Collaboration, collusion and plagiarism in computer science
COLLABORATION, COLLUSION AND PLAGIARISM IN COMPUTER SCIENCE Bob Fraser Why Computer Science? The computer is a relentlessly unforgiving arbiter of correctness (Roberts, 2002)
Computer science asks students to find the correct solution or method Stanford study: 37% of cheating cases are CS, 7% of students are CS (Roberts, 2002) Outline Collaboration Collusion
Plagiarism Mitigating dishonesty Collaboration Generally to be encouraged Discussing course material with peers is a primary aspect of active learning Line must be drawn so that collaboration doesnt become excessive and negatively affect learning
Collusion Excessive collaboration Definition is set by the course instructor From Waterloos OAI: Clearly indicate if group collaboration is acceptable (and the level of collaboration permitted) or if students must do all work independently.
Plagiarism Literary theft Encompasses copying whether the original author is aware of it or not In computer science, the best solution is often unique, exacerbating the problem Many honest students err to heavily on the side of caution to avoid plagiarism
Where is the line drawn? Student A doesn't know how to start the assignment and so he asks student B who helps him by showing him his own work. Student A writes up the assignment in his own words but there are some similarities with student B's work. Students (Barrett & Cox, 2005) Fine Collusio n Plagiaris m
Unsure Instructors Fine Collusio n Mitigating Make the rules clear the onus is on you Methods:
Appeal to their maturity Detect & punish cheaters Emphasize ILOs Improve tutorials Regular quizzes Appealing to Maturity cheating isn't bad because it only hurts you at test time Palazzo et al. (2010)
Detection & Discipline Students are less likely to cheat if they believe that they may be caught and punished (although zero tolerance is too far) Many professors have looked the other way for various reasons Waterloo encourages the use of Turnitin Intended Learning
Outcomes Emphasize the value of the assignment and how it fits in the course Students who see the purpose and value of their work are less likely to cheat It may be worthwhile to explicitly state the ILOs on the assignment Conclusions
Students should be encouraged to collaborate Students should be given a precise definition of what is acceptable behaviour Courses can be improved to reduce cheating and improve learning Pointers
Bob Fraser->publications http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~r3fraser/papers/cut902_fraser.pdf Key References Barrett, R., & Cox, A. L. (2005). At least they are learning something: the hazy line between collaboration and collusion. Assessment &
Evaluation in Higher Education, 30 (2), 107-122. Palazzo, D. J., Lee, Y.-J., Warnakulasooriya, R., & Pritchard, D. E. (2010). Patterns, correlates, and reduction of homework copying. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 6 (1), 010104-1-010104-11. Roberts, E. (2002). Strategies for promoting academic integrity in CS courses. Frontiers in Education Annual, 3 , F3G14-19. University of Waterloo Office of Academic Integrity http://uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/index.html
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