Friday, October 17, 2008

In Defense Of Cheating

Cheating[O]ur current educational methods ... test by requiring students to prove that they can regurgitate the information presented in class without assistance from others .... But in real life, asking others for help is not only permitted, it is encouraged. Why not rethink the entire purpose of our examination system? We should be encouraging students to learn how to use all possible resources to come up with effective answers to important problems. Students should be encouraged to ask others for help, and they should also be taught to give full credit to those others. So, the purpose of this contribution to Ubiquity is to offer an alternative approach: to examine the origins of cheating, and by solving the root cause, to simultaneously reduce or eliminate cheating while enhancing learning.

-- Donald A. Norman, Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern University, Ubiquity, Volume 6, Issue 11, 29 September 2008

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