Thanks for stopping by. Those of you who are looking for the MSJC programming web site that you used to occupy glennstevenson.com it has a new home. The new address is programming.msjc.edu.
After many years of hard work and two different schools I have finally finished my Ph.D. in Information Technology. The title of the dissertation is "Software Size Estimation Using Expert Estimation: A Fuzzy Logic Approach". I will post a link to a pdf of the research soon. Although I cannot imagine anyone wanting to sit down an read it for enjoyment.
University Professor Tries to Fail Entire Class
This was a recent headline about a professor at Texas A&M who was tired of the cheating and behavior in his class. Is this excessive behavior? Most people would probably say yes and you can include me in that group. I do want to say though that I sympathize with what the instructor has been going through. Let's forget the cheating for a second, I will get back to that. One of the things the professor accused the students of was being disrespectful right down to being called an f'n moron. Many people would probably believe that the instructor is making some of this up or that he is exaggerating. From my personal experience I can believe this kind of thing is happening. I have had students say things to me that I wouldn't have ever had the balls to say to a professor. Of course all of it is short of being called an f'n moron.
As for the cheating I can say that a large majority of students have no problem with it. It is happening at an alarming rate. I have caught students trying to hire people on Craig's List to do their homework assignments, I have had students turn in work with other peoples names on it, and I have had dozens go on the Internet and get solutions from people who think they are helping. In reality, I believe the people on line who are doing peoples assignments are doing it because it feeds their egos. I once posted on one of these sites that doing a student's assignments for them was not helping. I got a reply stating that I shouldn't blame them for my students lack of morality. I had to agree with that but I also pointed out that the student at the top of the post was one of mine and they are contributing to their lack of morality.
To get around the cheating I starting having timed exams. This seems to have helped because it doesn't give students enough time to get the answers. Although I should point out that I had a student in the class room turning in exams that were very similar to another students. When I looked to see where he was sitting he was right behind the student who had similar work. During the final exam I moved the student in the front and guess what happened? The student who sat behind failed the exam. Imagine that? Coincidence? I don't think so.
So, what can be done? I went through a period of turning the students in to the person who handles the disciplinary actions. I found that very little is being done. I don't even think students are getting a slap on the wrist. I wonder if at Texas A&M they are willing to expel students who are caught cheating. I am going to venture to guess probably not. If they did then they would lose out on those over inflated tuition they are charging everyone. It is my opinion that institutions are simply turning their back to it. Until someone starts punishing it you can bet it is going to get worse before it gets better.
What about the behavior of these students with the name calling and disrespect. I was once in a meeting with faculty and students and we were discussing getting the Ph.D. Someone asked if I was going to have the students call me Dr. to which I replied yes, I earned the title. At this point a student spoke up and said that is what is wrong with teachers is that we expect them to use titles and they don't feel it is right. I wonder what people in the military think of this kind of attitude? If you earn a title of shouldn't you be given the respect that the title deserves?
To the professor at Texas A&M while I don't agree with failing the entire class I want to tell you that there are many teachers around who feel your pain.