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Survey Finds Cheating Among Students At All GPA Levels

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bad-at-learning-means-bad-at-learning-how-to-cheat dept.

Education 333

An anonymous reader writes "Over a third of undergraduate students admitted to some form of cheating at one of America's top research universities, according to a survey published November in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics (abstract). The researchers expected to find more cheating among the top-performing group — and at the minimum at least some students with excellent grades cheated. Not so. As it turned out, the overall cheating rate was similar to that found in other studies, but the types of cheating and stated reasons for cheating were all over the map. Researchers uncovered one trend among the cheaters: the perception that teaching assistants either ignored or didn't care about cheating."

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Academic Steriods (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979068)

Not to mention that many students use adderall and other amphetimines, even methamphetamine as study aids, especially during finals and almost always without prescription.

It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, too. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979190)

Anyone who has been at an American university any time within the past 20 years will know that many of the students are not actually Americans. Many of them are from overseas, often from third-world countries.

They often come from a very different academic culture, where cheating is seen as perfectly acceptable. While Americans doing it at least know it's wrong, these others don't even give it a second thought. Not seeing anything wrong with cheating, they're also the ones who bitch and moan the loudest when they get caught.

American academic institutions need to start punishing these students as hard as possible. Don't even give them "three strikes". If they get caught cheating one, they should be booted from the institution and sent back home.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979284)

"They often come from a very different academic culture, where cheating is seen as perfectly acceptable."

Yep, it's the ungodly heathens. Americans don't cheat as much, because they are too dumb to go to college.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979324)

"They often come from a very different academic culture, where cheating is seen as perfectly acceptable."

Yep, it's the ungodly heathens. Americans don't cheat as much, because they are too dumb to go to college.

The best exams are the Open Book ones - yes, you can see answers in front of you, but your grade is based upon your understanding - if you don't already get it, you don't have enough time during the exam to read the entire book over.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (2)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979502)

I'm so glad that the real world is open book.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979572)

I'm so glad that the real world is open book.

It's really the best way - discourages lazy exam creation and shows how resourceful the student is in the subject matter.

I'm a conceptual learner, always had difficulty with memorising everything. Once I have the concept down pat, I can go seek the help I need from references. If I do not understand the concept, no number of references is ever going to bail me out.

I've certainly seen some "gifted" students hit the wall, face-on when expected to think through a problem, because they only memorized enough to fill in blanks they knew were coming.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979416)

"They often come from a very different academic culture, where cheating is seen as perfectly acceptable."

Yep, it's the ungodly heathens. Americans don't cheat as much, because they are too dumb to go to college.

Perhaps because the cheaters here on academic visas have all the seats?

A problem easily solved, as already stated - expulsion upon the first incident of cheating.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979300)

As a TA, I caught people cheating. Reported it to the professor in charge. Who gave them zeros for the assignment and a letter in their file. No other punishment. They all appealed. Someone even brought in a lawyer. When the lawyer heard an appeal would result in a new and potentially worse punishment, he dropped the appeal. Most people admitted to cheating during the appeal hearing. It was a nightmare for me. I learned my lesson and never caught anyone cheating again.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (2)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979306)

Some pretty jingoistic racist shit, about foreigners seeing nothing wrong with cheating.

Citation needed.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979346)

Some pretty jingoistic racist shit, about foreigners seeing nothing wrong with cheating.

Citation needed.

While I won't cite anything, there is plenty of evidence of Bribes required in many cultures - these aren't new practices, but harken to the days when they may have been viewed as Tribute. What are you to make of such a culture, where a little dishonesty is the norm?

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979478)

Bribes aren't cheating on a test. In fact, it's typically done to dodge a "test". I will grant you though, that there are some cultures where bribes are expected. There are also cultures where the government is overthrown in a violent revolution every 50 or so years, and the rebels under the banner of "We're fighting corruption!" soon become just as corrupt and vengeful as the people they were replacing.

But then none of this is academic dishonesty.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979380)

It's not racist or jingoist to point out a phenomena that people from different nations often have different cultural and value systems. You certainly can't pretend to know the motives of the poster either, that is just as bad as the prejudice that you ascribe to him to begin with.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (2)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979548)

"It's not sexist to say that women are bad drivers. Look at the roads, all crashes are caused by women drivers. I'm just speaking the truth, so it isn't sexist."

"It's not racist to say that black people aren't achieving success because they're lazy. They have a culture that frowns upon academic performance, and doing well at a job. I'm just speaking the truth, so it isn't sexist."

The problem with these statements is that they are dubious and not the "self-evident truth" that the commenter would have one believe. Thus, the "citation needed". Because he's making a generalized claim on a stereotype that foreigners are raised to be dishonest cheaters. This claim is also dubious, and it deserves to be challenged as racist, and jingoistic.

Now, sorry, it could be that a person highly respected in population studies, and with academic or at least scientific credibility did a study, and found that this was actually a true statement, and published a peer-reviewed paper about it to rave criticism. And so he just popped onto this here Slashdot, and anonymously posted something that without proper citation and backing would be clearly racist.

Of course, that requires inventing a pretty crazy outlandish entity with odd and unusual methods. I may as well believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or any of the number of gods that have graced human mythology.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979722)

Now, sorry, it could be that a person highly respected in population studies, and with academic or at least scientific credibility did a study, and found that this was actually a true statement.

Controversial studies are done all the time(nature vs. nurture, indicators of success, and intelligence with respect to race) but they're kept hidden or put on the media's back-burner because they're too dangerous for a touchy-feely culture. The fact that stereotypes are often offensive does not mean that they are the exception rather than the rule.

Speaking of stereotypes, I know what you need - you need me to feed you Ben and Jerry's Ice cream while massaging your callused feet, building up the foreplay while we watch Law and Order and discus what pigs men are. You want to cuff me to the bed and slap me around for being the naughty boy that I am. Oh Yeah, give it to me, baby!

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979578)

Not sure why you need a citation when it's something you can witness with your own eyes.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (2)

Hotweed Music (2017854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979718)

You realize this is not a counter-argument, and she has not benefited from you saying this?

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979336)

*Cough* Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and Middle-eastern students *cough* are the worst offenders. These students think they're entitled to cheat because they paid significantly more than American students (especially true for public schools). Agree on the first-strike rule.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979696)

Some UK universities reported a problem when I was doing my PhD that relatively rich people in south-east asia would hire someone to do a degree for their son. This person would turn up, enrol in the son's name, do all of the course, and then send home the degree certificate. The son would then get a job with none of the knowledge or understanding that they were supposed to have and people would complain to the university. A few got caught because the employers sent photographs and they didn't match the ones in the student database, but it's difficult to spot.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (5, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979342)

Since you posted AC I just wanted to echo what you said. I'm at a Computer Science graduate school where 90% of the students are Chinese. The other day in class homework was due, and I saw students copying homework in class, just passing it down the row. They all turned it in at the end of class. Best part is, the TAs are all Chinese grad students as well, and are friends with the students. The professor didn't even come to the exam, and the Chinese TAs were almost overtly helping their friends cheat on the exam. It was absolutely infuriating. I saw it in my undergrad too, but there it was Indians. It just seems like something that these people aren't taught.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979558)

Since you posted AC I just wanted to echo what you said. I'm at a Computer Science graduate school where 90% of the students are Chinese. The other day in class homework was due, and I saw students copying homework in class, just passing it down the row. They all turned it in at the end of class. Best part is, the TAs are all Chinese grad students as well, and are friends with the students. The professor didn't even come to the exam, and the Chinese TAs were almost overtly helping their friends cheat on the exam. It was absolutely infuriating. I saw it in my undergrad too, but there it was Indians. It just seems like something that these people aren't taught.

Just based on raw percentage (I don't have statistics on this), it is very competitive amongst foreigners to get into an American university (especially without any on-shore academic experience). Perhaps a larger percentage of these students cheated to get to the top and come here?

I didn't witness much cheating when I was in school, but I have seen grad students who seem to barely be able to write a hello-world app.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979612)

Personally I wouldn't worry about it too much. Eventually they'll have to do a thesis or dissertation and there's no way they can easily cheat their way through that. If you really dislike them that much, show up to their defense and give them some tough questions, especially if they've done shit work. Really I feel as though anyone cheating is only cheating themselves, especially in graduate school.

I recall one of the professors from my undergrad made three separate versions of his tests that had some very subtle changes. The problems were all very similar, but some of the tests would have problems involving variable n, whereas others used m. You'd also see things such as 6 instead of 8, and the exam questions in a slightly different order. If he suspected that a large amount of the class was cheating, he'd use the modified exams, catch a bunch of people and fail them on that exam, which pretty much limited their ability to get anything better than a C in the class, especially if they had no idea how to do the work themselves.

Re:It's not just drugs. Sometimes it's culture, to (2)

Toam (1134401) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979598)

There is some truth to this. I teach at an Australian university, and there are a number of people from specific cultural backgrounds who try this every year, because they come from somewhere that, what we regard as, plagiarism is acceptable.

I completely disagree with the "don't give them any chances, just send them packing". This is ludicrous. We catch a lot of these guys out (a lot of them are REALLY stupid and I actually feel embarrassed for them when we do catch them out) and, most of the time, pulling them up on it and explaining the rules to them sorts out the problem. You will always get a small minority who will try to work the system no matter what, but it is exactly that: a small minority.

It's easy to get indignant about it, but if they come from a culture which has different views on what plagiarism is at what point are they supposed to have this explained to them? It seems pretty unfair to let these students come into the university, pay their fees, and then throw them out when they break the rules that they were not aware of. Yes, you can find the university policy on academic misconduct etc if you dig through the website enough, but having the rules buried in some difficult-to-find legal document is hardly sufficient*

*Yes, I am aware that this is exactly how the "real world" works

Re:Academic Steriods (3, Insightful)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979246)

Yeah, these should be HUGE red flags that something has gone far, far awry with our education system. Students using performance enhancing drugs for quizzes and tests instead of football games? Really? It would be unheard of and appalling just a few decades ago. Now its practically accepted common practice.

If ALL the students in a class feel they have to take performance enhancing drugs just to keep up, then we are putting students into an exceptionally damaging and destructive learning environment. This is going to have untold many negative consequences to our society and these students later in life.

Classes barely teach anymore, they're just practice for test taking.

Re:Academic Steriods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979532)

Yeah, these should be HUGE red flags that something has gone far, far awry with our education system. Students using performance enhancing drugs for quizzes and tests instead of football games? Really?

So why is it more ok or more expected that students would use performance-enhancing drugs for athletic competition (to get/keep scholarships, and to improve their odds of playing professionally) than for academic competition (to get/keep scholarships, and to improve their odds of employment)? It looks like the same thing to me -- at least amphed-up grad students produce more research, benefiting society. Not that entertainment isn't worth something to society as well, but I don't see how football actually becomes more entertaining because both sides are drugged up.

Re:Academic Steriods (4, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979580)

Those are unrelated?

Sports: athletes use [illegal, or at the very least, not allowed in the league] drugs to improve their performance. Only problems occur if they get caught.

Kids follow sports. And drug usage things. Apparently, it's ok - unless you get caught. Why NOT use them in academics then?

Perhaps the real issue is that we don't value "work" and "learning" and such. I went through school; I took no drugs, I was extremely busy, and I got good grades. I learned a lot. I didn't just practice test taking.

The people I knew that used caffeine a lot either (1) worked all the time to support themselves while going to school or (2) generally partied/goofed off until the night before the test, at which time they pulled an all-nighter. Group #2 was significantly larger than #1. I actually only knew one person I'd put into group #1.

I don't think we can simply assume that students are doing the drug thing in order to "keep up" because they can't otherwise. I have met tons of students who pass off education as unnecessary, worthless, stupid, and a waste of time. It's not shocking that grades would be lower and drugs would be used as "study aids" ... as a substitute for the real "study aid," known as "time."

Re:Academic Steriods (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979590)

More likely than not the people who are taking these drugs are using them because the spend the rest of their time partying and socializing, not just to compete on an even playing ground. The people who budget their time properly and take their education seriously still end up with As. The people who want to party all week and take drugs to do better on the test end up with a C. Perhaps without the drugs they would have completely failed. But it's not like in sports where the drugs are creating super humans that people who play by the rules can't compete with.

Re:Academic Steriods (1)

Toam (1134401) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979642)

While I don't pretend to know much about the American system, I doubt that it is ALL students doing that. Further, I suspect that you will find that the problem starts with high school not sufficiently preparing students for university. However, since universities need students in order to exist, if the students applying are of lower standard, then the university is eventually going to lower its standards in order to keep its student numbers up.

Re:Academic Steriods (-1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979706)

Look back far enough and you'll discover the key ingredient in coca cola was... :)

People will always be people, it's just what comes to the surface that changes in these matters.

I'd probably have to say something if I saw a bunch of Indians who probably gave me dirty looks all year, sharing answers amongst themselves and that would sort the problem out eventually whether they remain in the class or not. I don't encourage snitching by any means, but that doesn't mean anybody should be allowed to step on your head on their way to the top.

Remember, these are the same people you may have to work with and rely upon in the future, nobody should get what they don't deserve -- cheating and not getting caught is a whole different skill though, ingenuity rates highly in my book.

Imagine that (1)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979074)

Students cheating and getting higher grades.

Re:Imagine that (4, Interesting)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979108)

Yep, of course they don't care. University is not really about grades, but forming skills for later in life.

If the skills you want to form mainly involve fraud and deception rather than forging the framework for your life ahead, then they aren't going to work hard for $10/hr to ty and catch you so that you can further develop those skills.

Re:Imagine that (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979136)

But what if they are planning on going into politics? :)

Re:Imagine that (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979296)

Then you punish them if they get caught. Works out the same for everyone, actually.

Not so. (2)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979238)

Students cheating and getting higher grades.

yet the headline says cheating occurs at all GPA levels. So unless cheating is so sporadic (i.e. negligible) that it does not alter your GPA then this seems to suggest that cheating has as much chance of raising your GPA as lowering it. that is, on average it does not work, but the average is composed of individuals it "helped" and those that it "hurt" in terms of GPA.

Re:Not so. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979318)

Or, rather, that it raises everyone's GPA the same amount, or would if it wasn't for the curves most classes grade on. In any decently taught class, exam questions should be made so that cheating has only a minimal effect anyways (it's rather harder to cheat on essay questions, for instance, than multiple choice concept ones.)

Re:Not so. (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979620)

Pretty much correct. I knew someone who cheated on homeworks... basically copied all the answers. Then the test comes around and she realized she didn't actually know much of anything and ended up failing it. So she did well on the homeworks but failed the exam. Probably would have been better off not cheating at all.

How much of the cheater is in the filler classes? (1, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979082)

How much of the cheater is in the filler classes?

How meany class is there cheating where just the final test is the grade?

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979212)

Out of 11 posts you have already posted 3. All of which are painful to read. Slow down and think about what you want to say or scoot closer to whomever you are cheating off of.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979242)

A little off topic, but there's no such thing as a filler class. Only people who don't realize the full value of a well rounded education seem to consider breadth courses as a waste of time. At a time I did too, but instead of going into those classes with a bad attitude I went in and learned as much as possible. Sure I wasn't interested in things like social psychology, medieval history or graphic media, but I can talk with a lot more people about topics they're interested in because of taking courses like that.

