My title may not be the best of titles. But it appears to me that matheducators.se receives its share of opinion-based questions, e.g., When should students stop receiving tutoring?. There are a few more I've come across recently, but the question I link is an example of what I consider an opinion-based question:

"Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

Perhaps questions which are "primarily opinion-based" have not been of great concern on this site; if not, please educate me. I am rather new to reviewing questions and answers on this site, so it is very possible such questions don't come up often enough on this site.

Admittedly, the question could reasonably be closed as "unclear what you are asking", given that the answers, and many comments, point out that the asker hasn't given a clear definition as to "what counts as tutoring?" Depending on each matheducator.se user, what each considers to be "tutoring" may not fit, as already indicated in the comments to posts, the asker's definition of tutoring. In any case, I look forward to feedback.


1 Answer 1


The fact that many questions about education are relatively more opinion based than, say, a mathematics question, proper, was a concern from the early days of the site on.

See for example the very early The Subjectivity Problem with Questions Appropriate to Mathematics Educators and the later How to avoid opinion-based down-votes with an objective question?

I think the latter offers some good advice how one can frame the (almost) same questions in a way as to avoid it being too opinion based. Sometimes such corrections are applied implicitly when users answer.

That said, this site is certainly more welcoming towards opinion based questions than other sites. On the one hand this is due to the subject and the history of the site; as said, many an education-question is necessarily somewhat opinion based and in a way the site was (also) founded to have a place for questions that are found too opinion based on math.SE and MO. On the other hand this is due to the size of the site. It's still quite small. Thus, having opinion based questions is less troublesome in practice.

This for for some general considerations. Now, for some data.

Overall we close quite a bit on this site. The global close rate (over the last 90 days) is almost 30 percent; for comparison on math.se it is just slightly above 15 percent.

Many closures, over forty percent, are 'off-topic, is a mathematics question', and a third is 'unclear.' The rest splits about evenly over 'too broad', 'opinion based' and 'other'. Thus, I'd say closures as opinion based are rare but not unheard of either. Users seem to resort more to 'unclear' for vague questions, not unlike to the observations you made that a main problem with the question is that it is unclear what exactly is referred to by tutoring.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .