Why is it important that homework-style questions be allowed on Socratic?
Our purpose is to teach. If we can answer a homework-style question in such a way that a student will learn something, the purpose will be achieved.
From the methodological standpoint, we can answer the question in a very logical, instructional, step-by-step way that leads to the answer. Just reading or writing this would be a learning experience.
Another option is not to provide a complete answer, but to hint on the right way to get it. For those students who need just a little help this would be a very useful information, which might help them in the future.
I think that by answering homework type questions by giving a detailed and methodical answer is helpful. I believe that when we teach how to solve the problems, and not just give the answers, that the students will be able to apply what they learned to other, similar problems on their own.
We can make the most out of something unavoidable.
Answers to homework-style questions are not only allowed, but I think that they should actually be encouraged on Socratic!
The obvious downside of this is that we're essentially doing someone's homework for them, but the benefit from having solved examples for many other students from all over the world outweighs this issue.
From my experience, and I am by no means a teacher, students who don't want to do homework will find a way to avoid doing it; the internet is filled with sites and forums where they can post their questions and get answers for them.
However, the inaccurate and low-quality answers (think yahoo answers, for example) are often hurting students more than helping them.
The idea is that we cannot stop students from trying to get an easy pass on their homework assignments. That is a given. Students have been getting other people to do their homework probably since the dawn of time, long before the easy street called "the internet" came along.
But if we could control the quality of the answers I think that we can have a positive impact in the long term, not only on those students who get answers to their homework exercises, but on students from all over the world who can use those solved examples to better understand how a certain problem can be solved.
That is why Socratic has such a strong emphasis on explanation. Yes, I may be solving some kid's stoichiometry homework, but at the same time I could be helping other students understand how to solve this type of problems.
So, to sum this up, I think that the long-term benefits far outweigh the downside of solving someone's short-term homework problems.
Bottom line is that while ONE student's homework might be done, thousands of other students refer to the answers.
This is a GREAT way of practicing exercises in a certain topic to consolidate their understanding.
The questions, answers, methods and explanations are available! What more could a student want?
The variety of topics available also increases general knowledge.