The purpose of handing in textbook problems is to give students feedback and a chance to practice representative problem solutions. In a large class where there are definitely bounded resources (people, money, time!) this can be quite valuable to students. The peer mentors read a few problems each week. Students are expected to do the problems listed on the syllabus. Several people have observed that some students are abusing the process. Indeed, one peer mentor wrote:
I have a concern about the homeworks the students have been handing in. Most people seem to just copy straight from the solutions manual (which is readily available online), so I end up with the vast majority of students with perfect homework scores (possibly for only 5 minutes of copying), and a few with lower scores who presumably don't know about the solutions manual but are actually doing their own work. I made some comments and took off some points from some students who actually copied the manual *word for word*, so now I get solutions that are strikingly similar but not identical. This has been a trend for the two years I've been peer mentoring, so I thought I would bring it to your attention.Therefore several "textbook-like" problems will be given each week, to be handed in. This development is disappointing.
Although I am primarily concerned that students are depriving themselves of useful information and practice, at least one person pointed out that the activities mentioned constitute a level three violation of the Rutgers academic integrity policy. This is a serious violation. Please read about academic integrity at Rutgers.
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