Readers’ Forum: How online school has affected cheating

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With the age of digital technology, and as more schools are switching to online classes, the new era of online school is affecting how students study and prepare for tests. Due to the lack of in-person classes and supervision, many students turn to cheating. Just think, all those students who would sit in class wanting to cheat but were scared of getting caught now have the opportunity. Even at universities that have an Honor Code, such as BYU, there has been an increase in students cheating. Many fellow students and peers have expressed to me how easy it is to cheat on Learning Suite tests because there isn’t anything to regulate them. In the absence of a regulation device, they turn to the internet for answers.

With all these online tests and homework, companies that sell exam answers, such as Chegg and Course Hero have seen a massive boom in business. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, these companies have seen a 63% increase in users. This means more students are turning to these online companies to receive test answers, and they’re not exactly being quiet about it either. I have personally seen numerous TikToks of people explaining how to use these online companies to cheat, and how to bypass the proctoring system for exams.

Universities and schools alike need to better address this very real situation. I believe schools need to fight cheating with force in order to prevent it from increasing. There need to be stricter methods to prevent cheating, such as having students share their screens while testing or an eye tracker to make sure the students aren’t looking at a phone or notes. If schools want to take it even further, instead of online tests, all tests become oral. That would greatly decrease the amount of cheating taking place.

With the world changing and schools making the change to online for the foreseeable future, there is still much to be done. I strongly believe that in the education community, with the proper measures, we can reduce the amount of cheating taking place. Although cheating will never completely go away, it is our duty to do the best we can to be academically honest and to have preventative measures to ensure honesty.

Andrew Mills
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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