And at most schools, if you have enough foresight you can craft your breadth courses to reinforce your major. One of my history courses I could take for my Physics breadth requirements just happened to be about the ethics of the Manhattan project... something every physicist should have to learn.

Regardless, people who choose to only expose themselves to a single subject or viewpoint are almost universally boring or close minded, or some combination of the two.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979356)

some people cheat on the history courses or off breadth courses so they have the time to work there main courses? Why wastes time of that 10+ page history paper when you have a big work load on your main courses.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979490)

You usually only take one breadth course a semester. It's not that big a deal. In my experience people who complain they don't have enough time really mean they don't know how to properly manage their time and prioritize their life. I dual majored in physics and computer engineering at at top ten university and worked part time on the side and yet managed to find time to write history papers. People who resort to cheating either deserve the lower grade for being weaker or should spend less time partying or playing video games.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979586)

some people cheat on the history courses or off breadth courses so they have the time to party? Why wastes time of that 10+ page history paper when you have a big party to go to.

It doesn't really matter how you justify it. Some people do the work assigned to them, and others feel it is beneath them because they have something more important to do. A university won't let a student take only science classes and graduate, nor will they allow only history classes to get a degree. Virtually every academic in the world agrees that an educated person should be well rounded in a variety of subjects, and not just their "main courses". This is why the class requirements exist.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979426)

There are indeed filler classes. Consider that some people who go to college already have the skills in question but are forced to take the class for the sake of the credit.

English 101, for example, is a class I would have totally cheated if I knew I could have gotten away with it. We were forced to write canned responses to Dick and Jane stories and the grades were wildly inconsistent, even though the quality of the writings were consistent. At one point a group of students complained, saying that the grading appeared to be totally random! English, being a more subjective subject, can be quirky like that - especially when the professor hates your writing style or color of your shirt. I think the only reason why I got an "A" was because I told the professor that I wasn't a snitch and that he was doing a fine job.

Why didn't I get the credit in high-school? My AP English teacher was a former Mormon missionary who forced us to read Stephen Covey, who also happens to be a Mormon. Yeah. I spent the whole class farting and drawing dicks in my notebook. Art history is also known as a throwaway class, but I learned tons from it. An artist would consider it throwaway class, but the difference between art 101 and English 101 is that English is a requirement. If you'd studied art in your spare time you could choose something else like psychology and actually learn something. English not so much.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979518)

It seems you're complaining more about the quality of a particular course. My university had an English 101 type requirement and my writing style definitely improved as a consequence of that course. Since it was a university requirement there were students from all disciplines in my (smallish) size class and I heard a lot of complaining like "this is BS I shouldn't have to be here." We had to do a lot of peer review and from what I could tell, the ones who complained the most were the ones who needed the course the most. It seemed they didn't want to take the course because they weren't good at the material... which is understandable to some degree, but at the same time it's probably healthier to treat it as a learning experience rather than a chore.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979652)

This. I had an English writing course at a junior college. I had done a fair amount of writing in high school, wrote tolerably well, knew how to use proper grammar and punctuation, etc. Most of the students could just barely put together a proper sentence on paper; most of them could not write a full paragraph that actually made a distinct point. Most of the time, I heard that the students felt like the class was a waste of time. I guess they figured they would never need to communicate in a correctly written fashion.

There were a few in the class that did know how to write and did so effectively. Interestingly, those who could write and reason in writing were the ones who were the best at class discussions... as well as the ones who were actually able to rationally and critically think about a different viewpoint that had not occurred to them before. Those who could not typically dismissed foreign ideas with something along the lines of "well duh, everyone knows that's not right."

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979556)

Regardless, people who choose to only expose themselves to a single subject or viewpoint are almost universally boring or close minded, or some combination of the two.

Yeah, but to become great in your field, you have to be single minded and concentrate on our field and only your field. Look at historical great figures and very few of them were "well rounded". I'd even argue that DaVinci was a one trick pony - all he did was draw. His "engineering" was mostly fantasy. I mean really, a helicopter that used a big screw? Or a "tank" that would weigh tons propelled by a couple of guys? Plah-ease.

Being well-rounded is just an excuse to be mediocre in a many areas as opposed to being awesome in one.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979570)

So, you work in academics then?

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (2)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979688)

Oh wow, you can talk with a lot more people! I sure feel a lot better about my education stalling. I bet that's what colleges have in mind when they shove courses down our throats that will never be remembered because we only have enough motivation to cram a day before the test and forget it. There's no way it has anything to do with the revenue that they gain from tuition.

Seriously, if I want to learn about history, I'm old enough to research on my own. Colleges are there to confirm that you have the proper knowledge/aptitude within your given field, not make up for a shitty public education system.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1, Interesting)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979692)

I agree that these classes aren't filler. They are political indoctrination masquerading as "breadth" or whatever they want to call it. And as you say, most engineers would just craft their major to make as many of these classes reinforce their major as best they could. For those classes they couldn't, they'd either lap up, grit their teeth or mindlessly absorb the Marxist viewpoint, depending on their predilection.

Re:How much of the cheater is in the filler classe (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979332)

Judging by your previous also incoherent comments, including:

"When I used to have cable it sucked they cut out the sound even on the local channels so you can't even hear the local live weather report that is more detailed then then in there is a alert in $county."

