Why Cheating Needs to be Addressed

In my own training setting (a software trainer for a private software company), cheating amongst my learners it not something I encountered as students are not given summative assessments. Formative assessments through practice and discussions is key. As well, often, individual learners are assessed together as how they work as a team and how they can collaborate is most important as they need to take that out of the classroom and into the workplace.

However, I did want to give my perspective on cheating for the educators out there that do run into this issue.

From the video in the last post, we saw how demotivating it was for an honest student to witness cheating.  In the video, an honest student receives a lower grade for not cheating and he feels as though he is being punished because cheating students are getting higher grades. However, cheating also impacts high achieving students, if you think about it. An honest student who puts in the effort to learn the course materials can be rewarded with an equally high grade, but he/she can still feel the injustice of having a classmate earn their grade through accademic dishonesty. This can create hostility in the classroom as the honest student may not feel comfortable speaking up against his classmate as you as an educator may have spent the time building a collaborative environment or the student may feel as though he/she is breaking some code amongst his/her peers.

As educators, we cannot be passive. If an honest student approaches us and tells us about an incident they’ve witnessed, we need to address it. We need to go beyond telling the honest student, “Well, their dishonesty will eventually get them out there in the real world.”  Some type of action needs to be taken to correct this behaviour and maintain classroom harmony.More posts about Academic Dishonesty to come. Watch for a post about instructional strategies to prevent and approach the issue.

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