Amazon wants to kickstart a new online platform for educational video. It’s been labeled an “ethical problem” by critics.
Why Is Plagiarms In Online Learning An Ethical Concern
In an era when fake news leads to unpopular policies, counterfeit products, and shows like Survivor, we need to be concerned about the ethical problems connected to education. When it comes to online learning, false learning models based on real, unique learning experiences can be a problem.
Are things like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk really credible? Many observers have accused the site of using cheap labor, which has the potential to lead to the exploitation of workers in dangerous conditions, a dangerous proposition. The jobs are short-term, with pay typically under $10 per hour, and some jobs require participants to perform tasks that they claim are intelligence tests but which are actually census or self-reported parts of a personality test. What is the burden of proof?
Online testing can be another problem, considering that both Amazon and Plagiarms use online recruiting, which often uses automated or instant-response technologies for qualifying online applicants. This is particularly troubling considering that people often fail to meet the score requirements, even when they have thoughtfully addressed these criteria.
What makes Plagiarms’ experience even more troubling is that online assessments are often created in sketchy circumstances; for example, the American Geophysical Union created all of its assessments on a very-long list of random words. When one is screening potential candidates for exams, searching through random words is the worst type of “educational” tool.
How can we navigate ethics in the digital learning world and create a digital environment that is trustworthy?
In recent years, online learning startups have grabbed headlines with their claims of scalable education at a tiny price, often in the form of subscription-based, personalized online learning services. We have been impressed by the promise of these platforms, but more than a few skeptics also raise questions about the risks connected to increased reliance on tools that may be impersonal and impersonal tools.
Will instant messaging solve problems surrounding spam and automated technology? Will usernames and passwords replace passwords?
One challenge is the risk of competition: Should we negotiate online with digital illiterates or do we insist on the right to decide whether to do business with them?
We’ve been teased and saddened by technology scandals, such as the “sextortion” phenomenon where college students receive texts from someone claiming to be a partner (who holds a cell phone camera of course) and threats to expose them sexually if they don’t send sexual pictures.
As questions arise around the use of widely-used online technologies in curriculum and assessment, we need to be vigilant.
Online Applications Need Qualification
Take something like Plagiarms. Plagiarms’ platform provides access to one of the best forms of online education you’ve never heard of, but on a short-term basis, what are you supposed to do if you miss your assignment or don’t know what you are doing?
Plagiarms has this issue down to a T. Essentially, it is a fact-checker – a professional reviewer – and the people who get paid per check are the experts. The reviews contain both verified information about the schools and about the application itself. The ratings are based on the qualifications of the individuals doing the review and on the school’s track record of track record of quality. The problem, of course, is that ratings are based on the experiences of those who work for the company.
Since Plagiarms does not rate applications, they do not have the ability to know when the applicants have genuinely learned and when they have simply signed up. Should reviewers have access to work history or other information? The simple answer is, absolutely not. If you want a buyer with the ability to determine how knowledgeable someone is, one should look elsewhere.
The public sector needs to develop clear procedures for evaluating online applications, with the goal of making quality assurance one of the explicit goals. We are making progress, but as a tech industry, we need to do more to ensure that we are only selling the best possible experiences to the right people.