I caught another one.
Last week a student completed a make-up test at home and submitted it online. I failed to notice that it was turned in, so the student sent me an email asking me to grade the test. I did so immediately.
And there it is again. Obvious cheating.
I make different versions of my tests. It's no secret that I do so, I even put Version 1 or Version 2 or some identifying mark at the top of the 1st page of the test. Just about every teacher has different versions of his/her tests. Do students not know this, or not care?
I discard the "not care" argument, because students obviously care enough to cheat. So how is it that I'm catching so many students recently using in their calculations numbers that do not appear in the problems, but are the exact numbers for different or previous versions of the test?
And when I call them on this, the initial reaction is to double down. I don't try to get students to lie to me; I tell them exactly what I think (that they cheated), and I present all my evidence. It's not often that one backs down at that point; no, they often say they just cannot explain how that happened but they absolutely did not cheat. Maybe they looked at a similar problem in their notes. They're never able to produce this "similar problem", and often at this point they'll either admit to a "lesser included offense" or will at least stop digging deeper, but seldom will they admit to outright cheating. And they never tell me who gave them the answers they used.
There are plenty of times I have a strong suspicion of cheating, but my evidence isn't rock solid. I have to let those go. But when the evidence is crystal clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, I don't back down--not even when parents swear they'll go to the school board to get a grade overturned (none ever has, at least, not with me).
Online schooling has magnified the problem exponentially. Students are so short-sighted, though, especially the underclasses--do they think they'll really be ready for next year's math class after cheating their way through this year's?
It's so disappointing.