Catch Me If You Can: Academic Cheating Part 1 of 2

Your students are cheaters! There! I got it out in the open! If you teach long enough, some of your students are going to go the route of cheating for their grades. I like to tell my students, “We’re not making cornflakes in this class!” You mess up on a cornflake and no one notices. Mess up on a patient and someone may not get to go home!

This is why it is so important to be vigilant to ensure academic integrity in the classroom. Do you REALLY want a student who was able to cheat his or her way through class to be potentially responsible for the care of your family? I didn’t think so! In order to catch a cheater, sometimes you have to think like a cheater. This blog will look at some of the ways, both high and low tech of how students cheat as well as what you can do about it.

The Coke Bottle Cheating Hack
In order to complete this hack, the student will remove the label from a 20 oz. bottle of Coke. A Coke bottle works best as the white letters on a red background make it difficult to read from a distance.
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Scan the label using the highest quality setting possible. Save the file as a .jpg.
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Using your favorite photo editing software, remove the ingredient list while leaving the red background.
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Once you feel that you have removed just the right amount, simply go back and replace the deleted text with notes, formulas, and potential answers.
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Once the student has all the information on the label that they feel that they will need, they simply print the photo out on GLOSSY paper. For additional information, the student might write more cheating hacks on the inside of the new label. They will become visible as the student consumes the soda. When finished, the student has a very innocent looking cheating tool!
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A second easy method of cheating is called the “Watch Hack”. The student begins with a watch. Any watch will do.
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On a sheet of white paper, the student writes out the information needed in a square shape using the smallest font that they can possibly read.
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The student then takes a small square of packing tape and places it flush, with no wrinkles over the information that they have just typed. Applying hand pressure along with heat from the hand will assist in the transfer of the ink from the paper to the tape.
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If the student is careful, they can slowly peel the tape away from the paper. In doing so, the ink will adhere to the tape.
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It is a simple matter, at this point to place the tape over the face of their watch and carefully trim the excess away. Now they simply seem to be looking at their watch.
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Information on how to minimize cheating will be covered in our next blog.

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2 thoughts on “Catch Me If You Can: Academic Cheating Part 1 of 2

  1. I thought F=MA was just artificial flavoring. Who knew it had anything to do with those silly kinematics? Great tips Bill! Keep up the good work.

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