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200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the people-get-what-they-deserve dept.

Education 693

Over 200 University of Central Florida students admitted to cheating on a midterm exam after their professor figured out at least a third of his class had cheated. In a lecture posted on YouTube, Professor Richard Quinn told the students that he had done a statistical analysis of the grades and was using other methods to identify the cheats, but instead of turning the list over to the university authorities he offered the following deal: "I don't want to have to explain to your parents why you didn't graduate, so I went to the Dean and I made a deal. The deal is you can either wait it out and hope that we don't identify you, or you can identify yourself to your lab instructor and you can complete the rest of the course and the grade you get in the course is the grade you earned in the course."

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Wow. (1)

bchickens (255621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268498)

Thats pretty cool of the teacher to offer them all a way out. With all the cheater sites out there, its no suprise to me that 1/3 of the kids cheated.

Re:Wow. (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268574)

It might not even BE that 1/3 of the kids cheated.

Heck - if I did amazing in the course, but bombed that test, I'd say I cheated if it meant exclusion of that test for my grade.

Re:Wow. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268608)

The midterm grades were all tossed out for everyone.

Re:Wow. (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268720)

Everyone's retaking the test, regardless. They can't trust anyone's result, even if they can't prove they cheated they still can't risk it.

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268782)

As a student, I would be pretty pissed off if I had actually studied for that test and had my work thrown out because other people cheated.

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268806)

That's at least partly the point. People don't help cheats if could cost them.

Re:Wow. (1)

daniorerio (1070048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268974)

I remember a similar incident at my local university, where all students had to redo the test. Turned out several of the students parents' were lawyers, and the university got sued hard...

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269154)

For what exactly? I'm not aware of any contract between a student and the university guaranteeing that they will only be tested on material once or that every test taken will count towards your final grade. I mean you can sue for anything, but your chances of winning such a suite seem remote at best to me.

Re:Wow. (1)

anUnhandledException (1900222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269286)

Anyone can sue anyone for virtually anything. I could sue you for providing a misleading anecdote. I almost certainly would lose however I could file a lawsuit.

Lawyers filing a lawsuit. How utterly shocking.

Last time I checked the school offers no guarantees that you won't be required to retake tests. I doubt the lawsuit went anywhere.

Re:Wow. (-1, Troll)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268878)

Just wait till you 'grow up' and discover the same thing happens to the money you earn.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268982)

And when he first works for someone else, he'll discover that it happens to his accomplishments as well.

Re:Wow. (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268940)

The point is that if you studied the subject, instead of the subset of questions you knew ahead of time would be asked, then your work is not thrown out, because the new questions will be about the same subject.

Still, of course, you could have had an especially good day.

Re:Wow. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269078)

Depending on how much time has passed between the first test and the second, you'll still have to do a fairly significant amount of extra studying. Unless these students were actually using the material they learned for the first test in their everyday lives (highly unlikely), it tends to get forgotten fairly quickly. Sure, they'll remember the concepts, but probably not to the specificity required to do well on a test. They'll still need to study to refresh their memories. Sure, they won't need to cram all night or anything, but if I earned a legitimate A on the first test I'd be kind of pissed off if I had to go back and do it again. Hell, even if I study really hard there's still a fairly good chance I'll make enough mistakes to get a B this time, and then I've lost a whole letter grade just because some other assholes decided to cheat.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269180)

True, But if you got a legitimate B on the test you get a new chance to score an A. It wouldn't surprise me if the course ends up with a higher than average score after the re-exam. The cheats would have memorized a lot of useful stuff when they memorized the test bank.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269116)

I completely agree and if I was a student that hadn't cheated I would be very concerned about getting turned in as a cheater (dependant upon grade). From what I understand that answer bank got out in the wild, so I don't see that it would be any more likely that people would miss a certain question/questions. Thus the only way that I can see them identifying cheaters is to say that if you got in a certain score band then you probably cheated.

I know the professor claims to be able to tell who cheated, but he also claims the publishers care. When I was in college, you could easily buy all the homework manuals and the exam manuals. For some classes, the professor would even give you the home work manual if you asked. For them to not know that test banks are out there in the wild makes me really question how ignorant they've been.

While I would be upset (although I had a similar happen to me while in University), at least this professor did something about it. I sat in an EE exam where the whole class failed except for 8 students. Six of those were Indians who sat next to each other and talked the whole exam; the graduate student there claimed he couldn't do anything except request they be quite because they weren't speaking English and therefore could not prove they were cheating. Odly enough, they got the only 6 A's in the class. I heard them talking afterwords and they divided the material up 6 ways and each became an expert in that area. While I can respect that as it at least required effort, it was hardly fair to the rest of us.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269122)

If you actually learned the material it shouldn't matter, you should still be able to pass the retake several weeks later. If on the other hand you were like so many students who crammed the information into their brain just long enough to disgorge it on the exam then I have little sympathy if you have to recram or get a significantly lower grade.

