So what do you do with students who copy homework?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by historyguy79, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. historyguy79

    historyguy79 Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2008

    I don't even give THAT much homework out that can lend itself to being copied, but I do give a worksheet here and there. When I do, there is always some kids who have THE SAME EXACT, WORD FOR WORD, answers at a few other kids. So far I've been trying to figure out who did the original work, give them credit (usually it's wrong answers anyways so they get low credit) and give 0's out to the rest.

    Do you guys agree with the 0 for copying homework? I don't hand out worksheets just for the hell of it, so I take it seriously if they copy, because they didn't get out of it what I wanted.

    I'm just wondering what others do.
     
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  3. wig

    wig Devotee

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    In my class the copier and the one he copied from get the zero unless the copier "stole" the assignment without the knowledge of the owner.
     
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  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There seems to be a huge plagiarism problem at our school. I've tried all sorts of things, including adding an honor code statement to the bottom of translation assignments and big quizzes for the students to sign. There were a few kids in each class who would sign that honor code statement...immediately after I watched them copy the assignment from a peer.

    The only solution I've found is to apply a heavier weight to work done entirely in class and in my presence. When they're in class I can monitor what they're doing and I can make sure that they're not copying, unlike when they leave my classroom to do a homework assignment. Any work done outside of class has some nominal point value (like 5 or 10 points), whereas assignments done in class are weighed more heavily (25-50 points).

    I do give zeros on work copied during class, like during a test or something. I don't like doing that because, although I want to send a message that cheating is unacceptable, I don't think that one bad decision should skew a student's grade as significantly as a zero can. I really feel that a student's grades should reflect his or her mastery of content, not his or her citizenship or behavior.

    If a student typically earned As and then had one instance of cheating, the student's overall grade could be pulled down to a C. Does a C accurately reflect the student's performance? I don't think it does, because the student does consistently perform at a superier level...even if the student did exercise poor judgment on one occasion.
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Check your student handbook - ours clearly states that both students will recieve a zero for the first offense, can be denied credit for the second offense, and can be suspended for the third offense. I usually only have to write up students copying once a year because once students realize I will do this they don't try it.
     
  6. historyguy79

    historyguy79 Rookie

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    I'll have to look around for the student handbook. I was never given one as a teacher, and I know none of the kids have it on them.

    As a teacher jumping in the middle of the year (and it's block scheduling, so the year is split) the school really hasn't given me much help. I had no intro seminars, nothing on expectations, absolutly nothing.

    Either way, it pisses me off if kids think I don't notice the blatant copying of eachothers work. So for now I'm giving them the 0. Either they'll get more creative with the copying (which is probably the case) or maybe they will stop. Either way, it's not the A students who are doing this, it's the ones who barely do work when it's assigned in class, let alone homework.

    I go out of my way to help these kids so much, if they want to spit back in my face, well I can do that too.
     
  7. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I fail them. Actually, that's not quite accurate: they've failed themselves. They've CHOSEN to fail. They failed on purpose. They hoped you wouldn't be smart enough to know about their choice to fail.

    I despise plagiarism; it's stealing. It's the same thing as taking money out of the register till and hoping nobody saw you, and buying candy with it and eating it and gloating.
     
  8. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Yes - you do really need a student handbook. It can really make your life easier writing up students because they violated school policy. Students and parents have a hard time arguing about you giving zeros if it is a school policy printed in the handbook. Mine most blanant case of copying was a poster I had students create to rally the third estate during the French Revolution - a fun easy project for easy points. I had one student in one class write his entire poster in French which I thought was awesome. He provided a translation on the back. I picked up my next hour class, started grading that stack and there's a poster EXACTLY like the one in written in French except in English. These were A students - I was so very disappointed. I wrote them both up, they recieved zeros for the assignment (which didn't hurt their grades a all) and the write up stayed in their files. I just don't think high schoolers think copying is cheating.
     
  9. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    I have students that try that. So I stopped just giving worksheets, if I gave a worksheet I added something. Like a worksheet on WWI in the trenches, on the back I made them write some sentences using WWI lingo, and told them they all had to be different. That one was not copied. I do have kids that try it, I had one girl copying a worksheet using her friends paper and the corner of my desk! :eek:

    I do a lot of assignments that replicate what is on a worksheet, but requires the kids to process the information on a higher level. If I use a worksheet I get them in class by asking them a question based on it, if they cannot answer it, I know they didn't do the work. Oh, and I always catch them.

