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61.9% of Undergraduates Cybercheat 484

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the another-38-percent-lie dept.
RichDiesal writes "A recent study of 1222 undergraduates found that 61.9% of them 'cybercheat,' which involves using the Internet illicitly to get higher grades. Some of the quotes from students are a bit troubling. As one 19-year-old engineering student put it, 'As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for.'"
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61.9% of Undergraduates Cybercheat

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  • Cybercheat? (Score:4, Funny)

    by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:00PM (#35138612) Homepage Journal
    Cybercheat?
    Your brain is beat.
    You're only as smart
    As whiskers neat.
    Burma Shave
    • A recent study of 1222 undergraduates found that... "As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

      limewire!? How recent is this study?

      • A recent study of 1222 undergraduates found that... "As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

        limewire!? How recent is this study?

        Probably pretty recent - I've run into recent graduates in the past few months still using it

      • by langelgjm (860756) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:59PM (#35140354) Journal
        The blog post is from 2011, but the article it discusses was published in 2008 (so the study itself was probably done in 2007 or so). (‘Not necessarily a bad thing ’: a study of online plagiarism amongst undergraduate students. Neil Selwyn, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 1469-297X, Volume 33, Issue 5, First published 2008, Pages 465 – 479.)
      • Limewire is pretty common among non-geek types. That's how the majority of college students download music. It's easier for them to be able to search for a song and download it, which is less complicated than having to go out and find a torrent to download.
    • You mean Myanmar Shave?

  • Cybercheat? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:02PM (#35138636)
    And about 97% of drivers "velocitycheat", or drive faster than the posted speed limit. See, I can make up new words too!
    • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:14PM (#35138808) Journal

      What makes the article particularly irritating is that their own definition for 'cybercheat' doesn't match the context in which they're using it:

      Cybercheating can be defined as cheating enabled by the internet – so cybercheating can occur in any course.

      61.9% (757 students) admitted to engaging in online plagiarism. 59% copied a few sentences, 30% copied a few paragraphs, 12% copies a few pages, 4% copied entire documents, and 3% purchased essays. 22.3% admitted to engaging in such behaviors regularly.

      It's plain old plagiarism, hardly 'enabled' by the internet and certainly not worthy of it's own new word.

      The actual figures, while not brilliant, are far less worrying than they seem to be trying to lead us to believe, and the word 'cybercheating' is just another one of those ploys to gain extra coverage by still implying that the internet is something new and scary, rather than a day-to-day avenue by which old behaviours, from simple conversation to bullying to cheating are carried out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alexborges (313924)

        People that cheat, don't learn. In the future of all those students, it will all be sorted out: people that cheated constantly only to get a degree, will have lost time and money to get an education that they rejected when they cheated themselves out of actually baking the certificate with actual skills (beyond stealing). So, long term competition, I think, will favor the intelligent. Non cheaters with a degree will go further and get another one, will go to a company and actually make it money instead of l

        • And I disagree. Although I've never "cybercheated" (from what I can recall at least, I always cite sources) I can see why it is appealing. I've taken more than a dozen courses in my Engineering degree that are beyond useless for my professional career, its how the education system works. So when I'm tasked to write a 20 page page on something in my Humanities Elective course I don't *really* lose anything when I come out with a passing grade and nothing else. The university wasted my time and money on that

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ArhcAngel (247594)

          I've worked in numerous companies over my career and my experience would suggest you are incorrect. Like it or not cheating is a skill and those who are good at it are usually good at making upper management think they know what they are doing. They are also pretty good at getting other people to either do their jobs or take the blame for failures.

        • by Locke2005 (849178)
          In real everyday business life, using existing documents as a starting point instead of generating new documents from scratch is considered a good business practice. Chances are have "cheated" won't effect their careers at all.
        • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by deapbluesea (1842210) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:26PM (#35139882)

          I'm replying to the parent because all of the children who replied to this have said basically the same thing and it needs to be addressed.

