Entries in "students"
June 21, 2007
benefits of daily writing
Liz Strauss has written a neat post on reasons to write which echoes my post from a while back about why I ask students to blog. Although management is often described as primarily an oral craft, I continue to insist to my students that the ability to write well is a great ace in the whole. That skill impresses others who value critical thinking and attention to detail, helps one make a good first impression, and sharpens the ability to think analytically and critically. All this is true not just for current students, but also for those who are already in the workplace. If you're not happy with your writing skills, then take Liz Strauss' advice, and begin a daily practice -- it can only yield positive rewards!
May 20, 2007
Last month, one of my old posts which received a very high number of hits was the one on work rhythms of academic and professional life. As a followup, I thought I'd write a bit about why I haven't posted in about a month, and comment on the academic rhythms of the end of the semester.
In a nutshell: students don't realize that when they finish their final papers and exams and presentations, a professor's work has just begun!
My last post was April 10. On April 12, the drumrolls of grading began, as my first student teams began delivering presentations to their classes about their final projects. This required that I send each team feedback on their presentations after class -- emails that require tactful phrasing, indeed.
By April 19, I began receiving end-of-semester papers. While I am fortunate to have teaching assistants for both of my courses, I still need to be involved in the grading process, which also takes time.
Classes ended on April 26. Then I needed to pull together my grading spreadsheets, deciding on a final point scheme for class participation, and resolving any problems with missing grades (it always happens, and not just because a student didn't hand anything in). By this point, I also had to deal with two teams in which the members gave each other less-than-satisfactory peer appraisals -- which means that I had to talk to everyone on each of those teams. This is no easy matter when students are cramming for finals and don't want to take time out to visit with a professor in her office.
I extended the deadline for final papers in one of my classes until April 30, which meant that the TA and I had less time to turn them around and get grades back to the students. On May 5 and May 7, those same students delivered presentations to their classmates in lieu of a final exam. There were 26 presentations in all over the 2 dates, and I had to grade all of those and enter the scores into Blackboard (our online course management system.) I finally filed grades on May 14.
For the rest of last week, I took time off, recuperating from the push of four 60-hour weeks in a row. While 60 hours of work in a week didn't seem like a huge burden when I was a college junior taking 21 credits, that was almost half a lifetime ago. Perhaps I'm also wiser, in recognizing the need for my body and my brain to recuperate after running such a mental marathon.
And if anyone comments to me that "it must be nice to have the summer off" I may just bite off their head. The ambitious list of papers to write and projects to wrap up that I composed in early January will be coming back to haunt me this summer. It is nice to be able to work at a coffeeshop or at the library or out on our screened porch, but I definitely have work to do this summer, and less time off than I'd like.
April 02, 2007
Case Western Reserve, highest quality education at a great value
I was pleased to read that Kiplinger's rated Case Western Reserve as one of the top 50 best values among comparable universities last week. (See the table for the full list of 50.)
I was surprised, though, to see the university's press release about our inclusion on the Kiplinger's list mentioning the other "peer" schools that we outranked on the list. I thought the point of the list was that these schools are not our peers, at least in the eyes of the people who compiled the Kiplinger's list. (why give the other "peer" schools another page to generate hits for them on the web?)
The table shows that only 15 of the top 50 schools have better student-to-faculty ratios than Case Western Reserve. Of all the private universities Kiplinger's ranked, only 15 do better than the 9 students per faculty member ratio at Case Western Reserve.
Also, only 5 of the universities on the list accept a higher percentage of their entering class. Case Western Reserve accepted 68 percent of applicants, according to the table. From an academic rankings perspective, a lower acceptance rate would improve our standings compared with other schools; however, from an applicant's perspective, a high acceptance rate is desirable, because it makes the investment of time in a college application less of a gamble.
At Case Western Reserve, we meet the total financial need of 92 percent of our students. The majority of that financial aid is in the form of grants, rather than loans. (Only 3 of the 50 schools provide a higher percentage of students with financial aid sufficient to meet their financial need.) Case Western Reserve is right in the middle of the top 50 universities in terms of the average debt of new graduates, at just under 21 thousand dollars.
March 21, 2007
is the world testing you?
I've been struck recently, in my observations of students and of others at work, by how powerful the drive to please others by meeting high standards can be. Sometimes, even when the standards are outrageously ridiculous, we just keep trying to leap over the bar, slamming our heads on the upper limits of reality, recollecting ourselves, and then leaping again. Especially for students, the semester can become a series of hurdles to run up to, leap over (or crash through), and repeat, without time to catch their breath.