    I give zeros for both papers because both cheated. (exept when one assignment was stolen) Do it again, and school policy is they fail the semester. Do it again or steal a common exam, you fail the year
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Consider giving quiz on the HW. Prepare questions in advance on transparency, board, or oral. Quiz can be short, say 3-5 Qs and very similar to HW Qs. Not trying to fool anyone here or find out what they don't know, so make it simple but only likely someone who actually did HW can answer. Before collecting HW, students turn wk. sht. over and do quiz on back, about 2-3 minutes. This will give a better read who has actually learned and has merely done. It is also a fair way to distinguish the hard workers from the copiers. If you score these (quiz) it is more of a true reflection in terms of academics versus copying which is a discipline issue (following rules).
     
  11. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Is it wrong that I don't care if they copy homework? I mean, I would honestly prefer they didn't, but I know that's what's going to happen anyway. If they do not do the assignment themselves, they are typically denying themselves the chance for review. However, if they try copying in class or if another teacher catches them and gives me the work, they get a zero.

    But I'm not going to give a zero for "copied" homework, because my students have enough sense to paraphrase each other. That is, I know that they copied and who they copied it from, but since it's not verbatim, it's easier to just give them the 30% daily grade than fuss with the parent about it.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Paraphrasing is still plagiarism.

    If we don't teach students that plagiarism is bad, no one will teach them that. When they get jobs at the Chicago Sun Times and start "paraphrasing" other columnists without permission or appropriate citation, they're going to get fired and go down in a fiery blaze.

    (I do think we need to penalize students who copy. I just don't necessarily think that we need to use their grades as the means by which we enact punishment.)
     
  13. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    But since they just paraphrased each other, it'd be a tough battle between me and their parents to show that they actually copied. And if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I can't win everything so I have to choose my battles. And this isn't one I think I can have.
     
  14. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 14, 2008

    Give zero credit.......:)
     
  15. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We are not allowed to grade homework for correctness only completion so I have made homework worth very little. I cannot police everything so I have learned to pick and choose my battles and this is one that is too hard to fight. I assign homework and randomly pick a class to check everyday. They do not know what day I am going to check in their class. I try to get an even amount of homeworks per class. Quiz problems often come straight from the homework with different numbers so those who copied it tend to get them wrong.
     
  16. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I used to give 100-point tests that consisted basically of: Open your 3-ring binder to the section where you keep your returned and graded homework.

    #1: Look at your homework dated Oct. 4 and give me the answer you got for #15..

    #2. Look at your homework dated Dec. 13 and give me a different sentence using the same rule used in #6.

    Etc.

    Students were required to bring their binders to class daily. Test day was NOT a good day to forget.

    When I told them something was going to happen, it happened. When I told them to do something, they'd best do it.

    Remember, I'm mean.
     
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  17. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Mama grades on organization, too :) Boy, I would have flunked your class big time...
     
  18. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    . . . not if you did what I told you to do, you wouldn't have.
     
  19. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    I love the idea of a test on the binder. I make my students keep one and my older students are all on board but the younger ones still fight me on it.
     
  20. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    They would both get zeros.
     
  21. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Hmmm, Mamacita I think you just solved my issue on how to grade the interactive notebook.
     
  22. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Or you can give unit binder checks that check for completion and organization. Personally, I do both.
     
  23. BirlyFive

    BirlyFive New Member

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    My homework theory is "if it looks like you thought about biology for at least 10 minutes last night, you get full credit on the homework"

    As far as learning the material goes, might it be better for them to copy someone else's work, rather than not do it at all? Obviously, its best if they do it themselves.

    They're also allowed to work on the assignments together, so that makes it impossible to detect blatant copying anyway.
     
  24. sharmeenwahaj

    sharmeenwahaj New Member

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    When I noticed my students were copying, I spoke to them about the severity of plagiarism. I let them know that if they share work they will have to share the mark.
    SHARE THE WORK, SHARE THE MARK!
     
  25. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    In my class they get a big fat zero, a 3 page paper on plagarism, and a 60 minute detention for the first offense. For the second a big fat zero again, and a refferal.
     
