Maj. Sherri Tombarge
Assistant Director
News and Editorial Services
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Lexington, VA 24450

Educators, Students Share Cheating Stories

FullTextImage/img/@altStudents from different military schools discussed the issues in this afternoon's workshop. -- VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

The 500-seat Gillis Theater on the VMI post was filled to capacity with high school and college students and teachers from across the nation as VMI’s second biennial Leadership Conference, “Cheating, Lying and Honor in America’s High Schools, Colleges and Universities,” opened today. The conference will continue tomorrow when the current generation of students takes the lead in discussing and presenting strategies for encouraging academic and personal integrity. 

LEXINGTON, Va., March 5, 2012 –Registrants at VMI’s Leadership Conference had the opportunity to share stories during this afternoon’s first session.

College and high school students met in small groups in the Hall of Valor to discuss a list of questions provided to them by conference speaker Dr. David Callahan. The questions elicited speculation about why students cheat; discussion of the roles of teachers, administrators, and student organizations in reducing cheating; and thoughts about appropriate punishments for cheating.

Students from VMI, the Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, Texas A&M University, Bridgewater College and two high schools were selected to present the results of this discussion as part of a panel.

A VMI cadet on the panel noted that the system must be supported by the Corps of Cadets or the student body.

Callahan agreed and added that at military schools conflicts between loyalty to students’ classmates and to their values seems to be a common issue.

Meanwhile, in Gillis Theater, educators shared with one another and conference speaker Eric Anderman their own experiences with student and parent cheating. Anderman responded with strategies for preventing cheating. His top-10 list included recommendations that educators state the rules clearly, be consistent, assign seats for exams, and avoid publicizing students grades – all strategies the educators can take with them back to their classrooms and schools.

The workshop concluded with small group discussions of cheating scenarios, such as how a teacher should respond when he or she is administering a test and suspects a particular student is using a cheat sheet.

The conference continues with a talk this evening by Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception.

–Sherri Tombarge

–VMI–