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Guidelines for Discouraging Cheating


May 04, 2009

  1. Make multiple versions of a test so that kids cannot copy from one another's papers during the test or tell later sections the questions.
  2. Hand out tests one at a time instead of dropping a whole row's worth on the front desk. This little tour to each student allows you to perform a quick check for cheat sheets in sleeves or under legs, notes on hands or desktops, etc. (Líaíson, cañon)
  3. NEVER stay at your desk during a test. Wander about the classroom. Not only does this discourage dishonesty, but it makes you available to answer questions. The student who is reticent to approach you at your desk is probably willing to raise a hand and have you come to his/her desk to answer a question about the test.
  4. Assign daily work that requires individual answers (like sentences or paragraphs) for at least part of the assignment whenever possible. Copied work will be immediately evident. If the assignment is the ‘everybody needs the same answers’ variety, insist that kids complete the work in class and not as homework.
  5. If you are not absolutely certain that cheating occurred, let it go. There is nothing worse than a dispute about whether a student cheated or not. Make a mental note to watch the suspect more closely in the future.
  6. Help other teachers when you can. I once noticed that a student had a series of letters written on the insides of his fingers, so that if he kept his fingers together, the letters would not show. I wasn't giving a test, so I notified the other teachers to be on the lookout for him if he had a test in their class that day.
  7. If any written work makes you suspicious, Google it. I typed in half of one sentence of a suspect essay, and with one click I found the entire essay. I showed the screen to the offender, and s/he had no defense. S/he also had no credit.

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