Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Computers in Education
Nearly every Engineering program has an introductory programming course or a course in which they introduce computer programming. A large mid-Atlantic university includes MATLAB programming in their Introduction to Engineering course sequence as is typical. In these courses, programs are often simplistic and very straightforward; beginning programs may be 10-20 lines of code, and problems may not have multiple solutions. As the course progresses, the programming assignments become more complex and different students begin to have an opportunity to solve problems using different approaches. In this particular course sequence, the programs start to increase in complexity after an introduction to functions, and there are a number of fairly complex programming assignments in the second semester course. Students are introduced and held to the policies as defined in the Undergraduate Honor Code, which clearly define cheating: Cheating includes the intentional use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise, or attempts thereof. … Acquiring answers from any unauthorized source in completing any assigned work. For assigned work, unauthorized sources include, but are not limited to, working with another student on a project that is to be completed individually, copying solutions from an online source or solutions manual, using the services of commercial term paper companies, or purchasing answer sets to homework assignments. Course coordinators of this course selected assignments to submit to MoSS, an online service which measures the similarity of the code contained in any two submitted files. The MoSS algorithm is such that if a similar block of code appears enough times in submitted files, it is assumed that that code must have been supplied to the students; in other words, if most of the students typed a similar block of code, it must have been supplied. Coordinators noticed idiosyncrasies in one assignment in particular: in this case, an assignment to calculate the trajectory of a launched object. In particular, multiple students had identical comments to “calculate the lunch angle,” output the “horizentol velocity,” and used a seldom-seen and unnecessary MATLAB command, uint64. Investigating further, the authors found over 200 cases of code that showed signs of academic dishonesty, with nearly identical structure and often identical errors. The unusual solutions were found on online homework assistance internet sites. This paper will document the process of identifying cases of widespread academic dishonesty in multiple MATLAB assignments and describe the aftermath: identifying and notifying 10% of the students in a large course. Finally, given that the goal is to prevent academic violations and stress the importance of submitting students’ own work, the authors will offer guidelines on effectively addressing academic dishonesty.
Reid, K., & Mikel-Stites, M. (2020, June), "Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper" - Academic Dishonesty in the Era of Online Homework Assistance Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33963
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