Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The little darlings identify another valuable life skill

I'm reading Cheating in College: Why Students Do It and What Educators Can Do about It (McCabe, Butterfield, and Trevino  2012) but I'm making slow progress because I keep getting hung up on this point that keeps coming up:

Many students today simply do not consider cut-and-paste plagiarism from the Internet or written sources to be cheating, so when asked in a survey on 'cheating' whether they have engaged in this behavior, many simply say no--even if they have. As noted earlier in the chapter, in their open-ended comments, many explain that they answered this way because, when they engaged in one of these behaviors, it simply wasn't cheating. (58-59)
And what reasons do students offer to explain why their cheating doesn't really qualify as cheating? They rationalize: "they didn't have enough time to do the assignment and had no choice; the assignment had little learning value or was unfair; or using the Internet in this was is effective time management--a skill that will serve them well in the real world when they graduate" (59-60).

So what we have here is a bunch of students who see cheating as a valuable life skill. If that's true, then maybe we ought to start teaching more effective plagiarism skills. Cheating 101--the class that prepares students for a life of rationalization.

How will I ever finish the book when I can't stop banging my head against the wall?

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