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Faculties sound the alarm on cheating

‘Board needs to crack down on this issue’

Faculties sound the alarm on cheating

Last week, the faculties of law, arts, BSS, and FEB sent the UG board an urgent letter. The faculties are worried about students cheating on online exams.
2 November om 16:16 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:22 uur.
November 2 at 16:16 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:22 PM.

Door René Hoogschagen

2 November om 16:16 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:22 uur.

By René Hoogschagen

November 2 at 16:16 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:22 PM.

René Hoogschagen

Freelancejournalist
Volledig bio

Freelance journalist
Full bio

Wilbert Kolkman, dean of law, says people voiced their concerns during earlier board meetings. Then, it was discovered that a large number of students had cheated on three FEB exams, which were then nullified. ‘That’s when we decided we needed to band together and do something.’

Priority

It’s not like they think the board isn’t doing anything, Kolkman says, ‘but they need to prioritise this. That’s what we’re doing. Let’s all do something about this right now.’ ESI, the UG educational support centre, has qualified people working for them, he says. ‘Maybe they should be going full steam ahead in situations like these.’

The law faculty has also had issues with students cheating on exams. Its exam committee recently concluded that students cheated significantly more often during the last period of last year. Two students in particular communicated through Facebook during multiple exams, and dozens of others were caught cheating in minor ways.

Worried

The faculty has cracked down on the cheaters. Concerning the two students and their widespread cheating, their marks for the block in question have all been invalidated. They have been banned from taking online exams for a year. The other students simply have to retake the exams they were caught cheating on. 

The faculty is worried that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that they failed to detect other forms of cheating. But a statistical analysis of several bigger law courses taught during the last block last year showed that it wasn’t all that bad. 

Alternative testing methods

After they’d sent the letter, the faculties received a short proposal from the educational advisers at ESI, Kolkman says. One idea would be to no longer organise exams to take place at the end of each block, but to give students an assignment in block 2 and create a big exam that combines courses at the end of block 4 ‘when the pandemic has passed’.

‘We have to make do with what we have’, says Kolkman. ‘Teaching has already started, so we can’t just change everything. But we can discuss alternatives. I’d prefer it if we had something at the ready should we ever need it.’

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