Bob Jensen's Threads on Plagiarism and Other Cheating

Bob Jensen at Trinity University


Plagiarism --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism  
Plagiarism Law and Legal Definition --- http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/plagiarism/
Also see http://www1.law.umkc.edu/academic/plagiarism.htm

Video on the Ghost of Plagiarism Past
Et Plagieringseventyr --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwbw9KF-ACY

Jagdish Gangolly clued me in on this link
Tom Lehrer on the great Russian mathgematician Lobachevsky:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNC-aj76zI4&feature=related

On January 29, 2014 Julie wrote the following on the AAA Commons:

We have completed our work on the plagiarism policy, and the final version can be found here:

http://aaahq.org/about/manual/current/publications/PlagiarismPolicy.pdf

Where to Begin in When Trying to Detect Plagiarism and Cheating 

Comparison of Plagiarism Detection Tools --- http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/SER07017B.pdf
"Plagiarism Detection: Is Technology the Answer?" at the 2007 EDUCAUSE Southeast Regional Conference, Liz Johnson, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, provided a chart comparing seven plagiarism detection tools: Turnitin, MyDropBox, PAIRwise, EVE2, WCopyFind, CopyCatch, and GLATT.
2010 Update:  "Top 10 Tools to Detect Plagiarism Online"

The New Culture of Cheating:  What if everything you learned about fighting plagiarism was doomed to failure?

New Ways of Cheating

Customized Essay Writing Companies (including custom college admission essays)

Psychology of Cheaters vs. Non-cheaters  

Wikipedia Policies on Quotations

Plagiarism on Wikipedia

CombatingPlagiarism

Combating Plagiarism: Is the Internet Causing More Students and Ministers to Copy 
Includes a module on dissertation plagiarism.

Where is the line of ethical responsibility of using online services to improve writing?

Market for Admissions Test Questions and Admissions Essay "Consulting"

Ease of Finding Test Banks and Solutions Manuals  

Should a doctoral student be allowed to hire an editor to help write her dissertation? 
If the answer is yes, should this also apply to any student writing a course project, take home exam, or term paper?
 

This service from Google Answers was disturbing until Google shut it down.  

The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) 

Racial Divide:  Are their differences in cheating by race? 

Cheating Issues Somewhat Unique to Online Distance Education

Huge Cheating Scandals at the University of Virginia, Harvard, Ohio, Duke, Cambridge, and Other Universities 

Cheating Across Cultures (Foreign Countries That Cheat)

Plagio-riffing 

New Kinds of Cheating (including automated essay writing)

My Project Files Got Corrupted (it used to be that the files just got lost)

Cheating in Athletics

Old Kinds of Cheating 

Did Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz Plagiarize?

Social/Cultural Construction of Cheating

Ghost Students on Campus 

Smile Professor, You're on Candid Camera

Professors and Teachers Who Let Students Cheat 

Professors and Teachers Who Plagiarize and/or Otherwise Cheat

Professors Who Fabricate Research Outcomes and Research Reviews

Colleges That Cheat  

Journal Editors' Reactions to Word of Plagiarism? Largely Silence

Celebrities Who Plagiarize/Cheat

Foreign Countries That Cheat (There is no such thing as international copyright law)

Media Sources Who Let Journalists Cheat and Go Unpunished for Cheating
Plagiarism Goes Unpunished in the Liberal Press

In Defense of Cheating

MBAs most likely (among graduate students) to cheat and make their own rules 

54% of Accounting Students Admit to Cheating

Academic Fraud for Athletes   --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics

Scientists Behaving Badly  

Copyright Issues and Concerns 

Also see
The U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act Undermines Public Access and Sharing 
(Included Copyright Information and Dead Link Archives)

Copyright and Deep Linking  

100 Cases of Cheating at the University of Virginia 

Where to Begin in When Trying to Detect Plagiarism 

Adventures in Cheating:  A guide to Buying Term papers and Dissertations Online (What's a "virgin prostitute?" in this context?)

Plagiarism and 'Atonement'

Catching Cheaters with Their Own Computers

Guidelines for Copyrighted Material at Websites, Blackboard, and WebCT

Resume Lies

Center for Academic Integrity --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/

Threads on the P2P, PDE, Collaboration, and the Napster/Wrapster/Gnutella/Pointera/FreeNet/BearShare/KaZaA/ --- 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/napster.htm
 

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on controlling online cheating --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline

Bob Jensen's threads on onsite versus onsite assessment ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline

January 6, 2006 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

NEW JOURNAL COVERING PLAGIARISM IN THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY

The recently-launched, refereed INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR EDUCATIONAL INTEGRITY [ISSN 1833-2595] intends to provide a forum to address educational integrity topics: "plagiarism, cheating, academic integrity, honour codes, teaching and learning, university governance, and student motivation." The journal, to be published two times a year, is sponsored by the University of South Australia. For more information and to read the current issue, go to http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/journals/index.php/IJEI .

 

Update Messages 

Candidates attempting to cheat in an exam by writing on a part of their body must be reported to the chief invigilator immediately. Please speak to an exam attendant who will contact the student administration office. Keep the students under close observation to ensure that they do not attempt to erase the evidence. The chief invigilator will arrange for a member of staff with a camera to come to the exam room to photograph the evidence to present to the examinations offences panel.
Signs on the walls of Student Administration Office at Queen Mary College in London, as reported by Abbott Katz, "Inside Higher Ed, May 31, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/31/katz

A World Class Athlete With World Class Ethics That Will Impact Upon Future Generations
He speaks his mind --- and apologizes later.  He loves to party --- and doesn't care about winning.  Yet Bode Miller is poised to strike Olympic gold.  On the slopes with skiing's bad boy,.
Bill Saporito. As written on the cover of Time Magazine, January 23, 2006 --- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1149374,00.html

Jensen Comment
Bode Miller is the best of the best in a sport where winners are determined by hundredths of a second on a stop watch.  His picture is on the cover of the January 23, 2006 edition of Time Magazine.  Although he's relatively unknown in his home country (U.S.A.), he's been an established hero in Europe where crowds chanted "Bode, Bode, . . . ." while he was on his way to winning the 2005 World Cup.  He's poised to become the Gold Medal hero in the 2006 and obtained recent U.S. notoriety due to a recent interview on Sixty Minutes (CBS television) in which he admitted that having fun is more important than winning and that he sometimes partied too much when skiing including a few instances when he was a bit tipsy or hung over when crashing down the slope at over 80 miles per hour.

Chagrined media analysts questioned whether the partying and outspoken Bode Miller was really a role model for our young people.  I contend that he is largely do to some things buried in the article in Time Magazine. After discussing his partying and independent nature, the article goes on to explain how Bode more than any other skier in history made a science out of the sport.  Most of his life has been spent studying and experimenting with every item of clothing and equipment, every position for every circumstance on the slopes, and the torques and forces of every move under every possible slope condition. That sort of makes him my hero, but what really makes him my hero is the following quotation that speaks for itself:

Last year, after tinkering with his boots, he discovered that inserting a composite --- as opposed to aluminum or plastic --- lift under the sole gave him a better feel on the snow and better performance.  Then he did something really crazy, he shared the information with everyone, including competitors.  His equipment team flipped, but in the Miller school of philosophy this makes complete sense.  Otherwise, he says, "I'm maintaining an unfair advantage over my competitors knowingly, for the purpose of beating them alone.  Not for the purpose of enjoying it more or skiing better.  To me that's ethically unsound."

One has to be reminded of the famous poem painted on the wall of my old Algona High School gymnasium:

For when the Great Scorer comes
To write against your name.
He marks -- not that you won or lost --
But how you played the game.

Grantland Rice --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grantland_Rice


Setting a bad example for its students:  Plagiarized from Alabama A&M University
A federal judge on Friday blocked the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools from revoking the accreditation of Edward Waters College while the institution pursues a due process lawsuit against the association.  In December, the regional accrediting group said that it had revoked the Florida college's accreditation, citing documents Edward Waters officials had submitted to the association that appeared to have been plagiarized from Alabama A&M University, another historically black institution.
Doug Lederman, "Staying Alive," Inside Higher Ed, March 14, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/staying_alive 

"Tolerance of Cheating: An Analysis Across Countries" --- http://www.indiana.edu/~econed/pdffiles/spring02/magnus.pdf 

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P file sharing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/napster.htm 

Forwarded by Chris Nolan on August 28, 2003

With a new academic year starting, I wanted to remind everyone of the following comprehensive webliography on plagiarism. Each entry is annotated, and each entry represents a document that is available on the Web:

http://www.web-miner.com/plagiarism 

This Web site also has other guides to ethics issues on topical areas that you might wish to share with faculty in other departments on your campus:

Anthropology Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/anthroethics.htm

Art Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/artethics.htm

Bioethics: http://www.web-miner.com/bioethics.htm

Business Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/busethics.htm

Ethics Case Studies: http://www.web-miner.com/ethicscases.htm

History Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/historyethics.htm

Journalism Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/journethics.htm

Research Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/researchethics.htm

Sociology Ethics: http://www.web-miner.com/sociologyethics.htm

Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant, ILCSO
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting
616 E. Green Street, Suite 213
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-4895
Fax: (217) 265-0454
E-mail: bernies@uillinois.edu 


The New Culture of Cheating

Plagiarism --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism  
Plagiarism Law and Legal Definition --- http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/plagiarism/
Also see http://www1.law.umkc.edu/academic/plagiarism.htm

"Damien Hirst in plagiarism row – does it really matter?," by Ben East, The National, September 12, 2010 ---
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100912/ART/709119970 

"Dissertation for Sale: A Cautionary Tale," by Manuel R. Torres, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Dissertation-for-Sale-A/132401/


Fraud Beat (Diploma Mill Degrees in Developing Countries)
"Politicians, Fake Degrees and Plagiarism," by Philip G. Altbach, Inside Higher Ed, June 16, 2013 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com//blogs/world-view/politicians-fake-degrees-and-plagiarism

Vladimir Putin not only did not write a single word in his Ph.D. thesis, it's not clear that he ever read a single word in his Ph.D. thesis ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#Celebrities
Maybe he was too busy building his billion dollar house on the Black Sea.

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating in academe ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


"What is the Value of Ethics Education? Are Universities Successfully Teaching Ethics to Business Students?," by Accounting Professor Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, February 12, 2013 ---
http://www.ethicssage.com/2013/02/what-is-the-value-of-ethics-education.html

. . .

This is "academic-speak" for we do not want to hold the schools accountable for ethics education. AACSB's failure to set specific goals for business ethics education speaks volumes about the political pressure from accredited schools that were brought to bear on any new standards that require specific education. Academic administrators do not want to be tied down to a specific course of action or program; they want a more "flexible" approach. The result is a meaningless standard that fails to address the critical problems that face us today in graduating business students who become tomorrow's future abusers of the capitalist system because of narcissitic behavior.

So, what should be done about the failure of business ethics education over the years to stem the rising tide of corporate fraud and wrongdoing? I believe the emphasis of business ethics education has to change from teaching philosophical reasoning methods that rarely work in practice to a more values-based approach that emphasizes ethical leadership. Ethical leadership is a must in any discipline -- accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing. Therefore, all college instructors should buy into the need to slant their teaching methods to incorporate leadership -- ethical leadership.

Jensen Comment
Those of us that have had to deal with cheating students over the years, including those who cheated in ethics classes, discover that ethics behavior or lack thereof is very, very complicated. Unethical behavior and cheating is very situational and opportunistic. Sometimes lapses arise when there are heavy demands on time such as those demands of varsity athletics, troubled marriages, child illness, etc. Sometimes lapses arise from a follow-the-herd situation such as that recently observed among 125 students in a recent Harvard political science course.

In my opinion, most lapses in ethics do not arise from ignorance about the ethics guidelines. Therefore, teaching about it is not likely to have much incremental benefit in preventing ethics lapses at the individual level. There may be some benefit in terms of awareness and better writing of ethics guidelines. And studying what happens when violations of ethics have severe consequences may instill some fear. For example, expelling half the 125 students who were caught cheating in one political science class probably made the remaining students at Harvard University sit up and take notice that the Harvard's Student Honor Code is not toothless.

"Anton Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, January 29, 2013 ---
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/01/29/anton-chekhov-8-qualities-of-cultured-people/

Jensen Comment
I suspect there are not many cultured people in the world because of Criterion Number 4.

"Does Everyone Lie? Are we a Culture of Liars?" by accounting professor Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, February 1, 2013 ---
http://www.ethicssage.com/2013/02/does-everyone-lie.html

"The Lying Culture," by J. Edward Ketz & Anthony H. Catanach Jr.,  SmartPros, February 2011 ---
http://accounting.smartpros.com/x71398.xml


"Duke Begins Checking MBA Applications for Plagiarism," by Erin Ziomek, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 12, 2013 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-12/duke-begins-checking-mba-applications-for-plagiarism

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is the latest MBA program to report using plagiarism detection software to check applicant essays during the admissions process. It’s the highest-ranked program by Bloomberg Businessweek to come forward about using the service.

Fuqua rejected one applicant for “blatant plagiarism” but was cautious about turning away others because the 2012-13 school year was a pilot period for using IParadigms’ Turnitin detection system, the school said. No details on the rejected applicant were available.

“We chose to review a large number of applications to understand what threshold would be appropriate to use in the future to investigate for plagiarism,” Liz Riley Hargrove, Fuqua’s associate dean for admissions, said in an e-mail. ”We are still in the process of fine-tuning the system and understanding what the scores mean and how we will leverage it next year and what our investigative process will be.”

Riley Hargrove says the school had received information that led the admissions team to believe some applicants did not write their essays. There’s no way “to catch every single thing that’s been manufactured, but we thought this was one step we could take to help,” she says.

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management has rejected about 115 applicants on the grounds of plagiarized admissions essays since it began using Turnitin heading into the 2011-12 school year. Penn State’s Smeal College of Business has denied about 87 since 2009 for the same offense.

Other Turnitin users include the business schools at Wake Forest University and Northeastern University. Most schools don’t disclose that they are using the service, however, and the company keeps its client roster private.

UCLA has consistently found that about 2 percent of its MBA applicants plagiarize their essays and has traced lifted passages back to the websites of nonprofit organizations as well as websites that advertise free essays or help with editing essays. The school expects that pattern to continue into its third application round this year, which means it may find additional cases of plagiarism before fall.

“Potential” cases of plagiarism at Northeastern’s business school were expected to double to about 100 cases by April 15, Evelyn Tate, the school’s director of graduate recruitment and admissions, told Bloomberg Businessweek in February.

For the 2012-13 school year, Penn State’s Smeal reports that 40 applicants were flagged for plagiarizing essays, representing about 8 percent of its applicant pool.

“Over the years it just feels like there is a lot of pressure among applicants to manage perfect essays,” says Duke’s Riley Hargrove. “This felt like the right thing to do.”

 


She did not understand laws and ethics about plagiarism until she got caught:  Promises to stop doing it
"School board: We're satisfied superintendent accused of plagiarism 'understands her mistake'," New Jersey Independent News, January 19, 2013 ---
http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/2013/01/bedminster_superintendent_unde.html#incart_river_default

Jensen Comment
Makes you wonder what she got away with during her years in school when she thought plagiarism was acceptable.

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


"Let's Talk About Academic Integrity: Part II AI (After the Internet),"  by Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed, August 21, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/law-policy-and-it/lets-talk-about-academic-integrity-part-ii-ai-after-internet-0 

That the Internet is a game changer is well-known phenomenon. In fact, the word most usually associated with this phenomenon is "disruptive," and it is a good one because more times than not it is truly a neutral, descriptive term. Depending on what side of the fence you are on at the time of the disruption, you might think it either a good or bad thing.  Think content industry: bad. Think people without money who want access to content: good. Of course, life, law and technology are infinitely more complicated than those Manichaeism terms, but you get the idea. Let's see how it applies to academic integrity.

But first let's be sure we have a foundational understanding of the concept.  Academic Integrity is larger than plagiarism, but taking other people's work without attribution and with a notion that it is your own is the lion's share.  How is it to be distinguished from copyright?  Copyright is law; academic integrity is policy.  You won't go to jail or pay a fine if you violate it, but within the community of scholars -- academic or public --  depending on a number of factors, you may lose your job or some degree of credibility.  If you are a student, also depending on a number of factors, you may have to rewrite a paper, get a failing grade in the assignment, fail the course, or even be suspended or expelled from the institution.  Copyright is not cured by attribution; in most cases, plagiarism is.  Why is it important?  Because it goes straight to the heart of academia: a community of scholars, stretched throughout all of human history, whose central dynamic is developing original work while standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, irrespective of whether it was 10,000 years or 10 minutes ago.  It is to newcomers, i.e. students, a special community with special rules, hence the difference between law and policy.  It is an invitation to be part of the life of the mind, so long as you play by the rules.

Now, to be sure, the exact nature and shape of the rules can change given any number of factors, some obviously larger than others.  Technology is a big one.  Cutting and pasting having become so easy suddenly makes wholesale "copying" a facile process; how that function leads a tired, insecure or intentionally violative student down the road of perdition is a factor that educators must take into account no matter whether they like or don't like the fact of the technology that allows a student to do it.  Here is why: because the best, well intentioned students are anxious that they make a mistake.  That we do not want to cause our students undue anxiety.  It is not warranted, if we pay attention to the world in which they live and help them clarify the rules to the practices, and nor is it wise for us to allow undue measure of anxiety to get in the way genuine learning.  An overly cautious student may ultimately learn as little as the too liberal student when it comes to plagiarism.  If learning is the name of the game, it behooves educators to get it right.

So much has been written about remix that I need not go into detail here about it (Lessig's books is good start, although more focused on law than academic integrity).  Suffice it to say that remix now constitutes a very significant approach, trope and motif of contemporary culture that if we do not think hard about how we want academia to be of but not in this world, we will not serve either ourselves or our students.  Technology has made it possible, yes, but technology in this instance once again demonstrates its transfigurative powers.  That is, we see the academic dynamic -- something borrowed, something new -- more clearly than we might have seen it without technology.  We should use that insight to bridge generations of learners and the tools and methods by which they learn.

For anyone who does not believe there is anything new under the sun worth talking about, allow me to share some personal experience.  In creating a site on digital literacy, I spent some time talking to students about academic integrity.
 <http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/>  I also brought Harry Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College and a good and wise man, to talk with the Cornell community about any number of related issues.  I learned probably more than anyone.  Did you know that you can find whole instructors' manuals on the campus intranet?  That means if at two in the morning you still have not gotten to that chemical engineering assignment (or name your subject), you can find the answer with a few keystrokes.  Know how we know?  Because students who plagiarize the manual turn in the same mistakes as the manual.  Even better, when anywhere from one to two thirds of class of 200+ students turn in the same assignment with the same mistake, Houston, we have a problem!  I exaggerate not.  But I have not even gotten to the most upsetting part of this story.  Do you know why you don't hear about as often as it occurs?  Because untenured professors who tend to be the ones who teach these large classes are sufficiently concerned about their teaching evaluations as to minimize the issue.  Having talked to young professors in this situation, I can report that they are very torn about it, but make their choices in the calculous of their lives and careers.  Have they worked sufficiently with chairmen, deans and provosts on this matter?  The answer to that question belongs to every institution to address, and not once but continuously.  Do young professors have the understanding of academic leadership at their institutions?  That question should be a part of the conversation.

Continued in article


"The Plagiarism Perplex," by Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed, September 6, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/plagiarism-perplex

There is an extraordinary tension in our culture between individual creativity and the creative community, between originality and a shared body of knowledge, between the acts of reading culture and writing culture. And our students are caught in the middle.

In reality, culture exists in that in-between space where things are shared. When we read, we inscribe what we read with our own meaning. When we write, we draw inspiration from all of the things we have read; they follow our words like shadows thrown behind us. When we come up with a new idea, we’ve built it on ideas that others have already had and hope our ideas become a platform for new construction. We are never entirely alone, and our ideas are never entirely original.

These things become murky when students who are told to work independently break the rules and collaborate on homework or an exam. Harvard students are currently in the news for having done this; a few years ago students at Ryerson University in Canada formed a Facebook group to work on homework problems (and were, wittingly or not, following advice provided on the university’s own website advising students how to study effectively). One can argue that these students violated a clearly-stated rule and so are unequivocally guilty of cheating. But it also seems clear that we are sending mixed messages: forming study groups is good for learning. Except when you’re told not to, in which case it’s so unethical it can get you expelled.

Some argue that students’ willingness to cheat is a symptom of our skewed values as a society – that getting a grade and being awarded a degree is more important than learning, that an investment in college has become less to do with knowledge or personal development and everything to do with material success. This is nothing new; we’ve grumbled about students being too focused on grades for as long as I can remember. Students quoted in the Times seemed to feel they were the ones who had been cheated, that they had been tricked into thinking they could pass the course without much work and were unfairly given tests that were harder than expected, that the rules of engagement were violated. Other commentaries suggest (as did the Harvard dean of undergraduate education) that technology feeds cheating because it makes sharing too easy. (Libraries work hard to make sharing easy, and still largely fail; faulting our systems for being “too easy” seems a bit perverse.) On the other hand, it also makes it more detectable. Had the students at Ryerson met face to face in the library to work on homework problems rather than on Facebook, they likely would never have faced punishment.

I suspect a large part of the problem is that we send such mixed messages to students. You may hate group work, but it will prepare you for the reality of the workplace - but when we tell you to work alone, don’t discuss the test or homework problems with anybody else or face severe punishment. When you write a paper, your work must be original - but back up every point by quoting someone else who thought of it first. Develop your own voice as a writer – but try to sound as much like us as possible.

The fire and brimstone tone of plagiarism warnings are another kind of mixed message. Most students understand that it’s ethically wrong to purchase a paper and hand it in as one’s own. Most students understand that copying chunks of text without acknowledging the source is plagiarism. But most students will encounter gray areas. What if they can’t recall where they first encountered an idea? What if they only found a source because another source pointed them toward it? Given they weren’t born knowing what they are writing about, what is there that they shouldn’t cite? If they check Wikipedia to refresh their memory of a film, should they cite it, or does the “common knowledge” loophole absolve them of that duty? Apparently not.

Conscientious students spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to cite new forms of publication that continually escape the rulebooks, and the rules are updated in ways that are puzzling and complex. The APA now encourages writers to say they articles were retrieved from publishers’ websites when, in fact, they were retrieved from a library website. (Of course, the APA makes a great deal of money as a publisher, and they probably feel publishers are the rock-solid source of knowledge, now that libraries are mostly renting information on a temporary basis.) Deciding how to cite an article requires a daunting flowchart – which nevertheless fails to answer the problem of how to locate the link to the publisher’s website when you actually got the article from a library database. Saying an article was “retrieved from” a site where it wasn’t seems wrong. Yet following citation rules is an important part of academic integrity. My head hurts.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and cheating in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 

 


"45,000 Students Cheated (and got caught) in British Universities in 3 Years," Inside Higher Ed, March 11, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/03/12/45000-students-cheated-british-universities-3-years 

Question
Why would you suspect that the error in this 45,000 estimate is not symmetrical about the number 45,000?

The answer is obvious if you accept the fact that many students also cheated but just did not get caught?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/45000-caught-cheating-at-britains-universities-7555109.html

Jensen Comment
The punishments seem rather light.

The accused

Clare Trayner, 23, was a geography student at Royal Holloway who was accused of cheating after anti-plagiarism software flagged up her essay

"Everyone was emailed to collect their essay, but mine was held back. I was then told to attend a formal meeting as I had been caught committing plagiarism. I knew I hadn't cheated but I wasn't clear on what the problem was.

"I was told one paragraph had been flagged up as resembling the content on an internet site. Eventually I was found guilty of plagiarism but as it was my first time I would be only marked down by 10 per cent on that module. My mark for the module went from a high 2:1 to a 2:2."

"Pupils dial 'C' for cheating," by Afshan Ahmed, The National, February 12, 2012 ---
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/pupils-dial-c-for-cheating

Save this article

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 


"Academic Cheating in the Age of Google:  In high school and college, cheating is an epidemic. To contain it, the author proposes a few simple rules, including an end to the take-home test," by Michael Hartnett. Business Week, January 13, 2011 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jan2011/bs2011015_632563.htm?link_position=link3 

The students are in their seats, and the test has begun.

And so has the cheating.

BlackBerrys and iPhones need just a couple of taps of the keypad to offer the right answers. It doesn't matter whether the subject is math, social studies, science, English, or a foreign language. Information is available at your fingertips, just as advertised.

Indeed, we have to face a simple fact about students today: As technology has evolved to provide a vast wealth of information at any time, anywhere, cheating has never been easier.

In the good old days, cheating was a simple affair and as a result not too difficult to track down, like the time a girl with limited English skills in one of my high school English classes handed in a terrifically written, sophisticated short story. She copied, word for word, Shirley Jackson's story "Charles," except for changing the title character's name. I guess she thought I wouldn't have a chance hunting down the story once she cleverly renamed her story "Bob." Alas, catching a cheater is not so easy any more.

Smartphone Photos

A few years ago, students would write the answers on the inside labels of water bottles they brought into tests. Today we have students photographing the tests from their phones in an earlier period of the day, so that students in subsequent periods could know the questions before they walk into the classroom.

Now catching the cheaters requires a level of vigilance and research better suited for the corridors of the National Security Agency than the cluttered desk of a humble teacher.

Today, students wouldn't have to rely merely on CliffNotes to provide them with handy, if highly unoriginal, commentaries on Hamlet. They have other choices, including study guides from SparkNotes, PinkMonkey, ClassicNotes, and BookRags, as well as a seemingly endless supply of articles online from both paid and unpaid sources. Just Google "Hamlet Essay," and you'll receive a listing of 1,460,000 results, the first page of which is teeming with free essays.

Sure, you can track down some of the cheaters by typing in an excerpt of their essays on the very same Google search engine to discover the source. And such websites as Turnitin.com, which checks student papers against a massive archive of published and unpublished work for signs of plagiarism, can also be useful. But the available materials are so vast, and the opportunities for students to create hybrid papers so easy, that students are now one step ahead, especially since underground networks of materials are constantly cropping up, concealed from the peering eyes of teachers.

Fonts of Duplicity

Of course, even in this technological age, some students are so lazy they won't even bother to match the font and the type size for one section of an assignment to another, as they indiscriminately cut and paste material from assorted websites. A Spanish teacher I know once told me of a student who handed in an essay she clearly plagiarized from a website. Unfortunately, the girl could not explain why her essay was written in the Catalan language as opposed to Spanish.

Yet, we can't count on incompetence. Many students are so wily and crafty that they've learned to mask their cheating to impressive levels. Some can find answers on handheld devices while looking you straight in the eye or appearing to be in deep, philosophical contemplation; others plagiarize from a dizzying array of sources and cover their trail with vigilance worthy of a CIA operative.

Continued in article

54% of Accounting Students Admit to Cheating
SmartPros, August 31, 2007 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x58970.xml

MBAs most likely (among graduate students) to cheat and make their own rules --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#MBAs

Jensen Comment
I became discouraged with take home exam when one of my students paid to outsource taking of the examination to an agent. If the agent had not plagiarized it would've been impossible to catch his boss (the enrolled student). Most of my take home examinations, however, were only a small portion of the grade and the heavily-weighted final examination was not a take-home examination. I think all courses, including online courses, should have a monitored final examination. There are ways of dealing with this in distance education courses ---
 

Bob Jensen's thread on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Ideas for Teaching Online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas
Also see the helpers for teaching in general at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


"UCLA MBA Applicants Rejected for Plagiarism Totals 52," by: Louis Lavelle, Business Week, February 2, 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/blogs/mba_admissions/archives/2012/02/ucla_mba_applicants_rejected_for_plagiarism_totals_52.html

The number of MBA applicants at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management that have been rejected because of plagiarism has grown exponentially, with 40 more rejected in the second round of applications.

The new cases of plagiarism bring the total to 52. As we reported yesterday, 12 cases of plagiarism were discovered in a batch of 870 first-round applications. An additional 40 cases were discovered in the applications submitted for the second-round, says Elise Anderson, a spokeswoman for the school. The third round, which has an April 18 deadline, typically gets another 500 to 700 applications, Anderson says. So it’s possible that more plagiarized essays will be found in the third round.

The plagiarism was discovered through the use of a service called Turnitin for Admissions, which scans admissions essays looking for text that matches any documents in the Turnitin database. The archive contains billions of pages of web content, books and journals, as well as student work previously submitted to Turnitin for a plagiarism check. Turnitin flags any matches it finds, but individual schools determine if the similarity constitutes plagiarism. The service is now in use by nearly 20 business schools, including those at Penn State, Iowa State, Northeastern, and Wake Forest.
 

Anderson said the school does not currently notify applicants that their essays will be checked through Turnitin. She said the school is determining what, if any, disclosure should be made on its web site.

Research done by Turnitin suggests that plagiarism in admissions essays is vast. The company's study of 453,000 "personal statements" received by more than 300 colleges and universities in an unnamed English-speaking country found that "more that 70,000 applicants that applied though this system did so with statements that may not have been their own work." That's more than 15 percent.

For schools that do not currently vet application essays with Turnitin, the apparent prevalence of plagiarized essays raises an interesting question: Is it ethical for a school to turn a blind eye to this and award degrees to people who got their foot in the door by lying?

And for those that do screen essays, there's another issue. Many students use the same essays (with minor modifications) at every school they apply to, but there's no mechanism in place to flag plagiarized essays discovered by one school to all the other schools where that essay may have been submitted. One way to do this would be for the school discovering the plagiarism to notify the Graduate Management Admission Council, and have GMAC send a notice to every school that received the applicant's GMAT scores.

Continued in article


"Penn State Cracks Down on Plagiarism," by Allison Damast, Business Week, February 3, 2011 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/feb2011/bs2011022_942724.htm?link_position=link1


"Plagiarism, Profanity, Fraud, and Design," by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2011 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/crosstalk-plagiarism-profanity-fraud-and-design/34119?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Plagiarism: A study of 24 million college papers by Turnitin, which makes plagiarism-detection software, finds that college students are most likely to lift copy from Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, and Slideshare. The study counted all suspiciously similar language and did not consider whether students cited the sources they lifted from. Via the Scholarly Kitchen, where Phil Davis noted some of the study’s limitations.

Profanity: A Web site promoting Oberlin College co-created by its social media coordinator, Why the F*** Should I Choose Oberlin?, drew varied reactions and plenty of attention last week. The site, which notes it is not officially affiliated with Oberlin, collects profanity-laced quotes about why Oberlin is great. Georgy Cohen interviews the co-creator, Ma’ayan Plaut, who says she has “tacit and unofficial approval” from her boss. On Higher Ed Marketing, Andrew Careaga says his inner 15-year-old thought the site is brilliant, but his 51-year-old “shook his jaded head.”

Fraud: Educause offers advice on how colleges can respond to a Dear Colleague letter from the U.S. Department of Education that asks colleges to limit student-aid fraud in online programs.

Design: Keith Hampson argues that good design will play an increasingly important role in the college student experience as college move online. “Somehow, though, digital higher education—both its software and content—has managed to remain untouched by good design. Design is not even on the agenda,” he says.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame," by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 28, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/High-Tech-Cheating-on-Homew/64857/

Question
What if everything you learned about fighting plagiarism was doomed to failure?

"It’s Culture, Not Morality:  What if everything you learned about fighting plagiarism was doomed to failure?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, February 3, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/02/03/myword

What if everything you learned about fighting plagiarism was doomed to failure?Computer software, threats on the syllabus, pledges of zero tolerance, honor codes — what if all the popular strategies don’t much matter? And what if all of that anger you feel — as you catch students clearly submitting work they didn’t write — is clouding your judgment and making it more difficult to promote academic integrity?

These are some of the questions raised in My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture, in which Susan D. Blum, an anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, considers why students so frequently violate norms that seem clear and just to their professors. The book, about to appear from Cornell University Press, is sure to be controversial because it challenges the strategies used by colleges and professors nationwide. In many ways, Blum is arguing that the current approach of higher education to plagiarism is a shock and awe strategy — dazzle students with technology and make them afraid, very afraid, of what could happen to them.

But since there isn’t a Guantanamo Bay large enough for the population that plagiarizes, Blum wants higher education to embrace more of a hearts and minds strategy in which academics consider why their students turn in papers as they do, and the logic behind those choices.

The book arrives at a time that many professors continue to voice frustration over plagiarism. Academic blogs are full of stories about attempting to deal with copying. Services such as Turnitin have grown in popularity to the extent that it is processing more than 130,000 papers a day, while Blackboard has added plagiarism detection features to its course management systems. At the same time, however, particularly in the world of college composition, there has been some backlash against the law enforcement approach, with professors saying that they fear they are missing a chance to teach students about how to write through too much emphasis on fear of detection.

Those who want to understand the ideas in the book may want to note the title; it’s no coincidence that Blum wrote about college “culture,” and not “ethics” or “morality.” And while she did use “plagiarism” in the title, she faults colleges and professors for failing to distinguish between buying a paper to submit as your own, submitting a paper containing passages from many authors without appropriate credit, and simply failing to learn how to cite materials. Treating these violations of academic norms the same way is part of the problem, she writes.

If you find yourself thinking that Blum is advocating surrender, that’s not correct. Her book doesn’t advocate waving a white flag, but a new kind of campaign against plagiarism. And in an interview, Blum said that she includes warnings against plagiarism on her syllabuses, has devoted time trying to track down evidence against a student she was convinced had copied work, and has felt anger and betrayal at students who turned in work that wasn’t original.

“That’s how I felt when I first started looking into this topic,” she said. “I was really hurt when I felt students didn’t show respect for the assignment. I felt a tension between really liking my students as individuals and that they didn’t take academic work as seriously as I wanted them to.... I felt it was a battle. It was ‘How can I make them care?’ “

Blum’s book is based on her research on the way colleges try to prevent plagiarism and the way students view college, knowledge and the writing process. Many of the ideas come from the 234 undergraduates at Notre Dame who participated in in-depth interviews. The students were given confidentiality and the procedures for the interviews were approved by Notre Dame’s institutional review board. While Blum makes clear where she did her research, she calls the institution “Saints U.” in the text, with the goal of having readers focus less on Notre Dame and more on higher education generally.

While the book doesn’t claim that Notre Dame students are broadly representative of those in higher education, she suggests that these students do give an accurate portrayal of attitudes at competitive, residential colleges. Blum originally planned a similar study at a less competitive college, but didn’t have time to finish it. She said she thinks there may be some differences in attitudes, as part of the dynamic at elite institutions is a student expectation about earning A’s and succeeding in everything — an expectation that she said may not be present elsewhere.

In terms of explaining student culture, Blum uses many of the student interviews to show how education has become to many students more an issue of credentialing and getting ahead than of any more idealistic love of learning. She quotes one student who admits that he sounds “awful,” in describing decidedly unintellectual reasons for going to college and excelling there. “I think that knowledge is important to me, and to feel like I’m ahead of the game in a sense is important to me. And to move on the next step, whatever it is .. is also important.”

Students looking for the “next step” may not care as much as they should about actual learning, Blum suggests.

Then there is the student concept — or lack thereof — of intellectual property. She notes the way students routinely ignore messages from colleges and threats of legal action to share music online, in violation of business standards of copyright. As with plagiarism, she notes, the student generation has embraced an entirely different concept of ownership, and students who would never shoplift feel no hesitation about downloading music they haven’t purchased.

And she notes how much students love to quote from pop culture or other sources — feeling pride in working into conversation quotes they never invented — in a way previous generations wouldn’t have done.

“Student norms contrast with official norms not just because of this proliferation of quoting without attribution, but because students question the very possibility of originality. They often reveal profound insights into the nature of creation and demonstrate a considered acceptance of sharing and collaboration,” Blum writes. At the same time, she notes, students are less likely than previous generation to distinguish between formal and informal writing (think of the importance, to students, of instant messages). And rules about attribution are seen as silly.

Continued in article


"Far From Honorable," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/10/25/online-students-might-feel-less-accountable-honor-codes

Much of the urgency around creating a “sense of community” in online courses springs from a desire to keep online students from dropping out. But a recent paper suggests that strengthening a sense of social belonging among online students might help universities fight another problem: cheating.

In a series of experiments, researchers at Ohio University found that students in fully online psychology courses who signed an honor code promising not to cheat broke that pledge at a significantly higher rate than did students in a “blended” course that took place primarily in a classroom.

“The more distant students are, the more disconnected they feel, and the more likely it is that they’ll rationalize cheating,” Frank M. LoSchiavo, one of the authors, conjectured in an interview with Inside Higher Ed.

While acknowledging the limitations inherent to a study with such a narrow sample, and the fact that motivations are particularly hard to pin down when it comes to cheating, LoSchiavo and Mark A. Shatz, both psychology professors at Ohio University's Zanesville campus, said their findings may indicate that meeting face-to-face with peers and professors confers a stronger sense of accountability among students. “Honor codes,” LoSchiavo said, “are more effective when there are [strong] social connections.”

Honor codes are not, of course, the only method of deterring cheating in online courses. The proliferation of online programs has given rise to a cottage industry of remote proctoring technology, including one product that takes periodic fingerprint readings while monitoring a student’s test-taking environment with a 360-degree camera. (A 2010 survey by the Campus Computing Project suggests that a minority of institutions authenticate the identities of online students as a rule.)

But LoSchiavo said that he and Shatz were more interested in finding out whether honor codes held any sway online. If so, then online instructors might add pledges to their arsenal of anti-cheating tools, LoSchiavo said. If not, it provides yet an intriguing contribution to the discussion about student engagement and “perceived social distance” in the online environment.

They experimented with the effectiveness of honor codes in three introductory psychology courses at Ohio University. The first course had 40 students and was completely online. These students, like those in subsequent trials, were a mix of traditional-age and adult students, mostly from regional campuses in the Ohio University system. There was no honor code. Over the course of the term, the students took 14 multiple-choice quizzes with no proctoring of any kind. At the end of the term, 73 percent of the students admitted to cheating on at least one of them.

The second trial involved another fully online introductory course in the same subject. LoSchiavo and Shatz divided the class evenly into two groups of 42 students, and imposed an honor code -- posted online with the other course materials -- to one group but not the other. The students “digitally signed the code during the first week of the term, prior to completing any assignments.” The definition of cheating was the same as in the first trial: no notes, no textbooks, no Internet, no family or friends. There was no significant difference in the self-reported cheating between the two groups.

In a third trial, the professors repeated the experiment with 165 undergraduates in a “blended” course, where only 20 percent of the course was administered online and 80 percent in a traditional classroom setting. Again, they split the students into two groups: one in which they were asked to sign an honor code, and another in which they were not.

This time, when LoSchiavo and Shatz surveyed the students at the end of the term, there was a significant difference: Students who promised not to cheat were about 25 percent less likely to cheat than were those who made no such promise. Among the students who had not signed the code, 82 percent admitted to cheating.

LoSchiavo concedes that this study offers no definitive answers on the question of whether students are more likely to cheat in fully online courses. Cheating is more often than not a crime of opportunity, and containing integrity violations probably has much more to do with designing a system that limits the opportunities to cheat and gives relatively little weight to those assignments for which cheating is hardest to police.

“The bottom line is that if there are opportunities, students will cheat,” he said. “And the more opportunities they have, the more cheating there will be, and it is incumbent upon professors to put in a system that, when it’s important, cheating will be contained.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think universities like Trinity University that expanded their honor codes to include student courts are generally happy with the operations of those honor codes. However, Trinity has only full time students and no distance education courses.

One thing that I hated giving up was grading control. For most of my teaching career I gave F grades to students who seriously cheated in my courses. Under the revised Trinity Honor Code, instructors can no longer control the granting of F grades for cheating.

When I was a student at Stanford the Honor Code included a pledge to report cheating of other students. I think most universities have watered down this aspect of their honor codes because, in this greatly increased era of litigation, student whistle blowers can be sued big time. Universities may continue to encourage such whistle blowing, but they no longer make students sign pledges that on their honor they will be whistleblowers if they do not want to bear the risk of litigation by students they report.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm


Cheating Partly Attributed to the Down Economy’s Need for Higher Grades (especially in engineering and computer science)
"Stanford finds cheating — especially among computer science students — on the rise," by Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, February 7, 2010 --- http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_14351156?nclick_check=1 

Allegations of cheating at Stanford University have more than doubled in the past decade, with the largest number of violations involving computer science students.

In 10 years, the number of cases investigated by the university's Judicial Panel has climbed from 52 to 123.

Stanford, one of only 100 U.S. campuses with an "honor code," established its code in 1921 to uphold academic integrity by prohibiting plagiarism, copying work and getting outside help. Penalties for violations include denied credit for a class, a rejected thesis or a one-quarter suspension from the university. Students also pledge to report cheaters and do honest work without being policed.

"There's been a very significant increase," although the vast majority of the school's 19,000 students are honest, said Chris Griffith, chief of the Judicial Panel. More men are reported than women, and more undergraduates than graduates.

"Some of it is due to an increase in dishonesty," she said, "while some is due to an increase in reporting by faculty."

The findings came from new data presented by Griffith at a meeting of Stanford faculty at the academic senate. Although computer science students represent 6.5 percent of Stanford's student body, last year those students accounted for 23 percent of the university's honor code violators.

"My feeling is that the most important factor is the high frustration levels that typically go along with trying to get a program

to run," said computer science professor Eric Roberts, who has studied the problem of academic cheating. He noted that most violations involve homework assignments rather than exams.

"The computer is an unforgiving arbiter of correctness," he said. "Imagine what would happen if every time you submitted a paper for an English course, it came back with a red circle around the first syntactic error, along with a notation saying: 'No credit — resubmit.' After a dozen attempts all meeting the same fate, the temptation to copy a paper you knew would pass might get pretty high. That situation is analogous to what happens in computing courses."

A common computer science violation occurs when students work as a team to complete an assignment, even though the rules stipulate that work must be done individually.

Also common: students obtaining someone else's code and submitting that version, after making simple edits to disguise the work. They find copies by rooting through discarded program listings taken from a recycling bin, or checking machines in public clusters to see whether previous students left solutions lying around.

"People know exactly what they're doing," Roberts said. "One student took code out of the 'recycle bin' of a laptop, changed the name of the original author and used it in six of the seven files that were submitted."

As for the problem of cheating, Stanford is by no means alone. Roberts noted that the largest cheating episode in the history of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took place in a 1991 course titled "Introduction to Computers and Problem Solving," when 73 of 239 students were disciplined for "excessive collaboration."

Today, to reveal similarities in code, Stanford computer professors use a program called MOSS (Measure Of Software Similarity). That software is boosting the number of discovered violations.

Other violations, although fewer, were found in the departments of biology and Introduction to the Humanities. Art history had only one violation.

Universitywide, 43 percent of violations at Stanford involved "unpermitted collaboration," where students submit work that was not done independently. About 31 percent involved plagiarism, using Internet-based work that was not cited. Another 11 percent involved copying work; 5 percent, receiving outside help; 5 percent, representing others' work as their own and 5 percent, assorted violations.

The Judicial Panel's report also noted that cheating was uncommon in professional schools, such as law and medicine.

"When you're in professional school at Stanford, it is foolish to cheat. If you pass, there will be good job opportunities," said law student Eric Osborne.

"That is not as true for undergraduates in the engineering and computer science fields," said Osborne, "where in this economy, there is a lot of drive to get into grad school."

Jensen Comment
I would also think that there is motivation to cheat in MBA programs and law schools where the job markets are bleak.


Plagiarism Is Not a Big Moral Deal:  Yeah Right!
Although I admire Professor Fish, I don't quite share his views on plagiarism. And even if you share his views, this may not protect you or your students from the thunderbolts of wrath that sometimes strike plagiarists --- such thunderbolts as loss of job, loss of a degree (yes your prized college degree can be withdrawn), your publications may be withdrawn, you can be sued for your life savings, and you may face a lifetime of disgrace.

The scarlet letter "P" around your neck is serious business and becomes even worse with a record of addiction. Of course there are examples of plagiarists who are highly regarded in spite of their plagiarism, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vladimir Putin ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#Celebrities

"Plagiarism Is Not a Big Moral Deal," by Stanley Fish, The New York Times, August 9, 2010 ---
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/plagiarism-is-not-a-big-moral-deal/?scp=1&sq=Plagiarism&st=cse

During my tenure as the dean of a college, I determined that an underperforming program should be closed. My wife asked me if I had ever set foot on the premises, and when I answered “no,” she said that I really should do that before wielding the axe.

And so I did, in the company of my senior associate dean. We toured the offices and spoke to students and staff. In the course of a conversation, one of the program’s co-directors pressed on me his latest book. I opened it to the concluding chapter, read the first two pages, and remarked to my associate dean, “This is really good.”

But on the way back to the administration building, I suddenly flashed on the pages I admired and began to suspect that the reason I liked them so much was that I had written them. And sure enough, when I got back to my office and pulled one of my books off the shelf, there the pages were, practically word for word. I telephoned the co-director, and told him that I had been looking at his book, and wanted to talk about it. He replied eagerly that he would come right over, but when he came in I pointed him to the two books — his and mine — set out next to each other with the relevant passages outlined by a marker.

He turned white and said that he and his co-author had divided the responsibilities for the book’s chapters and that he had not written (perhaps “written” should be in quotes) this one. I contacted the co-author and he wrote back to me something about graduate student researchers who had given him material that was not properly identified. I made a few half-hearted efforts to contact the book’s publisher, but I didn’t persist and I pretty much forgot about it, although the memory returns whenever I read yet another piece (like one that appeared recently in The Times) about the ubiquity of plagiarism, the failure of students to understand what it is, the suspicion that they know what it is but don’t care, and the outdatedness of notions like originality and single authorship on which the intelligibility of plagiarism as a concept depends.

Whenever it comes up plagiarism is a hot button topic and essays about it tend to be philosophically and morally inflated. But there are really only two points to make. (1) Plagiarism is a learned sin. (2) Plagiarism is not a philosophical issue.

Of course every sin is learned. Very young children do not distinguish between themselves and the world; they assume that everything belongs to them; only in time and through the conditioning of experience do they learn the distinction between mine and thine and so come to acquire the concept of stealing. The concept of plagiarism, however, is learned in more specialized contexts of practice entered into only by a few; it’s hard to get from the notion that you shouldn’t appropriate your neighbor’s car to the notion that you should not repeat his words without citing him.

The rule that you not use words that were first uttered or written by another without due attribution is less like the rule against stealing, which is at least culturally universal, than it is like the rules of golf. I choose golf because its rules are so much more severe and therefore so much odder than the rules of other sports. In baseball you can (and should) steal bases and hide the ball. In football you can (and should) fake a pass or throw your opponent to the ground. In basketball you will be praised for obstructing an opposing player’s view of the court by waving your hands in front of his face. In hockey … well let’s not go there. But in golf, if you so much as move the ball accidentally while breathing on it far away from anyone who might have seen what you did, you must immediately report yourself and incur the penalty. (Think of what would happen to the base-runner called safe at home-plate who said to the umpire, “Excuse me, sir, but although you missed it, I failed to touch third base.”)

Golf’s rules have been called arcane and it is not unusual to see play stopped while a P.G.A. official arrives with rule book in hand and pronounces in the manner of an I.R.S. official. Both fans and players are aware of how peculiar and “in-house” the rules are; knowledge of them is what links the members of a small community, and those outside the community (most people in the world) can be excused if they just don’t see what the fuss is about.

Plagiarism is like that; it’s an insider’s obsession. If you’re a professional journalist, or an academic historian, or a philosopher, or a social scientist or a scientist, the game you play for a living is underwritten by the assumed value of originality and failure properly to credit the work of others is a big and obvious no-no. But if you’re a musician or a novelist, the boundary lines are less clear (although there certainly are some) and if you’re a politician it may not occur to you, as it did not at one time to Joe Biden, that you’re doing anything wrong when you appropriate the speech of a revered statesman.

And if you’re a student, plagiarism will seem to be an annoying guild imposition without a persuasive rationale (who cares?); for students, learning the rules of plagiarism is worse than learning the irregular conjugations of a foreign language. It takes years, and while a knowledge of irregular verbs might conceivably come in handy if you travel, knowledge of what is and is not plagiarism in this or that professional practice is not something that will be of very much use to you unless you end up becoming a member of the profession yourself. It follows that students who never quite get the concept right are by and large not committing a crime; they are just failing to become acclimated to the conventions of the little insular world they have, often through no choice of their own, wandered into. It’s no big moral deal; which doesn’t mean, I hasten to add, that plagiarism shouldn’t be punished — if you’re in our house, you’ve got to play by our rules — just that what you’re punishing is a breach of disciplinary decorum, not a breach of the moral universe.

Now if plagiarism is an idea that makes sense only in the precincts of certain specialized practices and is not a normative philosophical notion, inquiries into its philosophical underpinnings are of no practical interest or import. In recent years there have been a number of assaults on the notion of originality, issuing from fields as diverse as literary theory, history, cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology, Internet studies. Single authorship, we have been told, is a recent invention of a bourgeois culture obsessed with individualism, individual rights and the myth of progress. All texts are palimpsests of earlier texts; there’s been nothing new under the sun since Plato and Aristotle and they weren’t new either; everything belongs to everybody. In earlier periods works of art were produced in workshops by teams; the master artisan may have signed them, but they were communal products. In some cultures, even contemporary ones, the imitation of standard models is valued more than work that sets out to be path-breaking. (This was one of the positions in the famous quarrel between the ancients and the moderns in England and France in the 17th and 18th centuries.)

Arguments like these (which I am reporting, not endorsing) have been so successful in academic circles that the very word “originality” often appears in quotation marks, and it has seemed to many that there is a direct path from this line of reasoning to the conclusion that plagiarism is an incoherent, even impossible, concept and that a writer or artist accused of plagiarism is being faulted for doing something that cannot be avoided. R.M. Howard makes the point succinctly “If there is no originality and no literary property, there is no basis for the notion of plagiarism” (“College English,” 1995).

That might be true or at least plausible if, in order to have a basis, plagiarism would have to stand on some philosophical ground. But the ground plagiarism stands on is more mundane and firm; it is the ground of disciplinary practices and of the histories that have conferred on those practices a strong, even undoubted (though revisable) sense of what kind of work can be appropriately done and what kind of behavior cannot be tolerated. If it is wrong to plagiarize in some context of practice, it is not because the idea of originality has been affirmed by deep philosophical reasoning, but because the ensemble of activities that take place in the practice would be unintelligible if the possibility of being original were not presupposed.

And if there should emerge a powerful philosophical argument saying there’s no such thing as originality, its emergence needn’t alter or even bother for a second a practice that can only get started if originality is assumed as a baseline. It may be (to offer another example), as I have argued elsewhere, that there’s no such thing as free speech, but if you want to have a free speech regime because you believe that it is essential to the maintenance of democracy, just forget what Stanley Fish said — after all it’s just a theoretical argument — and get down to it as lawyers and judges in fact do all the time without the benefit or hindrance of any metaphysical rap. Everyday disciplinary practices do not rest on a foundation of philosophy or theory; they rest on a foundation of themselves; no theory or philosophy can either prop them up or topple them. As long as the practice is ongoing and flourishing its conventions will command respect and allegiance and flouting them will have negative consequences.

This brings me back to the (true) story I began with. Whether there is something called originality or not, the two scholars who began their concluding chapter by reproducing two of my pages are professionally culpable. They took something from me without asking and without acknowledgment, and they profited — if only in the currency of academic reputation — from work that I had done and signed. That’s the bottom line and no fancy philosophical argument can erase it.

Jensen Comment
The really sad fact about professors who plagiarize or otherwise cheat is that their employers may be tougher on student plagiarists than on faculty plagiarists ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize


"Alexander Graham Bell on Originality, Plagiarism, Language, and Education," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, February 15, 2013
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/02/15/alexander-graham-bell-annie-sullivan-helen-keller/

"Our most original compositions are composed exclusively of expressions derived from others."

When Helen Keller was accused of plagiarism after the publication of her autobiography, The Story of My Life (public library), Mark Twain sent her a note of solidarity and support, assuring her that "substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources." Shortly thereafter, Alexander Graham Bell – father of the telephone – wrote Annie Sullivan, Keller's teacher, a letter with a similar sentiment. Bell argued that it is "difficult for us to trace the origin of our expressions" and "we are all of us … unconscious plagiarists, especially in childhood" – a notion neurologist Oliver Sacks has affirmed more than a century later with his recent insights on memory and plagiarism, and one the poet Kenneth Goldsmith has institutionalized with his class on "uncreative writing."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think in the case of students, most plagiarism investigations center around verbatim or nearly-verbatim passages without attribution. Sometimes, as in the case of dissertation research, focus may be placed upon suspected and non-cited earlier ideas and possibly mathematical proofs that are sometimes relatively easy to reformulate in slightly different ways.

The non-cited verbatim plagiarisms of other writers and composers of course are much more difficult to justify on ethical or legal grounds. So are the reformulated plagiarisms of ideas, although these are much more difficult to detect and prosecute in court.


"Admissions Weakness Exposed at Oxford University in the United Kingdom," Inside Higher Ed, February 8, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/02/08/qt#219531

The case of a first-year student at the University of Oxford, apparently admitted courtesy of a high school and testing record he didn't earn, has led to increased scrutiny of the admissions system there, Times Higher Education reported. The student in question reported 10 A-grade A-level exams, a notable accomplishment in the British system -- except that it was false. A teacher's recommendation was also forged. The Times Higher reported that the student, who has been suspended, was admitted through a program for applicants who are not sponsored by schools, and that questions have been raised by critics about whether such applicants' materials receive enough scrutiny.


June 12, 2010 message from Keith Weidkamp

From: Keith Weidkamp [mailto:weidkamp@surewest.net
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2010 7:26 PM
To: Jensen, Robert
Subject:

Hello Professor Jensen

I have followed ACEM and the many daily contributions  for over two years.  On two occasions I have commented back to individual professors.  My name is Keith Weidkamp and I am a retired Professor of Accounting at Sierra College in Rocklin California.  For over 20 years I have worked with Professor Leland Mansuetti, and for the past five years also with Professor Perry Edwards, developing, testing, and also publishing web-based practice sets, homework problems, study and review packets for Principles, Financial, Managerial, and Intermediate Accounting.  We have with limited advertising and a few conference presentations  added many schools to our adoption list.  Texas A & M, Clemson, Trinity, Chicago, Mary Harden Baylor, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and many other smaller colleges and universities currently use one or more of our software products 

As recently as yesterday and quite often over the last few months there have been comments and information regarding cheating and plagiarismOver the past two years we have been working on and have developed and tested two web-based systems for Accounting practice sets and for Accounting homework  that virtually eliminates the copying of work, and answers to questions and project examinations.   In our first presentation a month ago at the National TACTYC Convention in Phoenix, as the word got out regarding our new algorithmic products and software, we had over 50 Four-year and Two-year schools, from across the country ask for more information and an on-line demonstration.

Our new web-based software has added new opportunity to control a problem that has been an unfortunate issue to deal with for many years.   While realizing that AECM is not a place to advertise,  since the focus of AECM is Accounting Education and Multi-Media,  I am asking you what you would recommend I do to get this information out to our large group professors as an informational item.  

Attached you will find two information documents that outline our two new Algorithmic products.  We have now two algorithmic practice sets and a full set of algorithmic topical problems  (25 topics). Both of these products have the same key features.  

On all practice sets each student starts with a different set of beginning balances.  A unique set of check figures is available for each student user.  Answers to key questions at the mid-point and at the end of the project, are different for each student.    With a single click an Instructor can view the work file of any student.  With two clicks an instructor can print a copy of the student's graded examination showing their answers and the correct answers for that student.

On the Accounting Coach homework  and/or study software, there are 25 topics for a student to choose from.  Students are provided unlimited practice and Teacher Help screens for every topic and sub-topic.  Every homework assignment ends with a short 5-8 minute algorithmic examination.  This exam is scored and the grade automatically entered into the instructor grade book.   A well-prepared student can complete a topic assignment in 15-20 minutes.  A student needing more assistance can continue the algorithmic practice and retake the algorithmic examination as many times as necessary to achieve a satisfactory score.

Special Features of this Software:

1.  Cheating and copying others work is eliminated.

2.  All student work is automatically graded and the score recorded into the instructor

     grade book.

3.  Each practice set and problem has unlimited opportunity for practice, assistance,

      reinforcement and learning.

4.  Student clerical time as well as homework and practice time is significantly

      reduced.

5.  Instructor grading and recording time is almost completely eliminated.

6.  Direct on-line support is provided from the Professor Authors!

The three authors of this software have a combined classroom experience of over 75 years.  They use this software daily in their classes.  Over 500 students use this software each semester at their school. 

The new web-based software, with all of the special improvements not possible in a CD version, has eliminated all publishing, shipping, and markup costs.   All products can be purchased via PayPal for just $19.95 per student copy.

June 13, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Keith,

I am forwarding your message to the AECM, because I think what you’ve accomplished is probably valuable to some instructors although not to the extent that I buy into your claim that “cheating and copying others’ work is eliminated.”

Your pedagogy is very limited in that it does not allow for creative solutions that differ from your templates. This is why some instructors assign term papers rather than practice sets. But term papers both increase and decrease opportunities to cheat.

And you’ve not eliminated advanced forms of cheating.

For one thing, students have very clever ways of communicating with one another and with answer files ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#NewKindOfCheating

In very large classes, it is often possible for surrogate students to pretend to be somebody else.

Adopters of Your Practice Sets May Have a False Sense of Security
You’re assuming that clever students (possibly advanced students) will not write answer templates such as Excel workbooks that are archived (e.g., in a fraternity’s database). Those templates may be just as efficient in finding solutions as your own answer templates that you use for grading purposes.

It has long been a practice of case-method teachers to recycle cases with changed numbers and sometimes even changed contexts and assumptions. However, students still find value added in having archives of the solutions answers of former versions of a case. This is one of the things that makes case method teaching very frustrating. It’s almost imperative to continually use new cases rather than recycled cases.

Seeking Creative Solutions Both Increases and Decreases Opportunities to Cheat
I defy anybody or any software from detecting all forms of plagiarism. Out of trillions upon trillions of pages of writings in history, a student can simply type in a sentence or a paragraph or an entire page of writing that has a 99% probability of being detected.

Unless somebody, like Tournitin, archives student term papers and problem solutions, plagiarism detection has more than a 99% chance of failing. For example, if a student writes an unpublished essay at Florida International that is never archived anywhere except in one professor’s brain, I defy you to detect its plagiarism in unpublished term papers elsewhere in the world.

Turnitin and other plagiarism services attempt to archive unpublished writings so that such works are not so easily plagiarized ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#Detection

Even Turnitin cannot archive more than a miniscule fraction of writings that have never been digitized.

The Best Way to Prevent Cheating
The real trick for professors is to assign unique projects where finding works or people to plagiarize will be an education in and of itself. For example, if I assign a project on accounting for contango swaps in Iceland I’ve eliminated 99.99999999999% of writings that can be safely plagiarized in a student term project at the University of Southern California. And I defy you to find a term paper writing service that will take this project on at reasonable prices. Of course there is an epsilon chance of finding something or somebody to plagiarize, but like I said doing this may be an education in and of itself. And I think cheating on this project will be more difficult than writing an Excel workbook for solution templates to your practice cses.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


Where does responsibility for plagiarism stop?
Is a sole author responsible for the plagiarism of assistants?
Are all co-authors responsible for the plagiarism of one of the co-authors?
Is a student responsible for plagiarism caused by the student's hired assistant?
(one of Bob Jensen's former students offered this line of defense)

Including Plagiarism
"Ward Churchill Loses Again," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 11, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/09/11/colorado-supreme-court-rejects-ward-churchills-appeal

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal in which Ward Churchill sought to get back his job as a tenured professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The court's 50-page decision focused on whether the University of Colorado had acted in a "quasi-judicial" fashion when it reviewed charges of research misconduct against Churchill. The state's highest court ruled that the university did act in that way, and so was entitled to immunity from being sued, much as judges are immune from being sued for their decisions. The university's Board of Regents fired Churchill in 2007, based on the findings of a faculty panel, which found that he had engaged in repeated instances of research misconduct -- including plagiarism, fabrication and falsification.

Churchill has maintained from the start that the investigation and his dismissal were motivated by outrage over his political views, and that the university had violated his First Amendment rights and taken away his academic freedom. The Colorado Supreme Court's ruling didn't weigh these claims directly, but several times in the opinion cited evidence that the university's procedures gave Churchill important due process rights and reflected the legitimate needs of a university to assure professional conduct by its faculty members.

As the Churchill case has dragged on, the various rulings have had an impact beyond the plaintiff. In fact, several college associations had urged the Colorado Supreme Court to rule as it did, arguing that failure to respect the university's quasi-judicial role would open up many other universities to lawsuits by anyone found to have engaged in research misconduct.

But some civil liberties and faculty groups -- including the Colorado chapter of the American Association of University Professors -- backed Churchill. They argued that affirming the university's quasi-judicial status would effectively enable public universities to fire controversial professors without appropriate opportunity for them to bring grievances to the courts. Both the college groups and the faculty associations argued in their briefs to the court that academic freedom was at stake in the case, although they argued for opposite outcomes.

In Monday's ruling, the Colorado Supreme Court noted the lengthy process that the university used to investigate the allegations against Churchill and to determine that dismissal was appropriate. "The proceedings against Churchill took more than two years and included five separate opportunities for Churchill to present witnesses, cross-examine adverse witnesses, and argue his positions," the Supreme Court opinion said. "It possessed the characteristics of an adversary proceeding and was functionally comparable to a judicial proceeding." For this reason, the justices ruled, the university was acting sufficiently closely to the judicial function of government that it was immune from being sued.

The ruling cited a series of procedural and fairness tests in case law to determine whether the Board of Regents acted in a judicial manner, and said that the governing board met all the relevant tests. While that finding was the crucial one, various parts of the decision also suggested that the Supreme Court viewed the findings against Churchill to be reasonable ones. For instance, the Supreme Court said that the trial judge in the case -- who rejected Churchill's request for reinstatement -- had acted on the basis of "credible evidence" about Churchill's conduct.

An Inflammatory Essay and Its Aftermath

The University of Colorado hired Churchill in 1991, and promoted him to full professor in 1997. He was active in Native American political movements, and gave lectures on college campuses nationwide -- regularly criticizing U.S. policies but doing so largely without attention in the mainstream press.

Then early in 2005, he became a flashpoint in the culture wars. He had been invited to give a talk at Hamilton College -- the kind of speaking invitation Churchill had accepted for years. Hamilton professors unhappy about the invitation circulated some of his writings, including the now-notorious "little Eichmanns" speech in which he derided the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11.

The attention led both to calls for Colorado to fire him and to reports of incidents of research misconduct. The university said it couldn't fire him for the essay, but could investigate the allegations -- and that started the process that was reviewed by the Colorado Supreme Court.

David A. Lane, Churchill's lawyer, issued a statement blasting the decision and vowing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Continued in article

Ward Churchill, who is suing the University of Colorado at Boulder to get his job back, admitted on Tuesday that portions of a book he edited and wrote parts of were plagiarized, but he said he wasn't responsible for doing so, 9 News reported. "Plagiarism occurred," Churchill said in reference to the writings. But Churchill (who prefers to be called "Doctor" Churchill) said that others who were involved in the project did the plagiarizing and that he was unaware of it. Churchill has generally not admitted that any plagiarism occurred in his work, arguing that minor errors have been stretched by the university to fire him for his controversial political views. University of Colorado officials also asked Churchill on Tuesday why he had indicated that he wanted to be called "Dr. Churchill" when he has only a master's degree. Churchill responded that he has an honorary doctorate and asked the lawyer, "You wish to dishonor it?" The Denver Post noted that while there were some sharp exchanges in the testimony, much of it was detailed discussion of sources and the details of scholarly writing, and that the judge had to call a recess at one point when a juror appeared to be having difficulty staying awake.
"Churchill: 'Plagiarism Occurred' (But He Didn't Do It)

Jensen Comment
If Doctor Churchill pursues this babe-in-the woods line of defense it seems to me he should name the plagiarists who led him on.

One of the most liberal academic associations is the highly liberal Modern Language Association. However, even the MLA could not muster up a vote critical of the firing of Ward Churchill by the University of Colorado.
While material distributed by those seeking to condemn Churchill’s firing portrayed him favorably, and as a victim of the right wing, some of those who criticized the pro-Churchill effort at the meeting are long-time experts in Native American studies and decidedly not conservative.
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, December 31, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/12/31/mla

Question
What does a leading Native American scholar think of Ward Churchill's scholarship and integrity?

And this was the judgment of Churchill's academic peers. UCLA professor Russell Thornton, a Cherokee tribe member whose work was misrepresented by Churchill, said "I don't see how the University of Colorado can keep him with a straight face," calling his material on smallpox a "fabrication" of history, and accusing him of "gross, gross scholarly misconduct." Real American Indian history, he told the Rocky Mountain News, is vitally important, not "a bunch of B.S. that someone made up." R.G. Robertson, author of Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian and another scholar who has accused Churchill of misrepresenting his work, says that he's "happy that [he was fired], that he's been found out, and by his peers—meaning other university people—and been called what he is, a plagiarizer and a liar." Thomas Brown, a professor of sociology at Lamar University who has also investigated Churchill's smallpox research, said his work on the subject is "fabricated almost entirely from scratch."
Michael C. Moynihan, "Ward of the State:  Why the state of Colorado was right to sack Ward Churchill," Reason Magazine, August 1, 2007 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/121682.html

A huge factor in the granting of tenure to Ward Churchill was purportedly his affirmative action claim of being Native American.
Bob Jensen's threads on Doctor Churchill, the "Cherokee Wannabe" who most likely does not have drop of Native American blood, are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HypocrisyChurchill.htm

 

"Ward Churchill Will Get Another Day in Court," Inside Higher Ed, June 4, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/06/04/ward-churchill-will-get-another-day-court

Jensen Comment
The outcome of this appeal could have wide-ranging implications in terms of a college's authority to terminate a plagiarizing tenured faculty member. I hope that the University of Colorado appeals this to the U.S. Supreme Court if the Colorado Supreme Court rules in favor of Churchill.

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

Bob Jensen's threads on Ward Churchill are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HypocrisyChurchill.htm


New Ways of Cheating

Scary!
"Chinese Teens Have Found Remarkable High-Tech Ways To Cheat On Tests," by Kayla Ruble, Business Insider, June 14, 2014 ---
http://www.businessinsider.com/high-tech-ways-to-cheat-2014-6

China’s students have apparently developed skills for building cheating devices to use during an SAT-like exam that look like they have been pulled straight from a James Bond movie.

Ahead of China’s massive college entrance exam — the Gaokao — that took place on Saturday and Sunday, local media outlets released photos of cheating devices confiscated by police around the country in recent weeks.

The photos show intricate cheating equipment, a majority of which were created by students in the southwestern city of Chengdu before taking a different test, the National Professional and Technological Personnel Qualification Examination.

Around 40 students, all originally from Shanghai, were reportedly caught with the devices, which were disguised to look like everyday objects.

Some of the uncovered equipment included miniature cameras installed into both a pen and a set of glasses, as well as wireless earphones resembling small earplugs. In one instance, a grey tank top was wired with a plug capable of connecting to a mobile phone that could be used to send out information. There was also a camera installed in the shirt.

