I just finished a class a couple weeks ago. It was one of those small, tacked-on, online classes with very small enrollment. Because it was so very small, I taught it at reduced pay. So you can imagine I've been a tad annoyed by it since the beginning. After all, I still have to prepare everything regardless of class size, and check in every day, and do all that BS. Just for half price.
There were five students. In Week Two, two of the students submitted identical papers. The first escaped me, since it was poorly written anyway and didn't seem unusual, but the second read 5 minutes later made me realized I had almost missed plagiarism. So I reported them both.
Student A apologized for using megaessays.com, gave me the business about family deaths and sadness, and redid the assignment to show me how serious he was. Student B ignored my emails about the subject, sent emails to my superiors about my "foundless" accusations. Fine, I thought. I've told him that two events means an F for the course, so whether he talks to me or not WHO CARES. Although from this point on, he refused to talk to me in class, via email, or by phone. Which made teaching even more difficult and pissed me off to no end.
Surprise!!! Student B plagiarized again. Of course. And refused to talk to me about it. Of course. So I failed him. (I would later find out that he defined "plagiarism" as "papers bought for money" rather than "intellectual property presented without credit as the student's own work." The latter definition appears in my course policies on the syllabus) The Dean ultimately ended up offering him either an automatic expulsion for plagiarism or an obligatory tutoring program for every class until graduation, checking him for plagiarism. (Students as Customers model, gross)
Meanwhile, Student C was struggling. She couldn't get a handle on coursework. It was her first class in 20 years. She talked a lot, but never seemed to read the assignments or the questions. Her work was mostly off topic. She got a lot of Cs and Ds. She also skipped a few assignments. So her overall average was a 58% F.
Then there is Student D, who was chugging along okay. He wasn't the shiniest coin in the basket, but he was getting middling Bs. Until he fell off the planet in the last 3 weeks of class. Including missing the Final, which is 30% of the grade. That zero dropped his middling B to a 53% F.
Student F also had some middling Bs with 2 bright and engaging A papers. Student F would have been fine, but submitted all plagiarized answers for the final exam. Again, a zero for 30% of the grade... a 58.8% F.
How did I know Student F had plagiarized? Because lo and behold, my rebound student, Student A, who had crawled back to a B, ultimately plagiarized his final exam. From a document online titled "AcademicMonkeyGerbilFinalIII" -- each answer was pretty much crap. Inconsistent sentences, some well-written work interspersed with generic nonsense. And Student A's crap answers were identical to Student F's answers, both of which were identical to this one document.
The strangest thing about that document is that I change my exam every term. So it must have been one of the five above students. Perhaps Student F continued to do his work and then posted it online, where Student A found it. Who knows what really happened. Who cares?
And this has been the story of the Class Where Everyone Failed.
Ps, do not give me grief about the second chance plagiarism policy. It isn't mine, it's just my Dept of Defense BS university that pretends to be a real college experience.