The Problem :
A common form of plagiarism and cheating behavior which I encounter is that in which two students turn in work which is derived from the same word-processed file.
In other cases one student will steal the file from another, usually by gaining access to the computer or disks of the student who did the work. If both students claim authorship of the document, both will receive a grade of "F" until authorship and innocence is proved to my satisfaction. In such cases it is often possible to deduce authorship of the original document by means which I do not make public. However, even though I can prove authorship of a file, I cannot prove that the author did not knowingly make the file available to the other student. So, unless the guilty student confesses to having obtained the file without the author's knowledge and consent, I have no option but to treat the case as if collusion occurred, and give grades of "F" to both students.
Precautions to take :
I know this is a pain, and I'm sorry to have to ask you to do this. I don't want you to get paranoid and untrusting towards your fellow-students, but there have been cases of dishonest students stealing files from others, so this is for your protection.
Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved