Thursday, 18 November 2010

Richard Quinn is a God Amongst Men

I may have mentioned that some of my students cheated… in my class on Ethics and Philosophy.

Richard Quinn is a professor in Florida. He took a very interesting line with cheats. He offered a deal - own up, take an ethics course and live to study another day, or take the chance of being identified and thrown out.

200 students owned up.

Here's his astonishing lecture.


Keir said...

200 owned up? Thanks for the update.As an high school teacher, I was deeply moved by the professor's lecture, although if he really had been made so "disillusioned" he strikes me as awfully naive.
Cheating is in our culture, whether in advertising, law, politics, warfare or sports. The French cheated their way to the World Cup and were unapologetic about it. We have not managed to move ahead of the technology that makes the ease of cheating ubiquitous. Chinese exams at schools are not accepted abroad given the way cheating has invaded the very fabric of the schools from faculty to students. In this day and age, I can see how many would do anything to get ahead; obtaining the exam beforehand strikes me as far more benign and resourceful than other alternatives we see in our leaders. But then, I was influenced by Kirk's cheating to make the grade in Wrath of Khan....
ALSO: The students got an hold of the test bank. That's 700 test questions they had to look at for a 50 question paper. I show my students past papers and teachers use test bank to prepare kids for exams. The professor himself doesn't make his own tests but uses these same questions. How exactly then are the students "cheating" if the university is apparently so lazy as to use questions others have access to? To stress: the students did not know what the questions would be on the exam. They would have had to study (operative word, that) 700 questions of which only 50 would find their way on the exam.

The Plashing Vole said...

Interesting - it is more complex than I thought. We don't have these 'test bank' things here, and have largely abolished exams at university level - at mine, at least. The only reason I can see for bringing them back is that they'd cut down on the rampant plagiarism.

I too am inspired by the Kobayashi Maru.