It’s not just your boss and family members you need to be worried about offended on Twitter and Facebook. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance says that examination boards are going to begin monitoring social media to find exam cheaters.
The Times Educational Supplement, as reported by Daily Mail, says that Twitter has in fact been used to share test questions, which students can use like a mobile cheat sheet during examinations. Typically one or more test takers will snap a photo or tweet questions and answers, which other classmates quickly pull this information up via the Twitter app.
Unfortunately, enough students have been caught before to make monitoring worthwhile, says the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. “We do this to be fair to all students taking our exams – it isn’t right that anyone has an unfair advantage,” a spokesperson told the Times Educational Supplement.
There are more than a few examples, including a recent case in which Russian students taking the Unified State Exam have been discovered to be sharing exams. The primary medium students have been using the share questions and answers is via social network, reports the Telegraph.
In the United States, you might have heard about a high-profile case of cheating taking place in the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in Queens, New York last year. Students were found to be taking smartphone photos of exam questions from the New York State Regents exam and sharing these photos with fellow students.
States like Texas are cracking down on cheating and doubling up on exam security to ensure that cheating is minimized as well. And The Boston Globe reported that during examinations in Massachusetts last year, administrators monitored the hashtag #MCAS to uncover cheaters that may be using it to share test questions. In a recent incident, students were strip-searched before a test to make sure they didn’t have smartphones on them. An investigation into the teachers’ actions has been launched.
Unfortunately these measures still won’t deter students from taking to social networks like Twitter to implicate themselves. Doing a quick Twitter search for terms like “cheating + exam” pulls up some far too many examples (given that many of these tweeters might be minors, we’re going to stop short of embedding this content).