High-tech CheatingApril 28, 2007 at 9:45 am | Posted in cheating, education, teachers | 4 Comments
While I was away on vacation, I caught the news once and saw a quick blurb about high-tech cheating. Apparently, students are using some pretty sophisticated equipments to cheat. It used to be text messaging on cell phones. Now, it’s iPods! Students would download answers to their iPods and get answers while pretending to listen to music.
High-tech cheating is now a great concern for teachers everywhere, particularly in high-school and middle-school.
Since I’m a big fan of lowering affective filters for students, I’m not going to be one of those people who automatically say “BAN the iPods!”
My question to these teachers and parents who are concerned with high-tech cheating is, “How is your assessment formatted?” If a test is well-crafted, how can you cheat? If a lesson is well taught, why is there a need for cheating?
What is the purpose of the test anyway? To guide the teacher’s instruction? To determine a student’s needs? To grade students according to the bell curve and rank everyone? To have a mark in your grade book so you can put it down for their report card?
I’m really hoping that teachers are still not giving out tests with multiple-choice answers, focusing on recalling basic facts. (I’m not talking about standardized assessments here. You know, The Big Test. Since I feel that they are a big waste of two weeks of everyone’s life, I say, hand out iPods to everyone! Except they’re not permitted in the testing room.)
Here’s an easy way to prevent cheating in the classroom, high-tech or otherwise. Give students questions and projects that require them to to use higher level comprehension skills. Allow the students to use their textbooks and notes during the test if necessary. Heck, allow the students to work together in pairs and groups, and have them orally defend their projects/answers individually.
Using graph paper, draw a floor plan for a one-bedroom home, complete with a kitchen, a dining area, and bathroom. The total square footage of the home is 750 sq. ft. What are the length, width, and area of the bedroom, kitchen, dining area, and bathroom? Here is your rubric.
Draw a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution. Write a well-crafted explanation of your Venn Diagram. Here is your rubric.
You are a doctor. An underweight patient prone to illness asks your advice for staying healthy. With a partner, create a 6 month, healthy-living plan for your patient that will ensure a healthy weight and reduce risk of illness. Be prepared to orally defend any part of the plan. Here is your rubric.
Any other ideas for formatting assessments so that high-tech cheating is impossible?