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In other words, my theory is: Cheating (on a systematic level) happens because students try to get an edge over their peers/competitors. Even top-notch students cheat, in order to ensure a perfect grade. Fighting cheating is not something that professors can do well in the long run, and it is counterproductive by itself. By channeling this competitive energy into creative activities, in which you cannot cheat, everyone is better off.

Panos Ipeirotis — Why I will never pursue cheating again. A computer scientist teaching in a business school details a year of trying to combat cheating on assignments. Overall, he spent 45 hours addressing the problem during a 32 hour lecture course, and 22 of 108 enrolled students admitted cheating. Solutions could include:

  • Public projects – All of the work ends up public, so embarrassment is the deterring factor.
  • Peer review – Students have to present their work in class, and are judged by others.
  • Competitions – Grades are performance-based (e.g. students build websites to attract the greatest number of unique visitors).

Takeaway: If plagiarism is your biggest worry, you’re doing it wrong.

Workshop: Advanced WordPress with NYU’s Studio20, 5/8/11

On Sunday, Zach Seward invited me to cover advanced WordPress topics with students in Jay Rosen’s Studio20 class. For the past year I believe, they’ve had on-going, optional Sunday afternoon workshops on a variety of topics, including building web apps with Ruby and Sinatra. The workshops are intended to be a 4 hour introduction to […]

Class: Blogging Best Practices, 4/25/11

Last night was the second of three Blogging Best Practices classes I’m teaching for the J-School. You can read my recap of the first class as a primer. Eight of the nine registered students showed up, and one of the Entrepreneurial Journalism students joined us. Overall, I’d give execution a “good.” We covered a fair […]