Article - Catch Cheaters:

Cheating is a very common classroom activity. You will find cheaters in almost every school and it seems the problem is only getting worse. Technology has provided students with even more ways to cheat. Instead of depending on a neighbor’s paper, students can now use their calculators, cell phones, PDAs, and other handy gadgets to store notes that can be accessed during a test or quiz.

Because most students are not willing to rat on their peers, the responsibility of detecting and preventing cheating falls on the heads of the school’s teachers. Though teachers are not around to watch the students complete their homework, they are there to monitor the class during a test or quiz.

If you are a teacher who suspects that your students are cheating, the information shown below may help you stop this unscrupulous classroom behavior.

Detecting Cheaters

The easiest way to detect a cheater is to watch the class. If students know that the teacher is distracted by other work, they may be more likely to take a peek at their notes or their neighbor’s paper. You can eliminate the temptation by watching your students closely during test time.

Here are some other tips that may help:

  • Watch for wandering eyes. Students should be focusing on their tests, not their neighbors’.
  • Makes sure the students are not hiding notes under textbooks or calculators.
  • If students are talking, they may be sharing answers.
  • When grading the tests, look for patterns. If you see two or more tests that have the same answers to the same questions, you may want to investigate further.

Preventing Cheating

As the teacher, there are many different things that you can do to prevent cheating. You may want to consider establishing an honor code at the beginning of the school year. Honor codes tend to discourage even the most avid cheaters. You may also want to establish a no-tolerance cheating policy. If students know that there will be consequences if they cheat, they will be less likely to even attempt it.

Here are some other tips that can help you prevent cheating in the classroom:

  • Do not leave answers to the test on your desk. If students have access to the answers, they may be tempted to steal and share them.
  • Do not leave the room while a test is in progress.
  • Establish a “no talking” policy during tests. All chatter can wait until after the test has ended.
  • If space allows, spread your students out. If they can’t see their neighbor’s paper, they can’t copy from it.
  • If your classroom is cramped, consider administering tests in the school cafeteria or library.
  • Do not allow students to keep anything on their desk with the exception of their test paper and a pen or pencil.
  • Create different tests. The test content can be the same, but the questions can be organized differently to deter easy copying.

Article Sources:

The Cheating Culture:

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