If a student is caught cheating on an exam, what is the best way to punish the student, so as not to affect his or her future later? Cheating in tests,,,As a teacher, how to punish the student "when cheating in exams"?What is the best way to punish the student, so as not to affect his future later?

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Cheating becomes more prevalent and easier to do every year. With numerous sites online where one can purchase an "original" paper, the temptation for students is greater than ever to not do their own work. The "point and click, copy and paste" generation has not really learned the lesson that research is a slow process. People want instant gratification, and that means having a paper to turn in without doing any of the work. Many of the current generation of students are risk-takers, as well. They figure that they will take the chance of getting caught and deal with the consequences if they must. Many of them think that the teacher won't bother to read their work anyway. They are invariably surprised when they get busted. Many even go so far as to swear they don't know how that happened when the teacher has a copy of their word-for-word plagiarized essay attached to the original document.

Many of them are also surprised to discover that their teachers/professors are one step ahead of them. Every generation thinks it's reinveinting the wheel with tricks and ways to cheat. So, while it is easier to cheat, it is also easier to catch a cheater who uses the internet to buy or copy his/her work. All one has to do is type a phrase into Google (or the search engine of choice) and there it is. Plus, many schools now subscribe to Turn It In or other plagiarism detecting tools.

As far as ruining a student's future, well, he or she is doing that without the teacher's help, as most of the responders to this thread seem to agree. I make it very clear at the beginning of each semester what the consequences of plagiarism are. If the student still chooses to do so, he/she earned that zero.

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In response to #4, it most certainly does affect the teacher if students cheat. When a teacher puts a passing (or better) grade down for a subject, the teacher is giving his or her professional assurance that the student does know most of the material of the class. There have been lawsuits brought against teachers and schools by students who got good grades and then later discovered that they really didn't know the material well enough to succeed in college or in the job market.

The purpose of grades is to evaluate and report what a student knows. Cheating circumvents this process, which is unfair to the students, to the teacher, and to whatever college or job the cheater applies to in the future.

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Academic integrity is a major problem at every level of education, and it stems from some of the attitudes expressed by students on this thread. What is necessary, I think, is education about why teachers think cheating is wrong. It is self-evident to us, but it's not to students. We are past the point where things are wrong simply because we say they are.

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I understand that the temptation to cheat is great, and that students can sometimes be overwhelmed with their work load, but cheating is never OK in my classroom. I am a pretty vigilant watcher during tests, and I walk around looking over shoulders, in desks, at hands, etc. during tests. If I catch someone, it is an automatic zero for the assessment. I will also call home to let the parents know, first hand, what I observed. I have never had a student challenge my policy. They really don't have any grounds to. I think that a lot of cheating happens in other classrooms because the teachers let it happen. They aren't vigilant or proactive in stopping the cheating before it starts. They sit back and do other work or look at their computers, rather than attentively supervise their students.

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I know that a culture of cheating has developed of late. A lot of kids think that there is no way they can succeed in school unless they cheat. They take on large course loads, and then cannot handle them. They feel overwhelmed, and think there is no way out. Sometimes I think they also feel pressure from parents to take courses they can't handle. Given this, I do think that teachers should counsel students who cheat and teach them right from wrong, if possible. This does not mean there are no consequences. I think the consequences can be severe, but teachers should use common sense.
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Cheating in the classroom leads to cheating in later life--on the job, in marriage and in friendships. People who allow others to cheat off them, such as the dishonest young man in Post 3, are just as guilty as those who cheat. Teachers take plagiarism seriously because, in addition to it being a terrible vice, it serves no proper educational purpose other than to provide undeserved higher grades for the guilty parties. The last student I caught cheating--copying material word-for-word off an Internet site--was flabbergasted to find that I was able to so quickly discover his plagiarism. It took one Google search and less than a minute to find the original work. I read both the student's paper and the original material aloud to the class, and then I gave the student a zero and reported him to the headmaster of the private school. Sadly, he was the senior class president, and he was later expelled for drug possession on campus. As I said, cheating in the classroom leads to cheating in life.

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I do not think that there is any reason to protect someone who cheats from all future harm.  If you're a high school teacher and you let a student get away with cheating, you are not helping them in their future.  They have to realize that there are consequences for their actions so they will not continue to make mistakes later, when the stakes are higher.  So I think that you follow the rules that you have set out, presumably having them fail that exam.  If that lowers their grade, so be it.  Letting people get away with wrongdoing is not truly helping them.

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