Cheating in school exams is becoming more high-tech and dishonest students are getting away with it more often, according to a new report by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL).
The survey of 20,000 students in 11 schools found that 73 percent of first-year students in Canada admitted to cheating on essays and assignments, while 60 percent admitted to cheating in exams.
Technology is a huge factor in these incidents, according to the President and CEO and CCL, Dr. Paul Cappon. He said: “Over the past decade internet and high-tech devices have enabled a virtual explosion of classroom cheating.”
Mobile phones, particularly smartphones which can access the internet and allow online searches for answers, are one potential avenue students may use to cheat, adding to tried and tested methods like hiding a note in your sleeve or writing answers on your arm.
One Canadian university alone reported an astounding increase of 81 percent in instances of cheating and plagiarism between 2003 and 2006. Plagiarising from the internet nearly tripled in that same period from 54 cases to 153.
However, many of the youngsters do not believe what they are doing actually consititutes cheating, while others saw incidences as less serious than they really were. Teachers and other faculty members, however, recognise the severity of such acts, but 41 percent of them admitted that they had ignored some cases of suspected cheating.
The report found that faculty members were just as much a part of the problem as the dishonest students. It said that “failure to act in such instances can lead to higher levels of dishonesty as some students conclude that their dishonest actions will not be punished, and other students conclude they must cheat to remain competitive with students who are already doing so.”
In order to solve this problem CCL called for more strictness from teachers, the encouragement of academic honour codes, and the deployment of better anti-plagiarism programs online.
We suspect that kids in the UK are also prone to high-tech cheating, possibly including teleportation of notes into the exam room.