Are questions that ask for a variety of individualized responses on topic? Here are some examples:

  • How do you teach the topic of ... ?

  • What tools do you use for ... ?

  • What methods do you employ to ... ?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In brief, yes, as long as they are not 'too broad.' (How do you teach the fundamental theorem of algebra in context of course c? is good. "How do you teach calculus?" is bad.) Indeed, to ask this way is better than to ask for "Best way/tools/methods.." (If nobody else does I will elaborate later.) $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ @quid, would you mind elaborating on this? Nobody seems to have done so, and this question deserves a proper answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ @JoonasIlmavirta thanks for the reminder. I should have thought of doing this. I will do it later, but today. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


It is fine to ask questions that are based on personal experience as an answer. Given our subject, not few questions will be of this form.

Moreover, it is also fine to ask questions that will encourage several answers. In fact the site is optimized towards having several answers.

However, in general "several" should rather be a handful not many dozens. In addition, usually, it is desirable that an answer-post is somewhat substantive (a couple paragraphs). In particular, a typical answer-post will be interesting on its own.

Thus, to ask question on how others approach some task, or how the working environment of others is organized can be on-topic.

A type of question that usually does not work so well with in our format are poll-type questions. "Do you grade homework? Yes/No?" would not be a good question.

While it can be interesting to have data on the percentage of instructors that grade homework, to collect (in the sense of create) this data via a question here is not a good idea. The format is just not optimized for it, and the data should be rather skewed.

A better question could be "Is there data on the percentage of instructors that grade homework?"

  • $\begingroup$ For your 'grade homework" example, hopefully, the inferior question would not get closed quickly, but edits offered until the question is more like your more decent variant. $\endgroup$ Commented May 4, 2016 at 11:00

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