“Cheating happens in every country, but it’s extremely rampant in China," Yong Zhao, the presidential chair at the University of Oregon's College of Education, told VICE News. "This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.”

Cheating has been an enduring issue in China, where the emphasis placed on standardized tests can create high-pressure environments.

“For over a thousand years China has been using tests,” Zhao said. “Standardized tests tend to be the only way for upward social mobility, passing the test has been a way to change people’s lives.”

Ahead of this year’s exam, which was taken by nearly 9.4 million students across the country, Beijing was preparing to send police out to monitor and handle cheating incidents.

In fact, students practically expect to be able to cheat on exams.

During protests last summer against a crackdown on Gaokao cheating, students chanted, "We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat."

The Gaokao is China’s SAT or A-level equivalent, with many students' chances at matriculating into college reliant on their exam results.

One of this year's essay questions from a Shanghai version of the test translated into English reads: "You can choose your own road and method to make it across the desert, which means you are free; you have no choice but finding a way to make it across the desert, which makes you not free.Choose your own angle and title to write an article that is not less than 800 words."


Read more:
https://news.vice.com/article/high-stakes-testing-led-chinese-teens-to-use-spy-like-cheating-equipment#ixzz34iYm3jmJ
 

"Custom Writing Service Says Students 'No Longer Have to Face the Burden of Academic Coursework'," by Susan Jones, CNS News, January 20, 2014 ---
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/custom-writing-service-says-students-no-longer-have-face-burden-academic#

A Dallas-based company that writes research papers, essays and other classroom assignments -- so students don't have to -- says it is doing so well that it has expanded its staff from just a few writers to more than 100 in the past year.

The company bills itself as the one "students trust to write professional, in-depth and plagiarism-free essays that receive the highest grades for all levels of coursework...so they no longer have to face the burden of academic coursework."

It says the writing is done for an "affordable" fee; and it has foreign writers on staff for non-American students.

In a news release announcing the "custom writing service" for students in the United States, the company includes the following testimonial:

"I enjoyed using the service," one student is quoted as saying. "The paper was written excellent (sic)...My professor was satisfied, and so am I."

Other testimonials on the company's website read:

"I've sent the paper to evaluation first 'cause I wasn't sure if they can find a writer with a relevant academic background...But yes, they did! It seems like she read my thoughts and written the paper (sic) as if I did it myself, lol :-)"

And this: "Cool essay. Couldn’t been done better (sic). Just noticed a few typos, but that’s okay."

The company offers discounts of 5 percent after ten orders; and 15 percent after 20 orders.

In August, President Obama announced his plan to tie federal financial aid to colleges and universities that do well in a yet-to-be-announced college rating system. As CNSNews.com reported at the time, the rating system means the government will define what a good college is. - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/custom-writing-service-says-students-no-longer-have-face-burden-academic#sthash.dAvEF9OY.dpuf

A Dallas-based company that writes research papers, essays and other classroom assignments -- so students don't have to -- says it is doing so well that it has expanded its staff from just a few writers to more than 100 in the past year.

The company bills itself as the one "students trust to write professional, in-depth and plagiarism-free essays that receive the highest grades for all levels of coursework...so they no longer have to face the burden of academic coursework."

It says the writing is done for an "affordable" fee; and it has foreign writers on staff for non-American students.

In a news release announcing the "custom writing service" for students in the United States, the company includes the following testimonial:

"I enjoyed using the service," one student is quoted as saying. "The paper was written excellent (sic)...My professor was satisfied, and so am I."

Other testimonials on the company's website read:

"I've sent the paper to evaluation first 'cause I wasn't sure if they can find a writer with a relevant academic background...But yes, they did! It seems like she read my thoughts and written the paper (sic) as if I did it myself, lol :-)"

And this: "Cool essay. Couldn’t been done better (sic). Just noticed a few typos, but that’s okay."

The company offers discounts of 5 percent after ten orders; and 15 percent after 20 orders.

Continued in article

"The Shadow Scholar:  The man who writes your students' papers tells his story," by Ed Dante, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-Scholar/125329/

Jensen Comment
One such company in Dallas is
http://ownessays.com/
I did not find writers listing knowledge of accounting, but some advertise expertise in finance and global finance.

I don't trust the promise of "no plagiarism" although the plagiarism may be very clever.

Apparently a large part of the business is writing customized college admissions essays.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 

 


Differences Between Students Who Cheat Versus Students Who Don't Cheat

"Study Examines The Psychology Behind Students Who Don't Cheat," Science Daily, August 18, 2008 --- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080817223646.htm

While many studies have examined cheating among college students, new research looks at the issue from a different perspective – identifying students who are least likely to cheat.

The study of students at one Ohio university found that students who scored high on measures of courage, empathy and honesty were less likely than others to report their cheating in the past – or intending to cheat in the future.

Moreover, those students who reported less cheating were also less likely to believe that their fellow students regularly committed academic dishonesty.

People who don’t cheat “have a more positive view of others,” said Sara Staats, co-author of the research and professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s Newark campus.

“They don’t see as much difference between themselves and others.”

In contrast, those who scored lower on courage, empathy and honesty – and who are more likely to report that they have cheated -- see other students as cheating much more often than they do, rationalizing their own behavior, Staats said.

The issue is important because most recent studies suggest cheating is common on college campuses. Typically, more than half – and sometimes up to 80 percent – of college students report that they have cheated.

Staats conducted the research with Julie Hupp, assistant professor of psychology and Heidi Wallace, an undergraduate psychology student, both at Ohio State-Newark.

They presented their results Aug. 16 and 17 in Boston at two poster sessions at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Staats said this continuing research project aimed to find out more about the students who don’t cheat – a group that Staats and her colleagues called “academic heroes.”

“Students who don’t cheat seem to be in the minority, and have plenty of opportunities to see their peers cheat and receive the rewards with little risk of punishment,” Staats said. “We see avoiding cheating as a form of everyday heroism in an academic setting.”

The research presented at APA involved two separate but related studies done among undergraduates at Ohio State’s Newark campus. One study included 383 students and another 73 students.

The students completed measures that examined their bravery, honesty and empathy. The researchers separated those who scored in the top half of those measures and contrasted them with those in the bottom half.

Those who scored in the top half – whom the researchers called “academic heroes” – were less likely to have reported cheating in the past 30 days and the last year compared to the non-heroes. They also indicated they would be less likely to cheat in the next 30 days in one of their classes.

The academic heroes also reported they would feel more guilt if they cheated compared to non-heroes.

“The heroes didn’t rationalize cheating the way others did, they didn’t come up with excuses and say it was OK because lots of other students were doing it,” Staats said.

Staats said one reason to study cheating at colleges and universities is to try to figure out ways to reduce academic dishonesty. The results from this research suggest a good target audience for anti-cheating messages.

When the researchers asked students if they intended to cheat in the future, nearly half -- 47 percent -- said they did not intend to cheat but nearly one in four -- 24 percent -- agreed or strongly agreed that they would cheat.

The remaining 29 percent indicated that they were uncertain whether or not they would cheat.

“These 29 percent are like undecided voters – they would be an especially good focus for intervention,” Staats said. “Our results suggest that interventions may have a real opportunity to influence at least a quarter of the student population.”

Staats said more work needs to be done to identify the best ways to prevent cheating. But this research, with its focus on positive psychology, suggests one avenue, she said.

“We need to do more to recognize integrity among our students, and find ways to tap into the bravery, honest and empathy that was found in the academic heroes in our study,” she said.

Jensen Comment
I think cheating in school is much like accounting fraud in adulthood. The psychological factors interact heavily with situational factors such as the "tone at the top," particular pressures at the time, crowd psychology, and opportunity. In particular there's something to the statement that "since others were doing it, I also tried it."

Note in particular how many athletes, especially baseball players, succumbed to use of illegal performance enhancing drugs because they were aware that other top players were using such drugs.

There is also the circumstance of easy opportunity. I've previously mentioned that one daydream I repeatedly had, when I was riding my horse through about 100,000 acres of woods north of Tallahassee, centered on what I would do if I found suitcase full of cash hidden in those woods. This is analogous to having fraternity files of former examinations given by a professors who tend to repeat old questions and problems. Students who in most circumstances would not cheat might succumb under particularly easy opportunities that give them somewhat of an unfair advantage. Some might not even see looking at old examinations as cheating. Alas I never found a suitcase full of money.

An accounting professor at Trinity University was disturbed to learn that one student had purchased (on eBay) the examination test bank for the textbook she was using in a course. Some students shared using that test bank including some students who probably would not have cheated if the act had not become so darned easy and convenient.

One of the negative externalities of the Internet is that students now have more and more opportunities to cheat that did not exist when information at their fingertips did not double every 12 hours on the Internet.


"Does Income Inequality Promote Cheating?" Inside Higher Ed, April 5, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/04/05/does-income-inequality-promote-cheating


"Why We Take Risks — It's the Dopamine," Alice Park, Time Magazine, December 30, 2008 --- http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1869106,00.html
As quoted by Jim Mahar on January 2, 2008 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

A new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City suggests a biological explanation for why certain people tend to live life on the edge — it involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, the brain's feel-good chemical. 

Dopamine is responsible for making us feel satisfied after a filling meal, happy when our favorite football team wins ....It's also responsible for the high we feel when we do something daring,...skydiving out of a plane. In the risk taker's brain, researchers report in the Journal of Neuroscience, there appear to be fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors — meaning that daredevils' brains are more saturated with the chemical, predisposing them to keep taking risks and chasing the next high.....

The findings support Zald's theory that people who take risks get an unusually big hit of dopamine each time they have a novel experience, because their brains are not able to inhibit the neurotransmitter adequately. That blast makes them feel good, so they keep returning for the rush from similarly risky or new behaviors, just like the addict seeking the next high...."It's a piece of the puzzle to understanding why we like novelty, and why we get addicted to substances ... Dopamine is an important piece of reward.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Be that as it may, some risk takers are merely trying to recover or at least average out losses which, if successful, is more of a relief than a thrill. The St. Petersburg Paradox may be more as a recovery strategy than a thrill --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Petersburg_paradox
Bernie Madoff probably got dopamine surges from his villas, Penthouses, and thrills of scamming investors, but at some point he might've been speculating recklessly in options derivatives in a panic to save his butt. The same might be said for any gambling addict who first gets "doped up" on the edge, and then bets more recklessly by betting the farm at miserable odds when "sobered up."

Apparently Bernie is now going to plead insanity. I think that's great defense as long as the court insists on long-term confinement as a pauper in Belleview rather than a posh psychiatric hospital --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellevue_Hospital

This may be a reason why some students, certainly not all, cheat for a better grade. Just the thrill of getting away with breaking the rules may lead to a dopamine surge just like a person who shoplifts an item that she/he neither needs nor wants. In my small hometown in Iowa, the wife of a high school coach, an other very dignified woman, was addicted to shop lifting items that she really didn't need or want. Our coach made an arrangement with downtown merchants to simply bill him for items that she thought she purloined without payment. The merchants kept a sharp and silent watch on her whenever she entered their stores.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


Plagiarism on Wikipedia

Hi Richard,

How could there not be some plagiarism on Wikipedia or any other encyclopedia for that matter having thousands of module authors or, in the case of Wikipedia, millions of anonymous authors?

A problem for hard copy encyclopedias is that they are commercial (seeking profits) and printed on paper such that detected plagiarisms cannot be eliminated in the books that are already shelved around the world. Wikipedia has two advantages. Firstly, it's non-profit and secondly it's only online such that detected plagiarisms can be, and are, eliminated immediately. Another advantage is that in most instances of plagiarism online, the legal practice is generally to first request removal before filing any lawsuits. Lawsuits are usually filed when there are demonstrable money damages for breach of copyright, especially continued breach of copyright. This most likely, in the case of Wikipedia, is very hard to demonstrate to a sufficient degree in court to justify the cost of an army of lawyers needed to take it to court.

The fact that YouTube and Wikipedia continue to survive indicates that lawsuits have not yet destroyed these services. Of course YouTube, unlike Wikipedia, is a for-profit site owned by Google. Wikipedia is non-profit. I suspect that keeping porn and personal libel stuff out of these two sites is a bigger problem than plagiarism.


There is a research site called Wikipedia Watch ---
http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/ 

This site examines the phenomenon of Wikipedia. We are interested in them because they have a massive, unearned influence on what passes for reliable information. Search engines rank their pages near the top. While Wikipedia itself does not run ads, they are the most-scraped site on the web. Scrapers need content — any content will do — in order to carry ads from Google and other advertisers. This entire effect is turning Wikipedia into a generator of spam. It is primarily Google's fault, since Wikipedia might find it difficult to address the issue of scraping even if they wanted to. Google doesn't care; their ad money comes right off the top.

For example, it did not take long, using the Google and Yahoo engines, to find 52 different domains that scraped Wikipedia's page on rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Interestingly, Google listed more than four times the number of duplicate scrapes than Yahoo. This could be related to the fact that 83 percent of these scraped pages carry ads — almost always ads from Google. Some of these scrapes are template-generated across different domains, suggesting that they are created by programs. At that point zombie PCs might be dispatched to click on the ads.

Jimmy Wales, the man behind Wikipedia, probably approves of this practice. After he made a fortune in futures trading, he started up Bomis.com in the mid-1990s. Bomis was one of the first sites to scrape the ad-free Open Directory Project, and turn it into a huge mass of paid links and ads, mixed together with porn.

Another problem is that most of the administrators at Wikipedia prefer to exercise their police functions anonymously. The process itself is open, but the identities of the administrators are usually cloaked behind a username and a Gmail address. (Gmail does not show an originating IP address in the email headers, which means that you cannot geolocate the originator, or even know whether one administrator is really a different person than another administrator.) If an admin has a political or personal agenda, he can do a fair amount of damage with the special editing tools available to him. The victim may not even find out that this is happening until it's too late. From Wikipedia, the material is spread like a virus by search engines and other scrapers, and the damage is amplified by orders of magnitude. There is no recourse for the victim, and no one can be held accountable. Once it's all over the web, no one has the power to put it back into the bottle.

Studies suggest plagiarism at about 1-3% for Wikipedia modules but I don't put much faith on this estimate because Wikipedia is such a dynamic and changing database.

There is also an enormous denominator effect due to the massive volume of sentences (billions and billions?) that are not plagiarized such that dividing by such a number  is almost like dividing by infinity.

Here's an example on a Wikipedia plagiarism detection study ---
http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/psamples.html

. . .

Another reason my one percent figure is conservative is that my average of 2.38 sentences per article undoubtedly missed a lot of plagiarized content. If the entire Wikipedia article was plagiarized, I should have caught it. But frequently a couple of paragraphs only are plagiarized, and my sentences could have been from non-plagiarized portions of the Wikipedia article. Finally, I assumed that the original content was still online, and that Google indexed it, and that Google's algorithm performed well enough to produce it.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 

 

 


 

Combating Plagiarism:  Is the Internet Causing More Students to Copy --- http://library.cqpress.com/images/cqres/pdfs/color/cqr20030919C.pdf 

This is a very comprehensive CQ Researcher edition dated September 19, 2003

THE ISSUES

775   Has the Internet increased the incidence of plagiarism among students?
          Should teachers use plagiarism-detection services?
          Are news organizations doing enough to guard against plagiarism and other types of journalistic fraud?

BACKGROUND

782   Imitation Encouraged
   
      Plagiarism had not always been regarded as unethical.

784   Rise of Copyright
   
      Attitudes about plagiarism began to change after the printing press was invented.

785   'Fertile Ground'
   
      Rising college admissions in the mid-1800s led to more writing assignments--and more chances to cheat.

786   Second Chances
   
      Some journalists who were caught plagiarizing recovered from their mistakes.

CURRENT SITUATION

787   Plagiarism and Politics
   
      Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., is among the politicians who got caught plagiarizing.

787   'Poisonous Atmosphere'
   
      Some journalists say news organizations overreacted following the Jayson Blair affair.

788   Action by Educators
   
      U.S. schools have taken a variety of steps to stop plagiarism.

OUTLOOK

790   Internet Blamed
         Educators and journalists alike say the Internet fosters plagiarism.

SIDEBARS AND GRAPHICS

776   College Students Consider Plagiarism Wrong
   
      Ninety percent view copying as unethical.

777   How much Plagiarism?
   
      Plagiarism is probably on the rise, although it appears to have remained stable over the past 40 years.

779   Confronting Plagiarism Poses Risks
   
      Students sometimes challenge teachers who accuse them.

783   Chronology
   
      Key events since 1790.

784   Rogue Reporter at The New York Times
      
   Jayson Blair didn't fool everybody.

789   At Issue
   
      Should educators use commercial services to combat plagiarism?

FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

792   For More Information
   
      Organizations to contact.

793   Bibliography
   
      Selected sources used.

794   The Next Step
   
      Additional articles from current periodicals.


"Dissertation for Sale: A Cautionary Tale," by Manuel R. Torres, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Dissertation-for-Sale-A/132401/


"A THOUGHTFUL NEW BOOK ON THE MARKET," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 9, 2013 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-thoughtful-new-book-on-market.html


The Lawsuits are "Boundless"
"Free-Textbook Company Rewrites Its Content Following Publishers’ Lawsuit," by Jake New, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 8, 2013 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/free-textbook-company-rewrites-its-content-following-publishers-lawsuit/42809?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A free-textbook company that was sued last year by three major textbook publishers has now rewritten the content it was accused of stealing.

Pearson, Cengage Learning, and Macmillan Higher Education filed a joint complaint in March 2012 against the company, known as Boundless. The publishers asserted that the way Boundless creates its textbooks violates their copyrights. In a process called “alignment,” students select the traditional text they need, and Boundless pulls together open content to create free versions of the books.

The publishers say the resulting products too closely mirror the original texts, specifically the way the new books are organized. Matt Oppenheim, a lawyer representing the publishers, said Boundless was simply stealing the substance of his clients’ textbooks.

“They were stripping out the entirety of a book’s structure and organization, topic by topic, subtopic by subtopic, and using it to create a skeleton that they then told the world was a version of a publisher’s book,” he said.

The lawsuit, he said, would continue.

Ariel Diaz, chief executive of Boundless, said the rewritten versions were just part of a continuing process of improving the company’s products, and were not a response to the lawsuit. The company stands by the original versions of its textbooks and its defense, he said.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


"Dozens of MBA Applicants (at Penn State and UCLA) Tossed Over Plagiarism," by Louis Lavelle, Bloomberg Business Week, February 07, 2013 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-07/dozens-of-mba-applicants-tossed-over-plagiarism

Jensen Comment
Think of this as good news that the title does not state "thousands."

But it's more likely tens of thousands when extrapolated to all MBA programs.

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 


Wikipedia Policy on Quotations

Hi Eileen,

You might want to read the FAQs at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ten_things_you_may_not_know_about_Wikipedia
This includes the Following:

Everyone can use Wikipedia's work with a few conditions

Wikipedia has taken a cue from the free software community (which includes projects like GNU, Linux and Mozilla Firefox) and has done away with traditional copyright restrictions on our content. Instead, we've adopted what is known as a "free content license" (specifically, a choice between the CC-BY-SA and the GFDL): all text and composition created by our users is and will always remain free for anyone to copy, modify, and redistribute. We only insist that you credit the contributors and that you do not impose new restrictions on the work or on any improvements you make to it. Many of the images, videos, and other media on the site are also under free licenses, or in the public domain. Just check a file's description page to see its licensing terms.

 

Then if you really want to be confused read my threads on the DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

Note that I am not a copyright lawyer, But in my humble opinion there's a huge difference between reproducing parts of works by commercial authors versus non-commercial authors. In the case of non-commercial authors like myself copyright holders almost always contact these authors to cease and desist without commencing frightful lawsuits. There are millions of quotations at my Website and only twice did somebody ask me to remove quotations. One was a a guy cleared of fraud charges who no longer wanted  newspaper quotations on the Web linking his name with allegations of fraud. The other was a woman who thought my quotations of her work were too long. After I removed them, however, she politely contacted me requesting that I put them back into my Web pages.

I do follow certain personal guidelines. I rarely quote an entire piece without permission. Yeah there are times when I quote very short newspaper items like editorial opinions in their entirety, but the WSJ never seems to mind.

There are some things that cannot be reproduced in part such as cartoons. I generally avoid putting cartoons at my Website. Those that you find an my Website were copied with permission. I'm not quite so fussy about personal email messages where I do forward cartoons, but if I'm going to put them into a Web server I become much more cautious.

As a rule copyright holders cannot prevent you from quoting their published works as long as the quotations are short in length. One of the main reasons is that authors cannot use copyright law to put their works above criticism. Sometimes it's really not effective to criticize a work without quoting some parts of that work.

Audio and video reproductions have their own complications. Generally the DMCA allows 30 second reproductions without having to seek permission in every instance. This allows radio and television shows to reproduce short blurbs without having to seek permission in every instance. But the DMCA makes exceptions if the particular 30 seconds is the only part of great value in the entire piece such as a few seconds of video of a Dallas parade showing the bullet passing through the head of President Kennedy.

Lastly writers like me should beware of becoming too complacent about getting away with long quotations. It's a little like overstating deductions to charities on a tax return. Just because you get away with such overstatements annually for 40 years does not make it legal. Also just because copyright holders do not complain about my lengthy quotations does not mean that I've not set a bad example for others to follow.

On the other hand, I've also encountered others who become overly cautious about copyright laws. I view them as drivers education teachers who never exceed 45 miles per hour on an Interstate highway. They set a bad example, especially for their drivers education students, even if what they do is perfectly legal.


esides Users, Who Checks on Widipedia Modules?

Too Much of a Good Thing
"U. of Toronto Class Assignment Backfires in Clash on Wikipedia," by Nick Santis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2013 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/u-of-toronto-professors-class-assignment-backfires-in-clash-on-wikipedia/58225?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A University of Toronto professor’s assignment that asked students to add content to Wikipedia backfired when a contingent of the Web site’s volunteer editors began raising concerns about the raft of new contributions, according to the Canadian Press.

The professor, Steve Joordens, had asked the 1,900 students in his introductory-psychology course to add information to relevant Wikipedia pages, in an effort to improve the site and to teach the students about sharing information. But the new contributions alarmed a group of Wikipedia’s editors, who said the additions came from individuals who did not possess the relevant expertise.

Some community members raised concerns that the contributions had been plagiarized, and others called the assignment an unnecessary burden on the site’s editors. Mr. Joordens defended his students, saying that only a small fraction of their contributions had been flagged for problems, the news service reported.

A spokesman for the foundation that operates Wikipedia told the news service that the professor had had some preliminary discussions with the site’s leaders before carrying out the assignment, which the spokesman described as “experimental.” He said the Wikipedia community’s fast response is one of the factors that makes the site attractive to educators.

The professor said he would limit the number of students who take on such assignments in the future and make sure that they’re familiar with the site’s editing practices.

Bob Jensen's threads on Wikipedia checking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#WikipediaQuotations

 

 


"The Shadow Scholar:  The man who writes your students' papers tells his story," by Ed Dante, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-Scholar/125329/

November 15, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

Thanks for this interesting link.

This cheat cannot be an expert on everything without becoming a very good plagiarist, and even then he probably does not have a clue about specialty topics that can be plagiarized. My guess is that he's never heard of XBRL, FAS 138, IAS 9, FIN 48, or FAS 157. So as long as you stick to tough and narrow topics, chances are he will refuse offers to write on such technical topics.

Our worry is that when he or she retires from ghost writing, this cheat will form a sizable company comprised of technical experts that can write/plagiarize on many more specialized topics.

If fact it leads me to wonder how many students today are bypassing this cheat and are simply cutting and pasting from some of my documents at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 

Thanks,

Bob


"Custom Writing Service Says Students 'No Longer Have to Face the Burden of Academic Coursework'," by Susan Jones, CNS News, January 20, 2014 ---
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/custom-writing-service-says-students-no-longer-have-face-burden-academic#

A Dallas-based company that writes research papers, essays and other classroom assignments -- so students don't have to -- says it is doing so well that it has expanded its staff from just a few writers to more than 100 in the past year.

The company bills itself as the one "students trust to write professional, in-depth and plagiarism-free essays that receive the highest grades for all levels of coursework...so they no longer have to face the burden of academic coursework."

It says the writing is done for an "affordable" fee; and it has foreign writers on staff for non-American students.

In a news release announcing the "custom writing service" for students in the United States, the company includes the following testimonial:

"I enjoyed using the service," one student is quoted as saying. "The paper was written excellent (sic)...My professor was satisfied, and so am I."

Other testimonials on the company's website read:

"I've sent the paper to evaluation first 'cause I wasn't sure if they can find a writer with a relevant academic background...But yes, they did! It seems like she read my thoughts and written the paper (sic) as if I did it myself, lol :-)"

And this: "Cool essay. Couldn’t been done better (sic). Just noticed a few typos, but that’s okay."

The company offers discounts of 5 percent after ten orders; and 15 percent after 20 orders.

In August, President Obama announced his plan to tie federal financial aid to colleges and universities that do well in a yet-to-be-announced college rating system. As CNSNews.com reported at the time, the rating system means the government will define what a good college is. - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/custom-writing-service-says-students-no-longer-have-face-burden-academic#sthash.dAvEF9OY.dpuf

A Dallas-based company that writes research papers, essays and other classroom assignments -- so students don't have to -- says it is doing so well that it has expanded its staff from just a few writers to more than 100 in the past year.

The company bills itself as the one "students trust to write professional, in-depth and plagiarism-free essays that receive the highest grades for all levels of coursework...so they no longer have to face the burden of academic coursework."

It says the writing is done for an "affordable" fee; and it has foreign writers on staff for non-American students.

In a news release announcing the "custom writing service" for students in the United States, the company includes the following testimonial:

"I enjoyed using the service," one student is quoted as saying. "The paper was written excellent (sic)...My professor was satisfied, and so am I."

Other testimonials on the company's website read:

"I've sent the paper to evaluation first 'cause I wasn't sure if they can find a writer with a relevant academic background...But yes, they did! It seems like she read my thoughts and written the paper (sic) as if I did it myself, lol :-)"

And this: "Cool essay. Couldn’t been done better (sic). Just noticed a few typos, but that’s okay."

The company offers discounts of 5 percent after ten orders; and 15 percent after 20 orders.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One such company in Dallas is
http://ownessays.com/
I did not find writers listing knowledge of accounting, but some advertise expertise in finance and global finance.

I don't trust the promise of "no plagiarism" although the plagiarism may be very clever.

Apparently a large part of the business is writing customized college admissions essays.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 


"The Computer Stole My Homework -- and Sold It Through an Essay Mill," by Ben Terris, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2009 --- Click Here

Without her knowing it, a paper that Melinda Riebolt co-wrote while getting her M.B.A. was stolen and put up for sale. And, according to an article that USA Today reported last week, that same scenario has played out many times before.

The article discusses how some essay mills -- Web sites that provide written works for students -- surreptitiously steal work and then sell it for others to pass off as their own.

For the first time, however, those who find unauthorized postings of their work online may have a way to seek legal retribution. The article says a class-action lawsuit filed in 2006 is making its way through the courts, and one judge in Illinois has found a provider liable on six counts, including fraud and copyright infringement. That site is called RC2C Inc. and hosts at least nine sites that sell term papers.

Essay mills often provide their own written works.


Darn! It’s hard for us accounting professors to pad our resumes.
I could not find a single essay to purchase on accounting for derivative financial instruments or variable interest entities.

"Cheating Goes Global as Essay Mills Multiply," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Cheating-Goes-Global-as-Essay/32817/

The orders keep piling up. A philosophy student needs a paper on Martin Heidegger. A nursing student needs a paper on dying with dignity. An engineering student needs a paper on electric cars.

Screen after screen, assignment after assignment—hundreds at a time, thousands each semester. The students come from all disciplines and all parts of the country. They go to community colleges and Ivy League universities. Some want a 10-page paper; others request an entire dissertation.

This is what an essay mill looks like from the inside. Over the past six months, with the help of current and former essay-mill writers, The Chronicle looked closely at one company, tracking its orders, examining its records, contacting its customers. The company, known as Essay Writers, sells so-called custom essays, meaning that its employees will write a paper to a student's specifications for a per-page fee. These papers, unlike those plucked from online databases, are invisible to plagiarism-detection software.

Everyone knows essay mills exist. What's surprising is how sophisticated and international they've become, not to mention profitable.

In a previous era, you might have found an essay mill near a college bookstore, staffed by former students. Now you'll find them online, and the actual writing is likely to be done by someone in Manila or Mumbai. Just as many American companies are outsourcing their administrative tasks, many American students are perfectly willing to outsource their academic work.

And if the exponential surge in the number of essay mills is any indication, the problem is only getting worse. But who, exactly, is running these companies? And what do the students who use their services have to say for themselves?

Go to Google and type "buy an essay." Among the top results will be Best Essays, whose slogan is "Providing Students with Original Papers since 1997." It's a professional-looking site with all the bells and whistles: live chat, flashy graphics, stock photos of satisfied students. Best Essays promises to deliver "quality custom written papers" by writers with either a master's degree or a Ph.D. Prices range from $19.99 to $42.99 per page, depending on deadline and difficulty.

To place an order, you describe your assignment, the number of pages, and how quickly you need it. Then you enter your credit-card number, and, a couple of days later, the paper shows up in your in box. All you have to do is add your name to the top and turn it in. Simple.

What's going on behind the scenes, however, is another story.

The address listed on the site is in Reston, Va. But it turns out that's the address of a company that allows clients to rent "virtual office space" — in other words, to claim they're somewhere they're not. A previous address used by Best Essays was a UPS store in an upscale strip mall. And while the phone number for Best Essays has a Virginia area code, that line is registered to a company that allows customers to forward calls anywhere in the world over the Internet.

The same contact information appears on multiple other essay-mill Web sites with names like Rush Essay, Superior Papers, and Best Term Paper. All of these sites are operated by Universal Research Inc., also known as Essay Writers. The "US/Canada Headquarters" for the company, according to yet another Web site, is in Herndon, Va. An Essay Writers representative told a reporter that the company's North American headquarters was a seven-story building with an attached garage and valet parking.

That was a lie. Drive to the address, and you will find a perfectly ordinary suburban home with a neatly trimmed front lawn and a two-car garage. The owner of the house is Victor Guevara and, ever since he bought it in 2004, he has received lots of strange mail. For instance, a calendar recently arrived titled "A Stroll Through Ukrainian Cities," featuring photographs of notable buildings in Odessa and Yalta. Not all of the missives, however, have been so benign. Once a police officer came to the door bearing a complaint from a man in India who hadn't been paid by Essay Writers. Mr. Guevara explained to the officer that he had no idea what the man was talking about.

So why, of all the addresses in the United States, was Mr. Guevara's chosen? He's not sure, but he has a theory. Before he bought the house, a woman named Olga Mizyuk lived there for a short time. The previous owner, a friend of Mr. Guevara's, let her stay rent free because she was down on her luck and she promised to teach him Russian. Mr. Guevara believes it's all somehow connected to Ms. Mizyuk.

That theory is not too far-fetched. The state of Virginia listed Olga Mizyuk as the agent of Universal Research LLC when it was formed in 2006, though that registration has since lapsed (it's now incorporated in Virginia with a different agent). The company was registered for a time in Nevada, but that is no longer valid either. The managing member of the Nevada company, according to state records, was Yuriy Mizyuk. Mr. Guevara remembers that Ms. Mizyuk spoke of a son named Yuriy. Could that all be a coincidence?

Hiring in Manila

Call any of the company's several phone numbers and you will always get an answer. Weekday or weekend, day or night. The person on the other end will probably be a woman named Crystal or Stephanie. She will speak stilted, heavily accented English, and she will reveal nothing about who owns the company or where it is located. She will be unfailingly polite and utterly unhelpful.

If pressed, Crystal or Stephanie will direct callers to a manager named Raymond. But Raymond is almost always either out of the office or otherwise engaged. When, after weeks of calls, The Chronicle finally reached Raymond, he hung up the phone before answering any questions.

But while the company's management may be publicity shy, sources familiar with its operations were able to shed some light. Essay Writers appears to have been originally based in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. While the company claims to have been in business since 1997, its Web sites have only been around since 2004. In 2007 it opened offices in the Philippines, where it operates under the name Uniwork.

The company's customer-service center is located on the 17th floor of the Burgundy Corporate Tower in the financial district of Makati City, part of the Manila metropolitan area. It is from there that operators take orders and answer questions from college students. The company also has a suite on the 16th floor, where its marketing and computer staff members promote and maintain its Web sites. This involves making sure that when students search for custom essays, its sites are on the first page of Google results. (They're doing a good job, too. Recently two of the first three hits for "buy an essay" were Essay Writers sites.) One of its employees, who describes herself as a senior search-engine-optimization specialist at Uniwork, posted on her Twitter page that the company is looking for copy writers, Web developers, and link builders.

Some of the company's writers work in its Makati City offices. Essay Writers claims to have more than 200 writers, which may be true when freelancers are counted. A dozen or so, according to a former writer, work in the office, where they are reportedly paid between $1 and $3 a page — much less than its American writers, and a small fraction of the $20 or $30 per page customers shell out. The company is currently advertising for more writers, praising itself as "one of the most trusted professional writing companies in the industry."

It's difficult to know for sure who runs Essay Writers, but the name Yuriy Mizyuk comes up again and again. Mr. Mizyuk is listed as the contact name on the domain registration for essaywriters.net, the Web site where writers for the company log in to receive their assignments. A lawsuit was filed in January against Mr. Mizyuk and Universal Research by a debt-collection company. Repeated attempts to reach him — via phone and e-mail — were unsuccessful. Customer-service representatives profess not to have heard of Mr. Mizyuk.

Installed in its Makati City offices, according to a source close to the company, are overhead cameras trained on employees. These cameras reportedly send a video feed back to Kiev, allowing the Ukrainians to keep an eye on their workers in the Philippines. This same source says Mr. Mizyuk regularly visits the Philippines and describes him as a smallish man with thinning hair and dark-rimmed glasses. "He looks like Harry Potter," the source says. "The worst kind of Harry Potter."

Writers for Hire

The writers for essay mills are anonymous and often poorly paid. Some of them crank out 10 or more essays a week, hundreds over the course of a year. They earn anywhere from a few dollars to $40 per page, depending on the company and the subject. Some of the freelancers have graduate degrees and can write smooth, A-level prose. Others have no college degree and limited English skills.

James Robbins is one of the good ones. Mr. Robbins, now 30, started working for essay mills to help pay his way through Lamar University, in Beaumont, Tex. He continued after graduation and, for a time, ran his own company under the name Mr. Essay. What he's discovered, after writing hundreds of academic papers, is that he has a knack for the form: He's fast, and his papers consistently earn high marks. "I can knock out 10 pages in an hour," he says. "Ten pages is nothing."

His most recent gig was for Essay Writers. His clients have included students from top colleges like the University of Pennsylvania, and he's written short freshman-comp papers along with longer, more sophisticated fare. Like all freelancers for Essay Writers, Mr. Robbins logs in to a password-protected Web site that gives him access to the company's orders. If he finds an assignment that's to his liking, he clicks the "Take Order" button. "I took one on Christological topics in the second and third centuries," he remembers. "I didn't even know what that meant. I had to look it up on Wikipedia."

Most essay mills claim that they're only providing "model" papers and that students don't really turn in what they buy. Mr. Robbins, who has a law degree and now attends nursing school, knows that's not true. In some cases, he says, customers have forgotten to put their names at the top of the papers he's written before turning them in. Although he takes pride in the writing he's done over the years, he doesn't have much respect for the students who use the service. "These are kids whose parents pay for college," he says. "I'll take their money. It's not like they're going to learn anything anyway."

That's pretty much how Charles Parmenter sees it. He wrote for Essay Writers and another company before quitting about a year ago. "If anybody wants to say this is unethical — yeah, OK, but I'm not losing any sleep over it," he says. Though he was, he notes, nervous that his wife would react badly when she found out what he was doing. As it happens, she didn't mind.

Mr. Parmenter, who is 54, has worked as a police officer and a lawyer over the course of a diverse career. He started writing essays because he needed the money and he knew he could do it well. He wrote papers for nursing and business students, along with a slew of English-literature essays. His main problem, he says, is that the quality of his papers was too high. "People would come back to me and say, 'It's a great paper, but my professor will never believe it's me,'" says Mr. Parmenter. "I had to dumb them down."

Eventually the low pay forced him to quit. In his best months, he brought home around $1,000. Other months it was half that. He estimates that he wrote several hundred essays, all of which he's kept, though most he can barely remember. "You write so many of these things they start running together," he says.

Both Mr. Parmenter and Mr. Robbins live in the United States. But the writers for essay mills are increasingly international. Most of the users who log into the Essay Writers Web site are based in India, according to Alexa, a company that tracks Internet traffic. A student in, say, Wisconsin usually has no idea that the paper he ordered online is being written by someone in another country.

Like Nigeria. Paul Arhewe lives in Lagos, that nation's largest city, and started writing for essay mills in 2005. Back then he didn't have his own computer and had to do all of his research and writing in Internet cafes. Now he works as an online editor for a newspaper, but he still writes essays on the side. In the past three years, he's written more than 200 papers for American and British students. In an online chat, Mr. Arhewe insisted that the work he does is not unethical. "I believe it is another way of learning for the smart and hardworking students," he writes. Only lazy students, Mr. Arhewe says, turn in the papers they purchase.

Mr. Arhewe started writing for Essay Writers after another essay mill cheated him out of several hundred dollars. That incident notwithstanding, he's generally happy with the work and doesn't complain about the pay. He makes between $100 and $350 a month writing essays — not exactly a fortune, but in a country like Nigeria, where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, it's not too bad either.

Mr. Arhewe, who has a master's degree from the University of Lagos, has written research proposals and dissertations in fields like marketing, economics, psychology, and political science. While his English isn't quite perfect, it's passable, and apparently good enough for his clients. Says Mr. Arhewe: "I am enjoying doing what I like and getting paid for it."

Write My Dissertation

Some customers of Essay Writers are college freshmen who, if their typo-laden, grammatically challenged order forms are any indication, struggle with even the most basic writing tasks. But along with the usual suspects, there is no shortage of seniors paying for theses and graduate students buying dissertations.

One customer, for example, identifies himself as a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He or she (there is no name on the order) is interested in purchasing a 200-page dissertation. The student writes that the dissertation must be "well-researched" and includes format requirements and a general outline. Attached to the order is a one-page description of Ph.D. requirements taken directly from MIT's Web site. The student also suggests areas of emphasis like "static and dynamic stability of aircraft controls."

The description is consistent with the kind of research graduate students do, according to Barbara Lechner, director of student services at the institute's department of aeronautics and astronautics. In an initial interview, Ms. Lechner said she would bring up the issue with others in the department. Several weeks later, Ms. Lechner said she was told by higher-ups not to respond to The Chronicle's inquiries.

The head of the department, Ian A. Waitz, says he doesn't believe it's possible, given the highly technical subject matter, for a graduate student to pay someone else to research and write a dissertation. "It seems like a bogus request," says Mr. Waitz, though he wasn't sure why someone would fake such an order. However, like Ms. Lechner, Mr. Waitz acknowledged that the topics in the request are consistent with the department's graduate-level research.

Would-be aerospace engineers aren't the only ones outsourcing their papers. A student at American University's law school ordered a paper for a class called "The Law of Secrecy." She didn't include her full name on the order, but she did identify one of her two professors, Stephen I. Vladeck. Mr. Vladeck — who immediately knew the identity of the student from the description of the paper — was surprised and disappointed because he tries to help students who are having trouble and because he had talked to her about her paper. Mr. Vladeck argues that a law school "has a particular obligation not to tolerate this kind of stuff." The student never actually turned in the paper and took an "incomplete" for the course.

Essay Writers attempts to hide the identities of its customers even from the writers who do the actual work. But it's not always successful. Some students inadvertently include personal information when they upload files to the Web site; others simply put their names at the bottom of their orders.

Jessica Dirr is a graduate student in communication at Northern Kentucky University and an Essay Writers customer. She hired the company to work on her paper "Separated at Birth: Symbolic Boasting and the Greek Twin." Ms. Dirr says she looked online for assistance because the university's writing center wasn't much help and because she had trouble with citation rules. She describes what Essay Writers did as mostly proofreading. "They made some suggestions, and I took their advice," she says. Unfortunately, Ms. Dirr says, the paper "wasn't up to the level my professor was hoping for."

Mickey Tomar paid Essay Writers $100 to research and write a paper on the parables of Jesus Christ for his New Testament class. Mr. Tomar, a senior at James Madison University majoring in philosophy and religion, defends the idea of paying someone else to do your academic work, comparing it to companies that outsource labor. "Like most people in college, you don't have time to do research on some of these things," he says. "I was hoping to find a guy to do some good quality writing."

Nicole Cohea paid $190 for a 10-page paper on a Dove soap advertising campaign. Ms. Cohea, a senior communications major at the University of Southern Mississippi, wrote in her order that she wanted the company to "add on to what I have already written." She helpfully included an outline for the paper and wondered whether the writer could "add a catchy quote at the beginning."

When asked whether it was wrong, in general, to pay someone else to write your essay, Ms. Cohea responded, "Definitely." But she says she wasn't planning to turn in the paper as her own; instead, she says, she was only going to use it to get ideas. She was not happy with the paper Essay Writers provided. It seemed, she says, to have been written by a non-native English speaker. "I could tell they were Asian or something just by the grammar and stuff," she says.

James F. Kollie writes a sporadically updated blog titled My Ph.D. Journey in which he chronicles the progress he's making toward his doctorate from Walden University. He recently ordered the literature-review portion of his dissertation, "The Political Economy of Privatization in Post-War Developing Countries," from Essay Writers. In the order, he explains that the review should focus on privatization efforts that have failed.

Mr. Kollie acknowledged in an interview that he had placed an order with Essay Writers, but he said it was not related to his dissertation. Rather, he says, it was part of a separate research project he's conducting into online writing services. When asked if his university was aware of the project, he replied, "I don't have time for this," and hung up the phone.

Policing Plagiarism

Some institutions, most notably Boston University, have made efforts to shut down essay mills and expose their customers. A handful of states, including Virginia, have laws on the books making it a misdemeanor to sell college essays. But those laws are rarely, if ever, enforced. And even if a case were brought, it would be extremely difficult to prosecute essay-mill operators living abroad.

So what's a professor to do? Thomas Lancaster, a lecturer in computing at Birmingham City University, in England, wrote his dissertation on plagiarism. In addition, he and a colleague wrote a paper on so-called contract-cheating Web sites that allow writers to bid on students' projects. Their paper concludes that because there is almost never any solid evidence of wrongdoing, catching and disciplining students is the exception.

In his research, Mr. Lancaster has found that students who use these services tend to be regular customers. And while some may be stressed and desperate, many know exactly what they're doing. "You will look and see that the student has put the assignment up within hours of it being released to them," he says. "Which has to mean that they were intending to cheat from the beginning."

What he recommends, and what he does himself, is to sit down with students and question them about the paper or project they've just turned in. If they respond with blank stares and shrugged shoulders, there's a chance they haven't read, much less written, their own paper.

Susan D. Blum suggests assigning papers that can't easily be completed by others, like a personal reflection on that day's lecture. Ms. Blum, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and author of the recently published book My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture, also encourages professors to keep in touch with students as they complete major projects, though she concedes that can be tough in a large lecture class.

But Ms. Blum points out a more fundamental issue. She thinks professors and administrators need to do a better job of talking to students about what college is about and why studying — which may seem like a meaningless obstacle on the path to a credential — actually matters. "Why do they have to go through the process of researching?" she says. "We need to convey that to them."

Mr. Tomar, the philosophy-and-religion major who bought a paper for his New Testament class, still doesn't think students should have to do their own research. But he has soured on essay mills after the paper he received from Essay Writers did not meet his expectations. He complained, and the company gave him a 30-percent refund. As a result, he had an epiphany of sorts. Says Mr. Tomar: "I was like — you know what? — I'm going to write this paper on my own."

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill


This study is consistent with remarks made earlier by Linda Kidwell regarding student cheating.

"Do Students Cheat More in Online Classes? Maybe not," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Do-Students-Cheat-More-in/8073/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A new study contradicts the perception that cheating is more widespread in online classes, finding that students in virtual courses were less likely to cheat than their face-to-face peers.

You can’t make any sweeping generalizations based on the results, since the study only looked at 225 students at Friends University, a private, mid-sized, Christian-based institution in Wichita, Kansas.

But the study,
Point, Click, and Cheat: Frequency and Type of Academic Dishonesty in the Virtual Classroom,” adds fresh data to the ongoing debate about academic integrity online. The issue is on the minds of many in the distance education world because the recently reauthorized Higher Education Opportunity Act requires accreditors to monitor steps that colleges take to verify that an enrolled student is the same person who does the course work.

For the new study, researchers surveyed undergraduate students about seven types of academic misconduct. These included cheating on tests, plagiarism, and aiding and abetting (letting a classmate copy a paper, for example). In both traditional and online classes, aiding and abetting was found to be the cheating method of choice. 

Asked about the results, Donna Stuber-McEwen, an author of the study, suggested that age may be one factor.

“Research has show that older students tend to cheat less frequently than younger students,” said Stuber-McEwen, a psychology professor, told The Chronicle. “And our sample tended to have a greater percentage of nontraditional students in the online classes.”


"Cambridge Survey Finds That 49% of Students Have Plagiarized," by Lawrence Biemiller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 3, 2008 ---
Click Here

Half the students at the University of Cambridge have plagiarized, according to results of a survey by Varsity, a student newspaper at the university.

The newspaper said its survey had attracted 1,014 respondents, of whom 49 percent said they had committed at least one act defined by the university as plagiarism. The list of forbidden acts included: handing in someone else’s essay; copying and pasting from the Internet; copying or making up statistics, code, or research results; handing in work that had been submitted previously; using someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment; buying an essay; and having an essay edited by Oxbridge Essays, a company that provides online essay services. Five percent of those who admitted having plagiarized said they had been caught.

Some students were surprised to find that what they thought were innocuous academic acts had landed them in the plagiarist category. “Of course I use other people’s ideas without acknowledging them, but I didn’t think that this made me a plagiarist,” one student said.

But others admitted copying or buying work “when I am late with an essay or finding it difficult.” Law students, the newspaper said, broke the rules most often, with 62 percent admitting that they had plagiarized. Four percent of students surveyed said they had written for Oxbridge Essays.

Comments

Yes, and 100% of civil rights leaders named Martin Luther King, Jr., have also plagiarized. And 100% of writers named Doris Kearns Goodwin have plagiarized. And 100% of vice-presidential candidates named Joe Biden have plagiarized. These students are in good company. Maybe we should educate them rather than haul them before a firing squad, as too many professors want to do.

— gl Nov 1, 08:22 PM #

I agree with gl, it seems a bit harsh to haul anyone anywhere, much less before a firing squad, until we have delved into the depth of the training students receive about the rigors of attribution. (Hint: scandalously little)

The internet with all its advances did bomb us back to the intellectual property stone age with the conspicuous absence of paper trails for the materials one can find within a click or two of beginning research.

The other part of the problem, and I am ready to be placed before the firing squad for this comment, professors (especially at the undergraduate level) do not put enough thinking into the construction of their essay questions. And to make matters worse, they use the same old tired questions year in decade out. So let’s look at our role in perpetuating this obnoxious problem and criminal waste of time on both sides.

Newsflash, profs! Life is short. Why spend your precious discretionary time playing cops and robbers with your students?

— BC PROF Nov 1, 11:42 PM #

Using a service like Turnitin.com helps to reduce plagiarism quite a bit because even if the students don’t have a high likelihood of getting caught, they know that they are really taking a big risk if they try to fool the system. If students know there’s a good chance they’ll get caught, they will not engage in plagiarism. Some professors would rather spend their leisure time with their families or doing their own research rather than chasing down sources of plagiarism. Use the tools to help you catch cheaters so you can have more time for your own life.

— MEH Nov 2, 02:16 PM #

Of course if I discover that a student has committed plagiarism, I take the steps that are prescribed by the honor code at my university. But I did not become a teacher to spend my time enforcing such codes. If a student cheats and receives a grade that he doesn’t deserve, he is the poorer for it. We have this idea that cheaters are robbing someone else of something valuable, and therefore that we ought to act to stop them or to punish them. It is not so difficult to see that plagiarists are only cheating themselves. They pay the very high price of not learning what they might have learned under their own lights, and to my mind that is penalty enough.

— SK Nov 2, 02:49 PM #

MEH, the time you save with turnitin.com is lost when you catch a cheater, because you yourself become a cheater if you don’t report the honor violation (rather than handle it privately, which most campuses frown upon). So assuming you’re as honest as you expect your student to be, you’re sucked into the whole lengthy honors process, with forms and hearings and meetings and eventually the wish that you had not been so persnickety.

I think the plagiarism situation is easy to avoid if you assign paper topics based on very recent events about which nothing could have been already written. Or, as I do, require first drafts of nearly completed works, a couple weeks before the real due date, with which you can issue warnings framed in face-saving look-what-you-forgot-you-cite-or-enclose-in-quotation-marks language. They get the message you’re tough, especially if you threaten reporting an honors violation if the supposed error is not corrected, and you spend even more time with your own life.

— gl Nov 2, 03:04 PM #

gl

I think the plagiarism situation is easy to avoid if you assign paper topics based on very recent events about which nothing could have been already written.

right, I am sure that is feasible in history of philosophy classes. Second Idea was much more reasonable.

— jon Nov 2, 08:54 PM #

The key is what the students perceive as cheating. If using someone else’s ideas without acknowledging it is cheating, then we are all cheaters. The kids come in to college 17 years old and dumb. They sit in lectures, read books, talk to classmates and faculty, and hear all kinds of new ideas. How can they ever acknowledge where all those ideas came from? How can they even remember when the ideas were first planted and by whom?

Similarly, good writing involves sharing ideas with other students, revising and proofreading. That violates the honor code standard of “doing your own work.” We create a catch-22 when we demand high quality work but strictly prohibit some of the methods that are essential for good learning. And even if we don’t “strictly” prohibit appropriate collaboration, not all students know where the line is. Consequently, some students will identify themselves as cheaters, even though the type of help they get on their assignments is acceptable.

And in my field, it is pretty common for students to forget to write down some detail of their source information, and at the last minute have to fudge the works cited. Technically it is fabrication, and the students know it. It would be embarrassing to publish a error-filled works cited. But in the end it is too trivial to worry about.

All these kinds of cases drive up the number of self-identified cheaters. It isn’t worth faculty worrying out.

— Shar Nov 3, 12:33 AM #

As others have noted, the extensive use of plagiarism requires an educational solution. I commend to you an excellent article by Eleanour Snow who describes (and links to) a number of institution-wide web tutorials designed to teach students about plagiarism. You can view the article at http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=306&action=article (requires free subscription).

James L. Morrison Editor-in-Chief, Innovate

 

"Some Russian Leaders Start to Fight Plagiarism," Inside Higher Ed, March 1, 2013 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2013/03/01/some-russian-leaders-start-fight-plagiarism

Rumors abound in Russia that many top leaders have degrees that they didn't really earn, but some officials are starting to tackle the issue of plagiarism. Time reported that the deputy minister of education and science reviewed 25 dissertations at random from the history department at Moscow Pedagogical State University. With one exception, all were found to be extensively plagiarized, with some having as much as 90 percent of the material copied.

It's not clear that Vladimir Putin even read his own thesis
Large parts of an economics thesis written by President Vladimir Putin in the mid-1990s were lifted straight out of a U.S. management textbook published 20 years earlier, The Washington Times reported Saturday, citing researchers at the Brookings Institution. It was unclear, however, whether Putin had even read the thesis, which might have been intended to impress the Western investors who were flooding into St. Petersburg in the mid-1990s, the report said. Putin oversaw the city's foreign economic relations at the time.
"Putin Accused of Plagiarizing Thesis," Moscow Times, March 27, 2006 --- http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/03/27/011.html
 

Jensen Comment
What's interesting about this news item is that it was published in Moscow. This would not have happened in the old Soviet Union


Martin Luther King Jr. has been accused of widespread plagiarism, including parts of his doctoral thesis --- http://www.martinlutherking.org/thebeast.html


Joe Biden --- Beyond Plagiarism
If only Vice President Joe Biden had stuck to plagiarism. But he apparently hasn’t learned. In 1987, he copied and used a large chunk of a speech given by British labor leader Neil Kinnock, even though some of the facts (related to family history) didn’t match his own. Since then, he’s gone from plagiarism to smashmouth rhetorician. Last week, Biden was called out by former Bush advisor Karl Rove because Biden repeatedly said he’d chastised President Bush in person. And Biden came out of the ensuing discussion with a lot of mud on his face. On April 6, 2009, Biden said: “I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office, 'Well, Joe, I'm a leader.' And I said: 'Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following.’” Three days later, on April 9, Rove said Biden’s conversation with Bush did not happen. Candida P. Wolff, Bush’s White House liaison, concurred: “I don't ever remember Biden being in the Oval. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff -- there wasn't a reason to bring him in." Facts notwithstanding, Biden has been telling stories that make it sound like he had unfettered access to Bush for some time. On HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in April 2006, Biden said: “The president will say things to me, and I'll literally turn to the president, say: 'Mr. President, how can you say that, knowing you don't know the facts?' And he'll look at me and…say: 'My instincts. …I have good instincts.' [To which I’ll say]: 'Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough.'"

A.W.R. Hawkins, Human Events, April 14, 2009 --- http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=31447

Other celebrity plagiarists --- http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/plagiarism.htm

Since I have such a huge number of documents at my Website, I often wonder what kinds of grades I'm getting around the world --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

November 3, 2008 reply from Guest, Paul [paul.guest@CRANFIELD.AC.UK]

Having taught accounting at Cambridge for several years, I believe that these high plagiarism figures are of no relevance to any accounting courses taught there.

I would guess that the high figures are likely due to the unique college tutorial system at Cambridge University (along with Oxford and a few others) where undergraduate students attend frequent (usually biweekly) small group tutorials in addition to lectures. Students are often required to write essays for these tutorials under very tight time constraints. The high plagiarism figures are likely driven by undergraduates trying to finish essays by these deadlines. The students don't benefit from such cheating. Although the essays are marked they do not count towards a final grade, and any under-prepared students are usually exposed as such in the tutorials. [For accounting tutorials, essays are very rarely set, and instead students are required to work through a previously unseen question.]

Paul Guest
Cranfield School of Management

Then in a second message Paul wrote the following:

I agree, cheating students won't learn much about the assigned material if they cheat. However, under the Cambridge and Oxford (tutorial & written assignment) system ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutorial_system , cheating students are much more likely to be caught at an early stage when the consequences are much less severe (since written assignments do not contribute to final grades). The cheating can therefore be dealt with informally and with a light touch by a tutor who is close to the student, so lessons can be learned with no lasting damage. Especially important when many cases of plagiarism appear to arise from ignorance.

Also, assignment writing for tutorials at Cambridge is optional. Undergraduate students can choose not to produce written assignments for tutorials (or simply not turn up to them). However, by not participating they are foregoing the most important learning experience at Cambridge. The tutorial and written assignment system is the fundamental pedagogic difference between Cambridge and other universities and a key reason why Cambridge has been so successful. It is worth £2000 per year for each undergraduate student (previously paid by the government but not any longer as of this year http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2005/oct/14/highereducation.universityfunding ). Students are very aware of this and very rarely miss supervisions or fail to submit written assignments.

From my experience in teaching these supervisions (I also taught economics and finance for which essays were assigned) I dont believe that plagiarism is rampant. Instead I interpret the high figures along the lines suggested by Dave Albrecht, that although 49% of students have plagiarised at some point, each student has done it very rarely.

By the way, a huge thankyou from across the pond to you and the other contributors to this list, and for the great material on your website.

Paul Guest


"Alexander Graham Bell on Originality, Plagiarism, Language, and Education," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, February 15, 2013
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/02/15/alexander-graham-bell-annie-sullivan-helen-keller/

"Our most original compositions are composed exclusively of expressions derived from others."

When Helen Keller was accused of plagiarism after the publication of her autobiography, The Story of My Life (public library), Mark Twain sent her a note of solidarity and support, assuring her that "substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources." Shortly thereafter, Alexander Graham Bell – father of the telephone – wrote Annie Sullivan, Keller's teacher, a letter with a similar sentiment. Bell argued that it is "difficult for us to trace the origin of our expressions" and "we are all of us … unconscious plagiarists, especially in childhood" – a notion neurologist Oliver Sacks has affirmed more than a century later with his recent insights on memory and plagiarism, and one the poet Kenneth Goldsmith has institutionalized with his class on "uncreative writing."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think in the case of students, most plagiarism investigations center around verbatim or nearly-verbatim passages without attribution. Sometimes, as in the case of dissertation research, focus may be placed upon suspected and non-cited earlier ideas and possibly mathematical proofs that are sometimes relatively easy to reformulate in slightly different ways.

The non-cited verbatim plagiarisms of other writers and composers of course are much more difficult to justify on ethical or legal grounds. So are the reformulated plagiarisms of ideas, although these are much more difficult to detect and prosecute in court.


"Dissertation cheats: the dark, corrupt slice of the Internet," by Zack Whittaker, zdnet, December 10, 2008 ---
http://blogs.zdnet.com/igeneration/?p=652&tag=rbxccnbzd1
I thank Scott Bonaker for pointing this link out to me.

The Internet is slowly becoming a rubbish tip for junk, useless information, knitting patterns and videos of blind Scottish men being hit in the nuts with a baseball. Because nothing on the web really ever disappears, we can see into the looking glass of the past. Over the last few decades, we’ve accumulated a lot of content, and the amount of “immoral” websites and services available; essay writing services for university students who want to cheat, have increased. Take this made up example:

Students can spend anything as little as a few hours up to a few weeks for an average, normal essay part of their undergraduate studies. Some will have more essays than others, but they’re an important part of a qualification. They show how the learner understands the knowledge they have acquired, how to reference and cite sources, as well as a discipline in writing formats. It’s an art, rather than a chore; maybe that’s why so many Bachelor of Arts degree qualifications have essays - art and arts.

But the other day, I received an email from CheatHouse.com, a website which “specialises in essays and papers for students”. They offer a variety of ways to plug into the database, but the primary way is to pay for access, allowing you to read through and access thousands of pre-written essays and dissertations. From their about page:

“To stimulate learning. Simply. We have gotten a lot of critisism in the past, and I suspect this will continue in the future, but we are trying to build a community, where students come together.”

Considering the name of the damn website is “CheatHouse”, are we supposed to fall for that? Now let’s face it; the chances of somebody buying a unique essay to study it and not to plagiarise it, is little-to-none. As a society, we are unfortunately not that moral.

It does, however, try to justify it on a specific page buried within the mass of links, and dodging the “encouraging cheating” question with another question; whilst creating a loophole to wiggle out of the plagiarism question. Just because the person who wrote the essay cites all the sources, references and acknowledges authors, doesn’t mean someone else can hand it in as theirs. It just doesn’t work like that. A dictionary definition won’t detract away from what appears to be a standard policy of a university.

“So you didn’t write this essay?” … “No, but all the sources are cited and it’s referenced.” … “Oh that’s OK then, well done, you’ve got a first.”

Idiots.

Why pick out this website? Because not only do they offer a slice of temptation cake to students, they also send out spam emails to Hotmail addresses. I just wish I hadn’t deleted the email in the first place. It’s not just them though; there are so many “services” out there which promote and actively support this.

Google, back in June, began to blacklist advertisements which promoted essay-writing services, which has certainly cut the number of these immoral ads from the main Google search, but for local search locales, it seems to have little effect.

Considering that a degree, or a masters or doctorate qualification enables a person to go on to very specific, specialised practices, I cannot see how the people who buy and use these essays should be let through to graduate. They surely wouldn’t, except they aren’t detected. The websites that provide these, especially this particular website which spam’s people as well, should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

Putting it simply, it’s cheating a way into a qualification, which could be used to gain a job position or academic status. That, my friends, is fraud.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Plagiarism is generally thought of as being a literal or nearly-literal stealing of parts of the writings of others. It can, however, also entail the stealing of ideas without citation as to where those ideas were borrowed from in the literature or other media. It is especially relevant in this era of Weblogs, blogs, and YouTube where many ideas are stated that do not necessarily appear in traditional printed versions such as journals and books.

Jensen Comment
Plagiarism is generally thought of as being a literal or nearly-literal stealing of parts of the writings of others. It can, however, also entail the stealing of ideas without citation as to where those ideas were borrowed from in the literature or other media. It is especially relevant in this era of Weblogs, blogs, and YouTube where many ideas are stated that do not necessarily appear in traditional printed versions such as journals and books.

By way of illustration, suppose I was looking for an idea for an accounting dissertation. I stumble upon this particular module obscurely buried at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm

How to play tricks on fair value accounting by "managing" the closing price of key securities in the portfolio
Painting the Tape (also called Banging the Close)
This occurs when a portfolio manager holding a security buys a few additional shares right at the close of business at an inflated price. For example, if he held shares in XYZ Corp on the last day of the reporting period (and it's selling at, say $50), he might put in small orders at a higher price to inflate the the closing price (which is what's reported). Do this for a couple dozen stocks in the portfolio, and the reported performance goes up. Of course, it goes back down the next day, but it looks good on the annual report.
Jason Zweig, "Pay Attention to That Window Behind the Curtain," The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122973369481523187.html?

The above module has great potential for dissertation study. A doctoral student who does so, however, and fails to cite Jason Zweig for the idea is in fact cheating even if not a single phrase is lifted from Zweig's article.

The problem with this non-literal text phrasing is that plagiarism search engines often cannot detect the plagiarism of ideas.


Question
Have you considered asking your students to turn in two term papers simultaneously, one of which is mostly plagiarized and one that is pledged to be not plagiarized in any way with proper citations?

"Winning Hearts and Minds in War on Plagiarism," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/07/plagiarism

That’s what Kate Hagopian, an instructor in the first-year writing program at North Carolina State University, does. For one assignment, she gives her students a short writing passage and then a prompt for a standard student short essay. She asks her students to turn in two versions. In one they are told that they must plagiarize. In the second, they are told not to. The prior night, the students were given an online tutorial on plagiarism and Hagopian said she has become skeptical that having the students “parrot back what we’ve told them” accomplishes anything. Her hope is that this unusual assignment might change that.

After the students turn in their two responses to the essay prompt, Hagopian shares some with the class. Not surprisingly, the students do know how to plagiarize — but were uncomfortable admitting as much. Hagopian said that the assignment is always greeted with “uncomfortable laughter” as the students must pretend that they never would have thought of plagiarizing on their own. Given the right to do so, they turn in essays with many direct quotes without attribution. Of course in their essays that are supposed to be done without plagiarism, she still finds problems — not so much with passages repeated verbatim, but with paraphrasing or using syntax in ways that were so similar to the original that they required attribution.

When she started giving the assignment, she sort of hoped, Hagopian said, to see students turn in “nuanced tricky demonstrations” of plagiarism, but she mostly gets garden variety copying. But what she is doing is having detailed conversations with her students about what is and isn’t plagiarism — and by turning everyone into a plagiarist (at least temporarily), she makes the conversation something that can take place openly.

“Students know I am listening,” she said. And by having the conversation in this way — as opposed to reading the riot act — she said she is demonstrating that all plagiarism is not the same, whether in technique, motivation or level of sophistication. There is a difference between “deliberate fraud” and “failed apprenticeship,” she said.

Hagopian’s approach was among many described at various sessions last week at the annual meeting of the Conference of College Composition and Communication, in New Orleans. Writing instructors — especially those tasked with teaching freshmen — are very much on the front lines of the war against plagiarism. As much as other faculty members, they resent plagiarism by their students — and in fact several of the talks featured frank discussion of how betrayed writing instructors feel when someone turns in plagiarized work.

That anger does motivate some to use the software that detects plagiarism as part of an effort to scare students and weed out plagiarists, and there was some discussion along those lines. But by and large, the instructors at the meeting said that they didn’t have any confidence that these services were attacking the roots of the problem or finding all of the plagiarism. Several people quipped that if the software really detected all plagiarism, plenty of campuses would be unable to hold classes, what with all of the sessions needed for academic integrity boards.

While there was a group therapy element to some of the discussions, there was also a strong focus on trying new solutions. Freshmen writing instructors after all don’t have the option available to other faculty members of just blaming the problem on the failures of those who teach first-year comp.

What to do? New books being displayed in the exhibit hall included several trying to shift the plagiarism debate beyond a matter of pure enforcement. Among them were Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age, just published by the University of Michigan (and profiled on Inside Higher Ed), and Pluralizing Plagiarism: Identities, Contexts, Pedagogies, released in February by Boynton/Cook.

Like Hagopian, many of those at the meeting said that they are focused on trying to better understand their students, what makes them plagiarize, and what might make them better understand academic integrity. There wasn’t much talk of magic bullets, but lots of ideas about ways to better see the issue from a student perspective — and to find ways to use that perspective to promote integrity.

Continued in article


 

 


A Clever Way to Punish and Prevent Plagiarism

"Traffic School for Essay Thieves," by Paul D. Thacker, Inside Higher Ed, November 29, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/29/plagiarism

Having grown weary of punishing students for plagiarizing and advising other professors to fail them, too, Meg Files said that she had an epiphany during a random chat with a colleague at Pima Community College’s West Campus. The professor explained that he had recently gone to traffic school after receiving a ticket and that the course had actually improved his driving.

“So I thought, ‘Why can’t we have a parallel program for plagiarism?’ ” said Files, who chairs Pima’s English/journalism department.

Seizing on the idea, Files created a “traffic school for plagiarism,” aimed at altering the campus’s focus on catching and punishing students for turning in essays they didn’t write. Now students can seek academic rehabilitation instead of punishment by participating in a plagiarism program that contains five steps:

Files, who will be overseeing the program, said that it is too early to tell whether it will be successful. Only a few students have elected to sign up, and none have yet finished.

“My reaction is, good for them,” said Donald L. McCabe, founding president of the Center for Academic Integrity. McCabe, a professor of management and global business at Rutgers University, called Pima’s approach a good policy that cuts down the middle between two extremes: excessively punishing students for literary piracy, or ignoring them. McCabe said that his own research finds that plagiarism is slightly more common today than in previous decades and that honor codes help curb the problem.

However, current policies at most educational institution revolve around detection and punishment. A number of universities now use online products such as Turnitin.com to scan essays for stolen text.

While catching students and then failing them for copying does help to reduce plagiarism, McCabe said that it probably doesn’t provide the best results and may just teach students to be more careful when they cheat. “Now we are just teaching students how to avoid detection,” he said.

Instructing students how to correctly reference other work and instilling a sense of academic integrity in them is difficult, McCabe said, but is the best way to dissuade students from plagiarizing.

“I like the focus — the remedial aspect instead of just playing gotcha,” said John P. Lesko, editor of the new scholarly journal, Plagiary. Lesko pointed out that some students may not even know that plagiarism is a bad thing, and that copying is considered normal in some countries.

He noted that Carolyn Matalene, now professor emeritus of English language and literature at the University of South Carolina, noticed in the 1980s that students in China regularly pilfered lines from published pieces. “She found that copying was actually encouraged so that you would learn like the masters,” he said.

