Tuesday, October 6, 2009


First - let me say I have some bright young men and women in my classes who are good students and will be successful in their lives and, hopefully, will bring honor to their families and their country.

On the other hand....

I gave my first test tonight to my two lecture classes. I had been told that cheating was endemic at the University; that it was a big problem! I didn't believe it.

It was suggested that I make two versions of a test for each class since the students sit right next to each other and it is too easy for them to simply glance on their classmate's paper. I did that, but I thought it was just extra work and not really necessary.

It was suggested that I have two different versions of the test for my second class, to preclude the passing of information from class to class. I did that as well. Again, thinking it was a waste of time and the students weren't going to cheat.

Boy was I wrong!

Cheating was rife within the classes and who knows how much information was passed between classes.

One student had his pack open so that he could glance down at his notes as needed. I moved his pack. My colleague said I should have made an example of him and grabbed his paper and told him that he was done with the test and to get out of the classroom. She said I should have made an example out of him. I didn't. My mistake.

Another student called me to his desk multiple times; he sat in the rear of the room. While I was with him, answering his questions, with my back to the rest of the class, another set of students was passing answers back and forth. I know this because when I finally suggested he come to the front if he needed help, another student nodded at me, giving me the idea that I had finally spotted what was going on.

And then there was the behind the hand whispering, the surreptious looks and, of course, the blatant talking. I didn't even think to check what was going on with the cell phones, which I allowed the students to use for their calculator functionality.

And, now, that I have looked at the tests, I found one student who used numbers to solve a problem that were not part of his test; they were on the test version belonging to the student sitting next to him. As is said: cheaters often are not very smart!

My first reaction was anger; now I'm just hurt.

Again, I have many students who are so fine and I'm glad they're in my class. I am really disappointed in several others.

Forgive the rant.

1 comment:

  1. you let your students use their phones? oldest trick in the book. good thing they prob don't have smartphones there.