One of the things I've always tried to do when teaching - even with very large classes and very mixed student bodies - is to appeal to students' best selves. Most students want to do well, to succeed, and live up to their ideals. This includes not only studying, learning, and doing their best, but also in terms of things like cheating.

It has been my experience that trying to inspire them to their best and act in accordance with their ideals for themselves is more effective in gaining that best behavior than threats or fear or certainly saying you're going to catch them at it.

It is also consistent with an insight I gained when teaching a class of 220 in adolescent development. I had the students read the chapter (in Steinberg's textbook, actually) and take a quiz on it at the beginning of each new section. The quiz were on-line and could be done open book, but had to be taken until they earned a 95. All attempts were averaged together - a 60 and a 100 earned you an 80. Students quickly learned that reading the material and getting 100 the first time was the best strategy. And I wrote the quizzes to emphasize material it was important for them to know.

This had three unintended consequences, in addition to encouraging them to read key material carefully.

First, the students did much better on the tests, as they were reading the textbook the second time when studying for a test, instead of the first.

Second, the students enjoyed class much more and participated much more in class. Specifically, they asked MANY more questions because reading the textbook gave them background to ask a lot of good questions and make great comments.

Third - and relevant to here - is that they studied a lot harder. Because they went into the exams with an A average from the quizzes, they were fighting to keep an A, rather than hoping to get a B. The reward was much more salient. And I'm not sure that isn't related to the work presented here.