No, we don’t!

We don’t teach shoplifting, and how to avoid it, do we?

We don’t teach swearing, and how to avoid it, do we?

We don’t teach food poisoning, and how to avoid it, do we?

We don’t teach dropping the baton, and how to avoid it, do we?

Why then do we (say that we) teach plagiarism, and how to avoid it? Continue reading

Avoiding “Plagiarism Avoidance”

Try a Google search for the exact phrase [“plagiarism avoidance”] and you get about 2,880 hits.  Plus one – I’ve no doubt just added to the tally.

The exact phrase [“avoiding plagiarism”] is a little more popular: 393,000 hits.

We teach … but what do they learn?

EasyBib is a site which helps students generate Continue reading

Plagiarise better?!

There’s an interesting article in a recent Palo Alto Online News. trading-postIt’s headed “Plagiarism website: trading post for English papers : Palo Alto High School students can run an ‘originality check’ before handing in papers on Turnitin.com” and the first paragraph reads:

An Internet-based plagiarism detector has become not only a tool for teachers but also a plagiarism instructor for students and a trading post for English papers.

I wasn’t sure – I’m still not sure – whether staff writer Chris Kenrick had used that term intentionally or not.  “Plagiarism instructor”…  How to plagiarise right (and get away with it?).

I’m definitely sure that Kenrick fails to make the case for Continue reading

Go figure!

Two of the many disturbing findings coming out of a survey conducted in 2009 by the Josephson Institute, as reported in their press release, were

High school character matters – Regardless of current age, people who cheated on exams in high school two or more times are considerably more likely to be dishonest later in life

and

 Attitude matters – Regardless of age, people who believe lying and cheating are a necessary part of success (the report calls them cynics) are more likely to lie and cheat. In fact, this belief is one of the most significant and reliable predictors of dishonest behavior in the adult world.

This is based on responses to an online survey of nearly 7,000 adults.  The report notes that this cannot be viewed as a random survey since Continue reading

The key to fame?

Hyundai key

Hyundai key – a genuine car key, not the camcorder of the story!

In my Sunday newspaper, there was an advertisement for a Hyundai MC1010 Keychain Camera.

It’s described as a “mini-camcorder disguised as a car key.” There are more details in the shop’s website, though I suspect that in the website blurb, something has been lost in translation.

Given my interest in academic honesty (and dishonesty), my first thought was, could this be useful for cheating, perhaps in an exam situation? Continue reading