Opinion: Online school promotes cheating amongst students


Elly Green, Reporter

With the emergence of remote learning for a wide range of students across the globe, it is undeniable that students may use online sources to aid them in their coursework. While some would call this strategy cheating, others may see it as the only reasonable choice and essential to come close to passing their classes. 

Due to the change in learning environments, learning styles, and limited one-on-one contact with teachers, Newton High students may find it easier to blatantly cheat on their work, instead of doing the assignments themselves. As a student, it is easy for me to understand why students tend to struggle in remote as well as hybrid school settings. According to the Hechinger Report, 93 percent of instructors believe that their students are more likely to cheat online than in person.

For many students, their home learning environment may cause them to feel unmotivated, even more than they might have felt while going to school full time or part time while in hybrid learning mode. A students’ kitchen or living room might be too noisy or distracting, hindering their ability to get their work done on time or to submit the best work they can possibly do. 

Change in location also means change in learning style. I can confidently say that I will always learn better visually seeing the problems worked out, or hear my teacher explain the material to me in person. It is no secret that most students feel this way as well, meaning that online learning may not help them succeed in truly learning the material. Mix in the distracting location, jumbled information, and an unmotivated high schooler, you get the perfect recipe for cheating. According to University of the People, students may cheat not because they want to break the rules, but because they have been overwhelmed in their coursework. 

Some students may feel stuck, as if they cannot learn the material, as though they are not smart or capable enough, which further worsens the dependence to using online sources for homework help. On the other hand, the majority of teachers are working hard to make sure all students are able to keep up to date on their assignments, and therefore students should have no reason to cheat. I for one recognize and appreciate the staff’s efforts to keep students engaged during the remote learning schedule. Most teachers care deeply about not only their students’ grades but also their students’ mental health, and for many this connects directly to how they teach their classes, often offering one on one help with their students to promote active and successful learning. I can recall several times my teachers have willingly got onto personal calls with me to help me learn the material when I was struggling. 

To teachers, it may feel disappointing to see students cheat on assignments when they have worked many tireless hours to create a positive learning environment for their students. Despite the fact, many are very understanding of the obstacles set in place with remote/hybrid learning, and understand why it is that students often struggle with online learning. 

Although cheating is never morally right, students often feel like it is the only solution to not failing the class. No matter how hard teachers work creating learning plans, they never escape seeing their students cheat on assignments especially while facing unforeseen obstacles while in remote learning. The least that we can do is be understanding towards the struggling students and staff during these unprecedented times.

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