Hanson Policy on Homework Collaboration

Hanson Policy on Homework Collaboration

First, let me emphasize that I think it's great to work with others when doing your homework. What I'd like you to think about, though, is what the difference is between "working with others" and "copying answers."

Working with others It can be very helpful to do your homework in the presence of others in the class that are working on the same problems. Obviously for some people the answers will come quicker and easier than for others. Feedback is valuable. "What did you get for Problem 3?" is a perfectly acceptable question. "I don't get it. How did you do that?" can lead to a very productive discussion of how a problem is approached. I thoroughly endorse such interaction. This is honest work.

Copying answers Contrast that to the person who, without really putting any effort into it comes up to a fellow student and says, "Look, I just don't have time for this today. Can you give me your homework assignment so I can copy it?" This person wishes to turn in an assignment under their name that is not their work. This person is acting dishonestly.

I'm certain you can tell the difference between these two interactions. I can, too. The difference, of course, is in the intention and the thinking that goes into the document turned in as "one's own work."

Trust me that the meager points you hope to gain now by getting a homework problem right by copying are far less than the points you will lose later on the exam because you didn't really take the time to find out how to do that homework set for which you got full credit.

Besides, cheating in this way is really bad for the karma.

For this reason, I ask that on ALL HOMEWORK you indicate at the bottom:

  1. The names of the people you worked with.
  2. A short statement to the effect that this is your personal work, not just copied.

Again, I really like to see people working together. Not everyone wants to, but if you can find a friend or two who are roughly at your level and you can work together, the synergy can be great.

Also, about "tutoring sessions." I understand perfectly that these are opportunities to answer homework problems without really understanding what is going on. Just remember that you owe it to yourself to know how an answer is derived, not just what the answer is.

Penalties Cases of obvious copying will be penalized by no credit for BOTH THE COPYIER and the COPIED. Thus, take care if someone wants you to give them your homework so that they can "just look at it." If they copy, you will be the one losing the points with them.

My experience with copying is that people do it because they are rushed. Well, if that's the case, rather than copying, please let me know that you ran out of time. You can turn one homework in late for no loss of credit this semester. Do that if you need to. If you find yourself running out of time repeatedly, come talk to me or someone else who might be able to help you figure out how to manage your time better.