Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sometimes freshmen are freshmen

Okay. I teach a first-year writing class, right? My students get to be in a computer classroom 2 days a week out of 3. To teach them MLA format, I decided we could have a competition. They'd divide into groups , I'd give them copies of an article or book with the information they needed, and then each team would write their citation in a google doc which I would project on the screen so everyone could see how they were doing. The first group to get everything perfect would get three points and 2nd and 3rd place would get one point (maybe I should have made 2nd place 2 points, oh well).

The problem with my plan is that I gave everyone the link to access the google doc, and they all appeared as anonymous users. At first I threatened to take away points for sabotage, but then we discovered that I couldn't do that... guess what happened. Yes, someone in the class, which is mostly boys, decided to sabotage other groups by decapitalizing letters, making things into italics, or adding random periods. It seems like a more productive way to cheat would be to copy and paste the winner's citation, but I don't think anyone tried that (too obvious?). Anyway, I was disappointed by my class's lack of maturity. My pleas of "you're too old for this" were ignored. As a solution, we had only one person per group allowed on the document, which worked--it was too hard to both type the citation and sabotage other groups. Okay, whining over.

1 comment:

Shana said...

I play an MLA game, too! But they don't get anything for it. And I don't get computer classrooms, so it's done with paper and tape on the wall. Anyhoodle, you're right about freshmen being freshmen.