Plagiarism by Technology
In today's technology driven world, many people are using the internet to fulfill their personal, professional, and educational goals. Technological advances make the internet easily accessible, from a variety of locations, for many people seeking education online. There are many online courses offered and many of the assignments place emphasis on the use of the internet as an information resource. This emphasis can be overwhelming to any student and lead to intentional or unintentional dishonest acts, on behalf of the student, including plagiarism. What is plagiarism? Plagiarism occurs when someone uses someone else's words or ideas and claims them as their own. This is becoming more common in competitive, online classes as students strive for academic success. Students are utilizing technology to commit plagiarism in a variety of ways, ranging from copying files from a friend or online source, to buying a paper online. In the same way that students can use technology to find assignment ideas, there are now tools that help an instructor research if a student's assignment includes plagiarism. Students can use these tools and other resources to help them avoid committing plagiarism, or, unfortunately, in many cases, to avoid being caught committing plagiarism. Online Schooling
Attending class online is becoming more common every day. People with families and full time jobs have turned to online schooling to continue their education with minimum disruption to other aspects of their life. Online schooling offers a balance between all aspects of a student's life giving the student the capability to attend school while tending to family and career priorities. In the fast paced world of online education, however, there is more pressure on students to get assignments completed within a tight deadline. Classes are more compact in time and students are required to complete one semester's study and assignments within a matter of weeks. In the online environment, the opportunity for academic dishonesty is higher than in the regular classroom. One instructor is in charge of monitoring discussions, class-work, preparing assignments and grading within the same tight deadlines those students are given. This makes it extremely difficult for an instructor to monitor every student's work. Instructors cannot be certain that the assignments turned in by any student are the student's own work unless they become familiar with the student's style of completing assignments. With the fast pace of the online education environment, the instructor may have difficulty getting to know all students' style of work in such a short time. With the abundance of information available online, a student has many opportunities to find an article and claim it as his or her own. With a simple change of words and style, tracking the rightful author of any article is almost impossible. According to Baron & Crooks, in one example of plagiarism, uncovered at Baker College in Michigan, an online instructor noticed marked improvement in one student's work while reviewing assignments. Upon further inspection, the instructor noticed that the paper contained almost no citations, so the instructor entered the text into an internet search engine, and found that the student had copied eight pages directly from a company report found on the internet. In another incident of fraudulent student work exposed at Baker College, a student submitted a term paper electronically with a header that read "12000papers.com". The student apparently had headers turned off, while the instructor had headers turned on (n.d.). As seen in these examples, instructors can still reveal a student's dishonesty by using the same technology that made the information used for plagiarism easily accessible. Other students, however, have learned that they can use the same type of search engines to check their assignments and look for any plagiarized content. Students simply...
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