Educators are in an arms race these days against an industry that seeks to profit by helping students cheat. Some websites offer to write papers for students, others sell access to past tests by individual professors, and others will even take entire online courses for students, as a kind of study double.
Ed-tech historian and critic Audrey Watters, for example, said plagiarism-detection software in general frames all writers as potential cheaters, undermining the trust that is essential to strong student-teacher relationships. She said the companies making the software tend to accept as given that most writing assignments are so cookie-cutter that students can reasonably consider copying someone else’s work a viable strategy.
My note: the paragraph above reflects my deep personal belief and most of the information and notes in this blog regarding the “automation” of plagiarism detection
Do we need to pay for services such as Turnitin? Are there comparable services for free? Do we need services such as those ones or we rather have faculty and students educated on plagiarism and faculty trained to detect plagiarism? Is it supposed to be a “mechanical” process or educational activity?
These questions following a posting of today from the Educause Blended and Online Learning Group
Are any of you using a non-Turnitin plagiarism checker that you’re happy with (besides Google or Grammarly’s free service)?
Jenn Stevens (she, her, hers)
Director, Instructional Technology Group
403C Walker Building
Emerson College | 120 Boylston St | Boston, MA 02116
At Ursinus, we use PlagScan, which is affordable and meets our needs.
We haven’t been able to get it to fully integrate within our LMS yet but hopefully we will be able to soon.
Instructional Technology Librarian
Library and IT
Phone: 610-409-3466 email@example.com
At University of Wisconsin – Superior – we have stopped offering proctoring for students. Faculty, however, have come up with a way for online testing. They ask student to use Kaltura tto record their face and part of the test and then post the video in the dropbox.
The proper solution to plagiarism in our nation’s schools is education and vigilance. Students should understand the role of academic integrity inside their own work, and be held accountable when they are not in accordance with academic policies and honor codes. Self-plagiarism, incorrect citations, no citations, or even word for word copying must be taught to students on a regular basis. Updates to both MLA and APA are ongoing as well; therefor, even graduates must stay current with how their citation methods change overtime.
My response to this LInkedIn entry:
Here is most of the information, I have collected on plagiarism, academic integrity, academic dishonesty. I added also Joshe’s opinion LinkedIn entry: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=plagiarism
My firm conviction through the years is that for-profit such as TurnitIn are a smoke-screen, opportunists, which are trying to bank on lack of organized approach toward educating students and ourselves about the increasing nebulous areas of plagiarism (due to the increasing digitization of our work). It is in their interest to use scare tactics and try to convince us that computerization is the answer. Anyone, who had proofread papers for more than two semesters can detect easily the change of style, the lack of punctuation and other little, but significant details in the writing process. Since, the instructor has to read the paper for content anyhow, it is just preposterous to seek multiple-thousand dollars software license to replace the instructor.
The literature shows that the predominant percentage of students committing plagiarism is doing it due to lack of proper explanation and education. I that sense, I support Josh’s choice of words: education and vigilance. My only addition is that the vigilance must be human based, not machine-based. Higher admin shouldn’t squander finances in purchasing more licenses and cutting faculty positions, but invest in well-rounded and capable faculty.
a need for new techniques to handle the problem in online environments. To achieve zero cheating is hard (or impossible) without repelling not only cheaters but also those students who do not cheat, where a zero ‐ tolerance emphasis also would risk inhibiting students’ intrinsic motivation. Several studies indicate that existing virtual learning environments do not provide the features needed to control that the intended student is the one taking the online exam. Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
One approach to prevent student’s dishonesty is the university code of honour. This is a set of rules describing what actions are not permitted and the consequences for students taking such actions. Another way of preventing cheating is the use of proctors during written exams. Even while using such codes of honour and proctors, universities still have found many students to cheat. Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Neutralisation is the phenomenon when a person rationalises his or her dishonest behaviour with arguments like “I can do this because the work load within this course is just too overwhelming” or “I can do this because I have a half ‐ time job on the side which gives me less study time than the other students have”. By doing so the student puts the blame for cheating on external factors rather than on himself, and also protects himself from the blame of others (Haines et al. 1986). This neutralises the behavior in the sense that the person’s feelings of shame are reduced or even eliminated. Haines et al. (1986 Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Simply asking participants to read a code of honour when they had the opportunity to cheat reduced dishonesty. Also whether one signed the code of honour or just read it influenced cheating. The Shu et al. (2011) study suggests that opportunity and knowledge of ethical standards are two factors that impact students’ ethical decision about cheating. This is in line with the results in (McCabe, Trevino and Butterfield 2001), showing that if students regularly are reminded of the university’s code of honour, they are less likely to cheat Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
For an online course setting, Gearhart (2001) suggest that teachers should develop a guideline for “good practices”.
In online examination there are reports of students hiring other persons to increase their scores (Flior & Kowalski, 2010) and there is a need for new enhanced authentication tools (Ullah, Xiao & Lilley, 2012). For companies and Internet environments the process of authentication is often completed through the use of logon identification with passwords and the assumption of the password to guarantee that the user is authentic (Ramzan, 2007), but logins and passwords can be borrowed (Bailie & Jortberg, 2009). The discussion on how to provide enhanced authentication in online examination has led to many suggested solutions; four of them are: Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Challenge Questions: with questions based on third ‐ party data
Face ‐ to ‐ Face Proctored Exam: with government or institution issued identification
Web Video Conference Proctor: audio and video conference proctoring via webcam and screen monitoring service with live, certified proctors
Biometrics and Web Video Recording: with unique biometrics combined with the recording of student in exam via webcam
An idea for online courses is that assessment should not only be a one way process where the students get grades and feedback. The examination process should also be a channel for students’ feedback to teachers and course instructors (Mardanian & Mozelius, 2011). New online methods could be combined with traditional assessment in an array of techniques aligned to the learning outcomes (Runyon and Von Holzen, 2005). Examples of summative and formative assessment in an online course could be a mix of: Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Multiple choice questions (MCQ) tests, automatically corrected in a virtual learning environment
Term papers or essays analysed by the course instructors
Individual or group assignments posted in digital drop ‐ boxes
Oral or written tests conducted in the presence of the instructor or through videoconferences (Dikli, 2003)
Authors’ suggestion is a biometric belt and braces model with a combination of scanned facial coordinates and voice recognition, where only a minimum of biometric data has to be stored. Even if the model is based on biometrics with a medium to low grade of uniqueness and permanence, it would be reliable enough for authentication in online courses if two (or more) types of biometrics are combined with the presented dialogue based examination using an interaction/obser ‐ vation process via web cameras. Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Cheating remains a stubborn problem at many schools. According to the Educational Testing Service and the Ad Council, who define cheating as “representing someone else’s work as your own,” cheating tends to start in junior high, peak in high school, and occur most often in math and science classes. Men and women cheat in equal measure, both sexes aided by the ubiquity of computers and the internet, and most cheaters aren’t caught. Both high- and low-achieving students find ways to misrepresent their work, explaining away their misconduct with familiar rationalizations: everybody does it, it’s a victimless crime, and getting the grade matters more.
while few cheat a lot—20 of the 40,000 involved in the experiments—many more—about 28,000—cheated a little bit. Most everyone has what he calls a “personal fudge factor” that allows for just a little dishonesty, provided that the conditions are right. For example, if people see others cheating without consequence, they’re more apt to do the same; social norms permit it. If cheating seems to benefit a “good cause,” even more feel comfortable deceiving.
more on cheating and academic dishonesty in this IMS blog