Tuesday, May 30, 2017

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating; New York Times, May 29, 2017

Jess Bidgood and Jeremy B. Merrill, New York Times; 

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating

"In interviews, professors and students said the causes were not hard to pin down.

To some students drawn to the classes, coding does not come easily. The coursework can be time-consuming. Troves of code online, on sites like GitHub, may have answers to the very assignment the student is wrestling with, posted by someone who previously took the course.

“You’ve got kids who were struggling with spending a third of their time on their problem sets with the option to copy from the internet,” said Jackson Wagner, who took the Harvard course in 2015 and was not accused of copying. “That’s the reason why people cheat.”

Complicating matters is the collaborative ethos among programmers, which encourages code-sharing in ways that might not be acceptable in a class. Professors also frequently allow students to discuss problems among themselves, but not to share actual code, a policy that some students say creates confusion about what constitutes cheating."

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