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02-09-2024, 06:21 AM
 7,724 posts, read 3,773,440 times Reputation: 14594

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Luis Antonio I remember it was very common, especially in high school. Making a "machete" was part of preparing for the exams. It seemed impossible to remember all the formulas... So my question is, what was your experience as a student? You did it, did you know that others did it?
I recall a few teachers in middle school or high school saying we could write out formulas on a small index card (3" x 5") and use it for the test.

I don't recall cheating being a useful strategy once I was in University - the tests didn't didn't lend themselves to needing information you could write on a "machete".

One mathematics professor at University made all tests open book. For every mid-term exam and the final examination, students were given a take home test of 5 problems that was completely open book, and the take home test was due in 1 week; when you turned it in, you were then handed a test of 5 problems to do in-class. Both were open book. The idea was the take-home would prepare you for the in-class test. Every problem was incredibly hard. One problem on each of the take-home test and the in-class test was a problem that could not be solved - but the student didn't know which problem was the unsolvable one. Indeed, they all looked unsolvable. Students would start on a problem only to give up and say "this must be the unsolvable one," go on to the next, and find that too seemed unsolvable. For the take-home test, some students would spend as much as 100 hours on it. The general strategy was to go to the mathematics library and scoop up entire shelves of books, take them to a table, and start flipping through the books looking for something - anything - that would give insight into how to solve a problem.

That professor's motto was it is imporant to know what you can't do as well as what you can do. "The penalty for incompetence is eternal calculation."

In graduate school, tests did not lend themselves to cheating.

As I look at answers from some people posting, they refer to marking answers on a test - I assume that is a multiple choice format test or the like. We didn't have that style of test. Each problem or question was one that required analysis and construction of an answer or essay. No scan-tron, no fill-in-the-blank, no circle-the-correct-answer, no multiple choice tests. So, a brief surreptitious glance over at another student's test didn't provide useful information.

02-09-2024, 01:06 PM
 Location: WA 5,438 posts, read 7,723,606 times Reputation: 8538
Quote:
 Originally Posted by moguldreamer I recall a few teachers in middle school or high school saying we could write out formulas on a small index card (3" x 5") and use it for the test. I don't recall cheating being a useful strategy once I was in University - the tests didn't didn't lend themselves to needing information you could write on a "machete". One mathematics professor at University made all tests open book. For every mid-term exam and the final examination, students were given a take home test of 5 problems that was completely open book, and the take home test was due in 1 week; when you turned it in, you were then handed a test of 5 problems to do in-class. Both were open book. The idea was the take-home would prepare you for the in-class test. Every problem was incredibly hard. One problem on each of the take-home test and the in-class test was a problem that could not be solved - but the student didn't know which problem was the unsolvable one. Indeed, they all looked unsolvable. Students would start on a problem only to give up and say "this must be the unsolvable one," go on to the next, and find that too seemed unsolvable. For the take-home test, some students would spend as much as 100 hours on it. The general strategy was to go to the mathematics library and scoop up entire shelves of books, take them to a table, and start flipping through the books looking for something - anything - that would give insight into how to solve a problem. That professor's motto was it is imporant to know what you can't do as well as what you can do. "The penalty for incompetence is eternal calculation." In graduate school, tests did not lend themselves to cheating. As I look at answers from some people posting, they refer to marking answers on a test - I assume that is a multiple choice format test or the like. We didn't have that style of test. Each problem or question was one that required analysis and construction of an answer or essay. No scan-tron, no fill-in-the-blank, no circle-the-correct-answer, no multiple choice tests. So, a brief surreptitious glance over at another student's test didn't provide useful information.
Memorizing formulas isn't typically a thing that is done much these days. The more important tools are knowing how to use formulas. For example, all the AP science tests provide all the necessary formulas on formula charts that every AP Physics and AP chemistry student gets adept at using. https://secure-media.collegeboard.or...tions-list.pdf and https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/m...sheet-2020.pdf

What makes the questions challenging is that they often don't present problems that are already set up to plug in formulas. Often you have to take the information in the question and manipulate it to get to the point that you are ready to solve it with an equation. So you might have to actually figure out how to generate the variables that aren't provided before you can solve the problem.

