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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
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Sessions and Events w/Abstracts

Date: Wednesday, August 03


Total Number of Records Found: 5


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Major Consequences of Minor Dishonesty in Physics Classes
  Location: HC 3027
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM
  Presider: Mary Lowe,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
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Making Homework Easier to Do Than to Copy
  Location: HC 3027
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:00PM - 1:30PM
  Author: Gerd Kortemeyer, Michigan State University
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Using the example of LON-CAPA (, this talk presents mechanisms and examples for randomizing introductory physics questions beyond merely inserting random numbers and shifting around answer options. Strategies on how to randomly generate scenarios with desired properties (including different graphs, images, formulas, setups, boundary conditions, data drawn from libraries, and the use of student input for later problem parts), as well as input mechanisms beyond numbers and multiple choice (e.g., formula input and graph input checked for properties rather than correspondence to a given answer), will be presented. Once scenarios and expected inputs are sufficiently different from student to student (while still dealing with the same physics), it becomes harder to reverse-engineer the problem than to deal with the physics -- collaborations between learners morph from cheating into peer-teaching.
  Footnotes: None
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Consequences of Participation in Unmoderated Discussion Forums
  Location: HC 3027
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:30PM - 2:00PM
  Author: Wolfgang Bauer, Michigan State University
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: While sophisticated course management systems and homework engines like LON-CAPA can prevent simple student-to-student copying of answers and cheating a la Cramster, dedicated groups of students will still be able to reverse-engineer most homework problems. We analyze one such case and show that cheating on homework has a quantifiable negative impact on exam performance. We also present a new approach of correlating weekly homework with weekly exams. First indications are that this approach curtails cheating on homework, and that it leads to greater student satisfaction with the course and with the exam framework.
  Footnotes: Research supported by the US National Science Foundation.
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Comparing an Academic Dishonesty Survey with Reality
  Location: HC 3027
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 2:00PM - 2:30PM
  Author: Young-Jin Lee, University of Kansas
  Co-Author(s): David J. Palazzo, David E. Pritchard
  Abstract: An anonymous survey containing questions frequently used in self-reported academic dishonesty studies plus more sharply worded questions was administered to a large introductory physics class at MIT. The actual copy rate, which was inferred from the log files of the Web-based learning environment students used, was found to be 43% higher than the self-reported copy fraction. Among several contextual and situational factors often examined in the previous academic dishonesty studies, gender, and major were found to be positively correlated with the observed copying of electronic homework problems. Also, student motivation for learning was found to be negatively correlated with self-reported copying. Students report 70% more copying of written homework than online homework, consistent with easier availability of answers for written homework. The survey and a few interviews suggest that time pressure on students who do not start their homework in a timely fashion is the proximate cause of copying.
  Footnotes: Dr. David E. Pritchard (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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Patterns, Consequences, and Reduction of Homework Copying
  Location: HC 3027
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 2:30PM - 3:00PM
  Author: David E. Pritchard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Co-Author(s): David J. Palazzo, Young-Jin Lee, Rasil Warnakulasooriya
  Abstract: Homework copying was detected in the online homework tutor Copying increased as each weekly deadline approached, for problems later in each assignment, and dramatically over the semester. The majority of students copied less than 10% of their problems and worked steadily over the three days before the deadline, whereas repetitive copiers (>30% of problems) exerted little effort early. Importantly, copying homework problems that require analytic answers correlates with a 2.4 standard deviation decline for similar problems on exams but did not significantly correlate with gain on the Mechanics Baseline Test. Repetitive copiers initially had comparable ability in math in physics to non-copiers. Changes in course format and instructional practices that previous self-reported academic dishonesty surveys and the observed copying patterns suggested would reduce copying have been accompanied by more than a factor of four reduction of copying from about 11% of all electronic homework problems to less than 3%.
  Footnotes: None
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