I'm starting to think you're a bot, or, a partial bot. Cyborg.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979088)

Grades are there to make one look good. Nobody wants their grades to be accurate (unless "accurate" already means "perfect"), so everyone shares the same basic incentive to cheat.

Re:Duh (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979396)

Grades are there to make one look good. Nobody wants their grades to be accurate (unless "accurate" already means "perfect"), so everyone shares the same basic incentive to cheat.

I was in Honors classes during my college days. Letter grades were awarded based upon how you defended your work during the term, not the actual work itself. A shame more professors don't have the time it takes to interview each of their students upon Final day.

On professor in particular shared with me his view on students who expected highest marks. Those students had always had high marks and believed they continued to deserve them, even if their work was average.

Still, the grades won't guarantee they'll pass a job interview, if you ask questions which require them to think, rather than spew rote memory.

A degree for a price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979102)

Here's an idea. Just give everyone a degree for a specific price. Fuck the learning. If we're going to devalue the meaning of a college education, let's go for broke. We can figure out how to fix the problem later.

Re:A degree for a price (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979230)

Here's an idea. Just give everyone a degree for a specific price. Fuck the learning. If we're going to devalue the meaning of a college education, let's go for broke. We can figure out how to fix the problem later.

They have that...I keep getting ads all the time by email. In case you are interested, just contact: 8x6rqq@hares26wagonwheel.info

asian cheat buy doing group work on solo work (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979134)

And they don't see coping all or some of another report or doing the work as a group and all turning in the same paper as cheating.

Re:asian cheat buy doing group work on solo work (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979214)

This is true, Asian students tend to gather in small packs with a "leader" who knows more than the others in that subject, unless the Professor specifically states that this will not be tolerated.

By the by, most of my Professors promoted discussion among students for assignments. And I have seen that people who participate in group discussions, do tend to learn more than someone else with a similar technical background, who prefers to fly as a maverick.

so it's the collge system that needs updateing? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979328)

If group work leads to better learning and is like the REAL WORK place then maybe need to get away from the idea of your own your own when it comes to class work and tests?

Is so it the old fashioned ideas of the college systems for the middle ages that need to change?

At least in the tech field we should be looking at what the tech schools DO right and use that to make CS better and we should also look at the trades / apprenticeships to make the tech schools better as well.

A lot of cert tests are the same people cheat and other take bran dumps (see as a forum of cheating).

Maybe we need to test people in groups on projects and not on there own.

Re:so it's the collge system that needs updateing? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979424)

If group work leads to better learning and is like the REAL WORK place

I'm sorry, what the parent is talking about is not group work. But you are correct in that it is more like the real world, where few people do the majority of the work, and the rest marginally contribute and get full credit

You have to be very careful with "group" work. I was lucky enough to find a group of students who could bounce ideas off each other to finish homework asignments in advanced physics classes. We would each contribute pretty equally to the solution, and we each learned how to think like the other. But then there's the other side where you have one people who is just coming up with all the answers and the rest copy. There's no learning going on there. It's just copying down the answer.

Unfortunately I've found in the countless group projects I've been involved with, the later situation is most often the case. This is probably why most professors have a policy that you can talk generally about the assignment with classmates, but you have to do the rest on your own.

Re:so it's the collge system that needs updateing? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979670)

But then there's the other side where you have one people who is just coming up with all the answers and the rest copy. There's no learning going on there. It's just copying down the answer.

Job security. If I led a study group and came up with all the answers that everyone else copied down, then I know that they don't know what we learned, and I know I won't have to worry about competing against them for jobs. I don't think this is the right way to go about things, but it's how our job market is set up.

Re:so it's the collge system that needs updateing? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979448)

Maybe we need to test people in groups on projects and not on there own.

Sure. If you plan to hire that entire group and not the individuals who are part of it.

Re:asian cheat buy doing group work on solo work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979286)

Wow dude. The racism in this thread is so thick it's almost overpowering.

Re:asian cheat buy doing group work on solo work (0)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979360)

Is it racism or is it an observation of what's going on? I've seen this behavior first hand at 3 different universities in dozens of classes spanning different disciplines.

Tech the test and just reading from the book lead (2, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979156)

Tech the test and just reading from the book lead to it being all about cheating or cramming for the test.

Re:Tech the test and just reading from the book le (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979410)

WTF is that even supposed to mean? I've seen several of your posts on this thread and most of them are incomprehensible gibberish. Is that some new meme I am too old to follow or are you just drunk off your ass and can't type what you are really thinking? Whatever it is - please - don't post until you figure out what you want to say and write it out in at least semi-complete sentences. Or just continue with "Tech the test" - whatever.

No surprise (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979160)

The brighter the student, the more devious the means of cheating.

Also, I've seen (and caught) students cheating to get into a prestige university school with a highly competetive enrollment. The greater the reward, the greater the desperate measures sought to achieve that award. One student in particular was found guilty of Academic Fraud and expelled from the university - criminal charges may or may not have been pressed as a follow up.

One can well imagine the anger and frustration of those students who didn't make it, when they find someone did and did so through cheating.

Re:No surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979378)

"One can well imagine the anger and frustration of those students who didn't make it, when they find someone did and did so through cheating."

