The number of students caught cheating in exams has risen considerably in recent years. According to teachers it is the increase in use of dictionaries and electronic aids that is the main cause. Invigilating during exams must move with the times.
Checking dictionaries and calculators costs a lot of time, but must be done according to the lecturers. Dr Emiel Wubben of the Management Studies group, who recently found eight students with notes in their dictionaries: ‘Obviously at some point students succumb to the temptation. So you have to carry out checks, just like in the train. The opportunity creates the thief,’ as Wubben puts it.
There is no other alternative but to be stricter in checking. Knuiman: ‘We have to move with the times. We used to be given a logarithm table specially for the exam, now we would be jeered at if we did that. In the Chemical Thermodynamics exam we require that students have an empty calculator. We carry out spot checks. The idea is that everyone starts in the same position.’
Students are in favour of stricter checks, even though most say they have never had anything to do with cheating. They regard it as an activity for high school. The examinations committees are meeting this week to discuss the measures they intend to take to prevent cheating. / JH