After hearing that homework questions are far too common one too many times, I decided to take the initiative and try to prove whether homework questions are now the primary new content of the site.
I wrote a query in the Data Explorer engine to pull out the number of questions asked each day with and without the homework tag that are still open (as in, not closed). Then I plotted those counts per day. The results are:
The plot was made in R, the code to repeat is:
library(ggplot2) library(reshape2) data <- read.csv('QueryResults.csv') data$Date <- as.Date(data$Date, "%Y.%m.%d") melted <- melt(data[,c('Date','Homework','NotHomework')],id.vars=1) ggplot(melted, aes(x = Date, y=value, fill=factor(variable))) + geom_bar(stat="identity") + ylab("Number of Questions") + scale_x_date(breaks = seq(min(melted$Date), max(melted$Date), 15)) + theme(axis.text.x = element_text(angle=45, hjust=1, vjust=1))
A summary of the data:
> summary(data) Date Homework NotHomework Min. :2010-08-24 Min. :0.0000 Min. : 1.00 1st Qu.:2011-05-12 1st Qu.:0.0000 1st Qu.:11.00 Median :2011-11-22 Median :1.0000 Median :15.00 Mean :2011-11-22 Mean :0.9717 Mean :15.56 3rd Qu.:2012-06-03 3rd Qu.:1.0000 3rd Qu.:19.00 Max. :2012-12-15 Max. :9.0000 Max. :39.00
So what did I learn?
- Homework questions are trending upwards. But so are non-homework questions. So more questions of all types is a good thing.
- There are noticeable spikes in the data that seem to correspond to the beginning and ending of semesters, when people need the most help.
- Without data to back up statements, it's just wasted time.
Since this is a Q&A site, let me get to my questions:
- What do you conclude from this data?
- Can we please stop saying that homework questions are swamping out non-homework questions since the data doesn't support it?