Traditional and online courses
and Cheating There are many pros and cons to taking an on-line or an on-site course. Quite often, one would say that whether online or in class is better depends on who you are and the needs that you have. In pursuit of a certificate
or degree, the academic integrity also varies from person to person and organization to organization. The hope is that all students of all ages want a quality education... the type of education TEFL focuses on giving. TEFL offers both onsite as well as online courses.
The onsite courses that TEFL offer are found around the world. Some of the locations include: New York City, usa
; London, England; Beijing, China and Calcutta, India. The entire list of 31 courses can be found at www.teflcourse.net. The classes offer conventional, on location learning with a qualified teacher leading the way. Onsite TEFL learning has many advantages such as real time assistance as a student has questions and actual teaching experience with quality feedback from observers. The real time teaching experience is of great value.....
The other type of learning offered by TEFL is online. This type of learning is compliments of the internet and is preferred by many. The aspects of online learning (1) that are advantageous to many students are: lower costs
, no sitting in a classroom, choosing study times, flexibility in completing assignments, opening options when returning to the workplace, balance a job and a class, avoid adverse weather conditions, specialized degree programs, and transfer of credits. Online classes are more and more the choice of learning for active/busy people or people who simply aren't in the area for classroom learning. TEFL offers a variety of online courses that benefit those who need flexibility of time, price and lifestyle and even offers classes that are part classroom and part online. Regardless of the type of classes that are offered, ITTT (TEFL) has a reputation to uphold as being a provider of quality teachers. The hope is that students also want a quality education, but that's not always the case.
Since the dawn of learning cheating has been observed and some believe online learning has only made it easier for the students to cheat. "In American high schools a whopping sixty four percent of high school students surveyed by the Center for Youth Ethics at the Josephson Institute in Las Angeles said they had cheated on a test at least once in the past year, up from sixty percent in 2004. Thirty eight percent said they had cheated two or more times, while another thirty six percent said they had used the internet to plagiarize an assignment, up from thirty three percent two years ago. Cheating on homework is also widespread, eighty two percent said they had copied another student's work at least once in the past year." (2) The ways of cheating are numerous: using cell phones, old fashioned crib sheets, writing on body parts, copying from peers, illegal access to exams, impersonation, plagiarism, leaving the room, fake corrupted files and fake doctors notes to avoid tests. (3) Cheating is nothing new and it is easy to get the feeling that students will cheat at will if the situation calls for it in their eyes. "If students are exhibiting the same behavior in online courses that they exhibit in traditional classrooms, then instructors and designers of online courses have cause for alarm." (4)
"Because students and faculty do not interact directly in distance learning instruction, this situation offers a unique venue for academic dishonesty." (8) With the lack of interaction between the student and the teacher, many of the old school methods of cheating would be even more effective if new cheating detecting techniques are not incorporated. One of the most popular forms of cheating is plagiarism and to fight this there are programs such as Turnitin.com. Turnitin is an originality checking and plagiarism prevention service and when an instructor chooses to use this service the students must be alerted by including it in the course syllabus. (5) Other methods of deterring e-cheaters are: Pop-up chat quiz - when students log on for e-class time the instructor can quiz the student, Timed real-time tests - the tests are timed and sometimes even the individual questions, On-site monitoring - having the students monitored during testing by a person physically present at an on-site location. The online equivalent of onsite monitoring is the teacher dialing in via web cam to discourage squirrely behavior. (6) My own idea similar to the web cam to monitor is to arrange/program the website to make web cam contact, the student will arrange to always be in view, and the website can be programmed to take pictures or short videos while the student is doing the assignment/test/quiz. The teacher then can review this footage at anytime to verify and control.
Cheating has been around for as long as testing has been around. Whether the class is traditional or is online, there are students who will always justify cheating of some sort at some point to gain an advantage. As the cheating techniques change so should the techniques change for the detection and deterrence. "I think everyone should be aware of academic integrity, it follows students the rest of their lives; it is about personal integrity." (7)
1) 10 Advantages to Taking Online Classes | OEDb." Online Education Database - Online Colleges and Universities | OEDb. 9 Aug. 2006. Web. 10 Sept. 2011. .
2) Ramirez, Eddy. "Cheating on the Rise Among High School Students." Usnews.com. US News, 2 Dec. 2008. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. .
3) "Cheating Prevention in College Classrooms." Tallahassee Community College. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. .
4) Black, Erik W., Joe Greaser, and Kara Dawson. "Academic Dishonesty In Traditional And Online Classrooms: Does The "Media Equation" Hold True?" Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 12.3-4. Print.
5) "Preventing Academic Dishonesty." Writing Tutorials. The Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. .
6) Peter. "Is Cheating Easier in an Online Class?" Ace Online Schools. Ace Online Schools, 15 Dec. 2008. Web. 11 Sept. 2011. .
7) Copeland, Kate. "Online Classes Altered to Prevent Cheating." NTdaily.com. NTdaily.com, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Sept. 2011. .
8) Kennedy, Kristen, Sheri Nowak, Renuka Raghuraman, Jennifer Thomas, and Stephen F. Davis. "Academic Dishonesty And Distance Learning: Student And Faculty Views." BNET. CBS. Web. 11 Sept. 2011. .