Files said that cultural differences in defining plagiarism also drove her develop the new program. “In some cultures, plagiarism isn’t bad,” she said. But she also found that the current policies at her institution were not going far enough. In the past, Pima tried to curb plagiarism by assigning original topics, which makes it more difficult for students to purchase an essay, and by emphasizing the writing process—outlining, drafting, revising—over delivering a finished product. Finally, faculty have been encouraging students to be confident and proud of their own writing. She calls these steps “prevention” and the new program a “cure” once plagiarism is found.

“I think it’s a worthwhile effort, but the motivation to plagiarize is huge,” said Colin Purrington, associate professor of evolutionary biology at Swarthmore College. Purrington became so concerned about the growing problem with plagiarism that he put up a complete Web site to address the issue a couple of years ago.

One of the resources he cites as a deterrent against plagiarism is an essay that a Swarthmore student wrote as a disciplinary measure after getting caught. The essay reads: “Plagiarism is undisputedly, a most egregious academic offense. Unfortunately, I found that out the hard way. I cannot even begin to describe how unpleasant the experience was for me.”

On his Web page, Purrington notes that the essay is nicely written and urges instructors to hand it out to students to generate discussion. But he also notes with some chagrin: “That person got caught again some years later.”

Question
who were at least two famous world leaders who plagiarized doctoral theses?

 

Answer
Two that I know of off the top of my head are Martin Luther King and Vladimir Putin. Doubts are raised that Putin ever read his thesis that plagiarized from a U.S. textbook. Iran's President Ahmadinejad allegedly plagiarizes, although I don't know if he plagiarized in his doctoral thesis --- http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2006/10/ahmadinejad_i_h.html


 

The source Putin plagiarized is a well known textbook. Perhaps by translating it into Russian he or his helpers thought it would not be detected.

 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin plagiarized US textbook Russian President Vladimir Putin plagiarized sections of an American management textbook in writing an economics dissertation a decade ago, The Washington Times newspaper reported. Putin, who wrote a 218-page paper on planning in the natural resources sector, reportedly lifted numerous passages directly from a management text published by two University of Pittsburgh academics, the Times said late on Saturday, citing research by two scholars at the respected Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. Putin, who obtained a doctorate degree in economics in 1997 from the St. Petersburg Mining Institute wrote his thesis on "The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations." After reviewing the document, Brookings researchers Clifford Gaddy and Igor Danchenko concluded that large sections of Putin’s dissertation were copied almost word-for-word from the 1978 management text "Strategic Planning and Policy," by University of Pittsburgh professors William King and David Cleland.
http://theunjustmedia.com/Unjustmedia%20Archive/March%202006/march%2027%202006.htm

 


Harvard Novelist Says Copying Was Unintentional
Kaavya Viswanathan, the Harvard sophomore accused of plagiarizing parts of her recently published chick-lit novel, acknowledged yesterday that she had borrowed language from another writer's books, but called the copying "unintentional and unconscious." The book, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life," was recently published by Little, Brown to wide publicity. On Sunday, The Harvard Crimson reported that Ms. Viswanathan, who received $500,000 as part of a deal for "Opal" and one other book, had seemingly plagiarized language from two novels by Megan McCafferty, an author of popular young-adult books.
Dinitia Smith, "Harvard Novelist Says Copying Was Unintentional," The New York Times, April 25, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/25/books/25book.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Her Publisher is Not Convinced
A day after Kaavya Viswanathan admitted copying parts of her chick-lit novel, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life," from another writer's works, the publisher of the two books she borrowed from called her apology "troubling and disingenuous." On Monday, Ms. Viswanathan, in an e-mail message, said that her copying from Megan McCafferty's "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings," both young adult novels published by Crown, a division of Random House, had been "unintentional and unconscious." But in a statement issued today, Steve Ross, Crown's publisher, said that, "based on the scope and character of the similarities, it is inconceivable that this was a display of youthful innocence or an unconscious or unintentional act." He said that there were more than 40 passages in Ms. Viswanathan's book "that contain identical language and/or common scene or dialogue structure from Megan McCafferty's first two books."
Dinitia Smith, Publisher Rejects Young Novelist's Apology," The New York Times, April 26, 2006 --- Click Here

April 27, 2006 reply from Linda Kidwell, University of Wyoming [lkidwell@UWYO.EDU]

Unlike the purchase/pooling debate or derivatives, this one is something I know a fair bit about!

First, Harvard does not have an honor code, though they debated one in the 1980s. Nor does Harvard belong to the Center for Academic Integrity, despite the fact that most of the other Ivy Leagues, all the seven sisters except Radcliffe, and over 390 universities (including a few in Canada and Australia) do. That being said, the Harvard BUSINESS School does have a code, voted in overwhelmingly by its own students several years ago.

There is a tremendous variety in scope of honor codes. Some address only academic issues while others have broader coverage. I remember my senior year at Smith two fellow seniors were expelled during their final semester for putting sugar in the gas tank of another student. This was adjudicated under the honor code there. However other campuses would handle such a thing through their students affairs or residence life departments (or of course the police could be called in).

For those unfamiliar with honor codes, Melendez, McCabe & Trevino, and my papers have used these criteria for an honor code:

1. unproctored exams
2. some kind of signed pledge that students will not cheat
3. a peer judiciary
4. reportage requirements, i.e., students should not tolerate violations of academic integrity and have an obligation to report them

Any one or a combination of these criteria must be in place for a true honor code. McCabe's research has shown that honor codes cut cheating about in half.

The clearing house, if you will, for honor codes in place in the U.S. is the Center for Academic Integrity, at www.academicintegrity.org 

Now back to Bob's question, pretending it took place at a university with an honor code. Did this plagiarism take place in the context of coursework? I believe the answer in this case is no. Therefore it would depend on whether the honor code was written to encompass activities outside of class. Some codes would capture this incident under the general category of behavior that brings disrepute to the university (all sorts of things, including well-known athletes that behave in a drunken manner in public, debate teams that trash a hotel room, you name it). Others would have no jurisdiction in this case because it did not take place in class, nor did she do it as part of an organized university group or function.

Honor codes are a wonderful thing if students are socialized into accepting them early. They can really make cheating a major social gaffe, such that many students who might cheat elsewhere wouldn't take the risk. Perhaps this woman would not have committed this plagiarism if she had been at a university with an honor code culture. I still remember how unnerved I was (and perhaps how naive) when I was first a teaching assistant at LSU. I couldn't believe all the precautions, including leaving bags at the front, removing hats, spacing people apart, requiring photo identification on their desks, pacing the rows, etc. I had never even been proctored during an exam before, so it was really a culture shock!

I could go on and on, as this is a favorite topic of mine, but I'll save more for another day. :-)

Linda Kidwell


March 3, 2006 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ON PLAGIARISM

In January the University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office launched a refereed online journal, PLAGIARY. The purpose of the journal is "to bring together the various strands of scholarship which already exist on the subject, and to create a forum for discussion across disciplinary boundaries." Papers in the first issues include:

-- "The Google Library Project: Both Sides of the Story"

-- "Copy This! A Historical Perspective On the Use of the Photocopier in Art"

-- "A Million Little Pieces of Shame"

Plagiary: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification [ISSN 1559-3096] is available free of charge as an Open Access journal on the Internet at http://www.plagiary.org/ . For more information contact: John P. Lesko, Editor, Department of English, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI 48710 USA; tel: 989-964-2067; fax: 989-790-7638; email: jplesko@svsu.edu 

 


"Technology and Plagiarism in the University: Brief Report of a Trial in Detecting Cheating," Diane Johnson et al., AACE Journal 12(3), 281-299 --- http://www.aace.org/pubs/AACEJ/dispart.cfm?paperID=24 

This article reports the results of a trial of automated detection of term-paper plagiarism in a large, introductory undergraduate class. The trial was premised on the observation that college students exploit information technology extensively to cheat on papers and assignments, but for the most part university faculty have employed few technological techniques to detect cheating. Topics covered include the decision to adopt electronic means for screening student papers, strategic concerns regarding deterrence versus detection of cheating, the technology employed to detect plagiarism, student outcomes, and the results of a survey of student attitudes about the experience. The article advances the thesis that easily-adopted techniques not only close a sophistication gap associated with computerized cheating, but can place faculty in a stronger position than they have ever enjoyed historically with regard to the deterrence and detection of some classes of plagiarism.


"Stolen Words," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, January 25, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/01/25/mclemee
But the topic of plagiarism itself keeps returning. One professor after another gets caught in the act. The journalists and popular writers are just as prolific with other people’s words. And as for the topic of student plagiarism, forget it — who has time to keep up?

It was not that surprising, last fall, to come across the call for papers for a new scholarly journal called Plagiary: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification. I made a mental note to check its Web site again — and see that it began publishing this month.

One study is already available at the site: an analysis of how the federal Office of Research Integrity handled 19 cases of plagiarism involving research supported by the U.S. Public Health Service. Another paper, scheduled for publication shortly, will review media coverage of the Google Library Project. Several other articles are now working their way through peer review, according to the journal’s founder, John P. Lesko, an assistant professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University, and will be published throughout the year in open-source form. There will also be an annual print edition of Plagiary. The entire project has the support of the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan.

In a telephone interview, Lesko told me that research into plagiarism is central to his own scholarship. His dissertation, titled “The Dynamics of Derivative Writing,” was accepted by the University of Edinburgh in 2000 — extracts from which appear at his Web site Famous Plagiarists, which he says now gets between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors per month.

While the journal Plagiary has a link to Famous Plagiarists, and vice versa, Lesko insists that they are separate entities — the former scholarly and professional, the latter his personal project. And that distinction is a good thing, too. Famous Plagiarists tends to hit a note of stridency such that, when Lesko quotes Camille Paglia denouncing the poststructuralists as “cunning hypocrites whose tortured syntax and encrustations of jargon concealed the moral culpability of their and their parents’ generations in Nazi France,” she seems almost calm and even-tempered by contrast.

“It seems that both Foucault and Barthes’ contempt for the Author was expressed in some rather plagiaristic utterances,” he writes, “a parroting of the Nietschean ‘God is dead’ assertion.” That might strike some people as confusing allusion with theft. But Lesko is vehement about how the theorists have served as enablers for the plagiarists, as well as the receivers of hot cargo.

“After all,” he writes, “a plagiarist — so often with the help of collaborators and sympathizers — steals the very livelihood of a text’s real author, thus relegating that author to obscurity for as long as the plagiarist’s name usurps a text, rather than the author being recognized as the text’s originator. Plagiarism of an author condemns that author to death as a text’s rightfully acknowledged creator...” (The claim that Barthes and Foucault were involved in diminishing the reputation of Nietzsche has not, I believe, ever been made before.)

To a degree, his frustration is understandable. In some quarters, it is common to recite – as though it were an established truth, rather than an extrapolation from one of Foucault’s essays – the idea that plagiarism is a “historically constructed” category of fairly recent vintage: something that came into being around the 18th century, when a capitalistically organized publishing industry found it necessary to foster the concept of literary property.

A very interesting argument to be sure — though not one that holds up under much scrutiny.

The term “plagiarism” in its current sense is about two thousand years old. It was coined by the Roman poet Martial, who complained that a rival was biting his dope rhymes. (I translate freely.) Until he applied the word in that context, plagiarius had meant someone who kidnapped slaves. Clearly some notion of literary property was already implicit in Martial’s figure of speech, which dates to the first century A.D.

At around the same time, Jewish scholars were putting together the text of that gigantic colloquium known as the Talmud, which contains a passage exhorting readers to be scrupulous about attributing their sources. (And in keeping with that principle, let me acknowledge pilfering from the erudition of Stuart P. Green, a professor of law at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, whose fascinating paper “Plagiarism, Norms, and the Limits of Theft Law: Some Observations on the Use of Criminal Sanctions in Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights” appeared in the Hastings Law Review in 2002.)

In other words, notions of plagiarism and of authorial integrity are very much older than, say, the Romantic cult of the absolute originality of the creative genius. (You know — that idea Coleridge ripped off from Kant.)

At the same time, scholarship on plagiarism should probably consist of something more than making strong cases against perpetrators of intellectual thievery. That has its place, of course. But how do you understand it when artists and writers make plagiarism a deliberate and unambiguous policy? I’m thinking of Kathy Acker’s novels, for example. Or the essayist and movie maker Guy Debord’s proclamation in the 1960s: “Plagiarism is necessary. Progress demands it.” (Which he, in turn, had copied from the avant-garde writer Lautreamont, who had died almost a century earlier.)

Why, given the potential for humiliation, do plagiarists run the risk? Are people doing it more, now? Or is it, rather, now just a matter of more people getting caught?

Given Lesko’s evident passion on the topic of plagiarism as a moral transgression – embodied most strikingly, perhaps, in his color-coded War on Plagiarism Threat Level Analysis – I had to wonder if the doors of [ital]Plagiary[ital] would be open to scholars not sharing his perspective.

Was it worth the while of, say, a Foucauldian to offer him a paper?

“It may be that I’m a bit more conservative than some scholars,” he conceded. But he points out that manuscripts submitted to Plagiary undergo a double-blind review process. They are examined by three reviewers – most of them, but not all, from the journal’s editorial board.

There is no ideological or theoretical litmus test, and he’s actively seeking contributions from people you might not expect. “I’m willing to consider articles from plagiarists,” he said.

That’s certainly throwing the door wide open. You would probably want to vet their work pretty carefully, though.


Cheating then versus now
What this means in evaluative practice is not only that the opportunities to cheat (just to continue to use this word) are enormously expanded. The nature of cheating itself changes accordingly — to the despair of every teacher, beginning with those who teach freshman composition. The very fact that “plagiarism” must be carefully defined there defers to the absence of what the dean in (the movie) School Ties refers to as a vacuum. (Could cheating even be punished — in his terms — if one has to begin by defining it?) It also testifies to the near-impossibility of judging a paper on SUV’s or gay marriage or God-knows-what that has been cobbled together out of Internet sources whose fugitive presence, sentence by sentence, is almost undetectable. Furthermore, to the student these sources may well be almost unremarkable, with respect to his or her own words. What is this business of one’s “own words” anyway? What if the very notion has been formed by CNN? How not to visit its site (say) when time comes to write? Most students will be unfamiliar with a theoretical orientation that questions the whole idea of originality. But they will not be unaffected with some consequences, no less than they are unaffected by, say, the phenomenon of sampling and remixing as it takes place in popular culture, especially fashion or music.  “Plagiarism” has to contend with all sorts of notions of imitation, none of which possess any moral valence. Therefore, plagiarism becomes — first, if not foremost — a matter of interpretive judgment. Cheating, on the other hand, is not interpretive in the same way (and, in the world of (the movie) School Ties, not “interpretive” at all). No wonder, in a sense, that test gradually has had to yield to text. It is almost as if the vacuum could not hold. By the present time, the importance of determining grades (in part if not whole) by means of papers acquires the character of a sort of revenge of popular culture — ranging from cable television to rap music — upon academic culture.
Terry Caesar, "Cheating in a Time of Extenuating Circumstances," Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/07/08/caesar
 

Jensen Comment:  The 1992 movie School Ties focuses on cheating brought to light by an honor code that requires students to report seeing other students cheat.  It also focuses on education at a time when cheating was more severely punished, usually by expulsion from school.  In most colleges today, first-time offenders who get caught are generally placed on some type of probation.  At the same time most schools have modified their honor codes in this litigious society such that students are no longer required to report observed cheating of other students.  Many instructors view reporting of cheating as becoming too much of a hassle in terms of time and trouble when the student will not be severely punished in any case.  This leads to greater risk taking on the part of some students when it comes to cheating.  They are less likely to be detected and, if detected for the first time, the punishments are negligible relative to the rewards.  Such risk taking continues on when they are tempted to cheat as executives in business/government and the temptations to siphon off millions of dollars are great.


From T.H.E. Newsletter on November 17, 2004

With the crunch of midterms, finding time to write that history paper or analyze that Shakespeare poem may seem like an impossible feat.

But students will want to think twice before running to the Internet to download a paper in times of desperation, as UCLA renewed its license this year for the commonly used online anti-plagiarism service, Turnitin.com…

For the full story, visit: http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/articles.asp?id=30809 


Ministers should learn that it is much more acceptable if attribution of source material is given up front
Glenn Wagner was a successful mega-church pastor in Charlotte, N.C., until one of his elders heard a sermon on the radio that was identical to one he had heard from the pulpit. Mr. Wagner confessed that he had been preaching other people's sermons off and on for two years, including some he broadcast on Christian radio. He resigned from his ministry last fall. A similar case occurred after members of the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., found on the internet sermons that Alvin O'Neal, moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a celebrated preacher in that denomination, had preached. Mr. O'Neal apologized for his actions and remains in his ministry. A number of lesser-known ministers across the country have also been caught stealing sermons. Sometimes it makes the newspapers, but other times congregations or denominations handle the matter quietly.
Gene Edward Veith, "Word for word RELIGION: More and more pastors lift entire sermons off the internet—but is the practice always wrong?" World Magazine, April 22, 2005 ---
http://www.worldmag.com/subscriber/displayarticle.cfm?id=10576


Question
Where are your students going for help with term paper assignments?

Answer
One place might be the "Term Paper Research Guide" at http://www.findarticles.com/p/page?sb=articles_guide_termpaper&tb=art 


"Hi-tech answer to student cheats," BBC News, June 30, 2004 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/tyne/wear/3852347.stm 

New measures to help detect cheating students are being demonstrated at a conference in Newcastle. 

A survey of around 350 undergraduates found nearly 25% had copied text from another source at least once.

A new service that can scan 4.5 billion web pages is now online so that lecturers can check the originality of the work submitted by students.

The software is being demonstrated at a meeting of the Plagiarism Advisory Service at Northumbria University.

'Originality report'

Student Tom Lenham said of the statistics: "That's a pretty modest interpretation of the situation at the moment.

"From my own experience and that of fellow students, it's a lot higher than that because it is not drummed into our heads from the start.

"Only more recently have we been told how to use the internet for referencing."

The Plagiarism Advisory Service says cheating is not a new phenomenon but the internet has led to concerns within the academic community that the problem is set to increase dramatically.

The service manager Fiona Duggan said: "The software has four databases that it checks students' work against and produces an originality report which highlights where it has found matches.

"It demonstrates where the student has lifted text from, and it also takes you to the source where the match was found."

The software has been developed in the USA and the Plagiarism Advisory Service hopes it will go some way to stamping out the practice.

Ms Duggan said: "There are other things that can be done, like the way you set assignments so each student has something individual to put into the assignment so it is not so easy to copy."


Questions
Should a doctoral student be allowed to hire an editor to help write her dissertation? 
If the answer is yes, should this also apply to any student writing a course project, take home exam, or term paper?

Answer
Forwarded by Aaron Konstam
"Academic Frauds," The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 3, 2003 --- http://chronicle.com/jobs/2003/11/2003110301c.htm 

Question (from "Honest John"): I'm a troubled member of a dissertation committee at Private U, where I'm not a regular faculty member (although I have a doctorate). "Bertha" is a "mature" student in chronological terms only. The scope of her dissertation research is ambiguous, and the quality of her proposal is substandard. The committee chair just told me that Bertha is hiring an editor to "assist" her in writing her dissertation. I'm outraged. I've complained to the chair and the director of doctoral studies, but if Bertha is allowed to continue having an "editor" to do her dissertation, shouldn't I report the university to an accreditation agency? This is too big a violation of integrity for me to walk away.

Answer: Ms. Mentor shares your outrage -- but first, on behalf of Bertha, who has been betrayed by her advisers.

In past generations, the model of a modern academician was a whiz-kid nerd, who zoomed through classes and degrees, never left school, and scored his Ph.D. at 28 or so. (Nietzsche was a full professor at 24.) Bertha is more typical today. She's had another life first.

Most likely she's been a mom and perhaps a blue-collar worker -- so she knows about economics, time management, and child development. Maybe she's been a musician, a technician, or a mogul -- and now wants to mentor others, pass on what she's known. Ms. Mentor hears from many Berthas.

Returning adult students are brave. "Phil" found that young students called him "the old dude" and snorted when he spoke in class. "Barbara" spent a semester feuding with three frat boys after she told them to "stop clowning around. I'm paying good money for this course." And "Millie's" sister couldn't understand her thirst for knowledge: "Isn't your husband rich enough so you can just stay home and enjoy yourself?"

Some tasks, Ms. Mentor admits, are easier for the young -- pole-vaulting, for instance, and pregnancy. Writing a memoir is easier when one is old. And no one under 35, she has come to suspect, should give anyone advice about anything. But Bertha's problem is more about academic skills than age.

Her dissertation plan may be too ambitious, and her writing may be rusty -- but it's her committee's job to help her. All dissertation writers have to learn to narrow and clarify their topics and pace themselves. That is part of the intellectual discipline. Dissertation writers learn that theirs needn't be the definitive word, just the completed one, for a Ph.D. is the equivalent of a union card -- an entree to the profession.

But instead of teaching Bertha what she needs to know, her committee (except for Honest John) seems willing to let her hire a ghost writer.

Ms. Mentor wonders why. Do they see themselves as judges and credential-granters, but not teachers? Ms. Mentor will concede that not everyone is a writing genius: Academic jargon and clunky sentences do give her twitching fits. But while not everyone has a flair, every academic must write correct, clear, serviceable prose for memos, syllabuses, e-mail messages, reports, grant proposals, articles, and books.

Being an academic means learning to be an academic writer -- but Bertha's committee is unloading her onto a hired editor, at her own expense. Instead of birthing her own dissertation, she's getting a surrogate. Ms. Mentor feels the whole process is fraudulent and shameful.

What to do?

Ms.Mentor suggests that Honest John talk with Bertha about what a dissertation truly involves. (He may include Ms. Mentor's column on "Should You Aim to Be a Professor?") No one seems to have told Bertha that it is an individual's search for a small corner of truth and that it should teach her how to organize and write up her findings.

Moreover, Bertha may not know the facts of the job market in her field. If she aims to be a professor but is a mediocre writer, her chances of being hired and tenured -- especially if there's age discrimination -- may be practically nil. There are better investments.

But if Bertha insists on keeping her editor, and her committee and the director of doctoral studies all collude in allowing this academic fraud to take place, what should Honest John do?

He should resign from the committee, Ms. Mentor believes: Why spend his energies with dishonest people? He will have exhausted "internal remedies" -- ways to complain within the university -- and it is a melancholy truth that most bureaucracies prefer coverups to confrontations. If there are no channels to go through, Honest John may as well create his own -- by contacting the accrediting agencies, professional organizations in the field, and anyone else who might be interested.

Continued in the article.

Why not hire Google to write all or parts of her dissertation dissertation? (See below)

November 3, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, there are two very different questions being addressed here.

The first deals with the revelation that “her dissertation research is ambiguous, and the quality of her proposal is substandard”.

The editing of a manuscript is a completely different issue.

The ambiguity of the research and the flaws with the proposal should be addressed far more forcefully than the editing issue!

Care should be used to ensure that the editor simply edits (corrects grammar, tense, case, person, etc.), and isn’t responsible for the creation of ideas. But if the editor is a professional editor who understands the scope of his/her job, I don’t see why editing should be an issue for anyone, unless the purpose of the dissertation exercise is to evaluate the person’s mastery of the minutiae of the English language (in which case the editor is indeed inappropriate).

Talk about picking your battles … I’d be a lot more upset about ambiguous research than whether someone corrected her sentence structure. I believe the whistle-blower needs to take a closer look at his/her priorities. A flag needs to be raised, but about the more important of the two issues.

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

Bob Jensen's threads about assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


It's About Time
"Settlement Reached in Essay-Mill Lawsuit." by Paige Chapman, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 25, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/settlement-reached-in-essay-mill-lawsuit/27852?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Where is the line of ethical responsibility of using online services to improve writing?

June 23, 2006 message from Elliot Kamlet [ekamlet@STNY.RR.COM]

Is it just me or is there a lack of, at least, shame.

http://www.thepaperexperts.com/aboutus.shtml 

Elliot Kamlet
Binghamton University

June 23, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Elliot,

I suspect that paying to have your writing edited, revised, and translated is as old as writing itself. Networking technology has simply made it faster, easier, and in many instances cheaper.  What is a problem is that a student who writes very badly may never be discovered in college if writing is required only for assignments outside the classroom. This speaks in favor of essay examinations along the way.

There is certainly nothing illegal about an editing service, and it would be tough to say outside editing is unethical except for assignments that require or request that the author's work must be entirely in his/her own words.

Of course this particular service in Canada may entail both editing and translating (from Canadian into English) --- just kidding.

If such a service also adds new content, then the ethical issues are very clear since the author might take credit for the new content where credit is not due. The author also takes a chance that the new content might be plagiarized.

I had a student some years ago that submitted a term paper that was plagiarized entirely from three separate sources (that I found with a Google search). In dealing with the student and his parents, I discovered that he was not aware that his AIS paper was plagiarized. He was a young CEO of one of his father's AIS companies. He (my student) hired one of his employees to write the paper. The employee actually plagiarized the work to be submitted in the name of my student.

The question in this case is what is worse --- plagiarizing from published sources or hiring the writing of the term paper? In either case, the rule infraction would get the student an F from me and a report of the incident to the Academic Vice President of the University.

Interestingly, the student approached me about five years later and asked if the time limit on his F grade had expired. He wanted to submit a new paper. I told him that F grades do not expire even after graduation.

Bob Jensen

June 23, 2006 reply from Ruth Bender [r.bender@CRANFIELD.AC.UK]

And for $62.65 you can buy "Plagiarism and Academic Integrity"

"Plagiarism is a constant concern in the academic world particularly in areas that involve a lot of research or term paper writing, such as English Literature. The Internet seems to be making plagiarism easier as are companies that specialize in academic research writing for hire. However, several experts believe that most plagiarism takes place because students do not fully understand how to perform proper scholarly research and integrate it into their own material. In the end, plagiarism seems to stem more from a lack of knowledge rather than a plot to undermine education."

Pages: 7

Bibliography: Content-Di source(s) listed

Filename: 22017 plagiarism and Academic Integrity.doc

Price: US$62.65

Ruth Bender
Cranfield School of Management
UK

June 23, 2006 reply from Joseph Brady [bradyj@LERNER.UDEL.EDU]

Years ago I too thought that dishonesty was caused by a lack of knowledge. The cure: tell students the general rule (don't take credit for the work of others) and how that rule applies in your course (give specific examples of how students could trip up). I work hard at the cognitive factor, going so far as to give a *quiz* on our honesty rules, in the first week of classes.

Experience can be a cruel teacher. I now think that most students are dishonest because it's easy to be dishonest and easy to get away with dishonesty. The problem is not a cognitive one. It's an ethical one, having a grounding in what is culturally acceptable at an institution.

It's not a problem in just English 101. Plagiarism is a serious issue in any course that involves computer-generated files. It's easy in any MIS or AIS course to copy someone else's application program and make some simple modifications to avoid detection. Students learn this right away. Actually, they have know this since high school or even earlier.

My primary concern as an educator is: are students learning? Surely this is obvious: those who are copying, are not learning. If only the small minority of students were at fault, I would not worry so much. But I think the problem is worsening rapidly. It's now possible to reach a tipping point: most of the class copying most of the time, so that not much is learned by the end of the semester. I actually had a section that came pretty close to that status last semester.

Students will not police themselves, at least not here, so I do not have a solution for the problem. It would be nice to have a utility (like turnitin.com) that would answer the question: "Was the contents of this Excel/Access/VB/etc file copied or imported from some other file?" You can no longer get the answer to that question reliably using Windows time stamping. One of my summer To-Do's is to write that program in VB, but I'll have to learn a lot about Windows file structures to do that, and I'll probably not have time to get to it.

Joe Brady
University of Delaware

June 25, 2006 reply from Robert Holmes Glendale College [rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US]

It is inconceivable to me that anyone who has reached the college level would not know that copying a paper from any source (Internet, friend or ?) is cheating. When I hear the "I didn't think it was wrong" defense I assume I am talking to a liar as well as a cheater.

June 25, 2006 reply from Henry Collier [henrycollier@aapt.net.au]

I am more than a little vexed with this:

It is inconceivable to me that anyone who has reached the college level would not know that copying a paper from any source (Internet, friend or ?) is cheating. When I hear the "I didn't think it was wrong" defense I assume I am talking to a liar as well as a cheater.

There’s more than one cultural bias illustrated in the quote. Not everyone, fortunately, is embedded in the narrow and biased views of the writer.

Henry

June 26, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Throughout the world in modern times I think borrowing works without proper citation is considered unethical. In some parts of the world such as Germany there was (and possibly still is) an exception made for students where the work of the student was viewed as the work of the professor. I'm not certain about this exception in modern times, but some professors in the past purportedly put their names on entire books written by students without even acknowledging the students. Presumably these professors also kept the book royalties with clear consciences. I think this practice was more common in the physical sciences.

A exception which does still exist in modern times arises when a noted professor, often a senior researcher from a highly prestigious university, lends his/her name to a textbook to improve its marketing potential. I know of one instance in an accounting textbook with four authors where one of the authors wrote over 90% of the material and the other authors mostly lent their names and affiliations. I know of other instances where a senior professor from a huge program did very little of the writing of the textbook but greatly increased the chances that his university would provide sales of over 1,000 copies of the book each year. Such marketing ploys might be viewed as deceptive, although can it be called plagiarism when the principal author of possibly 100% of the writing encourages someone else to share in the "authorship credit?"

Something similar happens for journal articles to improve their chances for publication in a leading journal. There is also the even more common happening where one author who writes poorly did the research and wrote a very rough first draft. Then a highly skilled writer who does little or no research anymore performs a great editing service and receives full credit as a partner in the research. In this case the paper's editor may be getting far more credit for the "research" than is deserving.

See how complicated the question of authorship ethics becomes.

Bob Jensen

June 26, 2006 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

>June 26, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

>Throughout the world in modern times I think borrowing works without proper citation is considered unethical.

Bob, while this might hold true for academic work, it certainly does not seem to apply to the journalistic world, does it? (Think: WV Coal Mine Disaster; Think: Hurricane Katrina at the New Orleans Stadium; Think: any one of hundreds of other media screwups in the past few months where so-called "news" media reported a story as though the reporter were reporting first-hand facts when in reality the reporter was "copying" from an unreliable (and false) source, -- all without proper citation.

And in some instances, a few journalists are so unethical that they even go so far as to try to HIDE their sources and keep them secret! Talk about lack of proper attribution! Some even claim a constitutional right to do so! ;-)

And no, the citation of "a reliable source" is not proper citation; if you think it is, just try getting one of those past ANY reviewer for any decent journal! I can see it now: a bibliography containing sixteen entries of "A reliable source", "ibid".

On another note, I have it "from a reliable source" that in times past, (specifically the 16th century art world), it was not considered wrong to borrow works from other people without attribution. (My source here is the art curator at the Rubens House museum in Antwerp, Belgium.) Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyke, and most of the other great "masters" of the art world back then ran studios to train young artists in the guild craft. The master would sketch a scene, the young artist would paint it, the master might touch up a little here and there, and ultimately would sign it, giving the student no recognition or attribution whatsoever. With the master's signature, the piece would sell handsomely, the master would pay the student a cut, and keep the rest. This was a widely known, and perfectly acceptable, practice of the day. There are dozens of Van Dykes, Rembrandts, Rubens, and other great works which show very little evidence of ever being touched by the person who signed the painting. Everyone of the day actually knew it, but it was an acceptable practice as long as the student was a student of the master. It was the master's name which sold the painting. Marketing, marketing.

Of course, to be realistic, I tend to agree with Robert Holmes. Most of the college students I encounter these days do know perfectly well that what they are doing is wrong in most cases, but plead ignorance and invoke the "cultural victim" mentality when caught. And when I do have the occasional student from another culture, I make an extra effort to clarify what is and is not acceptable. (I don't know what the culture is in Ghana, for example, but when caught, my Ghana student admitted knowing she had violated the honor code, in addition to violating the instructions clearly printed on the assignment.)

But as Carol pointed out, the chase, the hunt, the hiding, is all part of the game which some students see as being part of the "essence" of preparing for the real world: college.

signed,

---

(um, you were expecting a real signature here?)

---

The gadfly from JMU An unnamed source...

June 26, 2006 reply from Bernadine and Peter Raiskums [berna@GCI.NET]

In the doctoral program I am now pursuing on-line through Capella, the learners are provided with access to mydropbox.com and encouraged to submit their draft papers "to help with citation issues and improper source referencing. After submission, mydropbox.com will generate a plagiarism report within 24 hours ... for your personal use." I found the report to be very interesting in that it picked up something that had been published in a rather obscure journal which I had written myself last year!

Bernadine Raiskums, CPA, M.Ed. in Anchorage

The home page for mydropbox.com is at http://www.mydropbox.com/


"High-Profile Plagiarism Prompts Soul-Searching in German Universities," by Paul Hockenos, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 25, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/High-Profile-Plagiarism/137515/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Rarely do political scandal and academe collide so publicly as they have now, in Europe. In February, Germany's education minister stepped down after Heinrich Heine University, in Düsseldorf, revoked her doctorate because her thesis lifted passages from other sources without proper attribution.

Her departure came after scandals over plagiarized work took down a German defense minister, the president of Hungary, and a Romanian education minister. But it is the storied German university system, not politics, that has suffered the real body blows, say education experts.

The front-page news has shaken higher education in Germany, where, in addition to the two former federal ministers, several other national and local political figures have been accused of academic fraud. The incidents have left many wondering: Is there something rotten at the heart of German academe, the esteemed heir of Humboldt and Hegel?

For two centuries, the German university as envisioned by the 19th-century philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt has been the model for research institutions in Europe, the United States, and beyond. Humboldt's notions of academic freedom, the autonomy of the university, and placing scientific pursuit at the heart of higher education continue to carry weight today. But his legacy in Germany may be growing somewhat tarnished.

"The reputation of German universities is suffering, and it looks like it will suffer for some time to come," says Wolfgang E.J. Weber, director of the Institute for European Cultural History, in Augsburg, Germany, and author of a book on the history of the European university.

As a result of the scandals, he says, his historian colleagues from elsewhere in Europe no longer consider the German system to be the gold standard. Noting that the allegations of academic fraud have affected doctoral graduates in the humanities and liberal arts, Mr. Weber worries that if financing for disciplines in those areas suffers as a result, "the negative consequences could be long-term."

In Germany academic titles play a role in politics far greater than they do in the United States. Doctoral and other titles, sometimes as many as three or four, are prominently displayed on the business cards, door plaques, and letterheads of politicians. Some call it posturing—a modern-day "nobleman's title"—while others defend it as a meaningful distinction based on merit.

"In the German context, the academic title means more than just an expertise, say, in economics or law, that can be valuable to policy making or another field," says Thomas Rommel, rector of the European College of Liberal Arts of Bard, in Berlin, and author of a book about plagiarism in general. "It connotes personal achievement, an element of determination and grit to pursue a specialized topic for three years and see it through."

Whether one is impressed by the degree or not, the Ph.D. has become a facet of the German résumé that lures ambitious politicians and professionals who have no intention of entering academe. That has led to a proliferation of Ph.D.'s—roughly 25,000 a year awarded since 2000, more per capita than any other country in the world, according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. By comparison, American universities award 50,000 doctorates a year, but in a country with a population four times as large as Germany's.

Germany's output of Ph.D. recipients probably won't slow down, but the plagiarism cases have shined a spotlight on academe's time-honored methods for supervising and awarding doctorates, especially to candidates who are not full-time academics.

"In theory," says Martin Spiewak, education editor at the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, "the professional with hands-on experience in a given field, like a politician, can through a dissertation bring something new into the world of scholarship that others can then profit from. It could be a unique, constructive link between the professional and the academic worlds."

Continued in article

"Yet Another Plagiarism Scandal in Germany," by Ana Dinescu, Inside Higher Ed, March 8, 2013 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/yet-another-plagiarism-scandal-germany

Jensen Comment
Centuries ago Oxford was a collection of colleges rather than a university. When I lectured at Humboldt University in Berlin a few years ago, it was claimed that the idea of a university as opposed to a collection of colleges was conceived at Humboldt ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University

Prior to the 20th Century the works of students became the works of their professors and were sometimes published without even giving credit to the original authors. Of course times have changed, although they perhaps changed a bit slower in Germany.

It was hard to sleep at night in my hotel because skyscrapers were being built 24/7 with lots of noise, loud radios, and men yelling loudly in Russian. Apparently Russian workers were imported to do a lot of the construction work. I thought it was ironic that the Russians destroyed Berlin and then were called back to rebuild it.


Market for Admissions Test Questions and Essay "Consulting"

This type of cheating raises all sorts of legal issues yet to be resolved for students who might've thought what they did was perfectly legal

New Effort to Sell (successful) MBA Application Essays ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/10/02/new-effort-sell-mba-application-essays

More than 1,000 prospective MBA students who paid $30 to use a now-defunct Web site to get a sneak peak at live questions from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) before taking the exam may have their scores canceled in coming weeks. For many, their B-school dreams may be effectively over. On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted the test's publisher, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a $2.3 million judgment against the operator of the site, Scoretop.com. GMAC has seized the site's domain name and shut down the site, and is analyzing a hard drive containing payment information. GMAC said any students found to have used the Scoretop site will have their test scores canceled, the schools that received them will be notified, and the student will not be permitted to take the test again. Since most top B-schools require the GMAT, the students will have little chance of enrolling. "This is illegal," said Judy Phair, GMAC's vice-president for communications. "We have a hard drive, and we're going to be analyzing it. If you used the site and paid your $30 to cheat, your scores will be canceled. They're in big trouble."
Louis Lavelle, "Shutting Down a GMAT Cheat Sheet:  A court order against a Web site that gave away test questions could land some B-school students in hot water," Business Week, June 23, 2008 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jun2008/bs20080623_153722.htm

Jensen Comment
A university admissions office that refused to accept applications from the "cheating" prospective MBA students would probably be sued by one or more students. GMAC would probably be sued as well. But it's hard to sue a U.S. District Court.

There are several moral issues here. From above, this is clearly cheating. But in various parts of society exam questions and answers are made available for study purposes. For example, preparation manuals for drivers license tests usually contain all the questions that might be asked on the written test. It is entirely possible that some MBA applicants fell for a scam that they believed was entirely legitimate. Now their lives are being messed up.

I guess this is a test of the old saying that "Ignorance is no defense" in the eyes of the law. Clearly from any standpoint, they were taking advantage of other students who did not have the cheat sheets. But the cheat sheets were apparently available to anybody in the world for a rather modest fee, albeit an illegal fee. Every buyer did not know it was illegal.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


"Penn State Cracks Down on Plagiarism," by Allison Damast, Business Week, February 3, 2011 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/feb2011/bs2011022_942724.htm?link_position=link1


"Turnitin Begins Crackdown on Plagiarism in Admissions Essays," by Louis Lavelle, Business Week, January 20, 2010 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/blogs/mba_admissions/archives/2010/01/turnitin_begins.html?link_position=link5 

For a long time, b-school applicants have had it good. Submit an MBA application to Harvard, and who’s going to know if you send the same one to Wharton? And Columbia? And Yale? Turn in an essay with a few well-chosen words lifted from an online source, or a friend’s essay, and who’s the wiser? Well, those days are over my friends. O-V-E-R, over.

Turnitin.com, the web site that professors have been using for years to check student research papers for plagiarism, is now turning it’s attention to admissions essays, with Turnitin for Admissions. The new service, which was announced in December, checks admissions essays submitted by participating schools against a massive database that contains billions of pages of web content as well as more than 100 million student works previously submitted to Turnitin and millions of pages of proprietary content, including journals and books. It’s capable, the company says, of flagging instances of “plagiarism, recycled submissions, duplicate responses, purchased documents, and other violations of academic standards.”

No b-schools have signed up for the service yet, but it seems only a matter of time. The service was started by popular demand from colleges and universities, and b-school admissions directors are as vocal as any in their complaints about duplicate essays and similar problems.

And they don’t even know the half of it. Back in 2007, in anticipation of the new service, Turnitin undertook a study of every single undergraduate admissions essay submitted over the course of a year in a large (unnamed) English-speaking country, all told, about 453,000 “personal statements” received by more than 300 institutions of higher education. About 200,000 of them were found to include text that matched sources in the Turnitin database.

In all, more than a million matches were found (5 for each of the 200,000 essay). Half the matches were from online sources, with 29% coming from student documents (research papers, etc.) and 20% coming from other admissions documents. Turnitin’s conclusion: that 36% of the matches it found were suspected plagiarism. Here’s an excerpt from the Turnitin report:

Personal statements attached to university applications should be the work of that applicant and help the university know more about the perspective applicant. It is safe to assume that more that 70,000 applicants that applied though this system did so with statements that may not have been their own work. The number of Internet sites that matched personal statement/essay providing services leads one to question the additional 100,000 applicants whose personal statement contained a significant match (they may have borrowed or purchased all or part of their personal statement). The list of internet sites where most of this poaching went on includes Wikipedia, the BBC, the Guardian newspaper, as well as numerous sites designed specifically to help students with their essays, including Peterson’s Essayedge.com. A few of the sites belonged to admissions consultants, including Accepted.com and EssayEdge.com, and few others, if you can believe this, actually belong to schools themselves, including online writing labs at Purdue University and Ohio State.

I really don’t know where to begin. If the Turnitin study is at all representative of the current state of college admissions, it seems safe to assume that more than a few current MBAs, and quite a few MBA alumni who have gone on to bigger and better things, started out their academic lives committing the cardinal sin of the academy, and a serious breach of ethics. If they stammered through the essays on their own, without the benefit of cutting and pasting, would they have been admitted? Impossible to say. Did not getting caught encourage them to go on to bigger and better lies? Again, nobody knows.

I’m willing to entertain any opposing viewpoint that makes a modicum of sense, but I’m not sure there is one. Is duplicating your admissions essay okay? Is plagiarizing someone else’s work in an essay ever permissable?

Continued in article


"The Computer Stole My Homework -- and Sold It Through an Essay Mill," by Ben Terris, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2009 --- Click Here

Without her knowing it, a paper that Melinda Riebolt co-wrote while getting her M.B.A. was stolen and put up for sale. And, according to an article that USA Today reported last week, that same scenario has played out many times before.

The article discusses how some essay mills -- Web sites that provide written works for students -- surreptitiously steal work and then sell it for others to pass off as their own.

For the first time, however, those who find unauthorized postings of their work online may have a way to seek legal retribution. The article says a class-action lawsuit filed in 2006 is making its way through the courts, and one judge in Illinois has found a provider liable on six counts, including fraud and copyright infringement. That site is called RC2C Inc. and hosts at least nine sites that sell term papers.

Essay mills often provide their own written works.


"In Lawsuit, College Board Accuses Company of Circulating Copyright-Protected SAT Questions,"  by Elizabeth R. Farrell,  Chronicle of Higher Education, February 25, 2008 --- Click Here

A test-preparation company in Texas is being sued by the College Board for what it calls "one of the largest cases of a security breach in our company's history," according to Edna Johnson, a senior vice president of the nonprofit group, which owns the SAT.

In a lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Dallas, the College Board is seeking unspecified damages against the company, Karen Dillard's College Prep LP, which it says illegally obtained copies of SAT and PSAT tests before they were available to the public. The lawsuit also accuses the company of violating copyright-protection laws by circulating and selling materials that included test questions owned by the College Board.

The lawsuit arose after a former employee of the test-preparation company reported information to the College Board. Karen Dillard, the owner of the company, said the employee was disgruntled but would not elaborate on why.

Ms. Dillard did not deny that one of her employees obtained a copy of the SAT that was administered in November 2006 before the test was given. But Ms. Dillard said her company did not use any questions from that test in preparatory materials it provided to clients.

The lawsuit states that the employee got the test from his brother, the principal of a high school in Plano, Tex. The principal has been put on paid leave while the Plano school district investigates the matter, according to the Associated Press.

Copyright Confusion

In reference to the copyright allegations in the lawsuit, Ms. Dillard said in an interview on Friday that she had believed she was lawfully allowed to use materials she had purchased from the College Board before 2005.

Part of the confusion may stem from a shift in the College Board's policies regarding circulation of previous test materials. Until 2005, the company would sell copies of previously given SAT's to companies. After the SAT was revamped that year, the College Board no longer sold those materials. At that time, the company also began to offer its own online test-preparation course to students, which now costs $69.95.

"We believe part of the motivation of the College Board in bringing this lawsuit," Ms. Dillard said, "is to drive test-preparation companies like ours out of business so they can dominate the industry with their own test-preparation materials, which are for sale."

Ms. Dillard said she also thinks that the College Board is going to great efforts to publicize the lawsuit to make an example out of her company. To support that point, she said that Justin Pope, a higher-education reporter for the Associated Press, received a copy of the lawsuit and contacted her for comment before it was filed.

When contacted by The Chronicle, Mr. Pope said he could not confirm how or when he received the lawsuit, and could not comment further about the matter.

The lawsuit is the culmination of a four-month investigation by lawyers for the College Board. Two lawyers from the firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, along with a representative for the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT, visited Ms. Dillard's office several months ago.

Ms. Dillard said that, at that time, her company fully cooperated with all requests for information and interviews with employees, and that she also provided personal financial records to the lawyers.

Ms. Dillard also said that her company offered to settle the matter for $300,000, but that lawyers for the College Board made a counteroffer of $1.25-million, a sum her company could not afford.

Ms. Johnson, of the College Board, said she could not comment on any offers made in settlement negotiations.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


I wonder if admissions officers are puzzled when two or more essay submissions look suspiciously alike?

"B-Schools Take on Essay Consultants," by Rob Capriccioso, Inside Higher Ed, February 6, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/02/07/bschool

“Vault is collecting successful admissions essays for top MBA programs, including Wharton — and will pay $40 for each main essay (main personal statement greater than 500 words), and $15 for each minor essay (secondary essay answering a specific question less than 500 words) that we accept for our admissions essay section.”

That message, recently sent out from a top company that helps students get into business schools, is enough to irk even the most experienced admissions officers at some the nation’s leading business schools.

“Some of our admissions counselors have gotten outraged,” says Thomas R. Caleel, director of MBA admissions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “We want students to be giving their real stories, not some ‘polished’ or even ‘over-polished’ versions of themselves.”

“Essays have to be meaningful per person,” he adds. “It might be helpful to see some successful essays, but in my mind, it might also be limiting. Someone might read one [of the consultant-produced essays] and think that their essays have to read the same way, in order to get in.”

Those sentiments are being expressed by an increasing number of business school officials who say that students shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to make themselves appear different than who they really are. While some officials plan to go on the offensive against firms that they find particularly egregious, others want to work more closely with consultants. Still others say that there is little they can do to prevent the phenomenon.

Deans at seven of the top American business schools are expected to address such issues at an upcoming gathering, according to a Monday report in The Boston Globe. In an effort to “remove the possibility of outside interference,” Derrick Bolton, director of admissions at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, told the paper that deans are considering making students complete their essays under supervision, providing different essays to students in the same applicant pool, and conducting more interviews and follow-up with references.

While the proliferation of admissions consultants of various sorts has frustrated officials in undergraduate admissions as well, especially at elite institutions, the steps being considered by business schools could amount to a much more aggressive stance against the application-consulting industry.

“Part of getting the best candidates is for them to be themselves during the admissions process,” says Caleel. “We really want to get to know the real person who is applying.” Wharton’s business school dean, Patrick Harker, is expected to be part of the group that will meet to discuss consultant issues.

While Vault officials could not be reached for comment on Monday, Alex Brown, a senior admissions counselor at ClearAdmit, in Philadelphia, says that not all consulting firms function the same way. “Some businesses are bad,” he says, “but the bulk of us, that’s not the way we operate.”

Continued in article

 


This service from Google Answers was disturbing until Google shut it down 

Students can now pay to have their homework answered by experts.

Some claim using the Net to do homework shows that today's kids are resourceful. But a rise in content cribbed straight from online sources, like Google Answers, has teachers on alert.
"Thin Line Splits Cheating, Smarts," vy Dustin Goot, Wired News, September 10, 2002 --- http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,54963,00.html 

Most teachers wouldn't be surprised to hear that students have bribed friends or siblings to do their homework in exchange for a few bucks.

What might surprise them is that Google Answers sometimes takes school kids up on the offer.

Staffed by a cadre of 500-plus freelance researchers, the service takes people's questions -- for example, a calculus problem or a term paper topic -- and provides answers and links to information. Google charges a listing fee of 50 cents and, if someone comes up with a satisfactory response, the user pays that researcher a previously entered bid (minimum: $2).

Although Google Answers has a policy encouraging students to use the service as a study aid rather than a substitution for original work, several cases show that students often ignore this advice.

One student in Quebec, dismayed by a response that offered only background research for a paper on religion, pleads, "Make it into an essay, not just links and quotes. I need this asap PLEASE!!! 2500 words is the minimum."

While researchers are scrupulous enough not to churn out a completed term paper -- despite the Quebec student's $55 bid -- other potential homework questions, such as math or science problems, can be harder to identify. In some cases researchers acknowledge that a question looks like homework -- but they still provide the answer.

The dilemma faced by Google Answers researchers highlights a broader issue that vexes many educators around the country. Namely, where do you draw the line between appropriate and inappropriate uses of the Internet and how do you stamp out clear abuses such as cutting and pasting entire paragraphs into an essay?

The question first entered many educators' consciousness following a Kansas cheating scandal earlier in the year that made national headlines. At Piper High School, near Kansas City, a biology teacher failed 28 of 118 students for plagiarism on an assignment that consisted of collecting and gathering information about local leaves.

However, many students (and their parents) contended that there was nothing improper about the leaf descriptions they submitted, which had been lifted straight from the Internet. Others claimed it was unclear where proper citation was required.

Tamara Ballou, who is helping implement an honor code at her Falls Church, Virginia, high school, said that it is not uncommon for teachers and students to disagree on what constitutes academic dishonesty.

"We took a long time to define cheating," she said, noting that many kids felt it was acceptable to copy homework from each other or off the Internet if the assignment was perceived as "busy work."

"A lot of kids don't even know what (plagiarism) is," agreed Kevin Huelsman. "They say, 'Yeah, I did the work; I brought it over (from the Internet).'"

Continued at  http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,54963,00.html 

See also:
•  Where Cheaters Often Prosper
•  Got Cheaters? Ask New Questions
•  Schools, Tech: Still Struggling

The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) 

Faculty are reluctant to take action against suspected cheaters. In a 1999 survey of over 1,000 faculty on 21 campuses, one-third of those who were aware of student cheating in their course in the last two years, did nothing to address it. Students suggest that cheating is higher in courses where it is well known that faculty members are likely to ignore cheating.
Quoted from the research of Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI) --- See below

Academic honor codes effectively reduce cheating. Surveys conducted in 1990, 1995, and 1999, involving over 12,000 students on 48 different campuses, demonstrate the impact of honor codes and student involvement in the control of academic dishonesty. Serious test cheating on campuses with honor codes is typically 1/3 to 1/2 lower than the level on campuses that do not have honor codes. The level of serious cheating on written assignments is 1/4 to 1/3 lower.
Quoted from the research of Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI) --- See below

The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/ 

The Center for Academic Integrity is affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Clemson University. We gratefully acknowledge their financial and programmatic assistance, as well as funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.

CAI is a consortium of over 225 institutions who share with peers and colleagues the Center’s collective experience, expertise, and creative energy.

Benefits of membership include:

Research --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/cai_research.asp 

Research projects conducted by Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI), have had disturbing, provocative, and challenging results, among them the following:

Read about the honor codes of many colleges and universities --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/samp_honor_codes.asp 


Racial Divide:  Are their differences in cheating by race?

"University community reacts to diversity statistics from Committee:  Various minority organizations, administrators discuss racial issues, discrepancies based on recently released statistics about cases reported, brought to trial," by Cameron Feller, Cavalier Daily, April 14, 2009 ---
http://www.cavalierdaily.com/news/2009/apr/14/university-community-reacts-to-diversity-statistic/

The 2008-09 Honor Committee released statistics last week about the demographics of cases reviewed during its term. Although the data dealt specifically with cases reported, accused and brought to trial, the information also lends itself to several discussions about some students’ concerns pertaining to the University’s honor system and diversity.

Reporting

One of the most obvious areas of interest within the statistics were the numbers that dealt specifically with reporting. According to the statistics, a total of 64 cases were brought before the past Committee. Of these cases, 27 reports were brought against white students, 21 against black students, 11 against Asian and/or Asian-American students, four against Latinos and four against students of unknown race.

“When I saw [the statistics], I was a little bit surprised at the disproportionate number of minority students reported compared to [white] students,” said Vice Chair for Investigations Mary Siegel, a third-year College student.

“Looking at these numbers, there are almost as many [black] students reported as [white] students, which is not at all proportional [to the actual number of students enrolled at the University],” Siegel said.

These concerns with respect to reporting extend beyond just Committee members, however.

“In terms of data collection, I can’t help but be startled by the discrepancy,” African-American Affairs Dean Maurice Apprey said.

Another alleged discrepancy is the ratio of cases brought against males to those brought against females. The statistics show that 48 males were reported of committing an honor offense, whereas only 18 females were reported.

Some members of the University attribute such statistical discrepancies to spotlighting, which is when certain minorities — such as blacks, athletes and Asians — are reported at a much higher rate than white students for reasons like standing out in the room more, as well as some reporters’ inherent biases.

“From a psychology point of view, sometimes you are going to look at what’s different in the room,” said Black Student Alliance President-elect Lauren Boswell, a third-year Architecture student.

Siegel said she hopes to help explore the reasons behind allegedly biased reporting by speaking to reporters more frequently than the current system allows.

“I think the first place we have to start is reporters and ask them why they suspected this person of an the Committee offense,” Siegel said. “If there seems to be a pattern, then the Committee can try and correct that pattern.”

Currently reporters of an alleged honor offense are involved in the first interview during the investigations process and then during a rebuttal, but are removed from the investigations process, Siegel said. Removing the reporter from the process ensures that his or her bias does not play a part in investigations, Siegel added, but does not ensure that there are not any biased motivations behind the initial report.

Accusations and Trials

After students are reported of having committed an alleged honor offense, the case is taken up by the Investigative Panel, which is comprised of three rotating Committee members, and examined to see if an honor offense occurred. If the panel believes an offense occurred, the student is formally accused and is brought to trial.

According to the statistics excluding last weekend’s trials, 35 students were formally accused of committing an honor offense by the I-Panel, 13 of whom were black. Twelve white students were accused and 10 Asian and/or Asian-American students also were brought to trial. A total of 29 trials, including last weekend’s trials, occurred during the past Committee’s term. Of the 11 white students brought to trial, six were found not guilty, whereas 14 of the 19 black students brought to trial were found not guilty. A total of 32 males, meanwhile, were brought to trial, nine of whom were found guilty. Comparatively, four of the 11 female students brought to trial were found guilty.

After looking at the statistics, several Committee members said they believe that any bias present in the beginning of the honor trial process is lost during the process.

“Once a case comes into the system ... these students are being found guilty at the same rate” regardless of race, 2007-08 Committee Chair Jess Huang said.

Fourth-year College student Carlos Oronce, co-chair of the Minority Rights Coalition, disagreed, however.

“I challenge the notion that students of different color are on par with white students” after trials, Oronce said, noting that though Committee members have told him a “balance” eventually exists, his own data analysis yields different conclusions. He explained that his conclusions are based on a study done six years ago; the Committee has yet to do a similar study since.

“You’ll see that there’s something like a 6 percent difference in guilt rate between [white] students and black students,” Oronce said. “Six percent comes off to me as a huge difference.”

Oronce added that he believes that a more formal study needs to be done to accurately see and analyze the alleged disparities. Siegel also said she believes the Committee “needs to look at ways to correct these imbalances” regardless of whether the imbalances come into play during the actual investigation and trial process.

Representation, Recruitment and Retention

Several members of the University community also have expressed concern about representation within the actual Committee itself in regards to diversity.

“I think if you look at the Committee and support officer pools, they are admittedly not very diverse,” said Committee Chair David Truetzel, a third-year Commerce student. La Alianza Chair Carolina Ferrerosa, a fourth-year College student, agreed, noting that one of her organization’s major concerns is increasing diversity within the Committee.

“We would like to see more of a push” to get more minority representatives on the Committee, and make sure that “the Committee is realistic when it looks in the mirror,” Ferrerosa said.

Members and non-members alike hope that by increasing minority representation within the Committee, other diversity issues can be addressed, like increasing outreach and personal relationships between minority contracted independent organizations and the Committee.

Vice Chair for Education Rob Atkinson, a third-year College student, said he already has had several meetings aimed at improving education efforts with some of these groups. He added that he feels it is important to create a personal relationship between these groups and the Committee before more formal relationships can be developed.

“We want to take into account the concerns or views of the different communities when we reach out to those communities,” Atkinson said. Reaching out to these groups, Truetzel added, will help ensure that all students feel like the system belongs to them, no matter their race or gender.

“When you lack diversity ... you don’t have diversity of thought, diversity of ideas,” Truetzel said.

Apprey, meanwhile, agreed that increasing minority representation on the Committee could lead to “healthy conversation, healthy debates” and could help promote “further cultural competence” and understanding.

To help increase representation, the Committee has taken steps to improve recruitment and students attracted to joining the Committee. BSA President-elect Boswell noted that the Committee has made an effort to help promote recruitment among the black student community, holding two honor education classes during both the fall and spring semesters this academic year that encouraged members of the black community to join the Committee.

Boswell said that first-year students in the black community often are approached by a lot of different programs focused on black students their first semester to create “a sense of family and place here” at the University. It is therefore sometimes difficult, however, to attract first-year students that are minorities within the Committee and other organizations during their first semesters, Boswell said. By holding an education class during the spring, Boswell said, the Committee “got outstanding turnout for minorities.”

The Committee and BSA also held a study hall that discussed both the Committee and UJC. Although Boswell said she thought it was a success, she hopes in the future that it will become more “casual” so that students will feel comfortable enough to have personal conversations.

Despite these efforts, there are still many things the Committee can do to encourage minorities to participate in the honor system, Boswell said. Even though the Committee attends The Source, the black community’s activities fair, Boswell said she does not know if it is “the most effective way” to help recruitment.

Oronce said consistent outreach efforts to these different communities, rather than just right before elections or the beginning of the year, could prove helpful for recruitment or maintaining relationships.

In addition to issues of recruitment and representation, Oronce said that many minority students end up quitting the Committee because they feel uncomfortable and marginalized. Boswell added that officer pool meetings can be isolating as students generally sit with their friends. Though she said this might be found in any organization, she also noted that it is imperative that the Committee makes sure every minority student feels comfortable and included if they wish to maintain diversity.

“This past year, there has been a move towards getting a group that is more representative,” Huang said.

Oronce also said he believes that “this year is definitely a lot better than last year” in terms of representation within both the Committee and the support officer pool, but that there is still room for improvement.

“Once we fix our problems internally, we will be in a better place to discuss” some of these other issues of diversity and the Committee, Siegel added.

FAC and DAB

The Committee’s educational outreach efforts are not limited to students. Within the Committee, the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Diversity Advisory Board were created to help address issues with faculty members and diversity organizations. The FAC chair meets with faculty members once a month to discuss faculty concerns and teach aspects of honor, while the DAB works with Honor to increase Honor relevancy and understanding with diverse groups.

Continued in article


"B-School Admissions Cheating Scandal Ratted Out In China,"  By Christina Larson, Bloomberg Businessweek, January 24, 2014 --- 
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-24/b-school-admissions-cheating-scandal-ratted-out-in-china

In China it’s common to get spam messages on your mobile phone—including advertisements promising to boost your graduate-school admissions test scores and secure placement in MBA programs. Reporters at CCTV decided to take one spammer up on the “academic” offer in January–and then uncovered one of the largest organized test-cheating rings yet discovered involving a Chinese B-school.

Stories about corruption in higher education in China are depressingly common. Last fall, a high-ranking admissions officer at Beijing’s prestigious Renmin University – often called the Harvard of China – was apprehended at an airport trying to flee the country with a fake passport. State media soon reported that he had been accused of trading admissions spots for bribes, sometimes as much as 1 million yuan (about $165,000). In 2012, another professor at Renmin University, Cao Tingbing, leapt to his death from a high-rise building amid unconfirmed rumors of another admissions corruption scandal.

China’s graduate schools are not immune to admissions irregularities. Recently CCTV reporters followed spam messages to uncover a big one, as revealed in a broadcast last week. When an under-cover reporter first visited the so-called Zhihengzhi Training Center in Beijing, he saw files describing plans for test-takers to wear wireless earpieces through which they would hear test answers dictated. Graduate school admissions tests are administered at pre-arranged times in examination rooms monitored by a university.

Because communication devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, are not allowed in testing rooms, such a scam could only work with the cooperation of one or more universities. CCTV reporters discovered that Harbin Polytechnic University, which runs a graduate MBA program, was cooperating with Zhihengzhi Training Center.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 

 


Cheating Issues Somewhat Unique to Distance Education

Ideas for Teaching Online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas
Also see the helpers for teaching in general at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

In a previous edition of Tidbits, I provided a summary of resources for learning how and being inspired to teach online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas 

I forgot to (and have since added) helpers for assessment (e.g. testing) online ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnlineOffCampus
Also see the helpers for assessment in general at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Also I forgot to add some special considerations for detection and prevention of online cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline
Also see helpers for detection and prevention of cheating in general at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

November 1, 2012 Respondus message from Richard Campbell

Is the student taking your class the same one who is taking your exams??

Keep an eye on www.respondus.com

Software for online examinations and quizzes ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#Examinations

 


"Online Classes See Cheating Go High-Tech," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Online-Courses-Can-Offer-Easy/132093/?sid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Easy A's may be even easier to score these days, with the growing popularity of online courses. Tech-savvy students are finding ways to cheat that let them ace online courses with minimal effort, in ways that are difficult to detect.

Take Bob Smith, a student at a public university in the United States. This past semester, he spent just 25 to 30 minutes each week on an online science course, the time it took him to take the weekly test. He never read the online materials for the course and never cracked open a textbook. He learned almost nothing. He got an A.

His secret was to cheat, and he's proud of the method he came up with—though he asked that his real name and college not be used, because he doesn't want to get caught. It involved four friends and a shared Google Doc, an online word-processing file that all five of them could read and add to at the same time during the test.

More on his method in a minute. You've probably already heard of plenty of clever ways students cheat, and this might simply add one more to the list. But the issue of online cheating may rise in prominence, as more and more institutions embrace online courses, and as reformers try new systems of educational badges, certifying skills and abilities learned online. The promise of such systems is that education can be delivered cheaply and conveniently online. Yet as access improves, so will the number of people gaming the system, unless courses are designed carefully.

This prediction has not escaped many of those leading new online efforts, or researchers who specialize in testing. As students find new ways to cheat, course designers are anticipating them and devising new ways to catch folks like Mr. Smith.

In the case of that student, the professor in the course had tried to prevent cheating by using a testing system that pulled questions at random from a bank of possibilities. The online tests could be taken anywhere and were open-book, but students had only a short window each week in which to take them, which was not long enough for most people to look up the answers on the fly. As the students proceeded, they were told whether each answer was right or wrong.

Mr. Smith figured out that the actual number of possible questions in the test bank was pretty small. If he and his friends got together to take the test jointly, they could paste the questions they saw into the shared Google Doc, along with the right or wrong answers. The schemers would go through the test quickly, one at a time, logging their work as they went. The first student often did poorly, since he had never seen the material before, though he would search an online version of the textbook on Google Books for relevant keywords to make informed guesses. The next student did significantly better, thanks to the cheat sheet, and subsequent test-takers upped their scores even further. They took turns going first. Students in the course were allowed to take each test twice, with the two results averaged into a final score.

"So the grades are bouncing back and forth, but we're all guaranteed an A in the end," Mr. Smith told me. "We're playing the system, and we're playing the system pretty well."

He is a first-generation college student who says he works hard, and honestly, in the rest of his courses, which are held in-person rather than online. But he is juggling a job and classes, and he wanted to find a way to add an easy A to his transcript each semester.

Although the syllabus clearly forbids academic dishonesty, Mr. Smith argues that the university has put so little into the security of the course that it can't be very serious about whether the online students are learning anything. Hundreds of students took the course with him, and he never communicated with the professor directly. It all felt sterile, impersonal, he told me. "If they didn't think students would do this, then they didn't think it through."

A professor familiar with the course, who also asked not to be named, said that it is not unique in this regard, and that other students probably cheat in online introductory courses as well. To them, the courses are just hoops to jump through to get a credential, and the students are happy to pay the tuition, learn little, and add an A.

"This is the gamification of education, and students are winning," the professor told me.

Of course, plenty of students cheat in introductory courses taught the old-fashioned way as well. John Sener, a consultant who has long worked in online learning, says the incident involving Mr. Smith sounds similar to students' sharing of old tests or bringing in cheat sheets. "There is no shortage of weak assessments," he says.

He cautions against dismissing online courses based on inevitable examples of poor class design: "If there are weaknesses in the system, students will find them and try to game it."

In some cases, the answer is simply designing tests that aren't multiple-choice. But even when professors assign papers, students can use the Internet to order custom-written assignments. Take the example of the Shadow Scholar, who described in a Chronicle article how he made more than $60,000 a year writing term papers for students around the country.

Part of the answer may be fighting technology with more technology, designing new ways to catch cheaters.

Countering the Cheaters

When John Fontaine first heard about the Shadow Scholar, who was helping students cheat on assignments, he grew angry. Mr. Fontaine works for Blackboard, and his job is to think up new services and products for the education-software company. His official title is senior director of technology evangelism.

"I was offended," he says. "I thought, I'm going to get that guy." So he started a research project to do just that.

Blackboard's learning-management software features a service that checks papers for signs of plagiarism, and thousands of professors around the country use it to scan papers when they are turned in.

Mr. Fontaine began to wonder whether authors write in unique ways that amount to a kind of fingerprint. If so, he might be able to spot which papers were written by the Shadow Scholar or other writers-for-hire, even if they didn't plagiarize other work directly.

"People tend to use the same words over and over again, and people have the same vocabulary," he says. "I've been working on classifiers that take documents and score them and build what I call a document fingerprint." The system could establish a document fingerprint for each student when they turn in their first assignments, and notice if future papers differ in style in suspicious ways.

Mr. Fontaine's work is simply research at this point, he emphasizes, and he has not used any actual student papers submitted to the company's system. He would have to get permission from professors and students before doing that kind of live test.

In fact, he's not sure whether the idea will ever work well enough to add it as a Blackboard feature.

Mr. Fontaine is not the only one doing such research. Scholars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they are looking for new ways to verify the identity of students online as well.

Anant Agarwal is head of MIT's Open Learning Enterprise, which coordinates the university's MITx project to offer free courses online and give students a chance to earn certificates. It's a leading force in the movement to offer free courses online.

One challenge leaders face is verifying that online students are who they say they are.

A method under consideration at MIT would analyze each user's typing style to help verify identity, Mr. Agarwal told me in a recent interview. Such electronic fingerprinting could be combined with face-recognition software to ensure accuracy, he says. Since most laptops now have Webcams built in, future online students might have to smile for the camera to sign on.

Some colleges already require identity-verification techniques that seem out of a movie. They're using products such as the Securexam Remote Proctor, which scans fingerprints and captures a 360-degree view around students, and Kryterion's Webassessor, which lets human proctors watch students remotely on Web cameras and listen to their keystrokes.

