There are endless ways for one student to copy from another. Before the invasion of new technologies (Ipod, cell phones, palms) in the classroom, the students went to a special facility to copy themselves on an exam. There was the traditional paper with small letters that walked around the classroom camouflaged in cartridge belts, calculators, rolled in the spheres, under the sleeve of the buso or the letters were hidden under the palm of the hand. A few years ago, the paper became text messages.

Avoid the use of cell phones, beepers, palms or any type of electronic device is not the contingent measure for the reduction of plagiarism and less when evaluation systems are concerned. The problem does not lie in prohibiting but in preventing. But how do you prevent students from bringing cell phones to class?

Maybe this is an insurmountable question. The students of basic and average school will take their cell phones with the consent of their teacher or without it. They grow into the digital era and prohibiting them will only generate wear and tear. So implement new ways to evaluate, play with your creativity, dare to explore why your students are copied in their tests, surely the conclusions will be interesting.

Causes of the copy

Through work carried out by the Tomás Alva Edison School in Mexico, the following possible causes of plagiarism were detected:

• Task vs. Work very difficult.
• Very demanding teachers (or quite flexible)
• Pressure (scholarship, parents …) to obtain good grades.
• I did not understand how to do it.
• Lack of time.
• Get better grades vs work possibility.

According to the above, analyze how you plan your written tests. It is rote or analytical. How do your students see it? If he is a demanding teacher, he will surely plan tests to “crack” but if he is too flexible, his students are not interested in copying themselves because later they will be able to sweeten their ears. Try to balance the questions based on three levels: basic, middle and higher. Basic when there is a correct answer, an absurd or contrary to the correct and a false. Half when it replaces the false one with a “shell” style and finally, Superior, when all the answers seem true but one answers punctually to the statement of the question.

Pressure (scholarship, parents …) to get good grades. When there are external pressures copying is the most effective option to satisfy others. Talk to your students about the importance of the PROCESS over the result. They do not take anything out with 5 if they did not understand how it happened, and a good grade, sometimes, is not the result of the effort.culture of not copying.

I did not understand how to do it. Structure the questions and answers appropriately. Milton Ochoa, academic consultant, in a talk about Evaluation by Competences, explained that if you prepare a test for children from 1st to 3rd grade, the multiple answer options will be maximum 3; from 4th to 11th, 4 and for college students, 5. Underline the key word or phrase of the question, this will provide clues and your students will not feel lost.

Lack of time. Perhaps you have heard your students say: “teacher, it is not the only subject we have, why do not we postpone the work” “Profe, that day we have math exam, another day, please”. Profess this, profess that. When these phrases come together in unison, most likely they are not ready, so they will be copied. Educationwork.com proposes you to use colored sheets in the same preview. Your students will believe they are different. Alternating the questions on each sheet would also be effective.

Get better grades. The sensation generated by a 5 differs from that of a 4.5. These five tenths, for some students matter, and a lot. So look for a less pragmatic method. Try to evaluate at least the basic learning competences: propose, argue and interpret. Assign them a value. One student will have better skills to argue, another to interpret. Intrinsically you strengthen your virtues, and the note will transcend to a formative level.

Tactics to control the copy in their evaluation activities

Lea Sulmont, PhD in education, granted an interview to the Blog Maestros en línea, and ruled that students copy because educators do not generate clear and concrete instructions to avoid copying. When the teacher effectively instructs his students he becomes managers of his own knowledge.

– The traditional phrase “save everything, take out a sheet and a pen” today should include and “any electronic device they have”. When the cell phone is in sight there is no profile of silence worth. Receiving a text message involves several actions that would be detected by any teacher: direct the hand to the mobile and press the read key, then read the message and if it is long press another key to download. These are very obvious actions and by very skilled students in digital manipulation, nonverbal language would give them away.

– If the final work is an essay, ask the student to explain to his classmates what was his process in the search, grouping and writing of the information. If there is a copy of a page, several will speak of the same and cite the same sources.

– Instruct them about the legal consequences plagiarism entails.

– In open dialogue, build the consequences that those who make copies will face.

– Perform evaluations where the theory exceeds the practice. Open book, where it does not matter if they speak or not. Evaluations where they identify the concepts in their daily life. Be sure to teach them to quote. Do not assign that task only to the language area, with 30 minutes of one of your classes invested in that subject you will be safe and secure with copyrights and your students in debt if they misuse it.

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