Cheating

.. t no student chose not detailed at all which was the opinion of only one teacher, and, the answer very detailed indeed was chosen by only 11% of the students and no teacher. (See Diagrams 1/ Student & 1/ Teacher below.) Question 2. What is cheating? Everyone thinks about cheating differently, according to their values. Some consider every little thing illegal, even looking at the neighbours paper, which I cannot accept.

It is a psychological fact that a person is not able to look in the same direction for hours. Looking at the neighbours paper not always serves cheating purposes. Some argue that it is just a compulsive movement of the eye because it is not used to situations when part of its field of sight is visible but should not be focused on. However, this activity is considered cheating by most participants (77%). The most controversial result was that more than 60% of the students said asking a neighbour a question is not cheating but taking a look at his sheet is.

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Using a pre-designed cheat-sheet is considered cheating by all participants. But it is also a good way of preparing. If one has written a cheat-sheet he has half learned the material. The rest of the results are represented in Diagrams 2/ Student and 2/ Teacher below. 5.2.

Is cheating an everyday phenomenon? Question 3 How many cheat? The third question referred to the proportion of cheaters at an average written examination. Exactly it was Imagine a written examination where 100 students take part. How many of them would you expect to do any of the activities mentioned in the previous question? There were six possible choices: no one; 0-25; 26-50; 51-75, 75-99 and all of them. In this question the teachers were much more optimistic about the possible proportion of cheaters. The vast majority estimated the average number of them between 0 and 25.

Nevertheless, the students opinion may be closer to reality as they are the ones who live it. Many of them (43%) said 26-50, but 76-99 was also estimated by 25%. The other three variations were less frequent. This difference between the teachers and the students estimation can be accounted for in two ways, One possible explanation is that teachers are naive or they just do not see people cheating; the other is a bit more complicated. A story about a lucky cheating goes round the corridors of the building, changes several times.

When somebody was not cheating, that is not a story. Much is heard of cheaters; this might explain why students think more people are cheating at examinations. (See Diagrams 3/ Student & 3/ Teacher below.) Question 4.a How often do YOU cheat? (Included in Students Questionnaire only) In this question we tried to check how realistic the estimations of students were about the proportions; this required some mathematics. A student has an average of three written examinations per semester. Lets say that people who never cheat (I do not believe such a person exists) cheat on no exam out of the three. The people who said seldom do it once, and those who told us quite often do it two times.

Nobody said that he always cheats but that is also relative. If 11% cheats on one exam and 75% on two exams out of three, that means on an average exam one third of the 11% (which is 3.7%) and two thirds of the 75% (which is 50%) cheat. That makes a total of 53.7%, which means that the students were closer to reality when estimating the number, not the teachers. But this also suggests that the gap between the teachers estimations and reality, which is at least 28.5%, are those who cheat unnoticed. Further analysis reveals that more than half (53%) of the cheaters remain unnoticed.

5.3. Is it easy to cheat? Question 4.b When you were a student, did YOU do any of the activities listed in 2) above? (Included in Teachers Questionnaire only) It seems, according to the teachers answers, that decades ago cheating was a much less common phenomenon than it is today. Only looking at a neighbours paper was something most students (83%) done. Using pre-designed cheat-sheets was not a possible method for the students at that time. There was only one teacher who admitted using one. For the results see Diagram 4.b/ Teacher. Question 5.a Would YOU do any of the activities listed in 2) above? (Included in Students Questionnaire only) Looking at the neighbours paper is the most common method which students use. 71% said they would do it when in need.

Asking a neighbour a question is less common, but still many students (60%) risk it; the third most popular method, which is used by 46%, is the pre-designed cheat-sheet. This suggests that students consider looking at the neighbours papers the least risky. Question 5.b reveals that teachers see this differently. Question 5.b Which one of the above could a student actually do? (Included in Teachers Questionnaire only) Teachers estimated that 92% of students could use a pre-designed cheat-sheet; 83% could look at the neighbours paper and 67% ask a neighbour a question, which means that students consider some of the methods less risky. Teachers think that the situation today is best for the cheat-sheets instead of looking at the neighbours paper. Maybe youths should change their methods according to these results.

See diagram 5.b/ Teacher. Question 6.a Do you think any of those activities are accepted by teaches in general? (Included in Students Questionnaire only) There is a common opinion among students that there are some teachers who think cheating is the attribute of examinations. In fact, there are teachers in every school who pretend they have not noticed anything and students do whatever they want to. They do not do anything to prevent cheating. Question 6. in the Students Questionnaire refers to this problem, and the results are rather interesting. The answers show that students are still afraid of being caught.

