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Preventing Cheating in the Classroom

written by: Lady Lit • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 9/11/2012

This article examines how teachers can deter students from cheating in their classrooms.

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    As a teacher, it is your responsibility to monitor and eliminate cheating from your classroom as well as detectinv cheating devices in the classroom. Monitoring students while they are testing is the first step, but it is essential to do more than monitor your students. Be vigilant and walk around the room. Make students feel as if you are watching their every move. If you do so, they will feel uncomfortable and less inclined to cheat.

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    Personal Belongings Up Front

    On test days, particularly during midterm and final exam weeks, have students place all materials, i.e. book bags, notebooks, personal belongings, at the front of the room. Provide them with everything, including a writing instrument, that they need to complete their exams.

    Do not allow students to leave the room. If they are allowed to leave, one may post the answers to your test on the back of a bathroom stall. Now, I expect to see certain things on the back of bathroom stalls, but the last thing I want to see posted on a stall is the answers to my mid-term exam.

    Likewise, students should not be allowed to use electronic equipment during a test. This is a no-no as students may use their cellular telephone to capture an image of your test.

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    Isolated Problem

    Another measure teachers can take to deter cheating is consider the arrangement of the classroom. How far apart are the desks? Sit at a desk and see if you can view a student’s answers.

    If a teacher knows he or she has a specific student cheating, an easy way to catch him/her is to give him/her a similar worksheet with the same questions but copy and paste them into a different order. It will be quite apparent the student is cheating if he/she has the same answers as a nearby student, yet he/she had a completely different worksheet.

    Another step to catch students cheating is to leave an answer key on the teacher’s desk labeled “Test A/Subject Verb Agreement Key” or Midterm Exam Key-Fall 2008” and bait students. By baiting students, I mean place an answer key with the wrong answers on the teacher’s desk. If students take the key and cheat, they deserve the failing zero they earned.


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    Bottom Line...Be Proactive

    Now, teenagers are teenagers, and they do not always make wise decisions. Some teenagers will cheat every chance they get while others will not cheat, given the perfect opportunity to cheat. The importance here is that teachers need to be proactive and put measures in place before students have the opportunity.

New School Cheating Versus Old School Cheating

This series examines the traditional methods that students use to cheat and compares such methods with the more modern, electronic forms of cheating. The series also details the steps teachers can do to deter students from cheating in their classrooms.
  1. Traditional Methods of Student Cheating
  2. Cheating in High School with Technology
  3. Preventing Cheating in the Classroom