Student Attitudes to Plagiarism and Collusion within Computer Science
Author(s)Louise A. Dennis
Contributor(s)The Pennsylvania State University CiteSeerX Archives
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AbstractThanks go to Dr. Gordon Joyes for his encouragement and for work on a early abstract describing the results. There is a widespread perception among staff in Computer Science that plagiarism is a major problem particularly in the form of collusion in programming exercises. While departments often make use of electronic detection measures, the time consumed prosecuting plagiarism offences remains a problem. As a result departments continue to seek ways to reduce the amount of plagiarism and collusion that occurs. This paper reports the findings of a questionnaire based study which attempted to assess the students ’ attitudes to the issues involved in the hope that such an understanding might result in practical measures for minimizing the problem. The study revealed that while students did understand the definition of plagiarism in its most extreme cases they were often confused about less clear-cut situations. Changes in the previous experience of incoming students meeting modules originally designed on the assumption that students already had some programming background and were equipped for self-directed study would also appear to be a contributory factor in the extent of collusion in programming exercises.