Saturday, September 08, 2007

battle of eap1 gulch

I make my students put a lot of their work on weblogs, which forces me to give them interesting assignments, and forces them to think carefully about the record and their relationship to it. Weblogs, though appearing to be temporal, are actually permanent records, until someone deletes them, and it could be that more than one student has said, I don't want to see yesterday's homework every time I google myself...which goes to show that we are our own best customers, when it comes to search terms; I google myself far more than others google me, I'm sure, and if I were a real egomaniac, or powerful, I"d probably google myself several times a day, or pay someone to do it.

Which reminds me, I've said all I'm going to, for now, about the SIUC plagiarism issue on my plagiarism blog, where I've documented it a little for professional colleagues who are always interested in how things are going here at SIUC. As one who teaches about plagiarism every day, and fights it aggressively (at my own level, in the trenches), these days with the eap1 reading reaction journal (a virtual institution in eap1, which up to now has been more institution than virtual) - of course it matters to me whether our university president wrote his own dissertation, or plagiarized intentionally, or not. But, I haven't read the report yet, and, by Friday, have very little mental energy to spare on it anyway. Excuse my long babbling run-ons; it's hard to think clearly; it's late, I've been travelling, and watching wild young children, in a rainstorm, and in swimming pools and hotel buffets in St. Louis.

So anyway, I'm having these student journals, where eap1 students read about their own fields and react to the articles, all put online, on their own weblogs, which will be linked from our class weblog. And the main result of this is, everyone will be able to see them, and, if they are in the habit of using last semester's, or not really worrying about the article, or using someone else's article, or recycling one part or the other of it, everyone will be able to see it, and it will be right on the computer, forever, or at least until the grades are final. My attitude is, if you can't read and write real stuff about your passion, your major, your field, you don't have much call demanding to be turned loose in it. So there you go- you know all you need to, about what's happening here at SIUC.

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