          It appears that the slashdot crowd has no need for a liberal arts (in the classical sense) education. They only want job training instead. This is the problem with our current concept of college. Instead of going to get a well-rounded education that makes us better thinkers, more able to understand and inquire about the world around us, and generally improve our ability to be inquisitive successfully, college in America (and some other countries) is viewed as a way of gaining specialized job skills.

          The school I attended had a very broad curriculum. I majored in Computer Science, minored in Math, but also took a year of Chemistry, Physics, History, English Lit, EE, Foreign Language, Biology and a semester of Aero, Astro, Civil Engineering, and Psychology (not an exhaustive list, just the ones I remember off the top of my head). I haven't used the majority of those subjects in my current job. In fact, I haven't even committed any Computer Science for most of my career. Does that mean my entire education was a waste? I certainly don't think so. I've been in situations where my Civil Engineering class actually proved useful to me. My wife loves to talk with me about history, and I draw heavily from my world history classes in those discussions. When studying genetic algorithms, my biology class came in rather handy, and I was grateful for that foreign language class when vacationing in Germany.

          In short, my college education has enriched my life, made me a better person, and provided a broad foundation from which to launch new inquiries when I'm feeling curious. I humbly suggest that those who view college as only vocational training take a look at their local community college. There are many degrees offered there that don't require a liberal arts education, don't put you in a position that you feel you have to sacrifice your honor just to get a grade in a class you do not care about, and cost dramatically less than a college where you basically paid for the privilege of cheating your way through the classes you didn't find "useful" to your career choice.

          • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:02PM (#35140384)
            The problem is that colleges and universities in the U.S. (and probably elsewhere) have been selling themselves as the route to a better paying job for 50 years. They gave up trying to sell a "liberal arts" education (as opposed to a Liberal Arts education) years ago. The market for vocational training is much larger than the market for a "liberal arts" education, so they have chosen to go for the vocational training market.
            You are correct that there is value in a "liberal arts" education, but you are going to find it difficult to convince people to spend more than the price of a new car every year for four or more years for one. The thing about community college is that the big schools spend a lot of time telling you how much more you can earn if you go to them rather than to a more vocational training oriented school.
          • In fact, I haven't even committed any Computer Science for most of my career.

            Nicely put.

      • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:22PM (#35138940) Journal

        Bad form to reply to myself, but this seemed worth adding:

        The study also examined “traditional” plagiarism and found similarly high levels – again, 61.9% of the sample reported some type of plagiarism, though this time from books and articles. I am not wholly convinced that the researchers adequately differentiated “online articles” and “offline articles” (students may consider these to be the same thing), but there is not enough detail reported on their method to be sure either way.

        Fits pretty well with what I said, IMO. Firstly that the level of plagiarism is about the same either way - it's not some scary new phenomenon that's sucking in our students from those devil-boxes on their desks - and secondly that there's so little actual difference between an online article and a printed one that people (rightly, in my opinion) don't even consider them as different things. An utter non-story, but one of the type we'll keep getting for a while yet, by the look of things.

        • there's so little actual difference between an online article and a printed one that people (rightly, in my opinion) don't even consider them as different things.

          One ISP I was with was one of those that required "written notice, 30 days in advance" to quit. So I sent them a written notice, by email. They decided that email didn't count as written. I thought if any business ought to understand, it should be an ISP. Well of course they did understand, they were just trying to cheat.

          When I learned they had renewed me anyway, I called and they let me quit, but would not refund the money. Tried to get me to accept the day I had called as the quit date. Even lectu

      • by daaxix (218354)

        The percentages in their study are also higher for engineering and mathematics students.

        Another particularly irritating caveat of this study is that they assign any "copying from the internet" to "cybercheating."

        1) It is unclear whether in whatever questionnaire that they used whether the adequately distinguished between "copying a few lines with attribution" vs "copying a few lines without attribution."

