Exam cheating through the use of technology is on the rise in schools and universities according to an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph.
The investigation has revealed a sharp increase in the number of reported exam cheating cases by schools and universities where students were caught using electronic devices such as mobile phones, smart watches and tiny hidden in-ear speakers during exams.
Among the innovative tech devices being used were smart watches with installed software allowing students to store and display exam notes on-screen and an emergency flash button that changes the screen back to a regular digital clock.
A multi-functioning calculator was also in use that doubles up as a micro-video player and word reader. Video footage and notes stored on the device were reportedly being used by students during science and mathematics exams.
Perhaps the most novel of the devices was a tiny in-ear speaker invisible to the naked eye. The tiny device is linked to the student’s feet with a sensor that is connected to their mobile phone. Toe movements detected by the sensor allowed the student to fast-forward through their notes.
All the devices in use were readily available from websites such as eBay and Amazon retailing at £50 with some costing as much as £300.
Since the investigation there have been calls for “random spot checks in schools”, by the Chairman of Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael, as a preventative measure to stop exam cheats using technology in the future.
Some universities have attempted to tackle the issue with 113 out of 154 British institutions choosing to ban wearable technology altogether. However, in 41 institutions it remains off the list of banned items.
In a statement to KCW Today, Universities Minister Jo Johnson made his position clear on cheating using any form of technology including essay mills where students use websites to create bespoke essay’s to guarantee them a degree.
“Cheating is not acceptable and undermines standards in our Universities. We are already demanding tough penalties on the use of essay mill websites and expect universities to have clear policies and sanctions in place to deal with cheating of any kind,” said Johnson.