Cheaters never win
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30-04-2015, 06:19 AM
Cheaters never win
Tis that time of year when final grades are being calculated, and I'm forever amazed at how people can perform badly in the labs I teach. Seriously, not that hard AND you can ask me all the questions you want while you're doing the assignment.

Luckily I've mitigated the amount of cheating I have to deal with over the last few years by altering any exams or quizzes I give so that it's hard to copy off of your neighbor AND get a correct answer. Basically, I let this cheaters earn their F. I've had one thorn in my side this semester who has copied on my quizzes and has maintained a passing quiz grade of a C-. Annoying as that is, their attempts to cheat on the exams has been fruitless. This has put the person in a position where passing the class is going to be quite the uphill climb, as they'll need a much better grade on the final than they've pulled off on any of the other tests.

I guess I should note that sometimes cheaters do "win" in that they get a better grade than they should. But, as transcripts and GPA's matter less and letters of recommendation matter more, that's kind a off moot point these days.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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30-04-2015, 07:33 AM
RE: Cheaters never win
When I was in grad school, I was teaching an organic lab. Another section was taught by my labmate. We were grading the labs once and happened to start talking about some of the funny answers we received and as luck would have it, two answers were identical. One from my lab and one from his. This started us to look into the reports more thoroughly and we discovered that not only was the one answer the same, but in fact, they all were even the yields. It turns out these two were brothers.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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30-04-2015, 07:47 AM (This post was last modified: 30-04-2015 07:51 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: Cheaters never win
(30-04-2015 07:33 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  When I was in grad school, I was teaching an organic lab. Another section was taught by my labmate. We were grading the labs once and happened to start talking about some of the funny answers we received and as luck would have it, two answers were identical. One from my lab and one from his. This started us to look into the reports more thoroughly and we discovered that not only was the one answer the same, but in fact, they all were even the yields. It turns out these two were brothers.

I can't stand cheaters. It is utterly dishonest, and I hate lying and liars to the point of it being an irrational hate.

My second semester of grad school I was teaching a paleontology lab and had two girls in the front of class who seemed to be taking a little too much interest in each other's quizzes (this was a class of 9 people, so it is kind of hard to hide your activities). So, I already knew I was going to either have to confront them and tell them to knock it off, or make two versions of the quiz and ensure that they had different specimens from their neighbors. The kicker was when I graded that quiz and found that they had both answered the same question with the same wrong answer. Now, one could argue that they study together and studied the same wrong answer, except this was for a bonus question completely unrelated to the class. I made sure that when I introduced the quiz next week, I stood near them when I announced that the quizzes were different because of the cheating. They both looked horrified.

I caught one student the following semester on an exam using his phone (pulling up slides). I just walked down the aisle behind him and took his test.

Had one student while here at UConn who was copying off of his neighbor, but they were on different pages so he wrote on the top of his page 6 or 7, the numbers 1 and 2 and the answers to questions 1 and 2. He knew it would be suspicious to suddenly flip his paper back to page one to cheat off of his neighbor so instead, he did that. I also took his exam because that was solid evidence of cheating.

Also while at UConn (same semester as the above story and same class), I caught two soccer players cheating on the final. Sitting in the back, and one would copy off the girl in front of him and then hold his exam up as if he were carefully reading a question so his mate could see which answer he had circled. They were also talking back and forth. One of them was very unhappy when I took his exam and got in my face. I don't know what the instructor did, but I scared the shit out of the other guy just by catching him. The other guy? Not so much, he was a punk.



Students really don't seem to understand just how easy it is to watch them cheat. It is painfully obvious if you are not looking at your test and are instead looking in your lap or at another person's paper. And the cheaters are always looking for you to see if you are onto them. The people who aren't cheating, are actually carefully reading the test and thinking about their answers.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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30-04-2015, 09:20 AM
RE: Cheaters never win
When I suspect students of cheating, I hand them back photocopies of their exams. That usually does the trick.
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30-04-2015, 09:26 AM
Cheaters never win
(30-04-2015 09:20 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  When I suspect students of cheating, I hand them back photocopies of their exams. That usually does the trick.

I look them in the eyes while they're doing the quiz and announce to the class to stop cheating. Not calling them out, but a more general warning to everyone, but I make sure they catch my eye.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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30-04-2015, 09:44 AM
RE: Cheaters never win
That's so amazing. No really. I would assume that whoever sat next to me had the WRONG answer. Tongue
Plus, I consider almost all the faculty either a friend of some sort, or someone I respect a great deal. If one of them even *thought* I was cheating, i would be SO humiliated.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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30-04-2015, 09:46 AM
Cheaters never win
(30-04-2015 09:44 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  That's so amazing. No really. I would assume that whoever sat next to me had the WRONG answer. Tongue
Plus, I consider almost all the faculty either a friend of some sort, or someone I respect a great deal. If one of them even *thought* I was cheating, i would be SO humiliated.

Some students clearly don't respect their instructors enough to not cheat. Or are not worried about the humiliation of getting caught enough to not do it.

Most of them are smart enough (clever enough, intelligence is debatable) to sit near the good students to cheat off of.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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30-04-2015, 09:51 AM
RE: Cheaters never win
I'll admit there were some classes in college I had no chance of passing without cheating. Honestly, geology does come to mind (please don't hate me). I highly underestimated the amount of effort I would have to put in. I doubt I would have ever gotten through that class without cheating.

But my major had nothing to do with that subject either.

Looking back again, back in my day..cheating actually required a lot of effort. I was never the type to just copy off someone else...No, I made teeny tiny cheat sheets...which I found that sometimes I didn't need to refer to them.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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30-04-2015, 09:52 AM
RE: Cheaters never win
(30-04-2015 09:44 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  That's so amazing. No really. I would assume that whoever sat next to me had the WRONG answer. Tongue

My feelings exactly. Extremely high risk strategy. I rather bribe so... ehehehe... I mean those SCUM! How dare they!

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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30-04-2015, 10:18 AM
RE: Cheaters never win
(30-04-2015 09:51 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I'll admit there were some classes in college I had no chance of passing without cheating. Honestly, geology does come to mind (please don't hate me). I highly underestimated the amount of effort I would have to put in. I doubt I would have ever gotten through that class without cheating.

But my major had nothing to do with that subject either.

Looking back again, back in my day..cheating actually required a lot of effort. I was never the type to just copy off someone else...No, I made teeny tiny cheat sheets...which I found that sometimes I didn't need to refer to them.

"...I made teeny tiny cheat sheets...which I found that sometimes I didn't need to refer to them."

And inadvertently studied in the process of making them.

I like Neil Degrasse Tyson's observation that students cheat because they value their grade more than their education.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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