As a potential employer, I care more about the candidate's ethics (or lack thereof) than their ability. I could always teach them, but I could never trust them.
Coursera should just publicly identify cheaters so I can cross check against resumes or certifications. Problem solved.
This introduces a lot of problems, all of which are difficult to solve and not directly related to the fundamental vision of Coursera. If I cheat under the full name of my sworn enemy, I can have them publicly blacklisted from any employer who uses this list. Identification seems like the logical next step, but it's no easy task especially when your students come from hundreds of different countries with varying forms of ID.
If you're serious in your suggestion, you're going to have to explain how these kinds of problems can be solved. You're then going to have the same problem Google+ had with online identities. Why should one be forced to give their real identity if they're simply trying to learn, not to be recognized for it?
That being said, the onus is on the student to make sure they aren't submitting someone's work as their own. I'm not really sure if they understood what they were doing was serious (as in if Coursera was just a bunch of robot drones and they didn't give it much credibility). I know this incident legitimizes Coursera (and it's certificates of completion) in my eyes.
Really I believe all they need to say is, "Look, we really put a lot of work into this to make a good experience for people. We'd appreciate it if you took your answers offline and help make Coursera a respectable name in learning by submitting original work". The whole "We'll start expelling!" doesn't really strike a chord with me. I've been expelled before [not from coursera] for really dumb reasons.
# ALSO, they should take their Honor code out of the ToS. Put it somewhere that people READ!
I think the expelling is totally fine. Martin and his team put a lot of time into this, developing the course and the tools to automate grading and if someone is going to put this up publicly and not take it down they should just boot them from the course.
I don't understand why anyone would actually turn in the same work, though. It's not like a completion certificate from this class will get you closer to a degree or anything. I'm sure there must be some reason and I hope it's more than just "I wanted a 10/10 for me to see!". I suppose that an employer might tell someone "learn Scala and get that certificate and get a 10/10 on every assignment" but I somehow doubt it.
There it is, really obvious too.
I have also worked through some iOS courses from Standford on iTunes U and I would not think twice about helping someone with one of the problems. Is that cheating?
Also, do you have any evidence that the no-cheating, no-publishing-homework policy is buried in a TOS? If Coursera hasn't made it obvious enough, then sure, people could have made a mistake. But Odersky's a smart guy so his reaction makes me imagine he made the requirement obvious.
A website that is providing you with completely free content from some of the top universities. I think it's fair for them to dictate the terms.
But I don't think that should allow you to go and post code / answers in a public forum of sorts.