Friday, November 04, 2005


I got pissed off at some of my morning students for cheating on their quizzes. It's amazing how casually they were doing it, too, after being explicitly told what was verboten.

My mixer quizzes have flaws. One flaw, fairly easy for a canny student to exploit, is that students can surreptitiously correct their partners' work (you'll recall that my mixer quizzes don't permit a student to write on their own quiz papers; instead, they have to tell their partners what to write on the page).

After hearing my rant, one of my colleagues took the students' side: "It was a cultural difference, not cheating," he said. I was having none of it. My reply: The students take Western-style tests all the time and know full well what constitutes cheating on such tests.

I admit that notions of right and wrong here don't dovetail with Western notions. Cheating-- as Westerners know it-- is, however, a topic on the Korean news, so I'm not willing to grant that the students were acting in blithe innocence or ignorance. As I said: Koreans are aware of what constitutes cheating on a test. The guilty looks on the students' faces when I caught them were enough to prove me right.


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