Aim: Investigate whether academic pledges reduce the level of cheating in online assignments, and assess the overall rate of cheating in online assignments
Method: 439 introductory psychology students were recruited over three semesters. Participants were told that they would be completing an online motor task and that their earned extra credit would increase based on their score on the motor task. Participants were told that the computer program would not track their correct responses, and thus they were asked to self-report their correct response total.
Students were randomized to three experimental conditions: no pledge, check mark pledge, and written honor pledge
Results: 361 participants (82.2%) accurately reported their performance, 16 (3.6%) underreported their performance, and 62 (14.1%) overreported their performance.
Mean magnitude of cheating in the entire sample was 0.39/10 points (SD = 1.52), but the mean in the cheating sample was 3.08/10 points over-reporting (SD = 2.75).
Honor pledge condition had no effect on the rate of cheating in the overall sample, or in the cheating subset . Participants were 2.06 times more likely to cheat at the end of the semester than at the beginning, but time of semester did not affect the magnitude of cheating. When the required magnitude of overreporting to be considered cheating was increased (2 points out of 10 instead of 1 point out of 10) the percentage of students cheating dropped to 8.0%. This change was made to account for the presence of 13 students underreporting by 1 point – the authors allowed a larger margin of error in reporting before labelling over-reporting as cheating.
Discussion: Research is still needed to determine the actual rates of cheating on online assignments, and effective strategies to reduce rates of cheating. These efforts are becoming more important as more institutions and professors institute online courses and assessment methods. Though the external validity is not perfect, since most online exams are not self-report, the lack of significance of the honor pledge condition is troubling.
Would you include a version of an honor pledge in your courses? Has your opinion changed as a result of reading this study?
Forsyth cites a study that claims that more students say that they would be more likely to cheat online than the rates at which they actually cheat. What does this tell us about the way in which students approach online learning? How can we use this information to try to prevent cheating?
Online learning brings with it tremendous opportunities to increase collaboration and team-based learning among students. How would you balance this opportunity with the reality that it may make cheating easier for students?
For the technology activity, I decided to explore the TED-Ed Lessons and Series for video content related to psychology topics, specifically in social or relationship psychology courses. I found the TED-Ed website to have more organized features for video lesson planning than YouTube because of the added features of creating or using lessons. After creating an account, I had the ability to design lessons that supplement the curriculum in different psychology courses or use the premade lessons provided. I selected 11 videos between 5-20 minutes in length, and the TED-Ed website allows me to save and edit lessons for students. I also had the chance to crop the video for students, if needed, and provide an overview with additional multiple choice or short answer questions to check for understanding. The website has an option for instructors to require, if needed, student log in to make sure students watch and answer the questions. There is also a section for students to open up to discussion prompts, which could help facilitate any classroom discussion about the different topics. I have the option to add or subtract any videos throughout to better enhance student learning, or adjust the videos depending on the course in the future. This technological tool is designed to aid instructors in completing lesson plans swiftly and in an organized fashion. As a final collaborative project for students, I could also assign a partner video project, modeled after the videos used in the course, to create their own version of a TED Talk, educational video, or a response to a video and upload it. Overall, I found the TED-Ed lesson planning feature to be beneficial in organizing videos and related questions for students to use, which would supplement their readings assigned for a specific course in the future.
1. Dan Gilbert (2004) “The Surprising Science of Happiness”
Decade Follow Up Article on 2004 TED Talk
2. Robb Willer (2017) “How to Have Better Political Conversations”
3. Amy Cuddy (2012) “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”
Decade Follow Up Article on 2012 TED Talk
4. Philip Zimbardo (2008) “The Psychology of Evil”
5. Freeman Hrabowski (2013) “Four Pillars of College Success in Science”
6. Martin Seligman (2008) “The New Era of Positive Psychology”
7. Robert Sternberg (2014) “Successful Intelligence”
8. Walter Mischel (2015) “The Marshmallow Test”
9. Elizabeth Loftus (2013) “How Reliable is Your Memory?”
10. Barbara Fredrickson (2011) “Positive Emotions Open our Mind”
11. Robert Cialdini (2012) “Science of Persuasion”
(Options to also change the videos selected)
(refer to TED Ed website to create your own lesson plan)
Purpose: Compared to the previous semester’s class where this wasn’t implemented, does changing small details to a course through four course evaluations improve course performance and course satisfaction?
– Perception class with 73 undergraduates
– Students completed four course feedback forms (CFFs)
CFFs 1 had two sections: 1) impressions of the course and the instructor, and 2) how much the student wanted to change certain aspects of the course (that were brainstormed together).
CFFs 2-3 sections: 1) impressions of the course and the instructor, 2) extra changes they wanted to see in the course, and 3) whether the changes improved their course satisfaction (yes/no)
CFF 4 also asked about the effectiveness and satisfaction of the course changes in addition to the impressions of the course and semester.
