Short Term Tagging Issue - I should note that tags are currently not working correctly on the site right now. Tags can't be edited currently. We're aware of the issue and should resolve it very soon.
There is built-in functionality to help a bit with this, to list a few options available,
Discourse adds a new user "notice" box. This is only visible to logged-in users with trust level 1 and up.
For example, below, this is this user's first time posting. (Some documentation on how that works)
Our homework policy asks anyone posting assignment questions to use the
homework tag. But it's unlikely we'll ever get new-users to consistently follow such policies in practice when the come to the site via search.
I see thsi tag most often used by people helping the person out, and they add the homework tag for the new-user. (Again, sorry about the tag-edit bug that prevents that from happening now!) But that tag, also, is not used consistently.
New-Topic Template - We can create template new-topics, and so pre-fill those with appropriate tags and helper text.
An example of this is on the RStudio-IDE trouble shooting guide, this link appears on the "RStudio Desktop Will Not Start" >> https://rstd.io/community-ide-start-issue
This approach would mean we'd need to catch new-R-users before they post though.
(Some documentation on building new-topic template.)
Site and Category Banners - a long overdue feature request is to have a bit of material at the top of the homepage guiding users to the site, and the top of categories with category-specific tips. (For example if you land on a shiny topic-thread, you would have at the top of the page links for asking shiny-
reprexes, links to the shiny-dev-center and other useful docs.)
These should nearly certainly have content directed as novice-R-user personas.
On specifically this question, I kind of like relying on (1.) listed above. It's a very stable built-in feature that tags new-r-users most of the time. I think it's more about making people aware of the feature and how to interpret it.
But I also think it would be valuable to have a bit of a working work focused on how we can be better at these kinds of problems. Especially as we start implementing (4.) anyway. We can walk through some of these problems and ways to improve the site to address them. And if we resolve on any solutions that require customization to implement, I can add them to the site's development pipeline, and help with announcements and training where needed.
I guess, any volunteers? I'll organize something as the group forms.