“Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions.”

“Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions.” – “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

NYU Prof Vows Never to Probe Cheating Again—and Faces a Backlash

I appreciate Professor Ipeirotis’ effort to curb cheating in higher education, but crusades are bloody, righteous, and, in the end, cause more destruction than progress. Yes, students cheat, but learning should not be a chess match pitting teacher vs. student. Chasing down “cheaters” for their treachery doesn’t promote learning and doesn’t motivate students.

Why do we cheat? Because most people are busy doing something else! I know this comes as a shock and may insult your intelligence, but people have more options these days to beproductive. Whether their production is acceptable to us or not, people are finding new ways to create, collaborate, and produce without the need to be justified by those who still teach in a web 1.0 world.

Want to stop cheating? Make cheating irrelevant. Focus on authentic assessments that expect a student to communicate their knowledge to others in a way where every student is learning from each other. Why is this still difficult to implement? Because the MAJORITY of our students today will initially FAIL at authentic assessments because they have never/rarely been require to produce authentic work in academia.


Eventually, students will respond and most will rally. Will all succeed just because of a philosophical change? NO. This is why the world still needs us to teach! Replace unnecessary papers with a student blog. Hold them accountable for a quality product that can be viewed by the public. When they receive questions about their work encourage them to support their beliefs and find credible sources for support. Will they be 100% accurate all the time? No, but they will at least remember the discussion and continue to improve. When students take ownership in their learning and are able to produce publicly available content that may affect the lives of others they begin to take pride in their work and begin to hold themselves to higher standards that ultimately lead to continuous, life-long learning.

But then again, I could be wrong…

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