1) Read the article: “In Defense of Cheating” by Don Norman; accessible via: http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/InDefenseOfCheating.html and comment on the following issue:

do you agree or disagree with Norman’s position? Why?

how does his view relate to your own experience in your school, university, and working life (in case you have worked somewhere sometimes)?

I agree with Don Norman’s position in the essay “In Defense of Cheating”. As everybody knows, students do cheat in school work, examinations, and they make an effort to get information about the exam before the examination day and this is called cheating in terms of educational institutions. Cheating in school is unavoidable, as long as the school system is the way it is, as Norman’s write in this essay, “I believe that the root cause of cheating in our school systems lies with inappropriate curricula and examinations.”

Solutions to this kind of cheating in schools is to change the education system, where students can collaborate with others to get their work done, and also give credit to the person who helped.

As a student in CU Boulder, most of the courses and grades were based on individual work, but there was one particular course (concepts of programming language course), where our professor wanted us to collaborate with others in order to do the assignments. I enjoyed the course, I enjoyed working together with a group of people, and there was always something’s that I did not know and I could freely get information about that from my group, classmates, or internet without feeling guilty of it. Our professor totally encouraged us to collaborate as long as we gave credit to the source of information or the helper. But we still had regular exams which were held in the traditional way. But most of my education was in the traditional way where you are graded depending on the individual work and how better can you regurgitate in the exam compared to others. Rather than learning the concepts and material, I was busy memorizing the material, so that I could do well in the exam. Norman argued in the essay that students forget the material learnt just to take an exam, and I totally agree with that, most of the times I forget the material after the exam. On the other hand, I have not forgotten the material I learnt in concepts of programming languages course.

I also agree with the Norman’s argument that the schools are not doing a good job on preparing the students to face the outside world. It is in the human nature to socialize with others and work together even from the Paleolithic age. In a way our school systems is not promoting this idea of collaboration and networking.

About the educational system proposed by Norman, I hadn’t thought about it before but after reading the essay, his proposal makes sense. Appreciating students for the modules and subjects they learn and master rather than grade them on the basis of how well they can reproduce material in the exams, is a very good system. Also promoting collaborative school work will eradicate the guilt feeling the students carry.

2) Visit one of the following websites and explore it as a medium for collaboration

http://www.experts-exchange.com/ I chose this website


3) Briefly discuss for your chosen website:

what did you find interesting about it?
I chose www.experts-exchange.com. The thing that interested me most in this website is we can get instant solutions for any IT question. All the feilds are covered in this website from operating systems and networking to web development. And the solutions and answers are posted by experts.

in which way is it related to “collaboration”?
It is related to the basic definition of collaboration, that is working with others to get to the solution. People from all over the world use this website to get their IT solutions, that means the whole world is collaborating. The basic principle of Computer Science is "code reuse", which this website is promoting

how does it compare with the Swiki used for our class?
It is very much like Swiki, where people post there question and others answer them. Swiki used for this class lets us to collaborate with others by letting us see each others HW answers, through which one can learn about the ways others are thinking. The experts-exchange website also has the same concept that, anyone can view and post questions and answers as long as they are members, so there is a global collaboration there.
But one difference is experts-exchange is a paid website and our Swiki is not.

4) which is your favorite website / system in support of collaboration (briefly justify your opinion)!
Yahoo groups. It is the easiest way of communicating with a group of people.

5) have you ever read a book(s) / article(s) (or books) about collaboration? if yes: NO

choose the most important one

provide title and one paragraph what you found interesting about it!