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A free Linux course

Postby towy71 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:31 am

The Linux Foundation has announced a free course to understand Linux.
still looking for that door into summer
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Postby Jarry » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:43 pm

Thanks for highlighting that. Looks an interesting idea.
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Postby guy » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:47 am

"I agree that I will: ... Complete all mid-terms and final exams with my own work and only my own work. I will not submit the work of any other person."

How does an online service like this guard against wholesale cheating to obtain certificates? On campus, it is possible to quiz the individual concerned, stuff like that, I don't see that happening here.
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Postby nelz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:21 pm

On the other hand, a digital system has the ability to quickly compare all entered papers, past and present, to check for signs of plagiarism.

Yes, you could cheat by getting someone else to do the test for you, but for most cheats that "someone else" will probably be Google, or maybe Wikipedia.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Re: A free Linux course

Postby purplepenguin » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:45 pm

towy71 wrote:The Linux Foundation has announced a free course to understand Linux.


I have just registered for the course. Maybe a bit of fun to test knowledge. Thanks for posting it.
So it looks like I'm back to LinuxMint again. Why you ask? Because my machine smell nicer.

I'm not too sure I'd want a Mint and Cinnamon muffin with my brew though. Guess I'm lucky they don't run my local bakery.
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Postby johnhudson » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:05 pm

I too have registered. There are two ways of stopping plagiarism - using anti-plagiarism software or requiring work to be based on the person's own situation - for example, the Open University courses on which I taught systems ideas had assignments that required you to take measurements of your own house and lifestyle, use examples from your local newspaper or develop a project of your own.

It is very difficult to plagiarise someone else's work in those circumstances because you have to give answers in a series of assignments which are based on a unique set of facts related to you, facts which evolve as the course progresses in ways which you cannot predict - so anything you plagiarise becomes rather obvious.

As an external examiner I also spotted plagiarism because the student's writing style changed and because the references cited did not fit the arguments being made.

Sadly in several instances the quality of other work by the student showed that they had the ability to pass the course without the need to resort to plagiarism but sometimes students feel there is no other way.
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Postby guy » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:20 pm

I'm thinking not so much of individual plagiarism as organised fraud, say a bunch of people all buying their "knowledge" from the same gangster so they can get ahead in life, maybe get a job in a desirable country or with a desirable organisation, something like that.

Just because it hasn't happened much yet doesn't mean it won't happen a lot more when it gets to be a lot easier.
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Postby Jarry » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:14 pm

Well I went and registered. I've been curious about these MOOCs; I keep hearing of them and I thought this might be a good way to find out a little more.
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Postby nelz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:17 pm

guy wrote:I'm thinking not so much of individual plagiarism as organised fraud, say a bunch of people all buying their "knowledge" from the same gangster so they can get ahead in life, maybe get a job in a desirable country or with a desirable organisation, something like that.


That may be possible with written exams, where papers are marked by different examiners, even different examining boards. But when all the papers are fed into the same computer system, spotting bought answers should be relatively simple.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby purplepenguin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:55 am

nelz wrote:
guy wrote:I'm thinking not so much of individual plagiarism as organised fraud, say a bunch of people all buying their "knowledge" from the same gangster so they can get ahead in life, maybe get a job in a desirable country or with a desirable organisation, something like that.


That may be possible with written exams, where papers are marked by different examiners, even different examining boards. But when all the papers are fed into the same computer system, spotting bought answers should be relatively simple.


To build on what Johnhudson and Nelz wrote. Here is a snippet from the OU's plagiarism policy

To check students are working in a fair and academically appropriate manner, The Open University uses two types of text comparison software to detect potential cases of plagiarism in work that is submitted for assessment. These are:

CopyCatch
which compares work submitted by one student with assignments submitted by all other students on the module (as well as previous presentations of the module where appropriate). The main use of CopyCatch is to check for cases of collusion.

Turnitin, which carries out the equivalent of an internet search, looks for matches between the text included in a piece of work submitted by a student with all forms of information and resources publicly available on the internet. The main use of
Turnitin is to check for cases of direct copying, and/or not properly referencing various types of source materials.
It can also be used to compare each student’s assignments with the module materials and other commonly used or provided references.


The Open University (August 2013) Plagiarism Policy [Online]. open.ac.uk Available at http://www.open.ac.uk/students/charter/ ... iarism.pdf (Accessed 11th March 2014).
So it looks like I'm back to LinuxMint again. Why you ask? Because my machine smell nicer.

I'm not too sure I'd want a Mint and Cinnamon muffin with my brew though. Guess I'm lucky they don't run my local bakery.
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Postby guy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:01 am

OK, so let me try to explain again. I am not talking about simple plagiarism. I am thinking professional doppelganger - effectively organised crime. They create your site ID, they do the course work for you and collect your money, you get the certificate for their work. They are professional enough, and well enough resourced, to avoid the plagiarism trap. They write their own software to automatically generate as much of the course work as they can, with unique output on each run.

Something just not worth considering for a traditional course, but once automated....
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Postby nelz » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:14 am

It would have to be very sophisticated software to write grammatically correct English is various styles. I'm not saying it's not possible, but that level of coding skill could probably earn more in other ways - like selling the code to the Daily Mail :)
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Postby Rhakios » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:38 pm

Didn't we have a spammer on here once offering to sell coursework essays. Not sure what the basis of the scheme was, but I'm sure English literate people from the sub-continent might well be inclined to earn some extra cash by doing such work for dumb-but-wealthy westerners.
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Postby towy71 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:59 pm

Rhakios wrote:earn some extra cash by doing such work for dumb-but-wealthy westerners.
that's just discrimination against dumb-but-poor westerners like me :roll:

besides ain't it all open sauce?? :lol:
still looking for that door into summer
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Postby Dutch_Master » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:38 pm

In that part of the world, only as a curry I s'pose :roll:

(right, hat, coat-> exit stage left! :oops: )
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