Author Topic: S/O PD Student Darwinism  (Read 288267 times)

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mmswm

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #90 on: February 04, 2013, 08:48:48 PM »
Lady Snowdragon, your experiment story reminded me of something a group of my students did a while ago. This was a 7th grade math class.

We were studying formal logic.  The topic of that day's lesson was the conditional statement (ex: if one likes blue bunnies, then one also likes purple unicorns). I'd split the class into groups to work on the assignment I'd given them.  One particular group of girls was far more interested in gossiping than in doing their work.  I made the off-the-cuff statement that they could only talk if they were talking about, or in, "if...then" statements.  The girls immediately began gossiping in purely "if...then" statements.  I wasn't sure whether to laugh of punish them when I heard "If Johnny likes Julie, then Julie will go out with him", followed by "but, If Julie goes out with Jonny then Billy will be Jealous." and "If Billy gets jealous then Amanda will cry." and things of that nature.

ETA: I was so amused by this, and saw the educational value of what they were doing, that I allowed this to go on for a full 20 minutes. I figured if they could keep everything straight, then they were learning what I wanted them to learn, albeit in a slightly different fashion than I'd originally planned.

Edited again to clarify that all the people being talked about were a part of the conversation, as the boys there were involved joined the group, and everybody was laughing.  If it had gotten mean, or ventured to a person not present, I would not have allowed it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 09:01:22 PM by mmswm »
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HoneyBee42

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #91 on: February 04, 2013, 08:53:03 PM »
People raise a lot of fuss about plagiarism and cheating, as they should, but I think a lot of the stories on here show that it's not quite as black and white as a lot of authorities would like to pretend. I think it can actually be very slippery where the line lies between "collaborating" or "doing homework together" and "cheating." For example, in morning study hall in high school, I liked to check my math homework answers with another girl in my class who usually got things right. She was concerned that letting me see her homework constituted cheating. Of course it could have, if I were the type of person who would just copy down someone else's answers without thinking about them. But instead, if I found that my answer differed from hers, I would point it out, and we would both go back over our work to see if we'd made an error somewhere. Sometimes neither of us could find an error so we'd just leave our original answers, knowing one of them was wrong but not knowing which one. Plus, it was math, so we had to "show our work" on the page--not that the teacher necessarily studied every student's work for every problem, but the evidence would be right there if we magically leaped to an answer that our work didn't support. If anyone had ever questioned our behavior--which they didn't--I would have said all this, and frankly found it ridiculous if someone in authority told me that was still considered cheating.

On the other hand, I learned early on not to agree to "help" a lot of other students with their homework--say, people who never spoke to me otherwise--because I knew that meant they wanted me to do it for them, or just copy off mine. I don't remember any particular bad experience that led to this knowledge, though.
True--but a good teacher can discern the difference.

I remember sophomore year, I was taking chemistry and it was last hour, while I had geometry in the middle of the day (basically 4th hour was divided into four equal parts and was twice as long as all other hours--two consecutive slots were for the class, one was for homeroom and one was for lunch but they had it divided so that some classes had lunch first or homeroom first, some had class first).  During homeroom, I talked with one classmate because although I had worked all night trying to get these problems (something with molar weight), I could not get it.  So he explained it to me, and he used his paper to explain it and then I  did the assignment w/ his method.  Well, another classmate who was also in that class could read his paper while he was explaining to me and copied my friend's paper.  Two other classmates copies off that 3rd classmate.  So there were five of us who had worked the problem in exactly the same way (which wasn't the way it was in the book).  Assignment was worth 10 points, teacher initially gave all of us 2 points and wrote on the paper 10/5 = 2 ...  Well, classmate who had explained it and I went and protested that while he had explained it to me and I used his method, we had both worked separately.

So the teacher gave us each another problem to work (basically, the assignment had been the odd ones, which had the answers in the back and part of the assignment was showing the work, so he assigned an even problem from the same set).  Friend and I got the right answer, the other three did not.  So friend and I got our work re-graded to 10/10 and the other three got zeros.


ladiedeathe

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #92 on: February 04, 2013, 10:31:48 PM »
I've taught at a community college for 6 years, beginning when I was still a nurse and continuing through seminary. I actually teach both surgical technicians and general studies folks.

My first semester teaching I had a girl who admitted she had problems reading and writing. She was in all prep classes except for my Healthcare Law and Ethics class. The was not an ESL student, but someone with an American high school diploma

She failed quiz after written quiz- but could get perfect scores if she could have stuff read to her and say the answers- I knew she was in deep doo for the 20 page paper I had them do.

She didn't turn in the outline, and the rough draft was an F- her subject was abortion law, and her actual first sentance began:" If ladie no go want baby, she's not go sex"

I get her final paper emailed to me the day it was due- a gorgeous 20 pages, perfect A work on her subject- and with the email from the actual writer still attached and forwarded right along with the paper...

"Dear (student), hope this was what you needed. You owe me $50 Tuesday. Thanks, (writer's name)"

Needless to say the student failed the class.
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Iris

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #93 on: February 05, 2013, 12:56:07 AM »
This class should have resulted in a whole epidemic of Student Darwinism, spanning years of students,  but did not.

A professor teaching a class in my Honors Program gave a multiple choice exam that was made from the same pool of questions every. single. year.  They might be in a different order, they might be one or two new questions, but other than that, they were the same questions pulled from the past exams.  The exam was also incredibly hard and impossible to do well on from just studying even with the "study guides" the professor gave the class (I looked at them and the exam, there was no way you could answer those questions with just that guide).  Over the years, each preceding class' kind students would bequeath the last year's exam to the new students.  Any students who couldn't find a willing upperclassman would get a horrific grade in that class.  There were students that did great from the start having already obtained the old exams, some that had bombed the first exam and then caved on their morals and used old exams to study for the rest of the semester, and then those poor clueless students who cried over receiving their first ever C's, D's & F's while unaware that everyone else's A's were from cheating. 

The professor either didn't know at all or knew and didn't care.  I suspect that it was the former because my roommate who did use old exams to study after getting a very bad grade on the first exam was consulted by the professor after class along with another student who was upset over two bad grades and unsure of what they were doing wrong and the professor asked roommate to share how she had studied to improve her score the second time around.  As roommate wasn't failed, I'm guessing he bought the "I read all the reading over again and memorized the study guides" line.

I'm afraid my sympathies are 100% with the students.  If the ONLY way to pass the test was to study from the old tests, then the professor was really bad at either teaching or test-writing.  And isn't studying old tests considered a legitimate strategy for various standardized tests?

I suppose I should confess here: there was a junior high school science teacher whose entire first semester revolved around figuring out the chemical composition of a substance she called "bluestone."  Except that everyone knew from previous classes what it was.  So since the experiments never really worked right, the students mostly became skilled at fudging test results. :P

People could and did pass without the exams, they just didn't do as well as they were used to doing in school unless they cheated.  It was one of the required courses to get a Honors degree, so a more advanced version of a general course requirement that is only open to people who are accepted into the program based on their scores from high school.  Students in the program were pretty much all straight A students in high school so getting a B was shock, let alone a C or D.  Student who were slated to fail classes like this were encouraged to drop the program or take the class later with a different professor.   

I'm afraid I'm still with the students on this one. We can and do reuse papers but if we know we may do so, none of the previous papers are allowed out into the wide world. As far as I'm concerned, if you let your 2012 students leave the exam room carrying their papers then that paper immediately becomes a valid study resource for 2013 students. Doing past papers is a great way to revise because examiners often use a similar style of question over a few years, and I encourage my students to do it.
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Clareish

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #94 on: February 05, 2013, 01:31:12 AM »
I've taught at a community college for 6 years, beginning when I was still a nurse and continuing through seminary. I actually teach both surgical technicians and general studies folks.

My first semester teaching I had a girl who admitted she had problems reading and writing. She was in all prep classes except for my Healthcare Law and Ethics class. The was not an ESL student, but someone with an American high school diploma

She failed quiz after written quiz- but could get perfect scores if she could have stuff read to her and say the answers- I knew she was in deep doo for the 20 page paper I had them do.


She didn't turn in the outline, and the rough draft was an F- her subject was abortion law, and her actual first sentance began:" If ladie no go want baby, she's not go sex"

I get her final paper emailed to me the day it was due- a gorgeous 20 pages, perfect A work on her subject- and with the email from the actual writer still attached and forwarded right along with the paper...

"Dear (student), hope this was what you needed. You owe me $50 Tuesday. Thanks, (writer's name)"

Needless to say the student failed the class.

This student was not right in what they did, but I am quite shocked that they were not given any consideration, or tested for an LD with the circumstances that you have written BEFORE they resorted to cheating.

Sebastienne

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #95 on: February 05, 2013, 03:15:44 AM »
Oh, wow, I have so many stories I could tell.

I was teaching a large lecture at a large university, with ~300 students enrolled in the course every semester. A class that large needs to run like clockwork. It was my first term teaching, so I'd based a lot of the readings on the previous instructor's syllabus, because I knew they worked.  Not all of them, but a lot.

