Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

Beware Of The Soda Bottle and Other Cheating Techniques Used By Students

I wanted to share this video with all of the teachers out there. This is something I actually heard about a few years ago and made sure to never allow students to have any drinks on their desk during test time. Here are some other things to look out for as students take tests.

The iPod/MP3 Player - It seems like a nice thing to allow students to listen to music while they take a test, but it's not. I love to listen to music when I work , but they might not be listening to music at all. It is too easy for students to record their own voice and store it on their MP3. They could recite formulas or definitions. They might be saying certain important plot points over and over again. They can record anything and label it Justin Bieber and the teacher would not have a clue. No MP3's during test time.

Purses/Backpacks - The all go under the desk or in the front of the room. I caught a student going into their purse multiple times for breath mints. I was suspicious and asked if I could have one, but they would not share. After telling them I needed the tin, they confessed and I found a tiny cheat sheet inside the lid.

 All Notebooks and Textbooks - I caught a kid who wrote in red ink on the cover of their red notebook. I had to to a double take, but I busted her.

Cell Phones - Once texting and picture mail became huge, all cell phones were banned from my class. You cna keep them in your bag if you want, but if I see them, they are mine until the end of the day. This is really tough with iPhone because students can listen to music after a test, but not Iphone users. I have an iPhone and love it, but it's too easy to cheat with that amazing device. #Applebias

Misc. - The craziest thing I have ever caught was a cheating with a pen. This pen was a little different. Every time you clicked the top, a message from the Bible would change at the center of the pen. What a creative student did was replace the Bible messages with math formulas. It was very creative, but very wrong.

The biggest tool against cheaters in the classroom is your eyes. Students are a paranoid bunch. If you keep an eye on them, they are less likely to try something sneak in front of you. Then again, you always have those few that will try anyway...


  1. Please post anything you have caught students doing that other teachers should keep an eye out for. Thanks for reading. @TheNerdyTeacher

  2. Also watch out for students that go the restroom consistantly. A fellow teacher caught a student going to the bathroom and texting the answer to a question. The student it was sent to would also go the bathroom later to check answer. The same would apply if the students went to their lockers instead of going to the bathroom.

    To me, it seems like to much work and risk for the reward of only a couple correct questions.

  3. That's a great video! Yet another great kid product that his teachers will never see.

    Here's my question (as my school stares down the start of our 1-1 program in the Fall. If 10 lines of text on a soda label is enough to destroy the validity of the exam, what is actually being assessed?

    I believe in the power of memorization in some rare cases, but in large part I think we need to assume that students will have increasingly easy access to ever larger amounts of information at any moment. Our challenge in the coming years is to create assessments that speak to the core of our discipline and still challenge students, even with the infinite Soda Bottle of the Internet at their disposal.

  4. I agree, as information spreads and becomes more readily available, it will be important to create exams that tests core information. In English, we are focusing on the skills and less on the content. Synthesis is an important skill students need to obtain and we think our exams will focus on this.

  5. I like it when students use all of their resources to bring their learning with them. I have had very few instances as a teacher where I wasn't allowed to bring my lesson plans to class, where I was asked to memorize the program of studies, or where I couldn't say "I don't know, but if you give me ten minutes, I'll get back to you." Maybe if we get 100% of the students cheating on high stakes tests, the board of education will relent on insisting on those.

  6. How about imagining a test that encouraged "cheating" (aka collaboration and peer teaching) but required every student to understand the material? - Josie

  7. Ahh the lengths that students will go to. Maybe all of these cheating techniques point to a bigger issue. Maybe we should encourage "cheating" and using resources available. would it give us greater insight into how they are learning, collecting information, evaluating information? me some things to think about.


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