Research Challenge

Researchers who study testing are also working on the problem of cheating. Last month more than 100 such researchers met at the University of Kansas at the Conference on Statistical Detection of Potential Test Fraud.

One message from the event's organizers was that groups that offer standardized tests, companies developing anticheating software, and researchers need to join forces and share their work. "Historically this kind of research has been a bit of a black box," says Neal Kingston, an associate professor of education at the university and director of its Center for Educational Testing Evaluation. "It's important that the research community improve perhaps as quickly as the cheating community is improving."

Continued in article


Question
Why do colleges have to identify each of their online students without the same requirement imposed on onsite students?
My daughter took chemistry in a class of 600 students. They never carded her for exams at the University of Texas?
How can you tell if an onsite or online student has not outsourced taking an entire course with a fake ID? (see Comment 1 below)
I know of an outsourcing case like this from years ago when I was an undergraduate student, because I got the initial offer to take the course for $500.
Fake IDs are easy to fabricate today on a computer. Just change the name and student number on your own ID or change the picture and put the fake ID in laminated plastic.

Online there's a simple way to authenticate honesty online. One way is to have a respected person sign an attestation form. In 19th Century England the Village Vicar signed off on submissions of correspondence course takers. There are also a lot of Sylvan Centers throughout the U.S. that will administer examinations.

Is That Online Student Who He Says He Is?" by Sara Lipka, Chronicle of Higher Education,
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3455&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

To comply with the newly reauthorized Higher Education Act, colleges have to verify the identity of each of their online students. Several tools can help them do that, including the Securexam Remote Proctor, which scans fingerprints and captures a 360-degree view around students, and Kryterion’s Webassessor, which lets human proctors watch students on Web cameras and listen to their keystrokes.

Now colleges have a new option to show the government that they’ll catch cheating in distance education. Acxiom Corporation and Moodlerooms announced this month that they have integrated the former’s identity-verification system, called FactCheck-X, into the latter’s free, open-source course-management system, known as Moodle.

“The need to know that the student taking a test online is in fact the actual one enrolled in the class continues to be a concern for all distance-education programs,” Martin Knott, chief executive of Moodlerooms, said in a written statement.

FactCheck-X, which authenticates many online-banking transactions, requires test takers to answer detailed, personal “challenge” questions. The information comes from a variety of databases, and the company uses it to ask for old addresses, for example, or previous employers.

The new tool requires no hardware and operates within the Moodle environment. Colleges themselves control how frequently students are asked to verify their identities, Acxiom says, and because institutions don’t have to release information about students, the system fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Comments

  1. Where’s the concern about whether that student in the large course on campus is who he says he is? How many schools really card students before exams are given in those courses?

    — Steve Foerster    Nov 11, 05:52 PM   

  2. My sentiments exactly, Steve! I am surprised at the shift in thinking that somehow online students are more likely to cheat than those who appear for exams onsite!

    — Born to teach    Nov 11, 06:03 PM   

  3. I’ve been teaching online for five years, and I have found cheating to be much more prevalent in the online environment. Most institutions use proctors for high stakes testing, and student identification is presented. For purely online initiatives, however, it simply doesn’t make sense to ask these students to come to campus for assessments. No LMS currently addresses this legislation to my knowledge, so it is interesting to consider the options for compliance.

 

Linebacker's Wife Says She Wrote His Papers (and took two online courses for him)
The wife of a star University of South Florida linebacker says she wrote his academic papers and took two online classes for him. The accusations against Ben Moffitt, who had been promoted by the university to the news media as a family man, were made in e-mail messages to The Tampa Tribune, and followed Mr. Moffitt’s filing for divorce. Mr. Moffitt called the accusations “hearsay,” and a university spokesman said the matter was a “domestic issue.” If it is found that Mr. Moffitt committed academic fraud, the newspaper reported, the university could be subject to an NCAA investigation.
"Linebacker's Wife Says She Wrote His Papers," Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, January 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/news/article/3707/linebackers-wife-says-she-wrote-his-papers?at
Jensen Comment
If Florida investigates this and discovers it was true, I wonder if Moffitt's diploma will be revoked. Somehow I doubt it.

 

Ideas for online testing and other types of assessment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnlineOffCampus
Also see the helpers for assessment in general at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


"Far From Honorable," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/10/25/online-students-might-feel-less-accountable-honor-codes

Much of the urgency around creating a “sense of community” in online courses springs from a desire to keep online students from dropping out. But a recent paper suggests that strengthening a sense of social belonging among online students might help universities fight another problem: cheating.

In a series of experiments, researchers at Ohio University found that students in fully online psychology courses who signed an honor code promising not to cheat broke that pledge at a significantly higher rate than did students in a “blended” course that took place primarily in a classroom.

“The more distant students are, the more disconnected they feel, and the more likely it is that they’ll rationalize cheating,” Frank M. LoSchiavo, one of the authors, conjectured in an interview with Inside Higher Ed.

While acknowledging the limitations inherent to a study with such a narrow sample, and the fact that motivations are particularly hard to pin down when it comes to cheating, LoSchiavo and Mark A. Shatz, both psychology professors at Ohio University's Zanesville campus, said their findings may indicate that meeting face-to-face with peers and professors confers a stronger sense of accountability among students. “Honor codes,” LoSchiavo said, “are more effective when there are [strong] social connections.”

Honor codes are not, of course, the only method of deterring cheating in online courses. The proliferation of online programs has given rise to a cottage industry of remote proctoring technology, including one product that takes periodic fingerprint readings while monitoring a student’s test-taking environment with a 360-degree camera. (A 2010 survey by the Campus Computing Project suggests that a minority of institutions authenticate the identities of online students as a rule.)

But LoSchiavo said that he and Shatz were more interested in finding out whether honor codes held any sway online. If so, then online instructors might add pledges to their arsenal of anti-cheating tools, LoSchiavo said. If not, it provides yet an intriguing contribution to the discussion about student engagement and “perceived social distance” in the online environment.

They experimented with the effectiveness of honor codes in three introductory psychology courses at Ohio University. The first course had 40 students and was completely online. These students, like those in subsequent trials, were a mix of traditional-age and adult students, mostly from regional campuses in the Ohio University system. There was no honor code. Over the course of the term, the students took 14 multiple-choice quizzes with no proctoring of any kind. At the end of the term, 73 percent of the students admitted to cheating on at least one of them.

The second trial involved another fully online introductory course in the same subject. LoSchiavo and Shatz divided the class evenly into two groups of 42 students, and imposed an honor code -- posted online with the other course materials -- to one group but not the other. The students “digitally signed the code during the first week of the term, prior to completing any assignments.” The definition of cheating was the same as in the first trial: no notes, no textbooks, no Internet, no family or friends. There was no significant difference in the self-reported cheating between the two groups.

In a third trial, the professors repeated the experiment with 165 undergraduates in a “blended” course, where only 20 percent of the course was administered online and 80 percent in a traditional classroom setting. Again, they split the students into two groups: one in which they were asked to sign an honor code, and another in which they were not.

This time, when LoSchiavo and Shatz surveyed the students at the end of the term, there was a significant difference: Students who promised not to cheat were about 25 percent less likely to cheat than were those who made no such promise. Among the students who had not signed the code, 82 percent admitted to cheating.

LoSchiavo concedes that this study offers no definitive answers on the question of whether students are more likely to cheat in fully online courses. Cheating is more often than not a crime of opportunity, and containing integrity violations probably has much more to do with designing a system that limits the opportunities to cheat and gives relatively little weight to those assignments for which cheating is hardest to police.

“The bottom line is that if there are opportunities, students will cheat,” he said. “And the more opportunities they have, the more cheating there will be, and it is incumbent upon professors to put in a system that, when it’s important, cheating will be contained.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think universities like Trinity University that expanded their honor codes to include student courts are generally happy with the operations of those honor codes. However, Trinity has only full time students and no distance education courses.

One thing that I hated giving up was grading control. For most of my teaching career I gave F grades to students who seriously cheated in my courses. Under the revised Trinity Honor Code, instructors can no longer control the granting of F grades for cheating.

When I was a student at Stanford the Honor Code included a pledge to report cheating of other students. I think most universities have watered down this aspect of their honor codes because, in this greatly increased era of litigation, student whistle blowers can be sued big time. Universities may continue to encourage such whistle blowing, but they no longer make students sign pledges that on their honor they will be whistleblowers if they do not want to bear the risk of litigation by students they report.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm


"Typing Analysis Software Keeps Online Students Honest," by Tanya Roscorla, Converge Magazine, May 12, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/classtech/Typing-Analysis-Software-Keeps-Online-Students-Honest.html 

During his senior year, Shaun Sims took online classes at the University of Texas at Austin to supplement his regular courses. Some of his friends took online classes too, but they turned in assignments that other people completed for them.

That's when Sims decided to do something to cut back on cheating online. In 2009, he and computer science Ph.D student Andrew Mills launched a startup company called Digital Proctor. By analyzing each online participant's unique typing pattern, their software authenticates the student's work.

“We verify that students who sign up are the same students actually completing the coursework,” Sims said. "We make sure students are who they say they are.”

Two customers are currently using the software in pilot programs, including Midland College in Texas.

With the reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008, colleges and universities must now meet 50 new accountability requirements, one of which is making sure that the students who sign up for online courses are the ones who are participating in it. They have three options: use secure logins and passcodes; give proctored examinations; or find new technologies that could verify students' identity.

Midland College already has the first two options, but wants to be proactive in maintaining the integrity of their online classes, said Dale Beikirch, dean of distance learning and continuing education. So the college decided to enter a pilot with Digital Proctor.

“The day is coming when this secure login and password is not going to be enough to authenticate students," Beikirch said, "and that’s what’s sort of driving all of this is the need for schools to be able to ensure that the person enrolled in a course is the one taking the test.”

Continued in article

Cheating Issues Somewhat Unique to Distance Education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#OnlineCheating


Question
What's the value of watching somebody send you an email message?

Answer
There may be some security and subtle communication advantages, but there's a huge cost-benefit consideration. Is it worth valuable bandwidth costs to transmit all that video of talking heads and hands? I certainly hope that most of us do not jump into this technology "head" (get it?) first.

One huge possible benefits might be in distance education. If a student in sending back test answers via email, it could add a lot to the integrity of the testing process to watch the student over this new video and audio channel from Google.

"Google juices up Gmail with video channel," MIT's Technology Review, November 11, 2008 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/21665/?nlid=1507&a=f

Google Inc. is introducing new tools that will convert its free e-mail service into a video and audio channel for people who want to see and hear each other while they communicate.

Activating the features, introduced Tuesday, will require a free piece of software as well as a Webcam, which are becoming more commonplace as computer manufacturers embed video equipment into laptops.

Once the additional software is installed, Gmail users will be given the option to see and hear each other without leaving the e-mail application.

The video feature will work only if all the participants have Gmail accounts. It's supposed to be compatible with computers running the Windows operating system or Apple Inc.'s Mac computers.

Google, the Internet's search leader, has been adding more bells and whistles to Gmail as part of its effort to gain ground on the longtime leaders in free e-mail, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

Video chatting has long been available through the instant messaging services offered by Yahoo and Microsoft, but the feature isn't available in their free e-mail applications.

Although Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has been making strides since it began welcoming all comers to Gmail early last year, it remains a distant third with nearly 113 million worldwide users through September -- a 34 percent increase from the previous year, according to comScore Inc.

Microsoft's e-mail services boasted 283 million worldwide users, up 13 percent from the previous year, while Yahoo was a close second at 274 million, an 8 percent gain, comScore said.

Ideas for online testing and other types of assessment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnlineOffCampus
Also see the helpers for assessment in general at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Special considerations for detection and prevention of online cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline
Also see helpers for detection and prevention of cheating in general at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm
 

 


July 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

NEW BOOK OF ONLINE EDUCATION CASE STUDIES

ELEMENTS OF QUALITY ONLINE EDUCATION: INTO THE MAINSTREAM, edited by John Bourne and Janet C. Moore, is the fifth and latest volume in the annual Sloan-C series of case studies on quality education online. Essays cover topics in the following areas: student satisfaction and student success, learning effectiveness, blended environments, and assessment. To order a copy of the book go to http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/books/volume5.asp. You can download a free 28-page summary of the book from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/books/vol5summary.pdf.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines." Sloan-C is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, see http://www.sloan-c.org/.


COMBATING CHEATING IN ONLINE STUDENT ASSESSMENT

In "Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism" (ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION, vol. VII, no. II, Summer

2004) Neil C. Rowe identifies "three of the most serious problems involving cheating in online assessment that have not been sufficiently considered previously" and suggests countermeasures to combat them. The problems Rowe discusses are:

-- Getting assessment answers in advance

It is hard to ensure that all students will take an online test simultaneously, enabling students to supply questions and answers to those who take the test later.

-- Unfair retaking of assessments

While course management system servers can be configured to prevent taking a test multiple times, there can be ways to work around prevention measures.

-- Unauthorized help during the assessment

It may not be possible to confirm the identity of the person actually taking the online test.

You can read the entire article, including Rowe's suggestions to counteract the problems, at http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/summer72/rowe72.html.

The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is a free, peer-reviewed quarterly published by the Distance and Distributed Education Center, The State University of West Georgia, 1600 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118 USA; Web: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/jmain11.html.


SOCIAL INTERACTION IN ONLINE LEARNING

Among the reasons Rowe cites (in the aforementioned paper) for cheating on online tests is that "students often have less commitment to the integrity of distance-learning programs than traditional programs." This lack of commitment may be the result of the isolation inherent in distance education. In "Online Learning: Social Interaction and the Creation of a Sense of Community" (EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY, vol. 7, no. 3, July 2004, pp. 73-81), Joanne M. McInnerney and Tim S. Roberts, Central Queensland University, argue that an online learner's feeling a sense of isolation can affect the outcome of his or her learning experience. The authors recommend three protocols to aid social interaction and alleviate isolation among online learners:

1. The use of synchronous communication

"Chat-rooms and other such forums are an excellent way for students to socialize, to assist each other with study, or to learn as part of collaborative teams."

2. The introduction of a forming stage

"Discussion on almost any topics (the latest movies, sporting results,

etc.) can be utilized by the educator as a prelude to the building of trust and community that is essential to any successful online experience."

3. The adherence to effective communication guidelines "Foremost among these guidelines is the need for unambiguous instructions and communications from the educator to the students involved in the course. To this end instructions regarding both course requirements and communication protocols should be placed on the course web site."

The complete article is online at http://ifets.ieee.org/periodical/7_3/8.html.

Educational Technology & Society [ISSN 1436-4522] is a peer-reviewed quarterly online journal published by the International Forum of Educational Technology & Society and the IEEE Computer Society Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). It is available in HTML and PDF formats at no cost at http://ifets.ieee.org/periodical/.

The International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS) is a subgroup of the IEEE Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). IFETS encourages discussions on the issues affecting the educational system developer (including AI) and education communities. For more information, link to http://ifets.ieee.org/.

......................................................................

ONLINE COURSES: COSTS AND CAPS

Two articles in the July/August 2005 issue of SYLLABUS address the often-asked questions on delivering online instruction: "How much will it cost?" and "How many students can we have in a class?"

In "Online Course Development: What Does It Cost?" (SYLLABUS, vol. 17, no. 12, July/August 2004, pp. 27-30) Judith V. Boettcher looks at where the costs of online course development have shifted in the past ten years. While the costs of course development are still significant, estimating them is not an exact science. Boettcher, however, does provide some rules of thumb that program planners can use to get more accurate estimates. The article is available online at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=9676.

 

In "Online Course Caps: A Survey" (SYLLABUS, vol. 17, no. 12, July/August 2004, pp. 43-4) Boris Vilic reports on a survey of 101 institutions to determine their average course cap for online courses. The survey also tried to determine what influences differences in setting caps: Does the delivery method used make a difference? Are there differences if the course is taught by full-time faculty or by adjuncts? Or if given by experienced versus inexperienced providers? Or by the level (undergraduate or graduate) of the course? The article is available online at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=9679.

Syllabus [ISSN 1089-5914] is published monthly by 101communications, LLC, 9121 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA; tel: 650-941-1765; fax: 650-941-1785; email: info@syllabus.com; Web: http://www.syllabus.com/. Annual subscriptions are free to individuals who work in colleges, universities, and high schools in the U.S.; go to http://subscribe.101com.com/syllabus/ for more information.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education in general are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm 

 


Huge Cheating Scandals at the University of Virginia, Harvard, Ohio, Duke, Cambridge, and Other Universities

When it happens multiple times, plagiarism is "hardly an accident"
"(University of Virginia Graduate Business) Darden PhD Student Accused of Plagiarism," by Louis Lavelle, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 18, 2013 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-16/darden-phd-student-accused-of-plagiarism

Some years back there was a much more widespread cheating scandal by over 100 students at the University of Virginia ---
"Plagiarist Booted; Others Wait," by Katie Dean ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#UVA 

One student has been expelled, and more than 100 cases of plagiarism remain to be resolved at the University of Virginia after a physics professor used a computer program to catch students who turned in duplicate papers, or portions of papers that appeared to have been copied.

The school's student-run Honor Committee spent the summer investigating a fraction of the cases, and will continue to do so through the fall semester.

The committee's work has been slow over the summer break since many students are away. Thomas Hall, chairman of the committee, said he hopes to complete the remaining investigations by the end of October, and finish the trials by the end of the fall semester

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


Cheating Scandal in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University
In the biggest cheating scandal ever at Duke University’s business school, 34 students are facing penalties for collaborating on exam answers,
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported. Nine students face expulsion, while others face a range of penalties, including one-year suspensions from the MBA program.
Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/04/30/qt
The ABC News account on May 1, 2007 is at http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3105733

The course involved is "Government 1310: Introduction to Congress." So why is does cheating in this course come as a surprise?


"Cheating Scandal at Harvard," Inside Higher Ed, August 31, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/08/31/cheating-scandal-harvard

Harvard University is investigating about 125 students -- nearly 2 percent of all undergraduates -- who are suspected of cheating on a take-home final during the spring semester, The Boston Globe reported Thursday. The students will appear before the college’s disciplinary board over the coming weeks, seem to have copied each other’s work, the dean of undergraduate education said. Those found guilty could face up to a one-year suspension. The dean would not comment on whether students who had already graduated would have their degrees revoked but he did tell the Globe, “this is something we take really, really seriously.” Harvard administrators said they are considering new ways to educate students about cheating and academic ethics. While the university has no honor code, the Globe noted, its official handbook says students should “assume that collaboration in the completion of assignments is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by the instructor.”

"The Typo That Unfurled Harvard’s Cheating Scandal," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/jp/the-typo-that-unfurled-harvards-cheating-scandal?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"Facing Cheating Inquiry, Harvard Basketball Co-Captains Withdraw," Inside Higher Ed, September 12, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/09/12/facing-cheating-inquiry-harvard-basketball-co-captains-

Jensen Comment
The main issue is whether students plagiarized work of other students.

Ironically the course involved is "Government 1310: Introduction to Congress." So why is does cheating in this course come as a surprise?

"Harvard Students in Cheating Scandal Say Collaboration Was Accepted," by Richard Perez-Pena, The New York Times, August 31, 2012 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/01/education/students-of-harvard-cheating-scandal-say-group-work-was-accepted.html?_r=1

. . .

 In years past, the course, Introduction to Congress, had a reputation as one of the easiest at Harvard College. Some of the 279 students who took it in the spring semester said that the teacher, Matthew B. Platt, an assistant professor of government, told them at the outset that he gave high grades and that neither attending his lectures nor the discussion sessions with graduate teaching fellows was mandatory.

¶ “He said, ‘I gave out 120 A’s last year, and I’ll give out 120 more,’ ” one accused student said.

¶ But evaluations posted online by students after finals — before the cheating charges were made — in Harvard’s Q Guide were filled with seething assessments, and made clear that the class was no longer easy. Many students, who posted anonymously, described Dr. Platt as a great lecturer, but the guide included far more comments like “I felt that many of the exam questions were designed to trick you rather than test your understanding of the material,” “the exams are absolutely absurd and don’t match the material covered in the lecture at all,” “went from being easy last year to just being plain old confusing,” and “this was perhaps the worst class I have ever taken.”

¶ Harvard University revealed on Wednesday that nearly half of the undergraduates in the spring class were under investigation for suspected cheating, for working together or for plagiarizing on a take-home final exam. Jay Harris, the dean of undergraduate education, called the episode “unprecedented in its scope and magnitude.”

¶ The university would not name the class, but it was identified by students facing cheating allegations. They were granted anonymity because they said they feared that open criticism could influence the outcome of their disciplinary cases.

¶ “They’re threatening people’s futures,” said a student who graduated in May. “Having my degree revoked now would mean I lose my job.”

¶ The students said they do not doubt that some people in the class did things that were obviously prohibited, like working together in writing test answers. But they said that some of the conduct now being condemned was taken for granted in the course, on previous tests and in previous years.

¶ Dr. Platt and his teaching assistants did not respond to messages requesting comment that were left on Friday. In response to calls to Mr. Harris and Michael D. Smith, the dean and chief academic officer of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the university released a statement saying that the university’s administrative board still must meet with each accused student and that it has not reached any conclusions.

¶ “We expect to learn more about the way the course was organized and how work was approached in class and on the take-home final,” the statement said. “That is the type of information that the process is designed to bring forward, and we will review all of the facts as they arise.”

¶ The class met three times a week, and each student in the class was assigned to one of 10 discussion sections, each of which held weekly sessions with graduate teaching fellows. The course grade was based entirely on four take-home tests, which students had several days to complete and which were graded by the teaching fellows.

¶ Students complained that teaching fellows varied widely in how tough they were in grading, how helpful they were, and which terms and references to sources they expected to see in answers. As a result, they said, students routinely shared notes from Dr. Pratt’s lectures, notes from discussion sessions, and reading materials, which they believed was allowed.

¶ “I was just someone who shared notes, and now I’m implicated in this,” said a senior who faces a cheating allegation. “Everyone in this class had shared notes. You’d expect similar answers.”

¶ Instructions on the final exam said, “students may not discuss the exam with others.” Students said that consulting with the fellows on exams was commonplace, that the fellows generally did not turn students away, and that the fellows did not always understand the questions, either.

¶ One student recalled going to a teaching fellow while working on the final exam and finding a crowd of others there, asking about a test question that hinged on an unfamiliar term. The student said the fellow defined the term for them.

¶ An accused sophomore said that in working on exams, “everybody went to the T.F.’s and begged for help. Some of the T.F.’s really laid it out for you, as explicit as you need, so of course the answers were the same.”

¶ He said that he also discussed test questions with other students, which he acknowledged was prohibited, but he maintained that the practice was widespread and accepted.

2012 Harvard Cheating Scandal --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Harvard_cheating_scandal

"Dozens of students withdraw in Harvard cheating scandal." Reuters, February 1, 2013 ---
http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USBRE9101AF20130201

As many as 60 students have been forced to withdraw from Harvard University after cheating on a final exam last year in what has become the largest academic scandal to hit the Ivy League school in recent memory.

Michael Smith, Harvard's Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, sent an email on Friday saying that more than half of the students who faced the school's Administrative Board have been suspended for a time.

Roughly 125 undergraduates were involved in the scandal, which came to light at the end of the spring semester after a professor noticed similarities on a take-home exam that showed students worked together, even though they were instructed to work alone.

The school's student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, has reported that the government class, Introduction to Congress, had 279 students enrolled.

"Somewhat more than half of the Administrative Board cases this past fall required a student to withdraw from the College for a period of time," Smith wrote. "Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action."

The cases were resolved during the fall semester, which ended in December, Smith said. Suspensions depend on the student, but traditionally last two semesters and as much as four semesters.

In the last few months, the university has also worked to be clearer about the academic integrity it expects from students.

"While all the fall cases are complete, our work on academic integrity is far from done," Smith added.

"Half of students in Harvard cheating scandal required to withdraw from the college," by Katherin Landergan, Boston.com, February 1, 2013 ---
http://www.boston.com/yourcampus/news/harvard/2013/02/half_of_students_in_harvard_cheating_scandal_required_to_withdraw_from_the_college.html

In an apparent disclosure about the Harvard cheating scandal, a top university official said Friday that more than half of the Harvard students investigated by a college board have been ordered to withdraw from the school.

In an e-mail to the Harvard community, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith wrote that more than half of the students who were brought before the university's Administration Board this fall were required to withdraw from for a period of time.

Of the remaining cases, approximately half the students received disciplinary probation, while the rest of the cases were dismissed.

Smith's e-mail does not explicitly address the cheating scandal that implicated about 125 Harvard students. But a Harvard official confirmed Friday that the cases in the email solely referred to one course.

In August, Harvard disclosed the cheating scandal in a Spring 2012 class. It was widely reported to be "Government 1310: Introduction to Congress."

“Consistent with the Faculty’s rules and our obligations to our students, we do not report individual outcomes of Administrative Board cases, but only report aggregate statistics,” the e-mail said. "In that tradition, the College reports that somewhat more than half of the Administrative Board cases this past fall required a student to withdraw from the College for a period of time. Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action.''

Smith wrote that the first set of cases were decided in late September, and the remainder were resolved in December.

The e-mail said that "The time span of the resolutions in this set had an undesirable interaction with our established schedule for tuition refunds. To create a greater amount of financial equity for all students who ultimately withdrew sometime in this period, we are treating, for the purpose of calculating tuition refunds, all these students as having received a requirement to withdraw on September 30, 2012."

In a statement released when the cheating scandal became public, Harvard president Drew Faust said that the allegations, “if proven, represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends. . . . There is work to be done to ensure that every student at Harvard understands and embraces the values that are fundamental to its community of scholars.”

As Harvard students returned to classes for the current semester, professsors included explicit instructions about collaboration on the class syllabus.

On campus Friday afternoon, students reacted to the news.

Michael Constant, 19, said he thinks the college wanted to make a statement with its decision. But when over half of the students in a class cheat, not punishing them is the same as condoning the behavior.

“I think it’s fair,” Constant said of the board’s disciplinary action. “They made the choice to cheat.”

Georgina Parfitt, 22, said the punishment for these students was too harsh, and that many students in the class could have been confused about the policy.

Parfitt said she does not know what the college is trying to achieve by forcing students to leave.

Continued in article

Jensen Question
The question is why cheat at Harvard since almost everybody who tries in a Harvard course receives an A. We're left with the feeling that those 125 or so students who cheated just did not want to try?

The investigation revealed that 91 percent of Harvard's students graduated cum laude.
Thomas Bartlett and Paula Wasley, "Just Say 'A': Grade Inflation Undergoes Reality Check:  The notion of a decline in standards draws crusaders and skeptics," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i02/02a00104.htm?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

 


"Duke MBAs Fail Ethics:  Test Thirty-four Fuqua School of Business students are accused of violating the school's honor code by cheating on an exam,"  by Alison Damast, Business Week, April 30, 2007 --- Click Here  

Cheating on the Rise

Business-school leaders have reason to be concerned. Fifty-six percent of graduate business students admitted to cheating one or more times in the past academic year, compared to 47% of nonbusiness students, according to a study published in September in the journal of the Academy of Management Learning & Education (see BusinessWeek.com, 10/24/06, "A Crooked Path Through B-School"). Donald McCabe, the lead author of the study and a professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School, says the large number of students implicated in the Duke case is above average. "It's certainly not the biggest, but it's one of the bigger ones," he says of academic scandals involving all kinds of students.

One of the larger cases in the past five years was a cheating scandal in a physics class at the University of Virginia in 2002. The school eventually dismissed 45 students and revoked three graduates' degrees. In 2005, Harvard Business School rejected 119 applicants accused of hacking the school's admissions Web site (see BusinessWeek.com, 3/9/05, "An Ethics Lesson for MBA Wannabes").

The Duke occurrence came to light in mid-March, when the professor for the class noticed some unusual consistencies among students' answers on the final exam and as well as on assignments given during the course.

Stiff Penalties

The students were brought before the school's Judicial Board and are facing a range of wide range of punitive measures, including expulsion. The board is made up of three faculty members, three students, and one nonvoting faculty chair who only votes in case of a tie.

Thirty-eight students were initially investigated, only four of whom were found not guilty of violating the honor code. (Of the 38 students, 37 were accused of cheating and one of lying.) Of the remaining 34 students, 9 will be expelled, 15 will be suspended for one year and receive an F in the class, and the remaining 9 will receive an F in the course. The penalties for the students will not go into effect until June 1, after which students will have 15 days to file an appeal. The school did not release the names of the students involved or name the professor.

Gavan Fitzsimons, a professor who is chair of the Fuqua Honor Committee, said in a written summary of the board hearings that the board spent several weeks "deliberating at length" the circumstances of the case. "It is my utmost hope that all of the individuals found guilty of violating our Honor Code will learn how precious a gift honor and integrity is," he wrote. "I know from my interactions with many of them that they will forever be changed by this experience."

Academic Pressures

The faculty and student body at Duke were informed of the committee's decision on the afternoon of Apr. 27, and the news spread throughout the campus and on Internet chat groups. Charles Scrase, Fuqua's student body president, was surprised by the charges: "The classmates I work with on a day-to-day basis are ethical, outstanding individuals," he says. "We're shocked that [cheating] could've occurred to this degree."

Sonit Handa, a first-year Fuqua student, suggests the students involved in this case might have been tempted to cheat because they wanted to ensure they did well in the class: "Duke is a hectic MBA business school, and employers want good grades, so there's a lot of pressure to do well."

The pressure, of course, is not confined to Duke. Many schools have policies that encourage an open dialogue on business ethics. Students at the Thunderbird School of Global Management sign a Professional Oath of Honor similar to doctors' Hippocratic Oath, while Penn State created an honor committee of students and faculty last year to help foster academic integrity on campus.

Codes Not Foolproof

One of the more recent examples is the new graduate honor court at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. In January, the business school established a student-run honor court, a body devoted to investigating student violations of the honor code. Between 30 and 40 students, from the school's five MBA programs, are involved with the court, according to Dawn Morrow, a second-year MBA student who serves as the student attorney general for the court.

Before this, student honor code violations were dealt with through the graduate honor court system, which handled cases from other graduate programs. Morrow says that students have been eager to get involved with the honor court because they want to ensure that the school's values are upheld inside and outside the classroom. Rutgers' McCabe estimates that 50 to 100 colleges and universities have honor codes.

Schools with extensive honor codes, such as Duke, tend to have less cheating in general, McCabe says. Still, he says, it's not a foolproof measure. Business-school students are more competitive than other students, and some use cheating as a way to ensure they get ahead: "It's kind of like a businessperson who has the opportunity to embezzle money in the dark of night," says McCabe. "Sure it's more tempting, but we still expect them to be honest."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There are two broad types of student honor codes. The toughest one is where each student signs an oath to report the cheating of any other student. This is a rough code that, in my opinion, must be backed by a college commitment to back the whistle blowing student if litigation ensues in the very litigious society of the United States (where 80% of the world's lawyers reside.)

The second kind is a softer version where students are not honor bound to report cheating by run their own honor courts to dole out punishment recommendations for cheating reported by others, usually their instructors. This may actually result in harsher punishments than instructors would normally dole out. For example, professors often think an F grade is sufficient punishment. Honor courts may recommend more severe punishments such as in the Duke scandal noted above.

One problem with honor courts is that they are more of a hassle for instructors having to take the time to report details of the infraction to the court and then appear before the court as witnesses. An even more controversial problem is that the inherent right of an instructor to assign a course grade punishment for cheating is taken out of the hands of the instructor and passed on to the honor court. Instructors generally do not like to lose their authority and responsibility for assigning grades.

Update on May 22, 2008
Duke University Invites Back Business Students Who Cheated

"Fuqua Puts Scandal Behind It:  A year after being rocked by a cheating scandal, Duke's business school plans to welcome back students who were suspended," by Alison Damast, Business Week, May 22, 2008 --- http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/may2008/bs20080522_585217.htm


"Both Sides of Kenan-Flagler:  MBAs run around like frantic idiots but are courted by huge companies as rock stars. It is no surprise that this combination of frenzy and entitlement leads to cheating," by Danvers Fleury, Business Week, June 24, 2007
--- http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jun2007/bs20070624_280134.htm?link_position=link2 

I used to think poorly of Duke MBAs. As a UNC recruit, one of my fondest memories was Welcome Weekend, where all admitted students are invited to meet each other and figure out whether Kenan-Flagler is right for them. While attending, I wanted to see how advanced I was at the fine art of diagnosing who would be ill enough to choose Fuqua over Kenan-Flagler.

My first suspected victim used to be an engineer, had a GMAT of 770, and got into seven different schools. When asked about his interest in North Carolina, he said, "Oh the weather. It’s so nice," and then proceeded to sweat, nervously tic, and stare intently at me, playing the crack addict to my crack. Clearly he suffered from Fuquash: the inability to relate to humans.

Others were afflicted with Fuquardation, or arrogance and entitlement falling just short of Whartonitis. This could be diagnosed by simply asking them, "What do you do for a living?" Infected parties came just short of an elaborate PowerPoint presentation-style pitch followed by a monopolization of group conversation revolving around their pet horse and its food likes and dislikes.

Now, it turns out that these people did not go to Kenan-Flagler, but they also haven’t been among the numerous upstanding and well-balanced people I’ve met from Fuqua. Concern has been voiced over Duke MBA ethics; I heartily disagree. According to a recent survey, 56% of MBAs cheat, yet somehow Fuqua is the only MBA program that can catch them and then admit to it! To me, that seems more like an accomplishment and less like a scandal, and I hope you don’t fault them for it in your search.

At business school you learn to look at both sides of complicated situations, and accordingly in this post I’d like to share my positive and negative thoughts on the MBA as a whole, and the Kenan-Flagler experience in particular.

The MBA: Invaluable

My ability to manage time and stress has skyrocketed, and overall I think through problems in a broader and more insightful fashion. A lot of my gut instincts on management and decision-making have been reinforced, while compelling evidence has been provided through 360-degree feedback and interactive course work that other habits need to go.

As for the career benefits, I’ve seen English teachers turn into financiers in 12 weeks. The MBA is worth every penny to career-switchers and adds incredible value to folks who don’t have strong business backgrounds. Just as important, the size of my professional network quadrupled overnight and continues to grow daily.

The MBA: Dinosaur

MBA programs give you credibility, new skills, and a great network, but there are plenty of ways they could go about it better.

Most classes in most programs revolve around lecture and case studies; this is not going to continue to fly for the MTV generation. I fully understand how teachers feel that asking questions and discussing a shared case is interactive, but they clearly haven’t grown up in the highly immersive multimedia world that most echo boomers come from. Integrating real-time simulation into the classroom as well as experimenting with group participation could favorably affect learning.

Furthermore, the core economic principles that most programs teach come from a microeconomic and macroeconomic world where people are rational, systems are closed, and equilibrium is always reached. Considering how irrational people are and how open and dynamic our economy is, I can’t help but think we’re getting led astray, and books like The Origin of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker go a long way to confirming this fear.

Finally, I think programs create overload for overload’s sake while at the same time coddling students. MBAs run around like frantic idiots but are courted by huge companies as rock stars. It is no surprise that this combination of frenzy and entitlement leads to cheating. I think a less insular environment that is more integrated with the real world and local community would help students stay focused and balanced, making them less likely to make poor decisions.

Continued in article


"Are B-Schools Hiding the Cheaters?" by Alison Damast, Business Week, June 20, 2007
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jun2007/bs20070620_937949.htm

Want to know where business students are cheating? Many schools have honor codes, but it's not easy to find out when they're broken.

With the controversy surrounding the cheating scandal at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, a prospective business school student might be inclined to take a closer look at just how often cheating occurs at some top B-schools. But if you're of that mind, be prepared to encounter some roadblocks along the way.

This was what happened when BusinessWeek conducted an e-mail survey of our top 25 ranked graduate business schools in an effort to quantify how widespread cheating is among B-school students. It turned out to be a tougher task than we expected. We learned that business schools are reluctant to release data about cheating and, in some cases, refuse even to discuss it.

Back in May—shortly after Duke announced it was disciplining 34 students for ethical violations involving a test and classwork—we asked each of the top 25 how many students had been sanctioned for cheating or other ethical violations over the past 10 years. We requested a breakdown by school year, type of violation committed, and punishment handed down, if any. We also asked the school if they had an honor code and, if so, what their process was for dealing with students who violated it.

Handful of Cases Only

Out of the 25 business schools, only three—the University of Virginia, Duke, and the University of Chicago—were able to provide us with specific data about ethical violations among their B-school students. Fifteen schools provided us with information about their policy for dealing with ethics violations, but did not provide specific figures on cheating. And seven schools declined to provide any information (see BusinessWeek.com, 6/21/07, "Schools' Responses on Cheating Stats").

From the limited amount of information provided by the schools, there was no indication that cheating cases resulting in school disciplinary action were numerous at top B-schools. Chicago, for instance, said that it only had 25 disciplinary hearings over the past 13 years. All 25 resulted in sanctions, although only 11 were related to academic issues or misconduct. That's an average of less than one academic sanction per year during that period.

Schools such as New York University and Indiana University's Kelly School of Business said they just have a "handful" of cases each year, but declined to get more specific on the figures. And Virginia has had just a small number of cases in the past seven years that resulted in expulsions, according to online records kept by the school's honor committee.

Playing With Cheaters

Still, the unwillingness of a large number of top schools to provide data on cheating is bad news for a business school student who wants to get an accurate picture of how his classmates might conduct themselves while in school, said David Callahan, author of The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead.

"It seems to me like it is a piece of information you would want to know about the business school you are going to," Callahan said. "If you are an honest student, it puts you at a disadvantage to be in an environment with cheating because you're going to be working harder and losing out to people who are not playing by the rules."

Administrators at business schools offered a wide variety of reasons they were unable to disclose data on cheating; some said they simply didn't keep track of it, while others said they could not disclose it because of federal privacy laws. A handful said simply that cheating rarely, if ever, happens at their school.

Continued in article


D-Schools Are Also Cheating
The Southern Illinois University dental school, which is affiliated with the Edwardsville campus, is withholding grades of all first-year students, because of questions raised about the academic merit and integrity of the students. A university spokesman declined to provide details, citing the need to preserve confidentiality and the presumption of innocence, but said that all 52 first-year students would be interviewed as part of the inquiry. Ann Boyle, dean of the dental school, issued a statement: “This matter raises questions about the integrity and ethical behavior of Year I students and is, therefore, under investigation. We will follow our processes as outlined in our Student Progress Document to resolve the situation as quickly as we can.” KMOV-TV quoted students at the dental school, anonymously, as saying that the investigation concerned students who had tried to memorize and share information from old exams that instructors let them see, so the students did not consider the practice to be cheating. The Southern Illinois incident follows two other scandals this year involving professional school cheating: one at Duke University’s business school and one at Indiana University’s dental school.
Inside Higher Ed, June 27, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/06/27/qt


Dental School Alleged Cheating at Loma Linda University, New York University, and UCLA
The American Dental Association is investigating allegations of possible cheating by students at four dental schools on an exam that leads to licensure for dentists, the Los Angeles Times reported. The probe involves students at Loma Linda University, New York University, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.
Inside Higher Ed, November 14, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/11/14/qt

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


Plagiarism News
An investigative committee is pushing for the dismissal of Don Heinrich Tolzmann, who teaches history and works as a librarian at the University of Cincinnati, The Enquirer reported. A panel there found duplications between Tolzmann’s book The German-American Experience and a text written in 1962. Tolzmann strongly denies wrongdoing, which was first alleged in an H-Net review. At Ohio University, which has been dealing with charges of plagiarized master’s theses, the institution announced that graduates accused of plagiarism would face hearings to determine the status of their degrees, the Associated Press reported.
Inside Higher Ed, August 25, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/08/24/qt


Question
Will these engineering graduates take down their diplomas and return them to Ohio University?

Ohio University has sent letters to more than 50 people who earned master’s degrees with material believed to be plagiarized, asking them to return their degrees, rewrite their theses, or demand a hearing, The Athens News reported. In May the university found “rampant and flagrant plagiarism” among some graduate students in its mechanical engineering department.
Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/19/qt

A Professor's Lawsuit Against Ohio University
Jay Gunasekera, a professor who supervised the work of some of the 37 Ohio University master’s graduates found to have plagiarized parts of their theses, is suing the university for defamation, saying that his role has been distorted, the Associated Press reported. University officials — who have released detailed reports on the alleged plagiarism — told the AP that they would contest the suit.
Inside Higher Ed, August 14, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/08/14/qt

Question
What happens when professors who let students cheat get caught themselves?

"‘Distinguished’ No Longer," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/02/22/ohio

Fallout continues from a plagiarism saga at Ohio University that has clouded the reputation of the university’s engineering college. Earlier this month, Roderick J. McDavis, Ohio’s president, for the first time in the institution’s history rescinded the title of “distinguished professor,” a high academic honor that had been given to engineering professor Jay S. Gunasekera years earlier for his research, teaching and service.

Gunasekera is at the center of the controversy, the subject of charges that he both plagiarized a graduate student’s work in a published book, and failed to adequately monitor graduate students who went on to copy others’ material in theses they submitted under his watch.

What began in 2005 as a former engineering graduate student’s effort to show dishonesty among his colleagues has ballooned into a university-wide investigation. A review by two university officials found “rampant and flagrant plagiarism” by graduate students in the mechanical engineering department, as well as a “failure to monitor” those students.

Gunasekera didn’t respond to messages for comment Thursday. He is suing the university for defamation and has said the report misstates his role.

Several other committees have looked into the work of students, many of whom Gunasekera advised. Already, Ohio has revoked the master’s degree of a former mechanical engineering student whose thesis it determined contained unoriginal work.

Gunasekera was chair of the department at the time the allegations surfaced. He was removed from that position, and also had a named professorship taken away. This year, he’s on assignment and not teaching or advising students.

In November, a panel of fellow “distinguished professors” who looked at Gunasekera’s work and that of some of his students, voted to recommend that the university remove “distinguished” from his title.

“It’s supposed to be an honor for people whose records have brought acclaim to the university and to themselves,” said Steven Grimes, a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy, who chaired the committee and voted to rescind the title. “He clearly had done that, but obviously now it doesn’t look like he’s helping the reputation of the university.”

McDavis, himself the subject of much faculty criticism for his leadership of the university, followed the group’s recommendation.

David Drabold, a distinguished professor of physics, who voted in favor of removing the title, said he was surprised that the decision took as long as it did. “I think the case was fairly clear,” Drabold said, adding that he was swayed by the examples of unoriginal work from theses that were approved by Gunasekera.

Those who have heard Gunasekera’s defense to the plagiarism charges say the professor argues that as an international professor (he taught in Australia and Sri Lanka) he didn’t understand the prevailing American citation standards.

Drabold said he can understand how that could have been the case initially — Gunasekera joined the Ohio faculty in 1983. He even said the professor made an attempt in the preface of the book in question to credit the graduate student whose material he used.

But, as Drabold and others on the distinguished faculty committee note, his defense wouldn’t explain why he allowed his graduate students to routinely copy others for years after he started at Ohio.

Said Gar Rothwell, a distinguished professor of environmental and plant biology: “There are standards of scholarship that we all have to follow. They aren’t secret.”

Greg Kremer, chair of the mechanical engineering department and an associate professor, said while he didn’t feel comfortable commenting on what Gunasekera’s future at Ohio should be, he offered that “the level of proof and the level of seriousness it takes to remove a distinguished professor title is very, very significantly different than anything that would result in the de-tenuring process.”

Kremer said the department is waiting for the university-wide investigation of student theses to finish before it decides whether to take action.

Several of the distinguished professors interviewed referred to Gunasekera as affable and successful in parts of his professional life — saying he brought in significant external funding for engineering and technology projects.

“This is a decent man who has been through a lot of unpleasantness,” Drabold said. “This was an active, productive person. He was trying to be a good citizen and was simply doing too much.”

Grimes agrees that Gunasekera likely didn’t have bad intentions, and that “it’s not at all obvious to me that what he did rises to the level of firing.” Yet he said that he’d still “seriously consider” voting for de-tenure.


An earlier November 26, 2001 segment called "Cheating Scandal at U. of Virginia," --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/11/26/national/main319035.shtml 

Eight University of Virginia students have left school for plagiarism, and a student committee is preparing to investigate 72 more alleged honor code violations in what has become the school's biggest cheating scandal in memory.

Since May, 148 students have been accused of copying term papers in Professor Lou Bloomfield's introductory physics course. Bloomfield referred the students to the university honor committee after a homemade computer program detected numerous duplicated phrases in his students' work during the past five semesters.

"That was a real shock," said Thomas Hall, chairman of the honor committee, whose staff has been under enormous pressure to finish its investigation before graduation this May. "The largest number of accusations I'd seen from any one professor was maybe five."

Sixty Minutes aired an update with Mike Wallace on November 10, 2002 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtml  
At the time I am writing this early in the morning on November 11, CBS has not yet posted the update version at its Website.

Here are some of the highlights I noted while watching Mike Wallace's update last night

Question:
How many students have been expelled from the University of Virginia over the approximate period of one year and how many are still awaiting a decision on whether or not they will be expelled due to Honor Code violations at the University of Virginia?

Answer:
The number is now up to 40 students expelled with 120 others still awaiting a decision as to their fate.  I might note that this is after the scandal made national headlines almost a year ago when eight students were expelled.

Question:
What is the most absurd claim made by a UVA student interviewed on campus by Mike Wallace?

Answer:
That faculty investigations of honor code violations are violations of trust that students have in faculty when students sign the honor code.  Students are led to believe that faculty will not snoop into cheating even if there is evidence of such cheating.

Question:
What is the most innovative way students are cheating in examinations using water bottles?

Answer:
How to Cheat With Crib Notes (Video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpQZDJ2fGnI

Other Videos on How to Cheat

How to Cheat During Exams --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH2KZTyp3_A&feature=related
(But students in the front row are out of luck.)

Skirting:  How to Cheat on Exams --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slL9WkjZt-g
(There's hope for the front row too. But if you have a male instructor, your chances of getting caught are greater.)

How to cheat in an exam with just a pen and paper --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fr0e8DqQ-E&feature=related

How to Cheat at School --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcmHVSZr32o

 

Question:
What is an earlier CBS 48 Hours show in which the School Board of a high school overturned the grades of a biology teacher who failed students for cheating by downloading their main project papers from the Internet?

Answer:
Plagiarism Controversy Engulfs Kansas School --- http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=29piper.h21 

It all started with a 10th grade biology project about leaves. But the dust-up over the handling of a student-plagiarism incident in the normally tranquil Kansas City, Kan., suburb of Piper doesn't appear likely to subside any time soon.

So far, the teacher at the center of the controversy, Christine Pelton, has resigned. Another teacher resigned last month in support, and several others are contemplating whether they want to stay with the 1,300-student district. The latest casualty is Michael Adams, the principal at the 450- student Piper High School, who announced last month that he would resign at the end of the school year. He cited "personal and professional" reasons, but added in an interview: "You can read between the lines."

In addition, the district attorney has filed civil charges against the district's seven-member school board, accusing the members of violating the Kansas open-meetings law last December when they reduced the penalties for the 28 students accused of plagiarism. And three board members now face a recall drive.

"All of us have gotten tons of hate mail, from all over the country," said Leigh Vader, the Piper school board's vice president. "People are telling us we're idiots and stupid. ... Moving on—I think that's the goal of everyone."

But that may be difficult. The dispute, which has drawn national attention, will return to the national spotlight in May, when the CBS newsmagazine "48 Hours" is expected to air an investigative report on the Piper plagiarism case.

"For a lot of people," said David Lungren, the president of the Piper Teachers Association, "the feeling is we can debate the decision to death or figure out what we need to do to move on. If we can all agree that this did not work out well for us, what could we figure out to prevent this from occurring again?"

Question:
What is the major conclusion drawn by commentators of on all of these CBS shows about cheating?

Answer:
That a rapidly-growing proportion students no longer consider cheating a bad thing to do as long as you don't get caught.  And their parents do not consider cheating a bad thing and will even go to school officials and even court to defend against punishments for cheating.


"Cambridge Survey Finds That 49% of Students Have Plagiarized," by Lawrence Biemiller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 3, 2008 ---
Click Here

Half the students at the University of Cambridge have plagiarized, according to results of a survey by Varsity, a student newspaper at the university.

The newspaper said its survey had attracted 1,014 respondents, of whom 49 percent said they had committed at least one act defined by the university as plagiarism. The list of forbidden acts included: handing in someone else’s essay; copying and pasting from the Internet; copying or making up statistics, code, or research results; handing in work that had been submitted previously; using someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment; buying an essay; and having an essay edited by Oxbridge Essays, a company that provides online essay services. Five percent of those who admitted having plagiarized said they had been caught.

Some students were surprised to find that what they thought were innocuous academic acts had landed them in the plagiarist category. “Of course I use other people’s ideas without acknowledging them, but I didn’t think that this made me a plagiarist,” one student said.

But others admitted copying or buying work “when I am late with an essay or finding it difficult.” Law students, the newspaper said, broke the rules most often, with 62 percent admitting that they had plagiarized. Four percent of students surveyed said they had written for Oxbridge Essays.

Comments

Yes, and 100% of civil rights leaders named Martin Luther King, Jr., have also plagiarized. And 100% of writers named Doris Kearns Goodwin have plagiarized. And 100% of vice-presidential candidates named Joe Biden have plagiarized. These students are in good company. Maybe we should educate them rather than haul them before a firing squad, as too many professors want to do.

— gl Nov 1, 08:22 PM #

I agree with gl, it seems a bit harsh to haul anyone anywhere, much less before a firing squad, until we have delved into the depth of the training students receive about the rigors of attribution. (Hint: scandalously little)

The internet with all its advances did bomb us back to the intellectual property stone age with the conspicuous absence of paper trails for the materials one can find within a click or two of beginning research.

The other part of the problem, and I am ready to be placed before the firing squad for this comment, professors (especially at the undergraduate level) do not put enough thinking into the construction of their essay questions. And to make matters worse, they use the same old tired questions year in decade out. So let’s look at our role in perpetuating this obnoxious problem and criminal waste of time on both sides.

Newsflash, profs! Life is short. Why spend your precious discretionary time playing cops and robbers with your students?

— BC PROF Nov 1, 11:42 PM #

Using a service like Turnitin.com helps to reduce plagiarism quite a bit because even if the students don’t have a high likelihood of getting caught, they know that they are really taking a big risk if they try to fool the system. If students know there’s a good chance they’ll get caught, they will not engage in plagiarism. Some professors would rather spend their leisure time with their families or doing their own research rather than chasing down sources of plagiarism. Use the tools to help you catch cheaters so you can have more time for your own life.

— MEH Nov 2, 02:16 PM #

Of course if I discover that a student has committed plagiarism, I take the steps that are prescribed by the honor code at my university. But I did not become a teacher to spend my time enforcing such codes. If a student cheats and receives a grade that he doesn’t deserve, he is the poorer for it. We have this idea that cheaters are robbing someone else of something valuable, and therefore that we ought to act to stop them or to punish them. It is not so difficult to see that plagiarists are only cheating themselves. They pay the very high price of not learning what they might have learned under their own lights, and to my mind that is penalty enough.

— SK Nov 2, 02:49 PM #

MEH, the time you save with turnitin.com is lost when you catch a cheater, because you yourself become a cheater if you don’t report the honor violation (rather than handle it privately, which most campuses frown upon). So assuming you’re as honest as you expect your student to be, you’re sucked into the whole lengthy honors process, with forms and hearings and meetings and eventually the wish that you had not been so persnickety.

I think the plagiarism situation is easy to avoid if you assign paper topics based on very recent events about which nothing could have been already written. Or, as I do, require first drafts of nearly completed works, a couple weeks before the real due date, with which you can issue warnings framed in face-saving look-what-you-forgot-you-cite-or-enclose-in-quotation-marks language. They get the message you’re tough, especially if you threaten reporting an honors violation if the supposed error is not corrected, and you spend even more time with your own life.

— gl Nov 2, 03:04 PM #

gl

I think the plagiarism situation is easy to avoid if you assign paper topics based on very recent events about which nothing could have been already written.

right, I am sure that is feasible in history of philosophy classes. Second Idea was much more reasonable.

— jon Nov 2, 08:54 PM #

The key is what the students perceive as cheating. If using someone else’s ideas without acknowledging it is cheating, then we are all cheaters. The kids come in to college 17 years old and dumb. They sit in lectures, read books, talk to classmates and faculty, and hear all kinds of new ideas. How can they ever acknowledge where all those ideas came from? How can they even remember when the ideas were first planted and by whom?

Similarly, good writing involves sharing ideas with other students, revising and proofreading. That violates the honor code standard of “doing your own work.” We create a catch-22 when we demand high quality work but strictly prohibit some of the methods that are essential for good learning. And even if we don’t “strictly” prohibit appropriate collaboration, not all students know where the line is. Consequently, some students will identify themselves as cheaters, even though the type of help they get on their assignments is acceptable.

And in my field, it is pretty common for students to forget to write down some detail of their source information, and at the last minute have to fudge the works cited. Technically it is fabrication, and the students know it. It would be embarrassing to publish a error-filled works cited. But in the end it is too trivial to worry about.

All these kinds of cases drive up the number of self-identified cheaters. It isn’t worth faculty worrying out.

— Shar Nov 3, 12:33 AM #

As others have noted, the extensive use of plagiarism requires an educational solution. I commend to you an excellent article by Eleanour Snow who describes (and links to) a number of institution-wide web tutorials designed to teach students about plagiarism. You can view the article at http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=306&action=article (requires free subscription).

James L. Morrison Editor-in-Chief, Innovate

 

Jensen Comment
There's serious doubt that Vladimir Putin even read his own thesis.

It's not clear that Vladimir Putin even read his own thesis
Large parts of an economics thesis written by President Vladimir Putin in the mid-1990s were lifted straight out of a U.S. management textbook published 20 years earlier, The Washington Times reported Saturday, citing researchers at the Brookings Institution. It was unclear, however, whether Putin had even read the thesis, which might have been intended to impress the Western investors who were flooding into St. Petersburg in the mid-1990s, the report said. Putin oversaw the city's foreign economic relations at the time.
"Putin Accused of Plagiarizing Thesis," Moscow Times, March 27, 2006 --- http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/03/27/011.html
Jensen Comment
What's interesting about this news item is that it was published in Moscow. This would not have happened in the old Soviet Union.

Martin Luther King Jr. has been accused of widespread plagiarism, including parts of his doctoral thesis --- http://www.martinlutherking.org/thebeast.html

Other celebrity plagiarists --- http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/plagiarism.htm

Since I have such a huge number of documents at my Website, I often wonder what kinds of grades I'm getting around the world --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

November 3, 2008 reply from Guest, Paul [paul.guest@CRANFIELD.AC.UK]

Having taught accounting at Cambridge for several years, I believe that these high plagiarism figures are of no relevance to any accounting courses taught there.

I would guess that the high figures are likely due to the unique college tutorial system at Cambridge University (along with Oxford and a few others) where undergraduate students attend frequent (usually biweekly) small group tutorials in addition to lectures. Students are often required to write essays for these tutorials under very tight time constraints. The high plagiarism figures are likely driven by undergraduates trying to finish essays by these deadlines. The students don't benefit from such cheating. Although the essays are marked they do not count towards a final grade, and any under-prepared students are usually exposed as such in the tutorials. [For accounting tutorials, essays are very rarely set, and instead students are required to work through a previously unseen question.]

Paul Guest
Cranfield School of Management

Then in a second message Paul wrote the following:

I agree, cheating students won't learn much about the assigned material if they cheat. However, under the Cambridge and Oxford (tutorial & written assignment) system ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutorial_system , cheating students are much more likely to be caught at an early stage when the consequences are much less severe (since written assignments do not contribute to final grades). The cheating can therefore be dealt with informally and with a light touch by a tutor who is close to the student, so lessons can be learned with no lasting damage. Especially important when many cases of plagiarism appear to arise from ignorance.

Also, assignment writing for tutorials at Cambridge is optional. Undergraduate students can choose not to produce written assignments for tutorials (or simply not turn up to them). However, by not participating they are foregoing the most important learning experience at Cambridge. The tutorial and written assignment system is the fundamental pedagogic difference between Cambridge and other universities and a key reason why Cambridge has been so successful. It is worth £2000 per year for each undergraduate student (previously paid by the government but not any longer as of this year http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2005/oct/14/highereducation.universityfunding ). Students are very aware of this and very rarely miss supervisions or fail to submit written assignments.

From my experience in teaching these supervisions (I also taught economics and finance for which essays were assigned) I dont believe that plagiarism is rampant. Instead I interpret the high figures along the lines suggested by Dave Albrecht, that although 49% of students have plagiarised at some point, each student has done it very rarely.

By the way, a huge thankyou from across the pond to you and the other contributors to this list, and for the great material on your website.

Paul Guest


Some cheating scandals may not be scandals

Question
In the Central Florida University cheating scandal was  it student cheating or instructor laziness?
Watch the video?

This article below blames the Central Florida University management instructor  (Richard Quinn) for being lazy in using test questions that the publisher allowed students to download for study and review. Perhaps it was not the scandal as grave as we were led to believe. It certainly appears the media over-reacted on this one.
Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/17/cheating

In the article below you have to scroll down past the LSU physics professor discussion to see the discussion on the  Richard Quinn video that's now off the air.
But no, I found the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbzJTTDO9f4
It may not stay there long!

"Video Killed the Faculty Star," by Jack Stripling, Inside Higher Ed, November 18. 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/18/videos  

 


Question:
What are the most popular sites for term papers?

Answer 1:  SchoolSucks.com --- http://www.schoolsucks.com/ 
Note that this site purportedly has a minimum of 250,000 hits per day according to the November 10, 2002 Sixty Minutes show.

Need a Paper

Welcome back to School Sucks!! Ya ready?
Time to get out those dusty notebooks, the whoopie cushions, the notes you got from the kid who took the same classes last year and get your asses back to school!

We're ready.

We got a new site for you. A chat room so you can talk homework with students from all over the world. Message boards, games and polls. If you sign up, you can send instant messages.

We're giving a $250 high school scholarship this semester. But you have to prove that you're not an A student to participate!

Let us know what you think and keep spreading the word:

School Sucks!

Answer 2 --- Termpapers R Us --- http://www.termpapersrus.com/ 

Do you need help and need it fast? Then you have found THE BEST SITE on the entire Internet.  Our guarantee to you... is that you will find what you need on this site and you will find it fast.... if it isn’t in our database of more than 25,000 sample term papers, essays, and research studies, then we will write one for you just as fast as you need it.

Try a keyword search through our database of more than 25,000 sample term papers, essays, and research studies... if you can't find something on your topic... then we will write one for you just as fast as you need it. Take advantage of the expertise and wealth of talent that the staff of researchers and writers have to offer at TermpapersRus.com.... They work around the clock 24 hours per day... 7 days per week... 365 days per year and do nothing but assist students with their term projects and research reports.... NO matter what the topic ..nor the time of day.. TermpapersRus is always available to assist you with all your writing needs.    

"Term Papers ‘R’ Us"! ..we assist students with Term papers... and we are THE BEST! 

Check the Termpapersrus.com database -- RIGHT NOW!! -- and you’ll see what we mean.... there are more than 25,000 example term papers listed there ...and they are all available for immediate delivery by email, fax or Federal Express!  ...each of the thousands of papers in the Term Papers ‘R’ Us database cost only $[] per page and the bibliographies are FREE??!! ...this straight-forward-no-hassle rate allows 
Term Papers ‘R’ Us to help you become "Term Papers ‘R’ Me!" Need it FAST!! then simply place a "RUSH ORDER" and receive it even faster ...
in ONLY a few hours!!! 
Click here to ORDER NOW!!

TermPapersRUs.com  is so confident in the quality of our work... that we offer you the unique opportunity to actually preview excerpts from a paper (for FREE) in order to see if it offers the appropriate direction for your research and studies.

 Didn't find anything in our database??

NO PROBLEM!!!! You can have one of the research writers complete a customized example paper for you.... and this way we can show you the very best techniques for writing your own paper and you'll learn how to approach any topic.  All customized research is ONLY $19.95 per page with a FREE bibliography and a guaranteed completion date!!  So search our database NOW.. or you can Click HERE or the purple balloon for Custom research... either way you'll have TermpapersRus.com quality staff to show you the way for all of your writing needs!!!  

Answer 3 (Some others mentioned on the May 12 Sixty Minutes show)

CheatHouse.com --- http://www.cheathouse.com/ (Free papers)

PaperWizards.com --- http://www.paperwizards.com/ 

Question:
The bottom-line question posed to the two young spokesmen for the School Sucks service on the Web was Mike Wallace's question:  Who besides students downloads papers from School Sucks?

Answer:
Professors wanting to pad their resumes and annual performance reports.  

Bob Jensen's conclusion:  Listening to the above revelation that some professors are using the same cheat sites as students will not not exactly help convince students that this is a wrong thing to do in education and in society.  But then again, students and their professors get even more cynical about cheating morality as they watch leaders in corporate governance, auditing firms, churches, charities, and government being accused daily of massive frauds and influence peddling.


Hi Dan,

Now let's wait a minute on the "Wait a minute"  If your entire future rides on getting an A in a course, you might be tempted to crib for competitive advantage.  Or you may be a geek who just takes clever cheating up as a challenge.

As Rchard Sansing pointed out, if you print on the back of the label of a water bottle and paste it back on the bottle, your can read it easily in magnified print from the other side of the bottle.  It is not necessary to reverse the printing.  However, if you want to use a mirror up a pant leg or skirt, you may need to reverse the printing.

It is pretty easy to get small print.  Simply try Font Size 8 in MS Word.

As far reading backwards is concerned, dyslexics have an advantage if the print is not reversed.

I am told that MW Word “has a somewhat hidden backward printing feature.”
--- http://www.euronet.nl/users/mvdk/wordprocessors.html
I’ve not been able to find it, but I’m certain that if anybody could find it, it would be my students.

Here's another way
How to Cheat With Crib Notes (Video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpQZDJ2fGnI

Other Videos on How to Cheat

How to Cheat During Exams --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH2KZTyp3_A&feature=related
(But students in the front row are out of luck.)

Skirting:  How to Cheat on Exams --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slL9WkjZt-g
(There's hope for the front row too. But if you have a male instructor, your chances of getting caught are greater.)

How to cheat in an exam with just a pen and paper --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fr0e8DqQ-E&feature=related

How to Cheat at School --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcmHVSZr32o

 

Actually a somewhat better approach would be to type whatever you want, paste in whatever graphs and tables you want, capture the screen, then reduce the size to whatever it takes to fit inside the water bottle, and then create a mirror image in your graphics or MS Word software.  However, you may want to wear a special kind of spectacles for magnification.  You can read the following in the Help file of MW Word:

Create a mirror image of an object

  1. Click the AutoShape, picture, WordArt, or clip art you want to duplicate. 
  2. Click Copy and then click Paste 
  3. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw, point to Rotate or Flip, and then click Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical
  4. Drag and position the duplicate object so that it mirrors the original object. 

Note   You may need to override the Snap-To-Grid option to position the object precisely. To do this, press ALT as you drag the object.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Stone [mailto:dstone@UKY.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002, 5:04 A.M.
Subject: Wait a minute....

Now help me out here friends....

I've been bothered since I first heard about this...

If I write on a water bottle in tiny print and then read through the water, the print will be bigger but it will be BACKWARDS.  A middle of the night experiment confirms this.  Would it really be that helpful to have a tiny print, written-backwards cheat sheet?????? I doubt it.

My point is that the media may be "over the top" in reporting some of the evidence on the cheating problem in today's University.  Yes I believe there is a cheating scandal, but to paraphrase from Charlotte's Web, "people believe anything that they read."  Let's not make this mistake.

Best,

Dan Stone
Univ. of Kentucky

How to Cheat With Crib Notes (Video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpQZDJ2fGnI


Look Before and After You Make an Accounting Term Paper Assignment

I did not expect there to be too many accounting term papers at the term paper mills.  This turns out to be naive.  For example, there are over 200 papers on some very interesting accountancy topics at http://www.termpapersrus.com/ 
Include the following in your search:

SchoolSucks.com --- http://www.schoolsucks.com/ 

Termpapers R Us --- http://www.termpapersrus.com/ 

CheatHouse.com --- http://www.cheathouse.com/ (Free papers)

PaperWizards.com --- http://www.paperwizards.com/ 

Moral of Story --- Check out what the term papers have available on the topic you assign to your class.

Possible Assignment:  Have students critique a term paper mill product.


The Web puts answers to most questions -- not to mention ready-made term papers -- at students' fingertips. One educator says it's time to assign work that truly makes kids think. 

"Got Cheaters? Ask New Questions," by Dustin Goot, Wired News, September 10, 2002 --- http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,54996,00.html 

Jamie McKenzie has spent his whole career trying to get schools "to ask better questions." But now that he preaches better questions as an antidote for rampant Internet plagiarism, a lot more teachers are listening.

In the professional development seminars he gives, McKenzie said, 60 to 80 percent of teachers cite cases of plagiarism in their classrooms. A more formal study, conducted by a professor at Rutgers University, found that more than half of high school kids "have engaged in some level of plagiarism on written assignments using the Internet."

According to McKenzie, however, students aren't solely to blame for this trend. Many assignments teachers give, he said, are conducive to cheating. "It is reckless and irresponsible to continue requiring topical 'go find out about' research projects in this new electronic context," McKenzie wrote in a 1998 article in "From Now On," an online educational journal he edits.

Instead, teachers must distinguish between trivial research and meaningful research, which asks kids to "analyze, interpret, infer or synthesize" material they have read.

Patti Tjomsland said that in Washington's Mark Morris High School, where she serves as a media specialist, the standard book report of the old days does not even exist anymore. Instead, teachers favor compare-and-contrast essays or personal opinion pieces asking students what they would do in a certain situation. Content for these kinds of essays, Tjomsland explained, is not readily available online.

McKenzie hopes that more schools will follow Mark Morris High's example. "A lot of concern (about plagiarism) is translated into more careful scrutiny," he said. "I would like to see the concern translated into better assignments."


March 29, 2002 message from Glen L. Gray [vcact00f@CSUN.EDU

Information Week had an interesting article that says that teens are developing bad "work" habits that may cause them problems at work--e.g., plagiarism.

http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020307S0005 

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA 
Department of Accounting and Information Systems 
California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff Street 
Northridge, CA 91330-8372 818.677.3948
 
glen.gray@csun.edu  
http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f
 


A Message on January 17, 2002 from Ceil Pillsbury [ceil@UWM.EDU

Last month I posted a message regarding six accounting majors who had cheated in my class. Thank you for the responses with ideas about teaching ethics. It turned out that six other accounting majors had cheated in a different class and my original concern grew so much that I decided to take at look at the literature on academic misconduct (Thank you to Bob Jensen his usual helpful links).

Essentially, the research says that the problem is far more widespread than professors want to acknowledge (and business students are among the worse cheaters). BUT the literature also indicates that academic misconduct can be significantly reduced by raising student awareness of the issues through class discussion, signed honor codes, and having students know that real enforcement with significant penalties is occurring. Given Enron, and the significant fallout which is going to occur, I think it is very easy to tie the need for academic integrity into the need for professional integrity.

Along these lines I am attaching three documents I have prepared which I will be using in my class from now on. I have had several students review these documents with positive feedback. I would also appreciate any feedback you have.

