What’s New is Old Again-More High-Tech Cheating

In assessment of learning, teaching, teaching with technology on September 7, 2011 at 8:24 am

In the Chronicle article With Cheating Only a Click Away, Professors Reduce the Incentive, the author discusses student cheating in the classroom using student response systems or Clickers.

Clickers have been touted as an active learning technique that engages students and improves learning. However, just as with any technique, there is a downside. According to the article author, the larger the class, the more likely it is that students will cheat using clickers. Students cheat by sending a representative to carry their clickers and record responses. And if used for homework, students consult with each other during the class to get homework answers.


  • Count clicker responses as a relatively small percentage of the overall grade (5% or less)
  • Have teaching assistants “patrol” the classes to search for those who have multiple clickers
  • Count the number of attendees and the number of clicker responses (difficult with mega-classes)

For every education innovation or technology, there’s a corresponding reaction by some to minimize effort required and thereby maximum the lack of learning. Use technology but be aware of that tension and take steps to address. I’ve previously discussed cheating in this blog.


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