Skip to main content

Online Teaching and Cheating Made Easy

WETAKEYOURCLASS.COM- 
We Take Your Online Class! We Do Your Homework, Tests, Classes For You!

What needs to be written about the above link and dozens more like it?

Online and distance education are at least slightly more prone to cheating, and I wonder if they are not significantly more prone to dishonestly than their traditional and hybrid counterparts.

Students have been able to purchase papers for as long as instructors have assigned papers. We all know that friends "help" each other, and sometimes even parents help compose a paper. Yet, buying a paper reveals a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of an education.

Now, we have to deal with students buying class attendance. Forget cheating on tests or buying papers, students aren't even attending the online lectures. Cheating is bad enough, but at least if you were in a classroom there was a chance (maybe only a slight chance) that you would learn something. You might hear one new idea, one inspiring comment. Something.

Online degree programs are too often perceived as a path to a credential — a piece of paper that is no better than a tollroad pass. It lets you move a little faster along the career path. Paying someone to wait in the toll lane for you? That's viewed as no big deal because students don't think of college as a learning experience. It is merely a product, purchased to enhance the career. It's like buying a suit for the job interviews.

I meet few people who view online education as a way to broaden themselves and learn about life, and those rare students are usually in special circumstances, unable to attend a traditional course. We've reduced education — both traditional and online — to this expressway pass, when it should be and could be so much more.

In the next few days, I plan to write about when online is better and what traditional and hybrid instructors could learn from fully-online courses done right. But, an effective online course won't matter if society doesn't view education as more than a screening item for job interviews.

No wonder so many employers now want pre-employment tests and proof of skills. People can buy degrees via the online degree mills or they can even have someone take courses from respected online programs. What a sad situation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Comic Sans Is (Generally) Lousy: Letters and Reading Challenges

Specimen of the typeface Comic Sans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Personally, I support everyone being able to type and read in whatever typefaces individuals prefer. If you like Comic Sans, then change the font while you type or read online content. If you like Helvetica, use that.

The digital world is not print. You can change typefaces. You can change their sizes. You can change colors. There is no reason to argue over what you use to type or to read as long as I can use typefaces that I like.

Now, as a design researcher? I'll tell you that type matters a lot to both the biological act of reading and the psychological act of constructing meaning. Statistically, there are "better" and "worse" type for conveying messages. There are also typefaces that are more legible and more readable. Sometimes, legibility does not help readability, either, as a type with overly distinct letters (legibility) can hinder word shapes and decoding (readability).

One of the co…

Let’s Make a Movie: Digital Filmmaking on a Budget

Film camera collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
June 5, 2015 Deadline
July 2015 Issue

Every weekend a small group of filmmakers I know make at least one three-minute movie and share the short film on their YouTube channel, 3X7 Films.

Inspired by the 48-Hour Film Project (48hourfilm.com), my colleagues started to joke about entering a 48-hour contest each month. Someone suggested that it might be possible to make a three-minute movie every week. Soon, 3X7 Films was launched as a Facebook group and members started to assemble teams to make movies.

The 48-Hour Film Project, also known as 48HFP, launched in 2001 by Mark Ruppert. He convinced some colleagues in Washington, D.C., that they could make a movie in 48 hours. The idea became a friendly competition. Fifteen years later, 48HFP is an international phenomenon, with competitions in cities around the world. Regional winners compete in national and international festivals.

On a Friday night, teams gathe…

Edutainment: Move Beyond Entertaining, to Learning

A drawing made in Tux Paint using various brushes and the Paint tool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
November 2, 2015 Deadline
December 2015 Issue

Randomly clicking on letters, the young boy I was watching play an educational game “won” each level. He paid no attention to the letters themselves. His focus was on the dancing aliens at the end of each alphabet invasion.

Situations like this occur in classrooms and homes every day. Technology appeals to parents, politicians and some educators as a path towards more effective teaching. We often bring technology into our schools and homes, imagining the latest gadgets and software will magically transfer skills and information to our children.

This school year, I left teaching business communications to return to my doctoral specialty in education, technology and language development. As a board member of an autism-related charity, I speak to groups on how technology both helps and hinders special education. Busin…