Re: Re[2]: Grading, Plagiarism, Webbed Writing and ...

Kenneth Robert Wright (kright@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU)
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 23:51:31 -0700

Good points, Mike. I responded too quickly to a post I hadn't read very
well while trying to do something else at the same time. I shouldn't
have moved so quickly.

Not to change the subject, but I was just thinking about the differences
between computer use at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Many
colleges use computers extensively at the undergraduate level, and the
teachers who use them create communities of students who collaborate on
web projects, speak together on MOOs, and basically work in environments
where knowledge is created communally. Then those undergraduates go to
graduate school, and, except (maybe) for those doing scholarship on computer
assisted communication, they face oral or written exams that test them
alone, and they produce dissertations that are works of individual
scholarship which each of them defends alone. At least that's how
English departments appear to me to operate. So if we want, as has been
discussed on this list many times, computer assisted communication to be
accepted by the academy as a full-blown discipline, we should perhaps
look for ways of doing at the graduate level what we do when teaching
undergraduates. How about a virtual dissertation that is produced by
more than one grad student, and which consists of texts produced by those
students with links to theorists and to groups of students working on
similar projects? Actually, the idea of the virtual dissertation scares
me more than the traditional one.

Kenneth R. Wright

Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary,
what is neither necessary nor destructive,
and what is destructive.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

On Mon, 5 Aug 1996, Michael Hamende wrote:

> Ken said:
> "One question, will you reward me with a Ph.D. in rhetoric if I write
> a dissertation that is merely a set of links to a large number of
> theorists? Probably not because there is no original thinking
> involved. So should where is that student's original thinking or at
> least the promotion of such.
> Kenneth R Wright
> Whoa now. We're talking about a grade on a quiz in an undergraduate
> class, not a PhD DEGREE. And the goal of the quiz was to apply what
> the students have learned about links. To demonstrate they know how
> to code to make links work. Not to establish new thought in a
> discipline. (Not to mention that some get PhD's for far less than
> original thought.) The student demonstrated what he was asked to do.
> The teacher left him a loop and he jumped through it. In an original
> way.
> Mike Hamende