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Simple Interventions Can Curb Cheating in CS Courses

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A computer science classroom.

In an introductory computer science course of about 100 students, adjustments that took the professor under five hours to make seemed to decrease cheating significantly.

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and publishing company Wiley's WzyBooks digital college courseware platform found six simple interventions can reduce cheating in computer science courses.

The interventions include discussing academic integrity early; requiring students to score 100% on an academic integrity quiz; allowing learners to withdraw assignments they may reconsider turning in; reminding them of the cheating policy part-way through the term; demonstrating anticheating tools, and normalizing academic aid and support.

The researchers identified two metrics that may signal cheating: the time it took students to complete assignments, and how many students handed in suspiciously similar code—versus students in another course section. The interventions appeared to cumulatively increase the former metric while decreasing the latter.

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