If it is, then the branch office in which I work consists of cheaters! We are a small group with only six of us employed in the PEI office. And we work as a team everyday. We collaborate together. And if we don’t know how to do something we ask the person sitting next to us and if that person doesn’t know, the two of us search for the solution. We would ask our other colleagues and search online for the solution. We are praised for our “Teamwork and Cooperation” and it is expected we do this. No one person is an island and is responsible for knowing everything. It is about the initiative to learn the answer or find the solution. We are learning everyday at work through sharing.
And it is this way in life. If I’m doing renovations on my home I don’t expect to know how to do what it is I want to achieve. I use the internet to research and then if necessary I talk to friends, family and experts to ask questions. I’ve learned a lot since we bought our first home – because I went out and found the answers.
Now coming back into the education system after being away from it for 10 years, I was only considering cheating as what was done as part of individual assignments or tests – where it is expected that I am presenting information I have learned and retained. I had not thought of collaborating in class as cheating – after all life consists of collaboration so why would class be different? I agree with one of the statements from class last week regarding parameters. If the parameters are set and the expectations are communicated that collaboration is not permitted in the learning process then I guess it would be considered cheating. However, I feel that would be to the detriment to all of those in the class – and in my workplace. I’m actually looking forward to having my coworkers discuss this topic: are we cheating?
In my workplace, we employ summer students who are typically in 2nd year university students. And in the last few years, we have noticed a pattern in those we have employed. They do not seem to have the same initiative to find the answers to something they don’t know about. If they don’t know how to do something, they just simply state it – they don’t ask others and they don’t search for the solution. We are teaching them to collaborate or search for the answer. This actually became a topic of conversation in our office as to why this is the case, many of us assuming the typical scenario of laziness. But our office’s tech guru (who is in his mid-twenties) stated another reason: technology. They are used to technology having an answer so readily available, through apps, etc that they are losing the ability to know how to find an answer or a solution on their own – even through collaboration. If this is the case, it certainly poses an interesting challenge. Is technology advancing to a state in which our youth are losing the ability to think beyond information that is easily accessible to them?