Cheating and Virtual School


Virtual school has made it extremely easy for students to cheat in their class.

David Rudd, Editor

Distanced learning has been very successful across West Boca and the county. Students are still receiving a quality education from the safety of their own home. While regular school life is replicated as best as possible, students being home has its downsides. One of the unfortunate consequences of learning digitally, is it gives students an opportunity to cheat.

Though students’ cameras remain on during assignments and tests, it is impossible to monitor the exact actions of students. Smartphones can be discreetly hidden below cameras, and new tabs can be created without anyone knowing.

In recognition of students’ potential to cheat, teachers have taken different approaches to tests. Some teachers leave their tests open note to reward those who put in effort during lessons and took quality notes. This still isn’t enough to dissuade many from simply using the internet. This has forced teachers to redesign their tests. When a test is multiple choice it may be easy to look up the answer. However, some tests may include open ended responses that require genuine knowledge of the topic. Another approach taken by teachers is prioritizing classwork, assignments, and other projects. This approach encourages students to understand the subject and work hard in producing their work.

When asked about the difficulty of their online classes, one student said, “I don’t know if it’s hard, but I do know the answers.” This amplifies the troubles that teachers have had in testing students’ knowledge.

A different student said teachers should “rely on open ended questions” and put a greater weight on assignments over tests. Along those lines, the most difficult questions to chest on are ones that are purely analytical. For example in an English class, students can be asked for their opinion on a character or a specific action occurring in a story and why they think that way. This is a bit more difficult in a science or history class, but teachers should ask questions that do not have a simple yes or no answer.

It is crutial that teachers interact individually with students to ensure they’re learning. Whether that is talking to them one on one or calling on them in the middle of a lesson to prevent students from having the time to Google an answer. Sharing things with the class is another similar approach that ensures that students have appropriate knowledge of the subject in order to explain information to the class.

These times are difficult for students and teachers alike, but learning is still essential. Students have been placed in a structure where cheating benefits them in the short term. Teachers must be creative in their approach to checking the knowledge of their students in this digital world.