Cheating in Exams
Cheating in Examinations means engaging in dishonest practice or breaching the rules during or in relation to examinations, which can include, but is not limited to:
- communicating in any way during an examination with any person who is not an Exam Invigilator (i.e. the person supervising the exam) inside or outside the examination venue
- giving or accepting assistance from any person who is not an Exam Invigilator whilst in the examination venue
- reading, copying from or otherwise using another student’s work in an examination or knowingly allowing a student to do so
- possessing, referring to or having access to any material or device containing information directly or indirectly related to the subject matter under examination, other than that explicitly approved by the Course Coordinator
- acquiring, or attempting to acquire, possess or distribute examination materials or information without approval
- permitting another person to attend an examination on a student’s behalf or attending an examination on behalf of another student
- breaches of the exam rules and guidelines.
Online exams provide a different environment for taking your exams than an in-person invigilated exam.
Some exams are online invigilated exams. If you have an online invigilated exam, make sure you read the guidelines to understand how you need to set up your space, and which (if any) materials you are permitted to use during the exams.
Case study (from Semester 1 2020)
Molly and Kane (not their real names) are second year science students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic their course coodinator has changed their assessment to an online open-book uninvigilated exam. The exam consists of two parts, each short answers. There is 24 hours allowed to complete the exam. This is the first time that either student has sat an online exam.
After she has finished the exam Molly gets a text from Kane. He says he’s finished the exam too but wants Molly to share her completed exam with him so he can compare their answers. Even though Molly knows that it isn’t right to share exam answers with another student she figures that since Kane is only going to compare his answers to hers it is ok and she sends him a Word version of her answers.
Although Molly doesn’t realise this, Kane actually hasn’t finished the exam. He contacted Molly because he didn’t know the answers and so he copies her answers, renames the document and submits it as his own exam.
When marking, the course coordinator noticed that Molly and Kane had identical answers to both parts of the question (including identical, unusual formatting of tables). The course coordinator investigated further and collected the online timelog for the exam to determine that Molly had submitted the exam first, some time before Kane did.
Molly had no previous breach record. Kane was on the Academic Integrity Register.
Molly and Kane were separately interviewed by the AIO. Molly explained what she did but said she was not aware at the time of what Kane would do with the answers. She was upset that she was deceived by Kane. Kane was very aware of why using another student's answers is not acceptable and was also aware of the possible consequences. He was very apologetic, and fearful of consequences.
The AIO noted that the two students' accounts corroborated each other and also took into consideration the additional stress and unfamiliarity with online learning, social isolation and COVID-19.
So Molly was found to have breach of the policy (cheating in exams) but as a result of genuine misunderstanding and was penalised with a loss of 10% of the marks for the assessment.
Kane was found to have a second breach (with no genuine misunderstanding) and received 0% for the assessment.