It's so rare to see someone mature enough to approach a challenge or a set of really high expectations with calm consistency in their attitude and in their performance. What we often forget is that striving too much can actually reduce our effectiveness. Even hurdlers take a breather at the end of a race, before approaching the starting line for another 100 meters. Sometimes, they even drop out of a race, if they have crashed into the third and fourth hurdles, and fallen at the fifth.
What makes a difference between those who chase high expectations frantically and those who can approach them with calm consistency? Well, to an extent, maturity comes with age... and part of the reason is that the typical 40-year-old is less wrapped up in a desire to please others than the typical 20-year-old. There are some undergraduates who really don't care what I think of them, or what grade I give them, but most have almost a blind desire for approval and positive reinforcement. In some cases, there are signs of almost an addiction to the positive reinforcement of grades. I can only imagine what the voices in their conscience tell them when they fall short of their expectations for themselves, which sometimes are even higher than my expectations for them.
Even John Mayer now has a song about the pursuit of success and distinction, and the price we pay for giving in to the pressure that others (and our own internal voices of conscience and of compulsion) put on us to chase perfection in our work... it's an invitation to reflect on how to keep our own "vultures" at bay.
Here are the lyrics from the song "Vultures", off his latest album, Continuum, and a link to the album on iTunes.
December 12, 2006
cheaper is not always better
Every entry-level marketing course emphasizes that price is not the only feature that attracts buyers to a product or service -- there's also quality, availability, etc. So perhaps it shouldn't be so fascinating to learn that when choosing between colleges, students prefer going to one with a higher tuition, as long as they receive some financial aid.
November 20, 2006
Concern for the triple bottom line: From margins to center
On Saturday, I participated in a conversation about how to strengthen locally-owned businesses and deal with the challenges represented by national chain competition. (I invited my blog readers to participate in Unchained America day, which was the reason that the conversation at Phoenix Coffeehouse on Lee Road took place.)
One of the assertions I made during that conversation was that the values of the Millennial generation suggest that they are going to care more about the social and environmental impact of the businesses where they shop and work. This press release outlines the results of a survey supporting my assertion. Here's a quote:
"66% will consider a company's social/environmental commitment when deciding whether to recommend its products and services."
Another piece of data, more anecdotal, would be the article about giving circles like the Cleveland Colectivo, which I believe is made up of Millennials and some younger Generation Xers.
Want more background on the Millennial generation?
- This web article highlights some of the common values of this generation.
- This article in Director Magazine is targetted at CEOs who want to tailor their companies' workplaces and marketing to the next generation.
- This document offers a more general roundup of what is known about the Millennial generation.
I would be curious for any suggestions about where to find information on the positions of millenials regarding their preferences for shopping at, or working in, local vs. corporate businesses.
November 14, 2006
challenging students, supporting students: reflecting on the HR simulation
Have you ever read the research of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi? He's the director of the Quality of Life Research Center at the Drucker School of Management (and he must know that the spelling of his name overwhelms people, because his bio on that site is labeled about Mike.)
Csikszentmihalyi's research over the last few decades has examined the role of flow in human life. Flow is a state of consciousness in which our attention is fully invested in the task at hand, and when we are in flow, time seems to disappear or to stand still. When we are in flow is when we do our best, most creative work. Flow is a natural high.
I don't often think about it this way, but my purpose as a teacher is to create the context in which my students can engage in learning management in a such a way that they experience flow. When I can do this -- when I can balance the challenge that students experience when they encounter new concepts or practice new skills against the support that they receive from me, from each other, and from their learning context -- that is when students get turned on to management. If they have that experience often enough, then they will become intrinsically motivated to learn more, and to pursue mastery of the field of management.
Of course, it would help a lot of I had had this revelation in August, rather than in November. There are signs in many student blog entries that the balance of challenge and support is out of whack. This is especially true with regard to the HR simulation. (Click through to read more.)
(With thanks to the Mutual Improvement Blog, which linked to this post on self-awareness and staying engaged, which, in turn, linked to this Kathy Sierra entry on keeping users engaged, which reminded me of what I had learned long ago, and then forgotten, about the research on flow.)