My plan is to lecture about ethics and then to have students read the letter on the need for academic and professional integrity. After that there is an ethics worksheet for the students to complete and an honor code for them to sign.

I sense that I do not speak for myself alone when I say that my classes have become so packed with trying to cram in the ever burgeoning standards that I haven't paid nearly enough attention to ethics in the last few years. If anyone shares that concern and finds the attached materials may be of help please feel free to make any use of them desired.

I also now have an easy to use cheating software program from the University of Virginia that was used to catch 122 Physics students plagiarizing. It is available free of charge at

http://www.plagiarism.phys.virginia.edu 

Regards,

Ceil

Ceil's documents are also available at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/cheating/ 


The 100 Cheating Scandals at the University of Virginia --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#Virginia


Foreign Countries That Cheat

Plagiarism  --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism
Plagiarism Law and Legal Definition --- http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/plagiarism/
The Best Plagiarism Video Ever Made ---
http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/international_law/2010/06/friday-fun-the-best-plagiarism-video-ever-made.html

There is no such thing as international copyright law --- http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2005/11/21/international-incidents/


"Yale U. Complains That Chinese University Press Plagiarized Free Course Materials," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 7, 2011 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/yale-u-complains-that-chinese-university-press-plagiarized-free-course-materials/31609?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's links to Yale's open sharing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

"Chinese Publisher Apologizes to Yale for Plagiarizing Free Course Lectures," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/yale-u-complains-that-chinese-university-press-plagiarized-free-course-materials/31609

A university press in China appears to be selling transcripts of Yale University’s free online courses in a new volume, sparking complaints from Yale officials. Under the terms of the course  giveaway, called Open Yale Courses, others cannot profit from the material.

Shaanxi Normal University Press recently published the compilation of five Yale open courses, according to a post today on a Yale Alumni Magazine blog. The book reportedly lifted largely from Chinese subtitles translated by a nonprofit group called YYeT, though that group insists it was not involved in the publication, whose author is listed as Wu Han.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing videos and course materials ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm 


"Yale Professor at Peking U. Assails Widespread Plagiarism in China," Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21, 2007 --- http://chronicle.com/news/article/3678/yale-professor-at-peking-u-assails-widespread-plagiarism-in-china 

A Yale University professor has written a stern letter expressing concern about widespread plagiarism by students he taught at Peking University this fall.

“The fact that I have encountered this much plagiarism … tells me something about the behavior of other professors and administrators here,” Stephen Stearns, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, wrote to his students. “They must tolerate a lot of it, and when they detect it, they cover it up without serious punishment, probably because they do not want to lose face. If they did punish it, it would not be this frequent.”

Plagiarism and other forms of academic corruption have been common in Chinese higher education for years, even as the authorities try to raise academic standards.

Mr. Stearns went on to attack the lack of protection for intellectual-property rights in China, even citing the pirating of his own textbook by Peking University itself, a premier Chinese institution that is often called Beida. “Disturbingly, plagiarism fits into a larger pattern of behavior in China,” he wrote. “China ignores international intellectual-property rights. Beida sees nothing wrong in copying my textbook, for example, in complete violation of international copyright agreements, causing me to lose income, stealing from me quite directly.”

Chinese translations of the strongly worded letter, titled “To My Students in Beijing, Fall 2007,” quickly spread around the Chinese-language Internet. It was also published on New Threads, a Chinese Web site that reports cases of plagiarism in China. (The English original follows the Chinese translation.)

Continued in article

 


But they know enough about U.S. culture to sue
Hopefully Duke made all of its MBA students sign that they understood the honor code

"Cheating Across Cultures," by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2007 --- http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/24/cheating

When Duke University found 34 first-year business school students guilty of collaborating on a take-home test late last month, officials announced a variety of penalties: Pending appeals, nine of the Fuqua School of Business M.B.A. students would be expelled, 15 would receive a one-year suspension and a failing grade in the required course, nine would simply fail the class and one would fail the assignment alone.
Not surprisingly, some of the students are contesting their sentences. This week, a Durham lawyer who’s filed appeals on behalf of 16 of the students cried foul to the Associated Press, arguing that all nine of the expelled students were from Asian countries, and that the students in question failed to fully understand the honor code and the judicial proceedings.

Excuses, excuses? Maybe; maybe not. Regardless, the complaints serve to spotlight some of the particular challenges inherent in addressing issues of academic integrity involving international students, many of whom come to American colleges with different conceptions of cheating. As the number of international students has increased in recent years — and the number of academic misconduct incidents involving international students has risen accordingly — educators have increasingly embraced the need to address academic integrity concerns proactively, recognizing in their actions the various cultural influences that can help cause one to cheat.

“These issues come up in unusual ways. It doesn’t mean there isn’t cheating in China [for instance]. There is,” says Sidney L. Greenblatt, senior assistant director of advising and counseling at Syracuse University and an expert on China (he’s currently writing an essay for a collection on cultural aspects of academic integrity, and has co-authored a publication onU.S. Classroom Culturehighlighting these issues). “People present false credentials to the American embassy and corruption in the system is about what it is here.”

Continued in article


"Yale Professor at Peking U. Assails Widespread Plagiarism in China," Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21, 2007 --- http://chronicle.com/news/article/3678/yale-professor-at-peking-u-assails-widespread-plagiarism-in-china 

A Yale University professor has written a stern letter expressing concern about widespread plagiarism by students he taught at Peking University this fall.

“The fact that I have encountered this much plagiarism … tells me something about the behavior of other professors and administrators here,” Stephen Stearns, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, wrote to his students. “They must tolerate a lot of it, and when they detect it, they cover it up without serious punishment, probably because they do not want to lose face. If they did punish it, it would not be this frequent.”

Plagiarism and other forms of academic corruption have been common in Chinese higher education for years, even as the authorities try to raise academic standards.

Mr. Stearns went on to attack the lack of protection for intellectual-property rights in China, even citing the pirating of his own textbook by Peking University itself, a premier Chinese institution that is often called Beida. “Disturbingly, plagiarism fits into a larger pattern of behavior in China,” he wrote. “China ignores international intellectual-property rights. Beida sees nothing wrong in copying my textbook, for example, in complete violation of international copyright agreements, causing me to lose income, stealing from me quite directly.”

Chinese translations of the strongly worded letter, titled “To My Students in Beijing, Fall 2007,” quickly spread around the Chinese-language Internet. It was also published on New Threads, a Chinese Web site that reports cases of plagiarism in China. (The English original follows the Chinese translation.)

Continued in article


Spotted: a new trend called plagio-riffing
Students are growing lazier about the whole process of copying, not even bothering to change fonts in a cut-and-paste excerpt or otherwise disguise their tracks. When asked why he inserted an entire page printed in Black Forest Gothic in a paper written in Courier, a student in freshman composition expressed surprise: “If you start changing things, that’s cheating, right?” The path of least resistance continues, often refreshingly low-tech. A Psychology 200 instructor reported a student handing in a Xerox of an article with the author’s name whited out and her own inserted. “I did the best I could,” confessed the student. “I didn’t have my laptop with me, and I was in a hurry.” . . . Spotted: a new trend called plagio-riffing, where students get together and mix and match five or more papers into one by sampling and lifting choice paragraphs to the beat of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” (plagiarized from “He’s So Fine”).
David Galef, "Report from the Academic Committee on Plagiarism," Inside Higher Ed, June 10, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/06/10/galef

Blackboard and the company that owns Turnitin, the popular plagiarism-detection service, have settled their patent dispute, agreeing not to sue one another, Washington Business Journal reported. Blackboard announced in July that it was adding a plagiarism-detection feature to its course management system.
Inside Higher Ed, August 24, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/08/24/qt

Comparison of Plagiarism Detection Tools --- http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/SER07017B.pdf
"Plagiarism Detection: Is Technology the Answer?" at the 2007 EDUCAUSE Southeast Regional Conference, Liz Johnson, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, provided a chart comparing seven plagiarism detection tools: Turnitin, MyDropBox, PAIRwise, EVE2, WCopyFind, CopyCatch, and GLATT.

August 24, 2007 message from Ed Scribner [escribne@nmsu.edu]

Bob,

The New Mexico State University Library is hosting a new website on plagiarism issues. The site, available at http://lib.nmsu.edu/plagiarism , contains both faculty and student resources.

Ed


New Kinds of Cheating

Question
What's the latest innovation in cheating?

Hint
Students are using YouTube in a very clever way.

"Students Show How to Cheat via YouTube," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3160&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

Academic cheating and dishonesty have long been a problem. But with YouTube students have discovered a new avenue for actually promoting such fraud. Liz Losh, a rhetorician at the University of California at Irvine, notes that there’s now a genre of videos that combine cheating advice with a “do-it-yourself aesthetic.” She flagged one of them Wednesday on her blog. It shows a student using a scanner and photo-editing software to make a cheat sheet on a Coke bottle.

 


"Real-Time Automated Essay Writing?" by Geoffrey Pullum, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 25, 2014 ---
 http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2014/02/25/real-time-automated-essay-writing/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

When I first tried EssayTyper, for just a moment it chilled my blood. Of course, it’s just a little joke; but I hope students everywhere will be sophisticated enough to see that, because a person who was unusually naive, lazy, and ignorant just might mistake it for a computer program that will enable you to type out custom-designed essays on selected academic topics, even topics you know nothing about, even if you can’t type. The EssayTyper home page presents a box saying:

Oh, no! It’s finals week and I have to finish my American Civil War essay immediately.

You can type in a replacement for “American Civil War”; whatever you please: “praseodymium” or “eagles” or “Cole Porter” or “phonetics” or “Chronicle of Higher Education” or “lingua franca”—anything you could imagine someone being expected to write an essay on.

If then you click on the pencil icon on the right hand side, you get what appears to be a word-processor page with a centered header providing a fashionably absurd postmodernist title for your essay: “The Fluidity of Praseodymium: Gender Norms & Racial Bias in the Study of the Modern ‘Praseodymium,’” or maybe “Truly Eagles? The Modern Eagles: a Normative Critique.”

All you have to do after that is type. Type anything. Rattle your fingers around on the keyboard like a child pretending to type. Have your kitten walk on the keys. Tap the space bar. It doesn’t matter. Text will appear, bit by bit: coherent, sensible text saying true things about your chosen subject. Not very imaginative, but undeniably accurate and probably worthy of a B grade.

Now, we already know that the humor-detection module in our species is not innate, so there is a real chance of my being disappointed in our students: There may be some who think EssayTyper is more than a joke. I continue to hope otherwise, partly because humor sensitivity is generally stronger in the young, and partly because I simply don’t want to live in a world where this tool might be used to create essays that might be turned in for me to grade.

EssayTyper is actually (to give the game away completely) a front end to Wikipedia. When you type your subject in on the underlined part of the initial box, it simply looks those words up using the Wikipedia search function. If there is no Wikipedia page with that title, it warns you that it can’t help. But if there is one, it goes to it and starts blurting out the text of the article, chunk by chunk. The more you rattle the keys, the more it puts on your screen.

EssayTyper is less intriguing than Eliza, an ingenious piece of programming that was originally intended to demonstrate shallow-level simulation of human conversation but ended up unexpectedly demonstrating human gullibility. EssayTyper is a cute little piece of recreational programming fun, but underlying it is nothing more than an automated Wikipedia copier.

So even for students who think they can get away with turning in unmodified Wikipedia articles as term papers, EssayTyper would be an unneeded middleman. Screen-scooping selected text directly from Wikipedia itself would be quicker.

But as I said, when I first saw it working, for a minute or so I was scared. It isn’t real, and it doesn’t pretend to be, but what if it were? What if, five or 10 years from now, sophisticated programming permits generation of highly plausible text on arbitrary subjects that has been skillfully rearranged from its various online sources, with random words replaced sensibly by synonyms, so that plagiarism-detecting algorithms report nothing untoward? What if machines can one day write convincing original term papers that have not gone through even one human brain before being dumped to the printer?

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and other forms of cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 


"Real-Time Automated Essay Writing?" by Geoffrey Pullum, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 25, 2014 ---
 http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2014/02/25/real-time-automated-essay-writing/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

When I first tried EssayTyper, for just a moment it chilled my blood. Of course, it’s just a little joke; but I hope students everywhere will be sophisticated enough to see that, because a person who was unusually naive, lazy, and ignorant just might mistake it for a computer program that will enable you to type out custom-designed essays on selected academic topics, even topics you know nothing about, even if you can’t type. The EssayTyper home page presents a box saying:

Oh, no! It’s finals week and I have to finish my American Civil War essay immediately.

You can type in a replacement for “American Civil War”; whatever you please: “praseodymium” or “eagles” or “Cole Porter” or “phonetics” or “Chronicle of Higher Education” or “lingua franca”—anything you could imagine someone being expected to write an essay on.

If then you click on the pencil icon on the right hand side, you get what appears to be a word-processor page with a centered header providing a fashionably absurd postmodernist title for your essay: “The Fluidity of Praseodymium: Gender Norms & Racial Bias in the Study of the Modern ‘Praseodymium,’” or maybe “Truly Eagles? The Modern Eagles: a Normative Critique.”

All you have to do after that is type. Type anything. Rattle your fingers around on the keyboard like a child pretending to type. Have your kitten walk on the keys. Tap the space bar. It doesn’t matter. Text will appear, bit by bit: coherent, sensible text saying true things about your chosen subject. Not very imaginative, but undeniably accurate and probably worthy of a B grade.

Now, we already know that the humor-detection module in our species is not innate, so there is a real chance of my being disappointed in our students: There may be some who think EssayTyper is more than a joke. I continue to hope otherwise, partly because humor sensitivity is generally stronger in the young, and partly because I simply don’t want to live in a world where this tool might be used to create essays that might be turned in for me to grade.

EssayTyper is actually (to give the game away completely) a front end to Wikipedia. When you type your subject in on the underlined part of the initial box, it simply looks those words up using the Wikipedia search function. If there is no Wikipedia page with that title, it warns you that it can’t help. But if there is one, it goes to it and starts blurting out the text of the article, chunk by chunk. The more you rattle the keys, the more it puts on your screen.

EssayTyper is less intriguing than Eliza, an ingenious piece of programming that was originally intended to demonstrate shallow-level simulation of human conversation but ended up unexpectedly demonstrating human gullibility. EssayTyper is a cute little piece of recreational programming fun, but underlying it is nothing more than an automated Wikipedia copier.

So even for students who think they can get away with turning in unmodified Wikipedia articles as term papers, EssayTyper would be an unneeded middleman. Screen-scooping selected text directly from Wikipedia itself would be quicker.

But as I said, when I first saw it working, for a minute or so I was scared. It isn’t real, and it doesn’t pretend to be, but what if it were? What if, five or 10 years from now, sophisticated programming permits generation of highly plausible text on arbitrary subjects that has been skillfully rearranged from its various online sources, with random words replaced sensibly by synonyms, so that plagiarism-detecting algorithms report nothing untoward? What if machines can one day write convincing original term papers that have not gone through even one human brain before being dumped to the printer?

"Custom Writing Service Says Students 'No Longer Have to Face the Burden of Academic Coursework'," by Susan Jones, CNS News, January 20, 2014 ---
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/custom-writing-service-says-students-no-longer-have-face-burden-academic#

A Dallas-based company that writes research papers, essays and other classroom assignments -- so students don't have to -- says it is doing so well that it has expanded its staff from just a few writers to more than 100 in the past year.

The company bills itself as the one "students trust to write professional, in-depth and plagiarism-free essays that receive the highest grades for all levels of coursework...so they no longer have to face the burden of academic coursework."

It says the writing is done for an "affordable" fee; and it has foreign writers on staff for non-American students.

In a news release announcing the "custom writing service" for students in the United States, the company includes the following testimonial:

"I enjoyed using the service," one student is quoted as saying. "The paper was written excellent (sic)...My professor was satisfied, and so am I."

Other testimonials on the company's website read:

"I've sent the paper to evaluation first 'cause I wasn't sure if they can find a writer with a relevant academic background...But yes, they did! It seems like she read my thoughts and written the paper (sic) as if I did it myself, lol :-)"

And this: "Cool essay. Couldn’t been done better (sic). Just noticed a few typos, but that’s okay."

The company offers discounts of 5 percent after ten orders; and 15 percent after 20 orders.

In August, President Obama announced his plan to tie federal financial aid to colleges and universities that do well in a yet-to-be-announced college rating system. As CNSNews.com reported at the time, the rating system means the government will define what a good college is. - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/custom-writing-service-says-students-no-longer-have-face-burden-academic#sthash.dAvEF9OY.dpuf

A Dallas-based company that writes research papers, essays and other classroom assignments -- so students don't have to -- says it is doing so well that it has expanded its staff from just a few writers to more than 100 in the past year.

The company bills itself as the one "students trust to write professional, in-depth and plagiarism-free essays that receive the highest grades for all levels of coursework...so they no longer have to face the burden of academic coursework."

It says the writing is done for an "affordable" fee; and it has foreign writers on staff for non-American students.

In a news release announcing the "custom writing service" for students in the United States, the company includes the following testimonial:

"I enjoyed using the service," one student is quoted as saying. "The paper was written excellent (sic)...My professor was satisfied, and so am I."

Other testimonials on the company's website read:

"I've sent the paper to evaluation first 'cause I wasn't sure if they can find a writer with a relevant academic background...But yes, they did! It seems like she read my thoughts and written the paper (sic) as if I did it myself, lol :-)"

And this: "Cool essay. Couldn’t been done better (sic). Just noticed a few typos, but that’s okay."

The company offers discounts of 5 percent after ten orders; and 15 percent after 20 orders.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One such company in Dallas is
http://ownessays.com/
I did not find writers listing knowledge of accounting, but some advertise expertise in finance and global finance.

I don't trust the promise of "no plagiarism" although the plagiarism may be very clever.

Apparently a large part of the business is writing customized college admissions essays.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and other forms of cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


Honor Code --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_code

Are colleges placing less confidence in their honor codes?

"The Proctor Is In," by Allie Grasgreen, Inside Higher Ed, February 25, 2014 ---
 http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/25/economics-department-proctor-exams-adherence-honor-code-wanes

Only 100 or so colleges maintain honor codes, which are thought to bolster integrity and trust among professors and students by involving the latter in the creation and enforcement of academic standards. When a campus culture values open and frequent discussion about when and why cheating is socially unacceptable, the thinking goes (and some research shows), students are less likely to flout the rules – and more likely to report their peers who do.

Except when they aren’t. Most traditional honor codes allow for unproctored exams, where the professor leaves the room and students are expected to report any cheating they observe. (Some even let students take the exam wherever they choose.) But the system is not working out so well at Middlebury College, where faculty members in economics will proctor their exams this spring semester.

The decision follows a not-exactly-glowing review of the state of Middlebury’s honor code, which found that peer reporting across the board “is largely nonexistent.”

The Middlebury Campus lamented the shift in an editorial, calling it “a shameful reminder of a broken system” and questioning why no students or professors are protesting the decision or pressing the importance of the honor code.

“The honor code is a part of the Middlebury brand. We love to point to the honor code as a demonstration of our integrity and the type of community we come from,” the editorial board wrote. “What, then, does it say about our future selves if we cannot expect integrity from our community members now?”

Shirley M. Collado, dean of the college, declined to comment on whether cheating is particularly rampant in economics, but said via email that, on infrequent occasions, other departments have opted out of unproctored exams. “While some students report cases of academic dishonesty,” Collado said, “we don't believe that students are taking action on all cases of academic dishonesty of which they are aware.”

The economics department will work with the student government’s Honor Code Committee to gather information and “see what approach will work best for the broader Middlebury community and to encourage an environment of academic integrity,” Collado said.

“Middlebury’s Honor Code is not facing a moment of crisis, nor is it functioning with optimal effectiveness,” the review says. (A committee conducts the review every four years.) “Student ownership and responsibility for the Honor Code – a critical tenet of its founding – is severely waning.”

The Middlebury Campus writers posit that because their peers had nothing to do with the honor code’s creation, and “almost never hear about it after first-year orientation,” it makes sense that students are not invested in the code.

Teddi Fishman, director of Clemson University’s International Center for Academic Integrity, said the editorial is spot on.

“This writer understands academic integrity better than some administrators do,” she said. It’s not surprising that students wouldn’t adhere to an honor code they had no say in, especially one that’s rarely discussed, she said. “Just having an honor code doesn’t do anything – it has to be part of the culture.” (Similarly, a culture of academic integrity does not necessarily require a code.)

Fishman praised the economics department’s willingness to recognize that the code isn’t working, but said the campus should work to “revitalize” the honor code in the meantime, to launch conversations and get students caring about it again.


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/25/economics-department-proctor-exams-adherence-honor-code-wanes#ixzz2uLPV7WjV
Inside Higher Ed
 

Jensen Comment
Honor codes that require students to report when other students cheat became policies in colleges before there was such an over abundance of lawyers and our extreme USA culture of litigation. Now when Student A reports that Student X cheated, Student A may get slapped with a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Even if colleges pledge to back Student A in litigation, the hassle of litigation itself may motivate Student A to keep his or her mouth shut.

By the way, Harvard University is a leader in many areas of academe, but Harvard does not have an honor code. Maybe administrators are tuned into the Harvard Law School. Recall that Harvard somewhat recently expelled neary 70 students for cheating in a political science course where they were assured of receiving an A grade no matter what the quality of the work. Apparently when an A grade is assured, some students don't want to do any work.

"Harvard considers instituting honor code," Boston Globe, April 7, 2013 ---
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/06/harvard-considers-adopting-honor-code-for-first-time/IE6AXsmybsdgToNcPDuywN/story.html

Stanford University has an honor code, at least it did when I was a student on the "Farm"|
"Stanford finds cheating — especially among computer science students — on the rise," by Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, February 7, 2010 --- http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_14351156?nclick_check=1 

Online Courses Create Added Honor Code Problems
"Far From Honorable," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/10/25/online-students-might-feel-less-accountable-honor-codes
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and other forms of cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


New tools to prevent high tech cheating
http://online.qmags.com/TJL0813?sessionID=4CB36C8DBEEC3C846A1D7E17F&cid=2399838&eid=18342#pg1&mode1
See the article beginning on Page 213


"Apparently Mathew Martoma Was Expelled From Harvard Law For Falsifying Documentd," by Nate Raymond, Joseph Ax, and Emily Flitter, Reuters via Business Insider, January 9, 2014 ---
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/09/us-sac-martoma-harvard-idUSBREA081C720140109#ixzz2pzwsZOPX


"First Trial of Crowdsourced Grading for Computer Science Homework: The latest online crowdsourcing tool allows students to grade their classmates’ homework and receive credit for the effort they put in ," MIT's Technology Review, September 4, 2013 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519001/first-trial-of-crowdsourced-grading-for-computer-science-homework/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130904

The new tool is called CrowdGrader and it is available at http://www.crowdgrader.org/.

Jensen Comment
I remember that in K-12 school students traded papers and checked answers. Now we're coming full circle in distance education in the 21st Century. But there's a huge difference between grading answers for work done in a classroom versus work done remotely by distance education students. For example, an algebra or calculus problem solved in class has controls on cheating when each student is observed by other students and a teacher. Remotely, what is to prevent a student from having Wolfram Alpha solve an algebra or calculus problem? ---
http://www.wolframalpha.com/

When distance education small in size (say less than 30 students) there are alternatives for cheating controls on examinations ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline

But when a MOOC or SMOC has over 10,000 students I have difficulty imagining how cheating can be controlled unless students are required to take examinations under observation of a trusted person like the village vicar or a K-12 teacher who is being paid to observe a student taking a MOOC or SMOC examination. Having many such vicars or teachers attest to the integrity of the examination is both expensive and not aperfect solution. But it sounds much better to me than having remote students grading each other without being able to observe the examination process.

The CrowdGrader software sounds like a great idea when students are willing to help each other. I don't buy into this tool for assigning transcript grades.

Bob Jensen's threads on OKIs, MOOCs, and SMOCs are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


"Dissertation for Sale: A Cautionary Tale," by Manuel R. Torres, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Dissertation-for-Sale-A/132401/


Book Review of The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat by Dave Tomar (Bloomsbury, 251 pages, $25)
"A Man for All Semesters:  An exposé reveals how the Internet has turned collegiate cheating into big business," by Charles Dameron, The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2012 ---
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443816804578004570701056956.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t&mg=reno64-wsj

'If you knew how I work!" Balzac wrote to a friend in 1832 as he finished up another volume of what would become the "Comédie humaine." "I am a galley slave to pen and ink, a true dealer in ideas." Dave Tomar is no stranger to the feeling of tortured subjugation to the written word, though whether one could justly call him a "dealer in ideas" is another matter—"counterfeiter" is more like it.

In "The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat," Mr. Tomar, a 32-year-old Rutgers graduate, describes how, for the better part of a decade, he labored as a writer-for-hire catering to incompetent and lazy students. It didn't matter if the task at hand was a reflection on Nietzsche, a piece on Piaget's theory of genetic epistemology, or a 150-page paper on public-sector investment in China and India. Mr. Tomar, with not a small amount of help from Wikipedia, was a man for all semesters.

The most amusing and disturbing tidbits of "The Shadow Scholar" are excerpted communiqués from Mr. Tomar's clients that show just how badly these arrested young minds required his assistance. "Let me know what will the paper going to be about," one college student instructs Mr. Tomar. "Also dont write about, abortion, euthanasia, clothing or death penalty, yhose were not allowed by my teacher."

Mr. Tomar worked for only a few cents a word, but he kept busy enough to earn $66,000 in 2010. (Not bad, especially considering that the average pay for a non-tenure-track lecturer at Harvard last year—an institution with its own student-plagiarism scandal at the moment—was just under $57,000.) He was a freelancer for several of the "hundreds and possibly thousands" of online paper mills in the United States, services with names like rushessay.com and college-paper.org that produce custom essays for their student clients. Lest you think that this sleazy racket is a fringe, underground phenomenon, Mr. Tomar is here to declare otherwise: "It's mainstream. It's popular culture. It's taxable income. It's googleable."

"The Shadow Scholar" is a follow-up to a 2010 essay of the same name that Mr. Tomar wrote, under the pseudonym Ed Dante, for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The original essay was concise, hard-hitting and topical, revealing the dirty details of a business that educators try studiously to ignore. By contrast, Mr. Tomar's book is frequently self-indulgent and meandering, as much a memoir of the author's post-college search for purpose as a whistleblowing manifesto. Clichés and mixed metaphors abound: "I'm tumbling into a well of bad memories the way that a motorcycle backfiring in the distance might take a guy back to 'Nam," he tells us in an eight-page account of a phone call to the Rutgers Parking and Transportation Department.

For those willing to wade through it, however, "The Shadow Scholar" is a fascinating exposé of the remarkably robust industry of academic ghostwriting. Assuming that Mr. Tomar's story is at least roughly faithful to the truth, his testimony amounts to a harrowing indictment of the modern American university's current shortcomings as a meritocratic, credentializing institution, much less a home for mental and moral growth.

Mr. Tomar didn't just aid and abet casual cheating. Rather, he claims, he was engaged in a process of systemic intellectual fraud that students took advantage of all the way up the academic ziggurat: fabricating "personal statements" for unqualified college applicants; crafting term papers for undergraduates and "cockpit parents" who diligently directed their children's plagiarism; sweating over doctoral dissertations with only one page of instructions to go on; even, in one extraordinary case, doing the writing for an entire Ph.D. program in cognitive and behavioral psychology on someone else's behalf.

Mr. Tomar's dispatches from the dark side certainly do nothing to dispel the impression that, even as tuition hikes at many colleges outpace inflation, American colleges and universities may be delivering a product of declining value. Former Emory University president William Chace, in a recent essay on the normalization of cheating in the academy, wrote of a "suspicion that students are studying less, reading less, and learning less all the time." The numbers back this up. Economists Philip Babcock and Mindy Marks reported in 2010 that the number of hours that full-time college students spent on their studies dropped by a third between 1961 and 2003, to 27 hours per week from 40.

Having largely abandoned the mission of molding student character, many American universities and colleges today find themselves challenged to uphold the most minimal standards of technical training and assessment. Sociologists Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum, in their 2011 book "Academically Adrift," found that, of a nationally representative sample of thousands of college students, over a third demonstrated "no significant progress on tests of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing" after four years in college. Unable or unwilling to do the work, many students find it far easier to hand it off to a subcontractor.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Dave Tomar is now a student in the Yale Law school. He hopes that his extensive experience in cheating will make him a successful lawyer.


Of Course a Professor Who Does Not Check for Plagiarism Would Not Detect Horrific Plagiariasm
The other day, a student came into the writing center with an essay that she had "written" for her final project. I was a page into it when I understood that it had been horrendously plagiarized, and that I was being used as a preliminary screening service to see if the blatant theft would pass her professor's eye unnoticed. Of course, I knew it would. The professor wasn't particularly perceptive about such things ...

"Successful Plagiarism 101," by Brooks Winchell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 11, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Successful-Plagiarism-101/138413/

The other day, a student came into the writing center with an essay that she had "written" for her final project. I was a page into it when I understood that it had been horrendously plagiarized, and that I was being used as a preliminary screening service to see if the blatant theft would pass her professor's eye unnoticed.

Of course, I knew it would. The professor wasn't particularly perceptive about such things, and, frankly, almost every research paper that I had seen for his course had been plagiarized to one degree or another. He taught in the business school and knew a great deal about managing people and businesses but practically nothing about writing or the proper use of sources.

Perhaps he didn't really care. He once asked me to "look over" a manuscript and "check it for grammar." When I found serious structural and content inconsistencies, I felt obligated to inform him. But he self-published the manuscript anyway in its original, unadulterated format.

Still, the professor's student was in front of me with her beautifully articulated copy-and-pasted essay that had undoubtedly originated from some poor doctoral student's dissertation and contained words like "adjudicated" and "prevaricates." I had been tutoring her for weeks at the writing center. I would have loved to believe that the essay was her own work, and that she had made astonishing progress in her writing, due mostly to my own impeccable instruction. However, I had to admit that the leap was, in fact, impossible given the condition of her previous week's work—a narrative essay that had been filled with confused articles, mixed prepositions, sentence fragments, and nonparallel structures, among other problems.

So I had a dilemma. As an educator, I knew there was no earthly way this student could produce a genuine five-page research essay (by tomorrow) with her current skill set. But as a fellow human, I also felt sorry that she had been passed along and never adequately prepared for college-level writing, never shown how to read, how to summarize, or how to select quotes.

What was my responsibility here as her tutor? Clearly, the only reasonable thing to do was to give her a lesson on plagiarism and sternly explain how she might be a better plagiarist in the future.

To start with, I told her, her theme seemed curious to me because it dealt with the inner workings of "lean manufacturing" as it applied to the mass production of bioelectronics. I warned her that the complexity of her topic choice might raise an astute professor's brow. More than one student plagiarist has been apprehended trying to pass off as his own work a Marxist reading of Willy Loman, or a metrical analysis of Yeats's "Among School Children," when the student should have been describing Loman as a pathetic loser or comparing Yeats to a jelly doughnut.

Worse, she had plagiarized a source that was well beyond her syntactical command. It was obvious from word choice and sentence construction that the essay had been written by someone with a profound understanding of the Efficiency Movement of the early 20th century. A professor attuned to plagiarism, I told her, would immediately pick up on obscure words and phrases as signs of plagiarism, and would retrieve the evidence from the Web.

A properly plagiarized essay, however, would contain no obscure Latinate terminology. Every word would be three syllables or less. The sentences would be basic, with maybe a few of the compound variety, but no complex ones under any circumstances, and absolutely no idioms. Not only did her use of obscure language make the offense more glaring, but it also made reworking the paper a near impossibility as no contemporary thesaurus would be helpful in suggesting alternate wording for technical phrases.

The student agreed and promised to avoid any syntactically complicated sources in future plagiarisms. However, that was only the tip of her problem, as I went on to inform her, because even if she had chosen a source with a somewhat basic paragraph and sentence structure, she would still need to rearrange the lexicon to make it mirror her own vernacular so that the professor wouldn't be alarmed by the disparity between her speech and her writing style.

For that reason, certain portions of the essay needed to be altered regardless of their grammatical correctness. In fact, I advised her, a grammatical inconsistency would go a long way toward boosting her credibility as an "original author" and dispel any hints of plagiarism. I suggested that she misspell every few words or remove an occasional article, out of principle.

In addition, the quotations must not be seamlessly integrated into the research. To give the essay more authenticity, I suggested she remove the introduction to every third quote, and neglect explanations altogether so that the quotes would stand out like little quarantined strangers in her essay. Better yet, she could replace every fifth quote with a line from Disney's Fantasia, or at the very least, with a text message so as to create the impression of authorial distraction or perhaps technological interlude. Maybe she could insert a "2" for "too," a "B" for "be," or an emoticon or an LOL in place of a genuine emotional response.

Still, no matter how she reworded it, an entirely plagiarized essay would always appear as a unified whole and, thus, raise suspicion in an alert professor due to its very consistency. The professor would ask: "Where are the essay's digressions? Where are its disconnected paragraphs?"

And so I told her that to be truly thorough in her plagiarism, she actually needed to copy from a variety of sources so that the inconsistency in voice would appear genuine to the academic reader. In addition, since structuring such a sophisticated act of plagiarism would be a near impossibility for the student, the inevitable mixed bag that resulted would undoubtedly replicate with accuracy a struggling student's writing.

Continued in article

"Plagiarism, Profanity, Fraud, and Design," by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2011 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/crosstalk-plagiarism-profanity-fraud-and-design/34119?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Creative Computers Replacing Writers and Composers
And the frightening thing about this is that what might be "cheating" becomes possible with zero chance of being caught for plagiarism of things stories and songs written by Hal.

"30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers," by Jason Boog, Media Bistro, February 17, 2012 ---
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/forbes-among-30-clients-using-computer-generated-stories-instead-of-writers_b47243

Forbes has joined a group of 30 clients using Narrative Science software to write computer-generated stories.

Here’s more about the program, used in one corner of Forbes‘ website: “Narrative Science has developed a technology solution that creates rich narrative content from data. Narratives are seamlessly created from structured data sources and can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone. Stories are created in multiple formats, including long form stories, headlines, Tweets and industry reports with graphical visualizations.”

The New York Times revealed last year that trade publisher Hanley Wood and sports journalism site The Big Ten Network also use the tool. In all, 30 clients use the software–but Narrative Science did not disclose the complete client list.

What do you think? The Narrative Science technology could potentially impact many corners of the writing trade. The company has a long list of stories they can computerize: sports stories, financial reports, real estate analyses, local community content, polling & elections, advertising campaign summaries sales & operations reports and market research.

Here’s an excerpt from a Forbes earnings preview story about Barnes & Noble, written by the computer program:

While company shares have dropped 17.2% over the last three months to close at $13.72 on February 15, 2012, Barnes & Noble (BKS) is hoping it can break the slide with solid third quarter results when it releases its earnings on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

What to Expect: The Wall Street consensus is $1.01 per share, up 1% from a year ago when Barnes & Noble reported earnings of $1 per share.

The consensus estimate is down from three months ago when it was $1.42, but is unchanged over the past month. Analysts are projecting a loss of $1.09 per share for the fiscal year.

The company originated with two electrical engineering and computer science professors at Northwestern University. Here’s more about the company: “[It began with] a software program that automatically generates sports stories using commonly available information such as box scores and play-by-plays. The program was the result of a collaboration between McCormick and Medill School of Journalism.

To create the software, Hammond and Birnbaum and students working in McCormick’s Intelligent Information Lab created algorithms that use statistics from a game to write text that captures the overall dynamic of the game and highlights the key plays and players. Along with the text is an appropriate headline and a photo of what the program deems as the most important player in the game.”

Many of you probably never even heard of the popular "I've Got a Secret" ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_Got_a_Secret 

More of you have probably read about artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil (an expert on computer music composition) ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil 

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, 17 Years Old, Appears on “I’ve Got a Secret” (1965) --- Click Here
 http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/futurist_ray_kurzweil_17_years_old_appears_on_ive_got_a_secret_1965.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29
 


"Plagiarism, Profanity, Fraud, and Design," by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2011 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/crosstalk-plagiarism-profanity-fraud-and-design/34119?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Plagiarism: A study of 24 million college papers by Turnitin, which makes plagiarism-detection software, finds that college students are most likely to lift copy from Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, and Slideshare. The study counted all suspiciously similar language and did not consider whether students cited the sources they lifted from. Via the Scholarly Kitchen, where Phil Davis noted some of the study’s limitations.

Profanity: A Web site promoting Oberlin College co-created by its social media coordinator, Why the F*** Should I Choose Oberlin?, drew varied reactions and plenty of attention last week. The site, which notes it is not officially affiliated with Oberlin, collects profanity-laced quotes about why Oberlin is great. Georgy Cohen interviews the co-creator, Ma’ayan Plaut, who says she has “tacit and unofficial approval” from her boss. On Higher Ed Marketing, Andrew Careaga says his inner 15-year-old thought the site is brilliant, but his 51-year-old “shook his jaded head.”

Fraud: Educause offers advice on how colleges can respond to a Dear Colleague letter from the U.S. Department of Education that asks colleges to limit student-aid fraud in online programs.

Design: Keith Hampson argues that good design will play an increasingly important role in the college student experience as college move online. “Somehow, though, digital higher education—both its software and content—has managed to remain untouched by good design. Design is not even on the agenda,” he says.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"The Sources of Plagiarism," Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/04/29/qt#258386

A new study by Turnitin, the plagiarism detection service, has found that term paper mills account only for a small minority (15 percent) of the apparent sources of the copying. One-third of such material comes from social networks and another one-fourth from "legitimate" educational sources.

"Plagiarism Goes Social," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 28, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/plagiarism-appears-to-be-going-social/31142?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The Web is going social. And now it seems that plagiarism might be heading that way, too.

A new study found that social and user-generated Web sites are the most popular sources for student copying. Academic sites come in second, while paper mills and cheat sites are third.

A report on the findings was released today by iParadigms, creator of Turnitin, a popular plagiarism-detection service that takes uploaded student papers and checks them against various databases to pinpoint unoriginal content. For its study, the company analyzed 40 million papers submitted by high school and college students over a 10-month period.

“It shows that plagiarism in sourcing work is going the way that everything else in the world is going,” says Chris Harrick, vice president of marketing at Turnitin. “People are relying more on their peers than on experts.”

But the findings come with a big caveat: Turnitin detects “matched content,” not necessarily plagiarism. In other words, the software will flag material from a paper mill, but it will also flag legitimate stuff that is properly cited and attributed. The company leaves it up to individual professors to determine plagiarism. So there’s no way to know exactly how much of the copying highlighted in this study, outside of the material that matches content from shady sites, is actually cheating.

Continued in article


It' Snot Nice to Cheat
"Illinois Candidate Caught Cheating on the CPA Exam," by Adrienne Gonzalez, Going Concern, June 28, 2011 ---
http://goingconcern.com/2011/06/illinois-cpa-exam-candidate-caught-cheating-on-the-cpa-exam/

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


"High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame," by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 28, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/High-Tech-Cheating-on-Homew/64857/


Cheated in Online Tests?
"Medical Students, Accused of Cheating, Face Possible Expulsion," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 28, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/medical-students-accused-of-cheating-face-possible-expulsion/31516

The State University of New York Upstate Medical University is investigating allegations that some fourth-year students cheated in a medical-literature course, reports The Post-Standard, in Syracuse. The students, who are scheduled to graduate in May, could be expelled, or face lesser punishment, if the charges are true, said the dean, Steven Scheinman. One student told school officials that some students in the course had collaborated in taking online tests, which is not permitted.

"Academic Cheating in the Age of Google:  In high school and college, cheating is an epidemic. To contain it, the author proposes a few simple rules, including an end to the take-home test," by Michael Hartnett. Business Week, January 13, 2011 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jan2011/bs2011015_632563.htm?link_position=link3 

The students are in their seats, and the test has begun.

And so has the cheating.

BlackBerrys and iPhones need just a couple of taps of the keypad to offer the right answers. It doesn't matter whether the subject is math, social studies, science, English, or a foreign language. Information is available at your fingertips, just as advertised.

Indeed, we have to face a simple fact about students today: As technology has evolved to provide a vast wealth of information at any time, anywhere, cheating has never been easier.

In the good old days, cheating was a simple affair and as a result not too difficult to track down, like the time a girl with limited English skills in one of my high school English classes handed in a terrifically written, sophisticated short story. She copied, word for word, Shirley Jackson's story "Charles," except for changing the title character's name. I guess she thought I wouldn't have a chance hunting down the story once she cleverly renamed her story "Bob." Alas, catching a cheater is not so easy any more.

Smartphone Photos

A few years ago, students would write the answers on the inside labels of water bottles they brought into tests. Today we have students photographing the tests from their phones in an earlier period of the day, so that students in subsequent periods could know the questions before they walk into the classroom.

Now catching the cheaters requires a level of vigilance and research better suited for the corridors of the National Security Agency than the cluttered desk of a humble teacher.

Today, students wouldn't have to rely merely on CliffNotes to provide them with handy, if highly unoriginal, commentaries on Hamlet. They have other choices, including study guides from SparkNotes, PinkMonkey, ClassicNotes, and BookRags, as well as a seemingly endless supply of articles online from both paid and unpaid sources. Just Google "Hamlet Essay," and you'll receive a listing of 1,460,000 results, the first page of which is teeming with free essays.

Sure, you can track down some of the cheaters by typing in an excerpt of their essays on the very same Google search engine to discover the source. And such websites as Turnitin.com, which checks student papers against a massive archive of published and unpublished work for signs of plagiarism, can also be useful. But the available materials are so vast, and the opportunities for students to create hybrid papers so easy, that students are now one step ahead, especially since underground networks of materials are constantly cropping up, concealed from the peering eyes of teachers.

Fonts of Duplicity

Of course, even in this technological age, some students are so lazy they won't even bother to match the font and the type size for one section of an assignment to another, as they indiscriminately cut and paste material from assorted websites. A Spanish teacher I know once told me of a student who handed in an essay she clearly plagiarized from a website. Unfortunately, the girl could not explain why her essay was written in the Catalan language as opposed to Spanish.

Yet, we can't count on incompetence. Many students are so wily and crafty that they've learned to mask their cheating to impressive levels. Some can find answers on handheld devices while looking you straight in the eye or appearing to be in deep, philosophical contemplation; others plagiarize from a dizzying array of sources and cover their trail with vigilance worthy of a CIA operative.

Continued in article

54% of Accounting Students Admit to Cheating
SmartPros, August 31, 2007 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x58970.xml

MBAs most likely (among graduate students) to cheat and make their own rules --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#MBAs

Jensen Comment
I became discouraged with take home exam when one of my students paid to outsource taking of the examination to an agent. If the agent had not plagiarized it would've been impossible to catch his boss (the enrolled student). Most of my take home examinations, however, were only a small portion of the grade and the heavily-weighted final examination was not a take-home examination. I think all courses, including online courses, should have a monitored final examination. There are ways of dealing with this in distance education courses ---
 

Bob Jensen's thread on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Ideas for Teaching Online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas
Also see the helpers for teaching in general at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


"To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery," by Trip Gabriel, The New York Times, July 5, 2010 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/education/06cheat.html?hp
Thank you David Albrecht for the heads up.

The frontier in the battle to defeat student cheating may be here at the testing center of the University of Central Florida.

No gum is allowed during an exam: chewing could disguise a student’s speaking into a hands-free cellphone to an accomplice outside.

The 228 computers that students use are recessed into desk tops so that anyone trying to photograph the screen — using, say, a pen with a hidden camera, in order to help a friend who will take the test later — is easy to spot.

Scratch paper is allowed — but it is stamped with the date and must be turned in later.

When a proctor sees something suspicious, he records the student’s real-time work at the computer and directs an overhead camera to zoom in, and both sets of images are burned onto a CD for evidence.

Taylor Ellis, the associate dean who runs the testing center within the business school at Central Florida, the nation’s third-largest campus by enrollment, said that cheating had dropped significantly, to 14 suspected incidents out of 64,000 exams administered during the spring semester.

“I will never stop it completely, but I’ll find out about it,” Mr. Ellis said.

As the eternal temptation of students to cheat has gone high-tech — not just on exams, but also by cutting and pasting from the Internet and sharing of homework online like music files — educators have responded with their own efforts to crack down.

This summer, as incoming freshmen fill out forms to select roommates and courses, some colleges — Duke and Bowdoin among them — are also requiring them to complete online tutorials about plagiarism before they can enroll.

Anti-plagiarism services requiring students to submit papers to be vetted for copying is a booming business. Fifty-five percent of colleges and universities now use such a service, according to the Campus Computing Survey.

The best-known service, Turnitin.com, is engaged in an endless cat-and-mouse game with technologically savvy students who try to outsmart it. “The Turnitin algorithms are updated on an on-going basis,” the company warned last month in a blog post titled “Can Students ‘Trick’ Turnitin?”

The extent of student cheating, difficult to measure precisely, appears widespread at colleges. In surveys of 14,000 undergraduates over the last four years, an average of 61 percent admitted to cheating on assignments and exams.

The figure declined somewhat from 65 percent earlier in the decade, but the researcher who conducted the surveys, Donald L. McCabe, a business professor at Rutgers, doubts there is less of it. Instead, he suspects students no longer regard certain acts as cheating at all, for instance, cutting and pasting a few sentences at a time from the Internet.

Andrew Daines, who graduated in May from Cornell, where he served on a board in the College of Arts and Sciences that hears cheating cases, said Internet plagiarism was so common that professors told him they had replaced written assignments with tests and in-class writing.

Mr. Daines, a philosophy major, contributed to pages that Cornell added last month to its student Web site to bring attention to academic integrity. They include a link to a voluntary tutorial on avoiding plagiarism and a strongly worded admonition that “other generations may not have had as many temptations to cheat or plagiarize as yours,” and urging students to view this as a character test.

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.

About 20 percent copied one-third or more of their homework, according to a study Dr. Pritchard and colleagues published this year. Students who copy homework find answers at sites like Course Hero, which is a kind of Napster of homework sharing, where students from more than 3,500 institutions upload papers, class notes and past exams.

Another site, Cramster, specializes in solutions to textbook questions in science and engineering. It boasts answers from 77 physics textbooks — but not Dr. Pritchard’s popular “Mastering Physics,” an online tutorial, because his publisher, Pearson, searches the Web for solutions and requests they be taken down to protect its copyright.

“You can use technology as well for detecting as for committing” cheating, Dr. Pritchard said.

The most popular anti-cheating technology, Turnitin.com, says it is now used by 9,500 high schools and colleges. Students submit written assignments to be compared with billions of archived Web pages and millions of other student papers, before they are sent to instructors. The company says that schools using the service for several years experience a decline in plagiarism.

Cheaters trying to outfox Turnitin have tried many tricks, some described in blogs and videos. One is to replace every “e” in plagiarized text with a foreign letter that looks like it, such as a Cyrillic “e,” meant to fool Turnitin’s scanners. Another is to use the Macros tool in Microsoft Word to hide copied text. Turnitin says neither scheme works.

Some educators have rejected the service and other anti-cheating technologies on the grounds that they presume students are guilty, undermining the trust that instructors seek with students.

Washington & Lee University, for example, concluded several years ago that Turnitin was inconsistent with the school’s honor code, “which starts from a basis of trusting our students,” said Dawn Watkins, vice president for student affairs. “Services like Turnitin.com give the implication that we are anticipating our students will cheat.”

For similar reasons, some students at the University of Central Florida objected to the business school’s testing center with its eye-in-the-sky video in its early days, Dr. Ellis said.

But recently during final exams after a summer semester, almost no students voiced such concerns. Rose Calixte, a senior, was told during an exam to turn her cap backward, a rule meant to prevent students from writing notes under the brim. Ms. Calixte disapproved of the fashion statement but didn’t knock the reason: “This is college. There is the possibility for people to cheat.”

A first-year M.B.A. student, Ashley Haumann, said that when she was an undergraduate at the University of Florida, “everyone cheated” in her accounting class of 300 by comparing answers during quizzes. She preferred the highly monitored testing center because it “encourages you to be ready for the test because you can’t turn and ask, ‘What’d you get?’ ”

For educators uncomfortable in the role of anti-cheating enforcer, an online tutorial in plagiarism may prove an elegantly simple technological fix.

That was the finding of a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in January. Students at an unnamed selective college who completed a Web tutorial were shown to plagiarize two-thirds less than students who did not. (The study also found that plagiarism was concentrated among students with lower SAT scores.)

The tutorial “had an outsize impact,” said Thomas S. Dee, a co-author, who is now an economist at the University of Virginia.

“Many instructors don’t want to create this kind of adversarial environment with their students where there is a presumption of guilt,” Dr. Dee said. “Our results suggest a tutorial worked by educating students rather than by frightening them.”

Only a handful of colleges currently require students to complete such a tutorial, which typically illustrates how to cite a source or even someone else’s ideas, followed by a quiz.

The tutorial that Bowdoin uses was developed with its neighbor colleges Bates and Colby several years ago. Part of the reason it is required for enrollment, said Suzanne B. Lovett, a Bowdoin psychology professor whose specialty is cognitive development, is that Internet-age students see so many examples of text, music and images copied online without credit that they may not fully understand the idea of plagiarism.

As for Central Florida’s testing center, one of its most recent cheating cases had nothing to do with the Internet, cellphones or anything tech. A heavily tattooed student was found with notes written on his arm. He had blended them into his body art.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


The Dog Swallowed My Homework and Pooped Out the Answers

On November 26, 2009 I was spammed by a so-called Mike Watson providing a link to a site where students can supposedly submit their assignments for “help” from experts --- http://www.pupilhelp.com/
The site also offers live chats with a paying student regarding a homework assignment.

Pupilhelp was born in the month of July 2006. Pupilhelp was started with a vision to help students with their assignments and homework at an affordable price. More than ten thousand students have benefited from the services of pupilhelp. The service at pupilhelp is available for students all over the world. We at pupilhelp believe in having the best among the best in the tutor team. Tutors are recruited after a laborious process which tests their skills, knowledge on the subject and willingness to work anytime, anywhere. Every tutor in pupilhelp holds a master's degree or a doctorate degree in their respective subject. The feed backs from our students have always been motivating and inspiring. We would like to continue providing quality work at an affordable price which has always been our unique feature. We would like to extend our thanks to students who have supported us and we request you to continue your support. We hope that many more students across the globe will use our service.

Pupilhelp provides e-mail based Homework/Assignment Help to students from grade 12 to Ph.D. level. Our primary objective is to help you in improving your grades and to achieve academic excellence. With our help you can quickly and easily get your assignment done by one of over 300 experts. Our service is focused on, time delivery, superior quality, creativity, and originality for every service we provide.

The discipline categories include “Accounting.”

My hunch is that the so-called assignment “counselors” are probably sitting on top of hundreds of solutions manuals for major and even minor textbooks. Text phrases from end-of-chapter assignments are probably linked to answers in solutions manuals.

 In any case, it is advised that instructors do not rely heavily on end-of-chapter assignments for grading purposes. Perhaps students can learn a great deal from counselors at this site, but for me the site does not pass the smell test even though it claims to have a supposed "no plagiarism" policy. I wonder how closely the recommended solutions follow the copyrighted solutions in textbook manuals supposedly available only to course instructors. Of course many of these solutions manuals are for sale at used book sites and even on eBay and Craigslist.

November 27, 2009 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

I received 52 e-mails from him on Thursday. That it took 52 to deliver the message made me think it was a bogus site.

I think most HW real person solutions differ from the solutions manual only in terms of layout, as there's only one way the answer can be.

I can't ever remember a publishers SM that provided explanation that would benefit students. Presumably instructors don't need the explanation, so it isn't provided. I recall the last time I taught Advanced Accounting, and used a certain textbook with its HW problems. I had to seek help to get some of those solutions explained to me. If pupilhelp.com provides explanations, then it might be a service worth paying for.

Given the publisher sites nowhave algorithmic HW, I'm confident that pupilhelp.com has seen a decline in business. Of course, with the economy it undoubtedly has a decline in revenues just like everyone else. That could explain the spam-like broadcast advertising.

 

Jensen Comment
I think David is correct. I would warn students not to send credit card numbers to this outfit.


Question
If you are using some commercial test bank for examinations in your course, can students down load them here?
http://www.e-junkie.com/

At a minimum, perhaps you should conduct a search in the same manner as Professor Krause?

Note that when I enter "Spiceland" at http://www.e-junkie.com/ there are zero hits.
Instructors must be more creative in their searches.

February 16, 2010 message from Paul Krause [Paul@PAULKRAUSE.COM]

In a recent discussion someone mentioned they use questions from an author's test bank. A student has told me of the very readily available answer manuals and test banks, and walked me through a real transaction. The example he used was Spiceland's Financial Accounting text. Both manuals were available for purchase, and payment was quite easy through PayPal.

Maybe I'm naive, but I was not aware of the ease of obtaining this material.

The site is http://www.e-junkie.com/shop/product/335909.php which I got to by typing into a Google search "Financial Accounting  Spiceland answer manual". The test bank procedure was essentially the same, I typed in "financial accounting spiceland test bank" and got
http://www.e-junkie.com/shop/product/337857.php

The answer manual was an exact copy of what instructors can download or get on a CD.

I tried "Financial accounting horngren" and got a reply "either the listing or the payment method has been removed"

For a listing of all products at this site and to see if your text is available there, try http://www.e-junkie.com/shop/ I'm sure there are other sites also, I didn't bother to go any deeper.

So what? We must assume that all answers and all test questions are available to any computer literate accounting major (that is all accounting majors). If we feel test banks are a good study guide for students, if they review all questions in a test bank, then I suppose it is OK. However, if we want to maintain integrity of tests, forget about using test banks.


Paul Krause
Chico, CA, USA

Paul@PaulKrause.com

February 17, 2010 reply from Glen Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU]

Here is the flip side—I periodically teach the capstone course for the management department. The book I use was published by Houghton Mifflin. Sometime in the recent past, Cengage acquired Houghton Mifflin. When I asked Cegage for the test bank (which is an instructor resource listed in the book), first I was told there wasn’t one. Then I was told, if there was one, it must have “fell into a crack” during the acquisition. I told my students that if I couldn’t get the test bank I would have to make up my own exam from scratch. That put fear into my students, so several of them said they could get a copy of the test bank for me! Ultimately, after much complaining by me, Cengage looked into the crack and found the CD, so I didn’t have to rely on my students to provide the test bank.

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems College of Business & Economics California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff ST Northridge, CA 91330-8372
818.677.3948
http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f

February 17, 2010 reply from Paul Krause [Paul@PAULKRAUSE.COM]

I just went out there to check the links, and lo and behold the prices have increased dramatically for Spiceland. My student paid $15 at PayPal for an instant download.

I see the prices now are $29 for the Solutions Manual and $41 for the Test Bank. The market works! Wait until mid-terms come around to see how much the Test Bank goes for then.

Paul

February 17, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

Lest we make an assumption that the buyers are all students, I think that your posting on the AECM inspired a boat load of instructors to order the Spiceland test bank, e.g., the instructors who adopted Kieso might want to confuse their students who all bought the Kieso test bank for courses requiring the Kieso textbook.

In other words, we can attribute much of the increase in test bank demand to you Paul.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

 


Darn! It’s hard for us accounting professors to pad our resumes.
I could not find a single essay to purchase on accounting for derivative financial instruments or variable interest entities.

"Cheating Goes Global as Essay Mills Multiply," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Cheating-Goes-Global-as-Essay/32817/

The orders keep piling up. A philosophy student needs a paper on Martin Heidegger. A nursing student needs a paper on dying with dignity. An engineering student needs a paper on electric cars.

Screen after screen, assignment after assignment—hundreds at a time, thousands each semester. The students come from all disciplines and all parts of the country. They go to community colleges and Ivy League universities. Some want a 10-page paper; others request an entire dissertation.

This is what an essay mill looks like from the inside. Over the past six months, with the help of current and former essay-mill writers, The Chronicle looked closely at one company, tracking its orders, examining its records, contacting its customers. The company, known as Essay Writers, sells so-called custom essays, meaning that its employees will write a paper to a student's specifications for a per-page fee. These papers, unlike those plucked from online databases, are invisible to plagiarism-detection software.

Everyone knows essay mills exist. What's surprising is how sophisticated and international they've become, not to mention profitable.

In a previous era, you might have found an essay mill near a college bookstore, staffed by former students. Now you'll find them online, and the actual writing is likely to be done by someone in Manila or Mumbai. Just as many American companies are outsourcing their administrative tasks, many American students are perfectly willing to outsource their academic work.

And if the exponential surge in the number of essay mills is any indication, the problem is only getting worse. But who, exactly, is running these companies? And what do the students who use their services have to say for themselves?

Go to Google and type "buy an essay." Among the top results will be Best Essays, whose slogan is "Providing Students with Original Papers since 1997." It's a professional-looking site with all the bells and whistles: live chat, flashy graphics, stock photos of satisfied students. Best Essays promises to deliver "quality custom written papers" by writers with either a master's degree or a Ph.D. Prices range from $19.99 to $42.99 per page, depending on deadline and difficulty.

To place an order, you describe your assignment, the number of pages, and how quickly you need it. Then you enter your credit-card number, and, a couple of days later, the paper shows up in your in box. All you have to do is add your name to the top and turn it in. Simple.

What's going on behind the scenes, however, is another story.

The address listed on the site is in Reston, Va. But it turns out that's the address of a company that allows clients to rent "virtual office space" — in other words, to claim they're somewhere they're not. A previous address used by Best Essays was a UPS store in an upscale strip mall. And while the phone number for Best Essays has a Virginia area code, that line is registered to a company that allows customers to forward calls anywhere in the world over the Internet.

The same contact information appears on multiple other essay-mill Web sites with names like Rush Essay, Superior Papers, and Best Term Paper. All of these sites are operated by Universal Research Inc., also known as Essay Writers. The "US/Canada Headquarters" for the company, according to yet another Web site, is in Herndon, Va. An Essay Writers representative told a reporter that the company's North American headquarters was a seven-story building with an attached garage and valet parking.

That was a lie. Drive to the address, and you will find a perfectly ordinary suburban home with a neatly trimmed front lawn and a two-car garage. The owner of the house is Victor Guevara and, ever since he bought it in 2004, he has received lots of strange mail. For instance, a calendar recently arrived titled "A Stroll Through Ukrainian Cities," featuring photographs of notable buildings in Odessa and Yalta. Not all of the missives, however, have been so benign. Once a police officer came to the door bearing a complaint from a man in India who hadn't been paid by Essay Writers. Mr. Guevara explained to the officer that he had no idea what the man was talking about.

So why, of all the addresses in the United States, was Mr. Guevara's chosen? He's not sure, but he has a theory. Before he bought the house, a woman named Olga Mizyuk lived there for a short time. The previous owner, a friend of Mr. Guevara's, let her stay rent free because she was down on her luck and she promised to teach him Russian. Mr. Guevara believes it's all somehow connected to Ms. Mizyuk.

That theory is not too far-fetched. The state of Virginia listed Olga Mizyuk as the agent of Universal Research LLC when it was formed in 2006, though that registration has since lapsed (it's now incorporated in Virginia with a different agent). The company was registered for a time in Nevada, but that is no longer valid either. The managing member of the Nevada company, according to state records, was Yuriy Mizyuk. Mr. Guevara remembers that Ms. Mizyuk spoke of a son named Yuriy. Could that all be a coincidence?

Hiring in Manila

Call any of the company's several phone numbers and you will always get an answer. Weekday or weekend, day or night. The person on the other end will probably be a woman named Crystal or Stephanie. She will speak stilted, heavily accented English, and she will reveal nothing about who owns the company or where it is located. She will be unfailingly polite and utterly unhelpful.

If pressed, Crystal or Stephanie will direct callers to a manager named Raymond. But Raymond is almost always either out of the office or otherwise engaged. When, after weeks of calls, The Chronicle finally reached Raymond, he hung up the phone before answering any questions.

But while the company's management may be publicity shy, sources familiar with its operations were able to shed some light. Essay Writers appears to have been originally based in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. While the company claims to have been in business since 1997, its Web sites have only been around since 2004. In 2007 it opened offices in the Philippines, where it operates under the name Uniwork.

The company's customer-service center is located on the 17th floor of the Burgundy Corporate Tower in the financial district of Makati City, part of the Manila metropolitan area. It is from there that operators take orders and answer questions from college students. The company also has a suite on the 16th floor, where its marketing and computer staff members promote and maintain its Web sites. This involves making sure that when students search for custom essays, its sites are on the first page of Google results. (They're doing a good job, too. Recently two of the first three hits for "buy an essay" were Essay Writers sites.) One of its employees, who describes herself as a senior search-engine-optimization specialist at Uniwork, posted on her Twitter page that the company is looking for copy writers, Web developers, and link builders.

Some of the company's writers work in its Makati City offices. Essay Writers claims to have more than 200 writers, which may be true when freelancers are counted. A dozen or so, according to a former writer, work in the office, where they are reportedly paid between $1 and $3 a page — much less than its American writers, and a small fraction of the $20 or $30 per page customers shell out. The company is currently advertising for more writers, praising itself as "one of the most trusted professional writing companies in the industry."

It's difficult to know for sure who runs Essay Writers, but the name Yuriy Mizyuk comes up again and again. Mr. Mizyuk is listed as the contact name on the domain registration for essaywriters.net, the Web site where writers for the company log in to receive their assignments. A lawsuit was filed in January against Mr. Mizyuk and Universal Research by a debt-collection company. Repeated attempts to reach him — via phone and e-mail — were unsuccessful. Customer-service representatives profess not to have heard of Mr. Mizyuk.

Installed in its Makati City offices, according to a source close to the company, are overhead cameras trained on employees. These cameras reportedly send a video feed back to Kiev, allowing the Ukrainians to keep an eye on their workers in the Philippines. This same source says Mr. Mizyuk regularly visits the Philippines and describes him as a smallish man with thinning hair and dark-rimmed glasses. "He looks like Harry Potter," the source says. "The worst kind of Harry Potter."

Writers for Hire

The writers for essay mills are anonymous and often poorly paid. Some of them crank out 10 or more essays a week, hundreds over the course of a year. They earn anywhere from a few dollars to $40 per page, depending on the company and the subject. Some of the freelancers have graduate degrees and can write smooth, A-level prose. Others have no college degree and limited English skills.

James Robbins is one of the good ones. Mr. Robbins, now 30, started working for essay mills to help pay his way through Lamar University, in Beaumont, Tex. He continued after graduation and, for a time, ran his own company under the name Mr. Essay. What he's discovered, after writing hundreds of academic papers, is that he has a knack for the form: He's fast, and his papers consistently earn high marks. "I can knock out 10 pages in an hour," he says. "Ten pages is nothing."

His most recent gig was for Essay Writers. His clients have included students from top colleges like the University of Pennsylvania, and he's written short freshman-comp papers along with longer, more sophisticated fare. Like all freelancers for Essay Writers, Mr. Robbins logs in to a password-protected Web site that gives him access to the company's orders. If he finds an assignment that's to his liking, he clicks the "Take Order" button. "I took one on Christological topics in the second and third centuries," he remembers. "I didn't even know what that meant. I had to look it up on Wikipedia."

Most essay mills claim that they're only providing "model" papers and that students don't really turn in what they buy. Mr. Robbins, who has a law degree and now attends nursing school, knows that's not true. In some cases, he says, customers have forgotten to put their names at the top of the papers he's written before turning them in. Although he takes pride in the writing he's done over the years, he doesn't have much respect for the students who use the service. "These are kids whose parents pay for college," he says. "I'll take their money. It's not like they're going to learn anything anyway."

That's pretty much how Charles Parmenter sees it. He wrote for Essay Writers and another company before quitting about a year ago. "If anybody wants to say this is unethical — yeah, OK, but I'm not losing any sleep over it," he says. Though he was, he notes, nervous that his wife would react badly when she found out what he was doing. As it happens, she didn't mind.

Mr. Parmenter, who is 54, has worked as a police officer and a lawyer over the course of a diverse career. He started writing essays because he needed the money and he knew he could do it well. He wrote papers for nursing and business students, along with a slew of English-literature essays. His main problem, he says, is that the quality of his papers was too high. "People would come back to me and say, 'It's a great paper, but my professor will never believe it's me,'" says Mr. Parmenter. "I had to dumb them down."

Eventually the low pay forced him to quit. In his best months, he brought home around $1,000. Other months it was half that. He estimates that he wrote several hundred essays, all of which he's kept, though most he can barely remember. "You write so many of these things they start running together," he says.

Both Mr. Parmenter and Mr. Robbins live in the United States. But the writers for essay mills are increasingly international. Most of the users who log into the Essay Writers Web site are based in India, according to Alexa, a company that tracks Internet traffic. A student in, say, Wisconsin usually has no idea that the paper he ordered online is being written by someone in another country.

Like Nigeria. Paul Arhewe lives in Lagos, that nation's largest city, and started writing for essay mills in 2005. Back then he didn't have his own computer and had to do all of his research and writing in Internet cafes. Now he works as an online editor for a newspaper, but he still writes essays on the side. In the past three years, he's written more than 200 papers for American and British students. In an online chat, Mr. Arhewe insisted that the work he does is not unethical. "I believe it is another way of learning for the smart and hardworking students," he writes. Only lazy students, Mr. Arhewe says, turn in the papers they purchase.

Mr. Arhewe started writing for Essay Writers after another essay mill cheated him out of several hundred dollars. That incident notwithstanding, he's generally happy with the work and doesn't complain about the pay. He makes between $100 and $350 a month writing essays — not exactly a fortune, but in a country like Nigeria, where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, it's not too bad either.

Mr. Arhewe, who has a master's degree from the University of Lagos, has written research proposals and dissertations in fields like marketing, economics, psychology, and political science. While his English isn't quite perfect, it's passable, and apparently good enough for his clients. Says Mr. Arhewe: "I am enjoying doing what I like and getting paid for it."

Write My Dissertation

Some customers of Essay Writers are college freshmen who, if their typo-laden, grammatically challenged order forms are any indication, struggle with even the most basic writing tasks. But along with the usual suspects, there is no shortage of seniors paying for theses and graduate students buying dissertations.

One customer, for example, identifies himself as a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He or she (there is no name on the order) is interested in purchasing a 200-page dissertation. The student writes that the dissertation must be "well-researched" and includes format requirements and a general outline. Attached to the order is a one-page description of Ph.D. requirements taken directly from MIT's Web site. The student also suggests areas of emphasis like "static and dynamic stability of aircraft controls."

The description is consistent with the kind of research graduate students do, according to Barbara Lechner, director of student services at the institute's department of aeronautics and astronautics. In an initial interview, Ms. Lechner said she would bring up the issue with others in the department. Several weeks later, Ms. Lechner said she was told by higher-ups not to respond to The Chronicle's inquiries.

The head of the department, Ian A. Waitz, says he doesn't believe it's possible, given the highly technical subject matter, for a graduate student to pay someone else to research and write a dissertation. "It seems like a bogus request," says Mr. Waitz, though he wasn't sure why someone would fake such an order. However, like Ms. Lechner, Mr. Waitz acknowledged that the topics in the request are consistent with the department's graduate-level research.

