Cheating appears to be an epidemic, from some of the stuff I've been seeing and reading lately. It's going on in my program too. Some people don't even realize they're doing it while others are very aware, but are doing it anyway. A lot of this is hearsay, so it may or may not be happening. Here are the situations I'd like thoughts on--
I was reading an article about 19 students getting kicked out of their program (out of a class of 31!) for taking an online quiz together. These students said they didn't realize what they were doing was cheating, as the assignment was two-fold and the first part of it was a simulation done in groups. A few of the students even said that their clinical instructor told them to do the quiz in their group in the school library. The students have filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit about the way the school handled the situation (apparently not even telling them for months why they were kicked out)...
This struck a cord with me, because this very thing happened with my cohort on a midterm this semester, for one of our online classes. I took the exam at home alone, so I wasn't actually on campus but the next day I was told that all the student study rooms were full, as well as some of the floors where students study, with students taking the exam together. The exam was set up where it opened for two hours at the same time and you had to take it during that time. That told me
that they were trying to curb cheating, because it's so easy for students to take an online exam and give the answers to others after the fact. Apparently most of the students in my class didn't interpret it that way, as they took the exam in large groups, ON CAMPUS.
My question to you all about this scenario is, while it probably IS cheating, do you hold people to the strictest standards (kicked out with no opportunity to get back into any nursing program) when they truly don't realize what they're doing is cheating??
Cheating is a character flaw, no doubt, but if someone is doing something they don't realize is cheating, and would be horrified they were doing it, do you judge them based on their ignorance? I guess what I'm wondering is, do you think intent is something to take into consideration?
In the instance of the students in Arizona, I think if 2/3rds of a class misinterprets an assignment, the instructors/program dropped the ball, but apparently the school didn't see it that way.
The situation in my program-- I don't know-- I wouldn't have done it, and I believe some of the students had to have at least wondered if what they were doing was unacceptable, I don't know. I think it's pretty damn blatant to do it right on campus.
On to the intentional stuff. Several students cheated on an exam in one of our classes a couple of weeks ago.. students saw it happening (I didn't as I was in the 'zone' paying attention to my exam and not to what was happening around me) and from what I gather, the teachers knew it was happening too.. I suspected something was up when the class filled up all the seats in the back few rows. Some students say they saw people using notes.
The teachers confronted us as a class the next week and were upset about the utter disrespect. However, NOBODY got called out. Some students DID go to the teachers about what they saw, but I guess the teachers didn't feel they could prove it so the instructors couldn't (or just didn't) do anything about it. It was very upsetting- What is more, is a LOT of students completely bombed this exam. Those who cheated, likely did much better. They get to keep their good grade. For those who failed, they are giving an essay assignment to help bring the grade to passing. Those who cheated and passed- get a free pass.. It's unfair, but isn't life?
I have heard through the grapevine (so this may not be true) that students are getting help from upper class-men. Not verbatim test questions, but round about what to expect a question to cover, as they highlighted things their notes directly after exams-- and have passed on these things to students in our class. These are obviously being held secret, as this has apparently been going on since last semester, and this is the first I've heard about it. Would you consider this cheating?
I've heard some people call this, "using resources" or "using all tools available"..
Anyway, it's all very frustrating. I am not a competitive person so people getting better grades than me doesn't bother me-- but the fact that if I fail a class, the school wont hesitate to kick me out-- and those who cheat are rewarded with good grades and a degree in the end, bothers the hell out of me..