Cool stuff from around the blogosphere:
- Another story from InsideHigherEd yesterday is Stop Chasing High-Tech Cheaters By Ira Socol. Basically, his idea is that we're wasting our time stopping students from cheating using their cellphones and other electronic devices during exams. In real life, people can use the web or ask other people for help when solving a problem, so students in exams should be allowed to do the same thing. Granted, exams that rely only on regurgitating facts aren't that useful pedagogically and are easy to cheat on. But, a well designed course can have different types of evaluation. Papers and projects can test research and collaboration skills. It seems to me that it is also appropriate to test what a student actually knows as opposed to what they can beg, borrow or steal from someone else. It's obvious that Socol has never taken a science or math course either -- otherwise he would have been well aware that such courses have long allowed cheat sheets (and calculators) so that they can emphasise testing understanding of problem solving techniques rather than formula memorization.
- Another, more amusing, piece on cheating via Schneier on Security. Tips on How to Cheat Good: Don't cheat off family; Don't talk British; You Google, I Google; Don't rite to good; Malaprop big words; Use the word "rediculous"; Borrow from someone who writes as badly as you do; Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text.
- Via Computational Complexity, the CRA's Taulbee Survey on CS in the US & Canada.
- OCLC's College Students' Perceptions Report is here. (100 page pdf version).
- ScienceBlogs is expanding faster than the universe, it seems. EvolutionBlog has just joined. Others about to be integrated include The Scientific Activist, Good Math, Bad Math, coturnix as well as others mentioned by coturnix. Generally, I think this is a good thing. The ScienceBloggers seem to have complete freedom to say what they want. It also creates a real critical mass of science blogging, something that everyone can build on. On the other hand, it seems to me that there's the danger of putting all our eggs in one basket. Does this giant leave enough room out there in the ecosystem for others to flourish? Are people who get into that one site going to explore all the others? In any case, I wish them well. I certainly follow the site very closely and an glad to see it do well. Some others that I would suggest? Jane and Computational Complexity, for sure. The need someone representing the computing field more directly than Deltoid.
- "Here in the North there is no such thing as monkeys." Sheesh.