No one likes to know their students are cheating. It is, however, common among college students to cheat. The NY Times reports that about 61 percent of college students cheat. How can you reduce the likelihood that it happens in your class?
Approaching the issue from the assumption of guilt can change the dynamic between the instructor and the students. Consider how to frame any anti-cheating measures you choose to take to maintain the trust between professor and student. Some ideas for reducing cheating….
There are a variety of ways to reduce the opportunities for cheating. Ask open-ended questions. Provide in-class writing assignments. Distribute multiple versions of an exam. Collect cell phones prior to an exam. Require students to remain in the classroom during an exam to prevent texting or checking notes left in the restroom. Use Turn-it-in on Sakai.
Today’s students understand that a lot of real-world work is collaborative. They may not understand the degree to which they may or may not collaborate on an assignment. Be clear as to whether they can consult their classmates or ask your faculty colleagues for help. Spend some class time describing plagiarism as well as how to correctly cite and quote other’s work.
Students cheat when assignments are too hard, too time-consuming, or viewed as busy-work. Assign work students can be successful at and explain the value of the assignments. Establish work load expectations that are appropriate for your students. Instructors sometimes struggle with getting students to do the work for the course. This may entail reading the text prior to a seminar discussion or more completing their homework in a timely and thoughtful way.