Re: Grading, Plagiarism, Webbed Writing and ...

Mark Gellis (mgellis@SILVER.SDSMT.EDU)
Fri, 9 Aug 1996 23:21:38 -0600

The student may not have been deliberately cheating--i.e., doing it so he
could get away without doing the work--but he should certainly fail the
assignment on the grounds that he did not do the production part f the
(oops, that should be "part of the") assignment. And, another reason
for failing him, he did not prove, with the quiz itself as his evidence,
that he either understood the concepts or the production skills.

Personally, I would give him 24 hours to do a rewrite, and make it
absolutely clear that what he did was unacceptable, considered cheating
by many, but that I was giving him the benefit of the doubt and the
chance to prove he was capable of doing the work. And then I would
dock the grade for lateness.

Harsh? Perhaps. But odds are the kid thought he was pulling a fast
one, not actually cheating, but using a loophole. As a teacher, the
purpose of a test is just that, to test, to determine whether people
understand concepts or have learned to employ certain skills (essays
are, for this reason, nothing more than "take-home exams") under a
certain set of circumstances. This kid did not complete the
assignment in a way that proves his knowledge; therefore, one
cannot assume the knowledge exists and one cannot give the student
the same credit one gives to a student who has clearly demonstrated
what they know.

Hope this helps.