Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Plagiarism in Education

Here's an article in The Guardian that to me, highlights how many traditional workplace practices have been rapidly impacted by the web and the free, instantaneous transfer of information.
From the article (my emphasis):

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, says: "There hasn't ever been a case of the internet providers or a site being taken to court to challenge this.

"I think that the internet providers should put a stop to it because it's amoral. It would be very good practice on the part of the internet providers to support schools in banning it." He adds that legislation to outlaw the selling of coursework online "should be investigated".


From dictionary.com:
a·mor·al Audio pronunciation of "amoral" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-môrl, -mr-)
adj.
- Not admitting of moral distinctions or judgments; neither moral nor immoral.
- Lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong.
Yes, John, I agree that the internet is amoral, i applaud your openmindedness and suggest that now the answer sheet has been cribbed from your crappy lessons, you and all your lazy-ass teach-to-the-exam teacher ilk get off your arse and design better ways of making sure your students are learning the material (your quote implies that you're barely literate yourself, a testiment to the last 2 decades of the extremely low entry grades needed for teaching college). Here's a couple of suggestions:
  1. talk to them. Assign the grade based on an interview
  2. tell them to download 3 assignments off the web, reference them and critique.
Your knee-jerk reaction to try and legislate to ban something would be amusing if it weren't for the fact you represent a group of people in charge of children's education. No-one that thinks for a living would ever dream of NOT using the internet to look up information/previous work and try and figure out which sources are reputable. Your main problem is that your students are not referencing the work and passing it off as their own. You can't win this game so don't try, come up with a better test.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ivan3142 said...

Agreed Joe,
But you're talking to the idiot who is blindfolded and has his head in the sand. Let us project to say 3 years time, increase the data by 100, its transmission rate by 10 and the searching quality by (say) 5. What about courses elsewhere in the world? What is a course? John Dunford's response to such a scenario?
On further reading his comment and the Guardian article Mr Dunford offers no solution, including educating student as to what is permissible and what is not (plagerism). For good measure he then takes a dig at PhD students and Universities. SO what does this guy do again?

Cheers

Ivan.

9:57 PM  

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