06/16/2022 – FE News

“Kathryn Baron (02:30): Dr. Biggin, in an article in Forbes by Derek Newton, you described yourself as being naive about the amount of cheating in online tests. What happened that revealed this dark side to you?

Dr. Mark Biggin (02:41): Oh, oh, direct experience from a class I was teaching. During the lockdown, suddenly we were giving exams that were unproctored online as opposed to proctored in person. I assumed that if we just told the students to follow the honor code, they would do that. I didn’t imagine many students would cheat, but the readers, for the first time I was doing this, pointed out they found two students who obviously had copied their answers. They were very similar.

From there, being me, somewhat an analysis person, I started doing a statistical analysis and I found that some of the students had very unusually similar question scores. They got the same scores for many questions, and so the greater scores. When we looked at the written answers of those students, we found that many of them had cheated. And the students that we challenged, most of them confessed. Through some iterative process, we kept finding more and more students who cheated. We eventually found that in that particular class, it was the worst case we had actually. 19% of the students in the end, we found had cheated. I was floored. I kept saying, “Oh, I found say five or six groups, 15/17 students and, oh well, that must be most of them.” Then one of the students who cheated said, “Oh, no, no, no, I bet there’s more than that.” That student was right, and it just kept going. That was my entrée.” … Listen to and read the show notes to episode 005 of The Score Podcast here.