Are Cuesta College students serial cheaters?

April 9, 2015

cheatA Cuesta College history teacher recently caught 67 of his 250 students cheating on exams. [New Times]

Dr. Anthony Koeninger noticed that students across his six classes had performed unusually well on the first few quizzes of this semester’s “History of the U.S. to 1865” course. He then changed the order of questions on the midterm and the results changed.

Koeninger said he believes that a student or students from the previous semester’s course distributed a master copy of the correct answers to his multiple-choice exams. The master copy spread, and the 67 students showed up to the midterm with the answers lightly shaded in, Koeninger said.

The college is punishing the students by giving them “zeros” on the midterm, sending them letters of reprimand and requiring them to write essays about academic dishonesty. Cuesta administrator Sandee McGlaughlin said the students face additional punishment, but she did not disclose what it is.

After getting caught, multiple students apologized to Koeninger for cheating. Some students shed tears, Koeninger said.

Most of the students who cheated are still attempting to pass the class. Only a small percentage dropped the class.

Koeninger said the students deserve a second chance.


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21 Comments

  1. concernedcougar says:

    I don’t ever respond to these types of things but I believe that the truth should come out. The students that were involved in the cheating scandal are athletes. They did not receive anything more than a slap on the wrist.
    It’s unfortunate that the rest of us prepare for exams by attending class regularly, completing homework, and being a good citizen. I have had Dr. K as an instructor and found him to be the best of the best! He truly is passionate about history and values teacher student relationship.
    I am appalled that anyone would blame this on the professor. The students need to be held accountable athlete or not!

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  2. slojustice says:

    I wonder if there is any correlation between when cheating became rampant and the removal of God and patriotism from the classroom.

    (-6) 18 Total Votes - 6 up - 12 down
  3. jonhartz says:

    So, the upshot is that people are born cheaters so blame the system for not making it difficult to cheat. Sick.

    (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
    • achillesheal says:

      I can’t speak for others, but wish to clarify my remarks as they were not meant to be construed as blaming the system, or excusing the behavior of the students, but rather to attempt to point out how a professor to giving the same exam in subsequent semesters is enabling potential cheaters.

      Students have used past exams as a study guide since the beginning of education. Fraternities at Universities have always had files of past exams. The California bar posts all past exams on its website for study guides.

      A professor should be aware that his past exams are likely in circulation. When he does not change the exam he is enabling cheaters to cheat. The article states that after discovery he didn’t even change the questions, but simply changed the order of questions.

      That’s what I mean by “phoning it in”.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down

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