Plagiarized Checkers

This article is part of a retrospective on my experiences teaching at Full Sail.

Most of my experiences at Full Sail were pleasant, but there was a recurring issue of plagiarism in several of the programming-oriented classes there. I received plagiarized assignments every month in almost every class I taught.

To facilitate the detection of plagiarized code, I set up an account with Stanford’s MOSS system, which helpfully cross-checked hundreds of submissions in the background while I worked on other things. If you’re teaching a programming class, and you’re not using a tool like this, then you are letting lots of students get away with not doing their own work.

The most commonly plagiarized program was this checkers game that I had written for fun:

Checkers

Part of the academic honesty process involves a conference call with the accused student & the student services department. It was always painful hearing students try to explain their creation process for something that they neither designed nor developed.

The plagiarists got the message, finally, after I added this comment to the top of the checkers source code:

// Please do not plagiarize this game.

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