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Archive for the ‘Cheating’ Category

In my inbox

Sometimes life’s just too funny. I get stuff like this in my inbox from a site that stores old tests:

Why use a study guide when you can have the old
exam? Spend more time partying and less time studying.

Needless to say, when the site advertises things similar to “Why study the night before an exam when you can study on the day of the exam?” I wonder who buys this stuff. In the end it sounds like an invitation to cheat. Fortunately, most of the times this does not work, unless we professors get too lazy. This is when random number generators actually do a great job for science courses.

 

What is more dangerous nowadays is that people cheat by using the internet during exams even if they’re not allowed to. The problem is catching them. Fantastic tools like Wolfram Alpha can be used to remove the thinking out of a problem. Check this one (simple) example I just cooked:

 

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=time+velocity+%3D+120+Km%2Fhr%2C+distance+100+m

 

The main problem is that at some point one actually needs to know if the student actually knows what a velocity really is. Or if the student can actually convert hours to seconds. In the end this is what certification of knowledge is about: we need to be able to certify that a student actually knows this stuff.

In the meantime, in the famous words of Garth and Wayne, party on.

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