        2) In engineering and mathematics Wikipedia, Planetmath, Physics forums, etc. are usually useful and corr

        • Hell I regularly used tutorial code as a starting point when doing undergrad projects.
          Normally I'd add something like "some code based on tutorial code at: http....." and never once did a professor so much a blink.

          Why people wouldn't just attribute stuff is beyond me.
          From a quick scan of it I too am not sure if they exclude attributed stuff.

          • Normally I'd add something like "some code based on tutorial code at: http....." and never once did a professor so much a blink.

            As a college professor, I welcome attributed sources as part of a turn-in. It tells me what the student did himself, and which part of the assignment I can disregard while grading. It is the non-attributed work that gets students in trouble. If I catch it, they get a zero because I can no longer trust that any of the work in the assignment was theirs. If I don't catch it, then the student gets a grade for work they may or may not have done. It hurts the student, and is unfair to those would did the ass

      • Agreed.

        Also, I'd like to see the qualifier "non-accidentally" attached to the "copied a few sentences" - people do occasionally leave off attribution accidentally, particularly if the quotations are small, and it technically would fall under that category. Note that all of the "FOR DEFS CHEETIN" categories are much, much smaller than "Copied a Few Sentences."

    • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MaXintosh (159753) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:18PM (#35138878)
      +1. Do we need a new word for each technology? When people invented the Xerox machine, did people start talking about "Photo-cheating?"

      In any event, most of the 'cheating' measures are only useful in the more vacuous subjects. In most most of the hard topics, it's easy enough to see if student know material in short form ("Finish in the following: Glucose 6-phosephate is rearranged into Fructose 6-phosphate by _____") and in long form, slightly trickier, but you can generally filter the bulk of cheats by simply asking students some intelligent questions about their papers verbally. It's just that many people have got horribly lazy, or have been forced to lecture unreasonably large classrooms, or both.
      • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:31PM (#35139092) Journal

        In any event, most of the 'cheating' measures are only useful in the more vacuous subjects.

        Although I find the article to be fairly poor, the one thing that did surprise me was the subjects arranged by cheating level. My assumption would have been the same as yours, but apparently no so:

        1. Engineering and technology (72%)
        2. Computer sciences and mathematical sciences (71%)
        3. Social studies (64%)
        4. Business and administrative studies (63%)
        5. Law (62%)
        6. Creative arts and design (61%)
        7. Architecture, Building and Planning (60%)
        8. Medicine (58%)
        9. Natural sciences (57%)
        10. Humanities (46%)

        Although it does seem that 'traditional' subjects are firmly at the bottom of the list. More plagiarism from those doing a degree to get a job, and less from those doing a degree to learn, perhaps?

        • by MaXintosh (159753)
          #2 must be c/p'ed code or something similar. I can believe that - it's too easy to find code that way. I really can't see how people are cheating on engineering work unless lecturers have become phenomenally lazy in the last decade. Most of the stuff I ended up doing was "Here is unique problem X. Students need to come up with a solution or a method to produce a solution." sort of work. Aside from working with another student (which isn't effective, but often isn't forbidden) how the heck could you i-E-Cybe
          • Re:Cybercheat? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:44PM (#35139270) Journal

            I've studied physics in UK and US universities, and while both had their share of good and bad professors, one thing I noticed in the US that never happened in the UK (admittedly extrapolating from two universities to two entire countries, but anyway...) was that questions from the textbook would be set as graded work, rather than the professor making up their own unique problems (as you experienced, and as they always did at the UK university). I'm guessing that swapping PDFs of textbook answers is what they're talking about in engineering.

