LINGUIST List 6.1458

Thu Oct 19 1995

Disc: Self-censorship

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  1. benji wald , Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship
  2. P.Lutes, Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship

Message 1: Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship

Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 20:12:00 Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship
From: benji wald <IBENAWJMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship

The list is a welcome research tool IN ADDITION to all the other research
tools available to us, such as books etc in the libraries, telephones and
colleagues who can be button-holed and queried in the halls as well as in
public at conferences etc. If the opportunity for cheating exists on the
list, e.g., getting someone else to do your homework, it exists elsewhere
as well, even if not in as convenient or cheap a form. The list
should not be distracted by the possibility of such abuses.
Instead, perhaps, there should be a rethinking of the types of
assignments that are used to train and judge students.

Admittedly, primary school students are still taught at first to
write with a pencil even though word processors are increasingly
available, even at their age. However, I think we are dealing
with a different level of phenomenon here. The analogy just has
to do with changes in the array of resources for learning
whatever it is that we're supposed to learn. What if you didn't
have a word processor and you have to leave a message. You
better know how to use a pencil. What if you didn't have access
to the list, you better know how to ...? Is that the list's
problem? Benji
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Message 2: Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 14:26:15 Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship
From: P.Lutes <>
Subject: Re: 6.1441, Disc: Self-censorship

I have been following the discussion regarding cheating with great
interest. I am currently doing a Masters of Applied Linguistics (distance
learning mode). I am living in a small city in rural Japan, a city of
300,000. As I am not a member of a Japanese university I do not have the
usual library privileges enjoyed by university students. The English
language library facilities consist of a title catalog of a few thousand
books. Therefore, I must purchase supplementary materials that I
require, usually from overseas. Additionally, the nearest major center is 3
hours away by bullet train at a cost of about $ 80 US one way. If you add,
hotel and meal expenses, going to a library that may or may not have
something of use is a very expensive proposition.

If I were to ask for help in tracking down a list of materials that would
aid me with a dissertation or thesis would I be considered a cheater? My
point is that when people do ask for information on the list, it does not
necessarily mean that they are trying to dodge work or cheat. Does the
academic community now presuppose cheating? Is this not what this kind
censorship would mean to people who are still completing graduate work? I
urge those of you who would support this kind of censorship to give the
"students" who post these question the benefit of the doubt. For if one is
able to cheat their way through a program, the program has some fundamental
flaws in design, and the students are cheating no-one but themselves.

Peter Lutes
Graduate Student
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