Cheating Speech

June 25, 2005

I do not like cheating whether it is in class, on your income taxes, or on your boyfriend or girlfriend. As I see it there are three types of students:

  • Student A – Cheats at the drop of a hat
  • Student B – Never cheats
  • Student C – Cheats if desperate, tempted, and/or thinks he could get away with it

Let’s say I hand out a test with the desks in this arrangement. [draw three desks on board and label A B C] Student A thinks I must be an idiot and copies off Student B. Student B tries to keep Student A from cheating and is annoyed that I would let this happen. Student C waits until I’m not watching and then copies off Student B as well. Once they have handed in their papers, imagine how they would react if I told them that there were three different versions of the test. I would certainly find it pretty funny, anyway.

As fun as this would be for me, however, I would be violating the class rule by my little game of “Gotcha!” That’s why I’m going to tell you right now — there will almost always be multiple versions of any test or quiz I hand out. In addition, I do not re-use tests from year to year. Thus, Student A will find it very hard to cheat; Student B will be assured that I value honest work; and Student C will face much less temptation.

Should I catch a student cheating, that student will receive an automatic zero. I will also penalize any student who helped in the cheating.

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