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arking
Community Participant

Any way to stop students hacking graded discussions?

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We have students who have figured out that an instructor checking the box for "Users must post before seeing replies" is completely useless. The students found a loophole: they just reply with something short (like a word or punctuation), go in and read other submissions, and then submit their "own" response that's just rehashing things other people said. This is double frustrating, because, unlike other things you can view in speedgrader, you can't see the older submissions/edits, so there's no way to say whether they are cheating or not with the edit functions.

This make setting up discussions difficult to recommend. Is there any way to stop this? Are others experiencing this?

2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
James
Community Champion

Make sure that you remove the ability for students to edit or delete their own posts. And make it clear that they will be graded on their first post.

stefaniesanders‌ has some great advice on this somewhere, I just don't know if I'll be able to find it quicker than she can.

View solution in original post

Thanks for that,  @James —but to be honest, I don't think I have ever created a separate resource about that. I have shared the verbiage I use, and I'll happily provide it again here.

For this assignment, users must post before seeing the replies of others. Accordingly, your first post must contain the substantial content for which you would like to receive a grade--so make that first post count!

If you want a truly great resource,  @arking , check out  @dhulsey ‌'s blog post: Stopping Intra-Class Academic Dishonesty via Discussions 

View solution in original post

7 Replies
James
Community Champion

Make sure that you remove the ability for students to edit or delete their own posts. And make it clear that they will be graded on their first post.

stefaniesanders‌ has some great advice on this somewhere, I just don't know if I'll be able to find it quicker than she can.

View solution in original post

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

An important thing to remember is that technology fixes and grading threats do not actually address the underlying problems that lead students to cheat, if that is indeed what is going on. You can put fixes in place, but as long as those underlying causes persist, the problems will persist; it just might not be so obvious. I highly recommend James Lang's book Cheating Lessons for insight and different kinds of solutions:

Cheating Lessons — James M. Lang | Harvard University Press 

See also his interview with Inside Higher Ed about that book:

Author of new book discusses ways to reduce cheating and improve student learning 

Thanks for that,  @James —but to be honest, I don't think I have ever created a separate resource about that. I have shared the verbiage I use, and I'll happily provide it again here.

For this assignment, users must post before seeing the replies of others. Accordingly, your first post must contain the substantial content for which you would like to receive a grade--so make that first post count!

If you want a truly great resource,  @arking , check out  @dhulsey ‌'s blog post: Stopping Intra-Class Academic Dishonesty via Discussions 

View solution in original post

James
Community Champion

This is the verbiage I was thinking of. You gave it to me once, so I wanted to pass it on, but give credit where due. It still qualifies as "great advice" even though it wasn't a separate resource.

myerdon01
Community Champion

Some of our students figured this out, too. So, best practices for graded discussions include both items suggested already! 

Robbie_Grant
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @arking y,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.

 

Robbie

arking
Community Participant

My question has been answered, thanks.

-Anthony

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