Cheating.. a good thing?

With the topic of cheating at the forefront of this week’s discussion, I happened to find a very intriguing article on the matter.  Associate Professor, Mia Consalvo at Ohio University has done research on the topic of cheating an has provided her own views of the benefits of cheating in the following article.  It is a very interesting read and it stresses that cheating in video games, such as searching for cheat codes and such exemplifies how a gamer wants to ‘learn’ more and discover or unlock more rewards that the game has to offer.  Also, being stuck on a level, or on a math problem in the real world does not further the knowledge and learning for a person.  Also, many times teachers tell students to do work by themselves and do not get help from others, well in video games it is acceptable to help others to complete levels and further themselves in the game.  Why not bring this mentality to the classroom as it would make the classroom environment from enjoyable and unified.  Below is the link to this article and I believe it is a very interesting read that is relevant to our week’s discussions.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mikealcala
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 00:15:20

    Great article! At the end of it, Mia Consalvo talks about how cheating will never go away and how we should be able to turn it into something that is positive, “a way to teach and learn.” And I completely agree with her. These days, I am not as interested in looking up cheat codes for the games I am playing. But boy, do I remember doing just that when I was younger! Sometimes, just like Ms. Consalvo pointed out, I was only having trouble beating the level and I just wanted to be able to move on with the game (darn you Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes!!!!!). Was that so wrong?

    But I love the thought you introduce at the end of your post, about how we shouldn’t be afraid to bring this into the classroom. Sure, some kids cheat in school because they just want a good grade. But sometimes people cheat because they don’t know the answer to a question. Why does helping someone out by showing them the right steps count as cheating? If I have ever helped a friend out, it is not like they forgot the answer right away. It stuck with them, and they learned the information that I helped them out with. Why can’t it be acceptable to share that kind of information all of the time? Just like Professor Fishman was saying, is learning only allowed to take place during a designated time in the day? How inefficient is that?

    Look at it this way and consider this: Kids are always going to be cheating on tests as they grow up in school. It’s inevitable, and it would be naive to think that cheating will suddenly disappear. Let’s say Little Johnny was looking at the answers on my paper and writing them down. He gets the answers and does so unnoticed by the teacher. He just copied down some letters and words without knowing what he wrote down. Not much learning took place. But, if it was acceptable for me to walk Little Johnny through his test, not just giving him answers but talking about them with him as we share our thoughts on the subject, wouldn’t you think he would learn more and better develop an understanding of the material if I was able to relate it to him? More than he would have had if he just copied the words and letters off my paper? Good stuff


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