        • by tehcyder (746570)
          It's a lot harder to pass off a longish humnaities essay by someone else as your own, the style, vocabulary and so on are a lot more personal and obvious than if you're writing out a fairly dry report of a lab experiment or something.
          • by MaXintosh (159753)
            Most lab reports should also be impossible to pass off as anyone but your own - the results are too unique for each person. Someone tried to make up their own values for the lab report in a lab I took back in my undergrad, and they were easily caught when the TA looked at the distribution of the results. And if you're required to report raw data too? The time you'll spend trying to cheat on the lab report, you might as well have done it yourself. And any time you ask a student to explain their work (especia
    • by Tr3vin (1220548) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:37PM (#35139178)
      I had to cybergoogle 'velocitycheat' to mindunderstand what you were cybertalking about.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:06PM (#35138688)
    What does using the Internet illegally have to do with cheating? There's a huge difference between downloading the newest Ke$ha song and plagiarizing a source online for your paper (where the 61.9% figure comes from).
  • Sounds Like A Plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:06PM (#35138696)

    As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

    Those of you who agree with this student please stand up and be counted. Post it on your Facebook pages, MySpace thingies, personal blogs, etc. I want to know who you are when I'm interviewing to hire new talent.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Skarecrow77 (1714214)

      I'm pretty sure that your using the internet to investigate an applicant would be counted as "cybercheating" the hiring process. Way to be a hypocrite.

      The whole idea of penalizing people for using the internet to produce answers in today's world sounds silly now doesn't it?

      • I'm pretty sure that your using the internet to investigate an applicant would be counted as "cybercheating" the hiring process. Way to be a hypocrite.

        The whole idea of penalizing people for using the internet to produce answers in today's world sounds silly now doesn't it?

        It's the cheating that differentiates the actions.

        • A lot of what a college review board would term "cheating" is standard practice in the business world, and I'm sure that as someone in a position to hire you are aware of this. Academia is out of touch with modern working society, and has been for a long time. Perhaps they never really were in touch with it.

          • by tibit (1762298)

            The problem is that when all that you do is taking others' ideas, you won't ever innovate. Maybe that explains why the finance business world has been, um, suffering recently. They were cheating as long as they could. I'm perfectly fine with academia being "out of touch" with that aspect of "modern working society", thankyouverymuch.

    • by duguk (589689)

      As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

      Those of you who agree with this student please stand up and be counted. Post it on your Facebook pages, MySpace thingies, personal blogs, etc. I want to know who you are when I'm interviewing to hire new talent.

      Why not, y'know, actually interview and gauge their real ability, rather than what's written on paper? Experience means a lot more than having enough money to go to University/College.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Why, are you planning to Cyberout them?

  • by geminidomino (614729) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:08PM (#35138716) Journal

    You don't create a new fucking word by prefixing "cyber-" to it. Didn't we already go through this with that fucking "E-" shit ten years ago?

    The word is "cheat," dickholes. It's not any different because it's on the internet. What is this, a fucking patent application? /rant

  • by Confusedent (1913038) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:08PM (#35138718)
    61.9% have cybersex with someone other than their girl/boyfriends?
  • by pablo_max (626328) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:08PM (#35138720)

    87% of students in the pre-internet age copied directly from the encyclopedia.

    How is it news that kids cheat? Teachers never had it so good. Google has made it so easy to catch them it is ridiculous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:09PM (#35138744)

    Guess what: we "cheat" in the real world, universities and schools. We have reference materials to give us facts and information. Our real skill comes from how we *apply* that information, and separates the merely good from the great. Schools don't teach or measure that true ability, all they "teach" is how to recall facts that we can look up in the first place.

    It's pathetic. We don't actually learn anything, schools are just a training ground for trivia shows, and give unfair advantage to people that have a better memory. Has nothing to do with your actual skill.

    It's time to stop this garbage and teach people real skills and test to that, instead of making schools and universities glorified "Jeopardy!" games.

    • Quality post. if I hadn't already posted in this thread, I'd mod you up.

      To anyone who disagrees, you mean to tell me that when YOU need to know an answer, you don't google it?

      Be realistic. "Higher education" isn't about preparing people for the real world, it's about propagating it's own illusion of requirement for success in the business world without actually teaching skills that you need to know to be successful.

      In the real world, if you need to know something, you don't sit there in front of a piece of

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Agreed... sorta.

      There is also a problem solving component to it. Yes, being able to google that problem and find something that at least gets you started is an important skill, but there are occasionally original problems, and sometimes seeing what others have done can hinder creativity.

      I always make a habit of working a problem initially with no reference material, to develop a kinda rough first impression solution. Then I'll go looking around at similar problems and how people have solved them. Existing c

    • that why we need apprenticeship like systems not teach the test. It may be better to make the tests more hands on with open book / open Google / have or have no test but a as you go grading. The teach the test idea leads to things like paper mcse.

  • Just Rewards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:10PM (#35138750)

    I found some pretty damning evidence that a relative of mine was cheating in high school, using the "purchase a paper online" method to "write" instead of actually doing the work himself. While he graduated high school without incident, you wouldn't call him a great student. He went on to college, but dropped out after one year of his own volition, though most of us suspected the real issue was (though never confirmed, as he wouldn't share) his grades. The work is there to for educational means. Cheating means you learn nothing, and yes, sooner or later, you will reap just rewards.

  • Cheating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot@nOspaM.spad.co.uk> on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:11PM (#35138764) Homepage

    You're only cheating yourself.

    Nobody cares that you have a degree if you can't even answer simple questions about your subject in an interview.

    • by Nukenbar (215420)

      If you are not cheating, you are only cheating yourself.

      If you never get the degree or the grades to get the interview, what does it matter.

    • A lot of hires are done by HR departments and middle managers who do not know enough about the subject to ask even simple questions. To them, a degree means a lot more than your ability to answer questions or to do the job. Your suit matters more than your ability to answer questions.

  • Does it count as cheating using a test bank / old test that is on line that get reused?

    Like in that FL cheating where people where using a test bank / practice test and the professor just uses the same thing for the test is not cheating but it counts as cheating.

  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:16PM (#35138838) Homepage Journal
    TFA does a cheater percentage breakdown by field. They show fields like engineering and tech and computer sciences as having a higher percentage of cheating students in them than other fields. I want to know what types of classes the students are cheating in. TFA mainly discusses using online "paper mills" to print out reports that the student themselves didn't write. As a recent engineering graduate, I rarely had to write a report for any of my classes that actually mattered for my education (math, sciences, engineering applications, etc.) All of the work was done primarily as projects and problem solving. The only reports we did have to write were discussions of our own projects, something that couldn't be plagiarized or downloaded from online.

    The classes that did involve report writing were things like Jazz history, Literary Analysis, Political Studies, etc. In other words, us techie majors had to write extensive reports on matters that we just didn't give a fuck about, for classes that added absolutely nothing to the skill set we would need for our careers. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the engineering and and compy sci. students that were cheating, were cheating in their GE and liberal arts classes because they just don't give a shit about those topics. Furthermore, they are probably overworked and under-rested when it comes to studying for the classes they do care about. So, rather than waste their valuable time writing a report about The Scarlet Letter (something that should have been done in HS), they say fuck it and download one. Honestly, I can't blame them for that. It's good time management and it shows they know how to budget their energy for things that matter.

    I would rather see a breakdown by class type that involved cheating for each one of those field breakdowns. If my guess is correct, I say go forth and cheat my young engineers. Spend your time actually learning calculus, mathematical analysis, and designing something. That's what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life so you might as well learn it now.
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      You are probably correct but that doesn't excuse academic dishonesty. Perhaps those of you who seem to think that a university is a job mill should go do technical certificates and stop sullying the reputations of your schools and the 40% of the student body who actually are capable of writing an intelligent paper without plagiarizing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642)

      As a recent engineering graduate, I rarely had to write a report for any of my classes that actually mattered for my education (math, sciences, engineering applications, etc.)

      Ah, you should have written "training" not "education". If you had gotten an education, perhaps you'd know the difference. Not that there's anything wrong with that, very few companies indeed want to hire educated people, they almost exclusively want highly trained people. Advanced vo-tech, regardless of what campus its held on, is not by any means an education.

