07 May 2013

Grading Mania!

I love the end of the semester because it is the end of the semester which means I get a break from teaching. I hate the end of the semester because it means I have such an insanely large pile of stuff to grade.

This semester, I stumbled upon papers from two students who obviously cheated since whole paragraphs are IDENTICAL. I have a warning in my syllabus about academic dishonesty and plagiarism, so I know I should report them, especially since they are college students who need to learn about the real world. 

I have no idea if I should report them or not. This is the first time this has happened to me, and the paperwork seems daunting. Ugh. Any opinion?

Anyways, now for happy crafting stuff!

I finished the April and May blocks for Color Bee Shocked.

This is the April block for Caryn. It is a GIANT block, 24.5" unfinished!

Here is the May block for Karrie. This one is also large and ends up being 17.5" unfinished. (The group used this tutorial over here.)

I also mailed out my pouch for the Pretty Little Pouches Swap. Here are the two sides, with some goodies.

Lastly, I was able to eat some Brussels sprouts from my garden! Yipppeee!

Now I have to go back to work at grading. I should really try to have everything graded by Thursday afternoon since I am going on an amazing road trip to Texas Star Party, the best Astronomy viewing party in the world this weekend! I will try to bring pictures. :)


  1. That little star in the may block is a great idea. Is it improvised?

  2. Your blocks are gorgeous!! I especially love the pink patchwork with a star.

    So I also teach at a college level, as does my best friend. She's dealt a LOT with cheating (I'm fortunate in that I haven't had to deal with it as much). In the end, you're almost doing them and future instructors a disservice by not reporting it. It's a huge PITA though. :( Definitely bring it up and have them explain what happened. I'm going to ask my friend what she did and what she'd recommend. Actually, I'm just going to give her the link and let her post. If she has time. It's the end of the semester for her, too! (I'm on quarter system.)

  3. I love the pouch and the star bee block! So pretty! As for the plagiarism. When I was in my final year of high school a friend asked to borrow my assignment to copy the reference material that we were all using. Yes, I was gullible. Anyway, it was a highly academic private school (my parents struggled to afford the fees) and we had been told that plagiarism meant automatic suspension. Anyway, I found out that my assignment had been photocopied and then my classmates had copied sections of it. Maybe a little here or there. But one boy had copied huge sections. I was devasted when I found out and spoke to my section tutor/counsellor. He tried to guide me on what to do. Obviously it was brought up amongst the teachers and next thing I know I'm in with the deputy principal getting a stern talking to about looking after my work and obviously a bit of an interrogation to work out if I'd willingly handed it over or was unknowingly copied. I was absolutely devasted. The boy who copied most of it was not suspended. He had to redo the assignment, but in my eyes he was not punished and it felt so unfair and wrong. So, if it was me, I would report the plagiarism. I felt really let down that we'd been told that plagiarism was super serious and led to suspension, whereas in reality nothing happened. But hey, that was almost 20 years ago and I'm not a teacher, so you should do what you think is right :) good luck, I'm sure that teaching teenagers is a tough gig and you can only do your best :)

  4. I want one of those zip pouches, absolutely gorgeous!

    I'm in my first year as a professor, and so far I have dealt a lot with plagiarism from online sources... a little bit less with direct copying of assignments between students. For the direct copying case, I ended up not reporting it to the university (but I regret this). I did ask the students to email me an explanation of what happened, and then come into my office together for a rather awkward conversation about what they did and why it was wrong. I gave all students involved in cheating a 0 on the assignment.

    I think I was too lenient, in the end, especially after I learned that a typical first-time offense consequence from our system is for them to write a paper on why cheating is wrong (no seriously! who thought of that?!)

    For plagiarism from online sources, this is sometimes a cultural issue that I see in students who come from countries where it is considered acceptable to copy text to answer questions, or from students who are insecure in their English writing and so copy because they feel like the original source said it better. When I see it happening, I give them a warning and slightly penalized grade the first time (because it really is a misunderstanding of the rules 99% of the time, I think), then I give them a zero the second time. I haven't reported any of these to the university either, and again, in some cases I regret that.

    So my overall advice is to punish them on the assignment at the very least. Ask yourself if you think they should be allowed to pass the class given the severity of their crime; if not, fail them for the class. I keep telling myself that "next time" I'll report students who cheat to the university. I haven't followed through on it yet... but I know I should. But I agree with you, the last thing I need is MORE PAPERWORK, and reporting cheating cases seems to incur a large amount of it. :(

    Some advice I received from a more senior colleague: If these students have done it once in your class, it doesn't mean they've never done it before, and you failing them on the assignment doesn't mean they won't do it again! It helps to have an official record, otherwise those students might conceivably be able to graduate (albeit with a low GPA) having cheated their way through several classes in which the professors all said "meh, I'll let them off easy this time".

    Anyway, seriously. Love those pouches!

  5. Lovely makes! Your pink star block looks fab!

    No suggestions on the plagiarism thing, but sounds like others have good advice!

  6. Adore the pouches. Good luck with your dilema. Nothing is easy to deal with.

  7. I love your little pouch! Each side is beautiful yet so different. Yay for fresh brussels sprouts!

  8. That pouch is darling, especially the back- amazing!

  9. The plagiarism issue is a tough one- you definitely need to call them on it and they should get zeroes on the assignment. But sometimes the real story changes how we would feel the punishment should be handed out- like in the example above where the original author did not realize she would be copied. I had a similar situation, where a lab partner I had nearly always plagiarized from the text, which was WRITTEN BY THE PROFESSOR! So every assignment, I had to be the last to see it, so I could rewrite all of his work. Had I not noticed he did this,I could have unknowingly turned in plagiarized work with my name on it.

    That pouch is fabulous- your swap partner is super lucky!

  10. Love the churn dash block & fabrics! Report the cheating, definately!

  11. I dealt with some cheating this semester too. As the lab instructor, I followed the lead instructor guidelines...a small point penalty and assignment redo for the first offense. Lenient, yes. But it at least shows that they will get caught. I had three cases...one was actually just a mix up, so I'd definetely check with the students before starting any paperwork.

  12. That pouch is adorable!!!

    Yeah, you probably need to do something about the plagiarism :( I like Amanda's advice. It gives them a second chance--some school policies say no plagiarism, no second chance. You could deal with them at the class level and hopefully, they'll learn. If not, you'll have to escalate it.

  13. Busy busy busy!! I really like the reds and pinks. Its a palette I never use but really should. :)

  14. Such cute bags and blocks! I love the pink with the white star. I vote report them. I hated knowing I was working my ass off for a good or decent grade and others were getting away with cheating for a good grade. You owe it to the good students to report them.

  15. You've been busy! Looking great.

  16. Oh my goodness I'm loving all your projects! Seriously, all of them! The pouches are awesome and the blocks are so pretty. Your fabric choices rock!

  17. I love, love, love the hot pink wonky star. I would have totally done this in reverse colors, excited to see the promise of such a colorful background instead! Also the flip side of the pouch using the text print? Wow does that ever pop, I'll be trying something like that soon!! And of course, Brussel sprouts? What is not to love, love, love about them?!!! Just wait until fall, they will be even more flavorful!!!