Colleges Are Using Technology to Nab Cheaters. What Does This Mean for Students?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Several years ago, cheating on a college exam or plagiarizing a term paper would have looked entirely different than it does today. At the very least, students would have had to sneak in some notes or perhaps copy answers from a friend or classmate. But now – especially as more classes move to online instead of in-person meetings – cheating involves little more than an internet connection and a smartphone.

For college students who are already overwhelmed due to pressures such as finances, jobs, family, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the temptation to Google their way to the correct exam answer or term paper success can be substantial. If you have fallen victim to these pressures, you're certainly not alone. In a 2019 Center for Academic Integrity poll of college students, 70 percent admitted to some cheating, and nearly a quarter admitted to “serious test cheating.”

Teachers Also Know Tech

But while students have used technology to cheat more efficiently, teachers have also taken advantage of new tools designed to catch cheaters. “It's a little bit like a proliferation in arms races: Once things come up on one side, the kind of detection and awareness on the other side has to be elevated,” says Ron Daniel, Virginia Tech’s associate provost for undergraduate education.

For instance, many colleges and universities have banned cell phones in testing centers, and teachers have been known to Google sentences or phrases that they suspect have been plagiarized. Websites like Grammarly and also specialize in helping teachers identify cheaters – and some teachers have even written their own computer programs to help stop plagiarism. The company Software Secure has created a program to prevent students from opening browser windows during electronic exams. They are also creating a webcam that will monitor students during remote tests.

So what does this mean for students – especially those who have been accused of cheating? First, it's important to note that many colleges have a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism, and the penalties can be severe. At the very least, being caught cheating can result in your work being destroyed and your grade being lowered. In many cases, it can cause you to be expelled from your college or university – oftentimes permanently. Additionally, it is possible for plagiarism to result in legal action such as fines.

Accused of Plagiarism? An Attorney Can Help

If you have been accused of plagiarism or cheating by your college or university, you have the right to defend yourself and protect your academic record and your integrity. It is important to know your school's policy and your rights if you are accused. An experienced education lawyer can help you understand your case and craft a defense that is more likely to succeed.

The Lento Law Firm is here to help. Joseph D. Lento has fought for the rights of falsely accused students across the country for more than a decade. Our law firm has already adapted to the virtual realities of a post-COVID world. We can help guide you to the most beneficial outcome for your case. Call (888) 535-3686 to speak directly with experienced education lawyer Joseph D. Lento about your case.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor