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Cheating during online class | Is it more common during virtual learning?

Despite the steps being taken, many students agree that in this type of virtual setting, it's not that hard to cheat.

SAN DIEGO — With the school year just beginning, many students are still learning virtually from home. And that's making it easier for some to cheat.

Westview High School sophomore Nolan Chen says when it comes to cheating, some teachers have specific policies in place.

"They make us turn on our camera so we aren't looking away or on our phone or on another device," Chen said.

Aside from remaining on camera, in some cases, students have to sign an academic integrity agreement to commit to being academically honest.

Westview freshman Katie Ditter has seen similar tactics used.

"They've also in some classes said that we're not gonna have tests until later on until they can decide what their policies are going to be," said Ditter.

Despite the steps being taken, both agree that in this type of virtual setting, it's not that hard to cheat.

"They are always going to cheat no matter where you are. But I think it does make it a little easier to cheat online," Ditter said.

That's where Ethan Fieldman comes in.

"A lot of students cheat for a few reasons. First of all, if it's easy, they're going to cheat," Feldman said.

He is the CEO of Study Edge, a free digital resource that's helping students better navigate distance learning.

He also recently launched anticheating.com, giving both parents and teachers tips on how to prevent kids from cheating, a problem he said continues to grow.

Feldman said, “So, the problem is enormous and it's much bigger than most people realize. In fact, multiple colleges and universities are expelling students right now for online cheating when that really wasn't happening as much before.”

He said it's not just up to the teachers to prevent cheating, but the parents too.

Tips for teachers to prevent cheating

  • use a browser that locks them onto one website
  • set adequate time limits for quizzes and tests
  • and use different questions for each class

"If they put a test out there in the world, students are going to upload that test to various websites on the internet and those answers will be available for other students, so what that means is you have to switch up those problems," Feldman explained.

Tips for parents to prevent cheating

  • confiscating your child's cell phone while in class
  • sitting in the room when they're taking a test
  • and providing them with your own academic honesty pledge

"There's a lot of research that shows that if a student is made aware of what cheating is and the fact that they're committing to ethical learning and honest learning, that just their brain changes and they're much more likely not to cheat," Feldman said.