The Insight: How to combat exam malpractice


In the last issue, I wrote about the vice of exam malpractice and how it is orchestrated by students. I am grateful for the messages I have received so far, thanking me for the courage to educate the public about this.

Today let me discuss the circumstances, on the part of the lecturers, that would cause the students to attempt to cheat in their exams.

  • Inadequate coverage of the content. Course units must always be guided by course outlines. This in principle is the road map to covering the course content. In some cases however, not all lecturers or tutors may adequately cover this as planned. This causes panic among students, and the weaker ones may resort to cheating as a way out.
  • Leaking of examinations to students. Of course this is the highest level of unprofessionalism. It normally occurs when there is lecturer/tutor  and an opposite sex student! What some teachers forget is that once such leakage is done to a single student, the student shares it with the class to command respect. The chain continues until the whole university is awash with exam leakages!
  • Regurgitating exam questions. Some lecturers claim to have no time to think of new question ideas for exams or coursework. This is an automatic invitation to eas e going students to simply rehearse and present pre-planned content in the examination.Having invigilators of one gender in the same examination room. This leads to one gender of the students being effectively checked, leaving the opposite gender unchecked and cheating unrestrained.
  • Allocating a few invigilators to many examination rooms. Some times when one invigilator is allocated to more than one examination room to man single handedly, it creates a window for cheating.
  • Social media. After distributing scripts, some invigilators get stuck on social media. Then the students write exams in a free -range system, prompting them to cheat.

I believe that we can ably minimize cheating if lecturers/tutors effectively play their part.

I wish everyone a cheating free environment during the 2016 December exams.

And finally, have a merry Christmas!

The writer is a lecturer in the Foundations Studies Department

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