Friday, May 19, 2006

Cheating in College

Colleges are facing more and more problems with students using all sorts of gadgets to access information to cheat on tests. Cheating has really gone high tech with students using the internet, blackberries, IPods, and cellphones to store information to help them on the tests. Apparently, it is just too old-fashioned for them to take their tests on paper with a professor monitoring to make sure that they don't pull out their cell phones or whatever. But, technology comes to the rescue. Schools now have a program that basically doesn't let kids access the internet or their files while they're taking the test. Basically, the computer becomes simply a word-processor.

At our school, we experimented with turnitin.com to make sure that kids weren't copying something from the Internet. We all believe that it cut plagiarism just about to zero because it catches almost everything that kids could cut and paste from the Internet and the kids are becoming used to the concept of using footnotes to credit the information they're citing and that has spread to their use of books. Of course, it's getting more and more of a struggle to convince kids that they can find more information from a book occasionally than they can from the internet. Their view is why should they read a book when Wikipedia exists.