Smartphones have become ubiquitous in society. You take your phone with you everywhere you go. Between texting and Google Maps, you could not make plans with friends, and you would certainly get lost driving. With a simple search, you can have answers to anything you want to know. Just 100 years ago, our great-grandparents were commuting in horse-drawn carriages, and now, on a daily basis, you carry the entire wealth of the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand.
However, one aspect of students’ lives where smartphones should have absolutely no role is the taking of exams. Cheating with smartphones and other technology has become increasingly popular as technology becomes varied and easier to obtain. Certain sellers offer devices such as earpieces small enough to be undetectable to anyone but the wearer. College administrators take measures to keep electronic devices out of classrooms, such as collecting smartphones at the start of exams.
If you are thinking about cheating on an exam using your smartphone, you should consider the following:
Any form of cheating is a violation of your school’s Academic Honesty Policy or Code of Academic Integrity.
An example of a university’s Code of Academic Integrity can be found here: https://studentconduct.gwu.edu/code-academic-integrity and most universities have similar policies and procedures. For example, the George Washington University’s policies and procedures define cheating in part as:
“Intentionally or knowingly using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.”
This definition encompasses cheating on exams and on assignments where accessing other materials is forbidden by the professor. By choosing to violate these policies, you are taking an enormous risk that you will be caught (see below), and the consequences, if you’re caught, can be quite severe. Possible sanctions stem from failure of the assignment in question to a recommendation of sanction or expulsion. You will also likely have a notation on your transcript that might be permanent, letting future employers know that you are dishonest, and they will doubt your trustworthiness before even meeting you.
Cheating with a smartphone on a final exam or a midterm will result in failure of the course.
If the lowest sanction for academic dishonesty is failure of the assignment, then it follows that failure of a midterm or a final will either result in an extremely poor grade for the course or earning a failing grade for the course. If necessary for graduation, you will have to retake the course. This will be a massive eyesore on your transcript no matter how you cut it and will likely cause future employers to question what happened.
Whatever the case, this will result in money lost and great disappointment all around.
Administrators see through the deception – They will find out about the cheating.
College administrators know that many students will try to and do cheat. They continually update procedures to combat the potential cheating methods that emerge alongside the release of new technology into the market. University IT departments are sophisticated enough to be able to track Internet use down to the given exam room and websites accessed. If you attempt to use your smart phone to cheat, you will be found out, which could lead to the aforementioned consequences.
However, if you do find yourself in this scenario, there are ways to ensure that you achieve the best outcome in your case. DC Student Defense attorneys are here to help.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.