Cheating... on an exam?!
After years of giving exams to students, an instructor at University of Central Florida, was shocked to discover that students cheat on exams.
Is it really all that hard to imagine that students would take the easy way out, when that appears to be exactly what the professor did? Instead of creating a novel and authentic way to assess student learning, Richard Quinn used his 20 years of teaching experience, to draw his exam from the question bank supplied by a textbook company. Instead of sharing his own work with students, he administered an exam created by a publisher, leaving me to wonder: Did the test acknowledge the source for the exam questions?
When I study at an institute of higher learning, I prefer to take courses that are not the same year after year; courses that recognize the realities of today's hyper-connected world; courses that don't place such a huge emphasis on a written exam to demonstrate the stickiness of course content.
In watching the 'lesson' below, I can't help but sense the emotional vibrations from the teacher: disappointment, frustration... disillusionment. As the audience for this 'lecture' learns that statistical variations, forensic analysis, and data tracking have narrowed the pool of suspected cheaters to about a third of the class, I'd have been just as interested to read the faces and body language of the 400 students.
The rant appears to have led to 200 confessions. Self-identifying cheaters will be allowed to complete the course and graduate, provided they take a four hour course in ethics. I can't help but wonder if/when any teachers at the school will see themselves as culpable.
At the close, we learn that the instructor was too distraught to load the slides for Chapter 8 and Chapter 9. Whether or not the slidedecks were also provided by the publisher, Mr. Quinn's closing comments indicate that he has much to learn:
"The days of finding a new way to cheat the system, are over!"
I suspect that the system will need far more than a new exam in order to make learning relevant, and cheat-proof. What do you think?
For more food for thought, visit a few true stories of students from the University of Windsor.