Let’s Plagiarize!

Here’s where it gets fun: after students’ small groups put some thoughts up on the board, we read through the Writing Program’s Statement on Plagiarism out loud, and discuss it, making sure everything’s clear about the policy.

And then I hold a plagiarism contest. —Mike VitiaLet’s Plagiarize! (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

I’m home in Greensburg, still coming down from my Serious Games Summit high. This post is a useful reminder that simulation and role-playing doesn’t require a computer. Even the fanciest teaching tools may be useless unless they are contextualized effectively (and designed with sound pedagogical principles). I doubt that corporate or military trainers would go for a training exercise that asks learners to perform undesirable actions. The simulators are, of course, designed with the understanding that learners will fail, and the design includes feedback to get the trainee to reach the expected performance level. But the trainee isn’t expected to understand all the material. In fact, teaching full comprehension is inefficient, since in many cases the decisions are made elsewhere, and the point of training is to get compliance (and thus save lives or protect valuable assets).

On the other hand, if the point of a simulation is to teach comprehension, situational awareness, or leadership, rather than to teach a particular skill to be performed by those with their boots in the sand, then we’re back to Admiral Kirk’s Kobayashi Maru — a training simulation designed to test how a commander performs in a no-win situation.

Not sure where I’m going with this… it’s way too late, and the caffeine-and-sugar high that fueled my drive home is starting to fade.