I'm a TA for a freshman calculus class, and I've just finished grading the first homework set.
It's fairly clear that there has been some collaboration going on, which is disallowed in my institution. For instance, a pair of students both put exactly the same (very) incorrect solution to a trig problem, and a group of four whose work is next to each other in the pile (i.e. they sat near each other in recitation) have all made the same (more common) errors.
The course started last week and this was the students' first ever assignment: it was set on the second day of class and due on the fourth day of class.
I'm aware of what I "should" do, i.e. report it to the instructor and let him follow the necessary disciplinary procedures. But is this necessarily the right course of action? It would probably be just as beneficial to these kids' academic integrity in the long run to tell them I'm onto them and never to do it again, as it would be to have them officially disciplined. It's likely that many of these people (should but) don't know the policy on collaboration.
Advice would be greatly appreciated.