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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: August ::
Re: Plagiarism and Cheating
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2021  Wednesday, 22 August 2001

[1]     From:   Pat Dolan <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Aug 2001 06:54:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Aug 2001 17:57:50 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Aug 2002 11:25:03 -0400
        Subj:   Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Aug 2001 06:54:14 -0500
Subject: 12.2016 Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2016 Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again

>And how difficult is it, anyway, for the teacher to tailor
>a unique project for each student and supervise the student's pursuit of
>it exclusively in class?

It's difficult, but more than worth it for teacher and student alike.

Pat

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Aug 2001 17:57:50 +0100
Subject: 12.2016 Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2016 Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again

>Dr. Bloomfield's "gotcha" tactics here demonstrate teachers' confusion
>of educational purpose: our commitment, our purpose is intellectual,
>not moral. Let's protect the integrity of our courses as we do our
>other prized possessions, with guards beforehand rather than
>retaliations after the "theft" - and leave the would-be plagiarist to
>his conscience, and to heaven.

Sorry, but I really cannot buy this at all.  We issue degree
certificates that testify to would-be employers many things, but amongst
them is our verdict on the intellectual capability of the students whose
results we validate.  If we cannot demonstrate that we have awarded
marks to work which is the students' own then we have, surely, failed.

But then, my degree was based only on unseen examinations - for the last
twenty years or so considered by some at least poor educational
practice.

David Lindley
University of Leeds

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Aug 2002 11:25:03 -0400
Subject: Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again
Comment:        SHK 12.2016 Plagiarism and Cheating, Again - and yet again

Louis Swilley raised some interesting and thorny points, some of which
call for a response -- even if they are somewhat off the topic of this
listserv:

> Granting the all but universal,
> time-illhonored custom among students to cheat and plagiarize - for
> many, those have been wrongly but consistently seen for years as proud
> protests against unreasonable or incompetent teachers and suppressive
> schools  - teachers should know by now that any work done out of class
> is not to be trusted as an index of the student's knowledge. Why do we
> proctor examinations, but then somehow convince ourselves that projects
> done outside the classroom - term papers, for example - need no
> supervision?

I'm not sure who are the "We" in this question. Which of us believes
that work done outside the classroom requires no supervision? I know of
no one who thinks that way.

> And how difficult is it, anyway, for the teacher to tailor
> a unique project for each student and supervise the student's pursuit of
> it exclusively in class?

Extremely! Who among us could tailor and supervise 100 or more
individual projects at once? Not even a super-hero could handle that
workload. We all have to make compromises to achieve an optimal,
accessible goal.

> Dr. Bloomfield's "gotcha" tactics here demonstrate teachers' confusion
> of educational purpose:  our commitment, our purpose is intellectual,
> not moral.  Let's protect the integrity of our courses as we do our
> other prized possessions, with guards beforehand rather than
> retaliations after the "theft"  - and leave the would-be plagiarist to
> his conscience, and to heaven.

Certainly the sort of "Planning Backwards" that is needed to accomplish
this idea of placing guards beforehand is a noble and accessible method
of working (vide: Ted Sizer). This sort of planning can lead to dynamic
results that are very desirable. Leaving plagiarism with no response is,
however, an irresponsible way to teach. Integrity is in part an
intellectual practice and therefore teachable. We could argue over
whether educators should be teaching morality (the latest buzzword is
'character'), but if we want to focus only on the intellectual, than the
error of plagiarism certainly does fall within the circle and should be
taught. Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of public
education, believed that the main purpose of education was to create
intelligent and responsible citizens (and therefore voters who would
make smart choices). Perhaps our view of the purposes of education has
broadened since Jefferson, but I would hate to think that it has shrunk.

Paul E. Doniger

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