How much cheating students do in their assignments? Some data from Electrical Department, IIT Bombay, India

Cheating is quite prevalent in Indian universities and IITs are no exception but they are very reluctant to admit it in open. Apparently it brings bad name to the institute. In this note, I dont want to discuss the social issues as I have done is somewhere else. As a teaching assistant, I wrote an application which sniff codes submitted by students. And here is some data. Students were aware, more or less, that such tool exists.

Each node is an student and an edge shows the cheating was done between two students in coding. Thickness of the edge is amount of cpopying done. Red edges is a definate copy.

copy_all

This picuture is really bad. I have removed “small copying” from the code. If I include that too, this is how it looks.

detailed

The light blue-edges are small matching. I have verified them manually, and all I can say, that this is copying, although it would be extremely hard to prove it. I reported these cases to my instructor. Many of them were called and given a warning, some literally cried and plead innoccence. They were treated lightly. Crying is perhaps the best psychological defence, it put the instructor on the back foot. Many others resorted to playing word-games and turning tables on me by asking that similarity in code is due to similarity in appraoch. But that does not explain by indentation and comments were same. The instructor later told me that these guys, those who play word-games, are very active in student organisation. Nonetheless, once class realised that there is a computer program which checks copy cases, it reduces drastically.

copy1

This somewhat “ugly” picutre in different format from a different assignment. No of edge tells how many files are copied between two students. This does not show total no of students in class.

summary

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About Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
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