University asks students to put mirrors during online exams to prevent cheating
A university administration in the capital Ankara has sent mirrors to all of its around 11,000 students by cargo and asked them to place the mirrors near them during the online exams to prevent cheating, daily Hürriyet has reported on Dec. 21.
“The student will stick the mirror on its holder and put the mirror nearby. So that the teacher will be able to see all around him or her from the camera during the online exams,” said Abdullah Atalar, the chancellor of Bilkent University.
Defending the idea to monitor the students with a mirror, Atalar noted, “For such a thing, two cameras are needed. But with a mirror, there is no need for another camera. Also, we sent the mirrors to the students for free.”
When asked, “How did you find exam mirrors?” he replied, “Of course there is no such thing. They are tailored products.”
The chancellor also stressed that the idea was born at the beginning of December. “We were thinking of postponing the exams. But that would mess up the schedule. So, we decided to do the exams online. We had to take precautions.”
The chancellor admitted that their mirror solution is a different one. “The value of our diploma is high. So, there should be no injustice. The number of cheating students in our university is low. But even if one cheats, he or she can take one step ahead of another.”
He underlined that the administration considered the mirror idea to rule out injustice and be relieved.
When asked, “Why didn’t you prefer a more technological solution?” the chancellor remarked on the latest frauds.
“Yes, there are software programs for this. But then there are also software programs to stop these software programs. So, we thought that it would be impossible for us to have a technological solution on this.”
The mirror solution fired up amusing reactions on social media. A majority of the Bilkent University students posted selfies with the mirrors and wrote, “They really did, they really sent mirrors.”
A Twitter user criticized the idea saying, “Mirror vs cheating. Did you slip a cog?” Another user showed support saying, “Bilkent, you are the one.”
One day later, the university administration actualized another different idea to prevent cheating. They emailed all the students a paragraph of “honor pledge,” asking them to handwrite, sign and send it back to the administration.
The “honor pledge” says: “I pledge on my honor that the work that I will submit for my final exams will be entirely my own. I will not receive or utilize any unauthorized assistance from any source, nor will I provide such assistance to others. I understand and accept that any violation of integrity on my part will result in a disciplinary hearing and may lead to severe penalties.”
The move by the university to ask students to write “honor pledge” also became a hot topic on social media.