Student Cheating Goes High Tech

Cheating on exams is nothing new, but the tools that students are using are much more sophisticated. Instead of writing answers on their palms, today’s students employ an arsenal of state-of-the-art gadgetry.

On January 25, the Washington Post reported that 12 University of Maryland students had been caught cheating on exams when friends relayed the correct answers using the text messaging system on cell phones. The article went on to say that at Maryland, as well as other colleges around the country, some students in advanced mathematics classes had used high-end calculators to retrieve preprogrammed information during exams.

Additionally, a December article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that two Columbia University undergraduate students had been arrested earlier that month for using high-tech transmitters and walkie-talkies to cheat on the Graduate Record Examination. Authorities believe the students were going to sell the stolen test questions to other students.

So does this mean that American students condone cheating? Probably not, according to a study published last winter in the Journal of Economic Education. The study tested the tolerance for cheating of nearly 900 students from four countries. The researchers concluded that Russian students showed the greatest tolerance to cheating followed by Israeli and then Dutch students with American students coming in last.

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