Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In Defense of Cheating

In Defense of Cheating by Don Norman

Don Norman’s essay on “cheating” is actually a very thought provoking reflection on our learning assessment practices and why cheating shouldn’t matter. Essentially, the message I took away from reading this is that we need to make our learning assessments more collaborative because those of the skills required in today’s workplace. If we design our assessment to be more project based, personalizable and collaborative then cheating becomes a non-issue.

In courses that I teach for the University of Calgary, I have design all of my assessments to be project based that require the students to complete projects to solve needs from their own life contexts. I encourage them to collaborate and even have them post their assignments to the class for peer feedback before I grade them. I also give a large portion of the grade to their own analysis and reflection about their work and conclusions.

I feel this gives them a stronger learning experience as they need to look at how their peers have applied the concepts and principles under study to a variety of different contexts and they most critic their own work, demonstrating their own thoughts and abilities of perform the objectives I hope their are learning. This is especially true in my online classes where I never meet my students face-to-face.

Read the essay and leave comments.

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