Ryan Coyer

Aaron Schram


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?

    We wholeheartedly agree with Norman's position. The current structure of formal schooling tests a student's ability to perform under pressure and rapidly assimilate and regurgitate information. We have found this to be a very easy process to pass through and not learn anything from. The current structure does not however address a student's long-term learning or mastery of a subject (except test preparation, which does not show up very often within the corporate world ).

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

    We frequently use coworkers, the internet, textbooks, notes, etc. as references for many things in and out of the workplace. He is correct that in the real world it is not a matter of how you get it done, but more if you get it. This can include any means necessary to produce a product that fulfills requirements. If the real world mimicked the current educational system, very little progress would ever be made because every company would need to start from scratch all the time. This would decrease the speed and quality of the products being currently produced. Competition is a good thing, and originators of ideas should be rewarded as such. This however does not mean that every student should exists within a isolated environment when pursuing knowledge.

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



3. Briefly discuss for your chosen website:

what did you find interesting about it?

    We chose www.experts-exchange.com. We found the structure to be useful as well as many articles that would be informative if we had chosen to subscribe to the service.

in which way is it related to “collaboration”?

    We can use other people's experiences to ease the workload. We can effectively collaborate with every contributor to the website. This allows us to produce a much better product in a shorter amount of time by drawing on others knowledge.

how does it compare with the Swiki used for our class?

    The basic structure seems to be similar, but the wealth of information is hard to match with only the contributions of a small class.

4. which is your favorite website / system in support of collaboration (briefly justify your opinion)!

    www.google.com. Collaboration on the largest possible scale... you can search hundreds (maybe thousands) of sites that contain information relative to your search. Similar to www.experts-exchange.com (and most of them require not a subscription).

5. have you ever read a book(s) / article(s) (or books) about collaboration? if yes:
choose the most important one. Provide title and one paragraph what you found interesting about it!

    The Mythical Man Month, by Frederick Brooks

"A little retrospection shows that although many fine, useful software systems have been designed by committees and built as part of multipart projects, those software systems that have excited passionate fans are those that are the products of one or a few designing minds, great designers…. Conceptual integrity in turn dictates that the design must proceed from one mind, or from a very small number of agreeing resonant minds." —Frederick Brooks

Brooks (in the 1970s) offered this opinion of collaborative (open source) approach to software engineering. We find it interesting that the open source movement is so popular today, even though it seems to violate Brooks' law. (http://www.open-mag.com/features/Vol_47/Collab/collab.htm)