A great article with some great ideas. Here’s an excerpt:
Make Research Assignments about the process rather than the end product.
As teachers, when we assign a research project, we often focus on the end product: the research essay, presentation, etc. However, students (especially young students) do not automatically know how to conduct meaningful research. Our modern students are used to Googling answers. They have grown accustomed to information being readily available. However, as academics, we know that research isn’t a fast process. It’s slow and deliberate. As a teacher, I need to intentionally slow my students down during this exercise. I do this by breaking down a larger project into more manageable chunks and focusing on the process. Here are some techniques that have worked for me:
Give students small practice assignments where they must read, summarize, and properly cite material.
Show students what proper citation should look like. Many rely on resources like EasyBib orBibme to build a bibliography but do not understand what exactly is going into the finished product. Demonstrate to them what should be included in a citation and why. In other words, remove the “but EasyBib said this was right” excuse.
Provide students several examples or case studies of material that they must distinguish as: properly summarized and cited, improperly cited, plagiarized, etc. Allow them to identify and explain the problems.
Critical Thinking: The best assignments cannot be copied. This might include asking students to develop an argument and defend it individually or having students develop their own math problems or their own processes for solving shared math problems.
Move Toward Mastery: Help students see that the goal is not completion, but mastery. Get rid of averages and zeroes. Students need to understand that cheating prevents teachers from providing necessary intervention and plan for future learning.
Monitor Frequently Engage with Students Often: If a student turns in a plagiarized essay, chances are the teacher wasn’t part of the pre-planning, writing and editing process. Teachers need to monitor students often and provide instant feedback so that incompletion doesn’t snowball into an opportunity to cheat.
So at first blush, the new homework help Web site Slader might be accused of fostering just this sort of cheating behavior. The site offers the answers to homework questions in most major high school level math textbooks, and depending on how much you use it, there’s a fee. Students can pay for answers. Answers to all the questions, not just the odd ones. And answers with explanations and “proofs.” But it’s not as straightforward a transaction as it looks.
Though the site was originally launched with answers written by math tutors and teachers, the plan going forward is to use the peer-to-peer model — students helping each other on the site. The most useful answers will be rated with stars to distinguish them.
Of course, students have long shared their answers the old fashioned way – turning to one another for help, sharing their answers and solutions — whether over the phone or face-to-face, whether transcribed word-for-word from another student’s paper or solved thanks to the help and support from a peer. And that will be the model used for Slader: homework answers for students written by students.
Whoa. I’d be very curious to hear what you all think about this.
Over a third of undergraduate students admitted to some form of cheating at one of America’s top research universities, according to a survey published November in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics.
Students surveyed at the University of California San Diego shared a common perception that “everyone is doing it”, a notion that contributed to the cheating prevalence, said Tricia Bertram Gallant, an academic integrity coordinator at the public university and lead author of the survey.
Psychologists call this phenomenon normative thinking. About 91 percent of students surveyed reported that “students will do what it takes to get the assignments done and get the grade.”
"Among papers submitted by students in higher education, Wikipedia was by far the most plagiarized individual site, at 10.74 percent. Yahoo Answers was a distant second at 3.9 percent. Slideshare came in a close third at 3.87 percent, Answers.com at 3.57 percent, and Appapers.com at 3.11 percent."
"A student writing an essay for their teacher may be tempted to plagiarize or leave facts unchecked. A new study shows that if you ask that same student to write something that will be posted on Wikipedia, he or she suddenly becomes determined to make the work as accurate as possible, and may actually do better research."
Probably more basic logic and psychology than technology influence here, but interesting nonetheless.
"Cheating is especially easy to justify when you frame situations to cast yourself as a victim of some kind of unfairness,” said Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the use of prescription drugs to improve intellectual performance. “Then it becomes a matter of evening the score; you’re not cheating, you’re restoring fairness."
Teachers typically proctor their own students’ tests, especially in the early grades, to make students more comfortable. On test days, that means teachers must shut off the conditioned response to questions they get from students the rest of the year: “What do I do next?” or “What does this word mean?” When it comes to state tests, the only answer should be, “I can’t help you.”
Robert Hamann, a veteran social studies teacher, had been volunteering to help students at Scarlet Oaks Career Center in the Cincinnati area. So he already knew the senior taking the graduation-mandatory writing test.
Confused by the test instructions, the student asked for help. He told her to use the strategies they had discussed, and she began to string together a written answer. With each halting sentence, she looked to him for approval and he told her to write it down.
“In a moment of trying to help this kid, I kind of lost myself,” Hamann says of the 2005 incident. “This was what we had been doing in review. … This kid is in 12th grade trying to pass a ninth-grade test. This is her last shot. So, you’re explaining, explaining, explaining, and I think I gave her too much information.”
I’m going to reblog twice, once with an emphasis on that last part as a quote.
You’ve never heard of me, but there’s a good chance that you’ve read some of my work. I’m a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary. My customers are your students. I promise you that. Somebody in your classroom uses a service that you can’t detect, that you can’t defend against, that you may not even know exists.
I work at an online company that generates tens of thousands of dollars a month by creating original essays based on specific instructions provided by cheating students. I’ve worked there full time since 2004. On any day of the academic year, I am working on upward of 20 assignments.
He spends some time talking about why students cheat and which students cheat. I especially like how he points out that a lot of the students who come to him to write their essays for him aren’t necessarily inept; they just can’t write. All the more reason why we should encourage writing in every course. Even you, math teachers, should find a way to get your students to write in class. Want proof that writing is vital in every subject matter? Every subject matter has a textbook.
Even more interesting, he says at one point that the subject most infested with cheaters is education. Isn’t that amazing to think about?
I’ve written papers for students in elementary-education programs, special-education majors, and ESL-training courses. I’ve written lesson plans for aspiring high-school teachers, and I’ve synthesized reports from notes that customers have taken during classroom observations. I’ve written essays for those studying to become school administrators, and I’ve completed theses for those on course to become principals. In the enormous conspiracy that is student cheating, the frontline intelligence community is infiltrated by double agents. (Future educators of America, I know who you are.)
I’m not sure how one can sleep at night knowing they’re cheating their way into a profession in which children and young adults will rely on them not just as educators, but as role models.
Here’s another section that really struck me hard.
After I’ve gathered my sources, I pull out usable quotes, cite them, and distribute them among the sections of the assignment. Over the years, I’ve refined ways of stretching papers. I can write a four-word sentence in 40 words. Just give me one phrase of quotable text, and I’ll produce two pages of ponderous explanation. I can say in 10 pages what most normal people could say in a paragraph.
I’ve also got a mental library of stock academic phrases: “A close consideration of the events which occurred in ____ during the ____ demonstrate that ____ had entered into a phase of widespread cultural, social, and economic change that would define ____ for decades to come.” Fill in the blanks using words provided by the professor in the assignment’s instructions.
Has academic writing really become this formulaic? Is it our fault as educators? Who’s to blame for this?
This article raised some great questions I’ll be thinking about in the coming weeks. What’s even better, however, is that it’s excellently written, so I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Seconded. A fascinating article on plagiarism and academic integrity.
Plagiarism: as teachers we see it a lot. Sometimes it’s done intentionally, sometimes it’s done accidentally. Either way we can’t allow our students to plagiarize other people’s works. Plagiarisma is a free tool that teachers and students can use to detect possible cases of plagiarism.