In the article Clashing Values: Contemporary Views About Cheating And Plagiarism Compared To Traditional Beliefs And Practices by Emma R, it becomes apparent that there are different interpretations by different generations concerning the issue of cheating and plagiarism. Whereas one generation thinks that it is no offence to use another person’s written work without documenting it, the other know that this is totally wrong. This means that there has been great change on how the current generation of college students views plagiarism because they do not see any wrong doing of cheating therefore, making cheating legitimate. On the other hand, students of the previous generations avoided this because there was a high price to pay for cheating.
There has been a total shift from modern to post modern values, a fact that is not well understood. Many institutions resort to punishing those who cheat but this does not address the behavior or bring one to the understanding of why plagiarism and cheating occurs (436). Traditional outlooks do not make meaning out of the fact that this common trend is n the rise and give solutions to the problem. The question rests on the moral developments that existed in the past and those experienced now. The cause of this change in values rests on attitude change as well as trending behaviors.
The shifts in trends are a clear indicator of how different viewpoints are with regard to objectivity and commitment to academic excellence which is achieved through commitment and truthfulness. Much of the blame can be attributed to the fact that behavior is always seen as either right or wrong (440). Through this kind of reasoning, students are pushed to the limits which they do not like. These students feel like they have been pushed to the limits and such confrontations make them feel anxious, something that they do not like.
Vivien Rolfe, in the article Can Turnitin be Used to Provide Instant Formative Feedback recognizes the fact that plagiarism in institutions of higher learning is a major problem. There are many reasons that she offers to be the cause behind that problem. Above all, she notes that it is not as deliberate as many people think. But above all, she notes that the major cause for this trend is cultural shift and the current breed of students prefer gathering information and not reading, understanding and absorbing the content (701). Apparently, most students do not understand academic cultures and values and hence, their lack of commitment to the same values and cultures.
In order for these students to understand all that is expected of them as academicians, the need to gain the necessary information and skills. Information literacy and referencing is a must know for them in order to ensure that at least they have an idea of what is expected of them. It is only through this that this lot of students can successfully transition. But then, learning technology has a solution to this because it will offer learners with rapid formative feedback online (702). When this happens, students will be in a position to develop their own skills which will go a long way into ensuring that their skills on good academic practices improve.
It is for a fact that students who choose to use a plagiarism detection system and receive instant feedback have reported positive improvement. Once they have received the feedback, they use it in writing a fair copy of their draft assignments and hence, improve their writing a great deal. But this does not mean that thy improved their skills in referencing and citation (706). It means that these students need to get a clear guideline on how to use the report they get after submitting their drafts to plagiarism detecting devices.
Anna Sutton and David Taylor, in their article Confusion about Collusion: Working Together and Academic Integrity seek to address the problem that comes with students working in groups and the integrity questions arising when this happens. When students share information on assignments that are supposed to be individual, there are very high chances that they may give similar answers and this may amount to collusion. When they engage in cutting and pasting information from other sources, they will have committed plagiarism.
There are very high chances that students share in group discussions and if care I not taken, there may be unintended collusion. There are very high chances that students use modern technology to complete tasks online and, therefore, very high chances of cutting and pasting notes which may lead to plagiarism in the long run (838). An individual’s effort may never be appreciated when collision takes place. It may be intended or unintended at times but no one will understand the way it happened. Such practices include asking a friend to proof read your work and then end up copying.
There is a thin line between collusion and cooperating. Even so, when collusion can arise at any moment and students are expected to be careful about with whom they share their information (840). Teamwork is as important because employers need it but then it can be sort elsewhere outside of the classroom. This will lead to avoidance of collusion and therefore, will uphold the spirit of academic integrity. Institutions need to craft and develop guidance of good practices in order to ensure that students receive proper guidance on how to go about sharing of information to a point of avoiding plagiarism and collusion.
Gross, E. R. (2011).Clashing Values: Contemporary Views About Cheating And Plagiarism Compared To Traditional Beliefs And Practices. University of Utah. PDF File
Rolfe, V. (2011). Can Turnitin be Used to Provide Instant Formative Feedback. Brirish Journal of Educational Technology. Vol. 42, No. 4, 2011. 701- 710
Sutton, A. & Taylor, D. (2011). Confusion about Collusion: Working Together and Academic Integrity. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. Vol. 36, No. &, December 2011, 831- 841.