July 4, 2020

Rettinger Comments on Course Hero in Chronicle of Higher Ed Article

Associate Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger

Associate Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger

David Rettinger, Associate Professor of Psychological Science and Director of UMW’s Academic Programs, recently commented on an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Course Hero, an educational technology company that recently saw its value top $1 billion. The website allows students and faculty to share syllabi and other academic resources online.

Higher education is evolving “to be more collaborative and dynamic and less lecture/exam/research paper-based,” Rettinger adds. And when that happens, he says, “technology and pedagogy will come together in ways that really benefit students.”

Right now, though, “there’s a very serious gap between those things, and in my experience, faculty in the U.S. are largely naïve and unaware of the tremendous problem that technology is creating for contract cheating and file sharing.”

Rettinger’s other relevant role: president of the International Center for Academic Integrity.

He goes out of his way to say that he isn’t anti-technology, and he says he believes “there’s certainly a lot of legitimate learning that goes on on Course Hero” and other sites. (He acknowledges that his daughter, an elementary school student, “uses Quizlet all the time” to find extra problems to drill on.)

The philosophical premise behind sharing websites like Course Hero — and behind getting a higher education, for that matter — is that “there’s some pedagogical learning value that comes out” of exploring the educational materials you might find on such sites, Rettinger says. Read more.