The Honor Code in COMP 15
The Honor Code plays two crucial roles at Carolina.
First, it makes students and teachers colleagues, not adversaries. Because of
the Honor Code, teachers initially can assume that students do not want to
cheat, steal, or otherwise make their way through their academic work at the
expense of others. Therefore, it is not necessary to burden the academic
process with meddlesome, distracting safeguards against potential improper
conduct. That is not to say that we should take no precautions at all:
we should still
protect against invasions due to carelessness, incompetence, or casual
Second, the Honor Code makes students each other's colleagues, not
adversaries. Thus, when one student helps another student in a manner
permitted under the Honor Code, learning takes place outside of the
traditional instructor-student context and both students can benefit.
One student's success does not require another student's failure.
It is incumbent on the instructor to make clear how the Honor Code applies to
assignments in each course.
Comp 15 programming assignments are rather different from the usual
reading, research, and exercise assignments, and more discussion is
The purpose of assigned programs in Comp 15 is to lead you through a series of
programming tasks of increasing complexity and difficulty, thereby providing
you the opportunity to demonstrate your growing programming skill. The skill
you are developing is your own personal skill, not the joint skills of a group
of which you are a part. Furthermore, we want to assess your skills at
programming, not your skills at soliciting and assembling advice and direction
Therefore you are directed, under the Honor Code, to develop solutions to
assigned programs as an individual effort. You may obtain assistance from the
Comp 15 instructor or teaching assistant of any kind we are willing to
provide. You may obtain assistance with computer system operations not related
to an assigned program from any source at all, including classmates and
ATN staff. But discussion concerning assigned problems with anyone other
than the instructors and TAs must be carefully considered.
Here are some activities that involve Comp 15 students helping each other in
ways that do not run afoul of Honor Code requirements.
Rule of thumb: Any communication that is not about a current assigned
program is allowed. Any communication about the assigned program that does not
involve writing anything by either party, is allowed. Any communication about
an assigned program that does involves writing by either party on paper or on
a screen or the transfer of writing from one party to another via paper or
magnetic media, is probably not allowed.
- One student asks another about a detail of how a Haskell or Java
works, and this construct is involved in a currently-assigned program. The
students work together to answer the question in any of the following ways:
they look together in the textbook; they look in documentation (on
paper or on the Web); they write a program, completely separate from the
assigned program, to test the operation of the construct; they speak to the
instructor or TAs about the issue.
- One student asks another a clarifying question about the current
program assignment. The question may be asked and answered without any Honor
Code violation as long as the conversation does not involve the sharing of
code or design structures intended for use in either student's assigned
- Some students work together to develop a program for an assignment
in which collaboration is specifically permitted.
The students turn in one copy of their product package, and this copy
displays all of their names and indicates that it is joint work.
The following points describe activities that would lead immediately to
prosecutable Honor Code violations. This is not an exhaustive list: the
actions described here are illustrative, not comprehensive.
By the act of enrolling at Carolina, you have already agreed to abide
by the Honor Code.
The instructor and TA of COMP 15 take the Honor Code seriously;
please take care to abide by the Honor Code.
- Do not leave any printouts lying around anywhere. Take them all home with
you and dispose of them completely. A serious Honor Code violation occurs
when a desperate student sees a relevant printout in a trash can and copies it
to get a leg up on a program assignment. However, the person who left the
printout there is at least guilty of negligence.
- Do not give anyone access to a file holding source code
of a current program
assignment. It is a serious Honor Code violation to give your source code of
an assigned program to another student in any form. In particular, you may not
let another student see your code "to see the overall picture" or "to use as a
guideline". In such a case, both the taker and the provider are guilty of a
serious Honor Code violation that will be fully prosecuted.
- Do not work on an assigned program at the workstation beside your
friend with the objective of "working together" on the program. This is a
serious violation of the Honor Code that will be fully prosecuted against both
students. Do not work on an assigned program at the workstation beside your
friend with the objective of just "helping each other out". This is not in
itself an Honor Code violation, but if one does occur, you are both guilty of
negligence, at least, and could both be prosecuted if an Honor Code violation
does in fact occur.
(This document was adapted from a version
authored by Kye Hedlund)
$ Revised: Aug 18 1999 by email@example.com