Would-be aerospace engineers aren't the only ones outsourcing their papers. A student at American University's law school ordered a paper for a class called "The Law of Secrecy." She didn't include her full name on the order, but she did identify one of her two professors, Stephen I. Vladeck. Mr. Vladeck — who immediately knew the identity of the student from the description of the paper — was surprised and disappointed because he tries to help students who are having trouble and because he had talked to her about her paper. Mr. Vladeck argues that a law school "has a particular obligation not to tolerate this kind of stuff." The student never actually turned in the paper and took an "incomplete" for the course.

Essay Writers attempts to hide the identities of its customers even from the writers who do the actual work. But it's not always successful. Some students inadvertently include personal information when they upload files to the Web site; others simply put their names at the bottom of their orders.

Jessica Dirr is a graduate student in communication at Northern Kentucky University and an Essay Writers customer. She hired the company to work on her paper "Separated at Birth: Symbolic Boasting and the Greek Twin." Ms. Dirr says she looked online for assistance because the university's writing center wasn't much help and because she had trouble with citation rules. She describes what Essay Writers did as mostly proofreading. "They made some suggestions, and I took their advice," she says. Unfortunately, Ms. Dirr says, the paper "wasn't up to the level my professor was hoping for."

Mickey Tomar paid Essay Writers $100 to research and write a paper on the parables of Jesus Christ for his New Testament class. Mr. Tomar, a senior at James Madison University majoring in philosophy and religion, defends the idea of paying someone else to do your academic work, comparing it to companies that outsource labor. "Like most people in college, you don't have time to do research on some of these things," he says. "I was hoping to find a guy to do some good quality writing."

Nicole Cohea paid $190 for a 10-page paper on a Dove soap advertising campaign. Ms. Cohea, a senior communications major at the University of Southern Mississippi, wrote in her order that she wanted the company to "add on to what I have already written." She helpfully included an outline for the paper and wondered whether the writer could "add a catchy quote at the beginning."

When asked whether it was wrong, in general, to pay someone else to write your essay, Ms. Cohea responded, "Definitely." But she says she wasn't planning to turn in the paper as her own; instead, she says, she was only going to use it to get ideas. She was not happy with the paper Essay Writers provided. It seemed, she says, to have been written by a non-native English speaker. "I could tell they were Asian or something just by the grammar and stuff," she says.

James F. Kollie writes a sporadically updated blog titled My Ph.D. Journey in which he chronicles the progress he's making toward his doctorate from Walden University. He recently ordered the literature-review portion of his dissertation, "The Political Economy of Privatization in Post-War Developing Countries," from Essay Writers. In the order, he explains that the review should focus on privatization efforts that have failed.

Mr. Kollie acknowledged in an interview that he had placed an order with Essay Writers, but he said it was not related to his dissertation. Rather, he says, it was part of a separate research project he's conducting into online writing services. When asked if his university was aware of the project, he replied, "I don't have time for this," and hung up the phone.

Policing Plagiarism

Some institutions, most notably Boston University, have made efforts to shut down essay mills and expose their customers. A handful of states, including Virginia, have laws on the books making it a misdemeanor to sell college essays. But those laws are rarely, if ever, enforced. And even if a case were brought, it would be extremely difficult to prosecute essay-mill operators living abroad.

So what's a professor to do? Thomas Lancaster, a lecturer in computing at Birmingham City University, in England, wrote his dissertation on plagiarism. In addition, he and a colleague wrote a paper on so-called contract-cheating Web sites that allow writers to bid on students' projects. Their paper concludes that because there is almost never any solid evidence of wrongdoing, catching and disciplining students is the exception.

In his research, Mr. Lancaster has found that students who use these services tend to be regular customers. And while some may be stressed and desperate, many know exactly what they're doing. "You will look and see that the student has put the assignment up within hours of it being released to them," he says. "Which has to mean that they were intending to cheat from the beginning."

What he recommends, and what he does himself, is to sit down with students and question them about the paper or project they've just turned in. If they respond with blank stares and shrugged shoulders, there's a chance they haven't read, much less written, their own paper.

Susan D. Blum suggests assigning papers that can't easily be completed by others, like a personal reflection on that day's lecture. Ms. Blum, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and author of the recently published book My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture, also encourages professors to keep in touch with students as they complete major projects, though she concedes that can be tough in a large lecture class.

But Ms. Blum points out a more fundamental issue. She thinks professors and administrators need to do a better job of talking to students about what college is about and why studying — which may seem like a meaningless obstacle on the path to a credential — actually matters. "Why do they have to go through the process of researching?" she says. "We need to convey that to them."

Mr. Tomar, the philosophy-and-religion major who bought a paper for his New Testament class, still doesn't think students should have to do their own research. But he has soured on essay mills after the paper he received from Essay Writers did not meet his expectations. He complained, and the company gave him a 30-percent refund. As a result, he had an epiphany of sorts. Says Mr. Tomar: "I was like — you know what? — I'm going to write this paper on my own."

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill


February 16, 2010 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM]

Caveat Emptor, Law Students Seeking Outlines 

The title of this post isn’t designed to demonstrate any sort of proficiency in Latin but to alert law students to the dangers of relying on outlines received from other students. The risks posed by using passed-down outlines have been threatening law students for almost as long as there have been law schools, but digital technology coupled with the internet has multiplied the risk by orders of magnitude. Ten or fifteen years ago, students could get their hands on outlines for courses taught in the law school they were attending. In almost every instance the outline was from a previous semester offering of the course, taught by the same professor presently teaching the course.

Now, students at any law school can obtain outlines for just about any course taught at any law school. Recently, my attention was drawn to
Outline Depot, which claims to be “the most comprehensive source of law school outlines anywhere.” (emphasis in the original). Perhaps it is, and I’ve not researched that point. Students earn the right to download outlines by accumulating credits, which can be obtained by uploading outlines or by purchasing the credits.

The point to which students are desperate to get their hands on outlines is apparent from what one finds on the site. There are all sorts of red flags and warning bells.

http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html#2661520804417965026

This is primarily about law schools, and is a blog by a tax law professor no less, but if there is one there surely is another. Outlines are useful, but in my case mainly when I make one from material I am reading.

Scott Bonacker CPA
Springfield, MO


Cheating in the Age of Texting

"Should Definitions of Cheating Change in the Age of Texting?" Chronicle of Higher Education, June 25, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3850&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Over at The Chronicle’s Brainstorm blogs, Mark Bauerlein raised some interesting questions this week about students’ views of cheating.

Mr. Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, points to a new survey showing that about half of students have used their cellphones or other technology to cheat, and that many students do not consider their behavior to be cheating.

He suggests that they may have a point. “Don’t we see here a prime example not of the decay of personal integrity but instead the healthy spread of ‘participatory culture’?” Mr. Bauerlein wrote. “In the digital age, intelligence is a collective thing, the individual now not a repository of knowledge but a dynamic component of it. We have entered a new realm, and if the definition of knowledge has changed, then so must the definition of cheating. Right?”

Bob Jensen votes not to change the definition of cheating in the age of texting!


Question
Have you looked for your examinations and tests at the latest test sharing sites?

"Students Share Exams Online: Web sites that allow the sharing of course notes and old exams are increasing. But some professors aren't happy," by Dan Macsai, Business Week, November 23, 2008 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/nov2008/bs20081123_091062.htm?link_position=link4

Photos. Music. Irrelevant video clips. For years, college students have shared them all on the Internet. Now, they're using the same medium to swap notes, tests, and quizzes—a trend that has caught the wary eye of profs whose materials are being uploaded and school officials who worry about cheating.

In recent years, several Web sites have emerged that encourage students to submit their schoolwork for mass consumption. They collect old exams (PostYourTest.com, Exams101.com), class notes (NoteCentric.com), study guides (HowIGotAnA.com) and all of the above (CourseHero.com). Some of the largest sites claim thousands of users around the world and say they're making money.

High-Tech "Test Files" Students from an earlier generation will recognize the note-sharing sites as a high-tech twist on an old college practice. Fraternities and sororities have long maintained "test files," where younger members study from older members' course work. Non-Greeks, of course, have criticized the practice, saying it gives the frat and sorority members an unfair advantage.

Indeed, Demir Oral, a Web designer living in San Diego, says he launched the Post Your Test site to level the playing field. "This kind of service should be available to anyone, at any time," he says.

Oral supports his site using Google ads, which generate "a decent amount" of revenue, he says. But he's forecasting growth: Since July, the site's member count has more than doubled, to 1,000, and it currently hosts between 600 and 700 exams. A few weeks ago, Oral received his first international submission, from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. "People are starting to realize the uniqueness of our database," he says. "It's a very exciting time."

Backlash from Teachers and Students Not everyone is buying into the hype, though. Because professors don't know when their exams are being posted, they could unwittingly re-use a question students have seen online, says Jim Posakony, a biology professor and former chairman of the academic senate at the University of California at San Diego, where teachers have organized to keep their exams off Post Your Test.

Having easy access to quizzes and notes could also reward laziness, says Nichole Mikko-Causby, a senior at the University of Georgia. "The whole trend seems to be more about getting the grade than improving critical thinking skills," she says, noting that she's visited Course Hero but never used it. "It kind of cheapens my degree."

Kasuni Kotelawala, a sophomore at University of California, San Diego, is far more satisfied. Because her biology professor hadn't spent much time discussing the most recent class midterm exam—let alone distributing a practice test—Kotelawala wasn't sure how to study. But after reviewing one of her professor's past exams on Post Your Test, she says she knew what to expect. "It definitely helped," she says.

Copyright Issues But was it legal? Like novels and artwork, exams are intellectual property, meaning they're owned by the universities or the professors who wrote them, and they're protected under copyright laws. Publishing them without permission is treading on "legal thin ice," says Bob Clarida, a copyright lawyer at Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, in New York.

Faculty members at UCSD raised this concern last August, after representatives from Post Your Test visited campus. To promote the site, the reps had offered Starbucks gift cards in exchange for student exams, a gimmick that left some professors "very unhappy," says Posakony.

With Posakony's help, roughly 150 professors organized. They told Oral to take their old exams off Post Your Test and to reject future submissions bearing their names. He wasn't thrilled, but he obliged. "We always follow the Digital Millennium Copyright Act," Oral says, referencing the law that protects online service providers, like Post Your Test and YouTube, as long as they honor requests to take down unlawful uploads.

Continued in article

 


How would you deal with the following add on Craig's List where University X is a well known university.

The person who placed this add shows signs of becoming a great banker.

"I Will Pay Someone $$$ To Take My Finance Final Exam (at University X)"

The "Unknown Professor" (I know the name and location of this professor) who maintains the Financial Rounds Blog provides an April 30, 2009  mean solution to this unethical add --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

 


Hacking into a professor's computer to change grades of 300 students
Two students at California State University at Northridge have been charged by state authorities with illegally hacking into a professor’s computer account to change their grades and the grades of nearly 300 students, the Los Angeles Times reported. The students told authorities that they thought the professor was unfair.
Inside Higher Ed, July 26, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/26/qt

July 28, 2006 Update
Two students each face up to a year in jail for a prank that involved hacking into a professor's computer, giving grades to other students and sending pizza, magazine subscriptions and CDs to the professor's home. Chen, 20, and Jennifer Ngan, 19, face misdemeanor charges of illegally accessing computers. The pair, both students of California State University, Northridge, are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 21.
"Students Face 1 Year in Jail for Hacking," PhysOrg, July 28, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news73239464.html

 


Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.
George Carlin as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-25-06.htm

 


 

This type of cheating raises all sorts of legal issues yet to be resolved for students who might've thought what they did was perfectly legal

More than 1,000 prospective MBA students who paid $30 to use a now-defunct Web site to get a sneak peak at live questions from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) before taking the exam may have their scores canceled in coming weeks. For many, their B-school dreams may be effectively over. On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted the test's publisher, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a $2.3 million judgment against the operator of the site, Scoretop.com. GMAC has seized the site's domain name and shut down the site, and is analyzing a hard drive containing payment information. GMAC said any students found to have used the Scoretop site will have their test scores canceled, the schools that received them will be notified, and the student will not be permitted to take the test again. Since most top B-schools require the GMAT, the students will have little chance of enrolling. "This is illegal," said Judy Phair, GMAC's vice-president for communications. "We have a hard drive, and we're going to be analyzing it. If you used the site and paid your $30 to cheat, your scores will be canceled. They're in big trouble."
Louis Lavelle, "Shutting Down a GMAT Cheat Sheet:  A court order against a Web site that gave away test questions could land some B-school students in hot water," Business Week, June 23, 2008 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jun2008/bs20080623_153722.htm

Jensen Comment
A university admissions office that refused to accept applications from the "cheating" prospective MBA students would probably be sued by one or more students. GMAC would probably be sued as well. But it's hard to sue a U.S. District Court.

There are several moral issues here. From above, this is clearly cheating. But in various parts of society exam questions and answers are made available for study purposes. For example, preparation manuals for drivers license tests usually contain all the questions that might be asked on the written test. It is entirely possible that some MBA applicants fell for a scam that they believed was entirely legitimate. Now their lives are being messed up.

I guess this is a test of the old saying that "Ignorance is no defense" in the eyes of the law. Clearly from any standpoint, they were taking advantage of other students who did not have the cheat sheets. But the cheat sheets were apparently available to anybody in the world for a rather modest fee, albeit an illegal fee. Every buyer did not know it was illegal.

 


Question
What should you ban when students are taking examinations? Baseball caps? iPods?

Banning baseball caps during tests was obvious - students were writing the answers under the brim. Then, schools started banning cell phones, realizing students could text message the answers. Nick d'Ambrosia, 17, holds up his iPod inside a classroom at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho Friday, April 13, 2007. In Idaho, Mountain View High School recently enacted a ban on iPods, Zunes and other digital media players. Some students were downloading formulas and other cheats onto the players, although none were ever caught.
Rebecca Boone, PhysOrg, April 27, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news96865353.html

 


 

Smartpen:  The Beautiful and the Ugly
The following invention offers students new opportunities, some for the good and some for the bad

"Computing on Paper:  Livescribe's smartpen turns a sheet of paper into a computer," by Erica Naone, MIT's Technology Review, December 13, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19892/?nlid=749&a=f

A new smartpen could change the way people practice mobile computing by bringing processing power to traditional pen and paper. Made by Livescribe, of Oakland, CA, the smartpen is designed to digitize the words and drawings that a user puts down on paper and bring them to life.

So long as the user writes on paper printed with a special pattern, the smartpen transforms what is written into interactive text. For example, the pen has a recording function, called paper replay, that can record sound and connect it to what the user writes while the sounds are being recorded. Later, the user can tap the pen over what she wrote and replay the associated sounds. "We're starting to make the whole world of printable surfaces accessible and functional," says Livescribe CEO Jim Marggraff.

The smartpen, he says, will enable "paper-based multimedia," such as interactive business cards. Marggraff's business card, for example, allows contacts to e-mail him by writing him a note on its surface with a smartpen. Users can also access the pen's power by writing commands on any surface printed with the pattern. For example, if a smartpen user wants to know the definition of a word, she can write, "define," followed by the word. The pen, using data stored in its memory, will recognize the word the user writes and display its definition on a small screen on the side of the pen. The same type of procedure can be used to translate words or solve math problems.

"I wanted to make the pen itself interactive and give you feedback, so that as you're writing on paper, the pen could interpret what you're doing and then tell you something about it," says Marggraff. "That opens up a whole new way of interacting with paper, because effectively, the pen and the paper become a computer."

The pen's features depend on its ability to track its position on the paper at all times. This is largely made possible, Marggraff explains, by the paper. The paper that the pen uses is printed with microdots according to a process developed by the Swedish company Anoto. The pattern provides gridded location information on a very small scale. The pen knows its position by taking a picture of what's beneath the pen tip and processing it based on the algorithms used to produce the patterns of microdots. Paper replay, for example, then works because the pen associates particular points of an audio track with particular locations on a particular page. "If you printed the whole pattern out, it would cover Europe and Asia in square miles," Marggraff says. "So when your pen goes down in Southern Italy in a tiny corner, it knows exactly where you are." This means that a user can permanently link audio information to particular locations in a notebook, with no worry about losing the link when she turns the page. Because of the size of the pattern and the possibilities for extending it even further, Marggraff says, he's not worried that it will run out.

Pads of the paper with the special pattern will be sold by Livescribe. Users will also be able to print the pattern on regular, blank sheets of paper using certain high-quality printers.

Marggraff says that the dot-positioning technology, which he read about in a magazine, was partly what inspired his endeavors in paper-based computing. Before the Livescribe smartpen, he worked on the Fly Pentop Computer, a product for children developed from earlier applications of the technology.

In addition to the microdot pattern, the Livescribe smartpen makes use of other technologies, including a 3-D audio recording system. This technology, Marggraff says, is designed to make the pen's paper-replay function more useful in less than ideal recording conditions. If a student using the smartpen gets stuck in the back of a lecture hall, for example, most recordings would risk being too low-quality to be useful. The pen, however, uses two microphones to record the sound the way the user would have heard it originally: the two microphones help the listener sort different sounds, much as information from two ears helps people identify the source of a sound.

Rodney Brooks, director of the computer-science and artificial-intelligence laboratory at MIT, who has been an advisor to the product, says that connecting writing and computation in the smartpen is "a real step forward." While Brooks notes that it's unfortunate that a user must have special paper in addition to a special pen, he is still very enthusiastic about the technology. "If a magic wand could be waved and you didn't require [special paper], that would be wonderful, but these are pretty big steps even without that," he says.

Other companies have previously made products using the dot-positioning technology. Logitech, for example, licensed the microdot pattern from Anoto to build a digital pen called io. Mark Anderson, director of business development at Logitech, says that the io employs the dot technology to allow users to take notes and view them as typewritten text on a PC, and other similar applications. However, at this time, Anderson says that the io does not have multimedia functions.

Beyond the capabilities that the Livescribe smartpen already has, the company is releasing tools that developers can use to build their own applications for the pen. Marggraff hopes that the pen will become a new computing platform for consumers, replacing some existing mobile products.

Brooks says that he can imagine the pen taking on that role. "People do change their platforms," he says.

The smartpen is planned for release in January, when more product details will be available.

Jensen Comment
Smartpen's audio recorder is good for students to record parts of lectures for replay later when trying to better understand.
Smartpen's audio recorder is bad when student makes portions of lectures available online without permission.

Smartpen is good in when the student is writing and wants a word defined in order to improve the documents.
Smartpen is bad when the student writes "define" in an exam when the definition is an integral part of the examining question.

Since the smartpen does not work on any writing surface, the main worry for examinations is when students use smartpen paper for scratch pads while taking examinations.

 

 


Army knew of cheating on tests for eight years
For eight years, the Army has known that its largest online testing program - which verifies that soldiers have learned certain military skills and helps them amass promotion points - has been the subject of widespread cheating. In 1999, testing officials first noticed that soldiers were turning in many tests over a short period, something that would have been almost impossible without having obtained the answers ahead of time. A survey by the testing office showed that 5 percent of the exams were probably the subject of cheating. At the time, soldiers were filing roughly 200,000 exams per year. But it wasn't until June of this year, when an Army computer contractor complained about a website providing free copies of completed exams, that the Army acknowledged that it had a problem.
"Army knew of cheating on tests for eight years: Hundreds of thousands of exam copies used, Globe probe finds," Boston Globe, December 16, 2007 --- http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/12/16/army_knew_of_cheating_on_tests_for_eight_years/

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

 


"The Infinite Mind" program on Cheating

 

Email message on November 15, 2006 from Reams, Richard [rreams@trinity.edu]

I heard the program Monday night on KSTX, and some of you may find it interesting, especially the first 30 minutes or so that focuses on academic cheating. Here’s the link: http://www.lcmedia.com/mind452.htm 

RR
---------------------------------------------------

Richard Reams, Ph.D.
Assistant Director
Counseling Services
Trinity University
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, Texas 78212-7200
215 Coates University Center
www.trinity.edu/counseling 

**************************

In this hour, we explore Cheating. Four out of five high school students say they've cheated. More than half of medical school students say the same thing. Even The New York Times has cribbed from somebody else's paper. Is everybody doing it? Guests include Dr. Howard Gardner, professor in Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-director of a large-scale research study called the GoodWork Project; renowned primate researcher Dr. Frans de Waal, professor of psychology at Emory University; Dr. Helen Fisher, research professor in the department of anthropology at Rutgers University and author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray; and country music group BR5-49, who perform the Hank Williams classic, "Your Cheatin' Heart."

Host Dr. Fred Goodwin begins with an essay in which he explores some of the reasons why attitudes toward cheating seem to be more permissive than ever. He mentions "moral relativism" in elite education; a media culture that end up making celebrities of high-profile cheaters like Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass; and the construction of elaborate laws and rules to codify and enforce moral behavior, which sends the implicit message, "if it's legal, it's ethical."

Cheating among students is rampant. Four out of five high school students admit to having cheated at some point. Why is it so common? And why don't more students speak out? To begin today, we hear from Mary Weed Ervin. She is now a freshman at Duke University, but when she was a senior in high school in Virginia, she caught her classmates cheating and did something about it, despite the consequences.

After catching students in her AP Biology class cheating, she told the teacher. Her classmates treated her as if she were the bad guy. She felt even her friends would not stand up for her, since they continued to hang out with the kids who cheated and others who outright shunned her. She was insulted by some kids and, after one party, she was even worried she might be attacked. As a result, she stopped doing normal senior activities, and she felt very alone. At the end of the year, though, she was awarded "Senior of the Year" by her peers, so she knows a lot of her classmates must have supported what she did, even though they never said so.

Then the Infinite Mind's Devorah Klahr reports on cheating in schools. Remember when cheating meant looking over your friend's shoulder? Well, not anymore. Today, many students use technology to cheat. In addition to buying term papers off the Internet, they use cell phones, text messaging, and digital computers, sometimes in elaborate schemes to outwit teachers. "I’m just using my technology to my advantage pretty much," says one high school cheater. "They gave me all the tools to do it and I’m just using it to help myself. Because my parents expect me to have good grades."

To catch these cheaters, teachers are realizing they, too, have to become more tech savvy. Lou Bloomfield, a professor at The University of Virginia, created "copyfind," a computer program to catch cheaters. And many schools use an even larger search engine called turnitin.com, which scans term papers against a large database, ensuring that writing is original and not plagiarized. At the University of Pennsylvania, Michele Goldfarb directs the office of student conduct. She investigates suspicious looking papers. She remembers a term paper that was especially obvious. "The faculty member thought the paper was unusually sophisticated for the student," Goldfarb says, "… use of words like, 'the pock marked landscape' and 'the steep sided hollows.' Undergraduates do not talk that way, do not write that way.”

Educators seem to agree that teaching integrity is the only way to stop cheating. Nobody's going to win this technology arms race. Elizabeth Kiss is a professor of political science at Duke University and a board member of the Center for Academic Integrity. At the beginning of the semester, she tells her students to look up at the ceiling and think about the trustworthiness of the architect who designed the structure and the builders who built it. "So I get them to think about the ways we depend every day on the honesty of other people. And when people aren't trustworthy, others get hurt."

Next, Dr. Goodwin interviews the distinguished developmental psychologist and neuropsychologist Dr. Howard Gardner. He's a professor in Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-director of a large-scale research study called the GoodWork Project. Perhaps best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, he's the author of eighteen books and hundreds of articles. Most recently, he co-authored the book Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet. A new book, Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work will be out in February, 2004.

For The GoodWork Project, Dr. Gardner has been interviewing people working in different fields -- science, journalism, and theater -- about good work, which he defines as excellent and ethical. Everyone he spoke to knows the difference between what is ethical and what is not, but the disturbing thing is how many people said they cannot afford to do the right or honest thing if they want to get ahead in their careers. He says there is a tension between the people they want to be and the people they think they need to be to succeed.

He says that scientists -- geneticists, in particular -- had the easiest time doing good work, since everyone wanted the same thing from them, and there was plenty of money and support for their work. Many said they felt their only limitation was their own abilities. Journalists, on the other hand, were in a very different situation. They felt pulled in many directions -- to work faster, to cut corners, to be more sensational ("if it bleeds, it leads") -- and, as a result, it was difficult to do good work. As an example, Dr. Gardner discusses the Jayson Blair case at The New York Times. Blair was caught fabricating elements in stories, submitting receipts for trips he never took, and, ultimately, plagiarizing. But, even before these things were discovered, he had numerous corrections in his stories. Dr. Gardner says the problem was that he was not chastised, but promoted. He did not have any kind of deep mentoring -- in which someone conveys the larger purpose of the work, explains why it is important not to cut corners, and provides regular support.

In contemporary society, particularly with the Internet, there are many ways to get around doing your own work. He says being ethical requires a good, old-fashioned conscience -- even though we might be able to get away with cheating, we need to be able to stop ourselves because we knows it's wrong and because we would not want to live in a world where everyone cheated. In such a world, we would not be able to trust anyone or anything.

To contact Dr. Gardner, please write to: Dr. Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 201 Larsen Hall, 14 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138. Or visit www.pz.harvard.edu/Research/GoodWork.htm

To order Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet, click here.

Believe it or not, cheating - and feeling cheated - is not unique to humans. Even monkeys want to be treated fairly. Dr. Goodwin interviews primate researcher Dr. Frans de Waal, a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of many books, including The Ape and the Sushi Master and, his latest, My Family Album: Thirty Years of Primate Photography.

Dr. de Waal discusses two different kinds of cheating found in primates. The first, deception, is generally seen only in the great apes, who are our closest relatives and capable of the highest levels of cognition. He says that in one chimp colony, in which lower ranking males were not allowed to court females, he saw one openly inviting a female to mate (which he does by showing her an erection). At that moment, the alpha male rounded the corner, and the lower-ranking male covered his penis with his hands -- hiding the evidence of his wrongdoing. Dr. de Waal has also seen a chimp try to disguise his nervousness in front of a rival. Chimps show nervosity by baring their teeth, and this chimp used his fingers to press his lips together over his teeth. This kind of behavior requires that the animal be aware of how others perceive him or her. Chimps end up distrusting other chimps who often deceive -- they develop methods for detecting cheaters. All this requires high-level thinking.

Dr. de Waal then discusses the other kind of cheating -- being shortchanged. He describes a recent study he and a student, Sarah Brosnan, conducted with capuchin monkeys. They set up a bartering system with the monkeys, in which they would give the monkeys pebbles, and then the monkeys would exchange the pebbles for cucumber pieces. Alone, a monkey would do this over and over again, until the cucumber was gone. They then put two monkeys next to each other, and, in exchange for the pebbles, they gave one of them a cucumber slice and the other a grape, which is much better. The monkey getting the cucumber seemed to have a very strong emotional reaction. He threw the pebbles out of the cage, wouldn't accept the cucumber, and basically refused to participate in the experiment. Dr. de Waal says this illustrates that monkeys have a sense of fairness. In cooperative societies (whether monkeys or humans), individuals need to make sure that they are not doing more work than others for the same reward, or the same work for less reward. He says economists have studied this in humans, since the reactions can seem irrational -- for example, a person who was perfectly happy making $40,000 a year may get very upset and quit her job if she realizes a co-worker doing the same job is making $80,000. He believes his work with the monkeys may give us clues to the evolution of the emotions behind this sort of reaction.

To contact Dr. de Waal, please write to: Dr. Frans de Waal, C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior, Department of Psychology, 325 Psychology Building, Emory University, 532 N. Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322. Or visit http://www.emory.edu/LIVING_LINKS/

To order My Family Album: Thirty Years of Primate Photography, click here.

Next, we turn our attention to a different kind of cheating -- adultery. In a special performance just for The Infinite Mind, the country music group BR5-49 performs what may be the ultimate anthem for spurned lovers -- Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart."

To find out more about BR5-49 or order a CD, please visit http://www.br549.com/.

It's hard to get an accurate picture of how common adultery is -- surveys estimate it occurs in anywhere from 15 to 80% of all marriages. Why do so many people do it? And has technology redefined cheating? Dr. Goodwin speaks with Dr. Helen Fisher, a research professor in the department of anthropology at Rutgers University. She's the author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. Her new book Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love will be out in early 2004. Dr. Fisher has joined us previously for shows on Romance and Sexual Attraction.

Dr. Fisher says that she has studied societies all over the world, and, in all of them, people cheat. Because it seems to be so universal, she believes there must have been some kind of evolutionary payoff. Looking back to our ancestors, she guesses that since, in Darwinian terms, children are the way we spread our lineage to future generations, a man who cheated might have doubled the number of his genes getting passed on while a woman who cheated might have either received more resources for her babies or increased the genetic variety of her offspring. While none of this was conscious, of course, it would result in the genes for this kind of behavior being passed on. Dr. Fisher says that monogamy is not a common reproductive strategy in animals -- it only occurs in species where both parents are needed to rear the young. But even among birds, in which most species form pair bonds, there is "cheating." DNA testing shows 10% of birds' offspring are not biologically related to the supposed father.

Dr. Fisher then discusses what she believes are three different circuits in the brain -- one for the sexual drive, one for romantic love, and one for attachment. She think these developed to serve different functions. The sex drive evolved so that we would go after anything at all; romantic love evolved to focus our mating energy on one person, and therefore be more efficient; and attachment evolved so that we could tolerate the individual we are with, at least long enough to raise one child. These systems often interact (i.e. at the start of a relationship, we generally feel both sexual attraction and romantic love), but they don't always interact, and that's where adultery comes in. We can feel attachment for one person while we feel romantic love for another. This does not mean, however, that we are destined to cheat. Dr. Fisher says the part of the brain that makes us human is the prefrontal cortex -- where we make decisions.

In response to a caller, Jon, who is involved in a very serious email relationship with a married woman, Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Fisher talk about how technology is allowing people today to be more secretive about their affairs (hence all the services advertising they'll catch your cheating spouse). Another caller, Sheila, says that she thinks that any email relationship (like Jon's) or serious office friendship that takes time and energy away from a spouse is cheating. She asks what the costs are to a marriage, even with this kind of cheating, which is not sexual. Dr. Fisher says the costs are enormous -- instead of building a relationship, you're undermining it. Ultimately, all three people will get hurt. And although a spouse who is cheated on may get over the betrayal, he or she will never forget it. She concludes by saying she thinks forming an attachment to another person is the most ornate and worthwhile single thing that the human animal can do.

To contact Dr. Fisher, please write to: Dr. Helen Fisher, Department of Anthropology, Ruth Adams Building, 131 George Street, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414. Or visit http://anthro.rutgers.edu

To order Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray, click here.

Finally, commentator John Hockenberry wonders, just what defines cheating these days? He says, "In the landscape of American culture, you can find cheating all over the map. Cheating is that place between triumph and immorality, between out of the box thinking and exploitation of the unsuspecting. The cheat-free similarly inhabit a murky place between naïve stupidity and sainthood."

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 



Cheating On Ethics Test at Columbia University
Cheating is not unheard of on university campuses. But cheating on an open-book, take-home exam in a pass-fail course seems odd, and all the more so in a course about ethics. Yet Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism is looking into whether students may have cheated on the final exam in just such a course, “Critical Issues in Journalism.” According to the school’s Web site, the course “explores the social role of journalism and the journalist from legal, historical, ethical, and economic perspectives,” with a focus on ethics.
Karen W. Arenson, "Cheating on an Ethics Test? It’s ‘Topic A’ at Columbia," The New York Times, December 1, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/01/nyregion/01columbia.html

 


And educators are blaming everybody but the cheaters for cheating

 

"Malaise," by Peter Berger, The Irascible Professor, November 25, 2006 ---
http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-25-06.htm

Thirty-seven summers ago Jimmy Carter spoke to the nation about our "crisis of spirit." His address became known as his "malaise" speech, even though he never actually used that word. Webster defines malaise as an "indefinite lack of health" or "vague sense of mental or moral ill-being." In order to grapple with problems like the energy crisis and unemployment, President Carter called on us to examine our outlook and our priorities.

Public schools have been staggering through their own crisis for more than a generation. Part of the blame rests directly on culprits we can see at school: bankrupt education theories and assorted follies like self-esteem, whole language, and enfeebled classroom discipline. The roots of the problem also extend to our homes and civic institutions and appear as children from single-parent families, drug use, and crime.

These are all issues we should address, but we're also suffering from an underlying malaise of unsound priorities and entitlement that's less visible but just as destructive to American education. Here are a few symptoms of our ill-being.

There's nothing new about classroom troublemakers. They've been disrupting other people’s education since before chalk was invented, but today we don't call them troublemakers. Instead, we obfuscate and invent syndromes for what they do. We say they're "behaviorally challenged." We turn their conduct into ailments like "oppositional defiance disorder." According to the psychologist who coined this syndrome, when kids with ODD have tantrums and refuse to do what they're told, they aren't "using coercion or manipulation to get what they want." They're just the victims of their own "inflexibility" and "poor frustration tolerance."

ODD isn't alone in the pantheon of euphemistic, exculpatory conditions. Horn-blasting, tailgating, and obscene gestures are no longer just unsafe, obnoxious driving. They’re not even "road rage" anymore. They're evidence of "intermittent explosive disorder." Remember that the next time some driver cuts you off and treats you to a one-fingered salute.

IED also causes "temper outbursts," "throwing or breaking objects and even spousal abuse," although "not everyone who does those things is afflicted." How do you tell the difference? Apparently, IED outbursts are characterized by "threats or aggressive actions and property damage" that are "way out of proportion to the situation," as opposed presumably to threats, aggressive actions, and property damage that aren't way out of proportion to the situation.

According to researchers, a recently administered questionnaire determined that IED afflicts sixteen million Americans. Fortunately for the rest of us who have to endure IED tantrums and assaults, they aren't "bad behavior." They're "biology."

Critics frequently charge that too many high school graduates aren't prepared for college. The new bad news is that too many college graduates aren't prepared for life. Universities are responding with "life after college" programs. These "transition courses" in what officials term "real life" skills teach college students everything from "managing their credit cards" and "paying taxes" to "making a plate of pasta" and "choosing a bottle of Chardonnay."

We're not talking about second-rate institutions. Alfred University's cooking program includes lessons in "boiling water." Across the continent Caltech awards three credits for its kitchen survival course. Sympathetic experts explain that today's college seniors "lack practical skills because they spent their teens more preoccupied than previous generations with racking up the grades, SAT scores, and activities needed to get into top colleges."

That’s ridiculous. My 1960s high school peers and I lived and died by our permanent records. Claiming that college admissions suddenly became competitive is like arguing that today's youth need extra self-esteem because they live under a nuclear threat, a popular rationalization that conveniently ignores the fact that little kids like me spent the 1950s hiding under our desks.

According to the Los Angeles Times, "preparing meals" ranks high among parents' and students' "major concerns." This begs two questions: Why aren't the concerned parents teaching these skills, and is learning how to boil water and pay your bills really what universities are for?

While they may be lost in the kitchen, students are proving themselves adept in other endeavors. Aided by cell phones and the Internet, cheating is on the rise at public schools and colleges. In a Rutgers survey, ninety-seven percent of students polled admitted to cheating in high school. Even allowing for the notorious inaccuracy of student polls, the figure is alarming.

Still more alarming, cheating has its champions among education reformers. One enlightened Northwestern University professor blames schools when students copy answers, purchase term papers, and steal exams. He's outraged that students can't copy each other's work during tests. He endorses plagiarism and objects when a student "receives no credit" for a paper just because it "was written by somebody else." "No wonder", he fumes, that students "feel compelled to lie" and put their own names on work they've "found."

He encourages "honest copying" where students get credit for copying other people's work as long as they put the real author's name on it. The professor maintains that allowing this species of larceny would "reinforce the correct behaviors." Instead of being "punished," the copier should be "rewarded" for "knowing where to seek the information." In short, we need to "recognize cheating for the good that it brings."

He's not the only advocate of cheating out there. The Educational Testing Service's "teaching and learning" vice president puts the blame for cheating on tests squarely on the tests themselves and the schools that give them. She holds that it’s "small wonder" that students "attempt to affect the outcomes" by cheating. She argues that until we allow kids to "assist each other" during tests, we're "inviting a culture of cheating."

Let's review. Psychologists are declaring obnoxious, antisocial behavior a disease. Colleges are teaching adults to boil water. And educators are blaming everybody but the cheaters for cheating.

Sounds like a malaise to me.

Peter Berger

 


Recent Examples of Cheating from "Cheating:  Everybody's Doing It," by Gay Jervey, Readers Digest, March 2006, pp. 123-124:


Question
Is homework credit sometimes dysfunctional to learning?
If the instructor allows face-to-face study groups, extra-help tutorials, and chat rooms, what is so terrible about this Facebook study group?

Answer
Apparently its the fact that ten percent course credit was given for homework that was discussed in the study group. It seems unfair, however, to single out this one student running the Facebook study group. If the students were "cheating" by sharing tips on homework, they were probably also doing it face-to-face. All students who violate the code of conduct should be sanctioned or forgiven based on the honor code of the institution.

Ryerson U. Student Faces Expulsion for Running a Facebook Study Group
A student at Ryerson University, in Toronto, is facing expulsion for running a Facebook study group, the Toronto Star reports. Chris Avenir, a first-year engineering student, is facing expulsion from the school on 147 counts of academic charges — one for himself, and one for every student who used the Facebook group “Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions” to get homework help. University officials say that running such a group is in violation of the school’s academic policy, which says no student can undertake activity to gain academic advantage. Students argue, however, that the group was analogous to any in-person study group. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first Facebook-related expulsion hearing. The expulsion hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Hurley Goodall, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 7, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2801&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
My approach was to assign homework for no credit and then administer online quizzes. Students were assigned different partners each week who attested to observing no cheating while an assigned "partner" took the online quiz. You can read the following at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5342/acct5342.htm

  Most every week beginning in Week 2, you will be required to take an online quiz for a chapter from the online textbook by Murthy and Groomer.  This book is not in the bookstore.  Students should immediately obtain a password and print the first three chapters of the book entitled Accounting Information Systems: A Database Approach.  You can purchase a password at
http://www.cybertext.com/forms/accountform.shtml
You will then be able to access the book and the online quizzes at any time using the book list at http://www.cybertext.com/
Each week students are to take an online quiz in the presence of an assigned student partner who then signs the attest form at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5342/attest.htm
The online quizzes are relatively easy if you take notes while reading the assigned chapter.  You may use your notes for each quiz.  However, you may not view a copy of the entire chapter will taking a quiz.


In trading simulations students cheat just like real-world traders
At the end of the semester, the number of students in a simulated trading room who were caught in misconduct or misusing information for insider trading was significantly higher than at the beginning. The students said, "You taught us how to do it," Buono recalled. "For those of us who've spent our careers teaching this, it's been a disappointing time," said Buono, who has taught at the Waltham, Mass., college for 27 years. "Some of the most renowned names in the corporate world are now jokes at cocktail parties. And they were led by graduates of our business programs. "That made a lot of us sit up and rethink the approach of what we're doing."
"Business Profs Rethinking Ethics Classes," SmartPros, June 19, 2006 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x53572.xml 


Question
What's the newest outsourcing trend in student cheating?
This could not possibly happen in the United States (Ha! Ha!)

Answer
In a unique twist to outsourcing from Britain to India, students in British universities have been paying computer professionals in India to complete their course assignments for a fee. The newly recognised trend, operating mainly through the Internet, has been dubbed as "contract plagiarism" by British academics who have tracked such malpractices. It is more in vogue among students enrolled in IT courses in British universities.
"British students outsourcing assignments to India," The Times of India, June 14, 2006 --- Click Here

 

Another Question
If students are outsourcing their assignments, where are they spending their time?

University of Chicago Cocktail Parties for Educational Purposes: Don't get drunk or hit on the women
On Friday afternoon at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, students are streaming towards their weekly dinner with deans and fellow classmates -- all 500 of them. This is just one of the GSB's many social events throughout the year. They include corporate-sponsored cocktail hours, formal dinners, mock receptions, and theme parties. While these gatherings may sound like fun, they also serve a weighty purpose -- getting students a good job. In fact, for those outside B-school, the experience may sound like a little too much fun. After all, this is school, not a vacation. But there's a lot to be learned from the socializing. It's an opportunity to network and scope out your B-school buddies — and competitors." Careers are a focal point of student socializing and networking," says Stacey Kole, deputy dean of Chicago's full-time MBA program.
"The Art of the Schmooze," Business Week, June 12, 2006 --- Click Here


"Legalized 'Cheating': Text-messaging answers. Googling during exams. In the Internet age, some schools have a new approach to cheating: Make it legal," by Ellen Gamerman, The Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2006; Page P1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113779787647552415.html?mod=todays_us_pursuits

Twas a situation every middle-schooler dreads. Bonnie Pitzer was cruising through a vocabulary test until she hit the word "desolated" -- and drew a blank. But instead of panicking, she quietly searched the Internet for the definition.

At most schools, looking up test answers online would be considered cheating. But at Mill Creek Middle School in Kent, Wash., some teachers now encourage such tactics. "We can do basically anything on our computers," says the 13-year-old, who took home an A on the test.

In a wireless age where kids can access the Internet's vast store of information from their cellphones and PDAs, schools have been wrestling with how to stem the tide of high-tech cheating. Now, some educators say they have the answer: Change the rules and make it legal. In doing so, they're permitting all kinds of behavior that had been considered off-limits just a few years ago.

The move, which includes some of the country's top institutions, reflects a broader debate about what skills are necessary in today's world -- and how schools should teach them. The real-world strengths of intelligent surfing and analysis, some educators argue, are now just as important as rote memorization.

The old rules still reign in most places, but an increasing number of schools are adjusting them. This includes not only letting kids use the Internet during tests, but in the most extreme cases, allowing them to text message notes or beam each other definitions on vocabulary drills. Schools say they in no way consider this cheating because they're explicitly changing the rules to allow it.

In Ohio, students at Cincinnati Country Day can take their laptops into some tests and search online Cliffs Notes. At Ensign Intermediate School in Newport Beach, Calif., seventh-graders are looking at each other's hand-held computers to get answers on their science drills. And in San Diego, high-schoolers can roam free on the Internet during English exams.

The same logic is being applied even when laptops aren't in the classroom. In Philadelphia, school officials are considering letting kids retake tests, even if it gives them an opportunity to go home and Google topics they saw on the first test. "What we've got to teach kids are the tools to access that information," says Gregory Thornton, the school district's chief academic officer. " 'Cheating' is not the word anymore."

The changes -- and the debate they're prompting -- are not unlike the upheaval caused when calculators became available in the early 1970s. Back then, teachers grappled with letting kids use the new machines or requiring long lines of division by hand. Though initially banned, calculators were eventually embraced in classrooms and, since 1994, have even been allowed in the SAT.

Of course, open-book exams have long been a fixture at some schools. But access to the Internet provides a far vaster trove of information than simply having a textbook nearby. And the degree of collaboration that technology is allowing flies in the face of some deeply entrenched teaching methods.

Grabbing test answers off the Internet is a "crutch," says Charles Alexander, academic dean at the elite Groton School in Massachusetts. In the college world, where admissions officers keep profiles of secondary schools and consider applicants based on the rigor of their training, there are differing opinions. "This is the way the world works," says Harvard Director of Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis, adding that whether a student was allowed to search the Internet for help on a high-school English exam wouldn't affect his or her application.

Though it might not ultimately factor into a student's acceptance at University of Pennsylvania, Lee Stetson, dean of undergraduate admissions there, has a different take. "The definition of what's cheating has been changing, and fudging seems to be the way of the world now," he says. "It's not an encouraging sign."

At High Tech High International, a charter school in San Diego, kids in Ross Roemer's 10th-grade humanities class are allowed to scan the Internet during some tests; earlier this week, they looked up what scholars had written about Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" while they were writing their essay exams.

Mr. Roemer says students' essays are better informed when they can compare their ideas with what others have written. But he acknowledges that traditionally an approach like this would be against the rules. "You'd have to rip up their test and call their parents," he says. But at this school, which is funded partly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he says there's no sense fighting technology: "You can't ignore it. You have to embrace it."

When the Kent School District in Washington decided last year to create a technology "school within a school" at Mill Creek Middle, where there'd be a 1-to-1 ratio of kids to computers, parents quickly began pushing to get their kids accepted. Now, teachers say letting kids look up answers online helps show they can find and analyze information then synthesize it into a cohesive argument.

In Bonnie Pitzer's case, teacher Becky Keene says using the Internet helped the seventh-grader, but in the end, she aced the test because she demonstrated she could also use the word in a sentence. "I want the kids to be able to apply the meaning, not to be able to memorize it," says Ms. Keene.

Continued in article

 


The techniques vary: Camera phones can be used to create high-tech cheat sheets, letting students call up photos of key notes they took back in the dorm. A student also could surreptitiously send a photo of his answers to a friend sitting in the same classroom during an exam.
Marlon A. Walker (see below)

 

"High-Tech Cribbing: Camera Phones Boost Cheating," by Marlon A Walker, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2004, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109477285622714263,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Flead%5Fstory%5Fcol 

Diann Baecker thought it was odd that a student in one of her language classes had left his cellphone flipped open during a test -- until she started grading the exams.

The assistant professor at Virginia State University in Petersburg noticed that the student, and his neighbor, had used identical language to answer an essay question. She deduced that one student must have taken a picture of his neighbor's essay with his camera-equipped phone and then copied the answer onto his own test using the image on the phone's screen.

These days, Prof. Baecker tells students to put their phones under their desks, along with their books and backpacks. "The picture phone is the new thing" for cheating, she says. "Technology just makes it a lot easier. They're not leaning over their neighbor's shoulders anymore."

A small but growing number of students are using camera phones to cheat, according to students and educators across the country. The techniques vary: Camera phones can be used to create high-tech cheat sheets, letting students call up photos of key notes they took back in the dorm. A student also could surreptitiously send a photo of his answers to a friend sitting in the same classroom during an exam.

Continued in the article.


Forwarded by Helen Terry

Check this out. 

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/10/19/cellphonejammers.ap/index.html  partial quote: In four Monterrey churches, Israeli-made cell phone jammers the size of paperbacks have been tucked unobtrusively among paintings of the Madonna and statues of the saints. The jarring polychromatic din of ringing cell phones is increasingly being thwarted -- from religious sanctuaries to India's parliament to Tokyo theaters and commuter trains -- by devices originally developed to help security forces avert eavesdropping and thwart phone-triggered bombings. In Italy, universities started using the blockers after discovering that cell phone-savvy teenagers were cheating on exams by sending text messages or taking pictures of tests.


Use of a cell phone for purposes of cheating during an examination would seem to be an obvious problem.  It just never dawned on me until I witnessed it in a men's room on December 15, 2001.  It was the beginning day of final examinations.  I did not have my final examinations scheduled until the following week.  However, I listened in while a student quite obviously was asking questions on a cell phone and then waiting for answers.

Leaving books and crib notes in a bathroom or hallway is a common problem.  The cell phone idea, however, just had never dawned on me.  This could be a particular problem on makeup exams.  How often have you made a student leave books and notes in your office and then put the student alone in a room to take a test?  Have you ever thought about that tiny cell phone that might be in a pocket?

I suspect the next best thing is having a buddy with books and a computer hidden in one of the stalls such that it is not necessary to make a phone call to the buddy.

Reply from Rohan Chambers [rchambers@CYBERVALE.COM

How about this.....

Some students use cell phones as calculators, and.....during the examination they send text messages to each other!

Rohan Chambers 
Lecturer in Auditing and Finance School of Business Administration 
University of Technology, Jamaica

Reply from Andrew Priest [a.priest@ECU.EDU.AU

Hi

We ban cell (mobile) phones from exam rooms and an invigilator goes with student to the men's/women's room so as to minimise this risk. However, I have often noticed some invigilator waiting outside the toilet facility rather than discreetly inside.

Regards, 
Andrew

 

Reply from Christine Kloezeman [ckloezem@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US

I too bought 52 hand held calculators from Pic and Save for the use in all my classes. Last semester I found a student using her palmtop that had all the notes. I have a container that keeps them in the division office so others can use them. The bathroom trick has been very well used this semester so I told them for the final they had to take care of business. I like the comment about when they leave the room they have finished the test.

I do this to be fair to those 60% that will not cheat. I have even been thanked by the students because they felt studied hard and it wasn't fair to have student get good grades without learning.

I like the idea of re-developing an honor code. Many times we need to revisit these areas with the students.

I wish there was a site we could develop that would keep the instructors on top of the current cheating techniques. It's like having teenagers. You can save a lot of problems by being aware of the things they are trying to pull. Anybody know of a site like that. I know I will visit it before each test.

Hi Christine,

I have updated a site concerning how students plagiarize at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 

I am also trying to build up the above site for cheating on examinations. I hope others will send me great ideas on how to cheat.

Bob Jensen rjensen@trinity.edu 

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU]

What bothers me about all this is the lengths to which we all go to prevent cheating. It is, as a faculty member here described it, another "1% solution" in that for the very few who would really cheat, we spend huge amounts of our time, and restrict those who wouldn't cheat anyway. I used to have someone accompany people to the rest room, but we frequently have so few proctors that I cannot spare anyone, and began to feel silly about it, so now I do random checks. I had never thought of the cell phone thing. I do know that the graphing calculators provide ample opportunity to cheat, so we have resorted to buying, as a department, 400 cheap calculators, which we pass out for each exam, then collect. That restricts that avenue.

We used to check ID, have not recently. So yesterday (yes, Saturday) while grading I found a "fake" exam. Really irritated me that someone would waste our time that way, and I plan to investigate further after we have grades in, with little hope of success.

We give case exams in managerial, which are harder to cheat on. And we do allow a page of handwritten (no photocopies or printed) notes. I always question how far I am willing to go to prevent cheating, and where I just say, if you are that clever, go ahead, you'll get your "reward" someday.

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU]

What bothers me about all this is the lengths to which we all go to prevent cheating. It is, as a faculty member here described it, another "1% solution" in that for the very few who would really cheat, we spend huge amounts of our time, and restrict those who wouldn't cheat anyway. I used to have someone accompany people to the rest room, but we frequently have so few proctors that I cannot spare anyone, and began to feel silly about it, so now I do random checks. I had never thought of the cell phone thing. I do know that the graphing calculators provide ample opportunity to cheat, so we have resorted to buying, as a department, 400 cheap calculators, which we pass out for each exam, then collect. That restricts that avenue.

We used to check ID, have not recently. So yesterday (yes, Saturday) while grading I found a "fake" exam. Really irritated me that someone would waste our time that way, and I plan to investigate further after we have grades in, with little hope of success.

We give case exams in managerial, which are harder to cheat on. And we do allow a page of handwritten (no photocopies or printed) notes. I always question how far I am willing to go to prevent cheating, and where I just say, if you are that clever, go ahead, you'll get your "reward" someday.


For the final exam, I was assigned two class rooms across the hall from each other. I went from one classroom to the other, trying to be random in my timing. I was later told that one gal in the class room would slide her foot (no stocking) out of her loafer and flip open the textbook as soon as I left the room. She was able to turn the pages of the book with her toes. Oh, she did write answers on her exam the old-fashioned way--pencil held firmly in hand. But what she did with her feet was remarkable.

No one was willing to take the effort to testify about her actions when I suggested running her academic dishonesty through the system. so I had to let it pass without prosecution.

Dave Albrecht

David,

At the end of the course, you should have sent her the following message:

This little piggy went to market, 
This little piggy stayed home, 
This little piggy turned the notebook pages, 
This little piggy cried F,F,F all the way home.

Bob


I teach only graduate students. And I give exams only to the MBA introductory accounting students. For MAcc students I grade based solely on written case reports and class participation.

This year I decided to switch to open book exams for the MBA students. They can refer to the textbook, their laptop (for lecture notes), and to a calculator. They can also leave the room to use the rest room facilities without limitation. I tell them only that they can't talk to their class mates or use a cell phone to call for outside help (a la Regis Philbin).

I use a combination of multiple choice and short problems on the exam - about 40% the latter. However, most of the questions require careful analysis and not just rote memory. Overall, I found that the test scores and final grades this year were virtually the same as last year. The students perceived that I made the exams harder this year in order to compensate for the open book nature. I don't think that is really the case although I do create entirely new questions every year.

I recognize that most of the messages about this point (if not all of them) probably relate to undergraduate students so my experience may not be relevant. But I decided early in my short to date teaching career that a cheater hurts mainly him/herself and all the policing in the world is not likely to catch the most creative practitioners. Communicating a sense of trust seems to have worked well for me.

Denny Beresford 
University of Georgia


Message from Rohan Chambers [rchambers@CYBERVALE.COM

I would recommend the following to limit cheating during examinations, particluary for large groups e.g. 40 - 300 ( Here in :Jamaica, at the country's two leading Universities we may have up to 300 students doing the same final exam!) : 

1. Employ invigilators (proctors) with a student to invigilator ratio of about 25 to 1. 

2. Designate specific restrooms and have them checked both prior to and after the exam (even before and after each student's : visit). Have a proctor accompany students to the door of the restroom. 

3. Have ancilliary items handy i.e drinking water, cups, napkins and aspirins ( especially for those who suddenly develop an : "headache" during the exams). 

4. Have all cellphones turned off and left in school bags or left outside of the exam room. 

5. Lend the students University calculators. 

6. Have students remove all headgear. 

7. Ban all digital watches! 

8. Do not allow any pre-written notes into the exam room :

Currently, we do all except 3, 5 & 7 in our School.

Reply from Jim Richards Down Under

Hi Rohan, 
I have been following the thread on cheating with interest. It is good to hear that it does not just happen at my University.

My comment concerns number 8. A number of others have suggested that allowing students to take one page of handwritten notes into an exam is good as it requires them to do some revision and make choices about what they will fit on the one page.

Several colleagues have tried this but it caused a headache for the invigilators as students first tried to use photocopy reductions before we specifically added that it must be handwritten. That of course means that they now write in very small handwriting to get the maximum amount allowed on the page.

It also means that the academic who specifies such a requirement must attend the exam and do the check. The invigilators do not do it. It has to be done while the students are doing the exam so you need help from colleagues unless you want to spend all of the exam time checking the sheets, particularly if they all sit the exam in the same room at the same time.

Cheers.

Jim Richards 
Murdoch University 
South Street MURDOCH 6150 AUSTRALIA

 

Reply from John Rodi

The unfortunate part is that this is a poor use of scare resources. I believe that cheating is a matter of ethics and if you cheat you don’t have ethics. Ethics are taught at an early age and the mechanism for justifying the behavior develops at the same time. I am reminded of the student who was blatantly cheating in during one of my final exams. He had simply opened his textbook on the desk and was looking for answers. Several students pointed this out to me and I told them that I was aware of what was happening. They didn’t understand what I why I wasn’t stopping the student.

At the end of the exam I told the student that he was getting an F for a grade on the final exam since I had observed him cheating during the entire examination. He replied with remorse—right. Wrong. He said to me, “If you knew I was cheating why didn’t you stop me so that I wouldn’t have had to waste all this time!” I was advised that he may have had a case had he protested, because I could have been accused of providing him with an opportunity to cheat. I wish that I had made up this story.

John Rodi
El Camino College


Watch Out for Wrist Devices

This is getting ridiculous.  In addition to banning cell phones during examinations, should we ban wrist watches?

Karen Waldron reminded me of Fossil's PDA --- http://www.edgereview.com/ataglance.cfm?Category=handheld&ID=337 
Students can store crib notes and read them from a wrist watch.

And don't forget that there are cell phones that can be worn on the wrist just like a watch --- http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,19264,00.html 


"U-Md. Says Students Use Phones to Cheat Text Messaging Delivers Test Answers," by Amy Argetsinger, The Washington Post, January 25, 2003 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40227-2003Jan24.html 

The University of Maryland is investigating 12 students for allegedly using their cell phones to dial up all the right answers during fall exams.

The students are accused of using the "text messaging" functions on their phones or pagers to receive silent messages from friends who had access to answer keys for the tests, campus officials said yesterday.

It is the latest wrinkle in the continuing struggle between technology and academic integrity. Though quick to jump on the Web and embrace the laptop, schools across the country have been confronted with the problem of students using those very tools to plagiarize essays from the Internet. At Maryland, as at many other colleges, faculty members were stunned a few years ago to discover that some students were using the same high-end calculators required for many advanced math tests to retrieve stored information during exams.

But the use of cell phones "was a new one for us," said John Zacker, the university's director of student discipline.

The accusations prompted university administrators to send a memo to faculty members yesterday advising them to monitor the use of cell phones and other electronic devices during exams.

The incident also highlights an apparent generation gap in technology savvy on campus. While students by and large expressed no surprise that cell phones could be used for illicit purposes, Zacker said it simply had not occurred to most faculty.

Zacker said the accused students are suspected of exploiting a common practice at College Park, in which professors post answer keys outside their offices after giving an exam so that students can immediately calculate how they did.

Some professors, he said, have gotten in the habit of posting the keys while students are still taking the exam, assured that students would not be able to see the answers until they had turned in their tests and left the proctored classroom.

It is unclear exactly how the accused students may have cheated, Zacker said. But preliminary investigations suggest that they may have arranged to have friends outside the classroom consult the keys and call in the answers.

In some cases, professors had posted answer keys on their Web sites, and officials believe that students may have used cell phones equipped with Web browsers to look up the answers themselves, while still in the exam room.

The memo, from Provost William W. Destler, also advised faculty not to post answer keys until well after an exam is completed.

Zacker would not say which professors or departments had reported the recent accusations or whether all 12 cases came from the same course.

The University of Maryland has worked to bolster a culture of academic integrity in recent years, including the institution of a new honor pledge that students are urged to sign on their work. The student-run Honor Council will rule on the cases in coming weeks. First-time offenders at Maryland generally receive a failing grade for the course with a marker on their transcripts indicating that cheating was involved, but additional offenses can merit suspension or expulsion.

Donald L. McCabe, a professor at Rutgers University who has studied academic dishonesty, said he had heard of other instances of students across the country using a cell phone to cheat.

Though technology has made it easier for students to cheat -- and possibly harder for professors to detect it -- McCabe does not believe that it has tempted more students to cheat. However, he said it may have increased "the frequency with which cheaters cheat."

"Ten years ago, you'd hear about students using hand signals or tapping with pencils on their desk," he said. "Things like this are displacing that. You don't have more cheaters, just more ways to cheat."


From Yahoo Picks of the Week on August 26, 2002

Pirated Sites --- http://www.pirated-sites.com/ 

Ever find yourself on a web site that looks virtually indistinguishable from another? This site showcases such online indiscretions, making "side-by-side comparisons of web sites that are suspected of borrowing, copying or stealing copyright-protected content, design or code without permission." Many web designers have taken unfathomable liberties with their online filching -- some companies even do it twice. Pirated Sites uses a cool pop-up window script that makes it easy to compare web sites large and small. If you think you've run across a site that has been hit by web-style biters, don't hesitate to submit the URLs of the pirate and the victim. And if the moral isn't clear, we'll repeat it: Do Not 



Plagiarism Alternatives
In a trend that should delight amoral entrepreneurs everywhere, sales of online term papers are picking up as the school year approaches.
"Where Cheaters Often Prosper,: by Joanna Glasner, Wired News, August 26, 2002 --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,54571,00.html 

The history of the Internet is filled with stories about companies that tried to make a positive change in the world and ended up failing miserably.

And then there are online term-paper sites. Despite inspiring nothing but scorn from educators, purveyors of collegiate prose are finding life on the dark side of online commerce quite lucrative.

"They're the only ones besides casinos or porn really making money on the Internet," said Kenny Sahr, founder of SchoolSucks.com, a free homework site that makes money posting ads for fee-charging term paper providers. If his advertising customers are any indication, Sahr said, online term-paper mills are weathering the dot-com bust remarkably well.

With the new school year about to begin, research paper companies are gearing up for peak season. It appears academicians' attempts to eradicate these hotbeds of plagiarism have done little to stifle their growth.

SchoolSucks is no exception. Although the 6-year-old site hasn't made him rich, Sahr says it does provide enough money "to pay for my habits" and doesn't require full-time work. He runs the site with a staff of two, each working out of their homes and periodically holding meetings on a beach in Tel Aviv, where the operation is based.

Sahr attributes the site's longevity largely to the fact that it gets its material for free, mostly through submissions from students. This keeps the cost of running the business quite low.

SchoolSucks draws about 10,000 unique visitors on a typical day and has been growing steadily, Sahr said.

Meanwhile, traffic to competing sites isn't slowing either.

"I don't think we've had a year so far where we haven't grown," said Jared Silvermintz, college student and co-founder of Genius Papers. The site, which Silvermintz started as a junior in high school six years ago, charges $20 for a one-year subscription to a soon-to-be-upgraded database that he says will contain more than 40,000 papers

Conatinued at http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,54571,00.html  


Message from Curtis Brown on April 26, 2002

I saw an interesting idea on one web site ( http://www.plagiarism.com/ ). They offer a product that takes a student essay, replaces every fifth word with a blank, and then asks the student to fill in the blanks. Depending on how many they get right and how long it takes them, the program calculates a "Plagiarism Probability Score." They want $300 for this, but it would take only a few minutes to write a program that would delete every fifth word, and it might be an interesting way to get a sense for the likelihood that a paper was plagiarized if you couldn't find the source. I don't know that it would be any more effective than simply asking the student to explain key passages in the paper, though.

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 


Hi Ceil,

I am back from Iowa and am finally catching up on a mountain of email.

The ethics video vignettes that I used to use were from the IMA. I cannot find links to these older videos, but you might look into http://www.imanet.org/Content/About_IMA/EthicsCenter/ResourcesandArticles/resources2.htm 

I cannot seem to locate the IMA videos in my mountain of videotapes at the moment, but I do recall that those particular IMA vignettes were quite good.

The latest FASB video called "Financially Correct" might be useful in the area of ethics, especially in light of the Enron scandal --- http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/fasb/news/fc_video.pdf 

You might also download the AICPA video that plays on a computer with some surprisingly sophisticated technology --- http://www.aicpa.org/stream/indrulewebcast/index.html# 

Hope this helps.

Bob

-----Original Message----- From: Ceil Pillsbury [mailto:ceil@uwm.edu] Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 3:30 PM To: 'Jensen, Robert '; 'AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU ' Subject: RE: Cheating at the University of Minnesota

I am sorry to say that I have had first hand experience this semester with cheating. I had six students in one class all make copies of homework that needed to be submitted by email. All they did was Cut and Paste and send it from their own accounts. They didn't even bother to read the homework or they clearly would have seen the obvious typos! I am even sorrier to say that now that I have started asking other professors I think there may be a much bigger problem with cheating among accounting majors than anyone realizes. Since we are putting out future professionals this causes great concern! I am now working on an Ethics lecture to start my Auditing class off with next semester and wonder two things:

--Does anyone have any neat ideas (materials) to get ethical points across?

--Does anyone remember a video (I think it was made by Andersen) that had example vignettes in it. I seem to remember seeing a video that had a segment on eating hours and pressure to manage earnings.

Reply from George Lan

I know about the video by Arthur Andersen (then) on ethics with 5 or 6 vignettes. One of the vignette is entitled " The Order" and I use it and some of the other vignettes from time to time in my class. I only have a copy of that video which someone gave to me but Andersen should probably still have copies. There is a manual that comes with it. Andersen use an ethical framework to analyse ethical dilemmas, which consists of several steps (facts, issues, stakeholders, ethical principles, alternatives, recommendations...)The key is to think through carefully the ethical dilemma. Some students find ethics issues interesting but I've heard some students commenting that "they hate ethics."

I still find the story of ZZZZ Best (in "Cooking the Books" video) has much appeal to the students, perhaps because Barry Minkow was then a very young guy. I've heard he has a degree in religion now???

I also use a case prepared by AAA, "The CEO retires" which looks at the many ways that accounting can be creatively used to increase the compensation of the CEO in his golden years and the pressure placed on subordinates to go along.

I believe in the "Nuremberg Principle" i.e. doing something unethical or illegal because you are ordered to do so does not absolve you from blame; however, real life ethical situations are very often like this comment at the bottom of an accounting cartoon " Dammed if I do, Dammed if I don't." I've also heard that just as people become more risk averse as they get older, they also believe less in ethics. (Not from any study that I know about).

My two cents worth,

George Lan 
University of Windsor

Reply from Scott Bonacker, 

This thread lead me to think of what is the meaning of "ethics" and "morality", and through that I found a website for American Sign Language interpreters which discusses in part their responsibility in their roles.

http://asl_interpreting.tripod.com/ethics/jg1.htm 

Representational faithfulness is certainly important in that arena, and if an allegory would be useful then this might serve.

Scott Bonacker, 
CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, 
LLC Springfield, Missouri moccpa.com 


A Clever Way to Stop Some Types of Cheating 

Hossein Nouri [hnouri@TCNJ.EDU

I am assigning a comprehensive take-home problem to my managerial accounting course. In order to force students to do the problem at least by themselves, I am giving different versions of the problem. I prefer students to do the problem using spread sheet. However, I am concerned that one student creates the formula for all parts of the problem on the spread sheet and other students just plug-in the numbers and hand it to me. Do you have any suggestion how this can be avoided? Most of our students use the college's labs to do their assignments, with few using their own computers.

Hossein Nouri, PhD, CPA, CFE 
Accountancy Program School of Business 
The College of New Jersey 
P.O.Box 7718 Ewing, NJ 08628-0718 Tel. (609)771-2176 
Fax (609)637-5129 Email: hnouri@tcnj.edu 

Reply from Elliot Kamlet [ekamlet@BINGHAMTON.EDU

Write a macro (or get MIS people to help) to require that the students enter their name as soon as they open the spreadsheet. That name should then be placed in some cell someplace and the column hidden, and in addition the name should appear in some prominent place (say cell A1), then the macro should disable itself. You will know where the name is and can find it when they submit the project. Then just match names.

They can still get around it but some who cheat will probably get caught.

Elliot Kamlet

Reply from Gadal, Damian [DGADAL@CI.SANTA-BARBARA.CA.US

Here is some Visual Basic to accomplish your spreadsheet task (NOTE: you have two options you can try):

: Put this into the "ThisWorkbook" : folder.

Dim strGenName As String Private Sub Workbook_Open()

done = False While Not done strGetName = InputBox( _

prompt:="Please enter your name.", _

Title:="UserName")

done = True

Wend

Sheets("Sheet1").Range("A1").Value = strGetName 'Option 1: Put name into a hidden sheet

Sheets("Sheet2").Range("A1").Value = strGetName

Worksheets("Sheet2").Visible = xlVeryHidden 'Option 2: Put name into a hidden cell

Sheets("Sheet1").Range("A2").Value = strGetName

Rows("2:2").Hidden = True End Sub


May 2, 2002 message from Reams, Richard [rreams@trinity.edu

In the May/June 2002 issue of the Journal of College Student Development, a major journal of Student Affairs professionals, Scanlon & Neumann report findings from a survey of 698 students on six campuses regarding Internet plagiarism. Here are a few highlights:

· 24.5% reported plagiarizing online sometimes to very frequently (19% sometimes and 9.6% often or very frequently). This percentage, the researchers concluded based on longitudinal data on plagiarism, does NOT indicate a sharp increase in plagiarism over the past three decades, although the percentage “should be cause for concern.” · Although 8.3% self-reported purchasing papers from online paper mills sometimes or often/very frequently, 62.2% PERCEIVED that their peers patronize paper mill sites sometimes or often/very frequently. Similarly, although 8% self-reported cutting and pasting text from the Internet often/very frequently, 50.4% PERCEIVED that their peers do so. This gross misperception is a contextual factor that probably encourages some students to plagiarize. (This same contextual factor underlies the social norms marketing [a.k.a. misperception correction] campaign that I’ve undertaken for several years regarding the incongruity between students’ exaggerated perceptions of alcohol use vs. actual alcohol use.)

