviously homework (and are even just copied/pasted from the assignment without any changes to the wording) but aren't tagged as such are definitely frowned upon. The community seems to do a pretty good job of cleaning that up, though. It happens, often, but the questions are closed quickly. However, when someone genuinely has problems with their homework and is up front about that and asks a legitimate question, we as a community enjoy helping them.
However, it occurs to me that there's a common problem with the answers to "legitimate" homework questions. And I consider this to especially be a problem when the OP voluntarily and explicitly tags the question as homework.
Many people will post answers which are nothing more than code to be copied and pasted as a solution. Sometimes there's a description, but many times there isn't. They may have, on a technical level, solved the problem. But did they help the OP? By tagging the question as homework and presenting it as such in general, the OP has indicated that he/she is a student and is trying to learn. What did the OP learn from a snippet of code to be pasted into the assignment?
My suggestion is that we add some simple text above the answer box, triggered by the presence of the homework tag. Something as simple as this:
We could even go a step further by having a filter when submitting the answer which would check:
- Is the question tagged as homework?
- Is the answer nothing more than formatted code?
If both conditions are true, maybe pop up a little notification box along with the answer, suggesting that the answerer further refine the answer to better guide the OP. Something like:
Note that it doesn't stop the answer from being posted (since we definitely don't want to encourage anything like that), but instead is just a friendly reminder to try and improve the quality of the answer given the circumstances of the question.