These are some of my recent thoughts on Cheating Online – Academic Dishonesty posted elsewhere as part of my learning to be an online instructor. I felt compelling enough to be shared with the rest of the world. So here it is.
As part of some of the online learning courses that I’ve completed in the past – my experience states that, if the instructor and a student have a fair bit of understanding about where they are coming from and where they wanna be at, then, policing and monitoring takes away that “learning” discipline – where the students and instructors are considered to be part of a democracy.
If the course structure and organization is such that – that it makes the student think on their feet rather than their text book then “Cheating Online” will become a rarity as it will lack research & material available to them, and will discourage such a lure behavior.
The emphasis should be given more to the “learning” aspect rather than the assignment completion. What am I learning today or as part of this group is certainly not well judged by how quickly and efficiently I complete my assignments but what value as a student I bring to a particular course for myself and others to take away as “learning”.
Thus, the key facts should be – greater level of interactivity – between students and instructors, opportunity to mentor and be a mentee (within student groups), elimination of text book based assignments, introduction of project based work group exercises, team exercises, focus on independent research and collective analysis, more use of online and social media tools, and the ability to self-measure against the learning plan that student creates with the help of the instructor.
Understanding that certain online policing tools will help in bringing some discipline in assignment submissions, but the whole point of distance education or online learning is to create a unique set of educational framework that is very distinct from the classroom behavior and self-sustains an educational responsibility between the student and the instructor.
I’m not against such tools, but I am for discovering new means of educating students that brings collaboration, self-responsibility and self-realization of “learning” amongst them.