The simple ways to prevent cheating and improve student achievement
Dishonesty in Higher Education Is Easy
In this day and age, you would think that cheating would be as “obvious” as food poisoning or having a flat tire on the highway. But, students are consistently finding a way to pass exams even when the rules say no.
According to a recent report, from 2014, 42% of all students admitted to cheating on an exam once or twice during their college career. However, that number jumps to 59% if students are allowed to write their own tests. On average, 70% of students cheat on their colleges’ exams.
Our last researcher found that just one in five students experienced testing anxiety – and that it wasn’t just about the exam. (He found it also affected those who had just started college or those who had already taken a few finals.)
Why is this happening?
The U.S. Department of Education reports that forty-four percent of college students polled admitted that they had cheated on an exam during their education and that the number is highest amongst freshmen.
The U.S. Department of Education’s report also said, “The majority of college students who are cheated on their tests/lectures feel badly about their dishonesty.” Students are honest when it comes to subjects outside of academia, but deception comes very easily when students attempt to learn something new.
It’s no wonder that students are more aware of cheating methods on exams and the Internet than ever before. And they aren’t doing anything to stop it. We can do better.
How to Prevent Cheating and Improve Student Achievement
First of all, we have to recognize the problem. It happens – we’re dealing with young adults here, and, just like high school, young adults frequently are at a time of maximum development. It’s a time of reinvention and growth. However, we have to recognize that students aren’t their whole selves yet, and we have to respond to that. If we don’t, we have to be extremely careful as educators.
As I’ve stated in the past, students should be well prepared. They need the mental and emotional preparation to be successful in a classroom and real-world activities. It isn’t that difficult, and I should know – I worked as a career counselor for a number of years in middle and high schools, college, and universities. As such, I’ve seen a great deal of student behavior change as students take charge of their success.
On my team, we focus a great deal on providing the help and resources students need to succeed. And we need to help students understand that a person who isn’t honest isn’t someone to be trusted. I have seen so many cases of students who cheat on tests. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but students need to understand that those who cheat aren’t going to take responsibility for their actions.
Educating students about the rules and consequences of cheating isn’t easy, but it can make a difference in students’ lives. How can we do that better?
Change education for the better
We can’t change the behavior of students, so we have to teach them the right ethical values. There are plenty of good guidelines and advice on how to interact with and earn support from others – but little guidance as to what is real and what is deceptive.
We need to teach young adults the important of respect and making decisions based on what is right. Yes, young adults are going to be tempted. And, students deserve to have their right to honest, ethical decisions upheld. If they’re being misled, they will stop taking that risk. This can happen, if we can help students learn the difference between right and wrong.
Learn what is expected of them and it can help our students stay on the right track. In addition, it is not only the way that students are taught, but the way that they learn. Our own education system doesn’t directly correlate to what can be learned, because it is the children who make this happen. Our child-rearing techniques, parenting styles, and communities should all influence what children learn.