According to Oxford languages, cheating is to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. For example, “The student was caught cheating in the exams”. The most common type of cheating occurs in the classroom, where students violate the rules of the exam, and in relationships, where couples are unfaithful to their partners.
Cheating is a form of deception and is morally wrong. What constitutes cheating in the classroom? Here are some examples of cheating in education.
- When you disobey the rules set out by the teacher.
- When you copy from your notebook or book without the teacher knowing.
- When you copy from another student.
- When you check your phone.
- When you share your answer with another student.
Students cheat in many ways. Some write notes on the palm of their hands, under their desk, under their chairs, on their handkerchiefs, or even in the toilets. Some people go further and forge certificates. They scan and laminate a certificate to make it appear as if they studied at a prestigious university. Many websites offer ‘assignment help’ where they write the assignment for a student. This is a form of cheating and is certainly dishonest. Fortunately, the Australian Government has cracked down on those academic cheating services. New laws were passed in September 2020 that allowed TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) to block academic cheating websites using court orders. TEQSA is Australia’s independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education. There were more than 300 websites offering academic cheating services in March 2022.
You should never cheat in education for any reason. What happens when you cheat?
1. Your teacher will find out
Let’s say you copied the answers, and all your answers are correct. Remember that your teacher knows your ability and level. When your teachers read your assessment and if there is a huge shift in your performance.
2. You are wasting your time and money
If you cheat in the exams and you complete your course, you may go to a higher level but in the long term, you will struggle at a higher level. Many students usually go back to a lower level.
3. You are putting yourself and the life of others at risk
Suppose you cheated and have received a certificate in disability care. You can put your client at serious risk if you don’t understand what you are required to do.
Punishment must be enacted when dealing with cheating
We reward people for good actions and punish people for wrong actions. Punishment is the opposite of reward. Without punishment, people will do and continue to do evil.
What will happen if a student is caught cheating on an exam and the teacher let it go?
If another student does the same and if the teacher punishes that student, the teacher would be unfair in administering equal punishments.
Suppose you are on the operation bed before surgery. You ask the surgeon, ‘Where did you study medicine? The surgeon responds by saying ‘I bought a certificate online’. It’s an imaginary situation but it’s a good analogy to show that cheating is never right. Punishment sets a standard and prevents others from doing an action. Punishments greatly reduce the likelihood of that action repeating again. In 2021, after an integrity unit was set up to crack down on university cheating, searches for university cheating services dropped by 23 per cent in Australia. That helped contribute to a significant downward trend in online searches for the dodgy practice in Australia.
Management should set the standards
Education institutions such as universities, TAFES, schools, and RTOs should set the standards and support their academic staff to take corrective measures when students cheat. They should not encourage turning a blind eye. That would be a great disservice to the noble field of education.