Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In rare turnabout, student accuses teacher of plagiarism

This story reads like a soap opera.

Passing off someone's work as your own is a cardinal sin in college research. Students can be expelled. Professional reputations can be wrecked. While student plagiarism grabs headlines, allegations against teachers happen more than people realize, experts say. Because students rarely fight back, most accusations fade in the grumbling over beers after class.
This time, though, the student is suing.

Scheduled for trial this summer in Anoka County (MN), Mary Swenson's lawsuit against Sharon Bender may offer an unvarnished look at who controls ideas in the give-and-take of college research. It also may open a window on the complex ties between teachers and students who need a mentor's help and influence - and who understand they are unlikely to get the benefit of the doubt.

Swenson, 46, didn't expect confrontation in 2000 when she signed up at Capella, a for-profit, online university based in Minneapolis. Already a consultant based in Ham Lake, she liked the flexible scheduling she could have online. Capella offered a doctoral program in organizational psychology; the school said it was seeking accreditation from the American Psychological Association. It all seemed to fit nicely. (Capella has not received the accreditation.)

All the information in this post is taken directly from an article by Paul Tosto at dated 18 June 2007. Read the entire article by clicking here.

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