How Often Do Students Cheat and How Can We Prevent It?

How often do students cheat

How often do students cheat and how can we prevent it?

Many teachers can agree that the way students cheat today is more high tech and harder to discover than ever before.  Today students can get online and pay someone a small fee to write their paper for them, or record the answers to a test and put them on an iPod.  Technology has made it easier for students to cheat and harder for teachers to discover it.

In an article from ABC News Angelo Angelis a Professor from Hunter College in New York City talks about how he noticed the same paragraph popping up in his students papers.  Come to find out half a dozen of his students had copied a paragraph from a 5th grade classes website.  Pulling pieces of papers off the internet and using them is one of the newer more popular ways for students to cheat.  The article goes on to talk about how a survey done with 12,000 high school students showed that 74% of the students admitted to cheating at least once.

Cheating has become acceptable among students; most students feel that it is simply a way to get by in school.  Why do all the hard work for that “A” on a test when you know half the class will cheat to get the same grade?  Cheating is not only unethical but it’s also unfair to the students who put honest effort into passing a class.  More students are likely to cheat if everyone else in the class is.  We need to encourage students not to cheat.

There are many ways for teachers to help prevent cheating, anything from scanning papers into a machine to make sure it isn’t plagiarized to not allowing any kind of cell phone, iPod, or computer in the classroom during a test.  Peter Nonacs a Professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at UCLA has a different take on keeping students from cheating.  Many teachers call it having a flipped classroom.  Professor Nonacs talks about what he did in a blog post with KCRW Which Way LA?  He allowed his students to “cheat” on one of his test.   He allowed his students to surf the web, use books, talk with others and make phone calls, all things that teachers would normally call cheating.  What happened was, his students ending up working together to pass the test.  His students in that class did better on the test than students in his other classes where he didn’t allow them to “cheat”.

Instead of his students competing against each other for the best grade, they worked together and supported each other.  Many teachers call this approach to learning in classroom a flipped classroom.  In a flipped classroom students are encouraged to work together and support each other instead of competing against each other.

There are many ways for teachers to discourage and help prevent cheating.  Every classroom is different so it is important for teachers to find the method that works best for their classroom.

Tell us in the comments how you help to encourage your students to not cheat.

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