One of the paper topics I assigned asked students to analyze one particular text in depth. One student's paper started out fine, but the second half veered into a comparative analysis of the book and another book I hadn't assigned--which was...strange. Sure enough, the previous instructor had assigned that book. And, sure enough, he'd also assigned that particular essay topic.  So this student had pretty clearly turned in a paper someone else had written the year before.

At our meeting, the student claimed she was using the old paper as "a reference," but she'd written a real paper, and she'd turned in the wrong one. And an hour later, she emailed me her "real" paper--which was several pages too short, filled with errors, and had, according to document statistics, a file creation time of approximately five minutes after our meeting and 55 minutes of editing time.

Shocker! She didn't pass the class.

Kiara

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #96 on: February 05, 2013, 08:25:43 AM »
This happened to a college professor friend over twenty years ago.  The story still makes me laugh. 

Female student wearing a suggestive outfit enters his office.

Student: "I didn't have time to write my paper, but I will do ANYTHING to pass the course."
Prof: "What are you doing this Saturday"?
Student: "Nothing"
Prof: "Write your paper then."

This?  Made of win.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #97 on: February 05, 2013, 08:51:19 AM »
This happened to a college professor friend over twenty years ago.  The story still makes me laugh. 

Female student wearing a suggestive outfit enters his office.

Student: "I didn't have time to write my paper, but I will do ANYTHING to pass the course."
Prof: "What are you doing this Saturday"?
Student: "Nothing"
Prof: "Write your paper then."

That IS funny.
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Jocelyn

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #98 on: February 05, 2013, 10:09:53 AM »
I'm afraid I'm still with the students on this one. We can and do reuse papers but if we know we may do so, none of the previous papers are allowed out into the wide world. As far as I'm concerned, if you let your 2012 students leave the exam room carrying their papers then that paper immediately becomes a valid study resource for 2013 students. Doing past papers is a great way to revise because examiners often use a similar style of question over a few years, and I encourage my students to do it.
I put the most important facts, the ones I really want students to learn, on the tests. If they look at an old test, and are prompted to learn the answers to those questions, I don't see that is a problem! I've even been known to take the exam into the review session and make a game out of it, letting students call out question numbers and then I read the question to them....or if I'm using a test bank that has the page numbers, I've given them the page numbers from the text (there will be a question from page 45, page 47, pages 49-51, etc). If the goal is to get the students to learn the material, what's the problem? I hated professors who used the Pirate School of Testing- they'd hide a buried treasure, and the goal was for the students to figure out where it was buried and dig it up.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #99 on: February 05, 2013, 11:35:43 AM »
Not quite Darwinism, perhaps but these students were well on their way.

A lady in a College honor program came to the library to do research.  She ordered up a large number of photocopies from various sources.  When she received them, we suggested she write the citations on the copies so she'd be able to write her bibliography.

Blank stare.

We had to walk her through how to write a citation. 

Author's last name, comma, Author's first name...
And so it went through the entire citation.  I would not like to see the finished paper.

A young man, also in a College honor program dropped in and called up a large number of sources.  While waiting for them to be pulled from the stacks, we suggested he might want to look up some relevant articles in current journals. 

He thought that would be a waste of time.  After all, the only thing that journals have are a list of authors, titles and numbers.  He'd find nothing useful there.

That was a puzzle but then it dawned on me.  This guy in an honor program didn't know how to read a table of contents.   :o

Finally, there was the one who requested only 19th century publications even though there was plenty of good recent research on his topic.  He was firmly convinced that, 'the old stuff is always the best'. 

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #100 on: February 05, 2013, 11:50:08 AM »
Not quite Darwinism, perhaps but these students were well on their way.

A lady in a College honor program came to the library to do research.  She ordered up a large number of photocopies from various sources.  When she received them, we suggested she write the citations on the copies so she'd be able to write her bibliography.

Blank stare.

We had to walk her through how to write a citation. 

Author's last name, comma, Author's first name...
And so it went through the entire citation.  I would not like to see the finished paper.

A young man, also in a College honor program dropped in and called up a large number of sources.  While waiting for them to be pulled from the stacks, we suggested he might want to look up some relevant articles in current journals. 

He thought that would be a waste of time.  After all, the only thing that journals have are a list of authors, titles and numbers.  He'd find nothing useful there.

That was a puzzle but then it dawned on me.  This guy in an honor program didn't know how to read a table of contents.   :o

Finally, there was the one who requested only 19th century publications even though there was plenty of good recent research on his topic.  He was firmly convinced that, 'the old stuff is always the best'.

Thus we have a meeting between this thread and the "people who make your brain hurt" thread...  :o

The fellow grad student I mentioned earlier, who was terrible at almost everything required of her and plagiarized incorrect information for her thesis--she also didn't understand much about research articles. Once she had to pick an article and analyze it for a class, and she was having a hard time finding one. I suggested she start with a review article on her chosen subject and she immediately said, "We can't use review articles!" (i.e., she couldn't analyze a review article) I said, no, but you could read the review article for ideas about primary source articles on that topic. That had never occurred to her. This was her second semester of taking classes for grad school, BTW.

Another time I was proofing her resume (why did I even bother) and I found that she hadn't added the complete title of a research project she'd worked on. I had no familiarity with the project, but I could tell from the title that it wasn't complete--it was something like, "Changing Widget Color Leads to" so obviously there was supposed to be another word there. I pointed it out and she argued with me that no, that was the complete title. To prove it she typed the title and lead author into Google and indeed, the first result that came up was, "Changing Widget Color Leads to"... because that was the character cut-off for the Google search results! If you actually clicked on the link, it showed the entire title ("Changing Widget Color Leads to Great Visibility in Inclement Weather" or something).
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darling

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #101 on: February 05, 2013, 12:18:32 PM »
I submit for Student Darwinism this gem of a student:

I overheard this person talking as I was working on testing an update in the computer labs. She had apparently emailed her MOTHER her essay for editing, and when she received it back, was incensed that there were multiple cross-outs, because "I need more words, not LESS WORDS!"

Methinks Mom should perhaps refuse to proofread the next time she is asked. Do your own darn homework!

Sebastienne

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #102 on: February 05, 2013, 12:19:47 PM »
Another one!  In one class, I always gave students the essay question that would show up on the final exam beforehand, because I wanted them to put some thought into it, as opposed to writing a "I am shocked by this question" essay.  The risk with this, of course, is that students could possibly pre-write the essay in a blue book before the exam. My solution was to pre-mark all the blue books with a super-secret hidden symbol on the inside back cover before distributing them. If a returned blue book didn't have the mark on it--it hadn't come from me. Students knew I did this, too, which should further have cut down the risk of cheating.

I was proctoring back to back exams in the same room and grading the first set of tests during the second exam block. The first thing I did was check the blue books--and one was missing the secret symbol. The student in question, Jared, surprised me quite a bit. He was earning a solid B/B+ in the class and had come to my office the day before for an hour to review concepts for the exam. Good kid. My gut reaction was that I had somehow missed marking one of the books... until a student finishing up the second exam, sitting in the same seat that Jared had been in two hours before, turned in her exam--with an extra blank blue book she'd found on the floor, which had my marking on it.

I met with Jared, who confessed immediately, cried, said he'd never done anything like that before, and promised to never do it again. I gave him a zero for the exam, which dropped his final grade down to a D-.

A few weeks later, though, I was talking with some colleagues about busting cheaters. We all had stories...and it turns out that all of our most recent stories were about Jared, and all involved basically a word-for-word replay of the meeting I'd had with him. In the end, he was asked to leave the university, despite his promise that "it wouldn't happen again." True Darwinism.

Life lesson: professors aren't stupid, and they talk to each other.

jedikaiti

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #103 on: February 05, 2013, 12:51:46 PM »
I've taught at a community college for 6 years, beginning when I was still a nurse and continuing through seminary. I actually teach both surgical technicians and general studies folks.

My first semester teaching I had a girl who admitted she had problems reading and writing. She was in all prep classes except for my Healthcare Law and Ethics class. The was not an ESL student, but someone with an American high school diploma

She failed quiz after written quiz- but could get perfect scores if she could have stuff read to her and say the answers- I knew she was in deep doo for the 20 page paper I had them do.


She didn't turn in the outline, and the rough draft was an F- her subject was abortion law, and her actual first sentance began:" If ladie no go want baby, she's not go sex"

I get her final paper emailed to me the day it was due- a gorgeous 20 pages, perfect A work on her subject- and with the email from the actual writer still attached and forwarded right along with the paper...

"Dear (student), hope this was what you needed. You owe me $50 Tuesday. Thanks, (writer's name)"

Needless to say the student failed the class.

This student was not right in what they did, but I am quite shocked that they were not given any consideration, or tested for an LD with the circumstances that you have written BEFORE they resorted to cheating.

Yes - doesn't your school have any kind of Disability Services office? This student really needs to be in close contact with them.
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Thipu1

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #104 on: February 05, 2013, 12:56:49 PM »
A Professor I knew on a social basis had a neat method for telling whether or not a student had done proper research.  He had a lot of publications and, naturally, students would cite as much of his work as they could.  Into his published bibliography he slipped in an article or two that didn't exist.  The idea was that, if a student cited one of these ringers in a paper, the Prof knew there was a problem.