|Worst. Graphic. Ever.|
But it was a comment that caught my attention the most and made me wonder something. Peter K brought up the notion of watching over students on tests, what some of us call proctoring, and what is sometimes done, in large classes, by TAs, etc. Peter K (no relation, I'm assuming) said, "You left the room after giving them the test, suggesting your school has an "honor code" system. Now, honor code or not (my U may have one, I'm not sure), I never leave the room during a test."
I don't teach classes large enough for TAs, but I often stroll out of class during a test. I talk about academic ethics at the start of every semester, and have a policy on cheating in my syllabus. I may even say, "No talking" when I pass an exam out.
But I do not watch over them. I hesitate to say this, but there's quite a large part of me that doesn't care if they cheat or not. I have come to believe that if they want to cheat, they will, and I'm in the business of teaching and not policing. I recognize that every proffie is different. In my own department we have Hawkeye Helen, who one can observe slowly circling a room during a test, peering down. I've seen her lift exams off the table to see if anything untoward was placed beneath.
I do not have that fire in my belly.
I have left class for all manner of adventures: a smoke, a pee, a visit with a colleague. Once, years ago when I was a part-timer at a CC, I walked to my car, drove to a Taco Bell, and snared a couple of burritos that I ate on the drive back. Total time gone from class: 22 minutes.
I now leave my cell number on the whiteboard during a test. I tell students to be quiet, don't bother anyone, don't share info, and if anyone is unable to do the test because of interruption or other bother, just text me if I'm out of the room momentarily. It's never happened.
But that's just me. It's a peculiar thing, this job of ours. We all do it differently, and it's been my experience IRL and on this blog, that we often are amazed that others do it their own way.
Q: What is your practice about monitoring test taking in your classes? Are you a hawk or a stroller? Are you afraid your students will cheat? Do you think you can stop them? Don't you ever just want to to breathe the air of an empty "during class" quad? Can you just trust them? Aren't you wishing you;d thought of that Taco Bell trip now?