– Other measures: performance data across three tests an end-of-semester evaluation
– The instructor shared the results of the CFFs with the students
– Changes made were perceived as effective and improved quality of class
– Students rated instructors higher in CFF semester than non-CFF semester
– Students in CFF semester performed better on averaged than students in non-CFF semester
Author’s conclusions: Midsemester feedback should provide students an opportunity to change the course as it improves the student learning environment.
Given the results of the study and your own attitudes towards mid-semester feedback (MSF), would you incorporate MSF into your teaching practice? What are the benefits of MSF? Do you see any potential downsides (e.g., teaching self-efficacy)? If so, how would you protect yourself from these?
The article’s context was spent on how to use feedback to make changes to the course: How comfortable are you with making course changes mid-semester? What types of activities or lecturing approaches would you change? What would you be unwilling to change (i.e., what is too much of an ask)? How will you go about collecting this data and ensuring you made the appropriate changes?
The Forsyth (2016) reading for this week purports that student feedback is reliable and valid, and student ratings do not change based on whether the feedback is end-of-semester or mid-semester (given that there are no course changes). Since there are course changes occurring in this study, do you think that the subsequent three evaluations are reliable and valid without rater bias (i.e., halo effects; monitoring effects)? What could have been done to the study methods to confirm or disaffirm rater bias, if there was any?
Travis, L. L., Hudson, N. W., Henricks-Lepp, G. M., Street, W. S., & Weidenbenner, J. (2016). Team-based learning improves course outcomes in introductory psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 43(2), 99-107.
-To compare two styles of teaching, team-based learning and lecturing, and examine the influence of these teaching styles on student satisfaction and exam performance.
-Introductory psychology classes (1,130 undergraduate students, 29 sections, 15 graduate instructors)
-14 out of 15 instructors randomly assigned to condition (team-based learning or lecture)
-Team-based learning (TBL) condition: 12 class sessions dedicated to completing a TBL module. Modules included: Out of class preparation: read 10 pages of textbook, In-class quiz (individual), Group quiz (same as above) taken as a team with feedback provided, Team application activities
-Lecture condition: not allowed to implement team-based learning quizzes or activities and taught via primarily lecture
-Each condition completed the same midterm and final (both multiple choice), and a course evaluation survey at two time points (mid-semester and end-semester)
-Other measures included: perceptions of TBL, preference for TBL over lecture, positivity towards TBL, and involvement in TBL.
-Students in TBL condition performed moderately better on both exams than students in lecture condition.
-Results seemed to show that these gains were related to content covered in TBL modules.
-There were no differences in course satisfaction between groups.
-TBL students expressed positive attitudes towards activities, and preferred lecture style learning over TBL.
Author’s conclusions: TBL is an effective method of learning which does not negatively impact course satisfaction.
The two outcome variables for this study were student satisfaction and exam performance. Using Bloom’s taxonomy, specifically the cognitive domain (i.e., knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation), what other outcomes would be important to assess if this study were to be replicated? What types of assignments could be integrated into the team-based learning approach to foster learning in these other domains?
Would you use the team-based learning approach in your own teaching and how (e.g., to supplement lectures)? Did you like it? What are the pros and cons?
How do you feel about the findings about the increase in exam scores for the team-based learning students, but the preference for lectures? How does this change or not change your view on what types of activities to incorporate in with your future lectures? How does the information presented in other readings from this week supplement your viewpoint?
For my technology activity I chose to use the Jing application for screencasts. This is an excellent resource for capturing lectures on one's computer as a supplemental educational resource for students, have lectures posted for instructor absences, and an effective way to practice public speaking on challenging topics. In my activity I used Jing to discuss a particular methodology unique to dyadic data analysis that are typically employed in social psychological and personality research. By practicing the Jing application while lecturing the content, I could identify ways for more concise descriptions of the content area (Jing is free and limits casts to 5 minutes). After completing one's video, you can save it on one's desk top or on the online www.screencast.com website. This application does require adobe flash, so it is essential to have this updated on one's computer. I have posted a couple youtube instruction videos below that are helpful, however the application is quite user friendly.
To better prepare for a career as an instructor, I have chosen to go through online Blackboard trainings (Lynda courses) as my technology skill. There are close to 200 Blackboard video tutorials available ranging from introductory to advanced levels. I concentrated my training on courses that focused on the basics of Blackboard from an instructor’s perspective. I was able to gain knowledge on how to navigate Blackboard, effectively manage courses, and send information to students directly from the site, among other things. In addition, the training videos opened my eyes to more ways that students can use Blackboard as a centralized location for information regarding the course throughout the semester. As an instructor, use of Blackboard can act as a multipurpose medium. Of all the information received from the training courses, the most helpful was the customization features of Blackboard. I was not aware that Blackboard was so customizable. This can be a great benefit when teaching multiple courses with varying goals. Overall, I would definitely recommend this site and training program. More specifically, to anyone who has never experienced Blackboard from the perspective of an instructor. It does a great job outlining and walking you through system. While I only focused on the basics, I see myself referring to these trainings as I enter into my role as an instructor. The training can be found at <a href="https://www.lynda.com/Blackboard-training-tutorials/487-0.html">Lynda.com</a>. Just enter your VCU EID and password to begin.
