Why students cheat

May 17, 2007 3 Comments »

Recently, I’ve had several people tell me that the fact that students cheat on a particular assignment of mine suggests that the assignment is too much work for them. I call bull. If that were true, then you’d expect to see a variation in the number of cheating students based on the difficulty of an assignment. This is not the case. I’ve got as many students cheating on my small day-to-day homework checks as I have on my large unit-long projects. Unsurprisingly, most of them are the same students.

(This is leaving aside the whole issue of whether cheating is an appropriate response to a difficult assignment.)

So why do students cheat? Because they’re lazy and they think they can get away with it.

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  1. Julie May 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm -

    I agree that this is why students cheat? (Am I speaking from experience? I’ll never tell….)
    Bottom line is, real life is work, and they’ll realize in a few years that maybe they shouldn’t have taken the so-called “easy route” of cheating. Doing the work better prepares you for life outside of school. There are no shortcuts in the workplace, in a marriage or in parenting. The sooner you figure that out, the better.

  2. Jeremy May 20, 2007 at 10:12 pm -

    Are you trying to get yourself in trouble? At this rate you are going to get fired…wait, that’s not possible in a teachers union…so…you are going to get another stern talking to young man!

    I think you might need to start an annonymous blog where you call out your students every couple of weeks… Wink

  3. Ian H. May 21, 2007 at 11:59 am -

    A lot of teachers blog anonymously for that reason. I don’t feel the need to hide behind anonymity, since this is basically the same things I say to people face-to-face anyways. If these types of comments are attached to the name of someone known, it might add more weight, something like Amazon’s “Real Name” policy.