Now that I’m an in-person and at-home synchronous teaching master–HA–I forget to start my Google Meet at third block about half the time and occasionally talk while my microphone is on mute–I need help mastering ALL THE STUDENT CHEATING THAT IS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY ARE ALWAYS ON THEIR DEVICES.
I miss paper. And pencils. And pens. And THINKING instead of Google searching and regurgitating whatever Spark Notes is telling them about symbolism in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.
I’m starting to wish that Google was never invented.
I’m so frustrated because some students’ grades are complete shams. Their grades aren’t reflective of their knowledge and ability. The grades are reflective of cheating and getting away with it.
It seems like all my digital resources have been compromised.
All of the answers to CommonLit assessments are readily available to students on Quizlet.
The state curriculum that we’re using is web-based. Want to guess how secure it is? Not very. Our unit test answers are plastered all over the internet.
I can’t lock a Google Form anymore because my 8th graders don’t have Chromebooks.
I gave the kids To Kill a Mockingbird before Christmas break to read on their own and a banana-ton of questions to answer as a test grade. It’s due in two weeks. Guess what some kids are doing? Googling the answers instead of reading the book. (In hindsight, this was a terrible assignment to give them.)
And now that I’m teaching at home virtual learners who are, for the most part, unsupervised while they’re at home all day, cheating is even more of an issue. And I could be mistaken, but I think some of my in-person learners are staying home on days when they have lots of tests and logging in virtually to class so they can cheat more easily.
And while we do have Impero as monitoring software, it’s only on school devices. Some of my students use two different devices, one for the Google Meet, and one for classwork, which is fine, but I can’t see what they’re doing on the other device. This also becomes problematic when I do give locked tests through Illuminate. (Also no lesson planning or grading gets done when the students are testing anymore because I have to watch what they’re doing like a hawk.)
End rambly semi-coherent rant.
Do y’all have any teacher hacks to help prevent cheating, especially during testing, in this digital classroom era? This teacher needs help!
Here are some of the things I already do:
- Their cameras must be on and their faces must be fully visible. Most of the time, my rule is eyebrows and up, but this doesn’t work during testing. No blurred backgrounds are allowed either.
- I make all students push their sleeves up and show me their wrists to see if they have smart watches on. If they’re wearing one, I make the kids at home stand up and go put their watches on the other side of the room and the kids at school put their watches in their backpacks. (I personally don’t think kids should wear smart watches at school, period.)
- I make the kids at home show me their phones and have them put their phones on the other side of the room too. I don’t think this actually works. Lots of them tell me that their phones are already in another room. Yeah right.
- I make them have their microphones on the whole time they’re testing.
- Tests have to be taken on the school-issued device.
- I give tests in a locked browser if at all possible. I wish I could lock students into a Google Form or CommonLit. UGHHH.
- I stalk them on Impero when I give them unsecure assessments.
Is it terrible that I delight in their looks of misery when they realize I’ve thwarted most of their reliable cheating methods? Give me more ideas so I can get my schadenfreude on!
But in all seriousness, I can’t believe that parents of in-person learners aren’t making more of a stink about how easy it is for at-home learners to cheat and ultimately get better grades.
Is there anything that parents and students hate more than grades not being fair?