Empowering Students: Add Choice to Assignments

Should students have a choice in what they learn and what work they do? The question reminds me of sitting in the doctor’s office when I was a little kid.

Whenever I went to receive school shots as a child, I remember the doctor would always have me select from one of her two hands she held behind her back. In these hands held the fate of my morale, and somehow I had the amazing gift of consistently choosing the hand which held a square of bubble gum. (I must mention that this was around the same time that I thought I had magical powers because I could fall asleep anywhere in the house and wake up in my bed the next morning). The pain seemed to weaken with the promise of a thrilling Bazooka Joe comic. I bravely faced measles, mumps and rubella with the help of my impervious (delusional) sense of power at having just chosen the correct hand.

Reflecting on how I was given this special opportunity to choose as a child has made me think about the influence choice has on my students when brought into the classroom.

In today’s world, “choice” as a positive is contested. Even when speaking in educational terms, choice can quickly divide a room. With this said, I’m going to suggest something that I feel is a bit less controversial, although I can already imagine objections similar to my own when my parents tried to tell me they had just been carrying me to bed.

Bringing Choice into the Classroom

Over years of creating projects and assigning essays to students, I’ve noticed that when given a choice, students tend to respond more positively. I started slow – students could choose a character in Of Mice and Men and decide if they were round or flat. I started loosening my grip on the gum and allowed students to choose a creative writing project over an essay.

This year, I’ve added multiple creative writing options, an essay, or a graphic organizer presentation which must be delivered to the class at the end of the unit. I’m not surprised that more students have completed this final assessment than in any year previous.

So let’s break down the “gum” and “shots” in providing choice in assessments:

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Student Choice

The Gum

1. Students take ownership over a project. (They can’t complain that it’s too difficult or too boring because they chose it.)

2. They can demonstrate their knowledge in a way they feel they can succeed in. You also get to know your student’s strengths by observing their choices.

3. As a teacher, grading diverse projects is more interesting.

4. Students are exposed to a variety of mini-lessons to support the work of the various projects.

The Shots

1. Projects, while different, have to be equally rigorous and meet the goals set out at the beginning of the unit – this takes careful thought.

2. Guidelines, supports and lessons must allow students to complete any or all of the projects which takes more time.

3. Students won’t choose to stretch themselves to practice and develop new skills. Everyone practices all the skills, but each chooses one to further develop.

Despite the potential drawbacks, I find myself choosing choice more often these days, improving past projects and creating new ones. In order to make your students feel they have a say in the classroom, I suggest always having something they want in that hand behind your back.

Online Education Background Checks: Employers and Student’s First Choice to Legitimacy!

As higher education becomes more of a determining factor in one’s eligibility for all sorts of jobs and the employers are keeping their consent over quality employment, many job applicants are looking for shortcuts to remain competitive in the marketplace. And since the economic halt had started and finding a job become a harsh business, people are trying to get their way out by forging their educational documents or even buying education to fake “diploma mills.” They don’t even know that this could not only humiliate them in front of their prospective employer but also end their career in a gutter. A total loss of time, money and mental peace.

Every single employer is now looking for the best employee and they are judging their prospective candidate on the basis of education and the legitimacy of their credentials earned during their study. Employers are keeping a close eye on every single incumbent by running comprehensive education background checks as they knows the fact that educational success reveals a great deal about an applicant’s credentials and motivations; and through education background checks, an employer can get an accurate depiction of their qualifications as well their intentions of playing a role in development of the company.

Some Astounding Facts about Forged Education Credentials Caught by Education Background Checks:

  • In 2004, the US General Accounting Office revealed that nearly 200,000 federal employees had at the very least exaggerated education credentials on their resume.
  • SHRM(Society for Human Resource Management): More than 53% of job applicants falsify information on their resumes; one in four candidates misrepresents his educational attainment.
  • ADP Hiring Index: 49% of employment, education and or credential reference checks reveal discrepancies in the applicant’s information.
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners: 41% of applicants lie about their education.

