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Ben Wiggins featured in CNBC News article on cheating during pandemic remote learning

Friday, March 26, 2021 - 10:00 to Saturday, June 26, 2021 - 10:00

Ben Wiggins, UW Biology Manager of Program Operations, was featured in this CNBC News article on how college students learned new ways to cheat during pandemic remote schooling.

Experts still disagree on whether cheating is easier during Covid than it was before. For some, it’s not that students are necessarily cheating more, but rather, they are getting caught more easily, says Tricia Bertram Gallant, director of the academic integrity office and academic affairs at University of California, San Diego.

“Cheating is cheating,” she says. “It hasn’t really changed in a hundred years. People have always cheated by going to sources that they weren’t supposed to go to.”

Many schools have used software since before the pandemic that allows professors to identify text in student papers that has been plagiarized.

Others, including Benjamin Wiggins, a manager of instruction at the University of Washington, say cheating is easier nowadays because professors are giving students extra time. They’re also creating tests that are written at a “low memorization level,” allowing students to easily find responses online. One way to fix this is by requiring students to apply concepts, Wiggins says. 

Much of the evidence to support a rise in cheating remains anecdotal, because there is not enough data to measure a phenomenon that requires people to admit to dishonest behavior, Bertram Gallant said. The research that does exist is mostly self-reported surveys that also need to be updated for the 21st century, she added. 

“You’re just not going to get reliable facts,” Wiggins says. “We’re all going off of anecdotes and experiences.

Read the full article in CNBC News.

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