Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/08/15/email_cheating_students_face_mass/

Email ‘cheating’ students face mass expulsion

Unmasked by plagiarism-detecting software

By Drew Cullen

Posted in Business, 15th August 1999 19:48 GMT

Edinburgh University last month launched the UK's biggest enquiry into cheating after uncovering "startling similarities" in coursework submitted by students on its computer science course. A group of students accused of sharing "programming solutions" by email now face fines or expulsion. But academic sleuths unmasked the plagiarists through their own examinations -- of internal email records. As final proof, they ran student coursework through sentence analysing, plagiarism-detecting software. Following the investigation, Edinburgh University ordered more than half of its 117 first year maths students to resit an exam. Some of these students face further sanctions. Initially, the University thought students were sharing ideas through an Internet bulletin board, which it considers acceptable. "Internet sources played no role in the incidents of copying," University principal Sir Stewart Sutherland told The Guardian. ® See also Oxford University Student Union President 'cheats' by PC