Thursday, 12 July 2007

It’s not plagiarism, it’s an easy essay

by Leigh Blackall

Leigh was offered money to link to an essay writing service. Interested in what they do, Leigh conducted an email interview. The questions and answers are interesting and call for reflection in the role of essay writing as an assessment task.

Here are a few Questions and Answers I found very inspiring:

Does you your service subvert academia? - good bad, doesn’t matter, other…

To some extent, yes, but not without help of educational system itself. Since essays are used as an assessment tool, which is a wrong method for testing student knowledge, students are seeking the way out. This is not bad in itself, since, as previously stated, they receive an opportunity to devote themselves to the path chosen – whether Math, IT, or Dance, but this, perhaps, shapes a wrong worldview, as students have to deal with ethical dilemmas imposed by society, which should not have happened if academic institutions were to develop better assessment techniques and a more personalized, individual interests based educational program.

Do you have alternative visions for knowledge creation and sharing?

With the advent of online social networks, I think that one could definitely come up with an alternative to regular writing assignments. Why not let students communicate and develop their own interest based social networks where they could stand up for their views in academic related subjects that do interest them? For students majoring and/or interested in IT or Math – let them discuss in a written form questions that interest them – both professional knowledge and writing skills would develop. Math and IT students need writing for communicating own ideas in a written form in a professional manner, perhaps, using specialized IT/Math vocabulary. What would develop their writing skills better than an open discussion on an education related topic of own choice? Academic institutions perceive Internet as a threat instead of enjoying all the benefits and opportunities it offers for improvement of education.

I linked to another by Glenda Morgan on Tuesday with more focus on copyright.

I think the whole issue of IP, including the beginning of copying to original ideas, the notion of reference, R & D (repeat and duplicate) has to be re-examined in the light of the current technology.

The whole notion of "reference" is also political which I may address in a later post.

No comments: