Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Review of Cheating Lessons

Here it is, from Publisher's Weekly:

As Lang (Life on the Tenure Track), an associate professor of English at Assumption College, observes from the start of this practical and insightful volume, “Cheating and higher education in America have enjoyed a long and robust history together.” Lang argues that we cannot blame cheating epidemics on students or institutions alone. The key, he says, is to understand factors that increase the likelihood of cheating (such as an emphasis on “high stakes” exams or performance in one situation versus overall mastery of material), and modify the learning environment to eliminate those factors. Using findings from cognitive theory, Lang examines why students cheat and offers suggestions to stem the tide. The most useful section of the book focuses on how teachers, by modifying teaching techniques and objectives, can engage students in ways that make them less likely to cheat. He uses studies of specific professors and their classes to illustrate his thesis about the relation between cheating and the learning environment. Whether tracking historical incidents of cheating to illustrate different factors, or discussing how university communities can talk to their students about academic dishonesty, Lang is an upbeat guide, effectively arguing that even small steps can help reduce the potential for cheating. (Sept.)