Friday, April 3, 2009

Hi-tech Exam Cheats

With technology, we naturally tend to think that there will be better ways to detect/find exam cheats and this in a way deter those who try to cheat in exams, right? But the facts seem to be otherwise [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; recent incidents show that students are increasingly utilizing technology to their advantage to cheat.

This is similar to the current virus/malicious software development market; bad people keep on finding new ways to attack while good people (anti-virus software companies) try to defend those attacks. Another is software piracy market. (Is it OK to download copyrighted stuff from P2P file sharing networks? If so, is it OK to steal money from a book author?)

It again highlights the fact that technology alone cannot solve issues we are facing today. Further, even legal enforcements won't be able to. IMHO, this vicious cycle is never going end (in fact is going to get worse) unless we address non-technical issues such as ethical behaviors, moral issues, etc. How many of those who cheat think that cheating is a bad thing? How many think that their cheating is justified?

Some more thoughts..
Does high competition (few opportunities) lead to cheating? If so, is competition a bad thing?
When students are under pressure to perform, is it a reason for them to cheat? If so, who should be blamed for its happening?

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