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Release: Immediate

UI's Rocklin featured in NBC Nightly News story on computer cheating

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa professor who has written about Internet term paper "mills" will be featured tonight (Thursday, Feb. 18) on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw in the first of a two-part series on cheating in America.

Tom Rocklin, director of the University of Iowa's Center for Teaching, was interviewed Wednesday by NBC associate Producer Michelle Britton for a story on computer-aided cheating by college students. Britton, who works in NBC News's Chicago bureau, also interviewed several students on the UI campus Wednesday.

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, a 30-minute broadcast, airs at 5:30 p.m. Central Time. In Iowa City, the program airs on NBC affiliate KWWL Channel 7. The second part of the series will air at the same time Friday night.

Britton said Rocklin is one of several people interviewed for the story, which is also expected to include an interview with a student elsewhere in the country who admitted to turning in a paper purchased on the Internet because her professor was "boring."

Rocklin, who is also a professor in the UI College of Education's Psychology and Quantitative Foundations Division, gained national attention last year after publishing an electronic paper titled "Downloadable Term Papers: What's a Prof. to Do?" In the paper Rocklin discussed the proliferation of on-line term paper mills, where students can download (usually for a price) papers on a variety of topics and turn them in as their own. He also offered instructors advice on how to reduce the risk of receiving plagiarized work.

2/18/99