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It seems that school has started. The number of student-sounding questions from low-reputation accounts is through the roof.

I don't mind them per se, but they're usually not as clear in their description of the problem. It takes a different mindset to try to answer them. It would be nice if there were a way to indicate that they are student questions. (Maybe a "pledge paddle" icon next to them?)


As I tried to state above, I don't have a problem with student questions. I actually like them. They are just not good ones for looking at when you have 5 minutes to kill and want to help someone. They are better for when I have more time to dedicate to them.


After a quick run through the fire hose after this little "flame war", I have a different approach to the problem I've seen that hopefully won't offend. A tag of "Concept" to identify questions that are about a concept and not a specific problem.

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What does three questions marks in a row mean, anyway? Is it like an enigmatic-ellipsis-like way of asking a question? Like if you were to ask a question, but in a way that no one knows is a question? ("I once saw a flying turtle???") Or maybe you're trying to say that questions that only have one or possibly two question marks aren't questions enough somehow? ("All those questions with only one question mark don't deserve answers because mine has three! ") Or did you question have two subsequent null questions? ("Student questions? null? null? ") But what is the null question??? – JSONBog Sep 3 '09 at 13:47
Can you then move the common elements over and do 3?(Student questions) – Ólafur Waage Sep 3 '09 at 13:49
+1 for "Should we..." and not "We should..." – Sampson Sep 3 '09 at 13:51
@Jonathan: Terribleness of the suggestion notwithstanding? – JSONBog Sep 3 '09 at 13:53
@Welbog The OP asked if something should be done. They didn't suggest something be done. That's what my point was in distinguishing "Should we" and "We should." If the OP said, "We should do x," I would have downvoted. – Sampson Sep 3 '09 at 14:08
You realize I'm the one who phrased it that way, right, and the OP's phrasing suggests that it's a problem and that something should be done about it, rather than asking if something should. – JSONBog Sep 3 '09 at 14:20
@Welbog Ah. I thought the OP had asked the "Should we," originally. Thanks for clearing that up. Up-vote removed. – Sampson Sep 3 '09 at 14:22
Even though you answered the question before I made that edit? Sounds like evidence that you don't read questions. – JSONBog Sep 3 '09 at 14:24
@Jonathan, I disagree with your upvote in the first place. But you shouldn't put 'edits' into your consideration. If you like the way the question is formatted now, then you should upvote it. – devinb Sep 3 '09 at 14:28
@Jonathan: you downvote people because they express opinions? – user27414 Sep 3 '09 at 14:30
up vote 10 down vote accepted

If students want to identify themselves as students, there are a number of tags that satisfy the requirement including learning and homework. This is on top of just saying,

I'm a second-year CS student and I just can't figure out what this pointer magic C++ snippet is doing.

Which is really all that's required. There's no need for any new functionality.

And really, aren't we all students? You're only not a student if you stop learning and you only stop learning when you're TheTXI or dead. So yeah.

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Ponies never learn. They know everything at all times. – Ólafur Waage Sep 3 '09 at 13:48
+1 for mentioning TheTXI, regardless of whether it was a positive or a negative mention. – TheTXI Sep 3 '09 at 14:15
Thanks for the clear response without flaming. Also, thanks for the edits to the original post. I had just come across 3 questions in a row that could have been interesting to answer and they all turned out to be along the lines of "I need to learn about version control" etc. – Brad Bruce Sep 3 '09 at 14:48
@Welbog: Needz moar flaming. – GEOCHET Sep 3 '09 at 14:48

I don't think we should give special representation to students. In all actuality, reputation does a fine job of that. Since students are just a subset of new users in general, the reputation is a great indicator that it may indeed be a student asking the question. I would just treat any question as you would if it were asked by a professional making a change in technology.

Give the students respect and good answers.

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You usually can sniff out the student questions. But they are users just like us. SO shouldn't discriminate y0.

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I think a 'student' in the stackoverflow since is anyone asking a question. So maybe you really just mean basic / fundamental questions, or maybe homework-like questions. I can see tagging homework questions as such, or maybe even basic questions. But the student tag doesn't make much sense to me.

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