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jOSiAh's ^_~ Haven

Marking Assignments

I am currently marking the project for the subject I'm teaching. This is actually the second assignment I've set for my students. The first was actually a few months' back and it was just a simple lab exercise to get them warmed up for the second assignment (henceforth known as "project"). Although it has been a while ago, I thought that it is still interesting enough to warrant a whole article for it!

Anyway, for the first assignment (henceforth simply known as "assignment"), I have asked students to implement a simple parser to parse an "if" statement. For those who don't understand, it means to write a program to check whether a text file contains something like this: if JOSIAH == SILLY { YOU == CRAZY; }

I have even prepared a set of "Do-it-yourself lab" exercises for them to try for themselves, with an example very similar to the one above: they basically only need to modify my codes just a little bit.

With all that, you would have expected all students to get full marks, wouldn't you? In fact, I have planned to give most students full marks, and marking will be an easy job. But boy was I wrong... What I have imagined to be enjoyable ended up being a stressful job instead.


Some students submitted my examples the way they are (without modifying a single thing! >.<)


Some others didn't even know what they are submitting... (>.<)





There were do...if loops(?!) (for those who understand programming...)





And there was also one with 21 compile-time errors!! *faints*




There were some nice students who entertained me a little whilst I was feeling tense marking. They were either trying to flatter me (they were very successful, thank you!) or trying to gain more marks for the flattery (unsuccessful, sorry... ^^) I'm sort of appreciative of them somehow (^^;).




There are many many who copied (and pasted) text from the Internet. That doesn't matter... what they have copied is all unrelated to my assignment anyway! (in fact, that's how I actually figured it out) ^^



The question was how you plan to handle whitespace, not what whitespace is-lah sayang! (This insightful paragraph was copied word-by-word from Wikipedia by the way... it even came with nice diagrams also copied from Wikipedia)


The most entertaining part was finding groups with identical reports and codes. I initially did not plan to catch any of these (in fact, I was planning to "close one eye"). But with the way they plagiarised - as I mentioned to my students - I can see them even with both my eyes closed; the papers were screaming "I have plagiarised! Please catch me!" >.<

Here is an example...





And another... (I noticed this due to the problem with the arrow in the circle labelled "8"..)




Of course, for most cases I easily identified who's the 'plagiariser" and who's the erm.. "plagiarisee". For obvious reasons, I do not intend to share techniques of detecting plagiarism. Oh well... maybe just one... just because it's just too plain obvious!



What are the odds of two groups misspelling the name of the course (it's "Compiler Design") AND having the exact same template? Determining who copied who is a trivial task, just because someone forgot to change the student IDs in the footer on the lower-left! (^^;)




So, what was I to do? Why, post an eye-catching-announcement-with-a-red-background™ (thanks YP! ^^) to scare the shit out of those kids of course! o(^wwwwwwww^)o *rubs hands with glee*




Well, I did manage to get some of those kids to own up... but some others didn't show up >.< I have no choice... zero marks o(^wwwwwwww^)b


Are students really getting dumber nowadays? That they have to search from the Internet (for the wrong answers!) when the (similar) solutions are in fact right in front of them! That they do not even know how to plagiarise properly? Is giving them the complete solutions (complete with a report) the only way for them to submit a proper work? Then again, they might even forget to change their names in the example report >.<

Comments

1 bakaka said,

malaysian edu system TAT||||

2 YP said,

They should be given Bachelor Degree of Plagiarism (With DisHonour) !!

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