Event Title

Asking Questions is Easy, Asking Great Questions is Hard: Constructing Effective Stack Overflow Questions

Presenter Information

Jane Hsieh, Oberlin College

Location

Virtual presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

5-2-2020 5:00 PM

Abstract

Stack Overflow, as one of the most well-known and fastest Q%A platform for programmers, has been known and identified to have an environment that are hostile toward users such as novices and women. While previous research has focused on making posts on such platforms comprehensible or identifying the barriers that prevent users from contributing, few sources have consolidated qualities that constitute a good question post into a format that is accessible to potential question askers. In this project, we establish a metric for good Stack Overflow questions and utilize the large corpus of available questions to mine for qualities that are significantly correlated with good posts. To get an initial sense of these answer-eliciting factors, we review current literature to glean insight from findings of qualitative approaches and also search some of the highly successful existing questions for trends and practices. We then help users incorporate these qualities into their question formulation process by building a Chrome plugin that checks for the presence of these criteria, makes actionable suggestions to guide improvement, and evaluates the question's current likelihood of receiving an answer.

Keywords:

Social Q&A, Data mining, Online communities

Notes

Click here to view this presentation at the Office of Undergraduate Research website from April 27-May 2, 2020.

Major

Computer Science; Mathematics

Project Mentor(s)

Cynthia Taylor, Computer Science

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Apr 27th, 8:00 AM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

Asking Questions is Easy, Asking Great Questions is Hard: Constructing Effective Stack Overflow Questions

Virtual presentation

Stack Overflow, as one of the most well-known and fastest Q%A platform for programmers, has been known and identified to have an environment that are hostile toward users such as novices and women. While previous research has focused on making posts on such platforms comprehensible or identifying the barriers that prevent users from contributing, few sources have consolidated qualities that constitute a good question post into a format that is accessible to potential question askers. In this project, we establish a metric for good Stack Overflow questions and utilize the large corpus of available questions to mine for qualities that are significantly correlated with good posts. To get an initial sense of these answer-eliciting factors, we review current literature to glean insight from findings of qualitative approaches and also search some of the highly successful existing questions for trends and practices. We then help users incorporate these qualities into their question formulation process by building a Chrome plugin that checks for the presence of these criteria, makes actionable suggestions to guide improvement, and evaluates the question's current likelihood of receiving an answer.