This is a “head’s up” to teachers [professors, bosses, supervisors, etc]. Writing and bringing cheat sheets, copying off neighbor’s tests, buying essays online, texting answers to one another and plagiarizing are ways students use to cheat. But now there is a new way to add a procrastination method to the list of cheating
…and it’s not Facebook.
Document Corrupter, by Neddy Winter, does just what it says. It corrupts documents. Neddy totes it like this:
We have all been in the situation where we have half-finished work due tomorrow. You can upload a unfinished word document and this tool will modify it so that it cannot be opened. You can send the corrupted file instead to buy yourself some extra time.http://neddyy.net/docs/
So if dealing with cheating and plagiarism wasn’t enough, now teachers need to lookout for this awful new method that students are employing.
As a teacher or educator we are thinking to ourselves, “Oh no! This is not good. Is there any way that I can combat this new way to cheat?” Initially, there is not a program or service that can tell you the file has been put through the document corrupter, but you can try some of these solutions:
- Tell students you are aware of the Document Corrupter
- Insist that students save their file revisions in DropBox – They can always go back to an earlier saved version
- Tell students that corrupted files are still counted as late
- Tell students they must send you two file formats: PDF and DOCx
- Ask students to give you drafts or compartmentalized pieces of large assignments
- Employ the use of Google Docs instead
- If a document shows up corrupted to your email and you have your doubts, ask a student to immediately send you an print-screen image-file of the closing argument from their computer. Also ask them to look in their Dropbox to get an older version to send you
To help fight against procrastination:
- Help students to create an “un-schedule”
“a weekly calendar of all of your committed activities. It can help you accomplish your goal in two ways. First, in looking ahead to how much of your time is already committed, you will see the maximum amount of time you have left over to work toward your goal. Secondly, creating an unschedule helps you at the end of your week as you can look back and see where your time has actually gone” (Burka, Jane B, and Lenora M. Yuen. Procrastination. Reading: Addison-Wesley
Publishing Company, 1983.)
- Read this Faculty Focus article for more interesting ways to fight procrastination
To fight plagiarism:
- Use turnitin.com “The global leader in addressing plagiarism and delivering rich feedback”
- Have students use this resource before they submit something to you, to see where they may not have realized they were plagiarizing
Good luck to you all. Don’t come back to me later saying, “What can I do now? Students are sending me corrupted files. I think they have figured out this method.”
Did you procrastinate yourself in getting them to set up a DropBox account? I don’t want to get a corrupted file hearing all about it. 🙂
Note: I almost recommend strategies like this. As a teacher, I like to allow ‘one post it note’ as a cheat-sheet for students. It means the students are perusing the information they should be studying, making decisions about what is the most important information, and then rewriting the information, which is a good way to study.