2013-2014 CETL Events Summaries
Title and Description
James Lang on Building learning environments that reduce cheating and increase learning.
James Lang, author of the recently published book "Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty" gave a talk at Clark on Tuesday November 12, 2013 as part of the CETL Faculty Development Series.
Over the years, social psychology experiments performed on children and adults established that “most people are willing to cheat under the right circumstances.” Lang, therefore, suggests that if we want to prevent cheating, we must begin by understanding the underlying causes.
Lang explains that a highly structured academic environment, such as in post-secondary education, induces students to cheat because of:
1: Extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivations. Extrinsic motivations involve binge/purge learning where students study for exams and then forget the material shortly after. The external rewards like grades, passing standardized tests, parental acceptance, etc. are in fact counterproductive to holistic learning.
2: The orientation towards performance as opposed to learning as a whole also leads to cheating.
3: Infrequent, high-stakes assessments
4: Low self-efficacy that comes from students not believing that they can perform the task required and be graded fairly, especially in difficult courses.
5: Cheating is perceived as common and is accepted by peers
Lang suggests a number of strategies that require a complete change in the way faculty teach course material that could lead to an environment of holistic learning.
This talk was followed by a question and answer period where Lang helped Clark faculty think of different strategies that they can use in their classes (Handout link).
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James M. Lang is an Associate Professor of English and the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which are Cheating Lessons: Learning From Academic Dishonesty, and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching.
A copy of "Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty” is also available for borrowing from the CETL library.
To obtain material shared during the event, or to borrow a copy of Lang’s book, please contact cetl@clarku,.edu.This talk was the first CETL Faculty Development talks of the year. Additional talks and workshops will be advertised on the redesigned CETL site: http://www.clarku.edu/departments/cetl.