Distance Learning Brings Concerns on How to Maintain the Integrity of Student’s Work

Reagan Kaelle, Staff Writer

Jul. 14, the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) school board’s unanimous choice to go completely online brought about a new wave of concerns about how Miramonte would maintain the integrity of student’s assessments and homework. Cheating hinders a teacher’s ability to give grades that are an accurate representation of student’s work and effort.  

Aug.17 marked the second week of online learning and the first week of virtual instruction and assignments. According to a survey conducted in May by the publishing and digital education company Wiley, 93 percent of instructors think students are more likely to cheat online than in person.

“To prevent cheating during online school, we are using some of the features of Canvas. For example, some modules can be set with time limits so that students must complete the tasks in a given amount of time.  In addition, our teachers are exploring other ways to assess students that do not include some of the “traditional” methods that we have in a normal school setting,” principal Julie Parks said.  

The Online School Center, a research group for online education, discovered that in a pool of 635 students, 32.7 percent admitted to cheating in online classes. This further encourages the question of how prolific cheating at Miramonte is.  

Many teachers are addressing academic dishonesty by changing how much tests account for overall grades. This means that other work categories, such as coursework and homework may become more important.

In some of my own classes, I intend to give more formative-type (practice to demonstrate what skills they have acquired in a unit), rather than summative-type assessments (i.e., end of a unit test).  At the same time, in my case, my AP classes have a different expectation with their assessments,”, Latin II, Latin III Honors, AP Latin, and AP Euro teacher, Jennifer Mullowney said.

The Miramonte handbook says possible consequences for academic dishonesty include: appointments with the administrators’ counselors and parents, getting assigned alternate classwork, a scheduled meeting with a counselor, an intervention or notation on record, detention, Saturday school, community service and, in house suspension (suspension also includes no participating in contests and/or performances for five school days for every one day of school suspension). 

 “I think that it’s probably better that we have some written tests because we will most likely learn more that way, but this also adds to the stress levels of students that are already high. So it does have a downside,” sophomore Avery Welch said.