I know that there are a lot of homework questions here, but do you think it's possible that SO enables people to get help with exams? Many computer science exams are open-web.

Is this something that the community feels is okay? After all, in the real world, you'll have access to tools like SO, anyhow.

Is it worth trying to discourage behaviour like this, or do we just not worry about it?


If you give pedagogical answers to pedagogical questions, the matter of ethics does not come up.

Afterall, if the instructor made the exam open-web she expected the students to seek help, and by showing the student how to proceed rather than giving a finished answer you aid their learning rather than enabling them to avoid it.

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    +1 Part of learning is knowing how to find the answers – squillman May 14 '10 at 15:02

If it is obviously a "class room" style question then it should be treated in line with the overall homework policy; however, if it is a take home exam or final project then the questions that you see might be indistinguishable from any other development related question you might see.

One edge case that might come up could be discussion about why one answer is better than another after the examination has been concluded which I think is acceptable from the standpoint of discussing an answer. Different schools have different academic honest policies so I think that the responsibility is on the student to ensure that they are adhering to their institutions policy.


When you get straight down to the way things are, to SU/SF/SO/M, there is no difference between homework and exams.

As always, whether answers are posted, and to what detail are left purely to the users. Each user is left to his own morals and methodologies on how to answer (or take other actions) on these questions.

See more about homework: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10811/how-to-ask-and-answer-homework-questions

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