|In reply to Comment 178 (Don Cox):
> You need to set assignments that require original thought from each student,
> and a different answer from each. Not easy if they are beginners.
Ideally each and every student would get a different assignment targetting the same skills and knowledge. Then they can't cheat. We have run a couple of subjects where students are broken into groups randomly and assigned different questions. This did cut down on the cheating a little, but not if friends were assigned into the same assessment streams.
> Alternatively, get all the work done in a classroom situation, - replace
> lectures with reading assignments and make the classes 100% practical. Only work > actually done in the labs under the eye of a teacher to be accepted.
This is actually what they have done in high school, and the standard of high school graduates dropped markedly the year following when it was introduced into year 12 (or rather the level of competency of applicants into the first year programming class I was lecturing & tutoring for several years). The amount of hand-holding increased hugely too, which has increased consultation time for all the lecturers (decreasing what little research time they had available).
> Of course some will still cheat, but it gets harder.
There will always be some who try to cheat. At least 3/40 students in every test I have invigilated have tried hard to cheat by looking at other's scripts. Even when I was standing right near them watching them! It's quite incredible what extent some will go to. We've had to make sure all mobile phones are on the floor (not in laps/on the desk) because students were messaging each other (or to/from people outside).
I always laugh when students hand in work with another student's plagiarism disclaimer on it (typically there is at least one per subject per semester that does this).
Ahh well.... enough ranting on plagiarism for me...