Colleges and universities have clear codes of conduct prohibiting cheating to obtain an advantage. Unless told otherwise, students may not use any unauthorized notes during tests and exams. Most students now have “smart” handheld devices, which could be very effectively used to cheat on an exam. Students accused of cheating may be subjected to the school disciplinary system and face potentially severe sanctions and penalties.
Continued Prevalence of Cheating
Recent data shows more high school students are cheating, which may continue during their college years. The students choosing to cheat are not only those with poor grades. Students are increasingly more focused on grades and place less emphasis on their overall educational progress.
Data on Cheating
- Cheating is often justified because other students are doing so and gaining an advantage
- Cheating is most common in classes relating to science or mathematics
- Both male and female students are generally involved
- A large percentage of the students with excellent grades are involved
- Over half of responders considered it as “not a big deal”
Academic Misconduct in Classroom Exams
Cheating is most common in larger lecture class settings. Many students prepare notes on “cheat sheets” in advance. These notes are used most discreetly in exams involving mathematics that allow the usage of “scrap paper” for making calculations. Calculators with advanced features and small mobile phones with internet access are also used.
University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Exam Procedures
The procedural handbook for class instructors at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) provides staff with guidance about proctoring and creating exams. They recommend that multiple versions of the exam be used for true/false or multiple choice style exams. When teaching a course to multiple classes, the exam should be altered to prevent collaboration. When possible, students should be separated from one another during exams. Backpacks, folders, and notebooks should be left in the front of the room.
Courses Taken Online
Roughly one in four students now take college courses online. Cheating on quizzes and exams conducted online is a concern among college and university administrators. Technology to discourage cheating has improved with the usage of webcams, recognition software, biometrics authentication and more.
Overview of the University Disciplinary System
College disciplinary hearings are not civil or criminal legal proceedings. At Penn, a hearing panel presents the evidence and the accused has the opportunity to respond. Penalties may include a fine, suspension or expulsion.
Can I Bring an Attorney?
Penn permits being accompanied by an advisor who is generally a member of the Penn community; however, an attorney could be a tremendous benefit. An attorney may be an excellent resource for interpreting your rights, hearing preparation and assistance with a potential appeal.
Experienced Counsel for Those Accused of Academic Misconduct
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is available to assist students facing sanctions in their college or university's disciplinary process. Those accused of academic misconduct deserve to have their right to due process. For a consultation contact the office at (888) 535-3686 today.