Cheating prompts ban on electronics

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Bans to help reduce cheating in classrooms are now up to date with technology, causing numerous bans on digital devices, according to an April 27 CNN.com report. Traditionally, baseball caps have been frowned upon during tests because people could write answers on the brim of the cap. But today, high-tech items have been more of a problem. Since iPods and other digital devices became available to students, schools say there has been an increase in cheating. So far, most of the schools that have been cracking down on cheating are middle and high schools, but K-State’s honor code forces it to also beware of possible methods of cheating. Patricia Hook, instructor of biology, said she has not had a problem with cheating because her class, General Botany, is not a high-stress class. However, she said more can be done to prevent cheating. “I tell my students that they can’t have headphones in or let their phones ring,” Hook said. “Hats are to be turned around so that the bill is in the back, and I walk around the room, too.” Hook said some professors give two versions of the exam with different-colored front pages, but her favorite poster is one that hangs in a classroom in Ackert Hall, which says, “There just isn’t any good way to put ‘cheater’ on your resume.” Faculty Senate passed the Undergraduate Honor System Policy on April 14, 1998, which reads, “On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” According to www.k-state.edu/honor, K-State also follows an Honor System, which states, “Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure on the exam, paper or project; failure in the course; and/or expulsion from the university.” According to the honor policy and system, the university will confront any cheating with serious consequences, and it is up to professors and K-State to determine how to treat each individual case. Some students think restricting technology can have negative effects. Chanelle Dieckmann, junior in secondary education and mathematics, said professors in the math department should not consider it cheating to use a graphing calculator because they know students have access to programming. “Professors make sure that every one has access to a graphing calculator and they leave it up to the student as far as what moral code they follow,” Dieckmann said. Holly Gurss, junior in psychology, said she takes her phone to class everyday but uses it as more of a clock than anything else. “I think that if people wanted to cheat in the past then they would have found ways to do it,” Gurss said. “People are just using their resources more wisely as technology progresses.”

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