eCheating: Students find high-tech ways to deceive teachers

Everything’s going digital these days ”” including cheating….

“There’s an epidemic of cheating,” says Robert Bramucci, vice chancellor for technology and learning services at South Orange Community College District in Mission Viejo, Calif. “We’re not catching them. We’re not even sure it’s going on.”

Several security-related companies, such as, will even overnight-mail a kit that turns a cellphone or iPod into a hands-free personal cheating device, featuring tiny wireless earbuds, that allows a test-taker to discreetly “phone a friend” during a test and get answers remotely without putting down the pencil.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth, Theology

6 comments on “eCheating: Students find high-tech ways to deceive teachers

  1. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    And why does this surprise anyone, when for at least a generation students have been taught that there’s no absolute right and wrong?

  2. drjoan says:

    Face it: students have been cheating for generations!

  3. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    People have been murdering for generations, too, dr. joan, but that doesn’t make it right.

    It’s repugnant that tomcats have more morals. And, in the end, they’re only cheating themselves. Maybe, e.g., a med student can find a way to cheat on his/her anatomy exam, but when it comes to surgical practicum and he/she is standing there over the incision without knowing what’s what inside, that’s when his/her bad habits will come home to roost. And meanwhile, one has to hope that this sort of thing doesn’t hurt others besides the “cheater”.

  4. Uh Clint says:

    I suspect this is an outgrowth of the “internet piracy” that has been building for years, where music, movies, and other “content” are copied, posted to the Internet and downloaded by multiple users (often thousands), with no royalties or payments to the owners of the content. When our daughter was in high school the topic of copying music was raised amongst her fellow-students, and none of them (I repeat – none of them) was able to even conceive of the notion that they were doing anything wrong. Ditto for finding material online for term papers – the mentality was “if I can see/hear it on the Internet, I can use it however I want, because the Internet is free. And I can put my name on it, because I found it.”

    I’m all for the Internet, but I also have a deep respect for the rights of authors, musicians, actors/actresses, movie studios – they all create things taht are of value, and taking those things without paying for them is stealing. The same kind of technology allows this “iPhone/iPod” cheating to occur.

    I do know that there *is* an answer. My freshman year in college in the mid 70’s, the university I attended required, for the first time, that all incoming freshmen have an electronic calculator instead of the until-then universal slide rule. Some of the calculators of the era (notably, Hewlett-Packard) were equipped with memory and programming capabilities. On exam days, there was a proctor at the door who would ask for your calculator, and if it was one with memory, he would remove the battery, erasing anything whihch had been stored in memory. The same could be done nowadays – students can be admitted without backpacks, knapsacks, or purses (all of which can be stored outside the exam room) and a watchful eye kept on them during the exam to ensure that they don’t use any electronic devices. To those who proclaim “it’s wrong to take away hand baggage”, I would reply that it’s done as a matter of routine at amusement parks across the country when people ride roller coasters, so universities/colleges would hardly be breaking new ground.

    The notion that plagiarism and unauthorized copying are both wrong needs to be emphasized in the lower grades (K-6) so that students realize that theft of intellectual property and using technology to cheat are wrong, and that there are consequences. And those caught doing these things need to be treated firmly – no “well, it’s not a big deal” attitude; an automatic fail for the course, and a “black mark” against the conduct policy of the school. Those who tried to cheat 40 years ago were punished for their wrongdoing – and in cases that I know of, they came back as reformed, inspired students. We should expect no less of today’s students.

  5. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    We’ve also been finding better ways to make weapons of war for more impressive ways to mutilate the human body for years as well. That’s progress, I guess.

  6. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I am reminded of what an engineer told me once. “You can never design something to be completely fool proof…as they will just design a better idiot.”

    I guess it works in reverse too.