I'm an undergraduate studying computer science at a local community college. Currently, I'm enrolled in an intro computer programming class that I unfortunately am unable to test out of (I asked my advisor). It is the prerequisite to the OOP class at my college (the class that AP Computer science would transfer to), which I took four years ago as a freshman in high school. I have already taken data structures and algorithms and am presently taking discrete math. The point being, I have very little to learn from this class. Last night, I received an email from my professor saying that my code on a recent assignment was identical to the solution in the textbook.
I will admit that I did search to find the answer code because:
- The autograde is extremely bad and requires spaces and other punctuation to be identical, all while not telling you what is wrong unless you look closely. It runs a series of units tests and compares the text output.
- Again, I won't learn from this class, so I'm not hurting myself by not properly learning
- The tests are worth 80% of the score, and I have been doing those fairly, so anything I do on the assignments will have little affect on my grade.
- The problems are incredibly fake and are nothing like the real world problems I engage in at work.
Generally, I've been searching to find a solution to a similar problem and then editing it until the autograde accepts it (so what I'm copying serves as a template to save time). In this case, I stumbled upon what turned out to be the actual answers.
So technically I did copy the answers, but it was not me attempting to get out of work that I would actually learn from or need to do to pass the tests. I am very frustrated with how awful this class is and please note I would not do this for any other class.
What I am not sure of is what to do now. I already have received a zero for that week's work (a tiny percentage of my grade) so I could go forward as if nothing had happened and ignore the remaining assignments (each week is about 55% easy work that I have been doing, 45% horrible labs that I often skip) and end up with about 85% on the course assuming my future test scores represent those in the past.
Looking at the academic policy on the syllabus, as my first offense I will likely not see any other actions against me, but I don't want my professor to think I am a cheater. I have never cheated in any class and I don't consider what I did in this case to be a problem (I would argue it breaks the letter, but not the spirit, of the rules). How should I respond to this and go forward?