a recent PEW research study found that while educators find technology beneficial in teaching writing skills, they feel it has also led to a direct increase in rates of plagiarism and infringement of intellectual property rights.
We want students to do “group work,” to collaborate, and to discuss. However, we have very specific realms in which we want this to happen: the group assignment, the in-class discussion, studying for exams, etc. At the same time, many of us want to put up barriers and halt any collaboration at other times (during assessments, for example). When collaboration takes place during assessment, we deem it plagiarism or cheating, and technology is often identified as the instrument that tempts students into such behavior.
A student may produce an entirely wrong answer, but if how they got there was through logic, reasonable assumption, educated guessing (not just plain old “guessing”) – and they were effective in communicating that process – then there is evidence of learning that I can take into account.
More on plagiarism, academic integrity and academic dishonesty in this IMS blog:
it’s important to question whether alleged “personalized,” “project-based,” or “collaborative” learning efforts are actually helping students and teachers to “hold ourselves in a state of questioning.”
In a true inquiry-based model, how learning happens isn’t as important as whether that learning encourages students to try to learn even more.
“Inquiry means living in the soup. Inquiry means living in that uncomfortable space where we don’t know the answer.”
Increased collaboration between students and increasing student scrutiny of educational content were two other signs Lehmann and the group said signaled the right approach, even if they clashed with classroom norms.For example, collaboration can often lead to tricky discussions about what part of a students’ work are his or her own and what part is recycled. (see IMS blog entry on academic dishonesty: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/05/04/cheating-inadvertently/)
namely, that plagiarism is in a much smaller degree intentional and to its largest percentage lack of systematic approach and clear directions by faculty toward students.
Rebecca Moore Howard, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, has called “patchwriting,” or borrowing large sentence structures and vocabularies from a source and only swapping out the occasional word or phrase with language of their own.
academic integrity represents an incredibly complex subject to master: It encompasses knowledge (What are the rules of academic integrity? How do they apply in this context?), skills (How do I summarize or paraphrase this passage without plagiarizing? How do I credit the work of others when I am collaborating with peers or using sources?), and values (Why does academic integrity matter? Why should I care about it?).
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” ― Salvador Dalí
I’ve typically come to the defense of Gen Y, to which I belong, when baby boomers and others accuse us of neglecting personal relationships in favor of social networking, or of growing so reliant on technology that we’re unable to operate an actual telephone book or read a paper map. I even make my living doing all kinds of Millennial-y things like blogging and writing for online publications. But I also went to a solid journalism school that instilled me with plenty of old-old-school values, many of which I don’t think are forgiving when it comes to lifting another person’s writing or insights without also admitting where you got them.
The current concept of plagiarism is based on a capitalist view of property and ownership. It assumes that everything of value can be owned, bought, and sold and that ideas, knowledge, and art are created by individuals who have the rights of ownership. This view is deeply ingrained in Western culture.
Traditional definitions of plagiarism are further challenged by the digital revolution.
This situation has caused the current Millennial generation to see knowledge ownership, acquisition, and distribution in radically different terms than in previous generations. Clearly,
academia is past due in reevaluating the concept and how we deal with it in secondary and higher