Thursday, September 20, 2007

Making School Use of Anti-Plagiarism Software a POSITIVE Learning Experience!

From: T.H.E Journal
"A War of Words"
"Software programs developed to combat the scourge of student plagiarism have found opposition from the very circle of educators they're meant to help..."

"...Mohan's approach is a proactive measure to ward off student plagiarism, as opposed to the more reactionary applications that have found a number of opponents among the very population they purport to help: educators..."

"..."We have to teach students about plagiarism," Lowe says, "but if all we do is catch them without taking responsibility for the process, how do they learn about the proper use of research material? Technology is no substitute for good teaching."..."
Read complete article: http://thejournal.com/articles/21221

Plagiarism has become an "issue" in education due in large part to our shift from print library-based research to online digital research. Doing research on the web is easy and effective, however it affords the researcher the ability to lift the work of others from a published source, transplant it elesewhere, and transform its appearnce almost effortlessly. This is so much the case that many alarmed educators have observed that many students today simply do not understand about provenance and ownership of content, an understanding that used to be reinforced by the slow, difficult way plagiarism was accomplished in the print era.

Finding what they believed to be a need and filling it, a number of companies have produced digital solutions that essentially sniff out plagiarists. Putting the question of utility aside, a number of educators now opine that the 'evade ya'/gotcha culture that has grown up around the use of these resources is a strong negative. The article that this post highlights however, points out how one variety of the software, WHEN USED WITH THE RIGHT UNDERSTANDING AND ATTITUDE, can actually help create a creative, supportive, educational climate around the kind of writing that involves research and the responsible use of the work of those who've written on a topic before.

1 comment:

Simon Williams said...

If plagiarism is the war of words, you can win it by simply making use of a free plagiarism checker.