In age of digital cheating, a return to the Honor Code

Honor codes have amazing results at college level, even exams can be take-home.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

With tempting high-tech devices that can whip up an answer at lightening speed, schools are returning to good old-fashioned military honor code to encourage students to not cheat, reports the Pasadena Star News.

From cell phones with cameras and Internet capabilities to advanced calculators that can store equations, students have more ways to cheat than ever before.

The West Point honor code, "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do," is a simple and effective way to deter most cheaters.

At Caltech and other elite schools such as Connecticut College, the honor codes are said to work nearly perfectly. Caltech doesn't even bother with tests. Students are given exams to take home, and they may take them at any time convenient to them, sticking by strict limits on time and the use of outside materials.

The verdict is still out on the effectiveness of the instituting the honor code on every level of of education, however.

Tamera Murdock, a researcher who makes cheating her field of study, reports that over 80 percent of today's high school students admit to cheating.

"I get one every semester, from undergraduates to doctoral students," said Murdock.

With the pressures to succeed in school, there will always be someone who sees opportunity in the easy way out. Not everyone will be motivated by the incentive to be honorable and do the right thing. Until then, teachers and professors will have to be extra vigilant.

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