Solving the Problem of Internet Plagiarism? The Technological Expediency of Online Plagiarism-Checkers
by Patrick Scanlon - October 18, 2006
The notion that Internet-assisted student plagiarism is on the rise has become part of the conventional wisdom about education in the 21st century. Although empirical studies suggest the case may be overstated, many schools and universities are using online plagiarism-detection services to sniff out cribbing. This solution is an instance of what Paul M. Dombrowski has termed “technologism,” which includes attempts to “operationalize ethics in a decision algorithm” or to otherwise shift the burden of ethical decision making onto a system. By using these services, we may appear to take a tough stand against academic dishonesty without actually addressing the important pedagogical and—perhaps more crucially—ethical questions.
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