Today in class, as I often do, caught a student copying work for another class. It got me to thinking...
What are our students getting from the work that we assign them?
Assignments that can be copied and done in a few minutes during the class period prior to being turned in have zero affect on student learning. The student not only missed instruction in my classroom, but also got nothing from the assigned work.
The bigger question is whether we should give homework that is "copiable".
I understand that there may be the occasional assignment or subject where this may be unavoidable. However, homework assignments that can simply be copied are not effective. Students need to be creating original work that requires them to think at high levels. This concept is really tough for some to grasp.
Some educators may argue the point that the student is cheating and should be penalized. These same educators would give no thought to the assessment itself and whether it was a valid assignment to begin with. The truth is that if we give "copiable" assignments we are just as guilty as the student. They are cheating - but we too are cheating. We are cheating students of learning - and you know what they say...
Mike Meechin is an educator. He is employed by a school district in Central Florida as a high school social science teacher. Mike is also the owner of Innovate Education, LLC., an educational consulting firm in Central Florida.