If you are a teacher of educator chances are likely you have caught a student cheating on their exam or even handing in essays that they did not write - either by asking a sibling, parent or friend to write the essay for them, or by hiring an essay writing service in a big name city like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Toronto or other city with lots of well-to-do students who can afford to pay hundreds of dollars for essays. These days such companies offer many services - including proofreading and editing and resume writing services - all with the goal of giving people an unfair advantage, both in school and in finding a job.
Recent studies show that students consider alternative aids such as essay writing help, ghostwriting and cliff's notes are tools that students should be able to use as opposed to cheating aids like most universities and colleges see them. Many students cite lack of time or more pressing matters as reasons why they cannot finish their assignments through more traditional means so they seek alternative means to get the job done.
With this knowledge, most professor should be on the look out for cheating behaviour in their students. They must devise ways of finding cheaters in what could be a sea of over 300 students. Seems like a daunting task. So what exactly can professor do to catch the cheaters?
Conduct your class like it is a high stakes exam
If you have ever taken the LSAT or a competency exam you know what taking a high stakes exam is like. You are prohibited from any materials except for a writing utensil, an eraser, and some water. Things like scratch paper, electronic devices and digital watches are strictly not allowed. Why? Because these are all things that students can use to bring in information they can use on the test. Either written in small print or stored in a devices memory a student can easily call it up. Tell students to put away their papers and devices and you can eliminate the temptation to use them to get an upper hand.
Plagiarism is a very pressing issue with today's students. Many students simply take essays from the internet or have another person write their essay for them. In the case of copying other people work, there are many different websites that will allow you to detect whether a document has been plagiarized by scanning them to see if they match something else online. There are some other websites that allow you to compare a students previous work to the work they handed in to see if they are similar.
Make your own materials to prevent them getting to them first
The last step is to ensure that you are not contributing to your students cheating. You are your best weapon against it after all. Make sure that your materials originate from you and that you keep them safe. If you are the generator of the materials and you keep them safe there really is no way that students can gain access to your materials.
Unfortunately, cheating is not going to go away. Students are always going to try to get the upper hand while doing the least amount of work. The best way to deal with it is to try to prevent it in the first place. Keep you materials close to you, use technology to help you get the advantage and keep the tools for cheating out of the students hands during test time. Following these rules can keep your class cheating free.
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