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Re^2: Student in trouble

by samtregar (Abbot)
on Nov 10, 2004 at 19:37 UTC ( #406766=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Student in trouble
in thread Student in trouble

Oh, relax. He didn't say he wanted us to do his work for him. He said he'd post some code he planned to submit so we could help him refine it. Yes, he needs to tell his instructors that he's getting outside help, but that doesn't mean we should refuse to help.

I think it's important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community. I've seen far too many programmers fresh out of college reinventing the wheel simply because they had no idea that places like this exist!

-sam


Comment on Re^2: Student in trouble
Re^3: Student in trouble
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Nov 10, 2004 at 19:43 UTC
    I think it's important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community. I've seen far too many programmers fresh out of college reinventing the wheel simply because they had no idea that places like this exist!

    Concur. The problem is finding a balance between not helping the OP at all and helping the OP too much. From past experience, though, I think we're pretty good at finding that balance.

    Edit: Perhaps a bit more diligence is required. :-(

    --
    Yours in pedantry,
    F o x t r o t U n i f o r m

    "Anything you put in comments is not tested and easily goes out of date." -- tye

      Let me grab two recent homework discussions, Homework help and Need help on part of homework. It looks to me like people get fully working answers to homework questions pretty easily. I don't see that we're striking a very good balance there at all!
        Thank you all for for your responses and advice. I suspect my lecturer is a member of this site (he recommended it to the class). I just want to clear up a few misconceptions with tilly: 1. I am not asking anyone to do my work for me I just want someone to EVALUATE my code,help me spot bugs,better my understanding and maybe grade me on my code that's all. 2. I have a sincere interest in learning perl and mastering it for the long term. 3. This is not my first introduction to programming 4. I WILL PASS THIS COURSE ON MY OWN MERIT..................
Re^3: Student in trouble
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Nov 10, 2004 at 20:16 UTC

    D'accord.

    One of life's great lessons is knowing when to seek help and advice. IMO, a much more important lesson than anything taught on any CS course.

    Another of life's great lessons is learning how to learn, and the greater part of that, is to know how to effectively research a problem.

    Many of us didn't have the internet through which to do our research, so we had to use our local library. Just as I would expect any half-competent lecturer to be able to recognise the difference between:

    • my have learned something from reading a text.
    • my having copied a text verbatim, or with just enough inconsequential changes to try to conceal it's origins.

    so I would expect them to be able to recognise when a student has learnt from code found (or solicited) on the internet, and code produced as a result of lessons learnt from stuff found on the internet.

    If I, as a lecturer, had any doubts one way or the other, then I don't think I would find it hard to pose one or two simple verbal questions of the student to decide one way or the other.

    The last, and possibly most important of life's great lessons involved here is that in the end, if you cheat on exams, it is unlikely to have ill-consequences for either your lecturer, or fellow students in the long term.

    Cheating on exams is ultimately, cheating yourself.


    Examine what is said, not who speaks.
    "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
    "Think for yourself!" - Abigail
    "Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon
Re^3: Student in trouble
by insensate (Hermit) on Nov 10, 2004 at 20:28 UTC
    --I think it's important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community. I've seen far too many programmers fresh out of college reinventing the wheel simply because they had no idea that places like this exist!

    Reinventing the wheel is part of a proper education. I agree wholeheartedly that familiarity with support communities benefits the seasoned programmer, but I'd rather hire the engineer whose marks are reflective of his or her innate programmatic abilities versus his or her resourcefulness. That is, however, simply a personal preference.

Re^3: Student in trouble
by tilly (Archbishop) on Nov 10, 2004 at 23:52 UTC
    Given what I've seen happen before when people post some broken code, I'm not inclined to take a generous interpretation of what he's looking for. He may claim to be looking for refinements, but he'll likely get a complete rewrite that is an order of magnitude better than anything he could write - and he won't understand what makes it better. Given the levels of academic dishonesty on campuses today (not that it is a new problem), I'm not inclined to believe that he would tell his instructors that he got outside help, even if he said he would (which he hasn't).

    I agree that it is important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community in appropriate ways. And my opinion is that asking other people to debug your code is not an appropriate kind of help to ask for.

    Knowing that not everyone agrees with me won't change my opinion. I already know that some don't agree with me, but I have reasons for my opinion and until they are addressed...

      I agree that he'll likely receive a complete re-write from some monks. Although he could have been sneakier and not mentioned that it was for school. I believe he was honestly looking (or will be) for opinions.
      First I just want to clear up a few misconceptions: 1.Your comments Tilly has DEEPLY HURT and OFFENDED me (I re-read my post twice and I still don't know how people came to the conclusion that my purpose here is to cheat) I am not asking anyone to do my work for me or refine it I just want someone to EVALUATE my code,better my understanding and maybe grade me on my code that's all. 2. Please feel free to reap posts and downlevel (is that the correct term?)of anyone who modifies my code. 3. If I wanted to cheat I could have said nothing about my situation and simply posted code to be modified. 4. I really do have a sincere interest in learning perl and mastering it for the long term 5. This site was recommended by my lecturer (and I suspect he is a member here) 6. I want to apologize about the test node. I am very sorry about the inconvinence this may have caused. 7. I WILL PASS THIS COURSE..................... So to Tilly and company are we cool?
        I am sorry that you feel hurt by what I said. It might help if you replayed this conversation from my point of view.

        I don't know you from Adam. Obviously none of my comments can be about you personally because I don't know you. You are not the cause of my opinion. My opinion must be (and is) based on bad experiences with other people. There is nothing that you can do about that except understand how and why some people will react. And then make sure that people who know you personally have cause to understand that you're ethical.

        It is not your fault that you're a member of a group (ie students) which is notorious for cheating. And is also notorious for not understanding where the boundary is between receiving legitimate help and plagiarism. I was once a member of the same group. Most people here either were or still are.

        However when I was a student, it was a large source of frustration for me that people around me would try to get ahead by cheating rather than really learning. Now that I'm out of school it is frustrating for me to deal with people who're cheating. I've had people submit my work as theirs. I've had to deal with people who are begging all and sundry for the next answer. And the dishonesty doesn't end at school. I still have to deal with things like the fact that resumes can't be trusted because people "exaggerate slightly". (And have to deal with the fact that mine looks worse by comparison because I don't.)

        So, without knowing you, I'm going to be inclined to a very uncharitable response to anyone asking for help on passing their course. Maybe you're on the level. Maybe you think that you're on the level, but don't understand the boundary between legitimate assistance and cheating like I'd prefer. Maybe you're trying to generate sympathy so that you can more effectively milk people for answers. I don't know. I have no way of knowing. And I've been burned before.

        You sound sincere. But you're not the first person that I've seen ask for help who sounds sincere. And from my previous bad experiences, I'm painfully aware that people who are unashamed about cheating are often the most sincere-sounding - they have no guilt to hold them back. In person I'd have all sorts of body language cues to work off of. But as you'll note, this is not in person. I lack cues. I have no way to tell.

        Now that you've been shown my perspective, hopefully you can re-read the whole thread and take it less personally this time.

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