Finals and such

The final for EET 276 went over pretty well. It took me about 50 minutes to get the whole thing done (45 multiple choice and 15 true/false questions).

More interesting was the short speech my professor gave before the exam began. It appears that multiple people cheated on the final practical of the course. This practical is pretty hard because not only are you responsible for troubleshooting the system by yourself, you can plagued by two faulty boards in the system which makes it just about 2 times more difficult.

What happened was that in some of the classes, some students were able to distract one of the older lab instructors long enough to be able to steal the answers to the practical off of the answer key. They then used these answers to pass the practical without a hitch.

Stealing answers is, and should be, one of the worst forms of cheating you can possibly commit. In my eyes the only way you could commit a worse offense would be to sell stolen answers ;)

Anyways, the professor noted that while cheating was frowned upon already, this particular time to be caught cheating was exceedingly unfourtunate. This is because Purdue is in the unique situation where they’re having to deny more and more students for a number of reasons. First and foremost they are getting more applications than ever and secondly we are in the middle of a campaign to be more selective so as to raise the quality of incoming students. If you’re caught cheating you’re effectively viewed as someone who is filling a slot that you aren’t deserving of.

Secondly, the Dean of Students office and the Purdue Student Government recently passed a shiney, new Code of Conduct and are champing at the bit for some people to make examples out of to show that they’re serious. The Office of The Dean of Students is on a big push to disseminate information on cheating techniques and how to deal with and remove the pressures that lead a student to cheat. Here is an interesting excerpt:

Detecting the use of unauthorized notes (cribs) requires a great deal of monitoring and alertness by proctors. Students can be quite creative in concealing cribs such as notes on the reverse side of mirrored sunglasses, underside of baseball cap bills, erasers, tissue paper on the floor or in hand, body parts, pencils that have been stripped, etc. Additionally, electronic devices open up a whole realm of possibilities for using unauthorized aids during an exam. When the use of cribs is discovered, have another proctor confirm your observations and retrieve the cribs if the student is willing to relinquish them. If the student is unwilling to surrender the cribs, the second person’s observations become more critical. Physical evidence and personal observations are important in the adjudication process.

In any case, this form of cheating is regarded pretty bad and the Dean of Students implied that there would be no other choice for punishment except to expell the students (after their hearing and such).

The teacher thought this was quite a harsh punishment for what he called a “lapse in good judgement” (and what I’d call “idiocy”), so he gave these students a second chance. If the students involved contacted him by email within 24 hours he would simply give them a grade of 0 on the practical they cheated on and nothing more would be made of it. However, if the students he suspected of cheating did not contact him in 24 hours he would be forced to turn over their names and his evidence to the Dean of Students.

In any case I hope that the students involved get punished :) I’m pretty jaded to all of this cheating because you see it every now-and-again so I think that if I were in the professors position I wouldn’t even give the students a chance. I figure they already had their chance and that they should be subject to the guidelines they accepted when they joined the University.

So I think I did well on the exam, I have another one tomorrow (EET 296 uggh). This class couldn’t be more boring and the tests are full of useless information. When I say useless you can take it on good authority that it really is useless because I can usually find use for most information. But this stuff is just over-the-top :)