Episode 179 – Student Fail

Tony and Patrick are at it again. We’re still talking about the Coronavirus about a somewhat dubious story out of China some hardware and how some students were pretty sneaky. Be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Music or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Online learning, biggest issue I am seeing: controlling students vs lesson prep
    1. Behavior problems online are not tech problems
    2. Be realistic – it cannot be business as usual
    3. Daily touchpoints for teachers and administration
    4. How often do students need to be online with the teacher?
  2. Chinese students try but fail…
    https://technode.com/2020/03/02/dingtalk-begs-for-stars-on-chinas-app-stores/

    1. Funny story, but again Social Media thinks it is real.
  3. ViewSonic Viewboard – Awesome, but don’t get sucked in. 
    1. https://www.viewsonic.com/us/products/shop/viewboard.html
  4.  Sneaky, sneaky kids and electronic tests by Patrick Cauley
    1. https://itbabble.com/2020/02/13/sneaky-sneaky-kids-and-electronic-tests/

Download here!

Sneaky, sneaky kids and electronic tests

This week, is a good week. I learned a whole lot about something this week and I thought I’d share it with you my good reader.

So let me layout the scenario for you. It is the end of an grading period at my school and like many other school this is a time for tests and projects. One class giving quite a few tests is our Spanish class. The teacher there uses on an online assessment tool, Edulastic for this tests and the students use Chromebooks. Since it is a language test and it is offered online, there are some ways that kids can, shall we say, get some online assistance (AKA cheating).

We, the tech department, thought we had this locked down. With Edulastic we can make a “Scene” that only allows the Edulastic website to open and that is it. No new tabs or searches allowed. We also blocked Google Translate from the Google translate control panel so that site or the extension could not be used and we patted ourself on our backs.

So students took the test and when we looked at GoGuardian to make sure they weren’t able to open any webs we noticed something odd. Something didn’t make sense. Check out the image below of a timeline of two different students.

Problem #1

We are stupid, or at least I am. There are plenty of translation extensions that students can download and install.

Guess what, extensions don’t need a website, so they are invisible to GoGuardian, so at the beginning of the week we thought there were students who were installing the extension before the test and then uninstalling it afterwards.

So, we disabled students’ ability to install apps/extensions from Google control panel. Pretty easy and we set up a Google form for students to request apps/extensions to be allowed that we could vet.

OK – now we can really pat ourselves on the back . . . right?

Problem #2

Did I mention that I was stupid? During a test that we were monitoring on GoGuardian we saw this.

So the student on the bottom is what it should look like during a test. A solid green line showing a student consistently on the Edulastic test. The student above was odd. Why was it so fragmented? Those gray slivers are open and empty tabs. What was happening?

So we looked a little deeper and saw this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How could this be? I mean we plugged all the holes . . .didn’t we? Right?

The teacher spoke to this student and he was pretty forth coming. He said that if you type a question the Google Omnibar, it will give an answer without performing a search!

Of course he is absolutely correct.

What you are seeing here is what Google calls instant search and there is a way for us to turn that off in the Google. There was also a translate feature in Google that we turned off as well. I guess this is what offers a translation for sites in foreign language.

Now do I pat myself on the back? No because I am sure the students will find another way. Just like the Dutch Boy and the leaky dike. I am just plugging holes as students find new and inventive ways to . . . “gain assistance.”

What have I become

I always thought that being working in technology – I’d be the cool guy on campus. I’d be the person people would go to with problems and want to talk tech with. I am that person, but I have also become something else.

I’ve become . . . The Man.

I’m OK with that.

 

Episode 169 – It’s not cheating?

Tony and Patrick are at it again with another great episode. We talk about some NFL news, some advice to homeroom/advisory teachers and much more including what constitutes cheating this day and age? Check out the talking points below.

