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Dealing with Classmates Cheating

Madeline25Madeline25 Registered User Posts: 525 Member
A few months back, my math class was given an extremely hard take home test. We were told we were allowed to use our textbooks and notes in addition to asking the teacher questions. We weren't allowed to talks to each other or use the Internet. Of course I knew some people would cheat. However every single person but me in the class cheated. I have messages in the group chat to prove over half of them. I ended up doing very poorly then working my but off to do corrections (which my teacher graciously allowed me to do to help bring my grade up) while the people who cheated got 100's and were applauded by the teacher during class. I got extremely mad, but did not rat anyone out. I felt bad because it was a group of highly intelligent students being extremely stupid and I'll admit that a lot of them are my friends.

We were given a take home final over the break and the same thing is bound to happen. I'm not sure really what to do. One thing I'm concerned about is that I could be convicted for just being in the group message with the people cheating on it. The thing is it's our class group message for everything and it shows you when someone leaves it so I don't want to just randomly leave it. It's also the injustice is really starting to get on my nerves. I'm think that if they start to cheat on the group message I'm going to leave it and maybe just say to the teacher that I overheard some people cheating without saying names and let him handle it. I'm also a little bit worried about getting convicted because I was on the other group message that there was cheating materials on. I got a super low grade on it and didn't even comment on any of the cheating stuff so I think that's just me being paranoid. What do y'all think I should do?
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Replies to: Dealing with Classmates Cheating

  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    @Madeline25 - the only way the teacher/school can help you is if you come forward. In general, if you're relying on adults to help enforce fairness, you have to help them with the knowledge they need to do so. Could you print out the transcript and put it in the teacher's mailbox? Yes, that would also implicate you if you were in the chat, so it's not as desirable. If you say "you heard" without names or details, that's unlikely to result in real change.
  • LeopardFireLeopardFire Registered User Posts: 531 Member
    edited December 2015
    Is there any way to anonymously report the specific cheaters? You could leave a note for your math teacher, listing names of the cheaters and describing the situation. You could also voice your concerns about take-home tests in-general.
  • Madeline25Madeline25 Registered User Posts: 525 Member
    @fretfulmother I like that idea. Thanks!
    @LeopardFire Yeah I'm thinking anonymously might be the way to go.

    Both of you, do you think I should adress the previous situation or just adress it if it happens again?
  • LeopardFireLeopardFire Registered User Posts: 531 Member
    I think you should focus more on the previous situation, seeing as it is the one you have definite proof for. Mentioning multiple occurrences can only strengthen your case.
  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    I think you should address both (all?) the situations with as much data as possible. If it's really a widespread ring, then likely no one is going to get a huge punishment, but they might (and should) have to take a new test. One of my colleagues (I'm a HS teacher) uncovered a cheating ring in a kind of sting operation, and that's what happened. Instead of zeroes etc., they had the new test and a detention/warning. The thought was that probably even more kids were involved, and since they couldn't nail down everyone, they did this alternative.
  • KarimChammaaKarimChammaa Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    How about you just mind your own business and not worry about other people?
  • whitespacewhitespace Registered User Posts: 1,029 Senior Member
    I think it's important that you come forward with this. It will not only diminish the chances of cheating in the future, but it's the correct thing to do. But, it's important to be sure that you are doing this not to benefit yourself, but to benefit the learning environment and because you care about integrity.
    If you do come forward, be aware of the consequences. Your teacher may not take you seriously, especially since you were one of the only ones to not do well on the test. If you expose your classmates, you risk them finding out. Your teacher may assure you that your privacy will be maintained, but how will it look when you are one of the only ones to not take a zero, or another test? Also know that this will likely change the way your class handles tests in the future, aka no more take home tests.
    Best of luck to you, and hopefully integrity wins.
  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    @KarimChammaa - I'm assuming you are a young HS student, but that is poor advice. Cheating is everyone's business. @whitespace - interesting point about the friends finding out - on the other hand, if twenty people cheated on the internet, there's plausible deniability. If all else fails, OP can say her parents told the teacher. We parents/teachers are fine being the scapegoat at times like this!
  • whitespacewhitespace Registered User Posts: 1,029 Senior Member
    @fretfulmother - Interesting idea, thank you for bringing that up! I hadn't thought of it, although I probably should have, as my mom is always telling me if I need to get out of a bad situation to blame it on her.
    This situation really just makes me sit back and think. A similar event happened at my school on a language final. A teacher accidentally sent out the final via email, thinking that they were sending out answers to the review. No one said a word, and as a result that entire class is facing some very unclear but scary consequences. I wouldn't want to let this situation get to that.
  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    @Waiting2exhale you are right!
  • KarimChammaaKarimChammaa Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    Sorry guys, my words were kind of harsh. You can maybe tell the teacher that there is some cheating going on in the class, but you should not tell the teacher who the cheaters are. Just make sure the teacher is aware and is taking action to prevent it from happening again.
  • IBscholarIBscholar Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    @KarimChammaa That's not much better, because then it'd inflict the punishment on everyone as opposed to the people who actually committed the cheating.

    I'd say @whitespace is correct in their approach: be anonymous, but be direct and show transcripts demonstrating the cheating going on, but also be aware of the possible consequences (social or otherwise).
  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    @KarimChammaa - why in the world should OP not tell the teacher who the cheaters are?
  • MiscTrollMiscTroll Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    This serves as a good foreboding of what you'll experience a few years down the line – especially if you get a corporate job. Given the option, people will take the easy way out if it's clearly advantageous for them to do so. It also gives them extra repose if their actions don't directly harm anyone.

    In your case, I would just deal with it. If you opt to take the high-ground, then that's your choice. Just don't start freaking out when "every single person but [you]" cheats and does well.
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