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« Making progress on writing when the going gets tough | Main | Reflective practice exercise (Kate Norlock) »

05/01/2019

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Barry Lam

Very cool Jason, the link you posted leads to a 404

Bobcat

This is sort of a tangent, Jason, but in _Cracks in the Ivory Tower_, you mentioned a colleague who gave his business students an assignment that showed them that when they're stressed, distracted, etc., they are likely to cheat. I didn't get a good feel for what that assignment was when I read the book. Do you mind explaining that assignment in greater detail?

-- Rob Gressis

Jason Brennna

Hi Rob,

Went something like this:

1. Early class: They read a case study in which a person acts dishonestly because of stress and time pressure. He asks students if they think they would fall prey to the same problem. They say no.

2. He assigns a journal task during their first month. We describe the first month as a "fire hose" because they have a super-intense crash course in many different topics. They work 90 hours a week at first. The journal simply requires them to keep track of any moral dilemmas they face during that month. They must write a page any time a dilemma appears. They are not write it all at the end.

3. Toward the end, he reminds them of the journal task. He points out that it was pass/fail, and that they were required to write it as they go, not all at the end before passing it in. Lots of gaping mouths appear because students forgot.

4. Students later pass in journals. It sure looks like many were backdated. Looks like they broke the rules.

5. To prove it, though, he has them fill out an anonymous survey with a bunch f questions. One includes a question which gets them to reveal that, yes, most of them backdated their journals because they forgot about them.

6. He shows them the survey. He says he's not failing anyone. His point was simply to show them that they too would make the same mistakes as the person in the case study, and now we know from anonymous surveys that most of them in fact did so.

7. Students get mad at him and complain.

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