Why would someone do this for a free online course that gives no credit for a degree? I mean, the whole point is to learn, not get the highest grade. I really fail to understand people sometimes.
* rather than just giving up on a problem, you can talk it out and learn together
* you get the opportunity to teach the material that you think you know that others find hard (a good heuristic for problems you may have just barely understood, but gotten correct anyway). Teaching material is a great way to learn it, and expose any gaps you might have in your knowledge.
* instant feedback on problems while they are still fresh in your memory
Your final score will be calculated as 30% of the score on the top 6 of your 8 homework assignments, 30% your score on the midterm exam, and 40% your score on the final exam. For those completing the advanced track you will receive your final score as a percentage as well as your percentile ranking within all those who completed the advanced track, and this will appear on your statement of accomplishment. The statement of accomplishment will be sent via e-mail and signed by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. We hope to have them digitally signed to verify their authenticity. It will not be issued by Stanford University.
As with the homeworks, exams must be completed individually without the help of other people.
I think that lots of people probably did collaborate on the homeworks and the mid-term and likely will do so again on the final and it was and will be cheating.
It's a shame, especially given that the instructors do seem to be attaching some importance to students' scores and rankings, but I'm not letting it detract too much from my enjoyment of the class.