Internet cheating, harder to catch!

March 19, 2008

BBC News reports on how students are using new ways to cheat which are more difficult to detect:

Universities warn that students who cheat by commissioning essays from other students are proving harder to catch than other types of plagiarism.

Students are using websites to outsource their essays – inviting other students to put forward their most competitive bids for the work.

What this means is that this work is original and new and can not be easily identified by staff or specialist plagarism software such as Turnitin.

Robert Clarke, a lecturer at Birmingham City University, has identified 4,000 sales on a small number of websites.

Unlike other copied work, he says it is hard for plagiarism software to detect.

“The difficulty is that it is original work – it’s just not the original work of the student handing in the assignment,” says Mr Clarke, principal lecturer in the Department of Computing.

There are no easy solutions to this, though we may need to start re-thinking how we assess students, if traditional models of assessment can be easily circumvented using these auction sites.

University open day held in Second Life

March 19, 2008

BBC reports on how Liverpool University is holding an open day in the virtual world of Second Life.University open day held in Second Life

BA Media students at Liverpool Hope University have set up a virtual campus on the imaginary world website as part of a six-month project.

Virtual students will be on campus on Thursday to interact with prospective students from across the globe.

For someone who doesn’t get Second Life, I actually do get this!