Norms for Using Peer's Code?

When peer editing, students are seeing their peers’ code. Some may see some snazzy code they might like to use in the future, or interesting ways their peers have problem solved.

What are some norms you have set up and used in your classroom for using peer code?

Thanks in advance!

That’s a great question! I would be curious to hear what others say. For me, I haven’t specifically addressed it, but my students “share code” all of the time.

In terms of their grade, I draw the line at copying an entire project, but I do let them “borrow” ideas and help each other.

Does anyone have any hard guidelines on that?


My students are given the choice to work in groups of 2-3 for projects. Since each one gives me a breakdown on what aspects of the project they will be working on, I have not encountered copying without giving credit among my students. I grade them on what they independently contributed using a scoring rubric. I rarely give them all projects/FRQs that require the same solution to avoid copy/paste submissions. I have setup a guideline at the beginning of the year to follow Creative Commons guidelines to give credit for any resources used in a project that was not developed by the student.
Oh yes! I do have an occasional submission testing if I really read the code. Well, they get pulled aside and given a 0 grade unless they rework and submit independent work.
It is a good idea to have students work collaboratively on projects. They learn by observing/enquiring/debugging/modeling good practices from each other. It is more effective than my lecturing. Make mistakes and learn from how each one approaches the problem. These are valuable lessons they need to learn rather than code. How to communicate your ideas? How to persevere and analyze the problem at hand? What are the debugging techniques that are consistently used? How do you address user needs and limitations? I tend to see quality projects with these broad guidelines in place. Students know before they start a project what aspects I will be grading their independent work on. By the end of the year each student has worked with every other student on at least one project and they feel comfortable with classroom interactions and presentations. My classes have 25 or less students per session. Maybe this helps.

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