The world of education is packed with opportunities. Many of these opportunities are positive, giving your students a sense of purpose, meaning, and drive to do their best and achieve new heights of success. As a company, we firmly believe that these opportunities help level the playing field for students as they grow into adults and begin their careers.
However, we all know there are a small number of opportunities that students can use to gain an unfair advantage over their peers — namely, cheating.
At AES, we take cheating very seriously. It has been (and probably always will be) the single biggest obstacle in a structured educational system, and we're all seeking ways to prevent it.
Many attempts will succeed. Others may fail. But the principle behind cheating — dishonesty — will almost certainly persist.
With that said, we want to talk to you about two main ideas:
We’ll start with what you can do to prevent cheating.
Our team frequently hears that students cheat by getting quiz and test answers from online sources.
These third-party sources are meant to facilitate studying — not cheating. Still, sneaky students are always on the lookout for new shortcuts to good grades.
Our team addresses these issues as they come up with individual teachers. This is their advice on how to fix it:
At AES, we're proud to publish our digital curriculum systems and all of the settings, features, and options that go with it.
Other third-party hosting services are proud of their products as well, and they often work just as hard to eliminate the potential for cheating.
However, if you or your students are using a study tool for the first time, we highly encourage you to take some time and look through all of the settings and options you have for your accounts.
Every tool is a little bit different, but generally you can hope to find:
These two options let you control how, what, and when students can see when it comes to your study materials.
It also lets your students protect their study materials from public view.
By using these settings, you and your students can help eliminate the amount of information on the Internet that allows others to cheat!
This solution works for many teachers, but sometimes the websites are too valuable to teachers and students in non-cheating situations.
Also, you'll have to check with your school (or district) IT department to get this set up.
As a result, it may not be in the cards for you to block all of these online sources. But you have other choices!
This solution is much more direct.
It involves you addressing your students as a class and going over the academic integrity rules for your classroom, school, or district.
While this may not sound like it does much to dissuade eager cheaters, it’ll engage the students who may cheat to make them think twice before they do.
The third solution is another way of reinforcing academic integrity. In the AES digital curriculum, we have a module called Digital Responsibility.
In this module, you’ll find a brief contract that you can present to your students for their signatures.
We recommend reading the contract aloud as students follow so that they understand exactly what they’re committing to do — namely, to be honest.
Finally, you can use the tools in the AES digital curriculum to prevent your students from cheating.
This requires you to learn and use a number of features. All of them are accessible for the teachers who use our curriculum system.
AES also provides up-to-date student activity data, including when they log into their accounts, complete assignments, and more.
One of our teachers in particular, Patricia Carter, uses AES to prove academic honesty (or dishonesty) among her students.
With all of that at your fingertips, you have a number of strategies you can employ to prevent cheating in the classroom.
Next, we’ll cover how AES as a company works to combat cheating.
The account executives and customer success specialists at AES handle most of the questions that teachers have about cheating.
While their answers are helpful, we know that there's more to preventing cheating than simply answering questions.
That’s where our computer programmers come into play.
In 2019, AES launched an initiative to clamp down on cheating opportunities that students had on third-party websites.
The result was a computer program that scanned these websites for AES quizzes and tests.
We use that program to identify possible areas of cheating so we can get in touch with those third-party sources and remove the offending content.
Our team will always answer questions about cheating as they come up. Combined with this technology-driven approach, our goal is to eliminate cheating as an issue with AES curriculum.
Eliminating cheating is a challenge, and we took that challenge because we believe in the integrity of education.
More specifically, we care about the trust that we develop with you and the educational experience that your students receive.
AES is a small organization, and we're proud of what we do. We're even prouder of the teachers who use our curriculum system.
Whenever possible, we'll improve that curriculum system — even if it means building an anti-cheating tool from scratch.
That’s our promise to you and your students.
Let's eliminate cheating together.