Saturday, November 01, 2008

Cheaters never win and winners never cheat!

This article from the Guardian suggests that the old adage from the tile of this post may not be true:
...almost one in two Cambridge University students in a poll of 1,000 admitted to cheating in their studies.
One in two! Grief! Given that this is from a report by a consultancy firm called Plagiarism Advice, they may be asking a very broad definition of cheating and bigging up the problem... but one in two is worrying what ever definition of cheating you use. Perhaps most worrying of all though is the revelation that: "Law students were the most likely to plagiarise, with 62% saying they had broken university rules."

To me, this underlines the importance of exploring issues to do with internet literacy and responsible online citizenship at school level. I suspect we also need to look at how we assess students if the best essays come from jiggling around a bit with the order of stuff found in a Google search on the essay title.

So that's the aim; but how do we teach this sort of internet literacy? What should assessment look like in the Internet age?

P.S. Not sure why Facebook is named and shamed in the article's headline. Any suggestions?


Colin Schafer..... said...

Definitely alarming, though I'd take the stats with a pinch of salt.
Also note Some 82% of those who admitted to plagiarising said they had taken sentences from online encyclopedia Wikipedia: looks to me that the headline should name-and-shame Wikipedia rather than Facebook!

Andy McSwan said...

One of the things I do like about computing is there's no essays to mark.

I was looking over some biology work last year and helped catch a pupil who'd plagerised is homework word for word.

A simple google search found the entire article and picture the pupil used.

David said...

Hello Colin

My thoughts exactly.

Hello Andy

...And yet they still plagiarise! :-)