Saturday, March 8, 2008

Expelled for 'Studying' on Facebook

First year computer engineering student Chris Avenir is facing expulsion after a teacher at Ryerson University discovered a Facebook group set up to share tips and answers to an online testing system.

Will this action result in a culture of fear among students who participate in study groups online?

I agree with Jesse Hirsh who is quoted in on online Canwest article:

"The online culture is outpacing the curriculum and education system," said Jesse Hirsh, who has been studying social websites for more than a decade. "These students are being smart and using the Internet the way that it should be used. This is the future of education."

I find it ironic that The student is studying 'Computer Engineering" and the administration at Ryerson is upset that he and well over 100 of his classmates are leveraging technology to share strategies on beating the technology-based assessment system used at the Toronto school.

In stark contrast to traditional testing and exams, "Studio Learning" first caught my attention in November of 2004, when I read an article on 'New Jersey Institute Of Technology Pioneers New Way To Teach Engineers'. At the time, I was surprised that tens of thousands of dollars were being granted to a 'novel teaching method' that I'd been employing with elementary students for years! Read bioengineering associate professor Richard Foulds' take on the effectiveness of his approach.

Rather than come down on students who have designed creative solutions to 'beat the system'... It's time that universities join others in developing rich assessment opportunities that engage students in solving authentic problems.

Photo Credit: Grant Hutchinson
Teacher 2.0 Pocast: Cheating on Facebook


Rodd Lucier said...

One thought to add...

If graduates hope to be effective in solving real problems upon graduation, then the collaborative consultation skills being practiced in Facebook, may in fact be more important than any other skills being taught during class time!