From Collaboration to Cheating: Where Do We Draw The Line?
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(v) – act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage
(n) – a person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage
We’ve all grown up with the idea that cheating is wrong. It’s bad, it’s against school rules and it just generally shouldn’t be done.
Are things different in the EFL classroom?
Well, in many respects EFL classrooms are very different to other classrooms. We like to think that learning English should be a fun and enjoyable event so we do everything we can to make our EFL classrooms as different to the stereotypical classroom as possible: we don’t stand at the front of the classroom for the whole lesson, we encourage questions, we involve our students in every stage of the lesson and we foster participation and interaction.
Which brings up the sticky issue of: when does collaboration turn into cheating?
If we want our students to work together and we know the benefits of peer teaching and teamwork and co-operation, why is it a problem sometimes when our students do exactly that?
Quite frankly, we don’t think it is.
The aim of learning English is being able to use and understand English, not to pass a test. If they need to work together in order to help them grasp a concept or problem solve a language issue, then so be it. This will surely only serve to help them in the learning process, whether they are asking or answering the question.
BUT (and it’s a big but), before we get our heads bitten off, we must reassure you that t’s and c’s apply.
If you are teaching in a school and are giving your students a placement or level test, then it makes sense that we would want our students to work individually – because otherwise you would not be testing their individual performance. Even if you are giving an end-of-the-week test you may want to limit the groupwork and enhance the individual work.
In these cases, there are things you can do to try to avoid the problem of cheating: arranging the classroom so it does not encourage peeking, keeping an eye on your students during the test and dealing with clear instances of cheating quickly and quietly.
Hopefully in this way cheating will not become an issue in your classroom. If you find that it is, consider the reasons that may lie behind the cheating. Is there a lot of pressure on your students to perform well? Are your students not paying attention during your lessons so they are unprepared for the test? Are the tests inadequate reflections of their learning?
Above all, it is necessary to instil in your learners that cheating is not useful for their learning. Collaboration is, given the right circumstances, and so should be encouraged during class time, but cheating will never help anyone. Hopefully, if your learners appreciate they are learning English for a purpose – i.e. communication in the real world – then their enthusiasm for learning will negate the need to cheat.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.