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Plagiarism and Online Education

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Plagiarism by college students is a serious problem in Online Education. I was astonished by the many hundreds of websites and links. This essay discusses plagiarism from an online perspective, as well as a current student of online college. I will also be commenting on academic policies about plagiarism. What is Online Education?

Online education is fast becoming one of the most significant areas of the digital society (Ch.8, par 1). It has become the way that many students connect to continuing their education in this fast pace world. Students from anywhere within the United States can gain access to the many colleges to continue their goals. It is the break from the traditional way of attending college. I feel it is best served for the self-motivated student who is able to work independently. What is Plagiarism?

In some cases, it refers to the use of a quotation of a sentence or two, without quotation marks also the failure to include a citation to the original author. In more severe situations, a larger percentage of the work was written by someone else: ex: the online plagiarism checker removes the true author(s) name(s) and exchanged with the plagiarist name, or even if the plagiarist changed some of the original work prior to submitting for online class assignment(s). What makes Plagiarism wrong?

In my opinion students of online colleges are viewed and graded accordingly on the basis of what they absorb from reading material. The fact online student creates and expresses new view points and opinions in view of the material read. If a student gets credit for expressing those opinions of another person other than their own work. Then plagiarism by the plagiarist does exist and has committed fraud, for claiming and using something of another individual. My view point

I see plagiarism as a sin, in the writings posted on my wall in the Ten Commandments it states “Thou Shall not Steal”, and this is exactly what is being done online. I mean if the plagiarized text is copyrighted, then the student has also infringed the material of the text, due to the student not having verbal or written authorization to use, paraphrase substantial amount of the original author(s) work. Easy A’s may be even easier to score these days, with the growing popularity of online course. Tech-savvy students are finding ways to cheat that let them ace online courses with minimal effort, in ways that are difficult to detect (Young, J.R. (2013) (chapt.1, par. 1). I see many people before me that I know personally that has demonstrated cheating does not pay off by any means. Yes, you get an A in the course but mentally you are nowhere in gaining knowledge.

It seems to be that it is easy to achieve the perfect grade through online education by many committing plagiarism in one form or another. Source material is available online as stated before in a simple search and it becomes the student ethic values to use it or earn it on their own. Whether the student chooses to take a few words or the whole the online student has committed plagiarism. According to the author it states “plagiarism is difficult to detect”. I disagree with this with the many programs that are now in place that the instructor has available to use to help catch those that cheat. Such programs as Turnitin and others are used to help the instructor check for plagiarism. Though if you think about it the way I do, if the Instructor has to check multiple documents for such offenses how much time is left for the preparation for future classes and when will the students receive their grades.

I was searching information regarding the issues surrounding Plagiarism and Online Education, and found an article “You may Now Open Your Test Tablets” , In this article they discuss how 70 students were able to cheat using smart phones to share questions and answers.(Schaffhauser, D. (2012) (par 1). Online education has an open door with little protection against plagiarism in my view. As a student of online whether it be a test or a class the student has the availability to cheat and this is a serious problem. As we move further in the year this is a program that eventually will be allowed in High Schools across the states. This would affect the grades of all students taking the same exam or other. How is problem to be dealt with if it is not able to grasp the break in?

According to SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) points out “once test questions were exposed and possibly made public, not only would the consortium have to remove the questions from the pool of available items, doing so would be expensive-upward of $2,500 per item.(Schaffhauser,D.(2012) (par. 4). Imagine the cost if the numbers are so high with online students committing plagiarism. As technology searches for new method to online teaching and tech-savvy students search for new methods of cheating someone is on the losing end. I see it as the student and the instructor are both losing along with the industry of developers. If the pursuit to deter plagiarism is not made clear to the student then the student is going to use them.

Despite the apparently deliberate action of plagiarism, sometimes the intention to plagiarize is not fully characterized due to lack of knowledge of whom is plagiarizing. Considering its variations, according to Maurer et al. (2006) plagiarism can be: “a) accidental: due to lack of plagiarism knowledge, and understanding of citation or referencing style being practiced at an institute; b) Unintentional: the vastness of available information influences thoughts and the same ideas may come out via spoken or written expressions as one’s own; d) intentional: a deliberate act of copying complete or part of someone else’s work without giving proper credit to original creator; d) self plagiarism: using self published work in some other form without referring to original one”.( Berlinck, Roberto G. S.. (2011).(Par.6)

Many students are not clear on exactly what Plagiarism is and how to avoid it. I cannot say that is the case in every situation. There are resources available to the online student to help them avoid this situation; the use of the library at their present college has a program to help, talking with the instructor on ways to avoid this as well. I believe that the ethic that was taught when young does not always follow. I also believe that the online student may feel this is the quickest way to achieve their goals as well. In either case the fact of cheating is and never will be acceptable as an honorary way of learning. Preparation, time, research is all that the student can do to avoid using someone else’s work.

Avoiding plagiarizing while dealing with online college may be easy to gather resources and earn that A grade but, in the real world will that same student be able to do the job they pursued through online education. Technology, today is working on new ways to avoid this large problem of online plagiarism and still the problems rises each day as more students pursue their education online. Whether a student is discipline the first or third time does not change the fact that it does affect everyone. I stated early the cost of someone cheating online and the cost to change the program itself would be costly, not to leave out the time consumption of time each instructor that has to continuously check in this manner.

I think that plagiarism is wrong and students should be allowed to correct themselves the first time around, therefore after the student should have to repeat the course itself. Whether that would deter future students of online education from committing plagiarism is unsure, but the financial cost would open a door of thought. Online education is available and their maybe more than one student in the home attending such a college. Efforts are being made in technology to ward off such students who insist on doing it this way, even though the thought is wrong other factors may lead the student to this path.

When I mention online college it is just not talking about the student who gathers information from websites and links, I do include the student who gathers information from friends who have previously taken the course and the use of their information to succeed online. Plagiarism is cheating no matter how it is done and for whatever the reason. I feel that there is no immediate resolution to the problem, maybe in the future technology and software will be able to catch up with the tech-savvy student faster and to prevent costly changes to the system.

Ison, D.C. (2014) Does the Online Environment Promote Plagiarism? A Comparative Study of Dissertation from Brick-and-Mortar versus Online Institutions. Journals of Online Learning & Teaching, 10(2), 272 Additional Information:

Persistent link to this record (Permalink): http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=97080962&site=eds-live Bretag, T. (2013). Challenges in Addressing
Plagiarism in Education. Plos Medicine, 10(12), 1-4. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001574 YOUNG, J. R. (2013). Online Classes See Cheating Go High Tech. Education Digest, 78(5), 4. -Additional Information:

Persistent link to this record (Permalink): http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=84525209&site=eds-live

Schaffhauser, D. (2012). YOU MAY NOW OPEN YOUR TEST TABLETS… ( cover story). T H E Journal, 39(7), 16. Additional Information:
Persistent link to this record (Permalink): http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=94425144&site=eds-live Berlinck, Roberto G. S.. (2011). The academic plagiarism and its punishments – a review. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, 21(3), 365-372. Epub June 10, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-695X2011000300003&lng=en&tlng=en. 10.1590/S0102-695X2011005000099

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