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Ok, I recently saw this question: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2791852/c-exam-question-on-string-class-implementation

It is school work, but it is not homework, though the two are so closely related that it might as well be classified as homework. Once we get those tag synonyms and stuff like that going should we consider making schoolwork a synonym of homework? I think a mass retag would just end up leaving homework to keep coming back up because it's the norm now.

Also, for right now, should we tag misc. schoolwork questiosn as homework? For instance, tag that exam question as homework?

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What exactly are you proposing right now? –  alex May 8 '10 at 20:15
    
@alex see my edit –  Earlz May 8 '10 at 20:18
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Why do you care? Do nothing. Treat it as any other question. –  Andreas Bonini May 8 '10 at 20:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are subtle differences between a homework/schoolwork question and an exam question:

  • An exam question usually does not involve a deadline, and is being asked upon reflection of an exam already taken, with some knowledge already known (i.e., "I solved the problem by doing XYZ, but how would you solve it?").
  • A homework question usually involves a deadline yet to pass and possibly no knowledge of how to solve the problem (i.e., "How do I solve this problem?").

I think people are more apt to complain about the latter being posted since it's more of a situation where the asker hasn't put in the legwork to try to solve the problem himself.

So, I would say that 'homework/schoolwork' questions (I agree those are synonyms) should stay separate from 'exam' questions.

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For what it's worth, I would interpret "exam question" as a question on a take-home test that the poster is currently trying to solve, which is something we certainly shouldn't be helping with, even more so than with homework. Besides, the idea of asking for input after the original solution has been written/submitted could apply to homework questions or in-class examples; there's nothing specific to exams about it. I'd personally be against giving the latter type any particular label. But maybe that's just me. –  David Z May 8 '10 at 21:22
    
@David: I'd interpret a question on a take-home test as homework. So I guess YMMV. I think the [homework] tag exists more to exclude those types of questions rather than to include them. –  Jon Seigel May 8 '10 at 21:32
    
Fair enough... I certainly would have no problem with applying the [homework] tag to a question on a take-home test. (Although I'd hope that the student would have the sense not to ask us!) Basically I hold the same view as dmckee regarding the meaning of [homework], and I think that's widely understood. The same doesn't hold true for a tag like [exam]; I don't think there's any sort of general agreement as to what that tag means (except that it's a question on an exam, but then one wonders, what's the point of the tag?) –  David Z May 9 '10 at 4:01
    
@David: People might ask questions about an exam coming up, but I think most of the time an exam doesn't have a name to it like these ones‌​. I think there is a good reason to keep the [exam] tag -- the big difference between an exam question and a real-world scenario (which is assumed on any question unless told otherwise) is that generally speaking, a real-world scenario would be flexible in the solution as long as it accomplishes the goal, whereas an exam question has to be solved exactly as stated. –  Jon Seigel May 9 '10 at 4:15

I stand by my view that the [homework] tag is for pedagogical questions: that is ones where there is reason to believe that the asker (or indeed anyone asking the question) will be better served by a leading answer than a complete solution. The context of the question is irrellevant: it does not have to be "homework" to be [homework].

This question is certainly of that character.

So tag is [homework] if you wish but not [exam], and supply a signpost for the way to think about the problem.

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