Hot answers tagged

134

I would suggest offering something in response that makes the students feel like their concerns are heard, without compromising the academics of the course. For example: I understand that this is a difficult time, especially for minority students. Unfortunately, if I cancel the final exam, I won't be able to assign a grade to these students and they won't ...


121

Take a two week vacation. Do things you enjoy. Relax. Exercise. Watch TV. Sleep. The gain from any studying you can do in two weeks will be minimal, compared to the previous three years. The gain from going into the exam rested, relaxed, and with energy will be immense.


121

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 do is insist (and keep insisting) to your professor that you didn't cheat and explain how you actually acted. If you don't get satisfaction then escalate the ...


117

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 unfair advantage, it gives the honest ones an unfair disadvantage. Ask for guarantees that cheating by others will not directly disadvantage you.


112

How could I tell him to upgrade my grade and explain to him that I really deserve it and that I really need to have (19/20) so I can pass my semester? Don't tell him how to fix the error, and don't open with this being a make-or-break for passing your semester. This will probably put him on the defensive, and make him less likely to be sympathetic. In fact, ...


104

What you should do, is precisely nothing. Take a deep breath. Have a culturally appropriate beverage and celebrate your finishing. We are human. None of us is perfect. We fall. We get up. We move on. The past is past. Most of us here would probably not like to see a complete rerunning of our past selves in every respect. But, since it bothers your conscience,...


103

Sleep. Sleep as much as you can. Then sleep some more. Nothing you could possibly do to prepare further will help you even a tenth as much as getting lots of sleep in the last few days before the test. On top of that, give yourself some time to relax and do things you like. Again, being relaxed and in a good mood will help you more than further repetition of ...


83

I think I'm going to be fundamentally disagreeing with a lot of the answers here. Nice numbers definitely make problems easier, and I make a habit of using them when first introducing a concept; they make the students more comfortable, and let them focus on the key idea that I'm trying to teach. But I never rely on nice numbers for tests or assignments. ...


70

Unless we somehow want students' grades to reflect the quality of their home Internet connection, the quality of their hardware, and their tech savvy (or their families'), there is not a sane alternative but to take seriously essentially all claims of technical problems. No, it it not really possible to "prove" technical problems, nor is it ...


56

Background: Some time ago, I've been working at a German university as an assistant in electrical engineering, and we had some students from Arab countries. Generally, they were much better than the Germans in reproducing content they had learned, but had more difficulties than their colleages in applying that knowledge to the problems at hand. And the ...


54

Universities around the world are trying very hard right now to find ways to balance students’ rights to privacy and dignity with difficult practical questions concerning the transition to remote teaching and testing. Regarding testing, the reality is that cheating is a common occurrence in many places even in normal times when testing is done in the ...


53

Don't panic. If you did nothing wrong, all you need is to explain what you did and everything shall be OK. Based on some similarity metric (computed automatically or spotted by a naked eye), your lecturer or teaching assistant marked your work as a potential case of collusion (working together on individual exams). Now you are invited to a meeting, whose ...


51

How could I tell him to upgrade my grade and explain to him that I really deserve it and that I really need to have (19/20) so I can pass my semester? It sounds like you have a reasonable case to argue that you did not get a fair chance to demonstrate your knowledge of the material. Note the deliberate phrasing here: that is not the same as saying that you ...


50

I think the focus on ethics is a bit misguided. If your professor genuinely believes that asking ambiguous, "what's in my pocket"-type questions (a closely related concept is that of a "gotcha" question) on an exam is an appropriate testing strategy and serves a useful pedagogical purpose, then I cannot say that they are behaving ...


49

I would advise two things. First, take the exam honestly. But also complain to the university and the professor that you find the conditions to be conducive to cheating and you question the fairness and validity of the exam under these conditions. But you have to do the second part early, perhaps now, before the test is given and certainly before you are ...


48

Here's a different view. You are responsible for managing your time during the exam. You are free to attempt the questions out of order, but if you are not making progress on a question after a while for whatever reason, you are supposed to make sure you complete the questions that are doable for you. Getting to the point where you had more questions still ...


46

This may be almost too obvious to be worth mentioning, but one idea you could consider is to study really really hard for this class in order to make sure you do not end up in the group of people who fail it, large though that group may be. It sounds like it’s not impossible to do well in the class, just more difficult than you are used to. A relevant idea ...


45

Making special plans for minorities just seems like reverse racism to me. How can you expect the majority to pass this exam, without special assistance, but the minorities not? Why does a person from a minority need special assistance anyway? I'm assuming they had to make the same vetting process any student from the majority did? This just seems like a ...


45

Yes, I think you can ask. You don't need to give a reason if things are handled justly. "Personal reasons" should be enough. If the person has harassed you in the past or is known to you to cheat you have adequate reason. And, it might be important to do so if you think that it would affect your performance. You will need to decide whether to give ...


36

Even despite repeated reminders, exams can be a tense time. Some students may honestly forget, and it would be overly harsh to deny them their exam for this. OTOH, some students may do this deliberately as a way to game the system for a little more time, and that should be discouraged. I'm not sure you have the authority to completely address this on your ...


35

It can be hard to have perspective on one's own actions. Let me tell you how this sounds to readers: "I went looking for any tiny reason to disqualify my accomplishments or prove to myself that I didn't deserve them, and even with perfect knowledge (up to memory) and motivated reasoning I can't find a clear example." This means that you deserve ...


33

A simple solution would be to demonstrate the flaw in the system to the professor by recreating the scenario in which you were accused of cheating.


33

In a similar situation, I have held time at the beginning of the exam to fill out the needed information. Once everyone is there, tell them to start writing their names on the test. You can see them all paging through the test quickly. Have them close their test and put their pencils down when they're done, and let everyone start the test when everyone's ...


31

When questioning or complaining about a decision, it is best to offer a solution. All correspondence should now be in writing (or at least email) so that you have a record of anything said and any accusations made. People will be cautious of accusing you of anything in writing. If things go badly, you can copy your emails to a senior person and be open about ...


29

We have the same kind of procedure at my university in europe. My advisor put it this way: This online testing is an offer for those who want/need to use it. It is far from ideal, but if you really need to take that exam now, you have the possibility. If it is not so urgent, you can wait until exams can be held at the university, though the time for that ...


28

Students perspective here: Grades Germany and Austria are countries where bad grades are possible and commonly accepted. Getting a C or D is what > 50% of the students usually get in the hard subjects. Other countries (e.g. UK) have more of an "if you pass, you pass with at least a B" approach. This can be devastating for new students. So check ...


27

What you experience is totally normal. Take a break for one day, calm down, meditate. This will help you much more than trying to sit at your desk every day.


26

As Dan Romik’s answer suggests, I think it is unlikely you’ll be able to get an individual exception from this policy. However, you can give polite and respectful feedback explaining that you find it highly intrusive. That would, I think, be perfectly appropriate. It’s true that, as other answers say, everyone (including both students and professors) has ...


26

At the end of the exam time, tell everyone "pencils down". Once everyone is still with pencils down, announce "You have 1 minute to write your name (and other information) on each and every page of your exam. If your name and class isn't on your exam at the end of this minute, your exam will still be collected without your name on it, and you ...


25

You write "I think I have a method for automatic grading, so that is not a problem.". If you are going to depend on automatic grading, you should use easy, simple numbers. There are two ways of getting a wrong answer, not getting the method right and making a mistake copying from question to calculator and from calculator to answer sheet. During ...


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