In our class, we have a team project for 3 people. One of my teammates submitted plagiarized code and got caught, which result in my team receiving no credit for the whole project. Then the student who submitted the plagiarized code dropped that class. That group project makes up 15% of the final grade. Our project report states clearly that the plagiarized part is written by that student, and our professor knew it. What should I do? Is it possible that the professor will let us resubmit another version of code and get credit for it?

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    Why ask some strangers what your professor will do, instead of asking your prof? – Nick S Mar 11 '19 at 1:42
  • @NickS Thanks for replying. I'm planning to do so, just want some suggestions on how to communicate with my professor. – Lekjek Mar 11 '19 at 1:45
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    Suppose that another student found themselves in a similar situation at a different university a year from now. Do you think that any answer that took into consideration the specific rules at your institution would be applicable to that student's situation? I've voted to close on the grounds that question depends too much on your particular circumstances. – Brian Borchers Mar 11 '19 at 3:53

Been there before - I lost credits (not that much, it just canceled a good grade for my task) due to a teammate plagiarizing. The point is that teamwork is not "I do task 1, You do task 2 and we throw this together in the last moment and just get it working".

I didn't understand back then that I should have helped my teammate who was clearly overwhelmed (which I understood before) with her tasks to solve her problems or clearly dissociated myself from her before trying to hand the results of both our tasks together.

Whether your university rules/professor etc. will allow you to re-submit the solution after you believably explain them that you had no knowledge of this (i hope that is true, and that the guidelines don't require you to do plagiarism checking on the submitted work!) is something which can not be answered here and depends on the type of project, the importance and relative amount of the plagiarized code, how clear it was that it wasn't his/her work (e.g. like in my case: nothing is there in the afternoon before handing in the solution and on the next morning, a 20 page report is ready - should have been a warning sign for me), the way in which the teams were assigned (e.g. somebody whom you clearly had not contact with, despite your efforts to meet, and who kept you updating via email continuously on how great everything is going may be a different case than a partner with whom you were doing homework for several years) and last but not least on the written rules of your university/faculty/chair/lab course etc.

The best strategy would be to communicate to the supervisor(s) and clearly apologize for your failure to review the results in detail as a team, make clear that while you should/could have been aware of the issue, you actually were not, and politely ask if it is possible to deduct this in someway from the grade instead of rejecting the submission completely - do not threaten the prof with a lawyer, i am pretty sure that just rejecting the solution is within the range of acceptable options.

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