I was grading papers and computer code earlier today. When students’ code doesn’t agree with mine, I wonder why. When it looks nothing like the pseudocode in our book, I wonder where it came from. First hit, Wikipedia. There’s the same code with a few names changed to disguise it.
I’m clear in course policies that copying code is against the rules. It’s printed on every assignment that involves code. Do not copy code. It’s in the syllabus, noting that the minimum sanction will be a zero on the assignment.
On the flip side, you can go from the pseudocode in the book to actual code, and I’ve got no issue with that. That’s what the pseudocode in the book is for.
The first case was so blatant, that it’s pretty obvious what I need to do.
Then there’s the second case. This time the code from Wikipedia was modified to fit in an alternative environment, but it’s still pretty clearly the Wikipedia code, and certainly not the pseudocode from our book.
I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. No, I don’t want to forbid students from looking at internet resources, I think you can learn a lot of valuable things that way. But, if you are assigned to code something we learned about in class, I expect your main resource to be either materials from class or from the book, not copying and pasting something off the internet.
It never occurred to me that I would have to spell that out. Maybe I need to spell that out.
I see an ugly situation in my future. I know I can handle it. But this year has been such a year of handling and struggling. Part of me just wants to hide.
Add to my mistakes: looking myself up on RateMyProfessor. Never got any feedback from Texas A&M. But the complainers are out from my new school. I give too much work and it is *so* hard. I don’t help enough in class, and I have a good teaching philosophy, but I just don’t use it.
Note to self: don’t look at that stuff. Haters gonna hate. Your job is to teach, and to ask hard questions. If you are only asking easy questions, something is wrong with what you are doing.
But another part of my job is to motivate students to want to try and do well. I wish I knew what I could do better at that. On that, I thought this was a good article. Rethinking Positive Thinking.