High Tech Cheating

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Academic misconduct is notion that encompasses multiple forms of academic deviance from cheating on a test and plagiarism to inappropriate collaboration. In today’s society, education is the key to every door; everyone needs it and will go by any means to obtain it. Furthermore, with advancements in technology and the internet, cheating for today’s aspiring student has become more accessible, portable and it has completely desensitized the concept of academic integrity. With this ever growing problem, educators are struggling to combat this academic deviance. In an effort to combat the use of technology to cheat in academia, teachers have pursued multiple avenues of prevention. One such method involves the direct banning of electronics in the classroom. A student caught even possessing such a device is accordingly punished. This method prevents the immediate use of cell phones, PDAs, music players, and other portable devices, but does not necessarily address such issues as plagiarism. Another method is to limit the accessibility to external networks such as the internet. If a student can’t access the World Wide [spelling error -- the preceding two words should be spelled as one word] Web from within the classroom, he or she is less capable of obtaining information posted online. The major problem with this approach is that some communication devices, such as cell phones, don’t require wireless access. Access to cell phone towers can sometimes be just as accommodating as the internet to a student during an exam. Yet another method utilized ["utilize" is an over-used word and has become hackneyed and a cliché. Use it only to mean "make good use of," as in "Many teachers utilize computers for instruction." For all other cases, prefer "use." ] by some educators to combat cheating using technology is to embrace technology in helping to monitor the activity of students during testing. One such professor went so far as to have the students use their PDA’s for quizzes. The catch was that the students had to use the same PDA’s they used throughout the semester and were required to log onto the course web site using an authentication code allowing them to take the test from the proper classroom at the proper time (Read, 2004, p. 3). In any method, the end result [Word use: these two words are redundant (one is either the same as the other or contained in it); eliminate the first with no change in meaning.

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