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Unfair Participation in Caribou Contests

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  1. What is Unfair Participation?
  2. Contest Rules
  3. Examples
  4. How is it Detected?
  5. What are the Consequences?

What is Unfair Participation?

Unfair Participation is when a student participates in a contest in a way which violates our Contest Rules, below. The student might not be responsible; instead their participation may be unfair due to the actions of classmates, teachers, or parents. Even hardworking, intelligent students can participate unfairly. Unfair Participation is not necessarily intentional or successful.

Caribou Contest Rules

Click here to see the Contest Rules on the Participation/Fees page.

Caribou Contacts and students agree to abide by these rules when they participate in Caribou Contests.

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Examples of Unfair Participation

Here are some examples of what we consider unfair participation in Caribou Contests. This list is not exhaustive.

The first 1-5 are obvious examples, but some might not believe the 6-10 are unfair. Essentially, these are all unfair because they cause the participating student to make selections that are not based solely on their own knowledge and abilities. For Caribou, these are equally unfair and are treated as such.

    Show Examples 1-5 : pretty much universally considered unfair
    Show Examples 6-10 : considered fair in some cultures, but still against Caribou's rules

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How is Unfair Participation Detected?

There are many ways that Unfair Participation can happen, so we have equally as many tools to detect it. We often rely on our Caribou Contacts to help us maintain contest integrity by ensuring proper supervision of the contest, making sure students know the Contest Rules, and help us investigate suspicious entries if necessary.

          Show Click here to see a short description of some of our tools.

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What are the consequences of Unfair Participation?

Unfair participation in Caribou Contests not only damages our reputation, and wastes our very limited time and resources, it contradicts the spirit of learning. No one benefits from unfair participation, not least the students who are participating unfairly, for their results mean nothing if they did not obtain them fairly. Furthermore, contest results obtained via unfair participation will be removed from ranking or deleted altogether when detected.

If a Caribou Contact discovers that students are participating unfairly, they may remove the students’ contest entry on the Contact homepage. Note that this is only possible on contest days. If the unfair participation is discovered afterwards, the Caribou Contact should contact Caribou to remove the test entry.

After each contest, Caribou Contacts receive a notification about IP alerts and Jumps in Rank. There is no need to reply to this alert unless the Contact finds that it is suspicious.

          Show Should you respond to these alerts? Click here to see examples.

During each contest, we monitor the use of tools like Increase Test Time and Remove Test Entry, contacting Caribou Contacts who use these more than is usual to determine whether they are being used appropriately or whether their overuse is due to a technical problem which we can act on.

After each contest, the Caribou Team reviews the results for each grade using the tools described above. When we detect unfair participation or collaboration between students, we remove the results from ranking and send an email to the students’ Caribou Contact to inform them. When students sign in to view their results, they will see a score of 0 and a link to an explanation for their results being removed. Recidivism will result in their accounts being disabled for the rest of the Caribou Cup.

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