- Break up a big high-stakes exam into small weekly tests.
- Start and end each test with an honor statement.
- Ask students to explain their problem-solving process.
- Get to know each student’s writing style in low- or no-stakes tasks.
- Assess learning in online discussion forums.
- Don’t base grades solely on tests.
- Offer students choice in how they demonstrate their knowledge.
As we all work to improve our online teaching, we have the opportunity to rethink practices we’ve relied on for years in our physical classrooms.
more on cheating in this IMS blog
Thursday, August 27, 2PM
To RSVP ahead of time, or to jump straight in at 2 pm EDT this Thursday, click here:
This week we’re exploring the disorganization of American higher education, and wondering if its chaotic nature is really academia’s superpower. On Thursday, August 27th, from 2-3 pm EDT we’ll be joined by Stanford University professor David F. Labaree, author of A Perfect Mess: The Unlikely Ascendancy of American Higher Education.Dr. Larabee has devoted his career to the historical sociology of American education, with a particular focus on the role that consumer pressure and markets have had on schooling at all levels.
A Letter on Justice and Open Debate
July 7, 2020
A Deeply Provincial View of Free Speech
Many prominent writers and thinkers seem invested in the notion that simply facing strong public criticism is a threat to free speech.
The Harper’s Letter, Bari Weiss And Tucker Carlson: Why Are We Still Talking About ‘Cancel Culture?’
Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan and the Harper’s letter: the case for open debate
Public letter in Harper’s sparks furor
Illiberalism Isn’t to Blame for the Death of Good-Faith Debate
Haas, L. (2019). ETTU?: Notes on Cancel Culture. The New Republic, 250(7-8), 40–. https://mnpals-scs.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01MNPALS_SCS/ppvqcp/cdi_gale_infotracacademiconefile_A594089998
GIL TROY. (2019). Cancel the “Cancel Culture” phenomenon with sincere self-scrutiny. In The Jerusalem Post (Online) (English ed.). The Jerusalem Post Ltd.
Nya Bentley. (2020). Fresh Talk: Does cancel culture even work? In Hartford Courant (Online). Tribune Publishing Company, LLC.
In 2019, does it matter where do we perform our work?
When I asked in 2009 to use e-conferencing tools (Skype, Adobe Connect back then) to allow better attendance at faculty meetings, there was a mountain of arguments why NOT to. Such attitude was clearly expressed during the slow and painful advent of “online” education, which still leans more to “correspondence course” mentality rather then synchronous and interactive modern education.
The worst part is that in 2019 the attitude still persists.
How Stress Affects Your Memory
more on stress in this IMS blog
Three Things Teachers Need to Spot—and Stop—Plagiarism
my note: I firmly disagree with the corporate push to mechanize plagiarism. Plagiarism is about teaching both faculty and students, and this industry, under the same cover is trying to make a profit by mechanizing, not teaching about plagiarism.
According to the International Center for Academic Integrity, 58% of more than 70,000 students surveyed say they have plagiarized someone else’s ideas in their writing.
Plagiarism-detection software can address the most pressing needs of classroom educators faced with assessing students’ written work. Here’s how:
1. Teachers Need More Time
The Challenge: The larger the class is, and the more students that are in it, the longer it takes to review each written assignment—checking grammar, style, originality of ideas, etc. This is especially important when screening for plagiarism.
My note: this is NOT true. If the teacher is still lingering in the old habits of lecturing, this could be true. However, when a teacher gets into the habit of reviewing papers, s/he can detect as soon as in the first several paragraphs the discrepancies due to copy and paste of other work versus the student’s work.
In addition, if the teacher applies group work in her/his class, s/he can organize students to proofread each other’s work, thus teaching them actively about plagiarism, punctuation etc.
2. Evidence Must Be Reliable
The Challenge: When identifying plagiarism, teachers need to be confident in their assessment. Accusing students of academic dishonesty is a weighty claim; it can lead to their suspension or even expulsion from school.
My note: another myth perpetuated by industry searching for profit. Instead of looking at the process of plagiarism as punitive action, an educator will look at it as education and prevention. Prevention of plagiarism will never be successful, if the focus as in this article is on “suspension,” “expulsion,” etc. The goal of the teacher is NOT to catch the student, but to work with the student and understand the complexity of plagiarism.
3. Tools Must Be Easy to Use
My note: right, the goal is to make the teacher think as less as possible.
My note: PlagiarismCheck is the same as TurnitIn and all other tools, which seek profit, not education. Considering that plagiarism is a moving target (https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/01/10/plagiarism-or-collaboration/) and it is a concept first and secondly an action, the attempt to extract profits from the mechanization of this process is no less corrupt then the attempt to focus on profit (of education) rather then on education (itself)
more on plagiarism in this IMS blog
While it may take time to do this reflection, it can have many important benefits: 1) research shows that reflecting on experiences creates an environment in which insights and creativity can flourish; 2) taking a moment to consider the positive experiences (and to learn from the challenging ones) generates positive emotions which can benefit everyone during highly stressful moments in the semester; and 3) your experiences in narrative form provide insights to the committee beyond what is possible through surveys. This helps us to tailor the program in the future.
Here are a few questions/topics you should consider in your reflection:
- How well is the program working for you so far?
I was not able to collaborate last year, but this year it has been perfect match with my ID2ID buddy Aura Lippincott. It is just marvelous to work with same-minded and driven person
- What have you accomplished so far?
We are well underway with one of our two projects – the VRrelax one the project each of us is teaming up with faculty and staff from our universities. We plan to roll out the test at the end of this month (October), do the research in November and compare notes and results in December. The project aims to establish if VR delivered by Oculus Go may have positive impact on stress reduction for students.
Our second project, the Open Learning one is also gathering speed; we intend to have a research topic determined by the end of the month, while we are gathering resources at the time being.
- What else do you need to do? Describe the progress you have made toward meeting your program goals.
Each of us is in a daily contact with faculty and staff, searching for the right people to build a team. By mid September, we were able to start forming the research questions with the team and establish responsibilities and deadlines. We keep track of the progress via Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kOgqC7vUaBtOEDaB6ZF-ayEyVw2yBmB0fHXWrrcFkB4/edit and https://docs.google.com/document/d/1huFe1bPE08ha9acDLTsDkCz0blaxQ2bKKSxg97woGIY/edit
- What obstacles have you faced that you did not anticipate?
I have difficulty to pinpoint obstacles, because with a determined ID2ID partner and team members, all obstacles start to seem minuscules. We had discussions about the video content of the VR session, or the frequency of the testing and some of these issues is impossible to reconcile for two teams on different campuses, but again, they do not seem crucial when the team is driven by conviction to finish the research
- What are your plans for working through them? What are your plans for the rest of the program? Many of you may have chosen to focus on one or more of the ELI Key Issues. If so, briefly summarize and reflect upon your discussions of these key issues.
In regard of the ELI Key issues
I see our work falling neatly under: digital and information literacy. The work through ID2ID seems as a intake of fresh air, since digital and information literacy is not considered in the stagnant 90-ish interpretation, as myopically imposed in the library where i work. Our project aims to assert digital literacy as understood by Educause.
To some degree, our work also falls under the ELI issue of “learning space design.” While we advocate for virtual learning spaces, as well as under the ELI issue “academic transformation and faculty development.” Both XR and open learning are ambitious trends, which inadvertently can meet resistance with their novelty and lack of track in former traditional methods of teaching and learning.