The above inclination of facts about the defined scenario indicates an increase in the likelihood that employer’s who don’t verify education will hire unqualified personnel. Hiring unqualified personnel, in turn, leads to higher employee turnover, forcing the organization to incur expensive recruiting and replacement costs.

The Other Cunning Problem: Online Degree Scams aka Diploma Mills:

The second biggest and most souring, surging problem for employers are fake diploma mills which are playing a role in instigating fraud among the innocent people. These online cheap diploma/degree making factories are looting people for fast track degrees.

Diploma mills and degree mills as well as various websites, advertise very realistic, physical diplomas and transcripts, which have been found to deceive many employers. Therefore, with the striking statistics of resume fraud, employers should think twice about using physical diplomas as proper evidence of a degree. Because the requirement for education qualification has become so demanding, education fraud is becoming more prevalent, as are the establishments of diploma mills.

Consequently, in order to combat education fraud, laws have recently been passed in which companies who manufacture fake degrees and diplomas are considered to have committed a Misdemeanor.

Why and How Education Background Checks Can Maintain Equilibrium Between Employers and Job Seekers?

Many employers view particular educational qualifications as a key factor in seeking new employees. Moreover, education is a prerequisite for many positions because it ensures applicable knowledge of a subject matter, or more importantly, a required license for the position.

Educational history may be the most commonly falsified information on an application or resume. Some estimates place the incidence of resumes containing erroneous education information as high as 30 percent. Clearly, employers should be extremely cautious. And they are not accepting copies of a degree from candidates as proof of their graduation given that it can simply be a clever forgery paid for by the applicant.

Education background checks or education verification is the only way to prevention not only for the employers but also for the people who are looking for education but a legitimate one.

Current System of Education Background Checks and Degree/ Diploma Verification Are Not Enough!

  1. At present, human resource departments in companies directly contact the concerned educational institution and undertake verification. This is no longer a viable solution, considering the increase in the number of recruitment’s, and the time taken for verification. This is also not a fool proof method.
  2. A second method, often adopted by many of the larger corporations, is to outsource their employment verifications to background screening companies, who maintain large personnel databases.

Online Education Background Checks is the Most Modern and Guaranteed Way to Nab a Forged Educational Document with a Plus of Diploma Mill Identification:

Online education background checks is the system of online degree, diploma and education verification. The system consists of a database of fake colleges and universities and as well as the misdemeanors who faked their documents in past. It is now the best free online resource for the employers as well as for the students, who can check their institutions as well. It’s a killer product for the keen employers as well as for the legitimate education seeking students.

Benefits for Employers Using Online Education Background checks:

  • Employers can be able to save themselves from a negligent hiring lawsuit.
  • Employers can be able to hire the best qualified employee for their respective positions.
  • Online education background checks are fast then conventional education verification process, enabling an employer to make quick hiring decision.
  • Online education background checks can save money and good amount of time.

Benefits for the Students Using Online Education Background checks:

  • Assurance that the institution is meeting certain educational quality standards.
  • Reasonable grounds for believing that the institute will continue to meet them.
  • Assurance that their Degrees will be widely accepted by the employers, professional associations, other colleges and universities.
  • Belief that their Degree will reap the benefits associated with sound and high-quality educational standards.

Concluding Remarks:

Falsified education credentials have become a serious issue in the workforce; it breaches the faith on employees who are involved, especially when it can directly affect other employees and the company as a whole. It is also a serious blunder on the part of the employer who should have done proper education background checks; a mistake that could essentially hinder their current position.

Education background checks for employment; verify the certification, training, or educational claims of a job applicant. The universities, colleges, vocational schools, etc. are checked to verify dates of attendance and graduation, degrees or certifications obtained, majors studied, GPA, and honors received by a potential job candidate. The verification of education process is an important part of a quality pre-employment background check.

Although a federal law has been implemented to target diploma mills that give out phony diplomas, the problem still exists and is far from being corrected. In the meantime, employers and students must remain steadfast about conducting education background checks that include verifying academic credentials and institutions for their legitimacy.

The online qualification verification and diploma/degree mill checking system is significant source of help to the employers and students looking for easy and free of cost education background checks.