Some of you may want to see the entire journal article. Because the library does not subscribe to the Journal of College Student Development [Diane Graves, may I suggest the library subscribe?], I’m putting a copy on reserve under my name so interested faculty and staff can have access to it.

Collegially yours, 
Richard Reams


My Project Files Got Corrupted (it used to be that the files just got lost)
I wonder if this will also extend the tenure clock?

"The New (phony) Student Excuse?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/05/corrupted 

Most of us have had the experience of receiving e-mail with an attachment, trying to open the attachment, and finding a corrupted file that won't open. That concept is at the root of a new Web site advertising itself (perhaps serious only in part) as the new way for students to get extra time to finish their assignments.

Corrupted-Files.com offers a service -- recently noted by several academic bloggers who have expressed concern -- that sells students (for only $3.95, soon to go up to $5.95) intentionally corrupted files. Why buy a corrupted file? Here's what the site says: "Step 1: After purchasing a file, rename the file e.g. Mike_Final-Paper. Step 2: E-mail the file to your professor along with your 'here's my assignment' e-mail. Step 3: It will take your professor several hours if not days to notice your file is 'unfortunately' corrupted. Use the time this website just bought you wisely and finish that paper!!!"

The site promises that students can stop using "lame excuses" like the deaths of grandmothers or turning in poor work.

While the Web site attempts to distinguish its service from cheating, it also advises students on how its services could make it easier for them to get away with turning in a file they know won't open. "This download includes a 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 page corrupted Word file. Use the appropriate file size to match each assignment. Who's to say your 10 page paper didn't get corrupted? Exactly! No one can! Its the perfect excuse to buy yourself extra time and not hand in a garbage paper. Cheating is not the answer to procrastination! - Corrupted-Files.com is!"

Who would be behind such an operation? Is this the latest form of cheating?

Inside Higher Ed e-mailed the site's proprietor via e-mail and learned the following (obviously not verifiable, and the site owner did not give a name, nor is one listed on the site's registration). The site was created in December "as a goof" by its owner.

"I didn't think anyone would actually pay for an excuse but lo and behold.... It was never meant to sell one file but I get about 3-4 downloads a day (over 10 a day during finals) and don’t advertise the site," the owner wrote back. "I used the corrupted file excuse back in my college days (I’m 25) as I started my first business at 19 so I didn't have much time to do my schoolwork. When I couldn't get an extension, I sent my professors a corrupted file to buy me time. I know this was not the most ethical thing but as a young entrepreneur, I did not have much of a choice as I valued my employees well above my academics." (People commenting on the blogs that have noticed the trend note that they have been receiving papers such as those described.)

Asked if he or she had ever received complaints from professors that this was cheating, the site's owner said that a faculty member had asked that question and that this was roughly the answer: "Well ... it's a fine line Prof. H. It's basically just a good excuse vs. outright cheating. Let's face it, how many times have you heard, 'I had a family emergency' or 'my grandma passed away?' I am simply offering a better excuse. It's not cheating in the traditional sense as the student is still doing their own work and not using a roommates' old paper or being foolish enough to purchase one online. If the student is desperate, it is fair to assume he/she has considered these paths. In such a situation, would you rather have a student make up an excuse and hand in their own work a bit late or submit someone else's work on time?"

Who are the best customers? "Not to anyone's surprise, but my best clients are from Ivy and top tier schools. I guess the more perfect people think you are, the more likely in life you are to cheat to keep that perception."

One irony that the site developer noted: He or she gave a guest lecture at a university and assigned a project to students at the professor's request. "One student e-mailed me a corrupted file -- I couldn't help but to laugh and accept the student’s excuse."

Why keep the site going? "Everyone at my current venture finds the site humorous so I keep it up. Plus, it does help students save face with their professors as CF is an alternative to buying a paper online or using a friend's old paper. CF simply buys the student time and encourages them to do their own work and not to procrastinate next time around."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Students who visit porn sites a log may be giving reasons rather than excuses for file corruption. One way to fight the file corruption scam is to state (bold face) in the syllabus that students are responsible for backing up files at least every fifteen minutes. That way less work is lost if files are corrupted or lost.

June 6, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

There are various other security measures to consider, because even trustworthy students may innocently pass along infected files.

In the case of MS Word and Excel documents it is very simple to eliminate most virus risks by simply requiring each student to submit a MS Word document as a HTML (htm) or XML (xml) file instead of a doc or xls file.

MS Word and Excel files can also be submitted by students as much safer PDF files.

For example, open Excel and then click on “ Save as” to see the various options other than xls.

Of course some functionality may be lost such as embedded macros in xls or doc files, but these macros are the most dangerous infection sources.

Another safety measure that I used when I was still teaching was to go to a university computer lab and read student project files and other attached email files on a lab computer. This protected my office computers. The lab computers were often more up to date for virus protection, and the university techies had a daily routine of rebuilding infected lab machines. Techies could rebuild a lab machine in short time since there were only “core” system files to be put back on the hard drive. For faculty office computers there are many more files to be replaced when a faculty computer machine must be rebuilt.

Four weeks ago I had to have Trinity University rebuild my main computer that was downed by malware (it was infected by a so-called computer protection site). I’m pretty good about backup files, but it was much more of an ordeal for tech support folks and me relative to the simple process of rebuilding an on-campus lab computer.

By the way, Trinity University still provides tech support on my home computer only because I purchased it from the virtual Dell Store administered on the Trinity campus (for a time but not currently). Besides software savings, the big advantage was lifetime software support from Trinity.

Bob Jensen

June 8, 2009 reply from Tom Selling [tom.selling@GROVESITE.COM]

Shameless plug – If anyone thinks the following constitutes inappropriate use of this listserv, please let me know:

We market our collaboration software ( www.grovesite.com ) principally to commercial organizations (btw, Chronicle of Higher Education is one of our customers), but it is very easy to use and straightforwardly adaptable to class administration and filing sharing. Student “drop boxes” for assignments would be a piece of cake – although it may not have the exact same bells and whistles as Blackboard.

If anyone would like to try GroveSite for FREE through the end of the fall semester, please contact me at tom.selling@grovesite.com . Another way to go about it is to provision yourself with a fully-functional free trial from our home page. We can then give you a phone tour and set up some basic pages, including the assignment drop box for you.

Best, Tom Selling

"'The Computer Ate My Homework':  How to Detect Fake Techno-Excuses," by Mark Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 10, 2009 --- Click Here

Forget about making up stories about sick relatives. There’s a new way to get around homework deadlines by sending professors corrupted documents, buying a student extra time because the professor will likely blame computer errors and take hours or days to ask for a new version. There are, however, ways to identify the frauds.

Corrupted-Files.com, a Web site developed in December as a joke, its owner says, offers unreadable Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files that appear, at first glance, to be legitimate. Students can submit them via e-mail to professors in place of real papers to get a deadline extension without late penalties. For $3.95, the site promises a “completed” assignment file will be sent to the buyer within 12 hours, to be renamed and submitted by the new owner. By the time a professor gives up on the bogus file, in theory, a student will have been able to complete the actual assignment.

“I made CF in 3 hours while watching old episodes of Seinfeld, so if any inspiration, it was George Costanza, the sad king of excuses,” the site’s owner, Gianni Martire, said in an e-mail message. “The site was really all just one big goof.”

Mr. Martire confirmed yesterday that he was the New York City-based entrepreneur behind the site. He said that he planned to continue collecting data on Corrupted-Files.com for a possible study, but that his work as co-founder of Hotlist, a new social-networking Web site, and on the executive board of Arts Horizons, a not-for-profit arts-in-education organization, had been keeping him busy.

Mr. Martire added that he didn’t believe his Web site promoted cheating, since its users are not plagiarizing others or using an essay mill, but just buying some extra time.

The corrupted-file idea could work, said T. Mills Kelly, an associate dean at George Mason University, because faculty members are often busy with work and grading, and used to getting an occasional corrupted file. But Mr. Kelly says it would not work with him.

“Every time a student e-mails me a paper, I open the file to make sure that it will open so I know that the paper is turned in, and if it doesn’t work, I write them on the spot: ‘You have to send me a new copy,’” he said. “If they don’t send it right away, my brain starts ticking over.”

Mr. Mills said that by checking a document’s properties, anyone can see what computer the file was created on and on what date, as well as how many times the file has been edited.

“What are the odds that you wrote a 10-page paper 10 minutes before you e-mailed it to me, without an edit?” he asked, adding that circumventing the system by intentionally using a corrupted file was cheating. “I always recommend failure for the course.”

It seems a corrupted file purchased by The Chronicle — which had a glitch and arrived several hours late — would pass some of Mr. Kelly’s tests, but not all of them: The file’s original author was hidden, but the creation and edit dates and times were marked for the time the document was downloaded from the Web site.

After Mr. Martire was contacted by reporters, the Web site changed slightly. Now the comments section reads: “If you need an extension, just be honest and ask your professor before you use a corrupted file.”


Cheating in Higher Education Athletics

"Incomplete Passes: College-Athlete Academic Scandals," Bloomberg Businessweek, February 27, 2014 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-27/incomplete-passes-college-athlete-academic-scandals

Academic irregularities related to athlete eligibility have haunted several U.S. colleges.

Auburn (2006)
Helped by academic advisers, football players padded their grade-point averages in “directed reading” classes.
 
Florida (2008)
Cam Newton, now quarterback of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, left Florida after facing potential expulsion for cheating, Fox Sports reported.
 
Florida State (2009)
Academic advisers participated in taking tests and in writing papers for basketball and football players.
 
Fresno State (2003)
The men’s basketball statistician and an academic adviser were caught in a paper-writing-for-athletes scheme.
 
Georgia (2003)
The university withdrew from postseason play after basketball players received inflated grades in a coaching class.
 
Memphis (2008)
The NCAA stripped the basketball team of its run to the finals after
Derrick Rose’s SAT scores were ruled invalid.
 
Michigan (2008)
The Ann Arbor News reported that from 2004 to 2007, 251 athletes took independent study classes with the same professor and received suspiciously high grades.
 
Minnesota (1999)
The basketball team had tournament victories erased after hundreds of assignments were completed for players.
 
Stanford (2011)
Academic advisers discontinued a list of classes recommended for years because they were easy and/or convenient.
 
Tennessee (2000)
ESPN profiled an English professor whose objections led the university to acknowledge that, on average, athletes received twice as many grade changes as other students.
 
USC (2001)
The NCAA issued sanctions against the football and women’s swimming teams after tutors were found to have written papers for athletes
.

Others ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics


Question
How extensive was the University of North Carolina athletics phony course and grade change cheating scandal?

Answer
Even though I made tidbits about this scandal early on, including that about 10% of the athletes could not read at a third-grade level. I guess it never sunk in how many years UNC officials were aware of the cheating and how many athletes were part of this scandal.

. . . since the 1990s Nang' Oris' department offered hundreds of fake "paper classes" that never actually met.  Some 500 grades had been changed without authorization . . .

"UNC officials apologize for a huge sports scandal, while attacking the woman who brought it to light," Bloomberg Businessweek, February 3-9, 2014 ---
 

After trying for years to minimize an academic corruption scandal on its prestigious Chapel Hill campus, the University of North Carolina has abruptly switched strategies---form obfuscation to mea culpa. The apologia comes with a bitter footnote, though in the form of vilification of a campus whistle-blower.

. . .

UNC called the police after an internal university inquiry concluded that that since the 1990s Nang' Oris' department offered hundreds of fake "paper classes" that never actually met.  Some 500 grades had been changed without authorization, . . .

 

Also see
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-27/university-of-north-carolina-apologizes-for-fake-classes-promises-real-change 

 

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating in higher education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 

 


Old Kinds of Cheating

The first edition of New Bookmarks in Year 2002 featured sites where you can either purchase research papers or download them for free. Since many of you are grading or have just graded term papers, I thought it might be of interest to show how sophisticated these papers are becoming --- cheating is becoming more difficult to detect.

For example, note the index on the left margin at http://www.a1-termpaper.com/wom-gen.shtml 

I clicked on Business to obtain the index at http://www.a1-termpaper.com/bus-idx.shtml 

I then clicked on Accounting and obtained the listing at http://www.a1-termpaper.com/bus-acc.shtml 

In the first Year 2002 edition of New Bookmarks, I will relay a study by a student who used this and other services, sometimes paying as much as $90 for papers and then examining the grades and comments written by professors. For an advance view of this study, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#SethStevenson 

Note that most term papers are not free online and, therefore, will not show up in Web search engines unless some student was required by his instructor to put his or her term paper online.

You might be able to detect cheating in a search engine if the clueless student did not even bother to change the title of the paper (which can be found using search engines.)

"Teachers fight against Internet plagiarism," by Kimberly Chase, The Christian Science Monitor,
March 2, 2004 --- http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0302/p12s01-legn.html 
On www.research-assistance.com , for example, students can browse an alphabetical list 
of categories - Cuba, evolution, or racism, just to name a few - to find the paper of 
their choice. For $136, a frantic high school or college student can download a 19-page 
paper on "Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt." It can be faxed for $9.50 or delivered 
overnight for $15.

"A THOUGHTFUL NEW BOOK ON THE MARKET," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 9, 2013 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-thoughtful-new-book-on-market.html


"The Costs of Cheating," Inside Higher Ed, March 19, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/19/qt#222885

Physics students who copy their classmates’ work learn less than students who don’t plagiarize, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in a study released yesterday. The researchers created algorithms to determine when answers submitted by MIT physics students through a popular online homework and e-tutoring program had been copied, then tracked how the serial plagiarists did on their final exams. Students who copied answers on problems that required the use of algebra scored two letter grades worse than non-copiers on such problems in the final, while students who copied more concept-based homework problems did not fare any worse than their more honest peers. Those who copied 30 percent of homework problems were three times more likely than the others to fail. The study recommends several measures that can reduce academically dishonest behavior, including getting away from lecture-based courses and toward more interactive teaching methods.


"Judge Rules In Favor Of CCSU Student Expelled For Cheating," by Leretta Waldman, The Hartford Courant, December 4, 2008 --- http://www.courant.com/news/education/hcu-cheating-1204,0,4033428.story

A Waterbury Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a New Milford man expelled from Central Connecticut State University in 2006 for cheating. In a decision issued late Wednesday, Judge Jane Scholl cited a preponderance of evidence supporting Matthew Coster's claim that it was another student, Cristina Duquette of Watertown, who took Coster's term paper on the holocaust, not the other way around.

Coster and his family brought the civil suit against Duquette to clear his name and recoup the over $25,000 they spent pursuing the case. CCSU officials have said they would reconsider their decision pending the outcome of the suit but to date nothing has been scheduled.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
What I found interesting is the fact that the student named Matthew Costner was expelled for a first-time offense. Most colleges are not currently expelling a student for the first-time plagiarizing of a term paper.


"Cheating soars, but 'it's all right'," by Dave Newbart, The Chicago Sun Times, July 25, 2004 --- http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-cheat25.html 

When Bill was unsure of the answer to a question in a finance exam last year, he sent a text message on his cell phone to a friend who was also taking the test. The friend sent him the correct answer.

When Lisa wasn't sure she could remember mathematical formulas for an accounting exam, she stored them in a calculator with its own memory, and then used them to help complete the test.

Bill, 21, and Lisa, 22, both of whom asked that their real names not be used, study business at DePaul University, which has seen a tenfold increase in reported cases of cheating in the past five years.

"We like to think our students are more committed than most, but they are not saints, either,'' said Charles Strain, the school's associate vice president for academic affairs.

Chicago area schools, from community colleges to universities such as Northwestern, are also concerned about an increase in cheating.

"It's rampant,'' said Peg Lee, president of Oakton Community College in the northern suburbs. "It's everywhere.''

Cheating these days comes with an added twist -- new technology, which in some cases makes it so easy that students don't even believe what they are doing is wrong. From cutting and pasting text from a Web site into a term paper to using cell phones or personal data assistants equipped with wireless Internet access to search for answers while taking a test, technology is becoming a partner in dishonesty.

And because of increased competition to get into top colleges and graduate schools, students say they are under more pressure than ever to get good grades, leading them to cheat more.

Nationally, more than one in five students admits to cheating on a test in the past year, according to a survey last year of 14,000 students at 23 schools (including one in Illinois) by the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University. More than half admit to cheating on a paper.

If you include minor forms of cheating -- such as working on an assignment with another student when that's not allowed or asking a student who already took a test what was on it -- three quarters of all students admit to doing so.

Don McCabe, the center's founder and a management and global business professor at Rutgers, said the actual number of cheaters is likely higher because his data is self-reported.

Every indication is that the problem is growing. Surveys of high school students by the Josephson Institute of Ethics in California found that 74 percent said they cheated on an exam in 2002, up from 61 percent a decade ago.

The fastest growing form of cheating, McCabe said, is taking information from the Internet and passing it off as the student's own work.

"Students are more liberal in their interpretation of what's permissible and what's not,'' he said.

Indeed, neither Bill nor Lisa felt bad about cheating. Lisa said she did it because professors put too much pressure on students by making some tests or assignments weigh too heavily on an overall grade.

Continued in the article


University of Texas at Brownsville Cheating Scandal
Authorities last year uncovered a major cheating scandal at the University of Texas at Brownsville--Texas Southmost College in which employees, some of them students, helped other students obtain test answers for themselves or give or sell them to others,
The Brownsville Herald reported. The cheating involved gaining access to the Blackboard system used by faculty members for tests and grading, among other uses. The university was vague on how it punished students, saying that university procedures were followed (which would have involved an F for students in courses in which they were found to have cheated). Twenty people -- 6 employees and 14 students -- were involved. The university considered, but decided against, pressing criminal charges. Juliet V. Garcia, president of the university, released a statement to the Herald on why she favored internal handling of the matter. "It’s the job of institutions of higher education to preserve and honor academic integrity. Yes, academic dishonesty is a challenge that all educators must be prepared to handle," she said. "The policies and procedures in place at the university provide the means for the campus to investigate and make informed decisions on courses of action appropriate for each case."
Inside Higher Ed, August 3, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/03/qt#204832


The inmates are running the asylum
From Duke University:  One of the Most Irresponsible Grading Systems in the World

Her approach? "So, this year, when I teach 'This Is Your Brain on the Internet,' I'm trying out a new point system. Do all the work, you get an A. Don't need an A? Don't have time to do all the work? No problem. You can aim for and earn a B. There will be a chart. You do the assignment satisfactorily, you get the points. Add up the points, there's your grade. Clearcut. No guesswork. No second-guessing 'what the prof wants.' No gaming the system. Clearcut. Student is responsible." That still leaves the question of determining whether students have done the work. Here again, Davidson plans to rely on students. "Since I already have structured my seminar (it worked brilliantly last year) so that two students lead us in every class, they can now also read all the class blogs (as they used to) and pass judgment on whether they are satisfactory. Thumbs up, thumbs down," she writes.
Scott Jaschik, "Getting Out of Grading," Inside Higher Education,  August 3, 2009
Jensen Comment
No mention of how Professor Davidson investigates and punishes plagiarism and other easy ways to cheat in this system. My guess is that she leaves it up to the students to police themselves any way they like. One way to cheat is simply hire another student to do the assignment. With no examinations in a controlled setting, who knows who is doing whose work?

August 4, 2009 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Bob, While I feel the way you do about it, it is interesting to note that this type of thing isn't new.

In the fall semester of 1973, at the North Campus of what today is the Florida State College in Jacksonville (formerly FCCJ, and when I was going there it was called FJC), I enrolled in a sophomore-level psychology class taught by Dr. Pat Greene. The very first day, Dr. Greene handed out a list of 30 assignments. Each assignment was independent study, and consisted of viewing a 15 to 60 minute video/filmstrip/movie/etc. in the library, or reading a chapter in the textbook, followed by completion of a 1 to 3 page "worksheet" covering the major concepts covered in the "lesson".

As I recall, the worksheet was essentially a set of fill-in-the-blank questions. It was open book, open note, open anything, and when you completed the worksheet, you put your name on it and dropped it in Dr. Greene's mailbox in the faculty offices lobby at your convenience.

The first 10 assignments were required in order to pass the course, but students could pick and choose from the remainder. If you stopped after the 10 required assignments, you got a D in the class. If you did 15 assignments, you got a C; 20 a B, and if you completed all 30, you got an A in the class. Students could pick which lessons to complete (after the first 10) if they elected not to do all 30.

This was before email, YouTube, and PDF's. Students worked at their own pace, there was no class meeting whatsoever after that first day. After the first day of class where I received the syllabus and assignment sheet, I never attended the classroom again. Dr. Greene supposedly held office hours during class time for students who wanted to ask questions, but I never needed it (nor did anyone else I knew of) because the assignments were so simple and easy, especially since they were open book, open note, and there was no time limit! There was no deadline, either, you could take till the end of the semester if you wanted to.

Oh, and no exams, either.

This was also before FERPA. Dr. Greene had a roll taped to his office door with all students' names on it. It was a manual spreadsheet, and as you turned in assignments, you got check marks beside your name in the columns showing which assignments you had "completed". We never got any of the assignments back, but supposedly if an assignment had too many errors, the student would get a dash mark instead of a check mark, indicating the need to do it over again.

Within 2 weeks, I had completed all 30 assignments, got my A, and never saw Dr. Greene again. I learned at lot about psychology (everything from Maslow's Hierarchy to Pavlov's slobbering dogs, from the (now infamous) Hawthorne Effect to the impact of color on emotions), so I guess the class was a success. But what astounded me was that so many of my classmates quit after earning the B. The idea of having to do half-again as much work for an A compared to a B was apparently just too much for most of my classmates, because when I (out of curiosity) stopped by his office at the end of the semester, I was blown away by the fact that only a couple of us had A's, whereby almost everyone else had the B (and a couple had C's, again to my astonishment). I can't remember if there were any D's or F's.

At the time, I was new to the college environment, and in my conversations with other faculty members, I discovered that professors enjoyed something called "academic freedom", and none of my other professors seemed to have any problem with what Dr. Greene was doing. In later years, it occurred to me that perhaps we were guinea-pigs for a psychology study he was doing on motivation. But since he was still using this method six years later for my younger sister (and using the same videos, films, and filmstrips!), I have my doubts.

Dr. Greene was a professor for many, many years. Perhaps he was ahead of his time, with today's camtasia and snag-it and you-tube recordings... None of his assigned work was his own, it was all produced by professional producers, with the exception of his worksheets, which were all the "purple plague" spirit-duplicator handouts.

I've often wondered how much more, if any, I could have learned if he'd really met with the class and actually tried to teach. But then again, as I took later psychology classes as part of my management undergrad (org behavior, supervision, human relations, etc.) I was pleased with how much I had learned in Dr. Greene's class, so I guess it wasn't a complete waste of time. Many of my friends who were in his class with me found the videos and filmstrips a nice break from the dry lectures of some of our other profs at the time. Plus, we liked the independent-study convenience. Oh, well...

Bottom line: this type of thing isn't new: 1973 was 35 years ago. Since academic freedom is still around, it doesn't surprise me that Dr. Greene's teaching (and in this case, his grading) style is still around too.

David Fordham
James Madison University

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


"The Computer Stole My Homework -- and Sold It Through an Essay Mill," by Ben Terris, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2009 --- Click Here

Without her knowing it, a paper that Melinda Riebolt co-wrote while getting her M.B.A. was stolen and put up for sale. And, according to an article that USA Today reported last week, that same scenario has played out many times before.

The article discusses how some essay mills -- Web sites that provide written works for students -- surreptitiously steal work and then sell it for others to pass off as their own.

For the first time, however, those who find unauthorized postings of their work online may have a way to seek legal retribution. The article says a class-action lawsuit filed in 2006 is making its way through the courts, and one judge in Illinois has found a provider liable on six counts, including fraud and copyright infringement. That site is called RC2C Inc. and hosts at least nine sites that sell term papers.

Essay mills often provide their own written works.


Holocaust Memoir Turns Out to Be Fiction
A best-selling Holocaust memoir has been revealed to be a fake. The author was never trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. Neither was she adopted by wolves who protected her from the Nazis, nor did she trek 1,900 miles across Europe in search of her deported parents or kill a German soldier in self-defense. She wasn’t even Jewish, The Associated Press reported. Misha Defonseca, 71, right, a Belgian writer living in Dudley, Mass., about 60 miles southwest of Boston, admitted through her lawyers last week that her book, “Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years,” translated into 18 language and adapted for the French feature film “Surviving With Wolves,” was a fantasy. In a statement to The Associated Press, Ms. Defonseca said: “The story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving. I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed.
Lawrence Van Gelder, The New York Times, March 3, 2008 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/books/03arts-HOLOCAUSTMEM_BRF.html


"Honesty and Honor Codes," by Donald McCabe and Linda Klebe Treviño, Academe, January/February 2002 --- http://www.aaup.org/publications/Academe/02JF/02jfmcc.htm 

Students cheat. But they cheat less often at schools with an honor code and a peer culture that condemns dishonesty.

A recent editorial in the Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s student newspaper, opened with the statement, "The honor system at the university needs to go. Our honor system routinely rewards cheaters and punishes honesty." In the wake of a highly publicized cheating scandal in an introductory physics course at the university, it was easy to understand the frustration and concern surrounding Virginia’s long-standing practice of trusting students to honor the university’s tradition of academic integrity.

We could not disagree more, however, with the idea that it’s time for Virginia or any other campus to abandon the honor system. We believe instead that America’s institutions of higher education need to recommit themselves to a tradition of integrity and honor. Asking students to be honest in their academic work should not fall victim to debates about cultural relativism. Certainly, such recommitment seems far superior to throwing up our hands in despair and assuming that the current generation of students has lost all sense of honor. Fostering integrity may not be an easy task, but we believe an increasing number of students and campuses are ready to meet the challenge.


Did Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz Plagiarize?
Dr George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester says the 'Kerala School' identified the 'infinite series'- one of the basic components of calculus - in about 1350. The discovery is currently - and wrongly - attributed in books to Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz at the end of the seventeenth centuries. The team from the Universities of Manchester and Exeter reveal the Kerala School also discovered what amounted to the Pi series and used it to calculate Pi correct to 9, 10 and later 17 decimal places. And there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Indians passed on their discoveries to mathematically knowledgeable Jesuit missionaries who visited India during the fifteenth century. That knowledge, they argue, may have eventually been passed on to Newton himself. Dr Joseph made the revelations while trawling through obscure Indian papers for a yet to be published third edition of his best selling book 'The Crest of the Peacock: the Non-European Roots of Mathematics' by Princeton University Press.
"Indians predated Newton 'discovery' by 250 years ," PhysOrg, August 14, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news106238636.html


Social/Cultural Construction of Cheating

September 23, 2006 message from Selsky, John (USF Lakeland [jselsky@lakeland.usf.edu]

Bob, Amazing website on cheating and plagiarism! This (attachment) may be of interest:

<<cheating-JMI2000.pdf>> I've been meaning to write additional stuff on student cheating but haven't had the time.

Regards, John Selsky

Dr. John W. Selsky
Director, Business Division
Associate Professor of Management
University of South Florida-Lakeland
3433 Winter Lake Road Lakeland, FL 33803 USA +1-863-667-7718

jselsky@lakeland.usf.edu

September 24, 2006 message from Bob Jensen to the AECM

John Selsky sent me a copy of a published paper focused on cheating:

John W. Selsky "Even we are Sheeps": Cultural Displacement in a Turkish Classroom
Journal of Management Inquiry
2000 9: 362-373.

See http://jmi.sagepub.com/content/vol9/issue4/ 

What may be of interest to you is that the above paper may be downloaded free if you download it before September 30. My download link was http://jmi.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/9/4/362
Even though John sent me a copy, I checked out this download alternative so I could pass this along to you.

This is a very interesting paper on the social/cultural construction of cheating.

Bob Jensen

 


Question
It is widely suspected that Vladimir Putin did not read his thesis, let alone write it. Do some Harvard professors also get credit for writing something they've not even read?

My good neighbor called my attention to the article below.

"Chicanery in Cambridge," by Peter Carlson, The Washington Post, December 10, 2007 --- Scroll down Here

The magazine 02138 covers Harvard University generally in a breathless and fawning manner. But the current "Sex! Greed! Scandal!" issue contains a wonderfully acerbic expos¿ that reveals how some of Harvard's hotshot celebrity professors actually produce their books: They do it "with the help of a small army of student assistants who research, edit and sometimes even write material for which they are never credited."

Take the case of Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor who seems to be on TV more often than Regis Philbin. Dershowitz has published 12 books since 2000. How does he do it?

"Dershowitz generally employs one or two full-time researchers, three or four part-timers and a handful of students who do occasional work -- all paid at $11.50 an hour," writes Jacob Hale Russell. And, Russell adds, "he also repackages his own work; 'Blasphemy: How the Religious Right Is Hijacking Our Declaration of Independence,' released this year, is his 2003 book 'America Declares Independence' almost verbatim, with a few new chapters tacked on."

The funniest -- and most damning -- anecdote in this piece features Charles Ogletree, the Harvard law professor who admitted in 2004 that his book "All Deliberate Speed" contained six paragraphs taken verbatim from a book by a Yale professor named Jack Balkin. Here's how Ogletree explained this error:

"Material from Professor Jack Balkin's book . . . was inserted . . . by one of my assistants for the purpose of being reviewed, researched and summarized by another research assistant with proper attribution. . . . Unfortunately, the second assistant, under the pressure of meeting a deadline, inadvertently deleted this attribution and edited the text as though it was written by me. The second assistant then sent a revised draft to the publisher."

For hundreds of years is was common in Europe for authors and artists to get sole credit and all the revenues from works of students. In many cases the students were not even mentioned. Students were considered extensions of their professors.

I once had a student who plagiarized in a sense. But it wasn't him. He'd hired one of his employees to write his term paper. He was then torn as to whether to be blamed for the plagiarism or accepting blame for hiring a ghost writer. In either case he got the F he deserved. He and his parents (I had to meet with them) considered suing me for giving him a failing grade until I showed where 99% of the term paper was lifted verbatim from three sources.

Some Harvard professors should also get an F.

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


Question
Why did the University of Missouri rename its basketball arena?

Answer (forwarded by Debbie Bowling)

"Wal-Mart heir returns degree amid cheating claims," iWon News, October 21, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/iWonOct21

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wal-Mart heiress Elizabeth Paige Laurie has surrendered her college degree following allegations that she cheated her way through the school.

The University of Southern California said in a statement that Laurie, 23, "voluntarily has surrendered her degree and returned her diploma to the university. She is not a graduate of USC."

The statement, dated September 30, said the university had ended its review of the allegations concerning Laurie.

Laurie's roommate, Elena Martinez, told a television show last year that she was paid $20,000 to write term papers and complete other assignments for the granddaughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton. Wal-Mart is the world's biggest retailer. The family could not be reached for comment.

Following the allegations, the University of Missouri renamed its basketball arena, which had been paid for in part by a $425 million donation from the Lauries and was to have been called "Paige Sports Arena."

Continued in article


From

Professors and Teachers Who Let Students Cheat

"Former UNC Basketball Star Says He Got Straight A's Without Going To A Single Class," by Emmitt Knowlton, Business Insider, June 6, 2014 ---
http://www.businessinsider.com/rashad-mccants-on-unc-academic-scandal-2014-6 

Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer on the University of North Carolina's 2004-05 basketball team that won the national championship, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he rarely attended class, turned in papers written entirely by tutors, and took bogus courses in the African-American Studies department during his three years in Chapel Hill. 

 

"I didn't write any papers," McCants said. "When it was time to turn in our papers for our paper classes, we would get a call from our tutor ... carpool over to the tutor's house and basically get our papers and go about our business."

During the spring term of 2005, McCants says he made the Dean's List and got straight-A's in four classes that he never attended.

When asked if UNC men's basketball coach Roy Williams knew about this, McCants told Outside The Lines, "I think he knew 100%. ... It was something that was a part of the program." 


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/rashad-mccants-on-unc-academic-scandal-2014-6#ixzz33tDghpcI

Chapel Hill Researcher at Center of Turmoil Over Athletes’ Literacy Resigns ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/chapel-hill-researcher-at-center-of-turmoil-over-athletes-literacy-resigns/76317?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

"University of North Carolina learning specialist receives death threats after her research finds one in 10 college athletes have reading age of a THIRD GRADER," by Sara Malm, Daily Mail, January 10, 2014 ---
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537041/University-North-Carolina-learning-specialist-receives-death-threats-research-finds-one-10-college-athletes-reading-age-fifth-grader.html

Mary Willingham exposed college athletes' lack of academic abilities

Continued in article

 

Jensen Comment
More often than not employers make it uncomfortable for whistleblowers who don't resign. UNC does not deny that for ten years varsity athletes took fake courses and were "allowed" to change their grades. They just contend that these athletes did not suffer academically because they were in the wonderful learning environment of the University of North Carolina. Yeah Right!

UNC Fudging the Grades of Athletes
"Scandal Bowl: Why Tar Heel Fraud Might Be Just the Start," by Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek, January 6, 2014 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-06/unc-athletic-scandal-charges-of-fraud-could-be-tip-of-wider-revelations?campaign_id=DN010614

The corruption of academics at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus could turn into the most revelatory of all of the undergraduate sports scandals in recent memory. Beginning three years ago with what sounded like garden-variety reports of under-the-table payments from agents and improper classroom help for athletes, the affair has spread and deepened to include evidence of hundreds of sham courses offered since the early 1990s. Untold numbers of grades have been changed without authorization and faculty signatures forged—all in the service of an elaborate campaign to keep elite basketball and football players academically eligible to play.

After belatedly catching up with the UNC debacle in this recent dispatch, I’ve decided the still-developing story deserves wider attention. Or, to put it more precisely, the excellent reporting already done by the News & Observer of Raleigh merits amplification outside of North Carolina.

The rot in Chapel Hill undermines UNC’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest public institutions of higher learning. Officials created classes that did not meet. That’s not the only reason more scrutiny is needed. There’s also the particularly pernicious way that the school’s African and Afro-American Studies Department has been used to inflate the GPAs of basketball and football players. The corruption of a scholarly discipline devoted to black history and culture underscores a racial subtext to the exploitation of college athletes that typically goes unidentified in polite discussion. (UNC’s former longtime Afro-Am chairman, Julius Nyang’oro, has been criminally indicted for fraud.)

Another reason Chapel Hill requires sustained investigation is the manner in which the athletic and academic hierarchies at UNC, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, have so far whitewashed the scandal. Officials have repeatedly denied that the fiasco’s roots trace to an illicit agenda that, in the name of coddling a disproportionately black undergraduate athlete population, has left many students intellectually crippled.

Dan Kane, the News & Observer‘s lead investigative reporter, does old-school, just-the-facts-m’am work—and more power to him. Digging up the basic data has been a lonely and arduous task for which Kane has been rewarded with craven accusations of home state disloyalty. As he wrote last month, the six official “reviews” and “investigations” of the wayward Afro-Am Department have all failed to connect the dots in any meaningful way. In coming weeks and months, I hope I can supplement Kane’s dogged efforts with some long-distance perspective. Valuable tips from concerned local people, some of them UNC alumni, are already pouring in, and that’s part of the reason I’m going to pursue the story. Keep those e-mails coming.

One source of insight is Jay Smith, a professor of early modern French history at UNC. A serious scholar who understands the university’s sports-happy culture, Smith has developed a powerful distaste for the way his employer has obfuscated the scandal. “What’s going on here is so important,” he told me by telephone, “because it’s emblematic of what I think goes on at major universities all across the country,” where the business of sports undermines the mission of education. That sounds right to me.

Smith has the best sort of self-interested motivation for making sense of what has happened on his campus: He’s writing a book about the whole mess, based in part on statistics and personal experiences proffered by UNC instructors assigned over the years to assist varsity athletes. To me that sounds like a page-turner—and even the basis of an HBO movie.

I asked Smith what he thinks is going to happen next. He pointed to comments that the local district attorney made when the disgraced former Afro-Am chairman, Nyang’oro, was indicted in December. Orange County DA Jim Woodall told the News & Observer that a second person is also under investigation and could be indicted soon. Woodall did not identify the second target, except to say the person is not someone who currently works for UNC. ”Other probes have identified Nyang’oro’s longtime department manager, Deborah Crowder, as being involved in the bogus classes,” the News & Observer noted. “She retired in 2009.” Both Crowder and Nyang’oro have refused to comment publicly, and Nyang’oro’s criminal defense lawyer didn’t return my e-mail inquiry.

The indictment of Crowder, a relatively low-level administrative figure, could crack open the case. It defies logic that Nyang’oro and his assistant would have operated a rogue department without the knowledge of more senior faculty members, if not top university administrators. It further defies reason that this pair would have created phony classes for athletes without the urging and participation of people in the UNC athletic bureaucracy. Nyang’oro and Crowder are going to have ample reason to sing as part of potential plea deals.

Even before that happens, according to Smith, one or more well-positioned whistle-blowers are likely to go public and start naming names if they think the powers that be are planning to isolate Crowder and Nyang’oro as the sole villains. This thing goes much higher, and there’s much more to come from Chapel Hill.

 

"Alleged Academic Fraud at U. of North Carolina Tests NCAA's Reach:  Myths surrounding the group's investigation cloud the controversy at Chapel Hill," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Alleged-Academic-Fraud-at-U/134270/

"North Carolina Admits to Academic Fraud in Sports Program," Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/20/qt#270772


Chapel Hill Researcher at Center of Turmoil Over Athletes’ Literacy Resigns ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/chapel-hill-researcher-at-center-of-turmoil-over-athletes-literacy-resigns/76317?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

"University of North Carolina learning specialist receives death threats after her research finds one in 10 college athletes have reading age of a THIRD GRADER," by Sara Malm, Daily Mail, January 10, 2014 ---
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537041/University-North-Carolina-learning-specialist-receives-death-threats-research-finds-one-10-college-athletes-reading-age-fifth-grader.html

Mary Willingham exposed college athletes' lack of academic abilities

Continued in article

 

Jensen Comment
More often than not employers make it uncomfortable for whistleblowers who don't resign. UNC does not deny that for ten years varsity athletes took fake courses and were "allowed" to change their grades. They just contend that these athletes did not suffer academically because they were in the wonderful learning environment of the University of North Carolina. Yeah Right!

UNC Fudging the Grades of Athletes
"Scandal Bowl: Why Tar Heel Fraud Might Be Just the Start," by Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek, January 6, 2014 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-06/unc-athletic-scandal-charges-of-fraud-could-be-tip-of-wider-revelations?campaign_id=DN010614

The corruption of academics at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus could turn into the most revelatory of all of the undergraduate sports scandals in recent memory. Beginning three years ago with what sounded like garden-variety reports of under-the-table payments from agents and improper classroom help for athletes, the affair has spread and deepened to include evidence of hundreds of sham courses offered since the early 1990s. Untold numbers of grades have been changed without authorization and faculty signatures forged—all in the service of an elaborate campaign to keep elite basketball and football players academically eligible to play.

After belatedly catching up with the UNC debacle in this recent dispatch, I’ve decided the still-developing story deserves wider attention. Or, to put it more precisely, the excellent reporting already done by the News & Observer of Raleigh merits amplification outside of North Carolina.

The rot in Chapel Hill undermines UNC’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest public institutions of higher learning. Officials created classes that did not meet. That’s not the only reason more scrutiny is needed. There’s also the particularly pernicious way that the school’s African and Afro-American Studies Department has been used to inflate the GPAs of basketball and football players. The corruption of a scholarly discipline devoted to black history and culture underscores a racial subtext to the exploitation of college athletes that typically goes unidentified in polite discussion. (UNC’s former longtime Afro-Am chairman, Julius Nyang’oro, has been criminally indicted for fraud.)

Another reason Chapel Hill requires sustained investigation is the manner in which the athletic and academic hierarchies at UNC, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, have so far whitewashed the scandal. Officials have repeatedly denied that the fiasco’s roots trace to an illicit agenda that, in the name of coddling a disproportionately black undergraduate athlete population, has left many students intellectually crippled.

Dan Kane, the News & Observer‘s lead investigative reporter, does old-school, just-the-facts-m’am work—and more power to him. Digging up the basic data has been a lonely and arduous task for which Kane has been rewarded with craven accusations of home state disloyalty. As he wrote last month, the six official “reviews” and “investigations” of the wayward Afro-Am Department have all failed to connect the dots in any meaningful way. In coming weeks and months, I hope I can supplement Kane’s dogged efforts with some long-distance perspective. Valuable tips from concerned local people, some of them UNC alumni, are already pouring in, and that’s part of the reason I’m going to pursue the story. Keep those e-mails coming.

One source of insight is Jay Smith, a professor of early modern French history at UNC. A serious scholar who understands the university’s sports-happy culture, Smith has developed a powerful distaste for the way his employer has obfuscated the scandal. “What’s going on here is so important,” he told me by telephone, “because it’s emblematic of what I think goes on at major universities all across the country,” where the business of sports undermines the mission of education. That sounds right to me.

Smith has the best sort of self-interested motivation for making sense of what has happened on his campus: He’s writing a book about the whole mess, based in part on statistics and personal experiences proffered by UNC instructors assigned over the years to assist varsity athletes. To me that sounds like a page-turner—and even the basis of an HBO movie.

I asked Smith what he thinks is going to happen next. He pointed to comments that the local district attorney made when the disgraced former Afro-Am chairman, Nyang’oro, was indicted in December. Orange County DA Jim Woodall told the News & Observer that a second person is also under investigation and could be indicted soon. Woodall did not identify the second target, except to say the person is not someone who currently works for UNC. ”Other probes have identified Nyang’oro’s longtime department manager, Deborah Crowder, as being involved in the bogus classes,” the News & Observer noted. “She retired in 2009.” Both Crowder and Nyang’oro have refused to comment publicly, and Nyang’oro’s criminal defense lawyer didn’t return my e-mail inquiry.

The indictment of Crowder, a relatively low-level administrative figure, could crack open the case. It defies logic that Nyang’oro and his assistant would have operated a rogue department without the knowledge of more senior faculty members, if not top university administrators. It further defies reason that this pair would have created phony classes for athletes without the urging and participation of people in the UNC athletic bureaucracy. Nyang’oro and Crowder are going to have ample reason to sing as part of potential plea deals.

Even before that happens, according to Smith, one or more well-positioned whistle-blowers are likely to go public and start naming names if they think the powers that be are planning to isolate Crowder and Nyang’oro as the sole villains. This thing goes much higher, and there’s much more to come from Chapel Hill.

 

"Alleged Academic Fraud at U. of North Carolina Tests NCAA's Reach:  Myths surrounding the group's investigation cloud the controversy at Chapel Hill," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Alleged-Academic-Fraud-at-U/134270/

"North Carolina Admits to Academic Fraud in Sports Program," Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/20/qt#270772

 


"Schoolteacher Cheating," Walter E. Williams, Townhall, February 5, 2014 ---
http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2014/02/05/schoolteacher-cheating-n1788915?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

Philadelphia's public school system has joined several other big-city school systems, such as those in Atlanta, Detroit and Washington, D.C., in widespread teacher-led cheating on standardized academic achievement tests. So far, the city has fired three school principals, and The Wall Street Journal reports, "Nearly 140 teachers and administrators in Philadelphia public schools have been implicated in one of the nation's largest cheating scandals." (1/23/14) (http://tinyurl.com/q5makm3). Investigators found that teachers got together after tests to erase the students' incorrect answers and replace them with correct answers. In some cases, they went as far as to give or show students answers during the test.

Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, identifies the problem as district officials focusing too heavily on test scores to judge teacher performance, and they've converted low-performing schools to charters run by independent groups that typically hire nonunion teachers. But William Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, said cheating by adults harms students because schools use test scores to determine which students need remedial help, saying, "There is no circumstance, no matter how pressured the cooker, that adults should be cheating students."

While there's widespread teacher test cheating to conceal education failure, most notably among black children, it's just the tip of the iceberg. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, published by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and sometimes referred to as the Nation's Report Card, measures student performance in the fourth and eighth grades. In 2013, 46 percent of Philadelphia eighth-graders scored below basic, and 35 percent scored basic. Below basic is a score meaning that a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. Basic indicates only partial mastery. It's a similar story in reading, with 42 percent below basic and 41 percent basic. With this kind of performance, no one should be surprised that of the state of Pennsylvania's 27 most poorly performing schools on the SAT, 25 are in Philadelphia.

Continued in article

"California Kids Go to Court to Demand a Good Education The state has 275,000 teachers. On average, two are fired annually for poor performance," by Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2014 ---
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303553204579347014002418436?mod=djemMER_h

The trial began this week in a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court aimed at bringing meaningful and badly needed change to California's public schools. The suit could have far-reaching effects in American education—in particular on teacher-tenure policies that too often work to the detriment of students.

I am among the lawyers representing nine brave schoolchildren, ages 7 to 17, in Vergara v. California. Our arguments are premised on what the California Supreme Court said more than 40 years ago: that education is "the lifeline of both the individual and society," serving the "distinctive and priceless function" as "the bright hope for entry of poor and oppressed into the mainstream of American society." Every child, the court held in Serrano v. Priest, has a fundamental right under the California Constitution to equal educational opportunities.

We will introduce evidence and testimony that the California school system is violating the rights of students across the state. While most teachers are working hard and doing a good job, California law compels officials to leave some teachers in the classroom who are known to be grossly ineffective.

Because of existing laws, some of the state's best teachers—including "teachers of the year"—are routinely laid off because they lack seniority. In other cases, teachers convicted of heinous crimes receive generous payoffs to go away because school districts know that there is slim hope of dismissing them. California law makes such firings virtually impossible. The system is so irrational that it compels administrators to bestow "permanent employment"—lifetime tenure—on individuals before they even finish their new-teacher training program or receive teaching credentials.

As a result of this nonsensical regime, certain students get stuck with utterly incompetent or indifferent teachers, resulting in serious harm from which the students may never recover. Such arbitrary, counterproductive rules would never be tolerated in any other business. They should especially not be tolerated where children's futures are at stake.

But in California, as in other states, outdated laws, entrenched political interests, and policy gridlock have thwarted legislative solutions meant to protect public-school students, who are not old enough to vote and are in essence locked out of the political process. That is why our plaintiffs decided to take a stand and bring this lawsuit asserting their state constitutional rights.

Through this lawsuit, we are seeking to strike down five state laws:

• The "last-in, first-out" or LIFO law, which demoralizes teachers by reducing them to numbers based on their start date, and forces schools to lay off the most junior teachers no matter how passionate and successful they are at teaching students.

• The "permanent employment" law, which forces school districts to make an irreversible commitment to keep teachers until retirement a mere 18 months after the teachers' first day on the job—long before the districts can possibly make such an informed decision.

• Three "dismissal" laws that together erect unnecessary and costly barriers to terminating a teacher based on poor performance or misconduct. Out of 275,000 teachers statewide, only two teachers are dismissed each year on average for poor performance. In Los Angeles, it costs an average of between $250,000 and $450,000 in legal and other costs, and takes more than four years to dismiss a single teacher. Even without these laws, ample protections exist for protecting public employees—including teachers—from improper dismissal.

By forcing some students into classrooms with teachers unable or unwilling to teach, these laws are imposing substantial harm. One of our experts, Harvard economist Raj Chetty, recently analyzed the school district data and anonymous tax records of more than 2.5 million students in a large urban school district in the Northeast over a 20-year period.

He found that students taught by a single highly ineffective teacher experience a nearly 3% reduction in expected lifetime earnings. They also have a lower likelihood of attending college and an increased risk of teenage pregnancy compared with students taught by average teachers. He also conducted a study showing that laying off the least effective instead of the least experienced teachers would increase the total lifetime earnings of a single classroom of Los Angeles students by approximately $2.1 million.

Even worse, the data show that many of the least effective teachers tend to end up in schools serving predominantly low-income and minority communities. Thus these laws are exacerbating the very achievement gap that education is supposed to ameliorate. For example, a recent study of the Los Angeles Unified School District found that African-American and Hispanic students are 43% and 68% more likely, respectively, than white students to be taught by a highly ineffective teacher. This disparity is the equivalent of losing a month or more of school every year.

The California teachers unions are opposed to the goals of our lawsuit and have intervened to help the state of California defend these harmful laws. But the unions do not speak for all teachers. We have heard from hundreds of teachers since we filed the case in May 2012. These are teachers who don't want to be treated like a faceless seniority number, and who don't want to be laid off just because they started teaching three days after the ineffective, tenured teacher next door. Some of them will testify during the trial.

Continued in article


From Infobits on November 29, 2001

"Forget About Policing Plagiarism. Just Teach" (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, vol. 48, issue 12, November 16, 2001, p. B24) by Rebecca Moore Howard, associate professor of writing and rhetoric, and director of the writing program, at Syracuse University.

Howard argues that "[i]n our stampede to fight what The New York Times calls a 'plague' of plagiarism, we risk becoming the enemies rather than the mentors of our students; we are replacing the student-teacher relationship with the criminal-police relationship. Further, by thinking of plagiarism as a unitary act rather than a collection of disparate activities, we risk categorizing all of our students as criminals. Worst of all, we risk not recognizing that our own pedagogy needs reform. Big reform." The article is online to CHE subscribers at http://chronicle.com/weekly/v48/i12/12b02401.htm 

Jensen Comment
I can't buy this argument. It would bother my conscience too much to give a higher grade to a student that I strongly suspect has merely copied the arguments elsewhere than the grade given to a student who tried to develop his or her own arguments. How can Professor Howard in good conscience give a higher grade to the suspected plagiarist? This rewards "street smart" at the expense of "smart." It also advocates becoming more street smart at the expense of real learning.

I might be cynical here and hope that Professor Howard's physicians graduated from medical schools who passed students on the basis of being really good copiers of papers they could not comprehend.

What is not mentioned in the quote above is the labor-union-style argument also presented by Professor Howard in the article.  She argues that we're already to overworked to have the time to investigate suspected plagiarism.  Is refusing to investigate really being professional as an honorable academic?


"Chicago State U.’s Interim Provost Is Accused of Plagiarism," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 14, 2014 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/chicago-state-u-s-interim-provost-is-accused-of-plagiarism/71383?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

The University of Illinois at Chicago is reviewing the dissertation of Chicago State University’s interim provost, Angela Henderson, amid allegations that parts of it were plagiarized, the Chicago Tribune reported. Ms. Henderson, who became who became interim provost in July, received her Ph.D. in nursing from Illinois-Chicago in August.

The investigation began last month after a professor at Chicago State raised concerns that parts of the document were copied from other sources without proper attribution or with inadequate citation. A faculty committee of the UIC Graduate College has reviewed the investigation’s findings and has made a confidential recommendation to Karen J. Colley, dean of the college. She is expected to decide this week whether any further action is warranted, a university spokesman said.

The plagiarism charge was first brought by Robert Bionaz, an associate professor of history at Chicago State who is among a group of faculty members who operate a blog that has criticized Ms. Henderson and the university’s president, Wayne D. Watson, among other administrators. The blog has twice received letters from a university lawyer, most recently on January 3, demanding that it remove images and references to Chicago State and even change its domain name, csufacultyvoice.blogspot.com.


"Former University of North Carolina professor faces fraud charge in academic scandal," Fox News, December 2, 2013 ---
http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/12/02/former-university-north-carolina-professor-faces-fraud-charge-in-academic/

A former professor at the center of an academic scandal involving athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been charged with a felony, accused of receiving $12,000 in payment for a lecture course in which he held no classes.

A grand jury on Monday indicted Julius Nyang'Oro with a single felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Nyang'Oro was chairman of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. He resigned from that post in 2011 during a campus investigation that found certain classes in the department that instructors did not teach, undocumented grade changes and faked faculty signatures on some grade reports.

The scandal contributed to the departure of football coach Butch Davis and the resignation of a former chancellor, Holden Thorp.

Nyang'Oro, who retired in 2012, could face up to 10 months in prison if convicted. The university said it recouped the $12,000 from his final paycheck.

Calls to two numbers listed for Nyang'Oro rang busy. A man answering a call to a third number for Nyang'Oro on indictment documents hung up without comment and follow-up messages weren't returned.

Orange County District Attorney James Woodall said the professor's 2011 summer course was supposed to have had regular class meetings. But he said Nyang'oro instead ran an independent study class that required students to write papers but not show up. The school found that the course, a late addition to the schedule, had an enrollment of 18 football players and one former football player.

A campus investigation into academic fraud released last year blamed the scandal solely on Nyang'oro and a department administrator who also has since retired. The probe led by former Gov. Jim Martin concluded that alleged fraud didn't involve other faculty or members of the athletic department.

Martin, a former college chemistry professor, was aided by consultants with experience in academic investigations. After shortcomings of the report's method were highlighted, Martin and university officials said they lacked the subpoena powers of State Bureau of Investigation, or SBI, to force people to answer questions and produce evidence.

"Both the university and Mr. Woodall relied on the SBI to help determine whether any criminal acts had occurred, since the SBI had broad investigative powers not available to the university," said Tom Ross, president of the state university system.

He added in his statement Monday that the university's ongoing cooperation with the criminal process will continue to its conclusion.

Martin said there was no evidence the university's athletics department pushed students into courses with known irregularities that would allow athletes to remain eligible for competition. Unauthorized grade changes in the African studies department were not limited to student-athletes, Martin said, and athletes generally didn't flock to problematic African studies courses.

The NCAA sanctioned the university's football program in March 2012 with a one-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions for previously discovered improper benefits including cash and travel accommodations. The NCAA reviewed irregularities in the African studies department after an earlier campus probe found 54 problem classes between 2007 and 2011. The collegiate sports oversight body told university officials it had found no new rules violations.

The school's chancellor issued her own statement Monday on the indictment.

"The action described in today's indictment is completely inconsistent with the standards and aspirations of this great institution," Chancellor Carol Folt said in a statement. "This has been a difficult chapter in the university's history, and we have learned many lessons."

 

"Scandal Bowl: Why Tar Heel Fraud Might Be Just the Start," by Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek, January 6, 2014 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-06/unc-athletic-scandal-charges-of-fraud-could-be-tip-of-wider-revelations?campaign_id=DN010614

The corruption of academics at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus could turn into the most revelatory of all of the undergraduate sports scandals in recent memory. Beginning three years ago with what sounded like garden-variety reports of under-the-table payments from agents and improper classroom help for athletes, the affair has spread and deepened to include evidence of hundreds of sham courses offered since the early 1990s. Untold numbers of grades have been changed without authorization and faculty signatures forged—all in the service of an elaborate campaign to keep elite basketball and football players academically eligible to play.

After belatedly catching up with the UNC debacle in this recent dispatch, I’ve decided the still-developing story deserves wider attention. Or, to put it more precisely, the excellent reporting already done by the News & Observer of Raleigh merits amplification outside of North Carolina.

The rot in Chapel Hill undermines UNC’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest public institutions of higher learning. Officials created classes that did not meet. That’s not the only reason more scrutiny is needed. There’s also the particularly pernicious way that the school’s African and Afro-American Studies Department has been used to inflate the GPAs of basketball and football players. The corruption of a scholarly discipline devoted to black history and culture underscores a racial subtext to the exploitation of college athletes that typically goes unidentified in polite discussion. (UNC’s former longtime Afro-Am chairman, Julius Nyang’oro, has been criminally indicted for fraud.)

Another reason Chapel Hill requires sustained investigation is the manner in which the athletic and academic hierarchies at UNC, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, have so far whitewashed the scandal. Officials have repeatedly denied that the fiasco’s roots trace to an illicit agenda that, in the name of coddling a disproportionately black undergraduate athlete population, has left many students intellectually crippled.

Dan Kane, the News & Observer‘s lead investigative reporter, does old-school, just-the-facts-m’am work—and more power to him. Digging up the basic data has been a lonely and arduous task for which Kane has been rewarded with craven accusations of home state disloyalty. As he wrote last month, the six official “reviews” and “investigations” of the wayward Afro-Am Department have all failed to connect the dots in any meaningful way. In coming weeks and months, I hope I can supplement Kane’s dogged efforts with some long-distance perspective. Valuable tips from concerned local people, some of them UNC alumni, are already pouring in, and that’s part of the reason I’m going to pursue the story. Keep those e-mails coming.

One source of insight is Jay Smith, a professor of early modern French history at UNC. A serious scholar who understands the university’s sports-happy culture, Smith has developed a powerful distaste for the way his employer has obfuscated the scandal. “What’s going on here is so important,” he told me by telephone, “because it’s emblematic of what I think goes on at major universities all across the country,” where the business of sports undermines the mission of education. That sounds right to me.

Smith has the best sort of self-interested motivation for making sense of what has happened on his campus: He’s writing a book about the whole mess, based in part on statistics and personal experiences proffered by UNC instructors assigned over the years to assist varsity athletes. To me that sounds like a page-turner—and even the basis of an HBO movie.

I asked Smith what he thinks is going to happen next. He pointed to comments that the local district attorney made when the disgraced former Afro-Am chairman, Nyang’oro, was indicted in December. Orange County DA Jim Woodall told the News & Observer that a second person is also under investigation and could be indicted soon. Woodall did not identify the second target, except to say the person is not someone who currently works for UNC. ”Other probes have identified Nyang’oro’s longtime department manager, Deborah Crowder, as being involved in the bogus classes,” the News & Observer noted. “She retired in 2009.” Both Crowder and Nyang’oro have refused to comment publicly, and Nyang’oro’s criminal defense lawyer didn’t return my e-mail inquiry.

The indictment of Crowder, a relatively low-level administrative figure, could crack open the case. It defies logic that Nyang’oro and his assistant would have operated a rogue department without the knowledge of more senior faculty members, if not top university administrators. It further defies reason that this pair would have created phony classes for athletes without the urging and participation of people in the UNC athletic bureaucracy. Nyang’oro and Crowder are going to have ample reason to sing as part of potential plea deals.

Even before that happens, according to Smith, one or more well-positioned whistle-blowers are likely to go public and start naming names if they think the powers that be are planning to isolate Crowder and Nyang’oro as the sole villains. This thing goes much higher, and there’s much more to come from Chapel Hill.

"University of North Carolina learning specialist receives death threats after her research finds one in 10 college athletes have reading age of a THIRD GRADER," by Sara Malm, Daily Mail, January 10, 2014 ---
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537041/University-North-Carolina-learning-specialist-receives-death-threats-research-finds-one-10-college-athletes-reading-age-fifth-grader.html

Mary Willingham exposed college athletes' lack of academic abilities

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Put another way, the poor readers can only comprehend children's books. This is why they need agents to explain their pro contracts. Opps only a few get pro contracts.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revoked a reading specialist and adjunct professor’s permission to discuss her research or otherwise use her data on student athlete literacy, just weeks after she was featured in a network news story on the topic. The university also questioned her methodology and the validity of her findings.
"Whistle-Blower Blocked," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2014 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/20/u-north-carolina-shuts-down-whistle-blower-athletes

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revoked a reading specialist and adjunct professor’s permission to discuss her research or otherwise use her data on student athlete literacy, just weeks after she was featured in a network news story on the topic. The university also questioned her methodology and the validity of her findings.

Mary Willingham, who works in the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling and teaches an education course, cannot use data that could be used to identify human subjects until she receives permission from the university's Institutional Review Board, it told her last week. Previously, the board determined that review and approval of her research was not necessary because it involved “de-identified” data – meaning that it did not contain personally identifiable information about human research subjects, either to the researchers or the public.

In other words, the board believed it did not have to oversee Willingham’s work because her data couldn’t be linked back to her student subjects by anyone.

Earlier this month, Willingham told CNN she’d worked with 183 Chapel Hill basketball and football players for her research, from 2004-12, while she was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Some 10 percent read below a third-grade level, she said. Willingham also shared anecdotes about students she’d worked with during her career, such as one who was illiterate, and one who couldn’t read multisyllabic words.

Another student asked if Willingham could "teach him to read well enough so he could read about himself in the news, because that was something really important to him," she told CNN. Her quotes didn't identify any students by name or unique characteristics.

It’s unclear, however, if those comments were related to her work as a teacher and adviser or researcher.

Willingham hasn’t published a paper on her research, but has spoken publicly before about her experiences with student literacy at Chapel Hill. She is credited with the blowing the whistle on a no-show course scam involving athletes there that made national headlines and prompted several internal investigations in 2010. (One of those investigations found that scam was isolated to one department, and was not motivated by athletics, but dated back to 1997. The university’s chancellor, Holden Thorp, resigned following the scandal.)

In a statement Friday, the university said the review board had noted, through Willingham’s recent, public statements, that she had “collected and retained identified data,” requiring review board oversight. It did not say which of her statements revealed that.

“All human subjects research requires review by the university’s Institutional Review Board,” a university spokesman said in a separate, emailed statement. “Review and approval must be obtained before the research can begin. In addition, any time there is a change to the research protocol, the researcher must submit an updated application for review and approval. Researchers are expected to describe in detail the data being used in their work. That includes the specific data that a researcher and their collaborators have collected and/or assembled, any further work on the data that is planned, and how the data will be analyzed.”

The review board concluded in 2008 and again 2013 that researchers involved in Willingham’s project could not identify individual subjects and that any codes that could allow linkage to identifiers were “securely behind a firewall outside the possession of the research team,” according to the statement. The board directed Willingham to submit a full application for its review, and said that continued use of her data without its approval would violate university and federal policies protecting human research subjects.

The university also disputed Willingham’s claims that it admits athletes who lack academic preparation.

"I take these claims very seriously, but we have been unable to reconcile these claims with either our own facts or with those data currently being cited as the source for the claims,” Chancellor Carol L. Folt said in a statement posted on the Chapel Hill website. “Moreover, the data presented in the media do not match up with those data gathered by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. For example, only 2 of the 321 student-athletes admitted in 2012 and 2013 fell below the SAT and ACT levels that were cited in a recent CNN report as the threshold for reading levels for first-year students. And those two students are in good academic standing.” (The news report cited that threshold as 400 on the SAT critical reading or writing test, or 16 on the ACT.)

In addition to Folt’s statement, the university published the results of its analysis of eight years of admissions data for athletes, which says 97 percent met the cited threshold. In 2013, it says, 100 percent of admitted student athletes achieved those test scores. The student government released a similar statement, slamming Willingham’s data.

Folt said the university was investigating further the discrepancy between its data and those presented in the CNN report. “We also will do our best to correct assertions we believe are not based in fact,” she added.

The chancellor and other administrators also discussed Willingham’s research at a scheduled Faculty Council meeting Friday. But a faculty member present who did not want to be named or quoted directly said a lengthy presentation about the project focused almost entirely on methodological concerns about Willingham’s assessment tool and how accurately it could be used to correlate scores with grade-level reading readiness, not the review board issue.

The university published a news release late Friday about those findings, accusing Willingham of making a “range of serious mistakes” in her research.

“Carolina has a world-renowned reputation for our research, and the work we have just reviewed does not reflect the quality and excellence found throughout the Carolina community,” Folt said in the release.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I wonder what would happen if reading tests were required for the top ten NCAA football and basketball varsity players?

Bob Jensen's threads on athletics controversies in higher ed ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics

 

More to the UNC scandal than empty classrooms
"Professors in Class on Time? Check. At the U. of North Carolina, a culture of autonomy falls victim to one department's no-show scandal," by indsay Ellis and Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Professors-in-Classroom-on/143813/

. . .

The academic improprieties, in which professors' signatures were forged to change students' gradee and undergraduates got credit for courses that never met, went undetected for nearly 15 years within the African- and Afro-American-studies department. The university says the fraud appears to be the work of a longtime administrator in the department and its chairman, Julius E. Nyang'oro, who led African-American studies here for nearly two decades. Many of the students who were involved in the questionable classes were athletes.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The internal control question is how students got access to their grade sheets in order to change grades! Sounds like an insider made it easy for them to find those grade sheets in the dead of night.

 

More to the UNC scandal than empty classrooms
"Professors in Class on Time? Check. At the U. of North Carolina, a culture of autonomy falls victim to one department's no-show scandal," by indsay Ellis and Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Professors-in-Classroom-on/143813/

. . .

The academic improprieties, in which professors' signatures were forged to change students' gradee and undergraduates got credit for courses that never met, went undetected for nearly 15 years within the African- and Afro-American-studies department. The university says the fraud appears to be the work of a longtime administrator in the department and its chairman, Julius E. Nyang'oro, who led African-American studies here for nearly two decades. Many of the students who were involved in the questionable classes were athletes.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The internal control question is how students got access to their grade sheets in order to change grades! Sounds like an insider made it easy for them to find those grade sheets in the dead of night.

Didn't UNC learn from FSU?
Academic Fraud and Friction at Florida State University

On Friday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that more than 60 athletes at the university had cheated in two online courses over a year and a half long period, one of the most serious cases of academic fraud in the NCAA's recent history. Yet just about all anyone seemed to be able to talk about -- especially Florida State fans in commenting on the case and news publications in reporting on it -- is how the NCAA's penalties (which include requiring Florida State to vacate an undetermined number of victories in which the cheating athletes competed) might undermine the legacy of the university's football coach, Bobby Bowden. Bowden has one fewer career victory than Pennsylvania State University's longtime coach, Joe Paterno, and if Florida State has to wipe out as many as 14 football wins from 2007 and 2008, it could end Bowden's chance of being the all-time winningest coach in big-time college football.
Inside Higher Ed, March 9, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/03/09/fsu


Compounding FSU's problem is an earlier cheating scandal
20 Florida State University Football Players Likely to Be Suspended in Cheated Scandal

"Source: Multiple suspensions likely for Music City Bowl, plus 3 games in 2008," by Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com, December 18, 2007 --- http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3159534

The Now Infamous Favored Professor by University of Michigan Athletes
A single University of Michigan professor taught 294 independent studies for students, 85 percent of them athletes, from the fall of 2004 to the fall of 2007, according to The Ann Arbor News. According to the report, which kicks off a series on Michigan athletics and was based on seven months of investigation, many athletes reported being steered to the professor, and said that they earned three or four credits for meeting with him as little as 15 minutes every two weeks. In addition, three former athletics department officials said that athletes were urged to take courses with the professor, John Hagen, to raise their averages. Transcripts examined by the newspaper showed that students earned significantly higher grades with Hagen than in their regular courses. The News reported that Hagen initially denied teaching a high percentage of athletes in his independent studies, but did not dispute the accuracy of documents the newspaper shared with him. He did deny being part of any effort to raise the averages of his students. The newspaper also said that Michigan’s president and athletics director had declined to be interviewed for the series.
Inside Higher Ed, March 17, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/03/17/qt

Bob Jensen's threads on athletics controversies in higher education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics


"CNN Finds Athletes Who 'Read Like 5th Graders'," Inside Higher Ed, January 8, 2014 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/01/08/cnn-finds-athletes-who-read-5th-graders

Jensen Comment
Given their admission qualifications naive analysts might wonder unqualified applicants got into college. But it's really simple when you think about it. I recall the time when five varsity basketball players sued UCLA because after four years at UCLA they still could not read. To UCLA's credit none of these illiterate basketball players graduated with a diploma.

