A student in your class needs to travel during one week of the course and will not have access to a computer during the trip. She wants to complete her assignments ahead of time. She asks you for permission to give her conferencing program User ID and password to her husband so that he can post the assignments for her while she is gone. In addition to submitting the assignments, her husband begins to post responses and asks questions of other students in the class. What are some of the issues associated with her request? How do you handle this situation?The situation above could probably be considered cheating, which is just my opinion, but when you honestly think of the number of students who depend on their spouses assistance to make it through school, the likelihood of something like this happening is very strong. When I think back on some of the courses that Ive taken, I do remember having a classmate who talked about having their husband complete readings for assignments. He would highlight significant talking points of the readings for them to present and complete all of the research for papers. Everyone in the class knew, but it really didnt bother any of us. However, if the student hadnt informed our class that she was receiving her husbands help, it would have been quite difficult to determine who was doing her work because this student in particular was a naturally eloquent speaker and writer. When I think about my own schizophrenic writing, where sometimes it can be very flowery, sometimes sophisticated, other times technical, and sometimes very ethnic, it would be difficult for an accuser to prove that my writing wasnt/isnt actually mine. One also has to keep in mind that the verbiage I choose when I am wide awake is much different than what I use when I am tired; like when I submitted postings for my online courses at close to midnight. People generally complete assignments whenever they have time and if they dont have time, they seek assistance from others to get the job done. I did a little research and came across a few quotes that I think are worth mentioning. In contrast to the given scenarios, Some anecdotal evidence (Kaczmarczyk, 2001) suggests students today cheat less in distance learning than with traditional instruction. This may be because new technologies typically first attract smarter and more motivated users with less reason to cheat, (Rowe, http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer72/rowe72.html). When I read this quote, I thought about many of us in this course. We have enrolled in ION courses because we have a desire to learn more about the use of technology in teaching and have a deep respect for our craft. So how can an instructor curb cheating if and when there is room for it to take place? An article, The Importance of Policies in E-Learning Instruction, gave a few good suggestions. To prevent the situation above from happening, instructors can ask students to fax over a copy of an assignment shortly after it has been posted it online. This will give instructors an idea about the students location. It may also be beneficial to research the IP address of the emails that are received from students, which will also assist in pinpointing their location. But, perhaps the ethical responsibility to prevent cheating doesnt always fall on the shoulders of learners. As I mentioned in a previous posting, it is important for instructors to set clear expectations for students at the beginning of a course, so that they know what is and isnt acceptable. In essence, we should think of the …the online instructor as the conductor or the leader of a band of learners who know how, when and to what degree to bring out the music, the strengths, and the depths of various sections, of learning, (Heuer & King, http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/PDF/3.1.5.pdf).References:1. The Importance of Policies in E-Learning Instruction by Shirley Waterhouse and Rodney O. Rogers
http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0433.pdf2. Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism by Neil C. Rowe
http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer72/rowe72.html3. Leading the Band: The Role of the Instructor in Online Learning for Educators by Barbara P. Heuer and Kathleen P. King
http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/PDF/3.1.5.pdf




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