Author Topic: Cheaters  (Read 750 times)

pedanticromantic

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Cheaters
« on: August 12, 2019, 02:08:32 PM »
Welp another semester, another blatant cheater in my class.
I've had more cheaters this year than in all my nearly 20 years of post-secondary teaching.
Is anyone else seeing a sudden increase in cheating?
I'm not talking missing a few citations, I am talking handing in someone else's work as their own, forging medical notes, copying word for word from websites...
Is this getting worse?

downer

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 02:35:53 PM »
Wow, when did you semester start? Is this the fall semester?
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Parasaurolophus

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 02:37:35 PM »
I had four students (two groups of two) in my last summer class who had a friend send them their paper, and then just used a thesaurus on every third noun. They even handed their papers in together, so that I read one after the other.

I haven't encountered anything quite so egregious before, but I'm teaching a different student population now than I was before, and they're much less prepared overall than my previous students were. They also mostly come from countries where the academic culture is... well, different, at least outside the most elite institutions. The occasional local students I get don't seem any less prepared or more prone to flagrant cheating than my local students at other institutions. So, in my case, I'm more inclined to attribute it to a combination of general unpreparedness + language problems + the compressed summer course timeframe than anything else.

But maybe I'm being too generous? Maybe there really is an upward trend in cheating. If so, I'd imagine it's driven primarily by the increased ease of doing so.
I know it's a genus.

mamselle

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 03:27:52 PM »
I thought this was going to be about non-prescription glasses sold at the local pharmacy.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Hibush

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 03:41:41 PM »
I thought this was going to be about non-prescription glasses sold at the local pharmacy.

M.
So did I. And leading to the question of whether they are helpful in making one look more academic.

mamselle

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 03:54:07 PM »
Well, to the extent that they reduce squinting and keep me from misreading things out loud that don't say what I thought they said without the glasses (I'm up to 2.75 now) I suppose they add an academic aura about my person rather than letting me subtract from it.

But the bookbags and the 4" archival magnifying glass that are set out on my desk when I"m in the stacks do that already...I think.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

marwyn

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 01:16:41 AM »
I was an undergrad in well... a Central European country (the most eastern part of the EU). It was actually 10 - 12 years ago and it was practically obvious that in every small group of students there was someone who cheated at least once during a given course. Why? There was no good practice in educating students why it was incorrect. No prevention. Higher education was (and still is) free and basically everyone wanted to have a degree believing that it would give them an advantage on the job market. So many of my peers were ready to study pretty much anything to get any degree, and so many of them didn't really care about what they were studying.

I remember an extreme example when I was a first year and I was preparing for a tough exam in Maths. Maths was always my Achilles heel, but I worked really hard to master it and to get an A grade. The examiner even gave me a second chance to improve my grade from B. At the same time there were some students who just 'hired' someone to solve the problems for them, outside the lecture hall. One of my colleagues who barely attended the tutorial classes smuggled his cell phone to the exam, sent a photo of the problems to such a hired guy, got the solutions back after one hour and copied them on his sheet of paper, getting a B afterwards. For ~100 USD... Ridiculous.

I actually doubt that much changed since then, and probably there still is 10% of cheaters eventually graduating and getting their degrees.

downer

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 06:54:48 AM »
Cheating undermines the academic process, but we all know it happens. Devoting increasing resources to making sure that no students ever cheat means distorting the teaching process, and sometimes giving assignments that are not such good indicators of understanding, because they are harder to cheat on. I still come down hard on cheaters, but I've come to be more stoic about it.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

mahagonny

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 08:19:38 AM »
Cheating undermines the academic process, but we all know it happens. Devoting increasing resources to making sure that no students ever cheat means distorting the teaching process, and sometimes giving assignments that are not such good indicators of understanding, because they are harder to cheat on. I still come down hard on cheaters, but I've come to be more stoic about it.

And if you devote your resources to it, you'll likely be doing it without enough support.

Would this be a hijack if I mention the 'A' word? Probably...

I know nothing about the stresses and strains of climbing the ladder to tenure, but I can tell you this: higher education is neglecting the discipline and control of cheating anytime it has faculty who can be fired at any time for no reason, or any reason not required to be divulged. Individual chairs or deans may do their best to mitigate the structural flaw that creates this situation, but the situation is there.

apl68

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 08:35:12 AM »
I thought this was going to be about non-prescription glasses sold at the local pharmacy.

M.
So did I. And leading to the question of whether they are helpful in making one look more academic.

Well, they definitely help you to fit in when you work at a library.  But if you wear bifocal contact lenses (reading prescription in one eye, distance in the other) they don't work too well for reading.

mamselle

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2019, 08:39:54 AM »
I'm now looking for a pair of vintage-era frames with 2.75 diopter lenses, since my charcter's faux gold framed cheaters broke.

That's the other problem with cheaters, of course.

They're cheaply made and break along predictable fault lines....

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

mahagonny

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2019, 08:47:42 AM »
I thought this was going to be about non-prescription glasses sold at the local pharmacy.

M.
So did I. And leading to the question of whether they are helpful in making one look more academic.

Well, they definitely help you to fit in when you work at a library.  But if you wear bifocal contact lenses (reading prescription in one eye, distance in the other) they don't work too well for reading.

Hey you two...isn't Wheel of Fortune coming on right about now?

pedanticromantic

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2019, 10:08:51 AM »
Wow, when did you semester start? Is this the fall semester?

We have summer semesters. I thought most places had some summer semesters? It's a compressed term, half the weeks but twice the hours per week...

Ruralguy

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2019, 11:43:22 AM »
Yes, most schools have some sort of summer academic session, but usually not called a "semester," unless its part of the mandatory curriculum.

In any case, we've either seen a rise in cheating or more willingness to report it....as far as my classes go, there's been pretty consistent cheating, but its more prevalent on minor assignments that they think "don't matter" ("so I might as well cheat").

downer

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Re: Cheaters
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2019, 12:32:56 PM »
Wow, when did you semester start? Is this the fall semester?

We have summer semesters. I thought most places had some summer semesters? It's a compressed term, half the weeks but twice the hours per week...

I'm used to the terminology of "Summer Session." I also see it just called an "8-week" or a "5-week."

I suspect that students are more likely to try cheating in the summers because it is summer -- it feels less serious, and I also know quite a few professors don't bother to try fitting 15 weeks worth of work into the 8 weeks, the 5 weeks or even the 3 weeks. They just do a "lite" version of the course. That adds to the sense that it is a bit of a joke.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez