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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Do We Solve the Cheating Problem?

I'm continuing the discussion on cheating because I can't reply to the responses in a a short paragraph. I have too much to say. 

Rickey, I agree that some students will always cheat because they don't want to put in the effort it takes to pass a course. Unfortunately, we also have good, but not "brilliant" students who cheat  because one high stakes exam determines their future. In this situation, even students who have worked extremely hard, but who can't compete with the top 2%  often feel they have nothing to lose by cheating. The high stakes create the problem. Anyone with any suggestions about how to solve this particular dilemma, please write a comment. 

Yini, I agree that some people cheat because they only want the piece of paper, not the knowledge it states they have acquired. In your comment, you assume that students actually care about what their instructor can offer them, or about the content of the course itself. Many students genuinely do want to learn, and don't cheat because they recognize that a test simply determines what they know and what they still need to learn. Unfortunately, some students are only interested in the ultimate goal - success at any price.  To these people, success and honesty don't belong in the same sentence. In fact, the concept of honesty is for "losers".

Sally, I can see that you are a true learner. However, you also bring up another reason people cheat: Cheating is the only way they can meet the high expectations of their parents or teachers. I will respond as a teacher first. I do have high expectations, but often these expectations challenge students who don't believe in themselves to put more effort into their work than they normally would. Often, these students surpass even their own expectations. However, I only place these expectations on students who are capable of achieving. Some of my students shouldn't be in my class for a variety of reasons. They were misplaced. Their previous instructor has been "too kind." Some of them have even cheated and not been caught. These students will ultimately not succeed because a gate- keeping teacher will eventually refuse to pass them on to another level.

I know that some parents have expecta- tions their children will never be able to meet, particularly parents with only one child. I've often taught hard working students whose parents expect them to accomplish miracles. They've placed all their hopes and dreams on the back of one poor 19 year old who may never have what it takes to become the scholar they want him or her to be. Unfortunately, parents living thousands of miles away have no idea how difficult it is to learn a language, or how long it takes to master it well enough to perform at the college or university level. As a result, they accuse their children of being lazy and accuse them of not working hard enough if they don't pass every English class, regardless of whether they've learned anything. Is it any wonder their children are under so much pressure that they cheat in order to  please their parents, and to avoid their strong recriminations for failing. 

Enrique, students who are caught cheating at the university level do suffer consequences. But, we are now living in an electronic world where catching the cheaters has become the issue. We're allso living in a world where stuidents help each other cheat.  As a result, no matter how much an instructor would like to trust her students, she is forced to assume that at least a few of them will cheat. This lack of trust is certainly one reason all my students must put their electronic devices on myh desk before an exam.  A few weeks ago, one of my former homestay students told me about electronic pens that have now been designed for cheaters. Of course, we North Americans haven't even heard of them yet. Some schools and universities are getting very tough, but the question remains are they tough enough. Should students get a slap on the wrist, or should the penalties be more severe?  Check out the  following article.It's an  interesting read. 10 Greatest Cheating Scandals in College History

Do have you anything to say about the issue?  Tell me what YOU think in the comment box. 


1 comment:

  1. As the rapidly developed technology, people have more and more ways to cheat on exam. They are using modern technology badly. Some students become great inventors on how to use new technology cheating on their exam which waste our teachers energy to prevent studen's cheating. In China, before the University Enrollment Examination ( the most importtant exam for grade 12 students ), school boards may use some technology to isolate the radio signal because some students may use a new radio devices to receive the answers sending by others. I am ashamed on those who cheat on exam.


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