Digital devices in the classroom (BYOD) allow students to research facts, collaborate with others, and increase audiences. That same device, however, can be used by a student to cheat. The digital device can be used to look up facts during an assessment or to collaborate with others and share answers. While digital devices in the classroom is new, cheating is not new. There are always students who cheat for different reasons: pressure to do well, unprepared for assessment, fear of failure.
A few weeks ago, a memo on cheating was circulated at our school stating:
“….some students may be utilizing their phones and/or looking up information on their computers and closing screens when a teacher approaches.”
The memo was stating the obvious, and had the effect of that famous scene from Casablanca:
One way to stop cheating is to make assessments that allow students access to source materials, a form of “open book” testing, so their answers will have the evidence necessary to prove their ideas. Teachers then will be authentically testing a 21st Century skill that uses the 21Century device.