02-10-2024, 07:08 PM
 Location: Argentina 268 posts, read 56,291 times Reputation: 195
Quote:
 Originally Posted by moguldreamer Each problem or question was one that required analysis and construction of an answer or essay. No scan-tron, no fill-in-the-blank, no circle-the-correct-answer, no multiple choice tests. So, a brief surreptitious glance over at another student's test didn't provide useful information.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by texasdiver What makes the questions challenging is that they often don't present problems that are already set up to plug in formulas. Often you have to take the information in the question and manipulate it to get to the point that you are ready to solve it with an equation. So you might have to actually figure out how to generate the variables that aren't provided before you can solve the problem.
Well... What you are talking about is for higher education. I made the post thinking mainly about middle and high school.
I remember that the teachers used to do 2 or even 3 different exams, and they gave each of us a number. The aim of this procedure was for the closest students to have different questions and thus prevent them from copying each other.
Is this procedure also used in the U.S. or is it something specific to my country?

02-10-2024, 08:30 PM
 12,831 posts, read 9,025,507 times Reputation: 34873
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Luis Antonio Well... What you are talking about is for higher education. I made the post thinking mainly about middle and high school. I remember that the teachers used to do 2 or even 3 different exams, and they gave each of us a number. The aim of this procedure was for the closest students to have different questions and thus prevent them from copying each other. Is this procedure also used in the U.S. or is it something specific to my country?
It was occasionally used even back in my day, but really creates a lot of work for the teacher to create and grade several versions of the exam. When I was in elementary, the way most teachers dealt with it was to walk around the room with a ruler or wooden pointer in their hands and rap the knuckles of anyone they suspected of cheating "Eyes on your own paper!!" The other method was to scatter desks apart to make it harder to look at someone else's paper.

The more sophisticated methods of crib notes, writing on the arm, or writing on the sole of the shoe weren't unheard of, but most of the teachers caught those pretty easily.

In today's world where so much is either bubble it in with a #2 pencil or on a computer it probably easier to give different versions of the test out.

02-11-2024, 08:41 AM
 4,381 posts, read 4,230,703 times Reputation: 5859
I routinely had a form A and a form B for my major tests. The differences were very subtle and could only be seen when comparing the two forms closely. I would give one form to the students who likely knew the material and the other to the students who likely did not. That way, the students who did not know the material could copy to their hearts' content and still have enough wrong answers to fail the test.

My pÃ©chÃ© mignon, or naughty indulgence, was what I did on my first semester exam in French 1, a whopper with 150 questions. I would make a fake answer key, a "bait key", making sure that the answers were different from both form A and form B. I would leave it on my podium during the class change and then make somewhat of a moment of "discovering" that I had left it there. In some classes there would be someone who took the bait, while in others the students knew better.

Occasionally, the bait would make its rounds. Once, a resourceful student took it with her when she went to the restroom, went to the copier and made copies for anyone who wanted it. After the winter break, when they got their exams back, they were always puzzled about how they could have flunked when they had all the answers from the key.

That's when they got the sermon: Don't trust anything that you get from someone like that bait key. Rely on yourself. People who cheat are cheaters--don't be a cheater. I would remind them that they knew that I always had two forms for the tests, so it was gullible on their part to think I only had one key.

Then I would tell them the stories of what happened to cheaters at my daughter's university, where she sat on the honor board. She served at six hearings for cheating, all of which resulted in an expulsion. The most striking was for a junior ROTC student who also had to repay six semesters of tuition to the Army. Another anecdote came from a teacher here on City-Data, who told of a student who was escorted from class and campus by security and banned from returning.

The funniest part of the whole charade is that my French 2 students always wanted me to set the trap for the French 1 students. They apparently found the exercise instructive and enlightening!

Better to learn the consequences of getting caught cheating in a high school French class than to get to college and get caught where the consequences are life-altering.

02-11-2024, 01:00 PM
 Location: WA 5,438 posts, read 7,723,606 times Reputation: 8538
Quote:
This is ridiculously easy to do today.

I compose my tests using a software package called ExamView which allows me to generate as many versions of a test that I want. It scrambles the question order and answer choices within each question. My classes are grouped into tables of 4 students each. When I give paper tests I print four versions (A, B, C, and D) such that every student has a different test from their neighbor on each side.