Athletes Seek Out Professors Who Will Pass Almost Any Athlete
Watkins says it is all too common to see athletes grouped in certain departments or programs under the sheltering wings of faculty members who appear to care more about their success on the courts, rinks and fields than in the classroom. Faculty members are often the most vocal critics of favoritism for athletes (the issues at Auburn were raised by one whistle blowing sociology professor against another), he says, but it is frequently professors who are responsible for the favoritism in the first place.
Rob Capriccioso, "Tackling Favoritism for Athletes," Inside Higher Ed, July 20, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/20/sports

Linebacker's Wife Says She Wrote His Papers (and took two online courses for him)
The wife of a star University of South Florida linebacker says she wrote his academic papers and took two online classes for him. The accusations against Ben Moffitt, who had been promoted by the university to the news media as a family man, were made in e-mail messages to The Tampa Tribune, and followed Mr. Moffitt’s filing for divorce. Mr. Moffitt called the accusations “hearsay,” and a university spokesman said the matter was a “domestic issue.” If it is found that Mr. Moffitt committed academic fraud, the newspaper reported, the university could be subject to an NCAA investigation.
"Linebacker's Wife Says She Wrote His Papers," Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, January 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/news/article/3707/linebackers-wife-says-she-wrote-his-papers?at

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who cheat and let students cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#RebeccaHoward


"3 accused in FIU (felony) cheating scandal," by Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel, December  10, 2013 ---
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-fiu-cheating-scandal-20131210,0,1033690.story

. . .

Police say Alex Fabian Anaya, 30, an FIU alumnus, logged into a professor's email account in 2012 to access four test exams, and then organized a distribution system where he was paid up to $150 per person for a copy of the stolen exam. Police equated the alleged crime to breaking into someone's house and stealing their property. Anaya was charged with dealing in stolen property, felony theft and burglary of an unoccupied structure.

Two current students, Krissy Alexandra Lamadrid, 24, and Jason Anthony Calderon, 24, were charged with dealing in stolen property. Police say they sold exams to other students. Anaya and Lamadrid couldn't be reached for comment, while Calderon declined comment.

Anaya "stated that he was well aware that his actions were illegal," according to the FIU police report. Lamadrid and Calderon said they knew the exams were stolen, according to the police report.

. . .

Cheating has been going on for a long time, but what has changed is the technology," said Ralph Rogers, provost at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. "There are very small devices, essentially a watch, where you can access the Internet, and that has become a challenge."

The University of Central Florida made national news in November 2010, when students in a business class bought a test bank sold online. It was shared with 200 students in the class, leading to unusually high grades.

The instructor, Richard Quinn, confronted students, who were required to come clean and take an ethics class or face expulsion. Most admitted their involvement.

A cheating scandal involving the athletic program at Florida State University resulted in a four-year probation in 2009. An FSU athlete reported he'd been instructed by a learning specialist to take an online quiz for another athlete. The university then discovered that 61 athletes in 10 sports, including football and men's basketball, had committed varying degrees of academic fraud. Most of the wrongdoing occurred in an online music course.

The Alligator, the student newspaper for the University of Florida, reported a 2012 case where a professor discovered that 242 students in a computer science class had cheated.

UF is now studying new ways to combat cheating as it launches an online university in the spring. This includes software that uses cameras to monitor students as they take tests, said Jen Day Shaw, dean of students.

While cheating allegations aren't unusual, most don't lead to criminal charges. More common is for students to receive a grade penalty, and be sent to an ethics class. They may face academic probation, or in some cases get expelled.

NSU's Rogers said criminal charges are appropriate in the FIU case if the allegations are true.

"It's a very serious issue to hack into a computer and steal information," he said. "Someone didn't just find this information lying around."


"In a Memphis Cheating Ring, the Teachers Are the Accused," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, February 2, 2013 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/education/in-memphis-cheating-ring-teachers-are-the-accused.html?hpw&_r=0

In the end, it was a pink baseball cap that revealed an audacious test-cheating scheme in three Southern states that spanned at least 15 years.

Test proctors at Arkansas State University spotted a woman wearing the cap while taking a national teacher certification exam under one name on a morning in June 2009 and then under another name that afternoon. A supervisor soon discovered that at least two other impersonators had registered for tests that day.

Ensuing investigations ultimately led to Clarence D. Mumford Sr., 59, who pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that accused him of being the cheating ring’s mastermind during a 23-year career in Memphis as a teacher, assistant principal and guidance counselor.

Federal prosecutors had indicted him on 63 counts, including mail and wire fraud and identify theft. They said he doctored driver’s licenses, pressured teachers to lie to the authorities and collected at least $125,000 from teachers and prospective teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee who feared that they could not pass the certification exams on their own.

Mr. Mumford pleaded guilty to two counts of the indictment, just a week after he rejected a settlement offer. At the time, he said that its recommended sentence of 9 to 11 years was “too long a time and too severe”; the new settlement carries a maximum sentence of 7 years.

Mr. Mumford appeared in Federal District Court here on Friday wearing a dark suit and a matching yellow tie and pocket handkerchief. He said little more than “Yes, sir” in answer to questions from Judge John T. Fowlkes.

Another 36 people, most of them teachers from Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, have been swept up in the federal dragnet, including Clarence Mumford Jr., Mr. Mumford’s son, and Cedrick Wilson, a former wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Mr. Wilson paid $2,500 for someone to take a certification exam for physical education teachers, according to court documents.)

In addition to the senior Mr. Mumford, eight people have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the investigation into the ring, and on Friday, a federal prosecutor, John Fabian, announced that 18 people who confessed to paying Mr. Mumford to arrange test-takers for them had been barred from teaching for five years.

The case has rattled Memphis at a tumultuous time. The city’s schools are merging with the suburban district in surrounding Shelby County, exposing simmering tensions over race and economic disparity. The state has also designated 68 schools in the city as among the lowest-performing campuses in Tennessee, and is gradually handing control of some of them to charter operators and other groups. And with a $90 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the district is overhauling how it recruits, evaluates and pays teachers.

District officials say that the test scandal does not reflect broader problems, and that none of the indicted teachers still work in the Memphis schools. (At least one teacher is working in Mississippi.) “It would be unfair to let what may be 50, 60 or 100 teachers who did some wrong stain the good work of the large number of teachers and administrators who get up every day and go by the book,” said Dorsey Hopson, the general counsel for Memphis City Schools who this week was named the district’s interim superintendent.

“A teacher’s job is very hard. I know it is,” said Threeshea Robinson, a mother who waited last week to pick up her son, a fourth grader at Raleigh-Bartlett Meadows Elementary School, where a teacher who has pleaded guilty taught until last fall. “But I would not want a doctor who did not pass all his tests operating on me.”

The tests involved are known as Praxis exams, and more than 300,000 were administered last year by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service for people pursuing teaching licenses or new credentials in specific subjects like biology or history.

By and large, they are considered easy hurdles to clear. In Tennessee, for example, 97 percent of those who took the exams in the 2010-11 school year passed.

Robert Schaeffer, the public education director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, said that the testing service had had problems with cheating before.

Ray Nicosia, the executive director of the testing service’s Office of Testing Integrity, said episodes of impersonation were rare.

Continued in article

"Dishonest Educators," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, January 9, 2013 --- Click Here
http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2013/01/09/dishonest-educators-n1482294?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

Nearly two years ago, U.S. News & World Report came out with a story titled "Educators Implicated in Atlanta Cheating Scandal." It reported that "for 10 years, hundreds of Atlanta public school teachers and principals changed answers on state tests in one of the largest cheating scandals in U.S. history." More than three-quarters of the 56 Atlanta schools investigated had cheated on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test, sometimes called the national report card. Cheating orders came from school administrators and included brazen acts such as teachers reading answers aloud during the test and erasing incorrect answers. One teacher told a colleague, "I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they're dumb as hell." Atlanta's not alone. There have been investigations, reports and charges of teacher-assisted cheating in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Washington.

Recently, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's blog carried a story titled "A new cheating scandal: Aspiring teachers hiring ringers." According to the story, for at least 15 years, teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee paid Clarence Mumford, who's now under indictment, between $1,500 and $3,000 to send someone else to take their Praxis exam, which is used for K-12 teacher certification in 40 states. Sandra Stotsky, an education professor at the University of Arkansas, said, "(Praxis I) is an easy test for anyone who has completed high school but has nothing to do with college-level ability or scores." She added, "The test is far too undemanding for a prospective teacher. ... The fact that these people hired somebody to take an easy test of their skills suggests that these prospective teachers were probably so academically weak it is questionable whether they would have been suitable teachers."

Here's a practice Praxis I math question: Which of the following is equal to a quarter-million -- 40,000, 250,000, 2,500,000, 1/4,000,000 or 4/1,000,000? The test taker is asked to click on the correct answer. A practice writing skills question is to identify the error in the following sentence: "The club members agreed that each would contribute ten days of voluntary work annually each year at the local hospital." The test taker is supposed to point out that "annually each year" is redundant.

CNN broke this cheating story last July, but the story hasn't gotten much national press since then. In an article for NewsBusters, titled "Months-Old, Three-State Teacher Certification Test Cheating Scandal Gets Major AP Story -- on a Slow News Weekend" (11/25/12), Tom Blumer quotes speculation by the blog "educationrealist": "I will be extremely surprised if it does not turn out that most if not all of the teachers who bought themselves a test grade are black. (I am also betting that the actual testers are white, but am not as certain. It just seems that if black people were taking the test and guaranteeing passage, the fees would be higher.)"

There's some basis in fact for the speculation that it's mostly black teachers buying grades, and that includes former Steelers wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, who's been indicted for fraud. According to a study titled "Differences in Passing Rates on Praxis I Tests by Race/Ethnicity Group" (March 2011), the percentages of blacks who passed the Praxis I reading, writing and mathematics tests on their first try were 41, 44 and 37, respectively. For white test takers, the respective percentages were 82, 80 and 78.

Continued in article

"Does Everyone Lie? Are we a Culture of Liars?" by accounting professor Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, February 1, 2013 ---
http://www.ethicssage.com/2013/02/does-everyone-lie.html

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

 


NYU Professor Surrenders to Cheating Students: "
Forget about cheating detection,” he said in an interview. “It is a losing battle.”

"NYU Prof Vows Never to Probe Cheating Again—and Faces a Backlash," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 21, 2011
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/nyu-prof-vows-never-to-probe-cheating-again%E2%80%94and-faces-a-backlash/32351?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A New York University professor’s blog post is opening a rare public window on the painful classroom consequences of using plagiarism-detection software to aggressively police cheating students. And the post, by Panagiotis Ipeirotis, raises questions about whether the incentives in higher education are set up to reward such vigilance.

But after the candid personal tale went viral online this week, drawing hundreds of thousands of readers, the professor took it down on NYU’s advice. As Mr. Ipeirotis understands it, a faculty member from another university sent NYU a cease-and-desist letter saying his blog post violated a federal law protecting students’ privacy.

The controversy began on Sunday, when Mr. Ipeirotis, a computer scientist who teaches in NYU’s Stern School of Business, published a blog post headlined, “Why I will never pursue cheating again.” Mr. Ipeirotis reached that conclusion after trying to take a harder line on cheating in a fall 2010 Introduction to Information Technology class, a new approach that was driven by two factors. One, he got tenure, so he felt he could be more strict. And two, his university’s Blackboard course-management system was fully integrated with Turnitin’s plagiarism-detection software for the first time, meaning that assignments were automatically processed by Turnitin when students submitted them.

The result was an education in “how pervasive cheating is in our courses,” Mr. Ipeirotis wrote. By the end of the semester, 22 out of the 108 students had admitted cheating.

Some might read that statistic and celebrate the effectiveness of Turnitin, a popular service that takes uploaded student papers and checks them against various databases to pinpoint unoriginal content. Not Mr. Ipeirotis.

“Forget about cheating detection,” he said in an interview. “It is a losing battle.”

The professor’s blog post described how crusading against cheating poisoned the class environment and therefore dragged down his teaching evaluations. They fell to a below-average range of 5.3 out of 7.0, when he used to score in the realm of 6.0 to 6.5. Mr. Ipeirotis “paid a significant financial penalty for ‘doing the right thing,’” he wrote. “The Dean’s office and my chair ‘expressed their appreciation’ for me chasing such cases (in December), but six months later, when I received my annual evaluation, my yearly salary increase was the lowest ever, and significantly lower than inflation, as my ‘teaching evaluations took a hit this year.’

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Sadly it's the honest students who pay part of the price when professors let students cheat. Honest students are bringing marshmallows to throw in a gunfight.

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who let students cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#RebeccaHoward

Professors and Teachers Who Let Students Cheat

From Infobits on November 29, 2001

"Forget About Policing Plagiarism. Just Teach" (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, vol. 48, issue 12, November 16, 2001, p. B24) by Rebecca Moore Howard, associate professor of writing and rhetoric, and director of the writing program, at Syracuse University.

Howard argues that "[i]n our stampede to fight what The New York Times calls a 'plague' of plagiarism, we risk becoming the enemies rather than the mentors of our students; we are replacing the student-teacher relationship with the criminal-police relationship. Further, by thinking of plagiarism as a unitary act rather than a collection of disparate activities, we risk categorizing all of our students as criminals. Worst of all, we risk not recognizing that our own pedagogy needs reform. Big reform." The article is online to CHE subscribers at http://chronicle.com/weekly/v48/i12/12b02401.htm 

Jensen Comment
I can't buy this argument. It would bother my conscience too much to give a higher grade to a student that I strongly suspect has merely copied the arguments elsewhere than the grade given to a student who tried to develop his or her own arguments. How can Professor Howard in good conscience give a higher grade to the suspected plagiarist? This rewards "street smart" at the expense of "smart." It also advocates becoming more street smart at the expense of real learning.

I might be cynical here and hope that Professor Howard's physicians graduated from medical schools who passed students on the basis of being really good copiers of papers they could not comprehend.

What is not mentioned in the quote above is the labor-union-style argument also presented by Professor Howard in the article.  She argues that we're already to overworked to have the time to investigate suspected plagiarism.  Is refusing to investigate really being professional as an honorable academic?


"Cheating: The Experts Weigh In," by: Louis Lavelle, Business Week, July 26, 2011 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/blogs/mba_admissions/archives/2011/07/cheating_the_experts_weigh_in.html
Thanks to David Albrecht for the heads up.

On July 18, the Bloomberg Businessweek Getting In blog publicized the story of NYU Stern Professor Panos Ipeirotis, who caught 20 percent of his class cheating and found the effort he put into rooting out the cheaters was not worth it. In the future, Ipeirotis said he would assign projects requiring more original thought to creatively channel the energies of his highly competitive students.

Some of those who commented on the blog faulted Ipeirotis, blamed the cheating on the Stern grading curve, or said that cheating was common at many schools. Bloomberg Businessweek asked two ethics experts about the views they expressed.

David Callahan is a senior fellow at Demos, a public policy organization in New York. He has a Ph.D. in politics and has written extensively about ethics on his blog for years and in his book, The Cheating Culture, published in 2004.

John Gallagher is an associate dean for the executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where one of his responsibilities is to prosecute honor code violations. Duke dealt with its own cheating scandal in 2007. It’s use of the episode to reinforce the honor code was applauded by many.

Below is an edited transcript of their interview with reporter Kiah Lau Haslett.

What was your reaction to this story?

David Callahan: I’m not surprised at the high level of cheating among business students; research tells us that business students cheat at among the highest rates of students. I think that a lot of professors often get a lot of pushback for exposing cheating. A professor at the University of Central Florida reported a lot of cheating and he was subjected to a lot of attacks to him as a teacher, that it was somehow his fault. I think there’s a lot of rationalization of students about cheating: They don’t find it surprising and people are cynical. They assume there’s a lot of cheating and it’s not a big deal.

Why do students plagiarize?

David Callahan: I think you have to look at the real, underlying causes. Students are extremely anxious today, they’re incurring record levels of debt to go to college, and they’re relying on scholarships and grants dependent upon maintaining a certain GPA. College is no longer the last stop; now it’s a stepping-stone to a professional school and graduate school. College transcripts and GPA really matter. On the one hand, there’s more pressure than ever before to cheat, and on the other hand there’s a tremendous amount of cynicism. When a professor complains about cheating and points it out, students push back in a cynical way and say, “This is commonplace. What’s the big deal?” Or they push back in a defensive way and say, “The pressure’s on me to get good grades and cheating is one way to do it.”

What are some assignments that make it easy for students to cheat or plagiarize? What are some assignments where it's harder to cheat?

John Gallagher: If you are giving a proctored exam in a closed room, there's going to be far less opportunity than if you are giving an assignment that requires people to do analysis and make recommendations. Many institutions use case studies, so it's likely that somewhere you can find someone who has done an analysis of the case. I think that any time you ask students to personalize their work, talking about its applications and concept, it's very much more difficult. No one has written that material and it's unique.

What is the professor's role or responsibility to ensure students don't cheat?

David Callahan: The responsibility on professors in this day and age is to teach in such a way that makes it harder for students to cheat. They need to take seriously the responsibility to reduce the amount of cheating. It doesn't just fall on students to not cheat. Lots of professors feel overburdened as it is, in terms of their teaching obligations. Many don't want to make the extra effort in reducing cheating, and unfortunately they have to make that effort.

Is this the curve's fault?

David Callahan: A zero-sum game where students have to compete against other students exacerbates the situation. Nobody wants to be the chump who's honest when everyone else is cheating and you're in direct competition for grades.

John Gallagher: I don't think so. [At Fuqua] we have a recommended grade distribution that our professors follow, but they are never required to give a low pass or a failing grade. There's no need for students to cheat. There are all kinds of people who cheat for all kinds of reasons. I don't think that you would ever say that the primary factor or force that leads students to cheat is there's some kind of a curve.

What should the punishment be for students caught cheating? Maximum? Minimum?

David Callahan: For the most part there's typically very little punishment for cheaters, which is one reason why there's so much cheating. You typically get punished with a slap on the wrist: flunk a paper, flunk a class. Rarely are they suspended or expelled. Of course, there are different gradations of punishment. But I think there needs to be more. One incentive to cheat is that the punishment is lax or minimal. If there's no punishment there's no deterrent.

John Gallagher: For us, the maximum punishment is rescinding the degree. We've had five cases of alumni where it was later discovered they cheated in one of their courses and their degrees were revoked. The next is that people are simply expelled from the university and there is a notation on their official university transcript stating they were dismissed from the university because of a cheating conviction.

The least severe punishment I have ever seen is mandatory failing of the course, but in our particular world that has significant ramifications. Anyone who fails a course must take a mandatory one-year leave of absence before being allowed to return to retake the failed course and finish the program. Everyone who graduates must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. If you can imagine a five-semester program with a conviction of cheating the fourth semester and you were given a grade of F in a course, looking at the number of courses remaining, it might be mathematically impossible to maintain a GPA and you'd be academically dismissed.

What do you do when a cheating conviction happens? What happens to the student?

John Gallagher: I never speak to companies [who sponsor EMBA students] because of student privacy issues, but I have witnessed the impact of convictions on students. In my experience, companies treat this very severely. It's a severe violation of ethics and it is not something that I would ever expect a company would ignore or have a wink-wink-nudge-nudge attitude toward at all. In many cases, these companies are paying students' tuition and if they're not financially involved, then they've given them the time they need. They are stakeholders in the student's education, and now the student is caught in an extremely awkward situation having to explain the circumstances. It is very serious. It can destroy someone's career and professional reputation.

What should a school do when this happens?

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Professors Who Let Students Cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#RebeccaHoward

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


"Alleged Academic Fraud at U. of North Carolina Tests NCAA's Reach:  Myths surrounding the group's investigation cloud the controversy at Chapel Hill," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Alleged-Academic-Fraud-at-U/134270/

More than a year after allegations of academic improprieties surfaced in the University of North Carolina's athletic department, we're still a long way from knowing the full extent of the problems and whether the NCAA might issue new sanctions.

But you wouldn't know that from a statement the university released last week, in which it said that the NCAA had yet to find any rules violations following an apparently extensive joint investigation. That assertion led to a chorus of unfair criticism against the NCAA for failing to act.

Several investigations still have yet to be completed in Chapel Hill, including one led by a former North Carolina governor. And the allegations—which include reports of players' enrolling in aberrant courses, unauthorized grade changes, and forged faculty signatures—could still lead to NCAA sanctions, say former enforcement and infractions officials at the NCAA, and others familiar with its investigation.

What once looked like an open-and-shut case of high-profile players' taking bogus classes to stay eligible is anything but straightforward. Let's explore a few myths surrounding the case, which could help explain the public's heightened expectations of penalties and give clues to where things might be headed.

1. Academic fraud constitutes an NCAA violation.

Academic impropriety would appear to strike at the heart of college sports and the NCAA's stated mission to be "an integral part of higher education and to focus on the development of our student-athletes."

Yet, despite being a cornerstone of NCAA rules, the term "academic fraud" is mentioned only once in the entire Division I manual, as a basis for postseason bans, says John Infante, a former compliance officer at Colorado State University.

As hard as it may be for the public to understand, the NCAA rarely gets involved in issues of academic fraud, instead leaving it up to colleges to police the integrity of their curricula.

In cases involving extra benefits for athletes, preferential treatment of them, or recruiting violations, the NCAA is and should be the sole arbiter, college officials say. But in situations that touch on academic irregularities, NCAA institutions have made it clear that they don't want the association to meddle.

Unless a member of an athletic department knowingly arranges for an athlete to receive fraudulent credit, knows about such fraud, or helps facilitate improper grade changes or other academic shenanigans, the NCAA usually stays away.

Likewise, if both nonathletes and athletes are enrolled in the sham classes, the NCAA often doesn't get involved. Its thinking: This goes beyond sports.

You can question the logic—some, in fact, have said any form of academic misconduct deserves the NCAA's attention—but it's hard to argue that the NCAA is better positioned to enforce academic standards than the faculty.

2. This is one of the biggest academic scandals college sports has ever seen.

Pat Forde, the national college columnist for Yahoo! Sports, was among several writers to weigh in on the problems in recent weeks, saying that North Carolina seems to have "made a mockery of its ballyhooed academic mission for a long time in order to gain competitive advantage in football and men's basketball." Its alleged violations, he argued, could call for the most severe of NCAA penalties, as it may have demonstrated a lack of institutional control.

A university report released in May found that Julius Nyang'oro, a former chair of the department of African and Afro-American studies, and Deborah Crowder, a former department manager, had been involved in creating at least 54 classes that had little or no instruction.

Through a public-records request, the Raleigh News & Observer determined that athletes had accounted for nearly two-thirds of the enrollments, with football players taking up more than a third of the seats.

Last month the newspaper found evidence that Julius Peppers, a former two-sport star at North Carolina who is now an all-pro player in the NFL, had gotten D's and F's in many courses, but had received a B or better in some of the no-show ones.

According to the player's transcript, which the university accidentally posted on its Web site, he was allowed to take an independent-studies class the summer after his freshman year­—a course typically offered to more-experienced students who have demonstrated academic proficiency. Those classes appeared to help Mr. Peppers maintain his eligibility in football and basketball. (In a statement released by his agent, Mr. Peppers said he had committed no academic fraud.)

It's hard to see how those alleged transgressions, which stretched back to the 1990s, didn't provide certain athletes with an unfair advantage. But are they among the worst ever, as some observers have claimed?

On the continuum of academic fraud in the NCAA, the worst violations usually involve accusations of academic dishonesty, in which someone else does the work for the athletes or they either buy or plagiarize papers or get access to exam answers ahead of time, says Mr. Infante, the former Colorado State compliance officer, who now works as an NCAA expert for Athleticscholarships.net, a Web site on recruiting.

On the opposite end, he says, are examples of athletes who cluster in easier majors or are directed into snap courses.

Somewhere in the middle are independent-study courses where there's less assurance that the players are actually doing the work.

Poorly supervised independent-study courses were part of the problem at North Carolina, the university's report says. But the university also found evidence that students had completed written work.

For those and other reasons, maybe this won't turn out to be one of the worst academic scandals we've seen, says Mr. Infante. But the North Carolina case could turn out to be one of the more important ones in pushing the NCAA and member institutions to take a closer look at how athletes progress through the system.

"The NCAA as a whole ... needs to move beyond [the Academic Progress Rate] and the awarding of degrees into regulating how athletes are educated," he says. "If it starts with stricter regulation of online and independent-study classes, that sounds like a good first step."

3. The NCAA went outside its typical judicial process to punish Penn State. It should do the same with North Carolina.

Mr. Forde, the Yahoo! columnist, believes the situation demands a signal from Mark Emmert, the NCAA's president. "Will he and the NCAA Executive Committee cowboy up again?" he wrote last month. "Will they circumvent the rules manual and due process and go after Carolina on the basis of general principle, à la Penn State?"

Earlier this year the NCAA penalized North Carolina after members of its football team committed academic fraud and multiple athletes accepted $31,000 in impermissible benefits. But as the academic problems there have widened, NCAA leaders have made it clear they're in no hurry.

They have also done what they can to distance the problems at North Carolina from those at Penn State, where a former assistant football coach serially molested young boys while top administrators reportedly worked to conceal the crimes. The alleged cover-up led Mr. Emmert to impose unprecedented penalties on the university, including a $60-million fine and a four-year bowl ban.

But as recently as last week, Mr. Emmert called the Penn State situation extraordinary and said he hoped he never had to exercise that type of power again.

Continued in article

"North Carolina Admits to Academic Fraud in Sports Program," Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/20/qt#270772

The Privileged Learners on Campus With Scholarships and Tutors
"Big Sports Programs Step Up Hiring to Help Marginal Students," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 4, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/players/the-fastest-growing-job-in-sports-helping-marginal-students/30171

"What the Hell Has Happened to College Sports?" Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-the-Hell-Has-Happened-to/130071/

Flaunting the NCAA Academic Standards for Top Athletes
"Bad Apples or More?" by Doug Lederman, Inside Highe Ed, February 7, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/02/07/ncaa_punishes_almost_half_of_members_of_football_bowl_subdivision_for_major_rules_violations

"College athletes studies guided toward 'major in eligibility'," by Jill Steeg et al., USA Today, November 2008, Page 1A --- http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2008-11-18-majors-cover_N.htm

"The Education of Dasmine Cathey," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Education-of-Dasmine/132065/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

"Dasmine Cathey Reflects on His Moment in the Spotlight," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/players/dasmine-reaction/30411

Jensen Comment
This is an article that each of us will probably react differently to after reading it carefully. Some readers will see this as another case, in a long list of cases, where a NCAA Division 1 university makes a sham out of college education of a star, albeit learning disabled, athlete. By sham I mean where the main goal is to make that athlete able to read after four years --- whereas the goal for non-athletes in the university is much higher. As a non-athlete he probably would have flunked out of the university in the first year. The coaches helped pull him through courses while he was still eligible to play football only to leave him hanging out to dry in completing the requirements for a diploma.

Other readers will see this as a case where a learning disabled student was pushed beyond what he might have otherwise been without special treatment as an athlete in college. The tragedy is that his non-athlete counterparts receive no such special treatment from "coaches."

As a retired college professor I question the commitment of any student who does not care enough to try by attending class every day and by seeking help from the teachers.

Personally, I think if Dasmine Cathey gets his diploma it makes a sham out of that diploma. Dasmine deserves better in life, but why does it have to be at the expense of lowered academic standards in higher education?

Has academic fraud become the name of the game in NCAA Division 1 athletics?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics


In the wake of cheating scandals the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina resigns
"The Achilles Heel," by Kevin Kiley, Inside Higher Ed, September 18, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/09/18/unc-president-steps-down-after-two-years-athletics-scandals 

You can’t plan for everything, and increasingly it seems like the one thing you don’t plan for will undermine your public university presidency.

Holden Thorp, chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, announced Monday that he would step down as chancellor at the end of the school year, only his fifth on the job, a premature exit for a chancellor whom many expected to serve at least 10 years.

Prior to being named chancellor in May 2008 at just 43 years old, Thorp had risen meteorically through the ranks of UNC’s administration, from professor to dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences in five years, and was seen as something of a wunderkind. A UNC graduate with deep ties to the state, a noted chemist who spent his career at the university, and a successful entrepreneur, Thorp was viewed by many as a perfect fit for helping move the university into the 21st century, bring entrepreneurship and innovation to the forefront of campus activity, and confront a litany of challenges related to funding, direction and academics.

But less than six months into his tenure, the country and state’s economies collapsed, forcing Thorp to confront budget cuts, salary freezes and protracted revenue constraints. The state’s political leadership, once immensely supportive of UNC-Chapel Hill and the rest of the university system, saw significant turnover in 2010. And since 2010, the university has been plagued by a series of scandals -- many originating in the university’s athletics program – that have dominated local media headlines.

Many at UNC say Thorp's seemingly perfect pedigree for the job was undermined by what he inherited: a series of headline-grabbing and time-consuming problems that they say would doom any president. “Holden Thorp was largely the victim of circumstance,” said Jay Smith, a history professor at the university who worked on a faculty investigation of the university’s athletics problems. “His experience shows just how treacherous the waters of higher education are right now. If someone of his talents and energy and commitment can’t succeed in this position, it makes you wonder who can.”

But others say that Thorp’s background in academics and quick rise through the ranks left him unprepared to tackle the types of Gordian knots that modern university presidents face, particularly the athletics scandals. “The drip-drip-drip of scandals suggest that Thorp has a poor understanding of shortcomings on his campus and insufficient appreciation of their import once they come to his attention,” wrote The Charlotte Observer’s editorial board on Sunday.

A spokesman for UNC-Chapel Hill said Thorp did not have time Monday to respond to a request for comment.

Regardless of the exact reason for Thorp’s departure, he is the latest in a long list of prominent public university presidents who were either forced out of their positions or chose to step down in the past two years. That list includes the presidents of the University of Arizona, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Oregon, Pennsylvania State University, and, depending on the criteria, the University of Virginia, whose president was reinstated shortly after she was forced out.

In many cases, these presidents said they were either driven out by scandals that happened on their watch but that they were unaware of, or that political forces conspired to drive them out. You can do everything right, they say, and the job will still find a way to bring you down.

Higher education observers say the widespread turnover – and occasional panic by boards is indicative of broader shifts in the higher education landscape that are making the role of public university president increasingly difficult and different from any other job.

“These universities are going through historic, unprecedented change that no one is prepared for. Truly, it’s an environment where, particularly at large universities, you’re responsible for bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in research funding, hundreds of millions in endowments, engaging in economic development and entrepreneurial activity,” said Lucy Leske, vice president, partner, and co-director of the education and not-for-profit practice at Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm. “How can you be trained for this?”

Those shifts are forcing people like Leske to reconsider how colleges and universities choose new leaders.

A Difficult Job

Flagship Public University President Departures since 2010

Resignations:

Firings:

“Near Misses”:

By many measures of university success, UNC-Chapel Hill thrived under Thorp’s leadership. The institution has been steadily climbing the ranks in terms of research expenditures, cracking the top 10 this year. Student applications increased, and the academic profile of the incoming class was at its highest levels. Fund-raising increased despite the recession.

Immediately prior to the recession the university brought in management consultants Bain & Company to review the institution’s administrative structure and find ways to reduce costs. The university made national headlines for that review, the recommendations from which are estimated to save $50 million a year. Other notable universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Connecticut, have since hired consultants to perform similar work.

Joe Templeton, a long-serving chemistry professor at UNC who once chaired the university’s faculty and has led the implementation of the Bain report as special assistant to the chancellor, said that in terms of faculty and student success, the university is right where it should be. “As far as the things that as faculty we care about and pay attention to, the structure is in good shape and the future is bright,” he said.

But Templeton and others note that those victories have been overshadowed by the myriad scandals Thorp has faced, particularly in the state and in the local media.

First there was the NCAA investigation into the university’s football program that found that players received impermissible benefits from agents. The football program received sanctions from the NCAA that included a one-year ban in post-season play and scholarship reductions. That scandal led to the firing of head football coach Butch Davis -- a story that caught national attention and generated significant controversy among fans and alumni -- and the resignation of longtime athletic director Dick Baddour.

The football scandal also uncovered academic fraud by some members of the football team, including evidence that a tutor altered players’ papers.

Continued in article

Professors who let students cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#RebeccaHoward

Coaches who let students cheat ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics

 

 


Student Plagiarism, Faculty Responsibility,
A review by two Ohio University officials has found “rampant and flagrant plagiarism” by graduate students in the institution’s mechanical engineering department — and concluded that three faculty members either “failed to monitor” their advisees’ writing or “basically supported academic fraudulence” by ignoring the dishonesty. The report by the two-person review team called for the dismissal of two professors, and university officials said they would bring in a national expert on plagiarism to advise them.
Doug Lederman, "Student Plagiarism, Faculty Responsibility," Inside Higher Ed, June 1, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/01/plagiarism

June 2, 2006 reply from Linda Kidwell, University of Wyoming [lkidwell@UWYO.EDU]

Bob's post reminded me of an interesting article I recently read:

Woessner, M.C. (2004). "Beating the house: How inadequate penalties for cheating make plagiarism an excellent gamble." PS: Political Science & Politics, 37 (2): 313 – 320.

His article is interesting in two ways. First, he argues that "it is unethical for faculty to knowingly entice students to plagiarize by promoting policies that actually reward dishonesty." He maintains that we may entice our students by anything from active neglect to ineffective enforcement, and he even throws in some Biblical support from Leviticus: You shall not place a stumbling block before the blind.

Second, he uses expected value functions to illustrate how ineffective policies make it an excellent gamble for students to plagiarize, using different combinations of probabilities of being caught, severities of punishment, and weighting of plagiarized assignments. I fault the paper for assuming all students are value neutral, in that he does not include any factor for the cost of compromising your standards (internal social control in some studies) or, for that matter, the benefit of going along with the crowd (culture conflict theory in others).

Nonetheless, if we assume away any moral or ethical component to the decision to cheat, he demonstrates that unless probabilities of detection are high due to vigilence and penalities are severe (F in the course, not just on the assignment), students have a strong incentive to cheat.

So back to Bob's post, Woessner certainly implies that the faculty are at least as culpable as the students when massive cheating such as that in the engineering department at Ohio University takes place.

I'm not sure I agree on an individual student level, but it's food for thought.

Linda

June 2, 2006 message from John Brozovsky [jbrozovs@VT.EDU]

Faculty are only culpable if you accept the premise that students are inherently amoral. If our accounting students are amoral then Enron is the tip of the iceberg as they will all behave the same way in a similar circumstance (you would have to assume they are just waiting on the ideal time to pull shenaigans).

[We do have a fairly decent honor code with reasonable penalties for those judged guilty by a jury of their peers (4 students 1 faculty member). The peers are typically very willing to find for guilt in the juries I have served on.]

John

June 3, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Trinity University adopted an honor code that has a student court investigate cheating and assess penalties. The students are more apt to be tougher on cheating students.

But for faculty it has been a little like rape in that the hassle involved in reporting it discourages the reporting in some suspected instances of cheating (in truth I've not made a formal study of this).

On several occasions in the past (before the new Honor Code) I've simply flunked the student and reported the incident to the Academic Vice President who maintained a file of reported incidents and could, for repeat offenders, inflict more serious punishments. Now faculty must appear in "court." More significantly, the authority to sign the F grade for cheating is thereby taken out of the hands of the faculty member responsible for grades in a course.

Bob Jensen

June 2, 2006 reply from Jagdish S. Gangolly [gangolly@INFOTOC.COM]

I have been following this thread with some interest.

Medical schools have a pompous ceremony for orientation for all entering students. It is usually called "white coat" ceremony.

While the pomp and circumstance at such a ceremony is incidental, the main objective is to make sure that the students are being inducted into a noble and learned profession, that their behaviour after should be different, that they have responsibilities that transcend averything else, life is precious, their ethical behaviour determines the future of the profession, etc., etc.,,,

In my own department, I have for a long time suggested that we desperately need something like that. This is especially important to accounting, since unlike medical schools that get mature adults (22-30+ years old), we get juveniles who are less worldly experienced and more prone to making wrong choices simply because they are younger (if one agrees with Kohlberg).

The question is, what do we do in such a pompous but solemn ceremony? What do we call it? Where is our equivalent of the Hippocratic oath?

I reproduce below both the classic oath and the modern oaths below. May be we can come up with one of our own.

Jagdish

____________________________________________________
Hippocratic Oath -- Classical Version

"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."

Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943. ____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________ Hippocratic Oath—Modern Version

"I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."


Accounting Instructor Catches UW Students Cheating --- http://www.smartpros.com/x38003.xml 

Apr. 29, 2003 (Associated Press) — As many 60 University of Wisconsin accounting students apparently cheated on take-home exams, school officials say.

The students were told to take the midterm tests individually but some worked in groups, accounting department chairman John Eichenseyer said.

The instructor had allowed the students to take the tests home so they could attend a presentation April 2 by Sherron Watkins, the Enron employee who blew the whistle on its questionable accounting practices.

Students who had done their own work told the instructor they had heard about widespread cheating on the test, Eichenseyer said this week.

The instructor, whom Eichenseyer declined to name, made all students retake the test and it turned out many didn't know the material.

Many students have admitted cheating since the instructor confronted them, Eichenseyer said. Students who did much worse on the in-class test will get that score as their grade for the test.


Student Plagiarism, Faculty Responsibility,
A review by two Ohio University officials has found “rampant and flagrant plagiarism” by graduate students in the institution’s mechanical engineering department — and concluded that three faculty members either “failed to monitor” their advisees’ writing or “basically supported academic fraudulence” by ignoring the dishonesty. The report by the two-person review team called for the dismissal of two professors, and university officials said they would bring in a national expert on plagiarism to advise them.
Doug Lederman, "Student Plagiarism, Faculty Responsibility," Inside Higher Ed, June 1, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/01/plagiarism

June 2, 2006 reply from Linda Kidwell, University of Wyoming [lkidwell@UWYO.EDU]

Bob's post reminded me of an interesting article I recently read:

Woessner, M.C. (2004). "Beating the house: How inadequate penalties for cheating make plagiarism an excellent gamble." PS: Political Science & Politics, 37 (2): 313 – 320.

His article is interesting in two ways. First, he argues that "it is unethical for faculty to knowingly entice students to plagiarize by promoting policies that actually reward dishonesty." He maintains that we may entice our students by anything from active neglect to ineffective enforcement, and he even throws in some Biblical support from Leviticus: You shall not place a stumbling block before the blind.

Second, he uses expected value functions to illustrate how ineffective policies make it an excellent gamble for students to plagiarize, using different combinations of probabilities of being caught, severities of punishment, and weighting of plagiarized assignments. I fault the paper for assuming all students are value neutral, in that he does not include any factor for the cost of compromising your standards (internal social control in some studies) or, for that matter, the benefit of going along with the crowd (culture conflict theory in others).

Nonetheless, if we assume away any moral or ethical component to the decision to cheat, he demonstrates that unless probabilities of detection are high due to vigilence and penalities are severe (F in the course, not just on the assignment), students have a strong incentive to cheat.

So back to Bob's post, Woessner certainly implies that the faculty are at least as culpable as the students when massive cheating such as that in the engineering department at Ohio University takes place.

I'm not sure I agree on an individual student level, but it's food for thought.

Linda

June 2, 2006 message from John Brozovsky [jbrozovs@VT.EDU]

Faculty are only culpable if you accept the premise that students are inherently amoral. If our accounting students are amoral then Enron is the tip of the iceberg as they will all behave the same way in a similar circumstance (you would have to assume they are just waiting on the ideal time to pull shenaigans).

[We do have a fairly decent honor code with reasonable penalties for those judged guilty by a jury of their peers (4 students 1 faculty member). The peers are typically very willing to find for guilt in the juries I have served on.]

John

June 3, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Trinity University adopted an honor code that has a student court investigate cheating and assess penalties. The students are more apt to be tougher on cheating students.

But for faculty it has been a little like rape in that the hassle involved in reporting it discourages the reporting in some suspected instances of cheating (in truth I've not made a formal study of this).

On several occasions in the past (before the new Honor Code) I've simply flunked the student and reported the incident to the Academic Vice President who maintained a file of reported incidents and could, for repeat offenders, inflict more serious punishments. Now faculty must appear in "court." More significantly, the authority to sign the F grade for cheating is thereby taken out of the hands of the faculty member responsible for grades in a course.

Bob Jensen

June 2, 2006 reply from Jagdish S. Gangolly [gangolly@INFOTOC.COM]

I have been following this thread with some interest.

Medical schools have a pompous ceremony for orientation for all entering students. It is usually called "white coat" ceremony.

While the pomp and circumstance at such a ceremony is incidental, the main objective is to make sure that the students are being inducted into a noble and learned profession, that their behaviour after should be different, that they have responsibilities that transcend averything else, life is precious, their ethical behaviour determines the future of the profession, etc., etc.,,,

In my own department, I have for a long time suggested that we desperately need something like that. This is especially important to accounting, since unlike medical schools that get mature adults (22-30+ years old), we get juveniles who are less worldly experienced and more prone to making wrong choices simply because they are younger (if one agrees with Kohlberg).

The question is, what do we do in such a pompous but solemn ceremony? What do we call it? Where is our equivalent of the Hippocratic oath?

I reproduce below both the classic oath and the modern oaths below. May be we can come up with one of our own.

Jagdish

____________________________________________________
Hippocratic Oath -- Classical Version

"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."

Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943. ____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________ Hippocratic Oath—Modern Version

"I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."


Accounting Instructor Catches UW Students Cheating --- http://www.smartpros.com/x38003.xml 

Apr. 29, 2003 (Associated Press) — As many 60 University of Wisconsin accounting students apparently cheated on take-home exams, school officials say.

The students were told to take the midterm tests individually but some worked in groups, accounting department chairman John Eichenseyer said.

The instructor had allowed the students to take the tests home so they could attend a presentation April 2 by Sherron Watkins, the Enron employee who blew the whistle on its questionable accounting practices.

Students who had done their own work told the instructor they had heard about widespread cheating on the test, Eichenseyer said this week.

The instructor, whom Eichenseyer declined to name, made all students retake the test and it turned out many didn't know the material.

Many students have admitted cheating since the instructor confronted them, Eichenseyer said. Students who did much worse on the in-class test will get that score as their grade for the test.


"Experts Say Schools Need to Screen for Cheating," by Shalia Dewan, The New York Times, February 12, 2010 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/13/education/13erase.html?hpw

This week, Georgia officials said they had found evidence that cheating might have occurred on standardized tests at one in five public elementary and middle schools around the state. What was extraordinary, however, was not so much the extent of the problem, but the decision of the state to screen for cheating at all.

Using a computer scanner, the state used a simple, quick analysis to flag classes where an unusually high number of wrong answers were erased and corrected. The testing company generated the data at no charge.

Yet even as test scores carry greater stakes for students, schools and districts, testing experts say most states fail to use even this most elementary means to monitor for cheating.

“No one is doing it, and when you ask people why they’re not doing it, they shrug their shoulders,” said Jennifer Jennings, a sociologist at New York University who studies school accountability.

Ms. Jennings suggested that the federal government should require states to check their test results. “It’s absolutely scandalous that we have no audit system in place to address any of this,” she said.

Cheating on tests used to be thought of as primarily the domain of students, but as standardized test results have taken on an increasing importance as a way to measure schools, the culprits have increasingly turned out to be educators, experts said.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, schools are required to meet improvement goals or face penalties including, in the worst cases, the loss of jobs. Cities like New York and Houston have recently threatened the tenure of teachers whose students do not meet goals.

As the consequences have grown more serious, reports of cheating have exploded, said Robert Schaeffer, the president of FairTest, an organization that opposes the emphasis on standardized testing. “They’ve gone from a handful a year to a handful a month,” he said.

Because parents, students and administrators all like to see higher scores, said Gregory J. Cizek, a testing expert at the University of North Carolina, “There’s really no incentive to vigorously pursue cheaters.”

He said some states did not ask their testing contractors to generate an erasure analysis, while others did receive them but did not use them.

One problem, experts said, was asking school systems to police themselves, which often requires the kind of independent oversight set up in Georgia. The state Department of Education is led by an elected superintendent, Kathy Cox, but the governor, Sonny Perdue, controls a separate Office of Student Achievement, which has auditing powers.

It was the Office of Student Achievement that conducted the erasure study, not the Education Department.

Even states that have weathered widespread cheating scandals do not necessarily follow up with regular statistical monitoring. In 2005, after an investigation by The Dallas Morning News pointed to extensive cheating in Texas, the state hired Caveon Test Security, a Utah company that improves testing procedures, to conduct what the company callsforensics analyses” of answer forms. But the company was not retained to do yearly monitoring, said John Fremer, Caveon’s president.

Caveon’s forensics analyses use several methods of detecting cheating, screening not only for erasures but improbable increases or decreases in scores, individual students whose performance swings widely from year to year, patterns where multiple students share the same wrong answers and other anomalies.

Erasures alone only indicate certain types of misconduct, as when answers are changed after a test. Other methods, Mr. Fremer said, flag other types of cheating, like filling in the remaining answers on an incomplete form.

States that are not checking answers with such forensic measures cannot use the excuse that they are new, said Walt Haney, a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy at Boston College. Using statistics to detect cheating on standardized tests dates back to the 1920s, and erasure analyses are practically as old as filling in bubbles on answer forms with a No. 2 pencil.

Of about 16 state public education clients of his company, Mr. Fremer said, fewer than 10 conduct such analysis regularly. A few other states use their own testing vendors, as Georgia did, to provide similar data. Mr. Fremer said he thought more states would move toward statistical analysis in order to maintain public confidence in test scores and school ratings.

“I don’t think they can avoid doing it,” he said. “There’s too much riding on the test results.”

Southern states, which have embraced the accountability movement in education, have also been quicker to adopt statistical methods to combat cheating.

South Carolina has been quietly using an erasure analysis since the 1980s, said Elizabeth Jones, the director of the state Education Department’s Office of Assessment. If a class is flagged for suspicious activity, the state sends testing monitors the following year, and sometimes educators are criminally prosecuted or lose their teaching certificates.

Principals and teachers are well aware that the state can detect erasures, and only a handful of classes are flagged each year, Ms. Jones said.

In Washington, the superintendent of education has recently conducted the first of what is to be an annual statistical analysis of test results. Twelve of about 230 schools were flagged and asked to conduct investigations, said Chad Colby, a spokesman for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. (The state superintendent oversees the District of Columbia Public Schools and the city’s charter schools.)

In Mississippi, Caveon does forensics analyses each time a test is administered, and the state withholds questionable scores until an investigation is completed.

“Initially, it was a new thing and folks were a little skeptical — could we really reach these kind of conclusions just by looking at the data?” said Kristopher Kaase, Mississippi’s deputy superintendent for instructional programs. But investigations bore out the statistical findings. “That’s made believers out of the school districts,” he said.

 



Rise in Research Cheating
"A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform," by Carl Zimmer, The New York Times, April 16, 2012 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/science/rise-in-scientific-journal-retractions-prompts-calls-for-reform.html?_r=2&

In the fall of 2010, Dr. Ferric C. Fang made an unsettling discovery. Dr. Fang, who is editor in chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, found that one of his authors had doctored several papers.

It was a new experience for him. “Prior to that time,” he said in an interview, “Infection and Immunity had only retracted nine articles over a 40-year period.”

The journal wound up retracting six of the papers from the author, Naoki Mori of the University of the Ryukyus in Japan. And it soon became clear that Infection and Immunity was hardly the only victim of Dr. Mori’s misconduct. Since then, other scientific journals have retracted two dozen of his papers, according to the watchdog blog Retraction Watch.

“Nobody had noticed the whole thing was rotten,” said Dr. Fang, who is a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Dr. Fang became curious how far the rot extended. To find out, he teamed up with a fellow editor at the journal, Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. And before long they reached a troubling conclusion: not only that retractions were rising at an alarming rate, but that retractions were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem — “a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate,” as Dr. Fang put it.

Dr. Casadevall, now editor in chief of the journal mBio, said he feared that science had turned into a winner-take-all game with perverse incentives that lead scientists to cut corners and, in some cases, commit acts of misconduct.

“This is a tremendous threat,” he said.

Last month, in a pair of editorials in Infection and Immunity, the two editors issued a plea for fundamental reforms. They also presented their concerns at the March 27 meeting of the National Academies of Sciences committee on science, technology and the law.

Members of the committee agreed with their assessment. “I think this is really coming to a head,” said Dr. Roberta B. Ness, dean of the University of Texas School of Public Health. And Dr. David Korn of Harvard Medical School agreed that “there are problems all through the system.”

No one claims that science was ever free of misconduct or bad research. Indeed, the scientific method itself is intended to overcome mistakes and misdeeds. When scientists make a new discovery, others review the research skeptically before it is published. And once it is, the scientific community can try to replicate the results to see if they hold up.

But critics like Dr. Fang and Dr. Casadevall argue that science has changed in some worrying ways in recent decades — especially biomedical research, which consumes a larger and larger share of government science spending.

In October 2011, for example, the journal Nature reported that published retractions had increased tenfold over the past decade, while the number of published papers had increased by just 44 percent. In 2010 The Journal of Medical Ethics published a study finding the new raft of recent retractions was a mix of misconduct and honest scientific mistakes.

Several factors are at play here, scientists say. One may be that because journals are now online, bad papers are simply reaching a wider audience, making it more likely that errors will be spotted. “You can sit at your laptop and pull a lot of different papers together,” Dr. Fang said.

But other forces are more pernicious. To survive professionally, scientists feel the need to publish as many papers as possible, and to get them into high-profile journals. And sometimes they cut corners or even commit misconduct to get there.

To measure this claim, Dr. Fang and Dr. Casadevall looked at the rate of retractions in 17 journals from 2001 to 2010 and compared it with the journals’ “impact factor,” a score based on how often their papers are cited by scientists. The higher a journal’s impact factor, the two editors found, the higher its retraction rate.

The highest “retraction index” in the study went to one of the world’s leading medical journals, The New England Journal of Medicine. In a statement for this article, it questioned the study’s methodology, noting that it considered only papers with abstracts, which are included in a small fraction of studies published in each issue. “Because our denominator was low, the index was high,” the statement said.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating by faculty are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

 

"Disgrace: On Marc Hauser," by Mark Gross, The Nation, January 9, 2012 ---
http://www.thenation.com/article/165313/disgrace-marc-hauser?page=0,2

. . .

Although some of my knowledge of the Hauser case is based on conversations with sources who have preferred to remain unnamed, there seems to me to be little doubt that Hauser is guilty of scientific misconduct, though to what extent and severity remains to be revealed. Regardless of the final outcome of the investigation of Hauser by the federal Office of Research Integrity, irreversible damage has been done to the field of animal cognition, to Harvard University and most of all to Marc Hauser.

Bob Jensen's threads on the lack of validity testing and investigations of misconduct in accountics science ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

 

"Bad science: The psychology behind exaggerated & false research [infographic]," Holykaw, December 21, 2011 ---
http://holykaw.alltop.com/bad-science-the-psychology-behind-exaggerated

One in three scientists admits to using shady research practices.
Bravo:  Zero accountics scientists admit to using shady research practices.

One in 50 scientists admit to falsifying data outright.
Bravo:  Zero accountics scientists admit to falsifying data in the history of accountics science.

Reports of colleague misconduct are even more common.
Bravo:  But not in accountics science

Misconduct rates are highest among clinical, medical, and phamacological researchers
Bravo:  Such reports are lowest (zero) among accountics scientists

Four ways to make research more honest

  1. Make all raw data available to other scientists
     
  2. Hold journalists accountable
     
  3. Introduce anonymous publication
     
  4. Change from real science into accountics science where research is unlikely to be validated/replicated except on rare occasions where no errors are ever found

574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

 


"Journals Find Fakery in Many Images Submitted to Support Research," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 27, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/free/2008/05/3028n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en 

Kristin Roovers was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania with a bright career ahead of her—a trusted member of a research laboratory at the medical school studying the role of cell growth in diabetes.

But when an editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation did a spot-check of one of her images for an article in 2005, Roovers's research proved a little too perfect.

The image had dark bands on it, supposedly showing different proteins in different conditions. "As we looked at it, we realized the person had cut and pasted the exact same bands" over and over again, says Ushma S. Neill, the journal's executive editor. In some cases a copied part of the image had been flipped or reversed to make it look like a new finding. "The closer we took a look, the more we were convinced that the data had been fabricated or manipulated in order to support the conclusions."

As computer programs make images easier than ever to manipulate, editors at a growing number of scientific publications are turning into image detectives, examining figures to test their authenticity.

And the level of tampering they find is alarming. "The magnitude of the fraud is phenomenal," says Hany Farid, a computer-science professor at Dartmouth College who has been working with journal editors to help them detect image manipulation. Doctored images are troubling because they can mislead scientists and even derail a search for the causes and cures of disease.

Ten to 20 of the articles accepted by The Journal of Clinical Investigation each year show some evidence of tampering, and about five to 10 of those papers warrant a thorough investigation, says Ms. Neill. (The journal publishes about 300 to 350 articles per year.)

In the case of Ms. Roovers, editors notified the federal Office of Research Integrity, which polices government-financed science projects. The office concluded that the images had been improperly manipulated, as had images the researcher had produced for papers published in three other journals. That finding led two of those journals to retract papers that Ms. Roovers had co-authored, papers that had been cited by other researchers dozens of times.

The episode damaged careers—Ms. Roovers resigned from the lab and is ineligible for U.S. government grants for five years—and delayed progress in an important line of scientific inquiry.

Experts say that many young researchers may not even realize that tampering with their images is inappropriate. After all, people now commonly alter digital snapshots to take red out of eyes, so why not clean up a protein image in Photoshop to make it clearer?

"This is one of the dirty little secrets—that everybody massages the data like this," says Mr. Farid. Yet changing some pixels for the sake of "clarity" can actually change an image's scientific meaning.

The Office of Research Integrity says that 44 percent of its cases in 2005-6 involved accusations of image fraud, compared with about 6 percent a decade earlier.

New tools, such as software developed by Mr. Farid, are helping journal editors detect manipulated images. But some researchers are concerned about this level of scrutiny, arguing that it could lead to false accusations and unnecessarily delay research.

Easy to Alter

The alterations made by Ms. Roovers at the University of Pennsylvania were "very easy" to do, says Richard K. Assoian, a professor of pharmacology at Penn who worked with the young researcher and served as her mentor while she was a doctoral student at the University of Miami. "It's basic Photoshopping," he says.

Ms. Roovers admitted that she used the software, though she says she was not the only one in the lab to do so.

"I certainly did something wrong, but I don't think I was alone in the whole thing," she says, adding that it was not her intent to deceive. "It was trying to present it even better."

Continued in article


University of Vermont Scientist Admits to Cheating
On a rainy afternoon in June, Eric Poehlman stood before a federal judge in the United States District Court in downtown Burlington, Vt. His sentencing hearing had dragged on for more than four hours, and Poehlman, dressed in a black suit, remained silent while the lawyers argued over the appropriate sentence for his transgressions. Now was his chance to speak. A year earlier, in the same courthouse, Poehlman pleaded guilty to lying on a federal grant application and admitted to fabricating more than a decade’s worth of scientific data on obesity, menopause and aging, much of it while conducting clinical research as a tenured faculty member at the University of Vermont. He presented fraudulent data in lectures and in published papers, and he used this data to obtain millions of dollars in federal grants from the National Institutes of Health — a crime subject to as many as five years in federal prison. Poehlman’s admission of guilt came after more than five years during which he denied the charges against him, lied under oath and tried to discredit his accusers. By the time Poehlman came clean, his case had grown into one of the most expansive cases of scientific fraud in U.S. history.
Jeneen Interlandi, "An Unwelcome Discovery," The New York Times, October 22, 2006 --- Click Here 

Question
Did this chemistry professor cheat?

A former graduate student of the State University of New York at Binghamton has filed a $202-million lawsuit against the institution and four of its current and former faculty members, contending that his former dissertation adviser appropriated and published the results of two experiments he conducted without including him as a co-author, a local newspaper, the Press & Sun-Bulletin, reported.
"Former Graduate Student at SUNY-Binghamton Says Professor Stole His Work," The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 21, 2007 --- Click Here

If this is correct, it is incredible and is contrary to the principles most follow. What Stealing intellectual property is common for staff members at universities, who must write articles for their supervisor to either take the lead or take sole ownership. There were three complaints of this at my institution, and the university was able to sweep the dirt under the rug and the abuse of power continues. Of the three, there are a myriad of stories of many more. What is shocking is that some of these instances are documented by the conference sessions available online and the original author’s submission! Perhaps staff members should realize that even if your work is University property, it is not your supervisors. Is there legal action here since the intellectual property belongs to the employer for at-will staff? Shame on leadership who allow academic dishonesty to prevail by supervisors, and yet publicly demand integrity in the classroom!
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 21, 2007 --- Click Here

 

Bob Jensen's threads on Appearance Versus the Reality of Research Independence and Freedom are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ResearchIndependence


If your paper was rejected for publication, call the FBI

"When authors attack"  Candace Sams's decision to report bad Amazon reviewers to the FBI is further proof why it's best not to respond publicly to your critics," by Allison Flood, The Guardian, December 23, 2009 ---
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog

Candace Sams's decision to report bad Amazon reviewers to the FBI is further proof why it's best not to respond publicly to your critics.

This year has seen its fair share of authors kicking off about poor reviews, from Alice Hoffman, who called a Boston Globe critic a "moron" on Twitter following a negative review of her novel The Story Sisters, to Alain de Botton, who posted an excoriating comment on a reviewer's blog after a poor write-up for The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work in the New York Times. But the latest upset, played out on the pages of Amazon, is possibly the weirdest.

Not only does it centre on the dire-sounding romance novel, Electra Galaxy's Mr Interstellar Feller (product description: "When a handsome yet stuffy intergalactic cop is forced to enter the Electra Galaxy's Mr Interstellar Feller competition, and is partnered with an Earth cop as his manager and overseer, hilarity and romance ensue"), but it takes the bizarro quotient to new levels.

After Amazon reviewer LB Taylor gave the novel one star, calling it "a sad excuse for romance, mystery, and humor", she found herself attacked online by one NiteflyrOne – shortly outed by commentors as Candace Sams, author of the novel. With the discussion numbering almost 400 posts, Sams has now deleted her posts. Fortunately, they've been saved for posterity by a host of sites.

"Authors," she wrote, "rarely have full editorial control; rarely do they have even 'scant' control over their covers or the language used in dialogue or even sequencing of scenes: love scenes, kissing scenes, scenes of violence, etc. These are ultimately controlled by editorial staff…very rarely the author alone." Oh I see – blame the editor.

And later, in response to another (also negative) review: "It might behoove them to understand that all romances will not read they way they think they should; romances should 'not' be cookie-cutters of one another. This has been the biggest complaint about romance on the whole - that they all sound alike. Apparently 'some' reviewers 'want' them to sound alike. When they don't, they aren't able to handle the material."

She then tells the thread that she's reporting naysayers to the FBI.

This is wonderfully batty stuff – on a par, I'd say, with Anne Rice's 2004 outburst on Amazon when she told negative reviewers they were "interrogating this text from the wrong perspective". "Your stupid, arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander," she wrote. "You have used the site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies."

And I have to say, while I agree with Neil Gaiman's point that the Sams affair is "a horrible car crash [and] if any of you are ever tempted to respond to bad reviews or internet trolls etc, it's a salutary reminder of why some things are better written in anger and deleted in the morning", I find angry author responses strangely compelling. I like seeing flashes of the person behind the book, and while responding may do the author's reputation no good at all – turning the other cheek being the best way to deal with negative reviews - I can see why they might do it anyway. Yes, it's a car crash, but I can't stop rubber-necking

Jensen Comment
I've more suspicious of authors and/or publishers planting phony raving reviews. There's a lot of moral hazard here.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


Colleges That Cheat

"Hundreds of Chicago State Students Were Ineligible for Aid," Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/08/11/qt#267507

Hundreds of Chicago State University students received state financial aid even though they lacked the grades needed to remain enrolled, The Chicago Tribune reported. The Tribune reported last month about Chicago State failing to enforce its rules about suspending those who fail to meet minimal grade requirements, but the information about state financial aid emerged Wednesday at a state hearing.

"In Lawsuits, Graduates of 2 Law Schools Accuse Their Alma Maters of Inflating Employment Data," by Ryan Brown, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10, 2011 --- http://chronicle.com/article/In-Lawsuits-Graduates-Accuse/128596/

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Colleges That Cheat in Athletics ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics


How to Mislead With Statistics:  Create a Denominator Effect

"W&L, Other Colleges Goose Rankings by Counting Incomplete Applications to Shrink Acceptance Rate," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, September 23, 2013 ---
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/09/wapo-washington-.html

Jensen Comment
I know a Professor X who used to do something similar. Nearly 80% of his students had an A grade going into the final. On the last day of class he handed out teaching evaluations --- well in advance of the final examination scheduled late in final exam week. Then in the the final exam he clobbered them with an exam that made them happy to pass the course with any grade.

Of course, there's a difference between Professor X versus the colleges that report incomplete applications as full applications in computing admission acceptance rates. In the case of Professor X it did not take many semesters for it to become widely known across campus how he was shrinking the number of top grades in his courses. In the case of W&L and other colleges shrinking acceptance rates it might never have become known by the media how these colleges were fudging their acceptance rates.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating in higher education are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education college ranking controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

 


"Law Deans in Jail," by Morgan Cloud and George B. Shepherd. SSRN, February 24, 2012 ---
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1990746

Abstract:
A most unlikely collection of suspects - law schools, their deans, U.S. News & World Report and its employees - may have committed felonies by publishing false information as part of U.S. News' ranking of law schools. The possible federal felonies include mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, racketeering, and making false statements. Employees of law schools and U.S. News who committed these crimes can be punished as individuals, and under federal law the schools and U.S. News would likely be criminally liable for their agents' crimes.

Some law schools and their deans submitted false information about the schools' expenditures and their students' undergraduate grades and LSAT scores. Others submitted information that may have been literally true but was misleading. Examples include misleading statistics about recent graduates' employment rates and students' undergraduate grades and LSAT scores.

U.S. News itself may have committed mail and wire fraud. It has republished, and sold for profit, data submitted by law schools without verifying the data's accuracy, despite being aware that at least some schools were submitting false and misleading data. U.S. News refused to correct incorrect data and rankings errors and continued to sell that information even after individual schools confessed that they had submitted false information. In addition, U.S. News marketed its surveys and rankings as valid although they were riddled with fundamental methodological errors.

Bob Jensen's threads on media rankings of colleges and universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

 

"The Law School System Is Broken," National Jurist, February 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.nxtbook.com/splash/nationaljurist/nationaljurist.php?nxturl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nxtbook.com%2Fnxtbooks%2Fcypress%2Fnationaljurist0212%2Findex.php#/18/OnePage
Thank you Paul Caron for the heads up

It's a troubling trend. The total amount of debt that has been used to pay for legal education has risen to $3.6 billion, up from less than $2 billion just ten years prior. And if the current trends continue, that figure could reach $7 billion by 2020.

It's not a problem that has gone unnoticed. Legal education observers are worried, recent graduates are frantic and law schools are looking at their options. ...

[T]here is no easy or simple answer to the problem. ... The reason for the debt is easier to understand: law school tuition continues to outpace inflation. It increased by 74% from 1998 to 2008.

Why does tuition continue to grow? Most agree it is related to the number of law professors walking around law school campuses nowadays. Faculty salaries make up a majority of a law school's budget. And law schools increased their faculty size by 40% from 1998 to 2008, according to a National Jurist report. That meant almost 5,000 law professors were added in 10 years, with the average student-to-faculty ratio dropping from 18.5-to-1 in 1998 to 14.9-to-1.

And why did law schools expand their faculties so rapidly? Law has become more complex and specialized. Law schools today offer far more course than ever before, and specializations. But critics point out that the race to do better in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings has also fueled the growth.

Turkey Times for Overstuffed Law Schools ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#OverstuffedLawSchools

 


Journal Editors' Reactions to Word of Plagiarism? Largely Silence

"Journal Editors' Reactions to Word of Plagiarism? Largely Silence," by Tom Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 20, 2011 ---  http://chronicle.com/article/Journal-Editors-Reactions-to/129829/

Lior Shamir was surprised to learn that one of his papers had been plagiarized. He was even more surprised to learn that it had been plagiarized, by his count, 21 times.

But what really astonished him is that no one seemed to care.

In July, Mr. Shamir, an assistant professor of computer science at Lawrence Technological University, near Detroit, received an anonymous e-mail signed "Prof. Against Plagiarism." That's how he found out that multiple paragraphs from a paper he had presented at a 2006 conference, titled "Human Perception-Based Color Segmentation Using Fuzzy Logic," also appeared in a 2010 paper by two professors in Iran. There was no question of coincidence—the wording was identical—and his paper wasn't even cited.

Curious, he started to poke around some more. One of the Iranian professors, Ali Moghani, a professor at the Institute for Color Science and Technology, in Tehran, appeared to have copied parts of the paper in eight different publications. (Mr. Moghani did not respond to a request for comment.) But he wasn't the only one. The more Mr. Shamir looked, the more he found. Those 21 papers had 26 authors, all of whom had published Mr. Shamir's work under their names, without credit.

It's not as if the paper was a central part of his academic work. In fact, he had forgotten about it until he got the anonymous e-mail. Now, though, he was intrigued, and more than a little annoyed.

So he started contacting journals, indexing services, conference organizers. He sent, by his estimate, about 30 e-mails. He expected that the papers, once it was shown that they had been plagiarized, would be retracted. Maybe he would get an explanation, or an apology, or a response of some kind.

In fact, he received only a couple of replies.

Among those he did receive was a reply from Mohammad Reza Darafsheh, the other Iranian academic. Mr. Darafsheh, a professor of mathematics at the University of Tehran, wrote that "[a]bout the overlap of some sentences in chapter 4 of our paper with yours we feel sorry." But he added that it was "only about one page." The e-mail ended with an offer to collaborate with Mr. Shamir in the future.

When contacted by The Chronicle, Mr. Darafsheh wrote in an e-mail that only one paragraph was identical to the original, and that it had "no scientific value." After it was pointed out to Mr. Darafsheh that, in truth, about 400 words of the eight-page paper appeared to have been copied directly from Mr. Shamir's paper, he insisted that there had been no copying, and that it was merely a "co-accident."

Mr. Darafsheh and Mr. Moghani's paper was published in the Italian Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. The Chronicle contacted the editor, Piergiulio Corsini, who in turn asked Violeta Leoreanu Fotea, a professor of mathematics at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, in Romania, to investigate. After reviewing both papers, she wrote that she could "not say that Darafsheh and Moghani have plagiarized the work of Shamir."

After The Chronicle e-mailed her multiple examples of just such copying from the paper, Ms. Leoreanu Fotea acknowledged that it was "a lot of identical text," and said Mr. Corsini would decide how to handle the matter. But he wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle that he was not sure what decision he was supposed to make. "The paper has been already published, and I cannot cancel it," he wrote. "I'm sorry for what happened."

Later, Ms. Leoreanu Fotea wrote to say that "two lines on this unpleasant episode of plagiarism" would appear in a future edition of the journal. 'Deny the Undeniable'

In 2009, another paper that borrowed heavily from Mr. Shamir's without credit was published in the Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Emerging Trends in Engineering & Technology. One of the co-authors was Preeti Bajaj, president of the G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, in India, who was also chair of the conference where the pl