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Plagiarism

Is cheating an issue in higher education? Why or why not? How does the imposter syndrome come in to play?

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In a perfect world...

"Universities, journals, presses, and scholarly associations would cooperate in every [plagiarism] investigation, freely sharing evidence and expertise. Proceedings would be kept strictly confidential unless and until a formal finding of guilt was made. Scholars' reputations would never be stained by unfounded gossip. Faculty plagiarists would be punished at least as severely as students who commit similar transgressions. Honest whistle-blowers would never face retaliation. And matters would never be dragged into the courts, (Glenn, 2004)."

But, that is only in a perfect world. More often than not we hear about the plight of the distressed faculty member who is plagued by the blatant ignorance of students who intentionally, and possibly unknowingly, plagiarize. However, we don't hear much about the victimized, naive scholar who is accosted with plagiarism accusations because an arrogant instructor can't somehow be cured of the imposter syndrome.

If you think about it, online instructors truly have an advantage over face-to-face instructors. Whenever a student presents a question, they can sit back and ponder a carefully crafted email response before gracefully pressing the send button. But, face-to-face instructors aren't so lucky. They are charged with the responsibility of having to be witty enough to answer Johnny on the spot and when they can't deliver, they have a choice to either seek out a sufficient answer or place blame on the student for embarrassing them by asking the question in the first place; which can lead to retaliation if it happens often enough. Now, this may be pushing the envelope a little, but it is definitely something to be taken into ...

Solution Summary

Cheating: Many educators are concerned about students cheating on online quizzes and tests. How can instructors minimize or eliminate cheating through test preparation and administration and selection of assessment methods? Address issues of how students can cheat and what instructors can do when cheating occurs. Examples of issues to consider include the following. When are secure and/or proctoring systems appropriate to use? How are these issues addressed at your respective institutions? What about the use of PDAs and cellphones to cheat on web-enhanced tests? Is cheating an issue in your online courses? Why or why not?

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