November 10, 2006
a noble profession
Which is the most noble of professions? Certainly, medicine is a top contender -- and one of the reasons is the Hippocratic Oath. In the next 100 years, though, it's possible that management will give medicine "a run for its money", so to speak. Here's a quote from my colleague, Julia Grant:
"all business schools are under an imperative to try to get better at teaching strong ethics, at teaching strong business values that do have to do with creating a better world. Business cannot be just about profit."(from Peter Krouse's October 28 article in the Plain Dealer, "Honor among managers")
The dean of Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management, told the story of Thunderbird's new oath during the BAWB conference in Cleveland last month. Some are skeptical about the ability of a voluntary oath taken by students at one management school to change the practices of managers around the world. Normally, I'm known for my skepticism. In this instance, though, I believe it's more important to match the high intent of those students with practical actions which will reinforce their intent.
I'm lining up beside those recent Thunderbird graduates who signed their oath, and beside any Weatherhead students who will draft and then sign our own version. I will do whatever I can to make management practice more ethical, day by day, so that we can truly say, 100 years from now, that management is a noble profession.
November 06, 2006
responsible capitalism and ethical behavior in the face of discrimination
One of my posts from last spring which gets a lot of traffic is on responsible capitalism and ESOPs. This morning I decided that I wanted to reinforce the connections between responsible capitalism and individual proactive behavior in organizations.
What is responsible capitalism? William Pfaff wrote about it in 2002 in the International Herald Tribune (and Common Dreams provides the text online). He provides a history lesson, distinguishing responsible capitalism from the popular capitalism that was championed by Henry Ford. Responsible capitalism is about more than simply paying workers well so that they can afford to buy the products they make in their workplaces. It is about decisions for the long-term benefit of all, rather than for the quarterly earnings reports. It probably even involves regulation of businesses, rather than assuming that the invisible hand will always reward the companies which act ethically.
In business schools, there is a trend to return to the teaching of ethics. We now realize, after Enron and Worldcom and other scandals, that we have not done enough. It is not enough to assume that all our students have already learned the Golden Rule. It is not enough to mention ethics at the beginning of the semester. It's not even enough to address it through one required course in the MBA curriculum dedicated to ethics in business.
I have always discussed ethical issues in my teaching of organizational behavior, and I'm sure that I will continue to improve the effectiveness of those discussions. Last week, in MGMT 250, both class sessions were focused on ethics.
Click through to read more about students' responses to Thursday's class session.
October 01, 2006
management skills save the world, one orphanage at a time
One of my former students, and a recent alumna of Case Western Reserve, has been blogging about her experiences as a volunteer in Kenya. I have found her entries touching and inspiring.
"Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope." -- Robert F. Kennedy
September 08, 2006
Another semester of students begin a blogging experiment
Yesterday, Jeremy Smith gave a fabulous presentation on blogging using the Blog@Case system to interested students in MGMT 250 and 251 this fall. He discussed why it is useful for professionals to maintain a blog, explaining the merits of controlling one's online brand. He also walked through how to start up a blog on the Blog@Case system, how to categorize or tag a blog entry, and how to manage comment spam. Many thanks to Jeremy for a well-organized, crisp, and informative presentation!
If any of my readers are interested in following the MGMT 250 students' blog entries, here's a link that will aggregate all entries that are tagged "MGMT250" (note the lack of space in that tag): topic=MGMT250
Here is the equivalent link for students in MGMT 251: topic=MGMT251. This fall, students in 251 will be starting topical blogs, in pairs or trios... the assignment has been modified slightly, so that there will be more than one student contributing on the same approved topic. I hope that the added number of entries on the same topic will help students find ways to draw traffic to their blogs. I will post later in the semester introducing the topic of each of those focused blogs, once they have an initial effort at relevant entries under their belts.
If you are curious about why I encourage my students to learn how to blog, you might be interested in reading this entry of mine from about one year ago.
September 04, 2006
changing the world, and expanding academia along the way
The past graduates of the Ph.D. program in organizational behavior are certainly impressive. You may have read recently about the two projects on which I collaborated with current students, recent graduates, and colleagues, which were presented at the Academy of Management in Atlanta. Last fall, I wrote a little about working with recent graduate Ned Powley, who taught two sections of MGMT 250. (This fall he will be joining Leslie Sekerka and Frank Barrett, also graduates of our Ph.D. program, on the faculty at the Monterrey Naval Postgraduate School.) In May, I participated in the graduation ceremony for Latha Poonamallee, who will be "CEO" for the simulated companies in MGMT 250 this fall, and who is also teaching two SAGES First Seminars in the Case undergraduate program. She is also my collaborator in the founding of NEOBEAN. Our recent graduates are certainly poised to change the world through their teaching, writing, and activism.
