My class just had our head to toe physical assessment skills check off yesterday. It was our fourth check off. Our class of 30 splits off into groups of 10 and we have 3 lab instructors that assess us.
So anyway, in the lounge area outside the skills labs, we sit and chat and hold still in our whites so as to not wrinkle them (we get points off for wrinkles!!!), and after someone comes out of a check-off we ask how they did and if you're the one being asked you say "Oh I passed, but I missed pulling the curtain for privacy or assessing for pain" or whatever. We have done this through every check off, and the instructors even go in and out and listen to us chatting.
Well, yesterday, one of the instructors accused a girl in my class of cheating...more specificallly, assisting others to cheat because she came out of her check off and was talking to other students who had not yet had thier turn about how she had done.
She was crying and very upset and we were all mystified, not having any clue that this was a no no, especially since the instructor who did the accusing has known for a month that we all do this and never said anything.
I fail to see how this might be considered cheating. We all practice the exact same skill in the exact same format/order. Coming out of an assessment and saying to a fellow student "don't forget to assess for pain!" is no different to me than saying just before an exam...don't forget about the acronym for remembering the symptoms of Meniere's disease! We are not providing our classmates with any inside information or tricks. I feel it's simply a manner of helping someone study.
Thoughts? To clarify, I would have no problem abiding by any rule...if I know it's a rule. Had we been told from day one: "Absolutely NO discussion of your check off with others who have not gone yet" then that would be different. But having an instructor watch students engaging in a behaviour several times then one day deciding to attack a student (and she did attack her...she yelled at her in front of others) for cheating isn't right.
Sep 20, '12
I think that is debatable whether or not she cheated because like you said, it has never been made a rule to not discuss what happens during the check off. But is it at least in the syllabus for the course?
Sep 20, '12
We all scurried for our program handbooks and scoured it for any mention of talking about check-offs. Nothing. The syllabus contsins only assignment schedules.
Sep 20, '12
I could see why your instructor would reprimand her, but doing it in an embarrassing way wasnt necessary. Still though, learning to do a complete head to toe is essential and you may have forgotten something routine otherwise. Just know from now on not to discuss anything. We always discussed stuff like that out of the hearing field of instructors.
Sep 21, '12
Not handled in the best fashion, but the student sure did "help" the others by relaying that information. The better approach would have been to give notice up front about expectations. I did an oral exam for statistics (believe it or not!) in my graduate program. Each student went in to the room one at a time to talk to the instructor. Another instructor was left outside to monitor the students when they came out. We had already been instructed to LEAVE when our turn was done. Anyone caught checking a phone was in trouble.
Sep 21, '12
it's a natural response to want to talk about what happened and tell people how it went. is it cheating? well, it can be. consciously or subconsciously, the other students are getting tipped off. however, it wasnt handled properly..she shouldnt have been singled-off; it should have been more of a class announcement. plus, if the instructor was smart, she would have had the students who finished and those who havent gone yet separated.
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