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Academic Dishonesty and The Culture of Cheating

I really wish that our days were far more flexible. Just when you think that you are in a groove and are writing the best lesson ever, the bell rings and it’s time for the next class. This has been the bane of my prep time since about forever. I am not sure how schools are expected to function like this, but I’m pretty sure that Google doesn’t interrupt people when they are at peak performance. I mean right now I don’t even want to write. I am forcing myself to write this out in hopes that it will get my creative juices flowing again in building a unit from scratch.

The problem is that I have been sitting on this unit for well over 3 months now. It’s not just a lesson in procrastination, it’s a lesson in the function of the human brain. We evolved to be efficiently lazy. Why use more resources than you have to? This makes it all the more difficult to balance trying to be creative and getting interrupted.

Anyway, today I have to write up a student for academic dishonesty. It doesn’t feel good, but I already offered that student a second chance when I caught them the first time. It’s not like I don’t know why students cheat. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to understand the concept. It’s not some government secret buried at Ft. Knox that when there is a premium placed on success, people will do anything to achieve that success. This applies to anything. The real question is, how can we move away from having the grades be the point of the class to having the learning be the point of the class? Do we need to move to outcomes based grading? Even if we did move to a style of grading that placed the premium on showing your abilities in that topic, how will we know that students aren’t still trying to get around doing the work?

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