Online Education, A Cheaters Paradise?

fem041-01Cheat cheat, never beat?

Online classes are perfect for working professionals and career beginners who want to complete or advance their education.  But are online students actually ”earning” their degree?  I’ve spoke to many undergrads who revealed to me how easy it would be to cheat on an exam, and countless others who openly admitted to cutting a few corners.

Online exams are usually timed to help combat cheating by expediting the decision making process for the student.  It is assumed that some foundation of knowledge would be required (i.e. completed assignments and reading) to score well on a timed examination.  But if the timer is set too long it can easily grant a student ample time to execute a dishonest agenda.  Additionally there are no safeguards in place to stop a student from having one of their friends, who happen to be knowledgeable on that particular subject matter, take the exam. Only a students personal code of ethics would stop them.  But the real question is why do people cheat?

I’ve heard many passionate arguments as to why students will cut those corners to make the grade.  Many rationalize their decision by saying, I’ll never need to know this information in the real world. Prime numbers, Andy Warhol, and conjugating verbs will have nothing to do with what my job consists of some day.  Others have told me they’re only taking the class because it’s a core requirement and that it really doesn’t matter much to them.  To be honest it is difficult for me to disagree.  I’ve worked for some of the biggest companies in the U.S. and have never been asked to solve for x, been quizzed about Andy Warhol’s artistic flare with a Campbell’s soup can, or been handed an essay and asked to conjugate the verbs.

Don’t get me wrong I do not endorse cheating, I simply understand the viewpoint behind why some people do.  But earning your degree in this fashion would be no different than going to a Degree Mill and purchasing a piece of paper saying you hold a BA in this or an MBA in that.  You will only be cheating yourself today, while setting yourself up for failure tomorrow.

Have you ever cheated on a test – either online or in a classroom?  Sound off!

ScholarshipPoints code: CHEATBEAT

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