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
    University Student, 30 Mar 2007 @ 5:45am

    Re: Why use teachers at all?

    Excellent point!! Why do we need all these teachers? Half of the time, they don't know the answers to complex questions themselves, or they skirt the issue with a bunch of "mumbo jumbo" in an effort to make themselves look good. That said, I have had the pleasure of studying under a number of very good professors - but it is not the norm.

    Only problem is the tuition keeps getting more expensive and the teacher-student ratio keeps getting higher and the quality of the work (or grading) is getting less and less. This is just another way for the "educator" (term used loosely in some cases) to shave more time off of their schedule and place more burden on the student.

    "All that is needed nowadays to learn is a good text, internet, and someone to answer pertinent questions. All else is done by the student."

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