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12 April 2017 Groupcall

Cheating in Exams

There's good communication and bad communication, and an example of the latter has come to light in today's news. Reports are emerging of university students cheating by using smart watches and invisible earpieces to cheat in exams. Detection issues are numerous; if a student has long hair, nano earpieces can't be seen at all.

According to research carried out by the Guardian newspaper, tech-based cheating has risen by over 40% over the last 4 years. While the figure of 210 is not statistically significant — approximately 0.04% of the number of students in higher education — it is concerning, especially as 25% of those caught cheating used electronic devices to do so. Also, the trend is rising and, perhaps most worrying of all, the number of cases mentioned are only those that were caught. It is not unreasonable to assume that there are a number of students who are never even identified, let alone proven to be cheating.

Why is tech-based cheating hard to detect? This is partly because nano earbuds are almost impossible to see without close inspection. Another reason is the prevalence of ‘smart watches’: how is an invigilator to know whether a student’s casual glance at his watch is to check a fact on the internet rather than simply to see how much time he has left?

Even if technology is banned from the examination hall, the university authorities cannot carry out body searches. Neither can they prevent students taking a ‘comfort break’, after which, according to one academic, they frequently seem to get a second wind.

Interestingly enough, in at least one case the cheat was exposed by fellow students.

A question now faces schools: how long will it be before technology-based cheating becomes common at GCSE and ‘A’ Level — if it isn’t already?

Source: More university students are using tech to cheat in exams https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/apr/10/more-university-students-are-using-tech-to-in-exams

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Topics: Groupcall