Encouraging Cheating [...]

Structure of education encourages cheating.

At most American universities, it’s traditional to begin the educational process with a type of class that sets up those motivations exactly wrong. Consider your typical introductory college lecture course. A student enters Major University and enrolls in History of Western Civilization. She is told this class is a requirement she must fulfill before she can take the upper-level courses she wants to take in her major. Because of the large size of the class, it consists of weekly lectures, in which the professor covers the key events and trends of a thousand years of western civilization. Grades will be determined by three exams. The professor warns students that those exams are difficult, and that only the best will earn the coveted As.

For a student who loves history already, this class may work just fine. But for the average student in the lecture hall, a class like this one swims in extrinsic motivators. If you pass this class, you can take the classes you really want to take. If you find a way to do well on just three tests, you will earn the ultimate extrinsic motivator: a good grade. And if you earn a good enough grade, you will have the privilege of being considered one of “the best.” (Source)

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