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
    Cleverboy, 24 Sep 2006 @ 4:31pm

    Re: From a Student

    "This seems no more legitimate a case or complaint than those suing McDonald's because they're overweight. How many honest students do you think are really complaining? None." - RiskyMethodz

    Got nothing but "Amens" over hear. Looking at the Slashdot story, I'm happy CmdrTaco's posting seems to have the same opinion too. I saw the headline topic first at Techdirt, and I've been scratching my head wondering if I was missing something.

    I'm generally the guy not being fussed over DRM either, so I'm used to disagreeing with the masses, but unlike DRM, there are teachers and honest students with a stake on what's happening, so they're much more vocal. VH1 just tried to get me to download a DRM "license" in order to watch a playlist, and I bailed. I'll never use the site again. Seems simple to me. I just used Audacity to record an audio stream into an Mp3 from my soundcard. Seems DRM-able to me.

    Half the time, I think people complain way too much. I was listening to Buzz Out Loud yesterday, and I sware that show is starting to grate on my nerves with all the "snarky".

    The world's gone mad. Let's sue all the people trying to vie for some measure of integrity, so we can have a decidedly "Atlas Shrugged" global event. I'm with Francisco and John.

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