Cheating or ‘Collaborative Work’: Does it Pay?

Elsa Naude, Tertia Horne
InSITE 2006  •  Volume 6  •  2006
Being a distance education institution, our current infrastructure does not allow group or collaborative work on undergraduate level. Although students are allowed to work together and assist each other, each student is required to submit individual attempts for assignments and/or projects. Assignments that are so similar that we could not accept them as individual attempts are considered cheating. According to the literature, cheating in assignments and projects is a problem in educational institutions at all levels. Students often use ingenious ways to disguise dishonesty. It is not always possible to determine the extent of the problem due to the inability to identify all instances, especially in modules with large student numbers. We investigated this problem in a second-level computing module. The examination results of students suspected of cheating were analysed and compared with the results of the rest of the students (the control group). This was done for 2004 and 2005. In this paper we report on our findings in this regard.
cheating, assignments, examination results, programming education
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