It is even easier to do with online tests. My school uses Canvas as its curriculum portal for classes and when I give tests in Canvas I can simply check the box to randomize questions and answer choices such that every student gets questions presented in random order with answer choices also randomized. I can also set it so that they only get one question at a time and can't go backwards once they answer a question. I usually don't do that last setting because I'm fine if a student wants to skip a question and go back to it later.

For computer-based tests I can also use a guided browsing feature on the Chromebooks which locks every student onto the test site until they are finished. So they can't open up new tabs and google answers.

It really isn't that difficult to use technology to prevent cheating. And to design tests that make cheating difficult. It is only teachers who do stupid things like give the same identical test across all their class periods which makes it easy for a student in period 1 to snap a cell phone pic of a test or answer sheet and post it to their group chat or snapchat for their friends in 7th period.

02-12-2024, 06:46 AM
 Location: Argentina 268 posts, read 56,291 times Reputation: 195
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tnff In today's world where so much is either bubble it in with a #2 pencil or on a computer it probably easier to give different versions of the test out.
Yeah...certainly things have changed a lot with the new technology. I'm speaking from old times education. Maybe a bit from where my children were in school, but even so it was time ago. They are adults now. Anyways...according with you tell, things were more or less the same. Afterall, the methodology depended on the preference from each professor.

02-12-2024, 10:52 AM
 6,985 posts, read 7,039,625 times Reputation: 4357
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lhpartridge Better to learn the consequences of getting caught cheating in a high school French class than to get to college and get caught where the consequences are life-altering.
Yeah, I learned my lesson in 9th grade. And I appreciate that my teacher recognized that it was a one-time lapse in judgment on my part, and never held it against me, and didn't try to ruin my life over it. The penalty in college of cheating resulting in expulsion is a punishment that does not fit the crime, and it does not differentiate between a one -ime lapse in judgement vs a chronic cheater.

02-12-2024, 04:01 PM
 12,831 posts, read 9,025,507 times Reputation: 34873
Quote:
 Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 Yeah, I learned my lesson in 9th grade. And I appreciate that my teacher recognized that it was a one-time lapse in judgment on my part, and never held it against me, and didn't try to ruin my life over it. The penalty in college of cheating resulting in expulsion is a punishment that does not fit the crime, and it does not differentiate between a one -ime lapse in judgement vs a chronic cheater.
Perhaps we need a whole discussion thread on academic dishonesty. Besides the previously known Stanford President (falsified data), Harvard Ethics professor (falsified data), Harvard President (plagiarism), Harvard professor (plagiarism), Harvard cancer researchers (falsified data), I just saw another one today about another Harvard researcher (falsified data) different from the previous ones.

Something seems wrong with the depth's colleges will punish students with what is essentially an academic death penalty for plagiarizing on a class test, but top academics and researchers are publishing papers that wouldn't meet their own standards if they were a student. And those papers have fallout in the millions of dollars, not just because of their direct falsification and plagiarism, but the other research that is funded based on those papers and potential lives impacted by their research.

I think academic dishonest at the student level needs what you got, a punishment that fits the crime and a chance to learn from the mistake and not make it again.

02-13-2024, 07:33 AM
 6,985 posts, read 7,039,625 times Reputation: 4357
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tnff Perhaps we need a whole discussion thread on academic dishonesty. Besides the previously known Stanford President (falsified data), Harvard Ethics professor (falsified data), Harvard President (plagiarism), Harvard professor (plagiarism), Harvard cancer researchers (falsified data), I just saw another one today about another Harvard researcher (falsified data) different from the previous ones. Something seems wrong with the depth's colleges will punish students with what is essentially an academic death penalty for plagiarizing on a class test, but top academics and researchers are publishing papers that wouldn't meet their own standards if they were a student. And those papers have fallout in the millions of dollars, not just because of their direct falsification and plagiarism, but the other research that is funded based on those papers and potential lives impacted by their research. I think academic dishonest at the student level needs what you got, a punishment that fits the crime and a chance to learn from the mistake and not make it again.
Exactly? Isn't the purpose of school supposed to be to learn, and to possibly make mistakes when the consequences are smaller?
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