Welcome to the 99%

Intelligence and Morality (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979168)

I guess intelligence doesn't really have any correlation with morality. Smart student cheated just as much as dumb students. Everybody is just equally immoral.

Re:Intelligence and Morality (0)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979280)

It has nothing to do with the students, and everything to do with the environment.

Re:Intelligence and Morality (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979422)

It has nothing to do with the students, and everything to do with the environment.

That statement is absurd.

Were it true, you would see 100% of the students in a class cheating or 0% of them. You would never see one or ten out of a class doing it.

Your claim is just an example of the lack of individual responsibility common today. "It wasn't my fault, it was the ENVIRONMENT made me do it! Fix my environment and I'll stop being a cheater and follow the rules. Yes, I swear it. You can trust me."

Re:Intelligence and Morality (0)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979496)

The students do not spend 24/7 at class. The environment contains a great deal more, like the environment at home, sports, friends, clubs. etc. Your statement is just as absurd. And apparently you've not heard of psychology?

Re:Intelligence and Morality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979632)

Your claim is just an example of the lack of individual responsibility common today. "It wasn't my fault, it was the ENVIRONMENT made me do it! Fix my environment and I'll stop being a cheater and follow the rules. Yes, I swear it. You can trust me."

Note your own use of the words "common today". Somehow you seem to agree that environment can shape people, by not teaching them personal responsibility.

Stop arguing with people you agree with. Yes, they need to take personal responsibility, something they don't take nowadays because too many people (the environment) today doesn't require it of them.

Re:Intelligence and Morality (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979450)

It has nothing to do with the students, and everything to do with the environment.

You mean their upbringing - as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

I wonder how many politicians cheated in school vs. their classmates.

Needs to be more hands on testing (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979184)

So people are forced to show what they learned and not just show it on paper.

Re:Needs to be more hands on testing (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979344)

"Hands on testing" might not be the best way to phrase it when talking about college co-eds...

How to avoid Cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979202)

A good way to prevent cheating. Let them build new things. This is of course not possible in the first year of a study. An ideal curriculum will impose projects in all study phases. Group projects can use agreement on objectives to evaluate single student's performance. And the overall project result can be 50% of the grade. In the end grades in a master highly depend upon the person who checks your results and the topic of your study.

Was there really a survey? (4, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979210)

They did a study of cheating, eh? With a survey? How do we know they didn't just fake the data?

How do you get away with it? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979220)

And, I don't mean getting busted by the graders. I mean, if you're not really learning the content, how do you get away with not understanding the fundamentals when you get to higher class levels. Seems like it would eventually catch up with you.

Re:How do you get away with it? (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979320)

No, a staggering amount of students clearly don't have the necessary understanding of the underlying material in upper level classes. Somehow they manage to copy or group-project their way through, and most will even graduate. Then they get to the workforce, and they have absolutely nothing to offer... *sigh*

This is why degrees are about as worthless as the paper they're printed on now. We've watered it down too much, it used to be having a degree was a certification that you had knowledge and skill, and so an employer could safely bet on hiring you. Now, you've either got to already have experience, or have a masters or a doctorate. So, what was the point of a bachelor's degree again?

So maybe there should be apprenticeship for TECH (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979390)

At least then employer get people who have REAL experience and skills. Not just paper skills.

Re:How do you get away with it? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979438)

I agree here sadly enough, the curriculum at a lot of universities and what's in the real world have little to do with each other. Sometimes the university is even a pre-cursor to the real world curriculum and doesn't actually roll out ready to go tools (ehm employees). Med school is a fine example of this, your hand will be in someone's rectum long before you get your official degree. IT isn't much better... A lot of people are going for writing, are we going to sustain this country via our literature sales to foreign countries that don't speak English?

The best people in my CIS class (myself excluded :P) didn't even graduate, they landed jobs with lockheed, data centers, and other similar places before they graduated and never bothered to finish, what does that have to say for our curriculum, I guess that senior year isn't as knowledge filled as people make it out to be.

And trust me, smart students will realize what busy work is and how much time the universities actually waste, so not having partaken in it myself, why not cheat, your not getting shit out of it anyways, you'll learn more about life from that girl you meet at the party than you ever will from Shakespeare. History is great, real life is better and if your still in school, remember you actually have to outsmart the system to cheat in it, it's not for everybody and thus why people get caught. Being stupid and lazy = no degree for you. Being smart and lazy... hmmm....

Re:How do you get away with it? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979506)

No, a staggering amount of students clearly don't have the necessary understanding of the underlying material in upper level classes. Somehow they manage to copy or group-project their way through, and most will even graduate. Then they get to the workforce, and they have absolutely nothing to offer... *sigh*

Most places call theses people Managers.

Re:How do you get away with it? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979334)

And, I don't mean getting busted by the graders. I mean, if you're not really learning the content, how do you get away with not understanding the fundamentals when you get to higher class levels. Seems like it would eventually catch up with you.

College is generally easy. The only reason to cheat would be to get into elite schools. It's not hard to cheat either if you're truly smart but it is hard to cheat and not get caught for the reason that cheating does take a bit of team work.

Re:How do you get away with it? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979484)

And, I don't mean getting busted by the graders. I mean, if you're not really learning the content, how do you get away with not understanding the fundamentals when you get to higher class levels. Seems like it would eventually catch up with you.

