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Has anyone out there used, or witnessed a demo of Respondus? It uses a
specific kind of search program that compares with student papers with
sites on the 'net.

Hypothetically, one would load a student paper into it (preferably from
WebCT or Blackboard) and let it rout out striking similarities in syntax
and wording. The results are astounding.

Our campus is considering buying it...

Darrell M. Newton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor,
The Department of Communication and Theater Arts
Salisbury University
290 Holloway Hall
Salisbury, MD 21801
(410) 677-5060 Office
(410) 543-6229 Department

http://faculty.salisbury.edu/~dmnewton/

>>> [log in to unmask] 08/29/04 08:23 AM >>>
As Ph.D. student in film an English Dept., I teach more composition
sections
than film classes, but I've found that students have a real problem
understanding what is public knowledge and what should be cited.  I've
had few that
borrow more than what they feel is "public knowledge" but the concept of
"public"
gets in the way.

Many students think that information on the Internet is "public" and I
have
had some that thought that copying from IMDB or a book jacket was okay
because
it is, of course, public on the net or on a glossy (sell the book)
jacket.
All I was asking for was a paper proposal but I had someone plagarize.
That was
disconcerting and enlightening.

The lines between promotion and ideas can get lost in the hype to sell a
book, or film, or any other commodity.  There's a postmodern moment
there or at
least a Sontag pause for reflection.

The best defense against borrowing from the Internet paper mills is,
obviously, to customize assignments and simply to ask for copies of the
sources they
have consulted. This can help.

The most enlightening experience for me was to require a look at
critical
works and to realize that Siskel was the epitome of a "critical" film
writer.
There is much to be taught and we can do well at this task but each
asignment
must be our own.

Ciao, Deb





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