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How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

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    How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    Hello, I wasn't really sure where to ask this question. I just have a couple questions regarding cheating.

    I get this error message when I open up some students' excel files, and I wonder if it's because they have linked to another student's workbook. I've attached the picture of the error message.

    Also, I get some files that are saved like Hannah_case1.xls.xlsx

    I was wondering if this double .xls.xlsx represents compatibility or if they had a copy of someone's file, and then they saved over it with their "own" work.

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    Re: How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    Hi Twobecontinued,
    if you copy a cell with references to one or more cells on another sheet to another workbook the reference will still still be to the original workbook.
    For instance, a cell in Workbook1 with the formula =sum(Sheet1!A1:A10) will, when copied to Workbook2, have the formula =sum([Workbook1]Sheet1!A1:A10).
    So you can be sure that cells have been copied from one workbook to another.
    If that has been done to cheat, I let you be the judge of that.

    Cheers, Tsjallie

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    Re: How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    So what, if any, does that have to do with that error message I've been getting? Or does that error message have nothing to do with the student's work?
    Last edited by Cutter; 09-16-2012 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Removed whole post quote

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    Re: How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    you would get that error message because, if student A copied his work over from student B, then A would have a link to B's file. since you dont have B's file, it cannot find the data and returns an error message. so yes, that could be an indication of cheating. likewise, the .xlsx.xlsx extention could result in saving 1 file under a different name, but adding an extra .xlsx to the file (by mistake)

    not sure if this helps, sometimes cheating is hard to pick up on a spreadsheet, i mean...a right answer is a right answer, and if they both use the same function.................
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    Re: How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    Okay. Thank you. Usually when I click on the "continue" in the error message to view the file anyway, it doesn't contain any formula. So it's a little suspicious to me that I get this error message, but there's nothing there.

    As for the file extension, I agree there's no way I could prove it, but I was just curious.
    Last edited by Cutter; 09-16-2012 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Removed whole post quote

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    Re: How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    I know we didnt exactly answer your question, but i doubt there is a good answer anyway, please take a moment to mark the thread as "solved" - it helps keep things neet and tidy lol, and consider adding the reputation to those that helped (see points 2 & 3 below)

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    Re: How to tell if a student is cheating in Excel homework

    The error message does NOT prove cheating. It proves there is a link to an external data source that is not accessible. If for some reason a student linked to another file on his/her own computer, and that file (with the same path) is not present on the computer you open the file with, you will get that error message.

    You can see what file it is trying to access under Data > Connections (in 2007, not sure if it's the same in 2010). If two students are linking to the same file, it's a strong indication there was some copying (unless, of course, your assignment requires an external link).

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