Cheating goes high-tech

As technology becomes more personal, students are using phones, email devices and cameras to cheat on exams.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor
Hackers, cyber-criminals and identity thieves ... someone is always trying to dupe the system. Now add to the list students who use digital technology to cheat on their tests. Students at universities are utilizing camera phones and text-messaging to cheat on tests, and they are giving the universities a run for their money, reports the New York Times.

The advent of the Internet and portable devices has made cheating so much easier that colleges are cracking down by going low-tech with old- fashion pen and bluebook.

"It is kind of a hassle," said Ryan M. Dapremont, 21, who just finished his third year at Pepperdine University, and has had to take his exams on paper. My handwriting is so bad. Whenever I find myself having to write in a bluebook, I find my hand cramps up more, and I can't write as quickly."

Some say that schools are so competitive that they force students into seeking short-term solutions such as cheating to pass tests.

In a survey of nearly 62,000 undergraduates on 96 campuses over the past four years, two-thirds of students admitted to cheating.

Cheaters preprogram formulas into calculators, load class notes onto portable email devices, and use camera phones to take pictures of notes.

How have the universities responded? Schools cut off Internet access during tests, installed survellience cameras in the classrooms, recruited student proctors to monitor tother students while taking the tests, and built honor codes which students must adide by. Richard Craig, a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State simply had students turn their desks around so that the teacher could see the monitors.

A more high-tech approach is to require students to run software that cuts off access to the Internet and to the local file system, making a machine a glorified typewriter.

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