Plagiarism? Code Submitted Identical to Video Sharing Site Example

Wanted to make sure I’m thinking correctly here.

I had two students submit their 3 parts of the Create PT, only to discover that they used code provided by a Video Sharing Site creator that linked directly to his code in AppLab (via shared app, then “view code”).

I marked both of the submissions for plagiarism in Digital Portfolio and supported with the links to the videos (not sharing here since this may be a recurring problem if they search).

Both students had no citations in their IWR and claimed throughout that “I created…” followed by the names of different parts. One even stated “I had no collaboration with anyone. All done on my own.”

The name and website of the content creator (an adult CSP teacher it appears) in //comment lines from the beginning of the original code were deleted by the students, and the code is almost word for word (one exact, the other student made some color changes and moved screen elements around), but both left unique variable and function names the same in their code as in the original.

My argument to the students for marking plagiarism was that this is the “Create PT” not the “Copy and Paste PT.” Also, they did not identify their “student-created algorithm” nor abstraction because it was created by an adult who posted these videos.

Just making sure I’m doing the right thing in this situation.

Appreciate your thoughts.

Hi @michael.shaffer,

As always with my responses regarding the official AP exam, I’ll preface with saying I’m not a member of the College Board and this is just my take as some guy.

From what I understand, your action of flagging as plagiarism only let’s CB know you suspect it - they’ll make the final call. I feel the evidence you sited is totally valid suspicion of plagiarism and IMO was the correct and responsible thing to do - to let CB know it looks fishy and point them to the evidence. In the end, CB will be the ones who decide, so you didn’t overstep your bounds and act as a judge and determine those students’ scores - you saw something that looked extremely suspicious and alerted CB so they can take it into consideration.

In terms of presenting this to the students (also my take as some guy), I would be careful about the tone being accusatory. By that, I mean by telling them it’s not the “Copy and Paste PT”, you’re telling them you believe they copy and pasted. When I’ve suspected my students of cheating, I would open with stating the evidence and telling them the evidence seems to indicate they cheated, so that we’re framing the discussion in terms of the evidence instead of my judgment. In this case, I might tell them exactly what you said here, that you found something online that looks extremely similar to their submission that it warrants flagging for plagiarism and that it’s up to CB to decide. That’s it. The tone is more “this is what I saw and I’m handing it off for the decision-makers to take into consideration” as opposed to “I know you cheated and you’ll pay the consequences.”

Now if this is also part of their class grade, then you’ll have to be the judge too.

As a side note, if they didn’t identify their algorithm or abstraction… that’s a large majority of the points lost right there. Exam grade aside, I heard CB is instituting extra severe consequences for cheating this year, but that’s a separate conversation.