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18105539 No.18105539 [DELETED]  [Reply] [Original]

Anons, I'm trying to understand the mindset that leads to and follows cheating on an exam.

Backstory: I'm marking exams from a first-year English course and find that, in one exam, more than half the content is plagiarised. It's obvious to me that there's something conspicuously different about these answers and within a few minutes I've found four different sources. The correlation between the online sources and the exam is close enough that I can formally accuse the student of academic misconduct. If this student agrees that the plagiarism has occurred, the exam will receive a grade of 0 and the student will likely fail the course.

I never cheated in uni or plagiarised, so I'm trying to understand why someone does this, whether they really think they can get away with it, and whether there's anxiety/remorse afterward.

I think I'm looking for ways to to sympathise with the student. It means additional hours of work for me and pisses me off no end.

Experiences, anons? I want to understand and, hopefully, think of a pedagogically useful way to work through this sort of thing in the future.

>> No.18105551

>>18105539
Fuck them, cheaters get what's coming to them and better sooner than later.

>> No.18105573

Cheating subverts literally every purpose behind academics. The student deserves no sympathy. What possible reason could there be to sympathize with him?

>> No.18105625
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18105625

>>18105539
You can sympathize, but give him no quarter. You cannot allow cheating to take place, even once, or everyone in your course will start doing it. His first AD will not ruin his life. Better he learns his lesson now instead of later.

>> No.18105626

I cheated sometimes in college and knew plenty of others who did

In my experience, it’s mostly done when students are taking classes they don’t feel they need or want simply because it’s required. Your first-year English class is probably like that, so you have a bunch of stem people with zero interest or need for it taking the exam. They don’t give a shit if they learn, they just need a decent grade so that they can stay in school and get their STEM degree.

There was definitely a sense of guilt at least for me, but in my case the idea of the guilt and shame I’d face if I failed out of school because of some bullshit chem class outweighed the guilt of cheating. I knew I’d never take or use chem again so why would I risk failing when I could cheat and be fine. I’m sure some people could even rationalize that they’ll do good with a STEM degree or whatever so getting that degree is morally good and worth cheating on an irrelevant course for.

Take a look at what majors the cheating students are, or ask them. I suspect you’ll see a pattern. If you want those students not to cheat, you need to convince them the class is valuable outside of meeting their prereqs, and make sure the exam matches the content.

If it’s English/humanities majors cheating, then yeah they are pathetic and deserve failures but otherwise there is some logic

>> No.18105650

>>18105626
Also, ask for
>whether they really think they can get away with it
Yes, they 100% think they can get away with it because usually they’ve done it in high school and other classes and teachers are frankly oblivious.

>> No.18105676

>>18105539
college is job training
the result of cheating during college is that they might be bad at their job after college
what a terrible shame that would be

>> No.18105683

>>18105539
How tf do you get caught cheating on an English exam? Literally just re-word and use your head.

>> No.18105689

>>18105539
Not this is... an excuse, but I have ADHD and I get really fucking nervous trying to get through college. I don't think if I've ever outright done something like "cheating"... well, no, okay maybe I have...

But the idea was that I just wanna get a job, you know? I just want to get through college. I know there's plenty of fucking ivy league schools that just pass people through and get them a job doing some grandiose research project, so the fuck does it matter? I don't think I'll retain it. I want to learn, but...
Why? I'm already over 30 and feel like I have no life. My GPA shouldn't even matter as much as people think it does IMO. I don't feel like it affects my career... I hate it.

But I don't want to spend another goddamn trimester trying to pass, especially when the professors say shit like "well some of you might be a bit rusty". Fine! I'll just try to pass then. I'll try to learn, except its really hard to not procrastinate etc. especially when I have no life outside of college... but I'll try to pass and I'll just try to absorb it anyway.

But I also do feel bad about cheating. I do want to know if I understand well. I don't want to get into a bad spot later, but for fuck's sake this is my future EMPLOYMENT we're talking about! I can't fuck around. I HAVE TO PASS. I can't WAIT. I need to get out of college as soon as I conceivably can so I can actually enjoy life for once... and that's AFTER I EVEN find a job I like.

