Can a student sue their school over rampant, unchecked cheating?


B.Sc. Physiology, McGill class of 2002. You?

And those electronic cheating detectors DO work for two morons sitting together copying each other’s wrong answers. Looks funny if they get the same questions wrong in the same way. But someone copying from the class genius and getting all the right answers won’t necessarily get caught…

In my exams, usually the professors tried to have 3 or more versions of the exam, making it harder to copy, since you didn’t know which person nearby had the same version. Still, some people really think this through and have all sorts of tricks. I saw one person come into a final exam, and pull a tiny bit of paper out of his mechanical pencil just after the exam started and while the invigilator was busy checking people’s ID cards. He copied stuff off the paper onto his exam sheet and then ATE THE PAPER, presumably so that there would be no evidence against him. :eek:

B.Eng (Hons) 1996 – Mech Eng.

Not 16 questions. EACH question had answers A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q and R. If you got the right answer, no one questioned things. If all your wrong answers were similar, the odds against this are overwhelming and you were called in for a frank discussion and possibly given a warning.

My WAG is that when Sandwriter says that the professor told what was going to be on the test, he told what specific questions that were to be on the test and advised students what answers they were to give.

I no longer remember the details, but I was in a training class sponsored by the Quartermaster Corps once where this was done. (I was a civilian employee of the Army for over ten years). During the review sessions before each test, the instructor would say something like: “now let’s see if we can all help each other out, know what I mean?” before reciting the exact information we needed for the test. I believe it may have been the case that some of the questions on the standardized test he had to administer were so obscure that he didn’t think it was fair to actually spring them on us.

While it doesn’t nearly rise (or sink) to that level, in law school I had a professor who did something similar. It was his custom to list a few short answer questions on his exam besides the usual “define the universe–give three examples” essay questions for which law school are notorious.

At the end of the last day of class (and, as he was my favorite professor for a number of reasons, I had him three times), he would say something like: "you know, I’d be really disappointed if there were alumni of this university practicing law in a few years who didn’t remember that the only correct term for … is …, or that, contrary to common belief, in this state a corporation can’t … without … The alert student would make a point to write these down in his notes, as they were sure to pop up on the exam.

I had another professor who liked to start each class with a little anecdote to illustrate some important point of law. And then he’d typically say something such as: “and I hope you will tell your friends who don’t show up for the start of class on time about that, because they are not going to find that in any review book”. When we had the final exam (and in law school, generally one has only a final exam), the professor gave a timed test–I believe it ran 45 minutes–with a series of short-answer questions before the conventional essay exam.

This exam was open book. A friend of mine who was rather pompous and had a habit of showing up for class late sat directly behind me in the lecture hall and I could feel the breeze he was making in my hair as he frantically rifled through review materials and textbooks he had brought. Afterwards, he was amazed when I said I had answered every question on the first exam. He said he had answered only 'about half", but added proudly that he had answered every one which was answered in a review book. None of them were.

When I was a boy The State of Missouri used to require 8th Graders to pass a music theory test. The Catholic grade school I attended didn’t have music classes, so instead we were given an intensive one-week course of study where we learned answers to questions such as “what are some of the common percussion instruments in a symphony orchestra?” by rote. By an eerie coincidence, it turned out that all of these questions were on the exam.

Did you know that the wood block is a percussion instrument? That’s all I remember from my music “class”. I felt cheated by what was done, and I came to look at my teachers and parish priests with rather less respect. At 47, I still keep telling myself that someday I’m going to take a night school class and learn to read music–and, as I’ve periodically addressed gaps in my education this way before, I think I eventually will.

Phlosphr: Did I misread your posting or did you inform us that your school covered up a sexual assault?

Podkayne and TeaElle, I think the word you’re looking for is “carrels.”

Shout-outs to the McGill folks! (Vandy, '86)

One thing as an auditor and an analyst for the last few years. I have encountered much cheating in business (inflating books, deliberately falsifying goals, or just plain old looking the other way.) When I push the point, nothing is done. Then suddenly without fail that person is transferred. ALWAYS into a BETTER postion for more money at a sister hotel.

Good lesson huh? I had one guy I audited took $180,000.00 over two years. I later learned 5 years prior he stole money and his boss at the time said “Ok Bob enuff of that.” Nothing else. And I have had others where people steal money and they aren’t fired. Why?

I don’t agree with cheating but I can seriously see why no one cares about it anymore.