This is a continuation of the discussion on this question. At the time of this writing, this answer was highest voted, and so the implementation of it will be discussed here.

For reference, here is the proposal that was a part of the top-voted answer on the original question:

  • Create tags for , , , ... (this is also consistent with the Mathematics Educators site, so should be more straightforward than two different systems on the two education sites).
  • Create course tags as required (I'm in agreement with thesecretmaster's answer on this one)
  • Avoid ability tags, because they won't really help users find relevant questions to them, but instead a mix of all age levels, audiences and topics that have little in common other than their perceived difficulty.

Now that we've agreed on this proposal, we must decide how we will implement it. Please answer with plans for implementation, remembering that:

  1. Every edit (even tag edits) bump questions to the top of the list on our homepage. This can be desirable or undesirable.
  2. There is a mod tool which allows us to merge or rename tags without bumping any questions.
  3. We can make tags synonyms of other tags, which means that if tag a is a synonym of tag b, if a user creates a question with tag a, it'll automatically be retagged to tag b.

Note: Please DO NOT begin to retag or modify posts until this notice has been removed. We'd like to wait until we've reached a consensus before acting.

  • $\begingroup$ As an "education-level" tag, I think that when used there should be exactly one such tag. Since the aim of SE is to have focused questions, it seams a contradiction to have a question that focuses on primary education and secondary education. Either the course is being taught in the lower grades, or the higher grades. I can't imagine that it would be sound practice to have the same lesson plan and materials for both student bodies. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ Give some examples of what you mean by "course tags". I don't understand exactly. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jan 14, 2018 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy That's a direct quote from the answer on the original question. You can find clarification there. $\endgroup$
    – thesecretmaster Mod
    Jan 14, 2018 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ I still don't understand the intent. "Java Programming", "CS1", "Data Structures", ....? $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jan 14, 2018 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ Also @Aurora0001 is from UK, where "Course" means "Course of Study" not an individual "course" as in the US. So, confused. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jan 14, 2018 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy I believe that both uses of "course" are appropriate candidates for tags. In keeping with the concept of tags as something for users to "follow" and to help in searches, they have their place. An instructor from the UK would likely follow a "course" tag that relates to their primary course of study, and a teacher from the US would more likely follow a tag, or tags, that match the classes they teach. In both cases, the follower is likely to have valuable experience relating to the followed tag(s). $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2018 at 1:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Buffy I understood "course" to mean things like "AP Computer Science A" $\endgroup$
    – Ben I. Mod
    Jan 15, 2018 at 5:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy See my comment on the original proposal: I did mean course in the UK usage of a larger qualification. Of course I didn't mean that you couldn't also have tags for topics/units, such as "data structures", but I didn't really think of them as education-level and hence didn't mention them. Thoughts welcome here (or ping me in chat). $\endgroup$
    – Aurora0001
    Jan 15, 2018 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


For discussion purposes, subject to refinement (hopefully) by others, I see that the plan needs at least these steps:

  1. Locate all tags that fit into this category: both good and bad.
  2. Evaluate each one for fitness and place it in one group:
    • Good: stays as it exists. No question edits needed
    • Useful but should be a synonym to something else (new or existing)
    • Useful but should be renamed, possibly merging with another tag. (Possibility becomes )
    • Is part of something else, and should be merged, maybe with a synonym created. (As in probably should be merged with and become a synonym for it, USA-centric of course)
    • Does not fit the system of tags we are trying to create here. Will need to be removed, and the question checked to be sure it still has a tag (two questions are at the moment.)
  3. Determine which changes can be made without any disruption to the home page, and take care of them as possible
  4. Plan a date, and time, when there will be a good number of edit-eligible users available, and willing to do some rapid work.
    • If the list of questions to edit is large enough, make another Google Sheet to list the affected questions, with the intended edits.
    • As an edit is accomplished, the Sheet is updated, and other users know to find another one to work on.

Using the mod tools to do what can be done silently will mean more work for the three, or less if it happens that way, mods. It will also result in less disruption to the home page.

Since our questions per day stat is low, I'd expect the edited questions to remain on the home page for a few days. As such it's probably a good idea to decide which of the to-be-bumped questions should be at the top of the page, for what ever reason that may be, and reserve them for the final edits.

As mentioned, the bumping can be desirable or undesirable. Since bumping will happen, why not make it into a positive? Maybe some of the questions are really good ones from the early days that just didn't get enough attention, and would benefit from a fresh exposure. Also, maybe there are a few of the questions currently on the home page that it would be nice to see leave, and settle on page two (or 10?) and being bumped would be handy. And, though not intended that way, if there are some newer questions that really should stay on page one, they can be edited again and get their own "bump" to regain their lost positions. (Presumably any question can be "polished" in some fashion to become just a little bit better.)

Finally, the choice of time and date might be a factor to consider. Of course, it needs to be when there are enough willing editors available to speed the process on its way. It should also, if possible, be planned so that the bumps will affect possible traffic in a positive manner. I'm thinking that the flow of bumps will show on the main SE pages, and might generate some interest from other users that are on that page, but haven't visited, or visited regularly, and encourage them to "check it out."

To get things started, this is the short list of tags I found which probably need to be evaluate in light of this proposal, and how many questions bear each tag.

high-school: 43 questions
undergraduate: 26 questions
introductory-lesson: 20 questions
adult-education: 12 questions
ap-computer-science-a: 12 questions
ap-cs-principles: 8 questions
layperson: 4 questions
cs0: 3 questions
primary-school: 2 questions
k-5: 2 questions
cs1: 1 question

Which ones fit into which group is another matter entirely.

The list can be recreated elsewhere, or edited here as a source to work from.
Probably best to recreate it in the question itself, and let it grow there.

  • $\begingroup$ Should bootcamps (1 question) be added to the list? $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2018 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterTaylor I don't think so. Though I also think bootcamp may not be enough context on its own. A bootcamp could be for ages 7-10, or for veteran programmers learning security practices. What bootcamp does say is that it's a focused environment rather than a typical school-based encounter. $\endgroup$ Jan 31, 2018 at 0:04

I'll add more on Gypsy's great answer:

While we don't have exact synonyms ($\neq$, If I understand the meaning of the second tag correctly), tags that we do have are, in a way, "sub-tags":


I am not sure if making it synonymous is the right thing, but IIRC it's possible to define which is the "parent" tag and which are its synonyms.

So we could add the suggested tags into the site via new questions in which that tags fit. Sneaky, but subtle.

  • $\begingroup$ From a British perspective I would understand secondary-education to mean ages 11 to 18. In a British context, high-school is a (primarily Scottish) name for an institution which teaches that age range. $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2018 at 15:46

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