The higher the level, the more you must memorize and find means of cheating, which in iself may prove to be more effort required than necessary to understand the material. I'm certain a lovely play could be made of this just lemme plagiarise some Shakespeare...

unattributed quotes in slashdot summary (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979252)

The slashdot summary is attributed to Soulskill, but parts of it are taken directly from TFA. Using quoted material without attribution...kind of ironic, given the topic.

TFA, including the parts copied into the summary, is so poorly written as to be unintelligible, and if you want to look at the article, only the abstract is available without going through a paywall. So...not much to discuss, is there?

Re:unattributed quotes in slashdot summary (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979716)

Oops, actually the article is attributed to "an anonymous reader," not Soulskill. Maybe this is the same person, Kirk Klocke, who wrote TFA?

As a former TA I'm not surprised (5, Interesting)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979264)

I TA'd classes during my PhD. I'm in no way surprised that there is a perception that TAs don't care about cheating - the fact is that very few of them really want to catch cheaters.

I used to try hard to catch people cheating during exams, on homeworks etc, but this is actually very difficult to do. Typically you have hundreds of papers/worksheets to grade in a week and if you don't get two identical ones in a row, the odds of you remembering that a solution was done in the same way by two students is fairly low. It sticks out when two students get the same wrong answer, but even then it's difficult to prove.

However, the main thing that turns TAs off catching cheats is what happens when you do. First, you have to prove that the students in question were cheating. This is a LOT of extra work on top of your normal workload which usually exceeds your contracted hours by about 50%. Then you have to report it to the ethics committee in your department. This takes a long time, the student has the right to challenge you on everything - and believe me you'll get everything thrown at you from claims of sexual harassment to racism because you're accusing some kid of cheating. This has the knock-on effect of showing up on your SRTE (student rating of teaching effectiveness) if the cheater has friends in the class, and so you get pulled in to see the dept. head at the end of the semester because 6-7 students have called you racist on your evaluations, which in turn doesn't help if you want recommendation letters for a teaching job afterwards. Even worse if the kid is on a sports scholarship, you'll get the coach attesting to his 'good character' - so there's no way he was cheating, you just have a thing against him for some bizarre reason.

Finally, when you show that two students mysteriously answered the same wrong way to the same questions in a row on a test, and you caught them talking during the test, what punishment does the university give out? They make the kid re-sit the test. So the upshot of your efforts are that you've wasted a whole bunch of your time, got a ton of hassle that you didn't need, and the cheater simply has longer than his peers to prepare for a new test which the lecturer is often too lazy to make sufficiently different from the previous one, so the cheater is ready for the questions.

I'd still try to catch cheaters as often as I could, because it was the right thing to do. But it was so much trouble for most people, and you became a 'troublemaker' if you did it, that most of us didn't want the hassle. Even when you explained to the classmates that the cheater was cheapening their degree and ruining their scores, they still thought that you were some kind of monster for punishing their friend.

You are doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979452)

If you think someone is cheating, you collect the evidence, and provide it to your Prof. He will deal with it (or not); dealing with it is not your job.

I've catched students cheating, in both test and homeworks, both loudly and silently. If I suspect cheating in a homework, i send the assignments to the profesor. If two students speak in a test, i'll tell them to shut up as respect to their peers and afterwards write their names and email the profesor. If i see something weird in the exams, i'll send them to the professor. If he doesn't want to deal with it, i'm ok with it. But i'm not going to deal with it because it is not my job, is his, he is the one signing those students grades.

Re:You are doing it wrong (2)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979514)

Yes, you tell the professor. Who then calls you and the students in to her office, and informs you that you have to take this to the ethics committee, and that you have to present your case against the students to them etc etc. Maybe things happen differently for you, but in my experience if I was the one who caught the cheat, I was the one who had to deal with all the inquests, departmental meetings and so forth. And it was a huge PITA that got in the way of my own work.

As a TA at a top school... I don't give a crap. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979266)

I'm already spending every moment I'm awake either doing my own research or doing homework for the few classes I still need to take. When I'm not grading, I much rather spend my time trying to actually prepare good recitations than trying to figure out who might have cheated on the homework.

Surprise! (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979278)

Some cheaters are good at what they do, and so they get an A. Some of them are good, just not great, and they get a B. Some of them are alright, but not really much better than average and they end up getting a C. Some of them just didn't try hard enough, and they get a D. Then there are the cheaters who get caught, and they get an F.

It's not surprising that cheating crosses all GPA levels. Only if we could catch them all, would they all be failed.

What about the other 2/3rds? (2)

HeXXiiiZ (979826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979298)

I would bet at least another third are brimming with resentment because of the third that is cheating. This is unfortunately one more reason that so many bright students become bitter and cynical.

No surprise there then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979348)

Did anyone really think that smarter = less chance of a cheater?

The smarter the person, the smarter the cheating.
And these were only the cases that were found out.
Those who really excel at thinking skills can get away with it, not ever being found out.
That even with all these high-tech scanners that cross-check papers and answers with databases and each other.

