Students today feel the high-stakes pressure of succeeding. As it was in the past, cheating continues to be a way some students will attempt to keep up with expectations. The question is, with so much of education relying on digital tools, how do we prevent students from cheating? There are ways to make it harder to cheat, but the most important way to prevent cheating is in helping students discover there are ways to ask for help, eliminating the feelings they have that they need to cheat to succeed.
MULTIPLE VERSIONS OF TESTS
When giving assessments, whether they are being taken on tablets, computers, or paper, a simple way to dissuade students from attempting to cheat is to make up multiple versions of the exam. Rearrange the questions and hand them out so no student is seated near someone with the same one. Taking away the opportunity to cheat helps curb students from attempting.
While some teachers take advantage of students using their phones with assignments and research prompts that require a smartphone, when it comes to tests, it’s crucial to have students put the phones away. Keeping the phones out of hand will take away the potential desire to look up answers during testing times.
OFFER SECOND CHANCE CREDIT
One way to diminish the pressure that leads students to cheat is to encourage them to try their best on exams the first time and even if they get incorrect answers, allow them the opportunity to redo the missed questions for half credit. This encourages students to not give up and be rewarded for not taking the easy and wrongful way out via cheating.
Inevitably, there will always be students who try to find ways to cheat. Digital learning is no different than the old ways in that regard. However, impressing upon your students that they are here to learn, even from their mistakes and wrong answers, will show them that it’s all part of the education process. Wrong answers are not to be feared, but rather seen as an opportunity to learn and master the topic. Cheating will never result in students learning, only cheating themselves out of progress.