So too are our current Ph.D. students. For example, one of our students, Bonnie Richley-Cody, has coauthored a very exciting book.
August 24, 2006
welcome, first year students!
My daughter and I enjoyed the last Wade Oval Wednesday last night, featuring Revolution Pie, a Beattles cover band, and we certainly noticed the return of Case students to University Circle. To facilitate Orientation activities for Case's 1,031 newest students, there is a large tent on East Boulevard, next to Kelvin Smith Library and across from the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Welcome, to all those students, and congratulations to the Office of Undergraduate Admission staff who brought us such a diverse class!
PS -- don't miss the last Wade Oval Wednesday, coming up on 8/30, and featuring a favorite from Parade the Circle -- the Steel Drum PANic Band!
August 23, 2006
how to use voicemail productively
There's a lot I don't agree with in Guy Kawasaki's recent post, Twelve Things to Learn This School Year (yep, there are 12, even though the title is 10 things, and I'm just the kid of prof to niggle you about stuff like that). Like his point #4, suggesting that students should never make time to go to office hours or work in study groups --I disagree, quite vehemently. I also have some serious quibbles with his assumptions in #10, though I agree with his main point that learning to be a team player is important. I have NO idea who he is talking about in #11; none of MY colleagues have ever pasted textbook passages into THEIR Powerpoints...
However I definitely agree with his point #12, learn how to leave a good voicemail:
"First, slowly say your telephone number once at the beginning of your message and again at the end. You don’t want to make people playback your message to get your phone number, and if either of you are using Cingular, you may not hear all the digits. Second (and this applies to email too), always make progress. Never leave a voicemail or send an email that says, “Call me back, and I’ll tell you what time we can meet.” Just say, “Tuesday, 10:00 am, at your office.”
Finally, I absolutely agree with his concluding comment. Go, read it. Then come back here and tell me which of his points you find compelling.
August 07, 2006
Saving Peter's leg
Be sure to click through and read Kelly’s blog entry about Saving Peter’s leg. Such good work she is doing in Uganda!
See also my post from back in April about the Global Night Commute and the demonstration of support from Clevelanders. It includes links to a DVD and bracelets you can buy to support the work of IC's work in Uganda. I own a copy of the main DVD, and would be happy to lend it to anyone I know.
July 28, 2006
online impression management
I attended a UCITE seminar yesterday given by Jeremy Smith and Heidi Cool. It included a brief overview of how to use websites and blogs to help raise your online professional profile. While the audience for the session was primarily faculty and administrators, I believe that much of the same ideas apply for management students.
Jeremy promises an audio file of the session soon, and I hope my students will listen to his pitch, which focuses on the importance of understanding and shaping the information that potential employers will find about you if they google you before inviting you in for a job interview. Many students do not understand that things they write on their social blogs or on facebook may be visible to employers and help shape others' impressions of them.
Heidi has also provided some useful tutorials on the Web Development blog, including this on how to learn HTML and this followup on how she completed her suggested homework assignment. Heidi has also made a number of other valuable contributions to the Web Development blog, so if you are thinking about developing your own website, be sure to poke around!
What do you think -- is it important for a prospective employee to have an online presence? Why or why not? Do you google prospective employees? When and why?
April 30, 2006
outcomes of the Global Night Commute
There was an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Friday about plans for the Saturday night event. Similarly, in California, KGET reported on plans in Bakersfield and 10news reported on plans in San Diego. In Seattle, over 1000 people were expected to participate.
News is also beginning to come in about attendance at the events around the world. In Rochester, NY, there is already a report from WROC, a local television station, saying that 200 people in that city participated in the night commute last night. In Augusta, GA, more than 25 people participated in the march, and in Aiken County, GA, participants numbered over 200 (story here, login required or use bugmenot.com). In Austin, TX, the Austin American Statesman reported that hundreds of college students walked from the clock tower at the UT campus to the grounds of the state capitol to participate in the night commute. There are also photos of this event available at Flickr already, and here's a story from an Austin TV station. In San Francisco, over 500 people gathered, according to the local CBS news station. In Chicago, over 2000 people gathered in Grant Park, including one teenager from Uganda who now attends a private school in the US thanks to the folks at Invisible Children. And here's a personal account of the San Diego event, which was huge -- 5000 people in Balboa park! Participants in other cities have been checking in on MySpace with updates about what the Global Night Commute was like for them. The pictures are really inspiring!