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  26. dopey153

    dopey153 Rookie

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    Our school doesn't allow us to take grades on homework. I work in an elementary school and they did this because parents were either helping their children too much or doing their homework for them. We only take grades on assignments during completed during class and test/quiz them over their homework. That way, you don't have to occupy yourself with figuring out if the student did their own work.
     
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  27. MtotheC

    MtotheC Rookie

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    I recently caught 4 groups of students cheating on a quiz in class. I was going to give them all zeros until I actually graded them and realized they'd made 20s, 40s, and 60s. Figured that'd hurt bad enough :) I'd much rather show the parent their poor copying skills than how well I can write out a discipline report.
     
  28. Vegas Art Guy

    Vegas Art Guy Rookie

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    Give them both detention and a 0 for the assignment. In addition make them write a 5 paragraph essay on respect. Make sure you call their parents and let them know their kid is a cheat.

    When I give out a test I remind the students that if I catch them cheating I make them throw their test in the trash in front of the whole class and then they get to watch me enter in a ZERO for that test. I only had one kid cheat last semester and he got caught. I just started a new long term assignment so I'll need to restate my policy.

    And Mamacita it's nice to see you here as well...
     
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  29. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Same to you, Vegas.

    When students cheat, they fail. They fail themselves and they fail the test and if the cheating goes unchecked they'll do it in other aspects of their lives and eventually fail those, too.

    I would not be the least bit surprised if cheating spouses had been cheating students, in fact.
     
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  30. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    If the homework was important enough that you wanted them to get something out of it shouldn't it have been classwork?

    If it was mundane enough that they could easily copy it, why wouldn't they?

    I think we have a very archaic view of homework based on our own personal experiences. I know I got next to nothing out of doing homework in school and most research shows the same (except in math where you are practicing skills).

    Plus, if I got paid nothing for a day because I had copied my lesson from a friend I wouldn't have been paid my first three years of teaching!
     
  31. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    I checked our school handbook- both the giver and the taker earn 0s. If I find that someone STOLE someone else's work and THEN copied it (or as happened last year, they stole someone else's work out of the inbox and just put their name on it and erased the other kid's name) I write them up for THEFT which has SERIOUS consequences at our school. Cheating in and of itself only has the 0 grade consequence, but theft is another story.

    In my experience, PHOTOCOPY all examples of cheating, though and file it. Once parents get involved, they like to see proof that their little angels actually stole work.
     
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  32. jbj913

    jbj913 Rookie

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    Both get zeros.

    I do not recommend having them write an essay as punishment. I don't feel academics should be used as punishment. The students could attach punishment and negativity to any future essay assigment and despise writing for a while especially if your class is designed around writing.
     
  33. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Hahahahah reviving a 10 year old thread to advertise for essaydune. Pat, I love ya buddy!
     
  34. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Your first post EVER is on a 10 year old thread, and you mention/link a SPECIFIC program that it is effective at not getting caught, hoping some student will stumble across this.
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Never mind. Ancient thread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  37. TrademarkTer

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  38. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I'm looking right at the report button. It's on every post.

    Maybe it really is like the Yeti. Some see it and some don't.
     
  39. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Well, this is probably not the answer you are looking for, but this is what I do in my classroom.

    I would privately discuss the matter with the students involved. The student would also sit out of play time for a few minutes to redo the assignment.

    When I taught older grades (like MS/HS), I would give a zero for the assignment, write the student up, and the administration would give consequences (normally detention).
    In HS, if the student had to be written up a third time for cheating, the student will have to forfeit course credit. Was not my policy.
     
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  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The software isn't bug-free, to be sure.

    With that said, however, nothing prevents any member from simply shrugging and moving on.
     
  41. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    If I catch it and it is obvious enough to stand up to admin scrutiny, I give zeros to all students. That has led to some big problems with helicopter parents getting very upset. Even had a district lawyer ask me about one particular incident because the parents took it that far.

    I don't go looking for it with homework though. I assume it happens but I also assume that those kids that are copying will perform lower on tests. I consider homework test prep. I assigned something on Friday that I assume will be copied among classmates. The kids that do the work will do better on the following quiz.

    I can't police it all.
     

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