313 votes

Only one student answered an exam question - and I strongly suspect he cheated

I apologize in advance for my frankness. What can we do in this situation, in which I strongly suspect that this student went to the bathroom to look up a definition on his phone, so that he could ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
277 votes

How to prevent students from using modified calculators to cheat on exams?

I received my bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1970. I didn't own a calculator. There were some adjustments that helped with no-calculator tests: Many of my exams had ten points per question. 9 ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
275 votes

Only one student answered an exam question - and I strongly suspect he cheated

Call him in. Ask him how he solved it. Don't imply that he cheated. Just ask how he solved it with genuine curiosity and interest. If he asks why you're asking, tell him he was the only student in ...
Wildcard's user avatar
  • 4,294
253 votes
Accepted

Fellow student asked question from take-home exam on Stack Exchange

Let's be clear here. From your description, the student clearly cheated by violating the take-home exam's stated policy that (quoting from your comment on @user2768's answer) "it is prohibited to ask ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 185k
236 votes
Accepted

Is my approach to discouraging whiners from taking my class acceptable?

Frankly, the whole thing seems like a terrible idea - a guaranteed way to sabotage your rapport with your students and ensure complaints on your evaluations. If you're trying to get tenure, this ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
217 votes
Accepted

Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?

In our school, we are expected to flag cases of suspected plagiarism and collusion to an internal academic offences committee. There's your answer. It's your job to report the offense.
Brian Borchers's user avatar
217 votes

Did I cheat on an exam by knowing a solution in advance?

No, if you saw the problem and its solution through random reading (rather than getting an advance copy of the exam, etc., obviously), then you have not only NOT cheated, but have in fact been a ...
paul garrett's user avatar
  • 86.5k
181 votes
Accepted

Moral dilemma in unwittingly being paid to complete a student's work

I think you should take the money, try to retain as much of my copyrights as possible (the law may help you do this implicitly rather than explicitly, which may be helpful), and refrain from doing ...
user541686's user avatar
  • 4,660
180 votes

What is the justification for the typical punishment of a student who did not cheat but helped others cheat?

Probably the main issue that makes this policy logical is that when two students are caught communicating during an exam, there is no foolproof way for the instructor to tell who copied from whom. The ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 185k
175 votes
Accepted

I did something I am not proud of, and was rightly accused of cheating by the instructor. What is next for me?

What you are doing is called catastrophizing. This incident, unpleasant and mildly serious though it is, is simply not the life-destroying event you imagine it to be, and you are not the evil person ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 185k
173 votes

How can I prevent students from writing answers on an assignment, then claiming I didn't see their answer?

Use placeholders You can use a sign or an indication that you would never use in any other circumstances (red cross, three question marks, etc.), a short sentence ("No Answer Given", "I'm sure you ...
Clément's user avatar
  • 4,013
165 votes

How can I prevent students from writing answers on an assignment, then claiming I didn't see their answer?

I scan my student's assignments. There is a big printer with scanning function in our department where you can just put in the papers and it scans all of them at once. Moreover, I do warn them ...
user82630's user avatar
  • 1,257
162 votes

Should I tutor a student who I know has cheated on their homework?

Whether their cheating should impact your role as a tutor is not the primary issue here, so I'll set it aside. You should not be tutoring a student for additional money when you are also grading that ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 105k
157 votes
Accepted

Cheated on an exam when I was eight years old. Should I tell graduate admissions?

As noted in the comments, actions committed long ago as a child are (and should be) entirely irrelevant to graduate admissions. It is well understood that children do not have same ability as adults ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 187k
150 votes
Accepted

Student caught cheating when leaving class after handing me the exam

Exact rules will depend on where you are. But normally the student has due process rights: to be confronted with the evidence of her cheating, and to appeal to some higher administrator or body if ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
149 votes

Writing a recommendation letter for a student I reported for academic dishonesty

The best option is: Don't write the letter. In a case like this, I would outright refuse to provide a recommendation. However, if you are not comfortable with a non-negotiable refusal, you might ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 20.3k
149 votes
Accepted

What to do if I have seen an exam before I have taken it?

In a situation in which you would suffer no matter what you do, you can also work to protect yourself. An anonymous note to the professor that the exam has been compromised and that there are ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 345k
142 votes
Accepted

Is having access to past exams cheating and, if yes, could it be proven just by a good grade?

You haven't said whether you were actually accused or not. I'm assuming that you are just worried about what might happen in the meeting that hasn't happened yet. The most honest way to proceed, ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 345k
139 votes

What to do with someone that cheated their way through university and a PhD program?

He literally had someone else take the exams for him If you wanted to speak out, that was really the right time, not so many years later when damage is done and every accusation is virtually ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
132 votes

Should I cheat if the majority does it?

I don't want to report them, I probably don't have the guts to do it, especially because it's such a socially accepted practice. A "Snitches get stitches" mentality will not solve your problem. ...
Patrick's user avatar
  • 1,034
131 votes
Accepted

Some of my students cheated. Should I give them the opportunity to turn themselves in?

Punishments for academic misconduct should be standardized across your university. Check the university policy and follow it. If you are still unsure, ask your academic dean. Instructor discretion ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
126 votes

A student who asked me to write a rec letter seems to have committed academic dishonesty in my class, what do I do?

You agreed to write this letter, and it is due tomorrow (!). Reneging on your promise would effectively torpedo the student's applications, as they are very unlikely to find another recommender on one ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 64.8k
125 votes

I used a solution that I happened to already have on my laptop on an exam. Did I cheat?

I would say no, unless this was explicitly prohibited beforehand. Look, what's the purpose of a test? To gauge the extent to which one has comprehended the material. The fact that you did the work ...
HEITZ's user avatar
  • 10k
121 votes

Accused of cheating due to the time accounted by Blackboard

Unfortunately you can't prove a negative. You have been "caught" by a system that is insufficiently accurate to properly evaluate your actions (and those of many others). All you can really ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 345k
118 votes

Student caught cheating when leaving class after handing me the exam

It's not proven that she cheated. I have known several students who would write their answers on their hand during the exam, so they can later compare their results with others. I don't know in ...
Lebbers's user avatar
  • 1,141
118 votes

Other students can easily cheat on a test and the grading system is relative - should I cheat, and what else can I do?

This is a question to the programme leader. Frankly in a scenario where cheating is just waiting for an invitation, relative marking is grossly inappropriate. It is not just giving cheaters an ...
Captain Emacs's user avatar
117 votes

I received an allegation of academic misconduct from my university. What should I do?

In a comment, you write that the professor had written in an email regarding the exam: you will not have enough time to finish the exam if you spend a lot of time looking through your notes This ...
Stephan Kolassa's user avatar
117 votes

Good idea to warn students they were suspected of cheating?

No, you should not single them out. If you have evidence of cheating, then charge it. If you have suspicions then you should swallow and ignore them so as not to prejudice the students in the future. ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 345k
117 votes

Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?

You should. Dura lex sed lex. Not reporting it sends the message that plagiarism is OK if enough people do it. The grim consequences you envisage (like departmental disapproval) might not come to pass ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 122k

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