After weeks of stalling, lying, fussing and fuming, the last (fourth) student I caught cheating during the summer has finally admitted what he did and accepted his punishment – an F for my course and required completion of an academic integrity class. He was fighting my accusation of cheating all the way, dragging it out by insisting on a formal hearing (which is his right) but refusing to schedule it. I was able to prove that he cheated on 9 of 10 answers he gave on one portion of the exam. He found out that he wouldn’t be able to register for classes for the spring semester unless he finished the process, so that must have been what motivated him to finally confess.
Which brings me to my current cheater.
Two weeks ago, I gave a mid-term to one of my classes. I was in the midst of reading an excellent book at the time, so I took it to class with me to read while the students were taking their exams – a solid two hours of reading time, give or take a few minutes when they had questions.
One of the students who sat way in the back obviously thought I wasn’t paying attention, because during the exam he whipped out a cheat sheet. I watched him use it for a while, then got less subtle about my observing to be sure he saw me watching him. At that point he tried to cover it up with his blue book, then folded it back up and stuffed it in his pocket.
After he turned in his exam, I followed him out in the hall, informed him I’d seen him cheating and asked for the cheat sheet. He gave it to me and asked me what I was going to do.
I told him what I do with cheaters: You fail my class. He asked if he needed to keep coming to class and I said – honestly – that I didn’t care if he came to class any more. I thought that was the last of it, and when he didn’t come back to class the following week, I thought we were done with the incident.
A couple of days ago, I was going through my rosters, mostly because I just started two 2nd 8-Weeks Session classes, so I had to check two classes anyway. Might as well check them all, right?
That’s when I discovered that the cheater student had dropped my class – his official grade would be “Withdrawal” – not an F. That’s also when I found out that a student can drop a class all the way through the end of OCTOBER!! Unbelievable. At least, I found out, they have to have some kind of good reason and documentation.
After a few phone calls, I finally spoke to somebody that could do something about it. I filed the requisite paperwork. Now instead of just getting an F in my class and getting on with his life, his Withdrawal will get changed to an F and he’ll have to answer for lying on the forms needed to drop a class this late in the semester as well, which could get him expelled.
I call that justice.