For my technology assignment, I decided to explore different online platforms for classroom calendars. I first discovered Google classroom, which seems to be very standardized, but requires administrator permission to create a class and develop a calendar. The standard google calendar app provided by Google Drive seems to be perfectly adequate. It allowed me to add in all due dates for the Interpersonal Relations class for which I TA. This calendar can then be shared with all classmates (with restrictions placed on editing functions). It should be noted that google calendars come with their unique ICAL link so that the calendar can sync with smartphone calendars.
I did a little more research and realized that Blackboard actually comes with this function! Under "my blackboard content" you can find a calendar application. You can use this application to schedule assignments and give links to those assignments directly from the calendar page. Each calendar comes with its own ical link so students have the option to import the blackboard calendar with any of their devices. The interface is fairly straightforward here and it allows you all of the same functions available with google calendar (i.e. repeat event; edit). According to the blackboard cite, all course items that are "assignments" with due dates are automatically added to the calendar. Two of my classes had all of their assignments added to the calendar. I'm not sure my instructors were even aware of this! Overall, I think this calendar application would be extremely useful for students and instructors and I think that the integration of this technology would be fairly seamless.
Meyer, A.D., & Logan, J.M. (2013). Taking the Testing Effect Beyond the College Freshman: Benefits for Lifelong Learning. <em>Psychology and Aging, 28</em>, 142-147.
Summary of Article
Using testing as a learning tool has been well-documented in young populations. Testing as a learning strategy and tool has been linked to an improvement in long-term memory and recall. Meyer and Logan (2013) investigate whether these testing effects apply beyond college students. Comparing three groups, university students aged 18-25, young community adults aged 18-25, and middle-aged to older community adults aged 55-65, the authors found evidence of increased learning due to testing. All three groups participated in a study phase of four study topics, followed by a distractor phase which included multiplication problems, then a recognition test phase for two of the study topics, and a restudying phase for the other two study topics. Participants then went through another distractor phase before taking a final cued-recall test. Findings suggested that testing significantly improved learning, and that there were little differences between the young adult and older community groups. Implications include the use of testing beyond the academic setting, especially in the context of careers or jobs.
Testing is heavily associated with being in school. Based on the results of this study, testing can be an effective tool for learning. As such, how would we apply this beyond academia? Would this be effective for promoting lifelong learners? In what other contexts could testing be effective?
Other research has shown that testing itself can be full of bias. For example, there is evidence that the SAT is biased against racial minorities and for those with lower SES. If testing is truly better for learning, how can we reconcile these biases with testing?
Are there other ways to demonstrate learning besides testing students? The authors of this article would suggest that testing is both an effective learning and studying tool. How can we promote positive attitudes towards test-taking, and should we do this? Or are there better ways to “test” learning?
The technology that I have decided to share is a web-based app called Socrative. Socrative is an interactive app that allows for teachers to create a virtual learning environment for students. Similar to how many college courses require the use of a clicker for quizzes, Socrative can serve a similar function. Teachers can create a live quiz that students log into using a generated classroom code. Each student would only need to provide their own laptop, computer, or smartphone instead of buying a separate clicker. Instructors can view responses and statistics in real time, such as seeing how many students gave a certain answer on any given question. The quizzes can also be set to anonymous responses, which can be a great tool for sharing opinions without outing the student. On top of quizzes, Socrative has an exit ticket function, where it would be helpful to get every student's response before they leave class, and a group function. Instructors can create separate groups or rooms to split up students into different activities. Socrative is free to use, and can be upgraded to a pro account which has more features. There are also separate logins for instructors and for students. Overall, I think Socrative is an innovative classroom app that can engage students using technology.
I created a YouTube channel for Abnormal Psychology, a course I hope to teach at VCU. In order to engage undergraduate students, I plan to begin each lecture with a famous individual who has the mental illness. To peak undergraduate interest in reading each mental illness diagnostic criteria before class, I will choose 3 famous individuals and have students guess which one has the diagnosis. My hope is the activity will spark a class discussion of why each individual does or does not meet criteria. I plan end this activity with a YouTube video of the famous individual describing their experience living with the mental illness. I created YouTube channel of famous individuals with mental illness for this activity. A couple years ago Hollywood start a campaign to decrease the stigma of mental illness which resulted in many individuals sharing their experiences with mental illness. Due to this campaign finding YouTube videos of famous individuals with mental illness was easier than expected. During my search a large number of videos were compilations of individuals with mental illness verse videos of each individual relating their mental illness experience, which was a bit frustrating. Finding YouTube videos of individuals with more stigmatized mental illness was difficult e.g., bipolar disorder. Videos of famous individuals describing their experiences with depression, anxiety and eating disorders were pretty easy to find. Creating a YouTube channel was simple and I think a great addition to the classroom. YouTube videos can be integrated into the classrooms by providing basic information on broad topics as well as sparking class discussions. A caution I posed is ensuring the content in the video is accurate as no guidelines or checks are required by YouTube when posting digital media. In general, it was a good experience and I believe will be a great addition to my future classroom.