I recently read an article “Online Classes See Cheating Go High-Tech” and couldn’t stop shaking my head. I’m a person that believes that online classes/courses shouldn’t in any way take the place of face-to-face courses. In many cases, that’s just what has happened. In Florida, they have a web based K-12 school. It’s fully online, and can be used as a tool for homeschooling your child(ren) as well as offer specific courses for middle (I may be mistaken) and high school courses.
At any rate, as an educator and someone that seems to be an actual lifelong student (When will I stop going to school?) I’ve taken a few online courses and can say that I did in fact learn, but, for every class meeting (online message boards and voice chats) I did miss the face-to-face interactions. Online courses are meant to assist those
with busy schedules that can complete work at home thereby easing the travels to a campus. Call me old fashion, but I do like the fact that when I make a comment that’s I can say isn’t the popular one; I want to see the reactions of my peers. Online courses take that away. I’ll also state that in my experience, there’s much more reading involved (obviously since you’re not in class, you’re reading the course material, as well as multiple posts each session or week).
Back to what the blog is about…cheating. I’m old enough to admit my faults, and yes, I’ve cheated before. A couple times in a few of my high school courses (no I’m not proud of it), but never beyond. Yes, I was taught right from wrong while growing up, and my actions are in no way a reflection of my upbringing. I can say that most if not all post secondary institutions have you sign some sort of “I will not cheat” ethical document or at least have some policy in affect that has very stiff penalties if caught doing so. I suppose online schools or courses don’t really have a means to find these type of individuals (as the article somewhat puts it). Maybe these venues didn’t think through
these possibilities when they decided to build these totally online programs where people can earn…I mean purchase their degrees as the person mentioned in the article is doing. Regarding this situation, I can’t pat the guy on the back and say “Well, you beat the system. Good for you.” It’s sad, shameful and appalling. Cheating is never the solution. If you need to cheat then you obviously do not need to continue doing what you’re doing (not working hard for whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish).
I certainly hope that they get a handle on this because I’d hate for people like him to enter a profession claiming the skills and knowledge from a degree that he simply cheated their way through. I’m sure it has happened in the past,
and of course is currently happening, but that doesn’t make it right. We need to teach our young people that working smart (cheating isn’t smart…even if you do obtain an A) and hard will always pay off (may not be immediately, but certainly will one day and soon enough).
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