Stricter examination rules designed to counteract fraud went into effect on 1 September 2014. You are not allowed to bring your watch any more. And the university will install superintendents at the toilets during examination time, with detectors looking for mobile phones. Four questions about the refined examination measures.
But how creative are students in actual fact?
Very creative indeed! Students appear to be making good use of the numerous possibilities offered by the digital era. For example, students Google in washrooms and there are whiz-kids who transmit answers to accomplices via Whatsapp. And let’s not overlook the smart watches: everything you need right around your wrist. But the ‘old-fashioned’ methods are still often used as well. Things that come to mind here are the crib notes or microscopic handwriting on your own arms or fingers.
Does this occur all that often then?
No one knows exactly how often students cheat. This is logical, because not all cheaters are caught. On the other hand, there are figures concerning the number of students caught. In the 2012-2013 academic year there were 33. A year later all of a sudden there were 459. This is in part due to the fact that since last year the University also counts students who are in the possession of a mobile phone in the examination hall.
Is cheating now impossible?
Quite the contrary. It will always be possible to cheat. This is a cat and mouse game between student and teacher. Students, and this is something that teachers know all too well, will always find ways not to have to study or study less and still pass the required examinations. The methods they use to accomplish this vary over time. ‘Digital cheating’ is a good example. As far as this is concerned, students have the natural advantage of age: they are quicker than their older teachers to grasp the opportunities offered by new gadgets such as smartphones.
Am I going to have to do my examinations totally naked in a few years’ time?
No, of course not; that’s nonsense. The University is very firm and emphasizes that it will always develop new rules within the boundaries of our standards and values. Frisking, for example, is absolutely not allowed. On the other hand, it is important for the University to continue to be actively engaged in combating and preventing fraud and refining the rules. This is the only way it can keep up with crafty students. EO