Unfortunately, I can't find any information from anyone who was at the Free Stamp last night. If you were there, would you please leave a comment and let me know what it was like?
April 28, 2006
farewell, MGMT 251 students
Yesterday was the last class of the semester for both sections of MGMT 251 students. As is our tradition, the teaching team spent most of the class session listening to students give "one minute speeches" in which they identify highlights of the course experience, and recognize classmates who contributed to their learning.
For many of the students, their team project performing an analysis of a local company as a potential employer was a highlight. Some students noted how much hope they felt about learning that the Cleveland area is still home to so many different types of employers that appeal to their desires for career opportunities and positive workplace cultures. The companies that were profiled included...
April 25, 2006
developing a career, growing a family...
How can one develop a career and grow a family at the same time? Especially in academia, this is a sticky question. The Tomorrow's Professor blog recently explored the question of whether there is a global warming trend toward women in academia, but concludes that in many traditionally male disciplines, the climate for women is still chilly. And in all this focus on women, the broader point about how men in two-career marriages can play more egalitarian roles in their growing families while moving into academic careers sometimes gets lost. (This is a more specific version of the broader question which I addressed yesterday in my post on what fathers want.)
I was particularly struck by this series of posts at Mommy Ph.D....
April 19, 2006
managing impressions online
There's a recent thread in the Case Forums protesting the actions of a university staff member who has apparently used photos posted on Facebook as evidence in writing up a student for underage drinking. Case is by no means the first organization to use Facebook material as evidence... see this Wikipedia entry. It just brings home to me again how important it will be for us to make sure that future students understand the need to present themselves professionally when online.
March 31, 2006
lectures via iTunes?
Jeremy Smith writes that Case has been accepted into Apple's iTunes University program, which sounds exciting... as long as it doesn't mean that students stop coming to my class.
I think this is great for large lecture classes, where students might not always get a chance to ask questions. For discussion oriented classes, though, nothing can really substitute for being in the room as the discussion happens. That's why I disagree with the highlighted principle in this teaching manifesto", which asserts that professors should not force or blackmail students "into coming to class through devices such as sign-up registers, pop-quizzes, unavailability of class material in print, etc. Design the course such that students who prefer so can follow the course without attending any lectures." I would argue that the way around that dilemma, at least in classes of under 50 students or so, is simply to avoid lecturing. Instead, work on problems, discuss cases, let students ask questions... then it is worth their while to come to class, and the incentives that you give them just provide some encouragement for doing so.
February 17, 2006
Would you be able to forgive him?
Biswanath Halder was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. One of the brothers of Norman Wallace, the Weatherhead MBA student who Halder shot and killed on May 9, 2003, forgave the shooter after the sentencing... another spoke bitterly. I can understand both of their reactions.
I never had a chance to meet Norman Wallace, and yet I know that his death was a tremendous loss.
February 15, 2006
NEO's exciting companies
This is the first of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment this spring -- to choose a topic around which to blog in February, March, and April, with the aim of learning something, teaching something, and generating dialogue online. All these students were required to blog about the topics we discussed last fall in MGMT 250 (if they wanted to earn an A) and to comment on one another's blog entries, but this semester, their assignment is tougher. They need to include weblinks in most of their entries, and do some promotion of their blogs through participation in other online forums or through comments on other blogs. They will also be doing some in-person networking to promote their blogs. Part of my assessment of their work will be related to their ability to generate readers of and comments on their entries.
The first student I'm highlighting is Danny Pho, who has chosen to focus on exciting companies in Northeast Ohio. As a native of the area, Danny wants to reverse the negative self-talk that he has heard for most of his life about Cleveland, and demonstrate to his fellow 20somethings that there are really cool places to get a job in Northeast Ohio.
Do you have suggestions for him about companies he could profile? Are you looking for a little free publicity about your company, which might help you recruit some outstanding Case students in a year or two when they graduate? Would you be willing to talk with Danny by phone, or meet him at Arabica? Please leave him a comment and welcome him to the blogosphere.
