There is very little that you can do to prevent dishonest behavior, but there are certain techniques that can be applied to discourage it. The following presents a number of methods, based on the Carnegie Mellon University website:

Ways to Prevent Cheating on Homework

  • You and/or the professor should talk with students about exactly what is and is not permitted in the course with respect to collaboration. (Especially important when homework counts as a large proportion of the grade and students may feel pressure to use inappropriate methods to ensure good performance.)
  • Be available for help both with the course material and for discussing other issues related to managing their workload. Make full use of office hours and e-mail to maintain ongoing communication.
  • In a large class, take steps to reduce the anonymity by learning students' names and talking with them informally before and after class.
  • If you are teaching a course where the assignments change very little from year to year, you may want to discuss with the professor ways to add small variations that will help you detect inappropriate use of past students' work.

Preventing Cheating on Exams by Proctoring

  • Look alert. Walk around the room enough to see clearly, but spend a considerable amount of time in the back of the room so that students cannot easily keep track of where you are (or aren't) looking.
  • Whenever possible, ensure that students sit in alternate seats. If this isn't possible, talk with the professor about making an alternate version of the exam with problems in a different order.
  • Don't allow students to share calculators unless you clear the memory first. If each student is allowed to bring a one-page reference sheet with them, it reduces the temptation to cheat by storing lots of information in the calculator.
  • If you see suspicious activity during the exam, let the student know you are watching. For example, you can easily stand near the student or ask if he or she has a question to apply subtle pressure. If you believe the student is copying from someone else and the other measures haven't worked, you may need to ask the student quietly to move.
  • Make the process of turning in exams as orderly and quiet as possible. You may want to ask students to stop work and pass their papers to you rather than having everyone drop them off in the front of the room.
  • Keep a good record of who was in the room, including where they sat and who turned in an exam. Occasionally a student will claim that their exam was lost in order to get a second chance to take it.
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