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?