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Posted on September 19, 2012 3:59 am
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Robert Hafez
Robert Hafez
Reps: 17
How to catch students cheating
1.Always be in control of the classroom. Being vigilant in the classroom is the best way to not only catch students cheating, but to prevent cheating from happening in the first place.

2.Always greet students as they come into the classroom. Look at their hands/arms to make sure they didn't turn them into cheat sheets

3.Arrange the testing environment. If possible, leave a space between students to discourage cheating, and ensure that students store backpacks, books, or binders under their chairs.

4.Do not take your eyes off of students while they are working. Students may look up at the ceiling during tests pretending to work out the answer, but they are really trying to look at a classmate's paper. Always walk around the room instead of sitting at the front as it makes it much more difficult for students to hide study notes on their laps or behind desks. Students are less likely to cheat with other students when they aware of your presence.

5.Do not allow students to leave the classroom until they finish their test. Students can go look up answers on their electronic devices if they leave the room, or consult with other students. In case of an emergency, ask students to empty their pockets (to make sure they don't have an electronic device), and deduct points from their test if they have to use the restroom/drink water.

6.If you notice a student continuously coughing, tapping the bench or their foot, or whispering, they are probably cheating. Make sure you go over expectations for these kinds of behaviors before testing, so students know this is considered cheating. If it happens, be consistent with the consequences.

7.Use technology to catch cheating outside of the classroom. Students are more tempted to cheat when they are working on take-home tests or essays. Fortunately for teachers, there are plagiarism detection services, such as turnitin.com, to catch plagiarism.

8.When possible, create your own tests. This makes it more difficult for students to find answer keys online.

9.As a student's teacher, you can recognize his/her writing style. Trust your instinct when reading student work; if something looks inauthentic, it probably is. If you suspect cheating, type in a couple of sentences from a student's paper into a search engine to discover if he/she copied it from the Internet.

10.Protect your physical and digital spaces. Do not allow students to be in your classroom when you are not there. Lock filing cabinets and desk drawers to prevent students from looking at tests, and watch for this behavior when you are in the classroom as well. Create and memorize complex passwords for computer and gradebook logins; do not write this information on paper.

11.Compare student answers. If people sitting near each other have exactly the same 'wrong' answers, they may be cheating. This, however, is not foolproof, and should be considered only when it occurs in multiple instances and/or along with other suspicious behavior.

12.When assigning take-home tests, create one trick question that does not relate to the material and has no correct answer. When grading the tests, compare answers to discover who cheated.

13.Consider techniques like two versions of a test administered in adjacent rows.

14.As an alternative, you can throw cheating students off by issuing a "test number" to students, so as to suggest different test versions, but retain the same test copy. It's best to limit this tactic, however, as students will eventually catch on.

15.Make sure every student has their own school supplies to limit interaction during the test.

16.If you hear a student asking another student before the test: "Did you study for the test?" If they said yes, that may give the student an opportunity to cheat off that person. If they are sitting next to each other but the student who asked the question is in close enough range to see the paper, watch that student particularly during the test session.

17.Check with your school before applying penalties for cheating. Doing so without following established procedures can put you at risk for legal action.

18.Don't immediately suspect people. Some pupils may just be nervous and twitchy, and other students might just need to look around the room to collect their thoughts.
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Comments posted for this Tip: 10

Chelsea
Chelsea
Reps: 101
These tips are very thorough and helpful. I agree that the best way to make sure students don't cheat is to stay vigilant. Doing things like seating the kids with spaces in between them, using privacy folders, and walking around the classroom helps ensure that students are unable to cheat.
  Posted on: October 18, 2014 10:39 pm

JuMaPa
JuMaPa
Reps: 100
@6 Or they may have ADHD. Or they may be asphyxiating. Just a thought.
  Posted on: March 2, 2015 3:57 am

JuMaPa
JuMaPa
Reps: 100
Also, trick questions are ridiculous. The students are here to learn, not be confused.
  Posted on: March 2, 2015 3:58 am

uLubet
uLubet
Reps: 104
I think that making different copies is a good idea. My copies are passed out so that no one in front of you, back of you, and beside you has the same test or quiz. If there are choices, I normally scramble the choices for each test ID. It is even better to have a short answer test. I noticed that the short answer version works as well.
  Posted on: March 12, 2015 2:31 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Thanks for the tip
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:41 pm

eSyTyt
eSyTyt
Reps: 101
These are great tips.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 1:19 am

nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
I never cheated in school so for someone like me this is helpful. I feel bad students feel it has to come to that sometimes.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 8:08 am

yseHug
yseHug
Reps: 100
These are all really good tips. With only one teacher and many students, it can be hard to watch them all at all times. Putting a seat inbetween each student is a great idea along with making sure they didn't write all over their arms or hands. That was a very common cheating technique in my highschool.
  Posted on: October 18, 2015 4:24 am

PeQyGa
PeQyGa
Reps: 201
This is super helpful! I am teaching 4th grade and this is where they are beginning to discover that they can look at neighbor's papers if they don't know the answers.
  Posted on: October 10, 2016 12:22 am

ysyByg
ysyByg
Reps: 200
Good tips.
  Posted on: October 8, 2017 11:19 pm

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