What happens if CB determines plagiarism?

I have a couple students who basically reproduced the Word Finder exemplar PT sample (see screen shot), and their code for the core algorithm looks almost identical aside from variable names. They insist that they recreated their code from scratch (one of them even insists that they didn’t know it even existed, even though we went through it together as a class and he wrote in his notebook that day), but it is such a small program with no real extended functionality that it’s very hard to prove that they didn’t use the sample as their guide.

Given that this even comes with an exemplar written response, I feel obligated to report it to CB and am having them redo or extend the assignment for the class grade (do you guys agree this is the right decision?). But now they are wondering if they will be banned from future AP Exams/reported to colleges, etc. should CB determine it violates the policy. They are asking if they should cancel their exams to avoid this, or if it would just be isolated to be a 0 on the PT.

Does anyone have any insight on whether the scope of PT plagiarism extends beyond CSP? The policy says a 0 on the PT, but I know there are severe consequences for plagiarism on other exams…

Hi @eklaka ,

Sorry to hear about the situation - always disappointing to have to deal with stuff like this.

CB seems to basically say - “maybe”. Sorry, not helpful to you - I guess the ball is in the students’ court on whether they want to roll the dice.

I do agree with you that the students’ work should be flagged as suspected plagiarism. From my understanding, you are not making a final call on whether their work is categorized as plagiarism - you’re just fulfilling your obligation as a teacher/proctor in telling CB you suspect the work is plagiarized and supporting that claim with the evidence you mentioned here. You’re not arguing that the students should be in trouble for cheating - you’re submitting important impartial observations that CB relies on from its proctors (just like a normal exam proctor is obligated to report test irregularities).

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Thanks Frank. More disappointing are the student justifications; one actually tried to argue with me that “I’m pretty sure I am allowed to have the same idea as other people” and that people can have the same logic because it’s a “very common method of filtering” that’s taught in the CSP curriculum. True, but of all app ideas you could have picked, why the heck would you pick an exemplar that would be widely recognizable and scrutinized?:joy::woman_facepalming: His partner I’m pretty sure just clicked through the investigate exercise without looking at it and logged on to the class meeting/mentally checked out when we went over it.

I think they have both decided to pull the plug. Hopefully lessons learned for both of them. Sigh, lol.