A Nation of Cheaters?

Are we a nation of cheaters?  Do all students cheat (even if a little bit) on a high stakes exam at some point while getting their education?  With the recent incidents of cheating exposed nationally, media is asking the question, is cheating an epidemic?  Noted in a recent Washington Post article, cheating has been going on since civil service exams in ancient China.  So while it may not be a recent phenomenon, students have gotten creative.  Also in the article, Christine Probett from San Diego State University who has studied the methods student use to cheat, gives her list of the most creative ways to steal answers.

Updated Classic Methods

  • Notes inside brim of baseball caps
  • Notes inside label of water bottles
  • Fake “Coke” bottle labels with notes printed where ingredients, etc. should be printed
    Having another student take exam in their place (easier now with larger class sizes)
    “Clickers” (sometimes used in class for quizzes, attendance, etc.) – students who skip class give their clickers to others so they get credit
    There are many videos on YouTube which provide step-by-step cheating techniques, so that in itself is yet another method

New “High Tech” Methods

  • Distracting teacher and pulling out cell phone and taking photo of exam
    Texting someone in/outside class for answers
    Google-ing for answers
  • Organized groups of students working together to “memorize” a question or two and collaborating to recreate the exam
  • The Internet also enables access to lots of material that can make plagiarism much easier.

Don’t try this at home, kids.