      You also missed out on some excellent dating opportunities. In my bachelors of CS era I found the CS classes to be a near 100% sausage-fest, the

    • by ALeavitt (636946) <aleavitt.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:29PM (#35139062)
      Maybe you and people like you should stick to trade schools so that you can learn a career and nothing but a career, and leave higher education to the people who actually want to get an education. Cheating your way through an education that you don't want is a disservice to you and a disservice to all of the people whom you are preventing from getting an education by taking up a spot that you don't even want in a class that you don't even care about.
      • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:36PM (#35139156)

        you are working under the assumption that 4 years (or rather, 120 credits) in college is "an education". I understand your misconception, they do everything in their power to convince you of such.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RingDev (879105)

          As compared to the "education" you'll pick up over 4 years of pumping gas for the local 7-11?

          The education you get at most colleges is entirely based on how much you put into it. You can slack through your classes, plagiarize, do minimal efforts, etc... and get a degree in 4 years with out learning a whole lot. Or you can engross yourself in your studies, push not just to meet the prof's requirements, but to exceed your own limitations.

          The biggest educational lesson you can learn in undergrad studies, IMO,

      • I should probably make it clear that I never actually cheated myself, in either my core classes or my GE classes. I very much enjoyed most of my liberal arts classes. As one other respondent noted, they had more cute girls in them. Furthermore, I really did appreciate having a broad and diverse education. However, I don't think that a broad and diverse education is something that a lot of technically minded individuals are interested in. As such, I can see exactly how and why they would feel justified in ch
    • by roju (193642)

      Why didn't you pick interesting electives, instead of ones that you hated? Seriously, I took a science fiction class for one of mine. It was awesome!

    • Why do we so much filler classes? make then pass / fail so you can do the min work (with you working hard on stuff actually mattered) and not F* your GPA.

      why so many papers in them anyways?

    • by martas (1439879)
      An interesting perspective. I was personally extremely troubled by the much higher [claimed] incidence of cheating in math/sci/engineering students, since I really want to believe that those kids are capable of becoming good and honest contributors to their respective fields. But your hypothesis does make a lot of sense, and I can only hope that you're right about the cheating occurring mostly in classes that are of little relevance to their future occupations. Even in that case, I'm not happy about it -- t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarthVain (724186)

      I would say go to technical college then. Have fun at DeVry. Those that want a more well rounded education and not just training, will benefit from your absence.

      I think people forget that education isn't just to prepare you for a job, but rather for life and to become a better more educated person.

      You talk of "paper mills", but in actuality your ideal university is exactly that, churning out diploma's of peons ready to be sent to their corporate cubes.

      That's not to say that I would particularly like to take

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:04PM (#35139574) Homepage

      There are a lot of problems with that view on things:
      1. If you're taking classes on jazz history, literary analysis, political science, etc, I sincerely hope you're interested in it, because it's probably costing you something on the order of $200 per class session. If you wanted to attend a school with practically no requirements beyond technical work, you should be looking to transfer to a school that has that.
      2. Being able to digest information about non-engineering topics matters more than you'd think in engineering. For instance, if you were designing 'green architecture' buildings, wouldn't it help you to be able to make sense of all the political, scientific, and economic discussions around green architecture?
      3. Being able to write well really matters, because part of your job as an engineer is being able to describe your designs.
      4. Why would your life possibly be worse off by knowing something about jazz history or literary analysis?

      If they're overworked and under-rested, they need to find a way to lower their courseload or get some more rest, not find a way to cheat. Although I went through a pretty rigorous program myself, my solution to the rest problem was to get to sleep at more-or-less the same time every day, get up at more-or-less the same time every day, and work on schoolwork from about 9 to 4:30 unless I was in class. The result was that I found myself getting projects and papers in good-enough shape well before the due date, and would spend a few hours refining the results, and could devote my evenings and weekends to fun stuff and frequently ending up with it being 2:30 on a Friday afternoon and nothing to worry about until Monday morning.

