Preventing Cheating

Cheating is a perennial problem. A 2006 national survey found that more than 60% of high school students said they have cheated on a test, and the number of self-admitted cheaters has steadily risen over the years.

New factors in the equation are access to online content to plagiarize and the use of digital devices to cheat on tests. In a recent survey commissioned by Common Sense Media, more than a third of teenagers with cell phones admit that they have used them to cheat in school. Over half have used the Internet to do so.

Unfortunately most of the students who responded did not think that storing notes on their cell phones to use during a test, or downloading online materials to present as their own, was a serious offense. Online social media reinforces that view for them. One YouTube video offers strategies for cheating, such as taping answers under a tie and designing a T-shirt with a cheat sheet printed on the front in a form that can be overlooked as a logo.

All of which makes preventing cheating a challenge for teachers and schools. What have you done to prevent cheating in your classroom? What have you found works and what doesn’t work?

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