The term “World Wide Web” (WWW) wontedly misunderstood as a synonym of Internet has not been anonymous for the people who used, is using and even will use it in the future. Since invented in 1989, WWW marked milestones of the information revolution including storage, extraction and usage of data over the world. It is also regarded as an effective tool to elaborate to expand the humans’ knowledge about life, science, universe, etc. However, WWW is being convicted of damaging the quality of students’ assignments or proverbial standard of task, project, homework, exercise, essay or so on required by teachers for students. This writing aims to exculpate for WWW and support for using webs in studying.
Firstly, WWW diversifies the ways students perform their assignments (in their own methods they want, but ones their teachers ask). Conspicuously, students are in teenager, and they have youthful passions which motivate them to investigate, acquire, analyze and absorb contemporary information and attractive knowledge. Thanks to the development of technologies, especially computer, laptop and smartphone, the information in the form of movies, music, newspaper, news, video, games constantly updated sparks to explode their passions. Recently, instead students have not uncomplicatedly read curriculum, done exercise, finished homework, written report or submitted essay; students can self-study a foreign language they love, write an online novel on their own blog, post photographs taken by themselves, upload video of their experiment, new compositions or video made subtitle by them, or retype a book via WWW. Knowledge required as well as taught by teachers, investigated on webs is converted into actual achievements. However, the teachers only appreciate students’ educational outcomes based on a detailed grading band for tests, which is inflexible to reflect their studying standard.
Secondly, the students are only fluctuating measures to approach knowledge resources via WWW, which they used to take amount of time to research in books previously. Realistically, the final destination of studying in school or do assignments is basic knowledge applied in their future lives and future jobs. However, that materials in lectures and knowledge in textbooks are jejune, theoretical, even unavailable in their future leads to impoverish their learning motivation to complete their assignments. WWW stimulates students’ curiosity about concerned subjects with various information systems linked to each other. Other words, it is also notorious to adjudicate the information resource in WWW inexhaustible. When researching a piece of information in Wikipedia, the students happen to meet other links to related issue, then they continue seek secretaries by clicking into these links, so they unconsciously make knowledge acquisition process for themselves. Although this process seems to be a “half-baked algorithms” (Rothenberg, 1997), it is also an effective way to extensively understand the issue in different aspects. Besides, scarcity of practical experience due to objective and subjective conditions in school can limit students’ intellectual values, whereas a great number of experts’ in-depth research reports, realistic videos bring beneficial experience to expand knowledge. This way is actually persuasive to make long-term memory for students, one of the keys for studying success.
Last but not least, which WWW is blamed for students’ plagiarism no author is cited result in reducing quality of research papers (Rothenberg, 1997) need a proper justification. Students commit plagiarism because together with being confused by “how to cite a source”, they do not even recognize consequences of this mistake. Therefore, instead of criticizing WWW, teachers should spend more time conducting students how to separate the wheat from the chaff in any of their researching paper resources and how to cite them. For instance, teaching them to read, take notes, paraphrase in own language, synthesize disparate sources and so on to support an idea will help them achieve their own works. It is interesting that Richard Cummins in response to Rothenberg’s view made a metaphor of using Webs – “it is up to the student to become either the spider or the fly”. This means students need a counselor to promote Webs’ advantages and enhance academic achievements.
Generally, WWW is uncommitted or dispensation of justice. The students are also changing their ways to do their assignments to accommodate them to digital information age, so the education system with traditional curriculum and assessment is demanded to change-over. Although application WWW as an unlimited studying resource for their students’ assignments with flexible standards implies challenges, it will be the answer for “quality of students’ assignments” of a modern society.
Reference: Rothenberg, D. (1997). How the web destroys the quality of student research papers. The Chronicle of Higher Education