UH takes precautions against cheating
From grade school to university campuses, academic dishonesty can be found at almost every education level. However, professors are taking a growing number of precautions to make sure cheating and plagiarism does not occur.
This has caused many students — especially college students — to try and figure out new and innovative ways to not only cheat on an exam or paper, but to cheat the system itself.
At UH, many professors have turned to Turnitin.com, requiring students to submit their essays or term papers to the automated online plagiarism detection service, which cross-checks a student’s writing with everything available on the Internet.
With this Web site in place, students are no longer able to copy and paste sections of published work into their assignments and claim it as their own. This isn’t the only way UH professors are trying to end academic dishonesty. Many classes now require students to take exams at testing centers throughout the campus, such as CASA or the CLASS Electronic Testing Center.
Nonetheless, students are still finding ways to break the system.
“I have seen students write answers on the insides of their fingers or write formulas on an eraser that they bring into the testing center with them,” alumnus Philip Thomas said. “It’s baffling they never get caught, because those are the most obvious places to check if I were a professor.”
The testing centers do not allow students to bring anything other than a writing utensil and an eraser into the room, so those taking the exam are no longer allowed to bring in their phone that may have had the answers written in a text or a calculator that could have had the solutions programmed into its memory.
Also, the centers have proctors circling students during the exam period, use lockdown browsers so the student cannot look up information online, and have security cameras.
Students tend to have a harder time cheating in closely watched settings, but many classes overlook the obvious cheating that may occur. Students taking online classes at UH are required to take the exam in a lockdown browser, but it’s possible to borrow someone’s laptop and use it to look up answers or search Powerpoint slide shows. However, online classes are not the only way students continue to cheat the academic integrity system.
“In the big classroom settings, where there are over 400 kids, I feel like cheating is more likely to happen. I have seen people take out their notes and slide it under their exam papers or even write answers on their arms, and they never seem to get caught,” sign language interpreting senior Angela Calhoun said.
Regardless, academic dishonesty at UH has decreased in recent years with the addition of testing centers and the implementation of Web sites such as Turnitin.com, according to the Office of Academic Program Management. However, the struggle between academic integrity and dishonesty is more than likely a continuous matter.