A tail dragging romp through the swamps of the world
And he said this kind of behavior "cannot be tolerated" and then gave the cheaters a whole FOUR HOURS of penance. No flunk course, no expel, not even a record.Meanwhile the 2/3 who didn't cheat get to retake the exam and presumably if they have to "give birth" in the exam room during the retake and subsequently did less well on the retake they get to keep the C vs the A they got on the first round.Expel the students AND fire or discipline the prof and admin types who cooked up a deal whereby the outcome was exactly "WHY NOT?"The prof seems a nice enough guy but for all his making all the sad noises he and his institute make it perfectly clear that rules are for suckers.
If the school can positively identify the cheating 1/3rd, then they owe it to the non-cheaters to exclude them from any punitive measures. A class of 600 individuals is not a conspiracy, even though there may have been a conspiracy within that 600.Moreover, the nature of this is probably not all that uncommon. There should be a policy in place for dealing with this collective cheat. If the uni did not already have one, other surely must and it might have been wise to go look at theirs.
It's one of the reasons why I devise my own questions for exams and do not use multiple choice at all.Question banks are for lazy instructors who like the scantron to do their work for them.Short and long answer questions coupled with practical demonstrations of knowledge/learning are the best way to assess folk.Unfortunately for the larger colleges who value numbers over learning that is hard work.600 people in a class is ridiculous how can you get to know your students and help them on a personal level? If you treat folk as a means to an end they will rebel.
I've got a bit of sympathy for students who game the system. Forced to borrow to pay tuition, and then crammed into classes in the hundreds, coping with bureaucracies, chasing professors or more likely the multiple TAs running the larger classes...they might start to feel that 'fine, we'll fuck with them right back.' In a class that size the prof cannot but be a distant and impersonal figure in a larger impersonal institution that society says they must spend 4 years in for 'success.' It doesn't excuse cheating but that sort of alienation might explain why it happened the way it did. A prof once described a paper writing conspiracy by a specific group of students who organised themselves around their best essay writers and ran something of a production line.
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