Critically considering the ways in which I, a slightly cynical and sometimes corner-cutting post-secondary student, use technology at school, I don’t think the limitations of online education outweigh the advantages. To understand my perspective, you have to examine the reasons an overworked and under-rested student commits academic dishonesty in the first place. I contend that students with today’s research, communication and word-processing tools are no more likely to cheat than their dial-up-and-paper-maps predecessors.
Student stress, especially for high schoolers and undergraduates, is at an all-time high. In fact, some are saying that high schoolers today experience as much stress as 1950s insane asylum patients. In recent years, academia has become increasingly difficult and competitive, simultaneously pressuring students to do more work and go further in their studies than ever before, with college-level education becoming more valued for getting a good job. This pressure to get through so much schoolwork makes it very tempting for students to plagiarize their work, if for no other reason than to give themselves a break.
I recently came across a joke I found quite amusing. It goes like this: “How did the hipster burn his tongue? …He drank his coffee before it was cool.” While this joke might be a little cheesy, it is also largely relevant. I wanted to share this joke, because I feel like it’s a good example of how our society is moving more towards originality. In today’s world, whether people want to admit it or not, hipsters are idolized. If you are unaware of what a hipster is, they are notorious for claiming to know about things before they are “cool”. They are, as some would say, “ahead of the crowd” and therefore, more original. I think that this is what people are desiring these days: to be unique. More often than not, I hear people being made fun of not for being weird or different, but for being “too mainstream”.
Boring. Lazy. Stupid. The first three words that come to mind when I hear the word “plagiarism”. How unoriginal does a person have to be to copy what someone else said? Not only is it wrong, but they can’t even take 2 minutes to reword it to make it not so obvious? To steal someone else’s work and then say it’s his or her own only proves that that person doesn’t have a creative bone in their body, and that they have no ethics or values.
In the modern era, technology is a part of our daily lives. The average American has a smartphone in their pocket that can answer any question or get directions to the nearest coffee shop by the push of a button. But have we taken it too far? Online classes and degree programs are beginning to take the place of classrooms and professors. Instead of choosing to learn in a classroom with a professor, students are opting to take online classes because they are convenient. Online classes have been beneficial to some students because they are the only option that some people have.
“Copy” and “Paste”: They are the two of the easiest commands on your computer. When I was in the fifth grade, I recall having to do a science project for the first time. Performing the experiment was fun; however, my least favorite part of the assignment was writing the paper, giving details on my data obtained and background information I had researched. Being young, my first instinct was to copy and paste whatever I found on Wikipedia, removing the footnote formats and formatting it to look as though I typed it myself.
Academic integrity is a fundamental implication in teaching, learning, college entrance exams, and private scholarships. Common examples of cheating include copying test answers from another student, unapproved collaboration of projects, using notes while taking an exam without the professor’s approval, falsifying and misrepresenting results, or submitting your own work for multiple different assignments.
With the progressive evolution of the Internet, students these days are exposed to abundant resources and tools online, which makes students more susceptible to cheating than ever before. Plagiarism poses a serious threat to academia and students’ original thinking in many ways. Instead of gradually developing questions into ideas, students are given the easy access to simply “copy and paste” what they simply see online as their own original work. Students should be strictly reminded of the consequences of academic cheating in any educational institutions. But when examining the dangers of plagiarism, it is also important to take into consideration the changing factors of the Internet.