Morality has no place in it, when it is their future on the line, anyone will do anything to get it.
Self-preservation. It is at the very heart of it.
Only those who tend to be self-destructive don't particularly care much about it. (by that, I mean people who abuse drugs, don't care about life, not nearing-suicidal arm-cutter types, they are busy not working while being classified as "disabled")

If you were to ask almost any person if they have cheated at one point in there life, they will answer yes.
Even if it is something completely harmless but still technically considered cheating. (such as cheat-sheets. Seriously, examination cheat sheets? That is enforcing mental laziness!)

The only way you will truly prevent all cheating is stupidly rigorous enforcement of rules. Change of clothes, bodily examinations, whatever.
People will find ways to cheat.
I remember even reading about someone who created some method of what looked like complete gibberish that was actually encoded information. They wasted effort to learn some visual encoding scheme instead of learning the stuff they were supposed to...

Well, not as if you can blame them.
It's not like schools are out there to teach you how to be a knowledge sponge.
They put you through an entrainment program to make you in to a "productive" employee, not a genius.
We can't have geniuses running around everywhere, how will the lower-tier jobs get done if everyone wants a manager position or higher? (that they don't deserve since managers should HAVE EXPERIENCE)

Teachers either make it too easy or too hard (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979394)

And they act like theirs is the only class you have. One of my friends is taking five classes in graduate school, and she had five papers due in the same week - followed by three midterms.

Another funny statistic ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979400)

Most of the /. posters in this thread were at one time asking about a `curve', a `way to improve the grade' which just a more `benign' form of cheating ...

I was a TA at a top engineering school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979408)

Georgia Tech to be exact, although I doubt it's different elsewhere. The faculty that I TA'd for in electrical engineering actively discouraged me from trying to catch cheaters. On the very first assignment, I found three students with the same answers to all the homework questions, including short essay portions. On approaching my boss, his reply was not to worry about it and that they'd suffer on the exams. Given that TA's have no power to enforce cheating rules, I was forced to turn a blind eye. Turns out, he gave almost everyone an A, so the students went wholly unpunished.

If memory serves... (5, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979434)

Memories can be tricky, but my recollection of high school was that the "smart kids" who got good grades were generally the most rampant cheaters. These were the kids who were in the honors society and went to ivy league schools, and they cheated every damned day so I wouldn't expect that the behavior changed when they went to college. It was almost an institution: They would copy each other's homework at lunch. They would help each other plagiarize the papers they wrote. They would get together and devise ways to sneak answers into tests. It was cooperative and competitive cheating, as much a part of the process as studying.

If you asked them about it, they'd tell you that it was because they were taking tons of AP courses, and they didn't have time to do it all. Of course, part of the problem was the school's approach to honors/AP coursework: it wasn't necessarily more advanced, it was often enough just *more*. More memorizing, more busywork, and more time consuming. There were kids going home with 10 hours of homework for the night, and so they'd cope by splitting up the work and copying each others' answers.

And I'll repeat: these were the "smart kids". They were the "good kids". In a sense, what they were doing *was* smart. They were stuck in a bureaucratic system, and so they gamed the system. They got what they wanted, even if it wasn't "fair".

Why is cheating frowned upon anyway? (0)

microcentillion (942039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979436)

It's been argued in the past that schools do not prepare you for the real world, and I think this is an excellent example.

When you get into 'the game' (i.e. a job), cheating is simply part of it. Others will routinely take credit for your work. The people that deserve the promotions the least are often the ones that get them. Hard workers with good ethics are overlooked, cheaters & fakes get ahead, and nice guys get foreclosed on. If anything, hearing that 1/3 of students cheat and got away with it makes me glad that they are learning valuable skills that will be used for the rest of their lives.

I'm surprised it's only 30% (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979440)

I mean I guess they're counting only science courses but my impression of the coursesin the language requirement that was inflicted on me is that more than 30% were engaging in "Classic" Cheating. (IE copying off of others, looking at the book during tests. Having someone else do their homework.) Actually if you count in what I call class 2 cheating (IE taking a class where you already know the subject matter very well and are only taking it for an easy A) then I'd bet at least in the language courses I took cheating was well above 50%. (Man, I should have cheated.)

"fabricated/falsified data in physics labs" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979472)

This one always annoys me. Half the time it is the students who understand the material that make up data because they know exactly how it should look, based on what the book said, but when they actually try to do the lab the data isn't perfect. It completely defeats the purpose of a lab course, and yet I get the impression that most teachers don't emphasize the fact that experiments are never perfect and subsequently the students miss out and don't learn what real experimental science looks like. I'd much rather have students turn in real data and try to explain why it wasn't perfect, but usually they're too afraid of being marked down.

Maybe it's because the crap grades are based on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979540)

It's pretty obvious that the things that earn you a good grade in a class (like recalling an obscure fact from memory, being able to eliminate 3 obviously wrong answers from a finite set of possible answers, or writing a paper with a minimum length requirement) are not at all related to what makes you successful in the "real world". In the real world, talking with your co-workers about a problem, searching Google for the answer to a problem that has already been solved, or using a reference book to find out the capital of "Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan" is not only not cheating, but is something everyone does and is expected to do. By the time people get to college, most have realized this and can't justify conforming to the grading standards...

From a certain point of view (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979622)

I wasn't cheating, I was crowd sourcing my exam.

I wasn't cheating, I was engaged in a team building exercise.

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