Web site stunts academic enrichment, fosters laziness

A new Web site has added to concerns of academic integrity and creativity.

Knetwit.com, one of many sites that allow students to exchange study materials and papers, provides payment for those who contribute to the Web site’s database.

Dean “Tyler” Jenks and Benjamin Wald, who came up with the concept, say they wanted to provide a knowledge-sharing platform to assist in students’ academic endeavors – definitely a commendable intention.

But cutting corners isn’t part of the formula for academic enrichment.

A knowledge-sharing platform can be found in libraries and coffee shops with study groups. It can also be found in class discussions and during office hours that professors make available for students.

Knetwit and similar Web sites do not provide a stimulating academic experience. They provide a shortcut for students who are too lazy to take good notes in class or actively pursue questions they have about course material. It stunts critical thinking and creativity.

More importantly, use of these Web sites causes students to cut themselves short. Students should be eager to test their intellectual capacities at an institute of higher education such as TCU. Taking the easy way out for notes does nothing for students’ analytic and critical thinking skills, let alone their work ethic.

Provost Nowell Donovan, among others, has expressed concerns about plagiarism in response to these Web sites’ growth and popularity. But the more dangerous issue here is that these Web sites may instill habits of lazy learning and lack of creative thinking.

Cheaters will plagiarize, but lazy, uncreative scholars cheat the larger academic world of their potential contributions.

Web Editor Saerom Yoo for the editorial board.