The Thin Line Between Cheating And Research

from the there-is-a-line dept

Yet another article about students using the internet to cheat. This one points out that since the launch of Google Answers students are posting homework questions to the “experts” there. Some students feel, though, that this isn’t cheating, since they’re doing “work” to get the correct answers. Even more to the point, many feel that since these are “busywork” homework assignments, it really doesn’t matter if they’re just copying the answers, since figuring it out on their own wouldn’t actually teach them anything. Of course, this second article makes a good suggestion for ways teachers can avoid this problem: assign better homework assignments. Instead of just saying “write about this book”, ask the students to compare two books, or to explain what they would do in a certain situation in the book. In other words, set up a question that doesn’t require regurgitation, but actually makes them think. This is probably better for their education, and makes it much more difficult to cheat.

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Comments on “The Thin Line Between Cheating And Research”

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msykes says:


Amen to that! First of all, don’t get me wrong – I love teachers. And I got a great education. But you take a look at some exams that you get in your life, and you really have to wonder what the point is. I’ve always hated multiple choice exams which favor informational regurgitation, but short/long answer history questions which just want you to pull facts out of a text aren’t any better.

If google can lead to better exams, well it’s one more reason I’m so happy I have a google shirt. All these kids are doing is using my favourite motto: “Work Smarter, not Harder”


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