      Complementing people on their time management when their solution is to not get something done is a bad idea.

      I don't recommend everything Joel Spolsky writes, but his college advice [joelonsoftware.com] is pretty good.

  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:17PM (#35138840)

    As one 19-year-old engineering student put it, "As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.),"

    People still use limewire? Is this a dupe from a decade ago? Either this kid was about 8 when limewire was "cool", or this kid is planning his big 30 year birthday party this year.

  • Let's not forget the education model is still mostly outdated. The breadth and depth of knowledge for many traditional courses has expanded exponentially. Not to mention there are a few new ones particularly in genetics, bio-tech, etc.

    Should the study and test model of the industrial age still apply in the (unprecedented volumes of) Information age?
  • Of course not! I would never cybercheat on my cybertests. Those cyberessays are just too vital to my growth as a cyberstudent. Cybercheating would be a cyberdisgrace to my cyberhonor.

  • by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:23PM (#35138968) Journal
    (Disclosure: I'm a teacher and I am pretty sure my principal isn't reading slashdot.)

    Cheating...
    Nearly everything that a "teacher" calls cheating is an accepted practice in the business world. Schools, in the US anyway, are mainly geared toward getting a student involved in some type of business.
    Cheating - Looking off someone's work.
    Business - Gaining direction.

    Cheating - copying.
    Business - Using available resources.

    Cheating - use of internet.
    Business - again, using available resources so you can build on another's success.

    Cheating - adjusting grades
    Business - Creative accounting.

    Cheating - asking a friend for an answer
    Business - Collaboration. This person is a team player.

    Our educational system is 19th century organization using 19th century ideals. What should we teach today? How about some analysis: Teach not "what is the right answer?" but "Why is this answer right?"
    Teach not "what is X?" but "How does X change when Y is introduced?"

    Get people to think! You get the idea.
    • by vlm (69642)

      Our educational system is 19th century organization using 19th century ideals. What should we teach today? How about some analysis: Teach not "what is the right answer?" but "Why is this answer right?"

      The real world is : What is the correct term to google? Closely followed by, how do I evaluate and then apply google's results?

      Honestly this is how probably about 50% of out in the real world R+D hours are spent. That and soaking up on the stream of consciousness of /. like a sponge.

      • by Skuto (171945)

        In reference to your post's parent, it's also fair to say the other, and perhaps most enlightening, 50% is spent on some variation of "why isn't this working?" followed by "what idiot wrote this?"

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Perhaps that just means that the business world doesn't have any ethics or morals. It also probably means that MBAs ought to be required to take a lot more courses dealing with ethics because quite frankly they don't seem to understand that you can't just steal from people and justify it by being profitable for your business. I hope that there are more MBAs that don't think that way than I think they do, but looking around I have very little optimism for that.

  • And, by getting away with it, I mean how do you overcome not having a fundamental understanding of content that might be a prerequisite to higher level classes? It would seem to be exponentially more difficult to cheat your way through classes since at some point in your last years you'll definitely have to be quizzed without a browser accessible.

  • I have translated the article summary for those of us who only speak Cyber-English "A Cyber-recent study of 1222 Cyber-undergraduates found that 61.9% of them "cybercheat," which involves using the Cyber-Internet illicitly to get higher Cyber-grades. Some of the Cyber-quotes from Cyber-students are a Cyber-bit troubling. As one Cyber-19-year-old engineering Cyber-student put it, "As more and more Cyber-people are using the Cyber-Internet illegally (i.e. limewire Cyber-etc.), I feel that the Cyber-chances o
  • Solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThoughtSpaceZero (1992366) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:27PM (#35139032)

    If education didn't carry such a ridiculous profit motive for everybody involved we wouldn't see:

    a) situations where kids feel obliged to cheat or else their life is ruined
    b) situations where the university passes you even though you know exactly nothing so that they can boast numbers

    Education needs to be freely available and de-standardized. Exam grades can't and never prove anything. Like all restrictions of this kind (DRM, War on Drugs, Welfare), it just ends up alienating legitimate users, those who want to go to university to actually learn something and not practice 3-4 years of rote memorisation and regurgitation onto an exam sheet. When you think about it, the exam paradigm such an abhorrently ridiculous method of assessing people, especially in today's climate where I have a permanent connection to the internet, any time of day, anywhere I go.

