Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How the Exam Cheats Will Be Brought to Book

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How the Exam Cheats Will Be Brought to Book

Article excerpt

Byline: By Nicola Juncar

With the rise of the internet making cheating in exams simpler than ever, Nicola Juncar looks at how schools are fighting back

The art of cheating has come on a long way since the days when it just entailed a pupil cribbing off a mate because they hadn't done their homework the night before.

Over recent years, schools, colleges and universities have seen an increase in plagiarism from the internet.

Some students look on a search engine like Google and cut and paste sentences from websites to weave together and pass off as their own work. And there are those who go the whole hog and copy entire documents or even pay for essays for around pounds 10.

This week, teachers and education chiefs from around the world have been in the North East discussing ways to stop the cheats going undetected.

The second International Plagiarism Conference has been taking place at The Sage in Gateshead, with speakers addressing schoolteachers and lecturers on the findings of their research.

The conference, which finished yesterday, is run by Northumbria Learning, which works with more than 60% of UK universities on the subject of cheating.

Northumbria Learning chief executive Will Murray told delegates: "The preliminary findings of a survey show that 52% of students do not think that their tutors would be able to spot plagiarism from the internet.

"However, what is more reassuring is that 34% of students think people who are caught cheating should be made to resit the module again and one in 10 think they should be removed from the course altogether."

Lecturer Peter Forster teaches at a business school in France, but is originally from South Shields and used to teach the subject at Northumbria University. He told how his research showed 60% of students admitted cheating at least once, 80% had known someone who had cheated and 20% said they hadn't cheated previously but would consider it.

He said: "What first made me realise that plagiarism was a problem was when I received a 15,000-word dissertation and every single word had been copied from the internet. …

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