Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Nope. No contradiction

From the NY Times story on cheating at Harvard:
The exam instructions said it was "completely open book, open note, open Internet, etc." Some students asked whether there was a fundamental contradiction between telling students to use online resources, but not to discuss the test with each other.
I've heard the same thing from my students, though usually as a joke. But the answer is: no. No, there's not.

In the one case, you are proving that you know how to do research. In the other, you're getting someone else to do the research for you.

Clearly, in the real world if you can hire people to do it for you, you don't "need" to know how to do it. But if you can't do it, you shouldn't get a diploma that says you can.

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