Daily Bookmarks 10/09/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

2 thoughts on “Daily Bookmarks 10/09/2009

  1. Hi – I’m doing the CCK09 Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Course, too. I’m interested in your ideas about plagarism – or the problems of graduates not citing their sources. I’d like to raise a question about attitudes towards ‘sharing content’ in e-Learning contexts, for example, in a Moodle or a Ning. On the one hand, I’ve heard ‘group participants’ say that learning is not considered an individualized act in a Moodle or Ning – and that information is to be ‘distributed’. Isn’t it possible an enthusiastic person could use somebody else’s unique idea and call it their own in a Moodle? How do we balance ‘distributed learning’ modes with the problem of plagarism, I wonder?

  2. First of all, I think the problem is much more pervasive than students not giving attribution. We can’t expect students to cite sources until teachers and professors do so consistently, and frankly, they don’t. Educators too often assume that not only is anything they use fair use, but that they don’t have to give credit for it because it’s all for the “greater good” of teaching. So if you want a change, work on getting educators to be better role models first.

    Knowledge can be distributed but we can still give attribution. I think the emphasis shouldn’t be on “you can’t reuse that idea that the group came up with” but on “when you reuse that idea, you should acknowledge the group’s input.”

    But much of this isn’t really a new issue. Take a look at Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone” for example. The metaphor of the fox terrier was copied over and over in textbooks and “official” print sources without anyone even bothering to figure out that a) the metaphor didn’t mean anything to most of the readers, especially in the US or b) the metaphor wasn’t even accurate; fox terriers are the wrong size. This isn’t a problem of e-learning or distributed knowledge so much as it’s a problem of intellectual laziness and a lack of information literacy being tolerated so often in academia.

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