    We are, as a society, done with memorising trivia. The "expert" of yesterday is a relic, all you need is some logic skills and wikipedia and you can be an "expert" in something almost immediately.

    I would recommend any who haven't seen to watch this video [youtube.com] by RSA Animate on Ken Livingstone's seminar on education paradigms.

  • I saw a lot of cheating in labs and in the study rooms when I did Computer Science in the late 1970s. Sharing code printouts was the most common. [I justified my poor marks to myself that I did not have enough friends in Computer Science. It was more like I was easily distracted]
  • People who cheat are not necessarily unintelligent individuals, in fact, they are researching ways of obtaining information pertinent to a topic for their education, but rather than take that time to learn the material, and cite their own work in a paper, people plagiarize or just don't do the work and allow themselves to be robbed of the education that they are paying damn good money for. In some situations, these individuals are paying for their education from their own dollars, but many others are recei

  • If i catch my students cheating they get a 0 until they submit their own passable work.

    You cheat in my class and I don't catch you? I don't care. "Give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves." "What goes around comes around." "You reap what you sow." If you can't do the work yourself in my class, then you can't do the work in the real world and you'll crash and burn. Not my problem to teach you lessons you don't want to learn. As one of my instructors liked to tell his classes ”I don't care if y

  • Mainly because teachers are overloaded or simply lazy. Tests that only test rote memorization and projects that can easily be "paraphrased" and show little original thought are easily identified by teachers that are making sure students learn. Education also needs to take into account that there is instant access to information in the real world, which puts a premium on people being able to understand, apply and use information.

  • I purchased an essay once, but only because I didn't want to write a bullshit 20-page paper on how the Matrix (yes, the movie) contextualizes modern political and social boundaries. I was not doing well in the class, so it literally came down to either failing the class or cheating and passing with a C.

    I understand the idea behind getting a "well-rounded education", but some of these required courses are ridiculous. I'd rather spend my effort in classes that actually matter. That may diminish my degree in s

  • If I'm asked to make some statements about, say, Ohm's law and I use the term V=IR in my paper is that cheating because I did not come up with that from my own original thought ? It seems to me that a whole lot of this "cheating" is the result of doing something laudable (reading about a subject to learn). I don't see the need for creative originality in all of engineering. In some cases it should be just fine to quote authoritative texts.
    If you're going to mark the kids down then do so for quoting somethi
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:14PM (#35139702)

    The University I attended had a system with "preceptors." A course would have a lecture with all the students from full prof once or twice a week, and a few more times a week a session with a smaller group (~10-15 students). The preceptor could be a grad student, or an assistant prof, or also even the full prof. In that smaller group, the preceptor gets to know the students, which makes cheating impossible. The preceptor would know if some dumb-ass in class wrote a brilliant essay, which was way beyond his or her intellectual faculties. The preceptor also gave you your grade.

    Unfortunately, this was not as extremely enforced in engineering, which was my major. But the prof would come by during the lab exercises, and grill everyone on what they were doing and why and what they thought they would learn.

    I took a lot of high level literature courses as electives. After the first essay that I had to write for one course, the preceptor pulled me aside after the class. She said, "You're not a literature major, are you? I'll bet that you are an engineering student!" She told me that essays from literature majors had very good ideas, but they tended to ramble. Engineers didn't have the best ideas, but their essays were all very well structured. She knew that I didn't cheat on the essay, because she heard what I said in class.

    Want to cut out cheating? Get more direct prof to student contact.

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