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How do you stop copying of homework?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by florian gassmann, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Although I don't recall many cases of plagiarism, when I did suspect it I went through the homework with the pupil in question, asking pertinent questions, such as "where did you read that?", "why did you come to that conclusion?", "why did you decide not to mention ...?" and so on. Increasing embarassment and inability to answer very quickly led to a confession.
    If it was exam work, I took the same line as mrvonnegut - a dire warning of the potential penalties that an exam can impose if plagiarism is spotted.
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    For suspected cases of plagiarism we use turnitin.com
    If there is a case to answer then the pupil in question is brought in, given an opportunity to explain themselves. If no suitable explanation occurs then it is a formal warning. Repetition leads to immediate expulsion.
  3. I will say at the outset I never set homework to any classes other than A level. My standard prep is always organize folders/ books and copy up rough work. My results are as good or better than most of my colleagues for all that so homework is a waste of time - done by those who do not need to do it and not done by those who might on a good day benefit from it ( quote from some bright expert I read once , cant recall who).
    What point punishment anyway? Let me relate you a tale. When I was at school I used to do homework for (a) my friends ( I wouldn't have had many if I had not and they protected me from (b) the bullies who would have caused me pain and much unhappiness. The alternative was to become an ear hole and do nothing like everyone else and waste my chances. Sometimes when it was too hard, my father and mother would help me ( ergo - do it to show me how) and thus keep me out of detention for not being able to do it. That is life in school. I still learned.
    So community detention? I would have done it and just been more careful to ensure you didn't realize I was doing other peoples work by writing it six different ways with different things in it. Friends and protection were more important. To remove copying, you have to find the root and tackle that. Do you really think breaking friendships is worth a bit of rubbish homework , which benefits no one? My friends , for all their copying my work did as well as expected in exams ( not badly , not well). I did as expected. Had I not followed that path it would be likely I would not have received sufficient education to write this today and perhaps my friends learned something from copying out my work into their books.
    Homework copying has always taken place and always will. Don't fret over it so. Its good life experience. In most walks of life there is one who does and others who ride on the tails. There is room for all. If it bothers you that much then do not set homework that needs copying unless its your notes and do not do exam boards who require coursework ( unless of course you do that to boost your results - in which case, you must be supporting your pupils with some form of copying . So don't be hypocrites.

  4. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I teach MFL and so in a way, my subject is easier to set homework for - it tends to be 50% learning at least (always gets on my nerves when someone says there's no point to homework - well, in my subject if you don't go away and learn stuff you simply don't progress at all!). The other 50% tends to be things they may well be able to copy (e.g. worksheets) but I try my hardest to make it interesting so that it removes a bit of the temptation to do so, e.g. poster/internet-based/crossword etc for lower school, paragraph to write about something personal, with pictures etc for higher school.
    I like the idea of grading pupils on test results rather than homework tasks. Effectively about 80% of my pupils' mark will be, as I like to do peer-marking on their homework if I can, so I treat the grade with caution and don't always include it.
    My take on this, for what it's worth, is that if it's a repeated occurrence then you need to investigate the problem and how many pupils are affected by it. If it's the odd copying of a sentence or two because they tried but didn't get to the answer and like to have a complete piece of work then it's not so much of an issue and I would turn a blind eye. Might be worth pursuing through PSHE lessons...
  5. Thanks for all your ideas/inputs. Personally, I am not convinced by homework or at least some of the more traditional styles of homework, and probably wouldn't set much if I had the choice, but as I explained to my yr 11, i work in a system that requires me to set homework (both school and parents) and so I do my job. I am beginning to try out flip lessons, where the homework is some learning and the following lesson is the questions, where they have access to help (me ) if they are having trouble with their learning. Seems a better use of their time, perhaps. In my previous school (state) we had to submit a record of all the homework set to each class to the SMT every week. But I think that was just them laying a paper trail for OFSTED - as was the full page lesson plans that all the teachers had to do for all lessons the year I left.

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