Should forums be used for doing homework?

I look at a lot of forums or applications. People ask questions and answers are given, like if you need to create a complicated excel calculation for work you can post the question about how to create the calculation and someone usually posts the solution.

But should students be allowed to do this?

It reminds me of an owner of a large business networking site who was so happy that her daughter was giving answers to homework to all her friends online.  Does this not defeat the object of education?

What happens when the students get jobs and find that the boss asks them to do something, oh like their job.  Are they going to be able to, or will they post it online and hope someone gives them the answer?

Image: Boaz Yiftach /

I personally refuse to answer any students posting questions about homework.  There is a little thing about learning, you learn something better and more fully if you figure it out for yourself.  This is why the good trainer will not just tell you something but will facilitate learning so you can discover things yourself.

What is going to happen to the students who do this?  There is a training consultant I know who has a very difficult computing course from a well known university on her CV.  When it had come to the database design work she asked me about it, I tried to train her on databases but instead she took the mockup that I had created when explaining it to her and submitted it as her own work.  For the programming part she asked a programmer she knew to do that portion and she submitted it as her own work.

Would you want to hire someone who didn’t actually get the qualifications they are saying they have, who are so lazy that they cheat? How are the teachers supposed to know if someone has cheated?  Do they have to google all the work and see if there are any hits?

I would not like to hire one of these people, would they do their own work or just look busy and get their co-workers to do everything, unless they thought it was fun?  This is a good reason for a lengthly trial period.

What do you think? Should students be allowed to post homework questions on forums?

Written by Katherine Davison

Katherine Davison

Katherine has been a corporate training consultant for over 10 years and had her own business since 2001.

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