Facebook Docs -> tool for plagiarism or tool for sharing? Last night I was fooling around with Facebook, looking at some of the applications developed by 3rd-party programmers. One tool that is available is Docs, developed by Scribd (also available at its own page), that allows students to upload documents to a database. Students are posting old assignments, homework, etc. Some teachers are also posting information for students. There's a discussion going on by concerned educators about this sharing of info.

Two years ago when I started receiving obviously plagiarised material, I began to restructure my assignments to ask for more reflective material, for example, their opinions on art work or personal experiences with the threats of the internet, but students are still plagiarising in my classes (and getting caught by me!).

I googled "facebook docs" and found an interesting blog comment on Blern by Greg Kraus, who writes about re-evaluating the concept of plagiarism in today's collaborative world. (By the way, what is the etiquette of quoting from somebody's blog, with full credit, of course!)? I'm wondering what other members of Classroom 2.0 think of this and what they are doing to combat plagiarism.

Tags: facebook docs, plagiarism

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I have similar problems with my 6 form group - they think that copy and pasting documents and technical information on topics i give them is really all that is required.

I have heard of a database that teachers can copy scipt into to see if its from another source, it recognises it and gives you the origin. My students aren't even clever enough to make it discreet, i mostly find they have taken the first link off google.

Unfortunately, i don't know what that database was called or even if it was free, however, if i recall, it was used by universities to combat this problem directly and seemed fairly effective.
My daughter's university uses Turnitin, I believe, but it is licenced. I also use Google to catch the plagiarism. What makes me frustrated is that this is grade 10 and we have DISCUSSED plagiarism as a topic in class (computer literacy and ethics). Then some of them go and do it anyway! I wouldn't accept the assignments and made them redo it.
Shayne, I know it might be disheartening, but it is really important for you to keep up the good fight on this! It's easy to copy and paste, yes, then why aren't they also copying and paste-ing the webaddress and giving proper credit?!

Please do make the students redo the work, and let it be known that you will have consequences (grade and reworking) for those who don't give proper credit... by college, they might get an automatic flunk in a course that they actually paid to take--if they haven't practiced how to avoid plaigarism. Your help now will be a very valuable life-lesson for them. So, do keep googling those papers!

I tell them stories of people I know who got caught, and they share their stories. I also give them some websites to help with citation, eg. citationmachine.net and ottobib.com but some of them are sooooo.... lazy.



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