Questionable answers

At exam time, the most valuable commodity to be had, apparently, is someone else’s paper:

I gave a quiz the other day and there was one fellow I kept looking closely at to try to tell if his eyes were on his own paper. But I will solve that issue with Form A and Form B. And I’ve taken to handing out each exam INDIVIDUALLY rather than counting off a stack and having them pass them down — I learned last semester that there are people in the class devious enough to quickly grab two of the same form from the stack and hand the identical form to the patsy (or accomplice) next to them.

Is this disheartening? Totally:

It frustrates me that I have to be such a cop, and that I have to try to think deviously to figure out as many ways as possible that students might cheat (and confer with colleagues at other schools: it seems a current fad is to bring in a bottle of water where you have written notes under the label, and you can read them through the clear bottle).

It’s been four decades since I set foot in a college classroom, and maybe I’m behind the times, but it seems to me that if you spend more time working up a scheme to avoid studying than you do actually studying, you’ve pretty much defeated your own purpose.







1 comment

  1. fillyjonk »

    6 February 2013 · 10:07 am

    “if you spend more time working up a scheme to avoid studying than you do actually studying, you’ve pretty much defeated your own purpose.”

    Actually a common professorial lament: “If they just spent that time STUDYING, they’d do fine and earn an honest grade.”

    Though I will say it’s the paper-mills I worry about more (because some of those aren’t caught by the standard anti-plagiarism software) than some guy copping a look at someone else’s paper in an exam. (Because Mr. Looky-loo is easier to catch)

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