Re:Wow. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269238)

I'm proud to say that I never cheated even once as an undergrad or in grad school. I always pitied those who did, more than being angry at them, though. Most of them were only cheating themselves (especially in courses in their major, where they actually *needed* to learn the material). I knew one girl who threw her whole academic career away (not to mention tens of thousands in student loans) by cheating in grad school. They caught her late in the game and tossed her out. She lost everything, and all because she was too lazy to write her own papers or too stupid to know how (in which case, she should have saved her money and not went to grad school in the first place).

Wow, tell people to stay away from that college (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269268)

That college sucks. Let's see.

The college and the test bank fuck up and leak the test questions. As is to be expected, 1/3 of the students decide to cheat. I'm surprised that only 1/3 cheated, it seems that he should be happy, not disgusted. Not to mention that I wouldn't call using publicly available information to be cheating, but whatever, I wouldn't do it (in this case), so let's say that it is.

Then a person with no understanding of statistics (he gets the Monty Hall problem wrong during the lecture) tells us about statistics. And tells us how statistics will be used to catch the cheaters. Now, if he know statistics he would know that catching them is impossible. The false positives would be too many, and even one false positive is too much.

What's more, he fucks up everyone. Everyone has to redo the test, even if they didn't cheat, and there isn't any kind of compensation, and there isn't even an apology. In fact, they are forced to attend something at a specified time, whether they can or not. Not to mention the false positives who he would fuck up by destroying their academic life for no fucking reason.

So, fuck you, Richard Quinn, you're a fucktard and deserve to die, and your college sucks.

Re:Wow. (2, Funny)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269346)

People talk about studying and cheating. I got a 4 year degree without doing either, so I don't get it. Of course, it took me 5 years...

Re:Wow. (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268976)

So honest people have to do extra work, and cheaters get a second chance. What a great life lesson this school is teaching.

Re:Wow. (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269072)

It is a business course, and that's pretty much the central lesson of modern business.

Re:Wow. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269076)

Heh. It's about preparing you for real life.

Re:Wow. (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268880)

What surprises me is how emotional and "utterly disgusted" the professor was. Why? You are using standardised test provided by the publishers of the material. If you don't "know what the last 20 years was for", then change it. Make your own course material, with your own tests, and require students to show their work.

I understand this can undermine a colleges integrity, but I think it should. I think the students are absolutely wrong in this, and should be reprimanded, but on the other hand, I think this is symptomatic of the way Universities (especially the bigger ones) have a cattle mentality when it comes to students. Score one for the smaller institutions (although they aren't immune to this type of thing either).

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269316)

What surprises me is how emotional and "utterly disgusted" the professor was. Why?

Because 200(+) students lied to him and thought he was stupid enough never to notice. Back when I was a TA, after I graded a test, I had a student erase his incorrect answer, put in the correct answer, and tell me I made a mistake. I was livid. Still gets me angry thinking about it. It's a good thing I made a mention of _why_ his answer was wrong, and had photocopies.

False positive (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268500)

Perhaps the students admitted to avoid punishments due to them being identified as a falsepositive..

Re:False positive (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268566)


In criminal justice, the defendant least willing to engage in plea bargaining is usually the one who believes he has committed no crime. Here, where the stakes are far lower, I'd also expect non-cheaters to first off not think they'd be falsely accused, and defend themselves if they do get accused.

Re:False positive (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268640)

Also cheating is very common in college. I have no difficulty believing that that many of those kids were actually cheating. There was a mini-cheating scandal in one of my course almost 10 years ago, and about 2/3 of the students were implicated in it.

The professor also suffered some mild repercussions due to his methods of running the class, which allowed him to remain purposefully ignorant of said cheating.

Re:False positive (2, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268656)

The burden of proof in the case of faculty vs students is also much much lower..(if its against the student) And the stakes are the students degree, which is a pretty big thing it can be seen as paying a false speeding fine to avoid getting your DL cancelled

This happens all over the place (2, Interesting)

donutface (847957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268516)

Reminds me of what happened in my university. Some students thought it would be smart for their final 4th year projects to go onto a public forum and offer money for somebody to do the project for them. The university sent a public mail out offering for the students to turn themselves in and redo a different project over the summer (might have been capped at 40%) or else risk getting caught and not get a degree + be banned from all the universities in Ireland.

BS. Call his bluff. (2, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268530)

Only a sucker would come forward.

If he could identify you he would. He and the dean know that if they tried failing people based on "statistical evidence" the university would get its pants sued off.

Tell him to get back to working 20 hours a week for $130,000.

Re:BS. Call his bluff. (3, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268636)

Dear Cheating Students:

All of you who cheated, you're on the right track. For the exception of the students who admitted to the cheat and the ones who opened up their big mouths; please submit your resumes to:

Fortune 100 Big Corp.

Looking forward to having people that meet our character standards come aboard!.

P.S. For those of you who blabbed, check the Wall Street firms, they don't give a shit and they get away with just about anything.


Big Corp CEO

Re:BS. Call his bluff. (3, Insightful)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269326)

In spite of your Insightful mod ups you must have meant this as a "funny" post because if you think that the Fortune 100 would hire students known to cheat in college then you are fooling yourself.

Re:BS. Call his bluff. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269360)

No, he knew who they were. He and the Dean didn't want to lose the revenue from those students going forward. Best to make a scene, scare 150 straight, let 50 stay cheaters, and keep all their money.

In other news (0, Flamebait)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268532)

"Successfully cheating is the only part of the curriculum that has any relevance in the real world".
To bad these students hadn't advanced to "plausible deniability" yet.

Re:In other news (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268682)

"Successfully cheating is the only part of the curriculum that has any relevance in the real world".

So true...

Nothing new here (0)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268542)

If they were to do this for some of my classes they'd find a 100% cheating rate, is it just because we are lazy and can? Partially perhaps, but partially also because of absolutely horrible standard of the teachers and the quality of lectures. Having a dickhead read straight off a powerpoint slide with a voice fit for a text-to-speech app means people won't learn shit on the lecture, and then cheating may be more viable than actually studying the massive amount of materials on your own. This especially for courses that are just there as a filler and that 95% of the students won't use in their professional life.

If the schools realized that it's 2010, not 1810, and if teachers actually were a bit more passionated about learning than a corpse i'm certain cheating would drop a fair bit.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268712)

is it just because we are lazy and can

Yep. That's pretty much it. Collegiate teaching has been hit-and-miss for centuries; your lecturers aren't anything new.

Re:Nothing new here (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268888)


You're seriously trying to blame the professor for cheating? Seems to me that if it's "massive amount of materials," that's all the more motivation for you to actually learn the material.

Re:Nothing new here (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268972)

This is all rationalizing BS. It really depends on what you're really in college for. If you're in college to learn and better yourself, then cheating is idiotic because you're only screwing yourself over. If your lecturers are boring, then study the material on your own. Sure it's extra work, but it's worth it if you really care about your own education. I work a full time job and carry a full class load and I still find plenty of time to study enough on my own to do well in my classes, even the ones with boring lecturers. The secret is not to go out and get loaded every night like most college students do.

If, on the other hand, you're like these other morons who are apparently in college to drink, then studying is just a waste of your time. Cheat your ass off and get the degree your parents paid for without learning anything and devalue it for the rest of us who actually care about getting an education.

Re:Nothing new here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269270)

Awww... never get invited to any parties, do we?

Re:Nothing new here (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269274)

You've missed a very significant third option: those who are there with the (sole) hope of furthering their future career choices. At the end of the day it's perfectly possible that the A grade on their record is worth more to them than the material they may have learned. It may not be 'right' but it's perfectly logical. To that end, they may have a good grasp of the material (or they may not, it's true) but consider cheating a worthwhile risk since the final grade is really what matters to them. Sure, they should probably be at trade schools if that's their attitude, but the system doesn't work properly and a degree will serve them much better. I'm not saying they can get away without learning anything, and I doubt most of them would want to, just that the exceptional grades could help their CV percolate to the top of the heap, giving them a better chance to display the useful knowledge and skills that they did pick up.

Sure, you might get to a higher position faster if you spend those four years gaining experience rather than a degree, but you have less choice, and if you want/need to move career paths significantly in the future you're starting again from zero, whereas a widely applicable degree will gain you points in many industries.

Re:Nothing new here (4, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269052)

If the schools realized that it's 2010, not 1810, and if teachers actually were a bit more passionated about learning than a corpse i'm certain cheating would drop a fair bit.

I don't normally criticise people for language and grammar, since it is beside the point, but I think since you are criticising university teaching quality and seem to imply that you are a student on one, it is fair in this case. So, don't you mean to say something like "If teachers were a bit more passionate (note the form of the word) about teaching (teacher may learn, but they are supposed to teach)"? It would lend more credibility to your arguments if you didn't commit such sloppy errors.

Apart from that - this is a university you are talking about. You are supposed to be an adult, who takes responsibility for what you learn, at least to the extent that you read and try to understand the day's subject before the lecture, so you can pick up the presumably few points you didn't quite understand. Lectures are only meant to be a minor part of your effort, so I think your rant is misplaced.

Sad (2, Insightful)

brycethorup (1682864) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268548)

This just shows me how sad of a state our society is in, when we have to pander to cheats and liars simply because there are so many. For the record, if I were that professor I would've had all their butts thrown out of school. It would've been a good example to the rest.

Re:Sad (1)

cranky_chemist (1592441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268702)

Apparently you've never been involved in a disciplinary proceeding at a university. I'm not familiar with the rules at UCF in particular, but at almost every school students are entitled to a certain level of due process. At a minimum, it probably means a hearing before a disciplinary committee. That process can take several hours for each case, and that's just referring to the hearing itself--not counting the hours of prep time (assembling documentation, etc.) on the part of the person filing the complaint (the faculty member, in this case). On top of that, most universities allow for an appeal if the committee finds wrongdoing. That's several more hours. Multiply all of this by 200, and you can easily see why the instructor saw dragons in them thar hills.

Re:Sad (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268794)

Not to mention the students pay the university. 200*semester tuition = much money

Re:Sad (2, Interesting)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268734)

UCF probably doesn't have an honor code that would let him throw them out.

Awesome. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268556)

This guy rocks. All the anger should be directed at the cheaters who thought themselves too smart to be caught.

Watch the stats change when the cheaters get lousy marks.

Good (1)

HunterA3 (553453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268570)

For a country full of people trying to get rich quick by appearing in reality TV shows, or cheating their way to a degree so they can do the same up the corporate food chain, I'm glad to see someone cash the reality check of those that think there's a shortcut that can be taken to success. I'm equally glad to see that he didn't destroy these students futures as well . Lets just hope that they take advantage of the moral lesson they have been presented with, and I hope others take note too. Hard work and honesty may not be the easiest thing to do, but it pays off in the end and still allows you to look at yourself in the mirror each day.

Ethics aside... How? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268576)

I have no problem believing that so many students would cheat, if they had half a chance to do so.

I don't quite get (nor does TFA adequately explain) how such a large number had that chance to cheat, however - And on a midterm exam, at that? What, did he hand them out and leave the room?

Re:Ethics aside... How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268694)

You mean you went to a college where they stayed in the room when you took tests? Our college stressed the concept of honor, so the profs always left the room. Can't say I ever remember seeing anyone cheat on exams, either -- which is not to say it never happened, but it wasn't blatant (unlike, for instance, in "Spies Like Us".)

Re:Ethics aside... How? (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268788)

He mentions a question bank in the video. The publishers of many textbooks will often publish a set of test questions that professors can sample to use on their exams. Of course, it's common knowledge that these question banks are out there and available with enough digging / a single Google search, but many professors continue to use them. So whether the exam was proctored or not, the students allegedly had access to the questions and answers before the exam. Maybe they didn't know exactly which questions would be asked, and they would still have had to memorize the answers (assuming they didn't bring the Q & A sheets in with them to use during the exam), but that's still cheating.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268950)

There's a resource out there, readily available, consisting of practice questions suited to the material and level of the course, and they expect students not to use it?

Sometimes, it is too easy to cheat ... (2, Interesting)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268778)

Some of the professors at universities are extremely research focused, and do not place sufficient attention on undergraduate teaching. In one class, the teacher scheduled five midterms. After each midterm, he would hand out the answers to the midterm after the test.

Very quickly, the procedure switched to leaving the answers at the front of the class, so people could pick up their answers on the way out of class. It is a boring to invigilate a mid-term, so the professor quit showing up at the midterms. Similarly, the T.A.'s left.

By the third midterm, the answers were passed around - during the exam. Someone complained to the Dean about this, and considerable efforts were made to reform undergraduate teaching.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268830)

Probably didn't make a new exam. Old exam banks are common for people with the right connections.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (4, Informative)

cranky_chemist (1592441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268884)

According to this news piece, [] , the instructor used exam questions supplied by the publisher. Apparently, the test bank the instructor was drawing the questions from had been released into the wild and some of the students found copies online.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (0)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268928)

From what I can tell, the questions from the exam were taken from a bank of pre-written questions provided by the publisher of the textbook used on the course. This test bank was leaked.
Now as far as I am aware, this is an American thing. As a UK university graduate (engineering degree) as far as I was aware all exam questions were written by the professors teaching the course.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269296)

From my own experience, I know this practice is used by several lecturers in the UK. It depends heavily on the subject.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269064)

In the video he stated that he had used an exam bank to create the test. The first piece of evidence he really had, outside of statistical testing, was when someone anonymously dropped off the test bank at his office. One person found it, then it went viral.

He said later on in the video that he had contacted all of the other professors at UCF, and all of the publishers that he dealt with and let them know that the exam banks were all compromised. Hopefully this incident "ruined it" for other cheaters elsewhere at the university or around the country.

This goes to show you, though, that if you know something that is extremely beneficial to you and you don't object to it morally, don't tell anyone. Whether it's a good fishing hole or a test bank, some things lose their value as more people find out about them.

Re:Ethics aside... How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269308)

That happened to me once. I forget what class but hte teacher left hte room for hte duration of a test. EVERYONE was whispering.

Bluffing? (4, Insightful)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268590)

I imagine he had suspicions that many students had cheated, but did he actually have the means to generate the proof? Maybe this was all an impressive bluff. He couldn't pin it on everyone he wanted to, but by making it look like he could, he forced everyone into a difficult position. They could either fold and potentailly pass the class, or hope he was talking out his ass. After all, what you know doesn't neccessarily matter. Instead, what everyone thinks you know matters.

Re:Bluffing? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268790)

He was using statisical analysis. It's fairly easy to get a 90% certain detection of most forms of cheating. Most people won't consider that sufficient proof to convict a criminal, but it is surely sufficient to mail a letter to parents and require a re-rest.

If you know the answers before hand without learning the material, then you are less likely to to know which questions are harder and which are easier, and very likely to get the easy ones wrong and the hard ones right. At the same time if everyone is given the same answers then the pattern of wrong vs right is fairly obvious again.

Re:Bluffing? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269158)

Yea and it only screws over 1 in 10 people.

And what the hell is with the "letter to your parents" BS. When I was in school you got your ass kicked out for cheating and your parents were only a part of it if they were going to back a truck full of money up to a loading dock to keep you in school.

Re:Bluffing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268838)

I am near the end of a statistics course right now and we just went over how statistical analysis can identify cheating quite surprisingly accurately. You take some data, do a simple calculation, and get a result that can say, for example, that cheating occurred in a specific case with 99.7% certainty or 99% certainty, 95% certainty, or whatever. 95% certainty is commonly used in the real world, but for things where more certainty is advisable (e.g. testing of new drugs, ruining a student's life by falsely accusing them of cheating, etc) a higher certainty threshold is used, which is harder to get but by definition leaves you more certain.

Re:Bluffing? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268952)

That's the EXACT thing I was thinking. Statistics are a wonderful thing, but it's not an exact science. At most he could, as he said, deduce that a significant amount of cheating was going on from the statistics. But mathematically narrowing it down to names? With enough certainly to get someone kicked out of school? Fat chance. At best I'm sure they were/are hoping to get students to rat about who exactly else bought/sold/traded the test bank answers. If it was someone online for download though, and you weren't opening your mouth about it, then my guess is you had nothing to worry about. This was a bluff.

Heck I'm at a bit of a loss on how this is cheating anyways. It ain't plaigarism, and they presumably weren't taking a cheat-sheet into the exam. To me this is more just a matter of finding a pretty kick-ass study guide.

Happened in one of my CompSci classes a decade ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268618)

This happens more frequently than you think - see IRS amnesty for foreign bank accounts or my town's amnesty for constructions without permit.

One my my Comp Sci professors gave the same offer - you get an F if you are identified to have cheated on exam, or come clean, retake the exam, and you get a 90% of your grade.

Experienced a similar sitatuation (1)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268624)

When I was in university, we had to submit a paper for one of our accounting classes. Naturally, many students didn't reference a few of their citations since they had met the minium required. (Myself included.) At the end of the following class, the professor informed us that he KNEW who had plagiarised portions of their papers. If we didn't turn ourselves in, we would be reported to the dean. Naturally, the entire class turned themselves in. He wasn't thrilled when the entire class lined up outside of his office to point out which minor excerpts we had taken as our own without proper referencing. Turned out only 2-3 people had plagiarised their entire papers. I wish he had done a better job wording his announcement. Would've saved everyone a lot of time.

While I'm sure several students did cheat, everyone who so much as glanced around or thinks they may be suspected of cheating will turn themselves in to avoid worse consequences.

Re:Experienced a similar sitatuation (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269380)

I remember having a professors look at me oddly for including a large bibliographies with my papers. They'd even say, "I only needed X number of cited references".

My reply, of course, was that it was necessary to specify my references, lest it would be plagiarism.

Although I shouldn't be, I continue to be surprised by how persistent plagiarism is, how *used* to it professors are, and how horribly terrible people are at writing.

welp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268676)

Well , he's wrong that the days of cheating are over.

I love it when cheaters are in my interview chair. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268732)

Let's see you cheat you way through a technical interview loop, kid.

What I learned from this video, I already knew (1)

quietwalker (969769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268774)

- If you're going to cheat, you should attempt to not get caught.
- The more people that know, the more likely you're going to get caught.
Therefore, cheating only works when it's a small number of people who can keep a secret. Preferably one.

When you use the Textbook samples test or reuse th (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268786)

When you use the Textbook samples test or reuse the same test year after year. This is what you get when some one passes it out.

200 Students doing real cheating seems unlikely and makes it seem like they just studied the sample test.

Re:When you use the Textbook samples test or reuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269368)

I am a university level teacher (not professor, no phd yet), I have to say, I am NOT impressed with the teacher. We are in a system where grades are the currency, not learning. I caught cheaters, I think most teachers have. Some basic rules: students are smart and resourceful, if they can, they will cheat. Students don't cheat if you make it more of an effort for them to cheat than to study. Compare it to game piracy. the teacher effectively put DRM on everyone.

my solution: open book, open Internet, open computer exams in a closed environment with hand made exams that I personally wrote and printed 12 hours before the exam.
It requires a bit more of an effort on the teacher's part than taking what is provided, but the students prefer it and it is a LOT more reflective of "real world" tests they will face.

How many times has your boss said "Shirley, no book, no internet, solve these theoretical questions, you have 90 minutes and so help me god if you don't use a #2 pencil, I will commit unspeakable acts!"

really? (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268832)

Test bank? Who uses test banks? I don't know a single professor in my department (computer science) who doesn't write their own tests. I guess that's just a business school thing?

I also don't think it's possible to know who cheated, just how many.

Re:really? (1)

brownerthanu (1084341) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268994)

There are a number of statistical approaches to determine who cheated. For instance, find people whose midterm grade is an anomaly compared to the rest of their grades. Next, look for particular patterns of questions that the cheaters got right, compared to those who didn't. Use a pattern matching algorithm to find to tease apart the bimodality of the grade distribution. There would be some students for which it is nearly certain that they cheated, and other for which it would be more uncertain. The students with higher average grades would have a better shot at arguing against having cheated, but the poor students would be sniffed out immediately.

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269190)

This teacher is just lazy and now he's blaming it on his students. It's practically entrapment to use test questions that have been published .

How did they get the answers? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268862)

Don't tell me this guy reused old tests or had sloppy security.

You're telling me this guy has taught for 21 years and was blindsided by the oldest, most common cheating vector?

Too easy on 'em.... (1)

Dr. Crash (237179) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268910)

What I don't understand is why he's so easy on 'em. He's giving the cheaters a four-hour slap on the wrist and no permanent record.

What I would have done (and did; I taught college level computer engineering) is that cheating, if caught, is an automatic zero credit on whatever you cheated on.)

My conclusion is that their forensics is full of holes and they have absolutely no clue who cheated and who didn't; there's no other reason to offer such a tremendously good amnesty deal.

I like my comp sci instructor's approach.. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269106)

If you get caught cheating in his class, he immediately fails you, reports you to Academic Honesty, and does everything in his power to make sure you do NOT work in Computer Science.

By contrast, in the "comp sci for non comp sci majors" (how to use MS Office) in which the professor refuses to fail anyone. Catch the same ring of cheaters several times in a row, they just get 60% on each of the assignments they cheated on.

Typical for UCF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268914)

When I was a CS major at UCF, everyone cheated constantly.

I was probably one of the few people who didn't copy programs or do group work. This is not only the CS classes, but pretty much all science and math.

On the other hand, 2/3's of the professors barely spoke English (it was definitely their second language), and had zero teaching ability, so I can't really blame the cheaters.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268916)

imho this is nothing but FUD. you cant possibly get the cheaters from statistics only.

and making such a drama about cheating is a bit... overreacting.

Nice way to deal with a poor algorithm (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268926)

A statistical approach will give false negatives and false positives. This method will have much better accuracy. So much so in fact that the statistical analysis isn't even needed. He could just claim that he knows how many have cheated, threaten those who don't confess and see if they cal his bluff.

Are you feeling lucky?

Why not just study the material? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268942)

It's like a whole different kind of cheating.

WHAT?! They get off!? (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268978)

What kind of deal is this? If they turn themselves in, they get to complete the course? That is absolutely ridiculous. If they cheated, they fail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Christ, they SHOULD be expelled.

There is no such thing as cheating (1, Flamebait)

nilbog (732352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268988)

There is no such thing as cheating, only getting creative with your sources. The real world, whatever your career will be, relies on the same behavior that is punished in school that they call "cheating."

Re:There is no such thing as cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269156)

>> There is no such thing as cheating, only getting creative with your sources
there is being honest and not being honest.
>> The real world
the real world is whatever we make it. or do you like to pretend your behavior doesn't play a part in that, and then you don't have to take any responsibility for your actions?

Re:There is no such thing as cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269220)

There is no such thing as cheating, only getting creative with your sources. The real world, whatever your career will be, relies on the same behavior that is punished in school that they call "cheating."

Riiight. I guess you don't want much "real world" sports.

Re:There is no such thing as cheating (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269258)

The real world, whatever your career will be, relies on the same behavior that is punished in school that they call "cheating."

That's what I told my wife, but she tossed me out anyway! Oh! Ding dong!

Re:There is no such thing as cheating (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269266)

Right. Why learn that 2+2=4 when you can just look at the guy's paper next to you? Learning is such a joke.

I once had a teacher that assigned ridiculous amounts of homework, and whenever students complained he explained how they were learning to prioritize their time and work hard. I pointed out to him that it was a calculus class, but he didn't seem to agree his lessons weren't relevent.

Re:There is no such thing as cheating (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269318)

There is some truth to that, but a shitty attitude like that is the reason there are so many incompetent middle-managers and so few real achievers out there. Somebody has to actually do the work, and that means getting properly educated.

Let's take all measures to prevent cheaters from passing, and then only the truly gifted "creative" folks will succeed in cheating. If they're good enough to pull it off, their skills are probably genuinely worth something. Otherwise, I don't want to encourage a shitty system to be responsible for a shitty workforce full of shitty shysters.

What does he teach . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269092)

Being that I did EE & CS, and dabbled in a lot of literature courses at a top university, I was wondering what he taught. In any of the exams that I took, it would have been impossible to cheat, and we had an "Honor Code," so the profs didn't even bother to check. TFA didn't mention what Dr. Quinn taught, so I googled him. He in a member of the faculty in the Department of Management.

Management? Cheating? Sounds about right. Actually, he should give all those cheaters high grades; they seem to understand what management is all about.

Getting access to the exam beforehand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269094)

I know a professor who was teaching a class at his university where the exam (I think it was the midterm) questions got leaked one week or so prior to the exam day. So the questions get spread around and the students coordinate to subtlety ask for help of similar questions to get answers (there was 4 or 5 teachers for that class, so they only had to ask one of them per teacher, and they asked other questions at the same time to prevent suspicion).

However, a few days before the exams, some students went to the teachers to tell them of the leak. So, the teachers burn the midnight oil to write totally questions.

Well, that would be the end of the story on how cheating was prevented. But, the most outrageous is that, after going through the rewritten exams, some students dared to complain to the teachers that "it was the wrong exam"... It must take some guts to come to a teacher and complain to them that they prevented you from cheating...

I used to procotor for one of my Profs. (5, Interesting)

retech (1228598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269102)

First test (that I'd taken 2 yrs prior) I realized over half of the 180 students cheated. I told him and he could not believe it was possible. So instead of proving it I devised a new test. 3 identical looking exams with 3 entirely different answer keys. Most of the students were using a key person to cheat from. About 4 people were getting the (live) answers from 1 person. With the new test I did nothing to stop the cheating. The questions were all entirely fresh as well. Nothing was brought into the exam room. The class had a normal pas/fail slope on the first exam. On the second 64% failed with less than 25% correct. 20% more got less than 70% correct. So 16% of the class comfortably passed the exam. The professor was outraged. I just thought it was funny. When many of them protested I simply showed them the results to prove who they cheated off and explained they were more than encouraged to go to the administration with the results.


SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269138)

I cheated once. 't Was for a really crappy course on business administration during my CS study. Worst teacher I ever witnessed. Multiplied that by the un-interestingness of the subject and you get the incentive as to "why?"
No regrets here. I never needed anything that was mentioned in the course. I'm happy to say that I'll never be the BA god some people can be. OTOH, I'm not too shabby on my CS skills, which is what I wanted to study in the first place.

Mr. Quinn did make a huge effort into securing the required level. He also was more than pretty fair to the students. He has my respect.

Business Majors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34269152)

How is the professor surprised by this? Has he ever met business majors let alone businessmen?

Prof is a compleat idiot (1, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269184)

Prof too lazy to write his own tests (and don't give me any shit about how this is how they all do it; the prof is responsible for the test content, including the security of it, period)? Check.

Prof too morally lazy and incompetent to stand up to cheaters by identifying them and getting them kicked out? Check

Prof too stupid to realize that relying on the security of a "test bank" (or anything like it) is foolhardy beyond belief? Check.

Prof too ethically incompetent to realize that punishing the ones who did right along with the guilty is an act more despicable than the original cheating? Check.

Prof too full of himself to realize that his emotional reaction is entirely innapropriate? Check.

Prof too incomeptent to realize that changing the rules midstream is an unforgivable breaking of a contract, something no one in a business school should countenance when there are already established procedures for dealing with cheaters? Check.

I'm not even going to try to list all the WTF moments in that vid. If somebody wants to go to the trouble, there are at least a half-dozen quotes that are absolute howlers.

What's really going on here? Off the top of my head, I can come up with two theories. Maybe the prof was pressured not to turn them all over for discipline because the uni higher-ups didn't want all the hassles and potential litigation. Or maybe he's bluffing and doesn't really have a perfect idea of who did and didn't cheat.

Either way, if I was in his class, didn't cheat, and was forced to come back to do the re-test, the physical violence I'd direct toward this idiot would track with whatever I had to give up. If he made me miss the birth of my son or the funeral of my mother, I'd beat the bastard to death. If he made me miss a date with some chick I didn't really care about, perhaps a stern email would suffice.

This situation is screwed up no matter how you look at it. I hope a whole bunch of students are demanding their money back from that institution. And I hope this idiot either decides to start educating, i.e. working directly with students, writing their tests, etc., or, better yet, gets the hell out of the business.

One "inB4" for the people who will be anxious to point out that I obviously went to university far too long ago to understand the modern, high-volume business of churning out sheepskins for job-seekers - You're absolutely right. My ignorance, however, still doesn't excuse the idiocy of this prof's actions.

Test Bank (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269202)

Hmm. This isn't so cut and dry. It seems that the midterm was using questions over again from previous tests, and some students had access to the previous tests. At my school, PSU, in the engineering department, this was fair game. In fact, the Engineering Library even had some old tests on file. Old tests and previous course notes were valuable study tools. That being said since it was engineering, we didn't generally have multiple choice style test.

If the teacher was lazy enough to use the same questions over and over, well then I guess he got what he deserved.

Come on (1)

Alkonaut (604183) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269230)

I'd be offended if my morality was questioned because I had seen a test beforehand. I don't filter information based on what I should be able to know. I wouldn't steal the information from the professor to pass the test, but if someone handed me a copy of the test beforehand, I'd read it, not throw it away, and I wouldn't be ashamed.

Also, I expect the university where I pay tuition to work for my money, for example by not re-using publishers standard tests but instead writing new tests. Is the morality of the university and their corner-cutting re-use of tests even in question here?

Cheating can be fun (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269240)

I had math classes were we could have calculators but not a page of equations/identities. I developed a private code to store, say, a list of trig identities in a format only I could read. Thank you HP-41 and your alphanumeric storage. :) There were no worries because I never had a teacher who knew how to recall stuff like that from the calculator to check, and the HP-41 was relatively new.

This is EXTREMELY common today (1)

CodePwned (1630439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269292)

Especially among fraternities and sororities. While originally these groups would keep older tests, which is NOT against the student code, access to test banks... that's all of the possible questions AND correct answers... is not only unethical... but illegal as they were obtained under false pretenses.

When I was in college I knew of two frats who had access to almost all of the test banks from the college of textiles at NC State. At the time I really didn't understand what it meant as I wasn't part of those frats. I thought that just meant they had access to older tests etc. There were several professors who didn't really care about this... because they didn't use multiple choice tests. Everything was short answer and they changed their questions every time. Sometimes they would have similar questions but different values etc.

That's the problem today with courses like this... too many people and multiple choice does equal to quality education. Students are pushed hard to memorize, not learn, information in 101 classes like these because noone wants to take the time to read answers. It's very frustrating.

I have never used a test bank to "cheat" from... but I have used older tests which some professors think was the same as cheating.

So how did he work it out? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34269348)

The article is rather short on details.

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