The Smoke Signal

Is cheating all too familiar?

Sarah Whitley, Journalist

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Some students resort to the old school ways of cheating. Photo Credit: Creative Commons.

Throughout the school system one thing has been there since the beginning is cheating. Cheating has always been a problem, and some say it has gotten worse as the years go on, but is it true?

What is cheating? Would getting an answer from your friend’s homework be considered cheating, or is it only defined by actions done on a test that are not that person’s own?

UC Berkeley defines what cheating is, “Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. This includes a wide variety of behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, altering academic documents or transcripts, gaining access to materials before they are intended to be available, and helping a friend to gain an unfair academic advantage.”

There are two opinions that are voiced about the topic of cheating. The first being that cheating has gotten worse with the rise in smartphones. The other, that smartphones have not made cheating worse the only thing it has done is made cheating more accessible.

The second statement can many times be fuel to people who believe that cheating has gotten worse.

“I absolutely think cheating has gotten worse. It has not necessarily gotten worse in the classroom, but more out of the class. There are many sources online that are available right now,” Mrs. Pendleton says

Cheating has in fact gotten worse, not because students are becoming less reliable but because information has become more accessible.

For example a student who needs answers to a simple homework sheet can do one of two things and or both. They can look online for the answers of the worksheet which in many cases may pop up as the entire worksheet and answers. Second they can text fellow students asking for their answers and with a click of a button can have the answers to an entire sheet without any effort.

After several tests, many students are able to take pictures of the test itself and give to other students so that they may have an unfair advantage over the rest of the students.

Without technology, there has been the obvious old school ways of cheating during tests or quizzes. Many times done by writing on small pieces of paper, hands or wrists.

“My most blatant cheating experience I have had was it happened on a worksheet and the answers were online, and the student wrote on one of the answers, ‘answers may vary’,”  Mrs.Pendleton shares one of her most memorable cheating experiences.

Although cheating may have gotten noticeably worse there is no sure way around it, and teachers will only have to take extra precautions to be sure it happens as little as possible.

 

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Is cheating all too familiar?