Only 43% said that there are some teachers who might accept looking at the neighbours paper. More-evidently-cheating methods have really low percentages such as 7% and 10%. Consequently, if the students still fear, the situation may not be so bad. Question 6.b How often, in exam situations, do you encounter cases when teachers overlook cheating? (Included in Teachers Questionnaire only) The aim of this question was finding out teachers opinion of their colleagues. Surprisingly, most teachers (59%) claimed that they face such situations quite often.

But, as you will see in question 7. (See diagram 7.b/ Teacher.), only one third of these people admitted doing it quite often. It does not seem very likely that they lied about their experience; instead, they might not have been honest about their own behaviour. (See diagram 6.b/ Teacher.) Every teacher faces situations when he knows ones reasons for cheating and understands them or he simply does not care and lets students do it. The easy way to account for this is obviously by saying they cannot cheat me, only themselves.

Theoretically it is right but what about morals? This behaviour on the part of the teacher often results in students thinking cheating is the way. They will never learn it this is not the method to cope and will go out into real life in the belief that cheating is a normal and accepted way of solving problems. Question 7.a How often so students see teachers overlooking cheating? (Included in Students Questionnaire only) It is interesting to note here that students are rather critical concerning this question. He, who has once been caught, will remember every other case when someone else is caught and thinks of the problem differently from others. Most students (68%) said that teachers are seldom so generous, generally they punish the cheater instead of not noticing him.

(See Diagram 7.a/ Student.) Question 8. Why do you think students cheat? Strikingly, answering this question, all except for two students admitted that They are too lazy to learn everything for an examination, which was in fact the opinion of every teacher. Many students also chose They have to many examinations and They have too much to learn for one particular examination but the majority was honest enough to us and also to themselves that the case is simpler than anyone would expect it to be. Being lazy is not the teachers fault; it is something isolated from any other factors, and also maybe the only thing that depends entirely on the student himself. 5.4.

What about morals? Question 9. Do you think cheating is sin? It is not surprising that all teachers, except one, claimed cheating is sin. Students regard this question differently, which indeed causes some controversy. We argued in the previous questions that students are generally afraid of getting caught cheating, which is, psychologically speaking, an indication that they are aware of its being bad. But if they know it, why then do they say that it is not sin? Majority of the students say so, as Diagram 9.a/ Student below indicates.

6. Conclusion The aim of this research was to find out how widespread cheating in the School of English and American Studies is, and what people think about it. We agreed that the main reason for cheating are the numerous details in the material. Teachers and students both think that the material students have to learn for a SEAS examination is quite detailed, which suggests that quite many people use such illegal means as a cheat-sheet in exam situations. 6.1.

Is cheating so common as it seems to be? At an average written examination 53.7% of the participants use illicit sources such as the neighbours paper, which is almost the same number as the number of those who often cheated at the University of Economics in 1996. Of the cheaters about 28.5% remains unnoticed every time. 6.2. Do students find cheating difficult? Looking at the neighbours paper or asking him a question are the methods, which the majority of the students would use in exam situations. According to the teachers, the methods which a student could actually do are using a pre-designed cheat-sheet and looking at the neighbours paper rather than the others.

There are students who think some teachers do not mind cheating at their exams. 42% of them consider looking at the neighbours paper is permitted by many teachers. What is more, 59% of the teachers even admitted that they sometimes do look over cheating. 6.3. What about morals? In the light of the results discussed above we can say that most of the students do not think of cheating as sin, whereas teachers do.

But neither group seems to behave according to their opinions. Teachers, 92% of whom believe that cheating is sin, sometimes pretend not having seen anything and let students do it. Students in general do not regard cheating as sin but when they say that there are teachers who allow it, they question teachers . The psychology of the situation is obvious: Students do not want to admit that what they do is wrong, that is why they say it is not sin but they feel it inside. It is always more comfortable not to accept morals but form an opposition against the authorities.

Students reinforce each other in the belief that cheating is really not that bad, inducing this way a false idea that makes them feel more comfortable while being aware of doing something they should not do. This way, students and teachers complement each other; there is no clash of interests in this case. Students want to minimise their efforts and choose the easier way; teachers want to avoid conflicts and walk along as if everything were all right. Bibliography 1. Gblys J. (1999, January).

Vizsgatrkkk. HVG 99/03, p.77. 2. Brown, S., Earlam, C. & Race, P.

(1995) 500 tips for teachers. London: Kogan Page Ltd. 3. Robertson, C. (Ed.). (1998).

The Wordsworth Book of Humorous Quotations. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd. 4. Rka & Bunny (1999). Jobb flni, mint megijedni. http://cyberpress.sopron.hu/diak/content puska.html 5.

Anonymous (1999). No title. http://www.fdl.uws.edu/faculty/rrigteri/Sommers.ht m Appendices: 1. Appendix a Students Questionnaire 2. Appendix b Teachers Questionnaire.