Tuesday, July 06, 2010

University of Central Florida tackles student cheating

From a NYT article which covers measures taken by UCF to combat cheating:

Mr. Daines said he was especially disturbed by an epidemic of students’ copying homework. “The term ‘collaborative work’ has been taken to this unbelievable extreme where it means, because of the ease of e-mailing, one person looking at someone else who’s done the assignment,” he said.

At M.I.T., David E. Pritchard, a physics professor, was able to accurately measure homework copying with software he had developed for another purpose — to allow students to complete sets of physics problems online. Some answered the questions so fast, “at first I thought we had some geniuses here at M.I.T.,” Dr. Pritchard said. Then he realized they were completing problems in less time than it took to read them and were copying the answers — mostly, it turned out, from e-mail from friends who had already done the assignment.

Separately, from Journals step up plagiarism policing

Mary Ann Liebert, a publishing company in New Rochelle, New York, has found that 7% of accepted articles in one of its journals had to be rejected following testing [for copying], says Adam Etkin, director of online and Internet services at the company.

***See also Nature's Plagiarism pinioned; Nature 466, 159–160 (08 July 2010) , concerning the roll-out of the CrossCheck plagiarism-screening service, including the text:

What is disheartening is that plagiarism seems pervasive enough to make such precautions necessary. In one notable pilot of the system on three journals, their publisher had to reject 6%, 10% and 23% of accepted papers, respectively.


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