It’s no secret that students cheat.
On exams, on papers, on projects: no matter the assignment, someone out there has figured out a way to cheat on it. And the statistics are alarming:
two out of three college students admit they have cheated on homework,
and 19% have cheated on exams, according to a recent study.
Whether it’s because of shifting morals or access to technology, it’s
clear that cheating is as prevalent as ever. If you’re a teacher who
wants to crack down on cheaters or a student who wants to take the easy
way through school (shame on you!), these are the most common ways
students around you are cheating.
1. Looking at someone else’s answers during an exam happens, but it’s
much more common for students to copy a peer’s homework routinely. Many
students don’t even see it as cheating. Not only is it unfair to the
student who is actually doing the assignments and being taken advantage
of, it hurts the person doing the copying as well. By copying homework,
students don’t practice what they’ve learned and perform worse on exams.
found that copying homework can cause a student to score two letter
grades below those who completed their homework on an exam testing the
material. Remember, practice makes perfect, and practicing cheating
won’t help you in the long run.
2. Some cheaters are learning one thing: you get what you pay for.
There is a world out there that honest students can’t even comprehend —
the term paper market. Academic papers (and grades) are bought and sold
like any other good. There are many different options for finding a term
paper to turn in (besides the obvious, do-it-yourself option), some
free, some a little pricey. Free term paper sites, like OPPapers.com and
BigNerds.com, have a small selection and lower quality. Sites with
papers for purchase, like AcademicTermPapers.com and PaperStore.net,
sell term papers with a per-page price and actually earn students B’s
frequently. And some wealthier students even hire someone to
custom-write their essays. If you fall into any of these camps, you
better cross your fingers that your professor doesn’t ask you any
follow-up questions about what you’ve "written."
3. Smuggling a cheat sheet into a test is so common that you’d think
teachers would’ve figured out how to spot it by now, but students keep
getting more and more creative. If they would put as much time into
studying as they do into imagining ways to cheat, they’d probably do
just fine. Students have come up with ways to hide cheat sheets in their
pen caps, wallets, ID badges, gum wrappers, Band-Aids, and basically
anything you can think of. But if you’re trying this, you better be sly.
It’s hard not to look suspicious when continuously checking that piece
of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
4.Cellphones have made it much easier for students to cheat; instead
of passing obvious paper notes during an exam, they can discreetly text a
friend for answers. More than a third of teens with cellphones in 2009
admitted they had used them to either store information for a test or to
text a friend during an exam. In the same 2009 study, researchers found
that almost 25% of students didn’t even think that was cheating. Maybe
if a teacher sent them a text message defining cheating it would get
through to them.
5. The camera technology in cellphones has also presented a challenge
to teachers and education officials. Even if a student isn’t using his
cellphone to text the answers to a friend, he could easily snap a photo
of the test questions and send it to a friend taking the test later or
post it on the Internet. Earlier this year, California encountered this
problem on a major scale regarding its high school exit exam. Hundreds
of photos of the standardized test popped up on social networking sites;
some were innocent, like students posing proudly with the exam booklet,
while others were clearly taken for the purpose of cheating.
6. Writing papers isn’t everyone’s strong suit, but that’s not a good
reason to copy and paste your writing from someone else's work. With
the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find brilliant words that fit
your assignment, and you can just use the handy copy-paste function to
transfer paragraphs in seconds. But the Web also makes it easier for
teachers to catch cheaters. A quick Google search of suspicious phrases
can quickly locate sources you do not cite, and Turnitin.com has become a
favorite for discovering how much of an assignment was plagiarized.
7. Some studies find that sorority and fraternity members
cheat more than other American students. This could be a result of the
easily accessible test banks many fraternities and sororities maintain.
The organizations keep tests from certain classes and professors on
file, and current members just add to the collection as they take
updated tests, different courses, or new professors. This isn’t
necessarily cheating if the professor knows that his test is being
distributed and changes it every term, but many courses use the same
test questions for years without knowing the answers are stored in a
Greek system’s test bank.
Source: Online Degree Programs
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