This essay is excepted from Gary K. Clabaugh & Edward G. Rozycki, Preventing Cheating and Plagiarism, 2nd Edition pdf. (2009) Oreland, PA: NewFoundations Press.

Cheating Methods and Countermeasures

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edited 2/16/12

 

 

Some of the ways students cheat are laborious and truly ingenious. In fact one can't help but wonder why these cheaters don't just put the same effort into studying. Anyway, what follows briefly describes some of these methods and suggests possible countermeasures. First, though, we would like to note the closest thing there is to a universal antidote:

The full text of Preventing Plagiarism and Cheating has been reissued. It can be accessed via this link.

Other topics covered in the whole text are

A Versatile Antidote

Few of the cheating methods we describe here would be as useful if the instructor simply avoided ...

Crib Notes and Variations

Traditional crib notes -- this is an ancient but effective form of skullduggery. Students put notes, formulas, answers from previous semester tests or tests given earlier in the day, on small pieces of paper, conceal them somewhere on their person or in a folder taped beneath the desktop. Then they sneak them into view in their palm, between their legs, inside their hat, and so forth. Close surveillance, random trips up and down the aisles and pre-test inspection of desk undersides puts a damper on this type of cheating.

"Snappling" -- in this form of crib note fraud students carefully remove the label from a clear beverage, such as Snapple. ...

Skin writing --written on forearms, palms, the inside of thighs, and so forth, skin writing ...

Note:     Don't underestimate student resourcefulness. We know of clever students who inserted barely audible clicks onto music tapes that were used for composer recognition tests. Two clicks, it's Scarlatti, three clicks it's Bach!

Other Gambits

Clandestine signaling -- ...

Exam smuggling -- a student who has postponed a test or who takes it in a later section, ...

Exam files -- students with access to test files routinely bamboozle Instructors ...

"Lost" exams -- in this clever gambit the student ...

Post-test machinations ...

Feigned illness or injury ...

"Misunderstandings" ...

Stolen word processing files ...

 

Summing Up

Best teaching strategies and more authentic assessments diminish the impulse to cheat. Nevertheless, the classroom remains forever east of Eden. Some students will cheat no matter how capable the teaching or how legitimate the assessments. ....

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