Dishonesty amongst college students

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?


6 Responses to “Dishonesty amongst college students”

  1. BOTS member Says:

    Having them prove they were simply there seems like a waste. I could understand having them write something they learned there or describe three of the booths. Honestly, if I had this assignement and didn’t have to prove I went, there’s no way I would go.

  2. aishel Says:

    Instead of making them get signatures from each booth, I think it would be more constructive to do what you said, or give a 3 minute detailed talk to the class about one of the booths they saw and what they learned from it.

  3. peninah Says:

    When I was in Towson, I had a teacher that gave us a test on a Friday. The test took a lot longer for the class to finish than she anticipated. She told us that we could finish on Monday. I (being the epitome goody goodiness that I was) went up to her after class and told her I didn’t think it was fair because I wouldn’t look at my notes over the weekend (remember, we knew exactly what was on the test) but what about other people. The teacher answered me, “and why wouldn’t you look at your notes?”

    I thought this was a great example of both trusting your students and realizing what is important for your students. This teacher didn’t treat us like 6th graders. She only cared that we knew the material. I probably knew the material on that test the best out of any material throughout college.

  4. Sara K Says:

    Like you said, making them write a summary of the Health Fair would be way more constructive than requiring them to get signatures to prove they were there. That would ensure that they actually LEARNED something and didn’t just show face. What is with teachers these days?

  5. swski Says:

    I am not surprised that they don’t trust students today as the cheating is so bad. It does seem that their method is dumb.

  6. SephardiLady Says:

    Unrelated to cheating, but this product looks like something great to have a younger child help in the kitchen that wants to but isn’t quite ready.

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