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Edit:

( First I haven't found the delete button :-p I was totaly wrong! sorry.)

Changing the tag to "discussion", as there are nice and interesting comments.


After answering a strange question (I've edited to be sure I've correctly understood them: http://stackoverflow.com/posts/14156673/revisions), I read exactly the same question asked by another user:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14156224/bash-number-of-words

So I realize that my answer won't help the cheater himself, but could help someone else.

Did you think it's a good idea to remove my answer before the cheater reads it?

Could we imagine such a hiding feature for delayed publication?

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5  
Why remove it if it will be helpful to future readers of it, supposing they are not "cheater students"? –  Oded Jan 4 '13 at 12:55
3  
Why can't you delete your own answer? –  juergen d Jan 4 '13 at 12:56
    
Yes, @Oded is right! Maybe hide them for 1 or 2 weeks would be an interessant feature?! –  F. Hauri Jan 4 '13 at 12:56
23  
It's not our job to police school homework policies. –  Martijn Pieters Jan 4 '13 at 12:59
    
@MikeB What you suggest implie a work sufficiently big to tell: there is not a poor question. At all if they're ready to make this kind of effort, they would like to work normally too. Take a look at two pointed (original) questions (look edit history), you will surely smile! –  F. Hauri Jan 4 '13 at 15:08
    
possible duplicate of The Effects of Removing the Homework Tag –  Rosinante Jan 4 '13 at 15:17
    
@MartijnPieters It's not our job, but IMO it's at least partially our responsibility. I don't want to remove the onus of learning from a student, even if they're asking for it. (This obviously doesn't apply to Real Questions, just obvious NARQs.) –  Dave Newton Jan 5 '13 at 14:16
    
@DaveNewton I agree. About NARQs, I recently wrote my point of view: [How to deal with RTFM comments?] [1]: meta.stackexchange.com/a/161161/201200 –  F. Hauri Jan 5 '13 at 14:21
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1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes, you can always remove your answer as long as it has not been accepted. Just hit the delete link below your answer, as you have found.

With regards to homework questions, it's my opinion that we are not here to police those explicitly. If the OP wants to cheat on his homework by having us do his work, he's ultimately only harming himself. Answers are always obvious when they are in front of you. Until you have to explain them. So any decent teacher will easily pick out such students who do not fully grasp what they have "written". I would not be too worried about that.

What is worrisome however is users answering questions which are not real questions. That is, straight forward copies of the assignments without any effort shown. Or questions which don't go beyond a "give me teh codez". We don't want those on the site. So simply don't answer those. (Feel free to flag them as "Not a real question") And if you don't answer, you'll have addressed the homework cheats as well.

A student who shows good effort is more than welcome to ask for guidance or help with a particular problem he faces. As any user can. So there is no need to specifically address students IMO.

Note: I only speak about SO here (given that it's where the questions were asked). I believe that there are other homework policies on other sites within the network, but I can't speak about those.

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Nice, thanks for your opinion! –  F. Hauri Jan 4 '13 at 13:19
    
Just for completeness, straight questions out of an assignment without any effort shown should be closed/flagged as Not A Real Question –  AsheeshR Jan 4 '13 at 13:34
    
@AshRj Sure, which is why I referred to them as "not real questions". But I'll explicitly mention it. Thanks. –  Bart Jan 4 '13 at 13:35
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+1: many homework questions are NARQs and should be closed for that reason. If a student asks a good question (according to SO standards), I wouldn't even consider it cheating any more than using Google. After all: asking the right question is often a big part of finding the solution. –  Joachim Sauer Jan 4 '13 at 14:06
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Totally agree. A good question is a good question, regardless of whether it's come from a homework assignment, a query from a project for a small company or even if it's posted by Bill Gates himself. The origin isn't important. Judge the question by SO standards, not but the reason for it being asked. –  JonW Jan 4 '13 at 14:15
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