In this modified era of virtual learning, schools have adapted and class procedures have changed. Consequently, this shift to being fully online has given students the ability to cheat.
When all students were in-person, teachers had constant supervision in their classes, so cheating was always being monitored and restricted. Behind the safety of their screens, students have the ability to simply turn their cameras off, look up answers online, or converse with friends while taking a test.
While cheating is the wrong, yet the easy thing to do, teachers have modified their teaching procedures to prevent it to the best of their abilities.
“The rules that I impose are the same as the District and school-wide rules. Most of the times, I have a pretty good idea of the students who cheat because there is a big, unexplained gap between the assessment score and the mastery level shown during class participation. When there is incontestable evidence of a student’s academic dishonesty, the student receives no credit for the assignment/assessment and an office referral,” says Cecilia Infante, a Spanish teacher at SJHHS.
Currently, online learners have the ability to open a browser during any test. The only thing to stop students from cheating is personal integrity. The internet is freely accessible, and many students may find they feel saving their grades is more important than academic honor.
Without the pressure and constant authority teachers used to impose during tests, it is up to students to monitor their integrity. Almost any answer on a test can be found on google with just a few clicks, and teachers have very few ways to monitor the use of outside resources.
“Because of being all online, it is almost too easy to be able to use outside sources while taking tests. It has changed a lot from in-person learning because when students are always online, that means they always have access to the internet . . . The internet is such a big tool when it comes to school and cheating, students can easily copy/paste questions into a search engine and find it within seconds,” says an anonymous student.
To prevent students from having the urge to cheat during online school, we must be reminded of the long-term effects of cheating. As we near the end of the school year, important exams and decisions are approaching for a number of students. Taking the easy way out of difficult school assignments by cheating may be the quickest technique, but as the future arrives this method brings no benefits to students.
“I believe that the ultimate goal of taking classes and working on the different subjects is to become a more skillful and knowledgeable person. When a student is faced with a challenge and decides to work hard and, as a consequence, accomplishes learning and understanding, the boost on their self-esteem is priceless,” says Infante. “When students seek the easy way out and their goal is driven solely by getting a high grade, they lose the unique opportunity of proving to themselves that they are capable of achieving something with their own effort. Even though I think that cheating is dishonest and immoral, I believe that the psychological consequences of doing it are real and damaging to the students’ self-respect.”
Even though no one might be presently watching you at all times, it is key to remember to stay honest with yourself and your work. Treat school and tests like how it was before the virus, but now you’re just using a computer to independently administrate and complete things. Honesty is truly the best policy.
Stay honest. Stay true. Hold your integrity.