07
Oct
09

Things You Never Think You’ll Do…

So yesterday I gave a lecture to my math class about plagiarism.  Frankly, this was a topic I’d never even pondered having to talk about – being a math teacher and all, I don’t assign papers very often (actually this was the first one I’ve ever assigned).  We talked about  what is and isn’t plagiarism as well as the penalties in place for those who are caught.  Since the assignment was only worth 10 points, I just gave a grade of zero to those who (intentionally or not) plagiarized their work, and won’t be taking it any farther than that.  However, I truly hope that the discussion we had in class will stick with my students throughout their college careers.

Incidentally, if any students read this, remember that your instructors use Google too.

Here is a video I found on http://tlt.its.psu.edu/video-highlights/new-video-about-plagiarism, that does a pretty good job of simplifying how students can include others’ ideas without plagiarizing (and it’s kind of funny):

I suppose, as teachers, we need to remember that much of the teaching we do is not necessarily restricted to our subject area.  And while it seems strange to approach a topic like plagiarism in a mathematics class, it’s better to get the discussion out of the way early on in students’ stay at the university.  After all, I think it is possible, likely even, that some of my students didn’t realize what they were doing was wrong.  After all they were not required to have a works cited page, which doesn’t mean you can take someone else’s work without credit, but could have been confusing.  So hopefully this experience will keep them out of trouble in future classes.

Brain Dump complete.

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