As always, be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Andrew Luck retiring
  2. Advisories/Homeroom advice
    1. Advisory/Homeroom challenge/mystery
    2. Keep it light and fun and don’t force participation
  3. Presenting a slideshow? Keep it brief by Patrick Cauley
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/08/12/presenting-a-slideshow-keep-it-brief/
    2. Presentation advice
      1. iMovie
      2. Prezi
      3. Keynote, PowerPoint (SkyDrive), Google Slides
      4. Stay away from animation/transitions
  4. When TurnItIn Fails by Tony DePrato
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/08/22/when-turnitin-fails/
    2. Paying for intellectual property
    3. Cheating with project based learning (PBL)
    4. Pre Assessment is important

You can download this episode HERE

When TurnItIn Fails

cermicsfinalBy: Tony DePrato | Follow me on LinkedIn

 

Plagiarism is serious issue for most high schools. It is rare to find a school without a detailed plagiarism policy. Most of these policies have a few tiers, because it is common for students to commit plagiarism more than once in their academic career.

Unfortunately, the tools educators rely on only cover a small portion of things students can plagiarize. In the last decade I have seen inauthentic:

 

  • Computer Science projects
  • Art projects
  • Websites
  • Math internal assessments (IB)
  • Research papers with a perfect Turn It In score
  • Foreign language course work
  • 3D printing
  • etc…

 

In many of these cases, the student and their parents argued that the work was not plagiarized. These people had full legal ownership of the end product, because they paid for the work, or paid for someone to help guide the work.

 

The work is often a result of tutoring, where the student did technically do the work, but was aided along the way. Sometimes this support did result in the tutor physically contributing to the final product.

 

These situations are complicated. They are well beyond someone simply copying an academic paper.

 

Identifying Inauthentic Work and Projects

 

As soon as I mention plagiarism, people are quick to react. In every conversation, people ask me, “How did you know it was not their work?” or “How did you prove they did not do it on their own?”.

 

I find the first problem with most project-based planning is a lack of pre-assessment. Students need a baseline assessment. Teachers should be assessing projects on some sort of trendline. The measurements being used need to monitor growth, and not simply check off rubric boxes.

 

If teachers set baseline assessments for every project, they can clearly find students who are developing seemingly accelerated skills in a very short time. If the teacher suspects a problem, they can require all the students to do an in-class timed assignment. These assignments need to encourage the students to practice their skills without risking their grades. Students who have been submitting inauthentic work will most likely show signs of stress, become angry, and/or ask to leave the room.

 

Rubrics Can Be a Roadmap for Cheating

 

Rubrics should guide students toward a standard, but they should be flexible enough that the end result is a product of a student’s imagination and creativity. In fact, if a student has a great idea, the rubric could be put to the side (a discussion for another time.)

 

I have seen an increase in teachers providing students with highly detailed rubrics, designed to meet detailed criteria. In those cases, it does seem as if the teacher would like all the student work to be nearly identical. Those highly detailed rubrics are essentially a blueprint for a tutor.

 

Rubrics that leave no room for personalization, are going to increase cheating. There is a sense that students need to be trusted, and educators must trust students to make good decisions. However, schools usually do not let students use phones during exams, or walk into copy rooms with cameras. Why? Because they are young and impulsive. They will sometimes make bad choices, and simply using good practice to remove temptation is not a violation of trust.

 

Projects are Assessments, Plan them Accordingly

 

Many schools have an assessment calendar or planner. These are used to ensure students do not have three or four tests (or exams) on a single day. Projects are often left off of these planning documents. I have made this mistake numerous times leading project-based courses.

 

Project due dates are often pushed and changed, and therefore the final due date may shift. Adding a due date to an assessment calendar requires other teachers to plan their assessments around those dates. Changing those dates can create havoc. Not being able to change those dates can impact students who need more time, or were denied time due to some unforeseen past issue.

 

When students feel the pressure of a final project they might make the choice to seek outside help. Having a tutor is not plagiarism, but often project-based disciplines lead to the tutor doing the work on behalf of the student.

 

Planning projects with three or four important due dates allows student work to be assessed in stages and reduces the risk of missing the final deadline. I personally feel that having multiple stages reduces stress, although my evidence is purely anecdotal.

 

Current technology and online services cannot identify cheating within project-based courses. Teachers need to know their students, and plan accordingly to reduce those impulsive and misguided choices teenagers often make.