Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cheating Bots and Profane Reactions

I was kind of soliciting opportunities to be a discussant rather than write a paper for the next APSA, which led to a bot tweeting me this:
I responded thusly
I think I might be ending my twitter year with the most liked tweet with the fewest retweets.  That is, my academic friends are in agreement but perhaps don't like to retweet that which has profanity.

Anyhow, I have received questions from folks:
  • is this legal?  I have no idea.
  • Can students be punished for using such services?  Hells yes.  The question is of detection. If professors write the assignments well, then the "tutors"/cheating-facilitators will likely write papers that don't pass the sniff test.  The reward for being caught?  Often an F, sometimes expulsion, definitely the burning of bridges and academic cred.  I did have a student in an honors class seek to get a better grade to keep his/her status, but his/her cheating was detected and punished with an F.  So much for letters of recommendation from me....
  • Why do students do this?  Because a few are lazy, fearful, late, or desperate or all of the above.
  • Is it always bad? Um, I discovered only last week or two, that my work was being cited in a paper assignment (the prof's statement of what he/she wanted in the paper) that had been deposited at the website of one of these paper mills. So, all citations are good ones, right?  No.  Not when used to provide instructions to the paper mill.
Anyhow, some profanity today because I happen to be passionate about such stuff. 

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