I’ve always known that there is rampant cheating in just about anything where cheating is possible. Universities are even bigger game for cheating as the motivation lies in getting better grades and getting a degree as quickly as possible. The steps teachers have to take are pretty tremendous. I know that some teachers require students to email a copy of any paper in addition to hard copies so that the teachers can google the paper and see if plagiarism has occurred. But I didn’t realize that teachers had to resort to treating students like 6th graders.
As part of a class assignment today, several students and I manned a booth at Towson University‘s Health Fest today. We were showing various pieces of adaptive equipment that occupational therapists use to help people with disabilities. For example, in order to cut an apple, you need two hands, one to stabilize the apple, and the other to actually cut it. But what if someone had a stroke and are very weak on one side of their body? How will they cut the apple? So one of the tools we had was a cutting board with two nails protruding from it, as shown here:
By sticking the apple inside the nails, it stabilizes the apple, allowing you to cut with just one hand. This can be used for all sorts of things you’d need to cut. Anyway, we had a whole bunch of other fun low-tech gadgets that can help people with various disabilities be more independent.
So back to my main point, we had several people come around looking at the various booths, and you can easily tell who’s really interested in what you have to say. But then there were those who came to your booth, took a brochure, and then asked you to sign it for them so that they can take it back to class as ‘proof’ that they were at the Health Fest and went around to all the booths.
Now I can understand that going to the Health Fest would be a class assignment for many of the health-related disciplines, but to make your students get signatures from each booth as proof? Is the level of dishonesty amongst college students so bad that we have to treat them like 6th graders?