With cheating more prominent during distance learning, teachers have either enforced new testing guidelines or discontinued tests to ensure academic integrity. While there is a mutual understanding about modified testing accommodations, students and staff are divided concerning the necessity of these new policies.
Many students in science teacher Jennifer Wright’s classes were caught copying from external sources, prompting Wright to only accept handwritten responses. However, students continued to cheat, so Wright decided to begin issuing out zeros on tests with any copied answers.
“There were too many students to call home and cheating letters to go through,” Wright said. “Using the AP Lockdown Browser is a pain, [as] it does not always work on Chromebooks.”
To combat cheating, teachers adopted various online platforms, such as Go Formative, which enables them to monitor students’ progress as they are testing, and Quizizz, which imposes time restraints on individual questions. The “Gallery View” feature on Zoom allows teachers to proctor tests by allowing them to monitor students’ papers and hands.
“I feel like my teacher does not trust us, and it is really uncomfortable being watched while I am trying to focus,” sophomore Chris Yeung said. “I get worried that when I move my hands out of frame or stay on a question for too long, my teacher suspects that I am cheating.”
As some teachers discontinue or decrease the amount of tests, students question whether they will meet the academic standards of a conventional school year.
“I understand why teachers are nervous about assigning tests,” senior Dat Nguy said. “Cheating impairs students’ [education] and restricts them from growth and development as a scholar. I wish there were new implementations put in place to prevent cheating because I am not satisfied with the quality of my education this year.”
Upon their first offense, students caught cheating are required to attend a meeting with their counselor and parents. The student’s discipline file will include a write-up on the incident. On the second occasion, the student will be referred to the Office of Student Employee Welfare, where an administrator will determine further consequences.