I used to think that when we are going to check 100s of assignments hand written it will somewhat difficult to remember of the coming assignment is replica of an assignment which I have already checked. This is because if I cannot remember then I will not be able to determine who have done the original assignment and who are the copy cats. Secondly even if I can find the similar or same assignment then it will be difficult to determine who is the original and who are the copiers since in a big class it is difficult to associate names with the faces and with their class performances in order to determine who were the true source of this assignment. So following were the issues.
- Difficult to compare and make connections
- Difficult to determine who is the source
- Students hassle to submit in office hours so writing recognition issue
In this current semester I tried a new approach by asking students to email me the assignment, at the start I thought I have increased my work as checking these many assignment will be a back-breaking exercise. But when I was downloading them to my computer I was just opening them one by one as they are downloaded to see if any student miss their name in the file which would be very difficult to locate later. So during that I found an interesting pattern that all the students who had copied their assignments had same file names and not the generic one like “assignment no 1” it was some special name like “Ali Economics” which is definitely a unique name to have for the file name. And this gave me one advantage as when I will download it will be arranged in alphabetic order hence all similar names arranges, its like magic isn’t it. And last but not least I am also abler to determine who did first submission and who are followers which will show indicator of who was the source and who are the replicators. So the advantages of having assignments in email.
- Assignments with time stamps
- New indicators to arrange assignments
- Plagiarism test facility
- Can be submitted from home
- Environment friendly too
This new method led to evaluate using new set of information available to me so that the deserving student get their reward and all the counterfeiters are dealt with appropriate measures.