January 07, 2006
Ask not what the next generation can do for you...
... ask how you can help them learn about a new charter school opening in the city of Cleveland in the fall of 2006. Read about the Entrepreneurship Prep Academy at E-City Cleveland and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend a lunch meeting on Wednesday, January 11, to find out how you can help them with recruiting students for next fall.
August 18, 2005
why I ask students to blog
Below is the beginning of the assignment instructions that I will distribute to the students in MGMT 250. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, I would welcome your thoughts!
Here’s what Hillary Johnson said about blogging in Inc Magazine:
“Most people think of blogs as public diaries kept by the kinds of egotists who make loud, inappropriate political comments at family barbecues or hog the discussion at book clubs, or wannabe journalists who post inflammatory stories with no fact-checking. … For me, a woman who didn't graduate from Stanford and doesn't live in Silicon Valley, reading blogs by other entrepreneurs provides unexpected access to a virtual peer group.”
Students in MGMT 250 this fall will be offered the option of maintaining a blog and commenting on the blogs of other class participants. Any student who wishes to earn a B or an A for their final course grade will need to complete this assignment. There are three goals of this assignment:
° To encourage students to reflect on what they are learning and what they want to learn about the management of organizations and people
° To provide valuable practice in written communication and impression management
° To facilitate the development of connections among students and between students and course staff that will deepen the learning experience
Reflecting carefully on your own thinking is a very important skill to cultivate. Whether you are planning to enter management or any other professional field, your learning will not end on the day you graduate from college. You will need to engage in lifelong learning, which involves developing a sense of how to sort through different sources of information and distinguish between facts, well-reasoned judgments or conclusions, and poorly supported opinions. To encourage you to develop this skill in reflecting carefully on your own thinking, this course blogging assignment will challenge you to go beyond simply stating your opinion, or quoting a source that you respect and accepting its assertions at face value. In your course blog entries, we will challenge you to state not only what you believe about managing organizations and people, but also why you believe it. Developing your skill in articulating and advocating for your beliefs will help you become a more effective manager or professional.
July 18, 2005
internet soap operas and academic integrity
I have not been involved in new student orientation this year, for the first time in several years, and it feels strange to be denying myself the pleasure of advising incoming first-year undergraduates about course selections. So it is that I learned by reading my RSS feed of Planet Case that incoming students like Colin Slater are being introduced both to Blog@Case and to conversations about academic integrity by watching tv or movie excerpts (48 Hours for Colin, and Cheaters for one of the other new students who commented on Colin's post).
I came across Colin's post on Saturday, and when I came back to it this morning, it was after reading this old Wired article from May 1997 about the internet soap opera that was the early years of the WELL. The article is looooong, with hints of the essence of more recent internet phenomena like Meetup, Livejournal, and delicious, and it made me long for the same kind of rich insider history to be written about the Cleveland Freenet, which was a part of my online initiation back in the late 80s when I was a Case undergraduate. (There's a brief history of CFN here.) What I realized is that the history of another online community is being made as you read and comment -- the history of Blog@Case, which allows a management professor to welcome a new freshman to campus without even meeting him in person.
One of the premises of the early life of the WELL community is that electronic conversation flows better when the people engaging in the conversation online occasionally meet in person also. I hope that Colin and I will run into one another on campus sooner or later... we might discuss academic integrity, or what it takes to make a healthy blog community. Perhaps he'll share his opinion on Bruce Katz's statement (commenting on his firing of a prominent WELL employee) that "I do not believe that everyone knowing everything about everyone is a necessary condition for community." I expect that the incoming class of 2009 can teach older generations like mine a fair amount about the finer points of participating in the blogosphere and other online communities.
I am pleased to learn that we are introducing our newest students to the principles of academic integrity via a conversation, rather than a simple statement of expectations. This choice makes clear that there is more to academic integrity than avoiding plagiarism or cheating. It suggests that students are our partners in upholding a key value of our academic community -- the value of honoring the contributions that others make to our learning, by giving credit to them for the ideas they have authored, and not claiming authorship for ideas that are not our own. I hope that students will also learn that part of demonstrating academic integrity is refraining from expressing ideas as your own if you do not actually believe them. Holding onto a dissenting opinion and elaborating on it in a constructive way is part of how knowledge grows... saying what you think the teacher wants to hear just to get a good grade is not.