Its a little different because I'm a STEM student.. but there you go. I tell myself, I'll just learn the material later...

I've never cheated in writing, but that's probably some similar reasoning. Dunno why you'd plagiarize though. I don't know that its necessary to really get the student expelled or whatever... personally, I think there's a chance you could talk with them. If it were me, I'd appreciate it... but then that also depends on what's possible for you as a professor.

>> No.18105709

>>18105573
>>18105625

I agree that it subverts the entire purpose of academics, which is part of why I cannot understand why someone would do it. Recognising that I don't understand this, I still assume that there is some sort of rationale that leads a person to do this.

I think there are better and worse ways to handle a kid making a dumb decision in their first year of uni. This student will experience the majesty of law, as it were, but I expect there's some room for grace.

Part of why I'm concerned is because I've never met these students given the dumb year it's been. I know one of my students in the same class was recently hospitalised and has had a terrible time finishing the term. This student received a lot of accommodation, as seemed appropriate to the circumstances.

I suppose I'm left wondering about what could have been going on in the student's life/mental processes that led to this. If there was a problem, I wish they would have communicated with me about it. There's can be a pastoral aspect to good teaching, so I'm trying to understand.

Let me be clear, the issue is black and white. This student plagiarised and will face the process set out by the university. They will become yet another example that I mention in class about how dumb it is to plagiarise and how easily it can be found. That said, I'd rather this could somehow be used to improve the student and help them learn, rather than just a punishment that pushes them to try cheat better next time.

>> No.18105718

>>18105683
This is part of what I find so difficult to understand. I try to ask pretty narrow and specific questions, so vague general answers are a red flag. But this particular student was using language and terminology about the text that we didn't in the course content, and which no one else used. You're going to stand out if you are the one person in 50 making claims like that.

>> No.18105722

>>18105539
>>18105709
If they can get away with it it's a rational action. Their judgement that they can get away with it might be wrong (false premise) but if the premise is correct then it makes sense to do it and in fact it would be irrational not to do it.

>> No.18105727

>>18105626
>they don’t feel they need or want simply because it’s required

That's a helpful insight.

>>18105626
>Take a look at what majors the cheating students are, or ask them. I suspect you’ll see a pattern. If you want those students not to cheat, you need to convince them the class is valuable outside of meeting their prereqs, and make sure the exam matches the content.

Another good idea. Thanks, anon.

>> No.18105737

>>18105539

\ /
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>> No.18105741

>>18105539

\ /
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>> No.18105761
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18105761

If humans are willing to disobey God for minute pleasures (which they may not even desire in reality) despite knowing the absurdity of it, why wouldn’t they be willing to disobey the laws of academia? I’ve had friends who cheated on tests they would’ve done well on anyway quite literally because they could.

Read notes from underground for more info

>> No.18105776

I've never really cheated but during the first covid outbreak when exams were online I used notes and google
I was never sure whether or not it was allowed, but I always felt guilty about doing it.
My rationale was just that I wasn't handling covid well, and because of that I needed some extra help.
For calculus 2, I still understood the broad concepts, there were just equations and things I hadn't memorized, so I felt good enough about it.
For chemistry, I still understood most broad concepts, and I don't plan on going into chem anyways so I didn't think it mattered much, was just a gened class I needed for my degree.
I don't know why people usually cheat, besides maybe just not feeling smart enough, and worrying about disappointing themselves. I can understand that, but if that's the case and they can't pass without cheating, maybe they don't belong in college. Shit does that apply to me?

>> No.18105784

>>18105689
>I don't know that its necessary to really get the student expelled or whatever... personally, I think there's a chance you could talk with them. If it were me, I'd appreciate it... but then that also depends on what's possible for you as a professor.

The student won't be expelled, unless they have any previous (which is unlikely for someone in their first-year). They'll get a misconduct on their record in case it happens again, but the misconduct is temporary (5 years or graduation) and does not follow them beyond the uni. I think it's a fair system that doesn't come down too hard on a single dumb decision.

