cheat_sheet_nails_by_mewdragon-d4femo3.jpgCheating is sometimes a hard call and other times it is not even questionable.

Here's my story

I decided once to give my students extra time on an exam the next day because I had made it too long . I was trying to be nice but maybe not one of my wisest decisions. Looking back, it changed the way I wrote tests and administered them in the future - but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Someone took a copy of the test when he/she left class and shared it with friends. It was very evident that this had happened and a couple of students came to see me when they found out this out. It was also obvious that not all students saw it but most of them knew about it. I couldn't eat or sleep while I was trying to figure out what to do. (Now students don't even have to take the physical test if they can get pictures with their mobile devices.) I gathered my facts and took them to the principal. I laid out my plan, got his input, and made sure I had his support for what I was going to do. (Don't forget to do this if you get in this situation! ) Next, I sent a letter home to parents, wrote another exam, and required all students to take it over since I couldn't tell for sure who all were involved. It wasn't a popular decision with all students or parents, but in my opinion, it was the most fair thing to do. The funny thing is, that some of the students I know were involved had the parents who were most outraged that their child had to take the test over. My whole body was a mess for a long time after and the relationship that I had with that class was back to the "prove to me you're worthy of my trust." BTW, did I mention it was an AP Calculus class with potential valedictorians in the class, and that it was when I had a student teacher?

The photo is from http://kythana.deviantart.com/art/Cheat-sheet-nails-267741507 (check out the conversation on this page if you need more to think about the social acceptance of cheating!)

What would you do if you saw or suspect students of cheating?

(warning... it might not be as simple as you think...)

Here are some good articles to check out and think about.
  1. Academic Honesty in Question - http://napmath.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/academic-honesty-in-question/ This is the blog that was inspired by this post on Green Apples - more things to think about!
  2. Digital Tools Raise Questions about what is and what is not cheating by Katie Ash (August 21, 2013) - http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2013/08/students_need_more_guidance_on.html
  3. Read the stats about Harvard’s freshmen in the class of 2017 By Matthew Yglesias (Posted Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 )http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/09/05/harvard_cheaters_crimson_survey_finds_lots_of_cheating.html
  4. Moving from Cheating to Academic Honesty By Eugene Bratek - http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/10/17/08bratek.h32.html
  5. Cheating Runs Rampant: No Child Left Behind has unleashed a nationwide epidemic of cheating. Will education reformers wake up? by Daniel Denvir ( May 25, 2012) - http://www.salon.com/2012/05/25/cheating_runs_rampant/