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Catching Cheaters

This NYTimes article highlights the trickery--both amusing and frightening--used at the University of Central Florida to stop students from cheating on exams.  The point, of course, is this:  "The extent of student cheating, difficult to measure precisely, appears widespread at colleges. In surveys of 14,000 undergraduates over the last four years, an average of 61 percent admitted to cheating on assignments and exams."

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That's funny -- or not so funny, really, but tomorrow I attend my first disputed academic dishonesty charge against a student. It was whole paper of cut and paste from websites with a sentence or two of commentary here and there, which I can only hope were the students own words. I found the URLs easily enough and wrote them in the margins of the paper. What's to dispute? I can't wait to hear what the students says. Oops, it was an accident? Or, did she think that was the assignment, to cut and paste in some intellectual version of kindergarten? Her best argument would be that I did not catch her friends' cheating. After reading the article, I think that might be possible.

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