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Topic: Scanned questions ...  (Read 13644 times)

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Offline Arkcon

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Scanned questions ...
« on: February 27, 2008, 02:20:24 PM »
A new trend (well. new to me) on this board is to scan a lengthy question, straight out of the page, and upload the image.  I hate to sound like a cranky old coot, but I don't care much for this development, and I'd like some other people's opinion, before I go spouting off to these people.

First off, it makes the question unsearchable, and this board will suffer.  Granted, lots of the noobs aren't coming here to initiate a dialog, they just want their answer.  Not because they're lazy, it's just because they haven't thought of this board, probed by search engines, as helpful to someone else.  It might be worthwhile for us to gently let people know about that use of this board.

Second, we expect people to have tried the questions, a little bit themselves, before they posted.  When someone scans a page, to save themselves some typing, it looks to me like they don't even care at all to try and work it out.  In my day (brief pause to crack aging bones) I'd fill a page with calculations, that went nowhere, crumple up the page, rub my temples (pretty sure that's partly why my hair's gone,) and start again.  Kids today, can't even be troubled to type a question.  Obviously, if a question involves a complex structure or stereochemistry, than a scan is as good as a hand drawing.  But a scanned question from a book, just looks lazy to me.

Third, at least once, failing to organize the question was in fact the whole problem.  See this question here:
The poster scans in the question, then asks for a reactant that isn't even in the original question, someone else has to say so.  Failing to copy the question is self-defeating, really, and people may be too tech obsessed to realize they're cheating themselves of a learning mechanism.

Then there's just the visual.  The scan will probably be over-sized, requiring us the scroll back and forth, and the legibility of the scan might not be as good.  Really, more work than I feel like putting into helping someone else.  Maybe I should write it down, on a piece of scrap paper, and save them the time typing it out.  Or maybe not.

I'm just curious what other people think.  I can just ignore these questions when I see the blank page with badly scanned text.  But I really do think scanned in pages take the laziness of not trying to work out the problem to a whole new level.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 05:07:44 PM by Arkcon »
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline enahs

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Re: Scanned questions ...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 10:21:10 PM »
In answer to your questions and comments.

That said, I have taken online classes before, and I know some professors will just scan a question or two from a book. It is a different situation when they are doing it though. So in theory it is possible some of them already happen to have it on their computer, and so it only makes sense to upload it.

That said; ehh, who cares? If they are not willing to help themselves, then what do I care what they think?

Offline constant thinker

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Re: Scanned questions ...
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 09:51:14 PM »
I usually always just ignore those posts. They tend to be hard to make sense of because like you said the original poster really doesn't understand what's going on sometimes.
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' " -Ronald Reagan

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