To use or not to use!

Quantity and not quality is the reason professors in India do not use the anti-plagiarism software installed on their computers (Prabhakar, S., Times of India, 2017). It’s a matter of producing as much and as fast as you can.  Why should these professors use this software when they have plagiarised parts of their own thesis,  according to MSU professor of sociology S Samuel Asirraj? Using anti-plagiarism software could get them detected…

As a professor, is your computer equipped with an anti-plagiarism software? Are you using it to check every paper submitted to you, or only when you have doubts that your student has committed plagiarism? Are you using it before publishing your own work???



Take the opportunity to make your teaching better

An article published in the New York Times quite a few years ago (2003) is promoting the idea that teachers can be proactive to try to stop cheating. Mark Edmundson says that  » professors need to stop looking exclusively for technological solutions to a problem that often stems, in consequential ways, from the way we do our jobs. Perhaps the current boom in electronic cheating can give professors — especially in the humanities, as the sciences are often bound to traditional test-giving and test-taking — a chance to pause and think and ultimately to teach in a better way« .

Edmundson explains how « condescending analysis is the order of the day » rather than « personal transformation » of our students. I totally agree with him. We need to make our teaching relevant to our students, to make them see and understand how what we are teaching can impact their lives, their careers. If students feel engaged with the course material, they will want to write their papers themselves and put forward their own ideas.

Fourteen years later, Edmundson’s ideas are still relevant.