Can students post their homework on internet before due date?

With big surprise, I read this article “Student challenges prof, wins right to post source code he wrote for course“. I am not surprised that the professor was against the posting. I am surprised that the school approved the posting. Clearly, there is a loophole in school policy.

The student himself is pretty proud of his victory. The story sure hit the news, but it seems to me that not many bloggers write about this incident. Google search, however, still led me to few of them. Here is one of few: It’s about the work, dummy. From Lightspeed, I found the student’s blog posting CS146 Code Issues that indicated he encountered copy right issue.

If I were a professor, I would not allow my students to post their source code on the internet before due date. The reason is simple: If all students can post their source codes, then they can post their essays, their homework solutions and everything. Then, I can not make sure whether the students in the same class do their work independently. If a school allows this kind of activities, who will believe the quality of the school?

The following is the news:

Death Metal sends in a story about Kyle Brady, a computer science major at San Jose State University, who recently ran into trouble over publishing the source code to his programming assignments after their due dates. One of Brady’s professors contacted him and threatened to fail him if he did not take down the code. Brady took the matter to the Computer Science Department Chair, who consulted with others and decided that releasing the code was not an ethical violation. Quoting Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing:

“There’s a lot of meat on the bones of this story. The most important lesson from it for me is that students want to produce meaningful output from their course-assignments, things that have intrinsic value apart from their usefulness for assessing their progress in the course. Profs — including me, at times — fall into the lazy trap of wanting to assign rotework that can be endlessly recycled as work for new students, a model that fails when the students treat their work as useful in and of itself and therefore worthy of making public for their peers and other interested parties who find them through search results, links, etc. But the convenience of profs must be secondary to the pedagogical value of the university experience — especially now, with universities ratcheting up their tuition fees and trying to justify an education that can put students into debt for the majority of their working lives.”


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One Response to “Can students post their homework on internet before due date?”

  1. lawyermommy Says:

    There will be no quality. You can copy one from another.
    The professor who was interviewed for the article below may have been under the influence when he responded. His response is not reasoned.

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