>> No.18105788
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18105788

>>18105539
I’ve been cheating on my history and geology tests for the entire semester since I wanted more free time but after reading what everyone in this thread is saying I’m gonna just do the material and study

>> No.18105790

>>18105776
>My rationale was just that I wasn't handling covid well, and because of that I needed some extra help.

This is the sort of thing that I'm concerned with. There's been a lot of problems with student mental health this year, so I'm trying to stay open-minded with how I approach the situation.

>> No.18105793

>>18105539
Essentially this
>>18105722
Its too important. If you feel you can get away with it, especially if you feel pressured by some circumstances or whatever, then you will probably cheat the fuck out of a test.

I don't really get cheating on humanities though, unless maybe that student isn't majoring in humanities and thinks "why the fuck do I have to do this stupid class?" which is also a thing.

I think its important for instructors to understand disillusionment with college. You, a person who never felt like cheating, might have no idea how frustrating it is listening to an academic advisor try and make the idea of a uni being artificially selective into some sort of palatable reasoning.

I don't know what you think about academia, but there are plenty like me who think, or at least feel like its corrupt so much your head has no space for anything else, no matter how good the instructors actually teaching us are.

>> No.18105799

>>18105551
>>18105573
>>18105625
>>18105626
>>18105650
>>18105676
>>18105683
>>18105689
>>18105722
>>18105737
>>18105741
>>18105761
>>18105776
>>18105788

Thanks for the feedback, anons. I've got to get back to grading. G'night.

>> No.18105802

>>18105793
>I think its important for instructors to understand disillusionment with college. You, a person who never felt like cheating, might have no idea how frustrating it is listening to an academic advisor try and make the idea of a uni being artificially selective into some sort of palatable reasoning.
>I don't know what you think about academia, but there are plenty like me who think, or at least feel like its corrupt so much your head has no space for anything else, no matter how good the instructors actually teaching us are.

This also helps, anon. I fully agree that the system is corrupt and degraded, which is why I'll stop and ask what the best thing to do could be, rather than treat it as a simple equation (cheat=punish).

>> No.18105810

>never cheated in uni or plagiarised, so I'm trying to understand why someone does this, whether they really think they can get away with it, and whether there's anxiety/remorse afterward.
First of all, I study Philosophy
In my case, if I cheat on an exam it is because I genuinely do not give a shit about it. If I cheat, usually it's on courses that I'm forced to take which also take time from my private studies. You should keep this in mind: there is a chance you were just wasting your student's time.
Also don't accuse him, you goddamn cop.

>> No.18105811

>>18105539
The concept of higher education is a joke to most people, they just want a piece of paper and a job at the end of it. If they get caught they’ll probably just resent you and your class for getting in between them and their paper.

>> No.18105825

>>18105784
That does sound pretty fair then, actually. I think its just normal things that lead people to cheat, like loneliness, the pandemic, all that shit. Its pretty understandable to me.

I never felt like I was someone designed to get through college. I feel like I'm smart, and I want to learn, but there's so much bullshit, so much wasted time that it can make a person callous.

It is a little weird to do that for English, but I don't really buy what the other anons are saying, either, that they get what they deserve (I mean they do, but no more than any other cheater in this apparently rather fair system you mention). I think its probably still essentially the same thing. In a way, college isn't really a choice when you think about it. I have my end goals, but I know it will not be the same as what I am doing in college now and I often wonder about how much of my skills and knowledge I really maintain.

Then again, it could also be laziness. But, then again, no, because that laziness is understandable when you're a stressed out college student. Sometimes its just hard to be completely honest.

>> No.18105830

>>18105811
>they just want a piece of paper and a job at the end of it.
Oh for a room full of caring and conscientious Walduns!

>> No.18105842

>>18105810
>there is a chance you were just wasting your student's time.
Fair enough, because this student is wasting my time too.

>>18105810
>Also don't accuse him, you goddamn cop.

Fuck off, kid. There's consequences to actions, even petty ones in dumb uni programs. I try to approach my vocation with integrity and expect the same of my students.

>> No.18105857

>>18105825
>what the other anons are saying
I used to be puritanical like that when I was a student. But it's different when they're my students, and my own kids will be university age in a few years.

I will enforce the rules about plagiarism (which were made clear to the entire class), but I want to acknowledge that I don't understand what the pressures, demands, and struggles are for most of them. That's part of why I still poke around this shithole.

>> No.18105861
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18105861

>Fuck off, kid. There's consequences to actions, even petty ones in dumb uni programs.

>> No.18105862

>>18105539
Probably because they're Chinese. Don't try to understand the psychology of an insect because it's impossible for us.

>> No.18105871

>>18105539
I used to cheat all the time. Faster, easier and a more rewarding experience than studying. Life is too short to waste it studying pseudo-shit.

>> No.18105934

>>18105862
Your dickfaced performative racism aside, the student likely comes from an upper-middle class, suburban, affluent family. I suspect they've always been handed what they want.

>> No.18105939

>>18105871
>a more rewarding experience than studying
You sound like a person of quality.

>> No.18105940

>>18105842
>Fair enough, because this student is wasting my time too.
Not really, your time is not wasted as long as you're getting paid. If the student did not choose to attend your course then you're the potential time-waster. I've lost count of how many private studies of classics of philosophy I had to postpone in order to follow a completely useless required course (the worst ones are introductory courses that deal with stuff I have already studied in detail).
>Fuck off, kid. There's consequences to actions, even petty ones in dumb uni programs.
The consequences are not justified by his actions. If you're in the US you could literally ruin your student's finances with this choice of yours (imho a scolding in private would be the optimal choice). I would understand your appeal to integrity if you were teaching more practical courses (e.g. courses related to Medicine).
>I try to approach my vocation with integrity and expect the same of my students.
Then you should realize that your integrity should be aimed at your student's education, and not at appeasing the bureaucrats of your university.

>> No.18105945

>>18105934
>muh racism
It's objectively true. Speak to any professor who regularly deals with Chinese students. I don't care if you think I'm le ebul racist.

>> No.18105949

Cheating prepares you for the real world where there isn’t grading and cutthroat actions can often get you ahead

>> No.18106020

>>18105539
An episode of naruto says cheating is all right.

>> No.18106039

>>18105940
>your integrity should be aimed at your student's education, and not at appeasing the bureaucrats of your university.

Welcome to the thread. This is exactly why I started asking questions in the first place. I'm trying to understand why one might choose to cheat since, as I said, it's not a thing that I did. If was simply appeasing the bureaucrats I would file the paperwork and not give the student a second thought.

I am concerned for their finances and them fucking up their average and not being able to get into the program they want, all because they made a dipshit mistake in first-year English. This is why I make the consequences clear, why I try to stay in regular contact with as many of them as I can, and why I try to create assignments and exams that are not easy to cheat on.

My concern for their education also includes them having to deal with their fuckups, though. I've learned from previous experience that some students may learn from a private conversation, but others will take advantage of the "understanding professor." The processes the school has in place, if nothing else, help me to not have to make assumptions about their character.

When I reach out to this student next week and explain what I observed in their exam and why I am filing the allegation, I will allow them to explain why it happened, if they want to. My allegation is only that X content on the exam is conspicuously similar to Y content on these websites, but does not include or judge motive. Maybe they panicked because they didn't study because they've been taking care of their parents who both have covid. If that's the case, there's leeway and a different lesson that could be learned. If they say that they're in STEM and they resent being in English, I can understand that too... I resented the STEM prereqs I needed when I was studying English. I want to understand, so as to best serve the student's education.

So, again, fuck off back to your private studies. We're not going to agree on this, I imagine.

>> No.18106063

>>18105945
I completely agree that there's frustrating challenges dealing with international students, and that the Chinese students are more challenging than most.

Add to that the administration's decision this year to admit more international students than ever before for the increased tuition, nevermind that many of them don't have enough English to be admitted to the school, let alone make it through my lit class.

But saying that the cultural differences make it difficult it not the same as acting like an edgy ebul racist cuckold on an anonymous board.

>> No.18106084
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18106084

I cheated a lot in written works done outside class with my classmates, All of which were brought by laziness. Not saying that my experience is universal but not everyone is blessed with 160 iq, Most of the time,commoners like us must play dirty otherwise fail. It's all about not getting caught, Just like gambling is.

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