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Advice to Students

From time to time questions of lack of originality occur in student work in Computer Science classes. These incidents usually involve programming assignments and range from excessive collaboration to outright copying of another person's work. This note sets out some guidance on such incidents.

Students are encouraged to engage in open discussion of the nature of any assignment, including a programming assignment, and of the general approach to a solution. Much learning takes place in this way. Sharing of experience about errors made, error messages received and general approaches to a solution that did not work is also encouraged. However, a definite line must be drawn when you begin to work out a detailed solution to the problem. Such material as pseudocode, structure diagrams and the program code itself should be your own work, not to be shared with anyone else.

It is impossible to describe every possible contingency which might occur in the context of possible cheating. Some of the more obvious ones are listed in the next section in order to convey the general sense of the matter.


Simon Jones (sbj@cs.stir.ac.uk)