Two interesting articles from the June/July issue of Innovate: Journal of Online Education illustrate how the Internet can provide solutions to two common problems we all face: plagiarism and copyright violation.
In “Teaching Students about Plagiarism: An Internet Solution to an Internet Problem,” Eleanour Snow describes the attitude students have today toward information they retrieve from the Internet:
[T]hey do not view the Internet the same way they view a book (Townley and Parsell 2004). The Internet is somehow anonymous; there is no author, publisher, and copyright date. While they know using words from a book is wrong, they may not consider a Web site to be intellectual property (Frand 2000).
Snow describes student and faculty attitudes and responses accurately, then provides a short list of solutions using online tutorials. Snow’s own tutorial is a classy, interactive Website that provides definitions and examples of plagiarism that students can use to better understand the complex problem.
In “Creative Commons: A New Tool for Schools,” Howard Pitler compares traditional research to remixing:
[A] typical college paper is a remix of sorts; students find the best research material in their field and use that material, with proper attribution, to create a new document that expresses their view on the topic.
Pitler introduces readers to Creative Commons, “a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyright licenses for creative works” (Creative Commons). Pitler suggests that both faculty and students include a Creative Commons license on their online projects so that other viewers have “clear guidance” to “the creator’s intent.” As you will see on the site, Microsoft offers an add-in to Office that makes it easy to add such a license to your work.
Creative Commons is also useful for searching for copyright-free or copyright-friendly work in a variety of media categories, including text.
Two good suggestions here about using the Internet wisely to solve Internet problems. Have you tried any such solutions?