Academic Honesty in Question

Cheating? Really? Are you positive?

Cheating is sometimes a hard call and other times it is not even questionable.

Here’s my story:

One day I decided once to give my students extra time on an exam the next day because I had made it too long .  I was trying to be nice but maybe not one of my wisest decisions.  Looking back, it changed the way I wrote tests and administered them in the future – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Someone took a copy of the test when he/she left class and shared it with friends. It was very evident that this had happened and a couple of students came to see me when they found out this out. It was also obvious that not all students saw it but most of them knew about it.  I couldn’t eat or sleep while I was trying to figure out what to do.  (Now students don’t even have to take the physical test if they can get pictures with their mobile devices.)  I gathered my facts and took them to the principal.  I laid out my plan, got his input, and made sure I had his support for what I was going to do. (Don’t forget to do this if you get in this situation! )  Next, I sent a letter home to parents, wrote another exam, and required all students to take it over since I couldn’t tell for sure who all were involved. It wasn’t a popular decision with all students or parents, but in my opinion, it was the most fair thing to do. The funny thing is, that some of the students I know were involved  had the parents who were most outraged that their child had to take the test over.  My whole body was a mess for a long time after and the relationship that I had with that class was back to the “prove to me you’re worthy of my trust.”   BTW, did I mention it was an AP Calculus class with potential valedictorians in the class, and that it was when I had a student teacher?

To make things worse

Now there are all sorts of other complications.

from (check out the conversation on this page if you need more to think about!)

from (check out the conversation on this page if you need more to think about!)

Here are some articles to check out and maybe help you think this through.  Warning: Don’t expect that all of your questions will be answered.

  1. Digital Tools Raise Questions about what is and what is not cheating by Katie Ash (August 21, 2013) –
  2. Read the stats about Harvard’s freshmen in the class of 2017 By  (Posted Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 )
  3. Moving from Cheating to Academic Honesty By Eugene Bratek –
  4. Cheating Runs Rampant:  No Child Left Behind has unleashed a nationwide epidemic of cheating. Will education reformers wake up?  by Daniel Denvir ( May 25, 2012) –

What would you do if you saw or suspect students of cheating? 


About napmath

I recently retired from full-time teaching. I taught students in High School math classes from Basic Math through AP Calculus. I have been into integrating technology into my classes since 1981. I am Nationally Board Certified, am the proud recipient of a Presidential Award of Excellence in Math Teaching, text book author, Golden Apple Scholar, Certified SMART Board Trainer, Regional Technology Teacher of the Year, and give workshops across the country - geometry, Common Core, mathematics, Interactive Whiteboards, and technology. I am currently working as an adjunct faculty member at Illinois Wesleyan University and authoring books for SMART Boards and Promethean Boards with Vision Technology.
This entry was posted in Calculus, Common Core, Math Education, Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Academic Honesty in Question

  1. Well, that’s lousy. I had one problem–much smaller than yours–with cheating and was miserable about it for weeks. Between parents and admin–yuck. Lucky for me, as a tech teacher, most of my grading is on problem solving, using skills learned in prior classes, following directions, that sort. Squishy, though I quantify them as much as possible to avoid parental/student unrest.

    It sounds like it worked itself out. Good to hear.

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