Detection, patterns, consequences, and remediation of electronic homework copying
Author(s)Palazzo, David J. (David John)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Physics.
David E. Pritchard.
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The log of all interactions the student makes with an online homework tutor (MasteringPhysics), including start time, finish time, correct answers, wrong answers, and hints requested allowed the development of an algorithm which assigns a "copying" probability to each problem completed. This algorithm was applied to three successive Newtonian Mechanics classes at MIT: Fall 2003, Fall 2004, and Fall 2005, affording unique insight into the dynamics of physics homework copying, and allowing contrasts between the performance and behavioral patterns of students who copy a lot and students who copy a little or copy none at all. Observations show that repetitive homework copying is correlated with steeply declining exam performance, and that repetitive copiers are four times more likely to fail to complete the - required two semester physics sequence on time than students who don't copy. Observations of several behavioral patterns associated with repetitive homework copying are reported - these patterns, combined with data from a self-reported cheating survey of MIT freshman, shed new light on the reasons students copy and steps educators can take to reduce homework copying.(cont.) Through the implementation of several of these steps, we observe that between Fall 2003 and Fall 2005 detected homework copying dropped by -40%. Although efforts to reduce homework copying may not be an innovation in teaching, our study indicates it may be the best path to increasing student learning and success.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (p. 131-141).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology