The Growing Backlash Against Automated Cheating Detectors

from the but-for-a-good-reason dept

It's been nearly four years since we wrote about students and parents being upset that online services that check student homework for plagiarism were also uploading and storing a copy of every paper they checked. It got to the point, earlier this year, that at least one university banned the use of Turnitin, one of the most popular services in this field. It seems that the student rebellion against such tools is growing, as many more students are questioning the legality of such tools, and asking their schools to stop using them. They're not just upset about the uploads, but about the assumption of guilt. While there clearly is plenty of plagiarism to go around, that doesn't mean this is the right solution to it. It's often easy to just throw technology at a problem, but it's worth recognizing that doing so always raises unexpected issues -- and those issues may not be technological on their own, but legal and cultural issues. It seems like many of the schools who jumped on the Turnitin bandwagon didn't spend much time thinking about those additional consequences, and are now facing student anger because of it.

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  1. identicon
    CollegeStudent, 23 Sep 2006 @ 7:19am

    Amazing

    I'm amazed people are defending this service. it's not about comparing the papers to see if they're plagirised, it's about storing the students paper. when you write a paper you automatically own the copyright to the paper. this is copyright infringement plain and simple. i doubt my college uses this service but i suggest to any student whose college does use it, check to see if at any time you gave permission for the college to put your paper through this service, if you didn't... sue Turnitin for copyright infringment. because, after all, you didn't give them persmission to copy your paper.

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