Friday, August 7, 2009

Fake Electronic Files that Cannot Be Opened by Professors

Is it acceptable to buy extra time to turn in an assignment by submitting a bogus electronic document that cannot be opened by a professor ("The New Student Excuse?," Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2009)? offers such a service for $4.95 (until August 31, 2009) to students who cannot or do not care to finish coursework on time. The web site provides Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint "files" of different lengths depending on the assignment requirements. Based on an email response from an address listed at the web site, the creator of this service responded to Inside Higher Ed that should not be considered cheating or plagiarism because the student eventually must submit a genuine assignment.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Is it better to give an honest explanation to a professor if you cannot turn in an assignment on time than use Why or why not?
  2. One of the examples of academic dishonesty in the Lone Star College System brochure on Academic Integrity & Student Success (PDF) is listed below:

    "Using counterfeit documents or false information to delay testing or manipulate course work to an advantage over other students."

    Do you think this example above would agree that sending corrupted files to a professor is academically dishonest? Why or why not?
  3. Is using a file from worse, better, or about the same as buying a paper from an online site that can be opened and graded by a professor? Why or why not?