Thursday, June 11, 2009

The dog ate my homework

One of the more interesting posts in my bloglines account this morning was from Wired Campus: 'The Computer Ate My Homework': How to Detect Fake Techno-Excuses. It's a report on a new web site,, that will (for a price) create a corrupted file for students to submit to instructors. Instead of missing a deadline or imagining an excuse, this web site enables purchasers to turn in that assignment in a completely unreadable format.

Q: Is this cheating?

A: It's a fine line… It's basically just a good excuse vs. outright cheating but even though you are handing in your own work, you are getting an unfair advantage so by that definition, yes you are cheating. Please ask your professors for an extension before you use a corrupted file. This is meant to be used as a last resort, a one time thing, not a crutch! Everyone is entitled to a second chance, but not a third. -
Corrupted, FAQ's Page

Putting aside for a minute the interesting ethics of the FAQ's page and tentative contact information site disclaimer, the Wired Campus post and it's subsequent comments make good points regarding plagiarism and cheating. I particularly enjoyed the comment from a user who puts this statement in his/her syllabus: "Any corrupted files are YOUR responsibility. Check your outbox after you send the file, open the attachment. Any files I cannot open will receive a zero." Plain, simple, to the point.

The site offers a wide variety of customized corrupted files (the list is rather extensive) with a 12 hours turn-around and 100% satisfaction guaranteed; if you have that much time, just finish the assignment.

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