South African students are finding new and innovative ways to cheat during their exams, including using smartwatches, according to a report by the Sunday Times.
According to a study in the South African Journal of Science, smartwatches are the latest problem plaguing university examinations.
Universities said they had recognised the potential for smartwatches to be used as “wrist computers”, and have subsequently levelled various bans and limitations against them.
The University of Cape Town and the University of KwaZulu-Natal have banned smartwatches from exam rooms outright, while Stellenbosch students are required to switch their devices off and place them face-down on the desk.
In addition to using smartwatches to cheat during examinations, university students are also becoming more skilled at simply copying and pasting information from the Internet and passing it off as their own.
A number of universities – such as the University of the Witwatersrand – use plagiarism software to automatically detect this practice.
Quality of Education
In addition to these problems, many have argued that new South African university students lack the required skills to deal with the course matter due to the problems with the public schooling system.
This is especially true for subjects such as Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Professor John Webb of the UCT Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics believes that the standard of matric mathematics has dropped substantially.
“Today’s matric maths papers are substantially easier than those set in the old Higher grade/Standard grade regime,” Webb told MyBroadband.
“In those days a top school could expect only a few Maths A symbols. Today, the same school can boast ten times as many. ”
Webb believes that there is a crisis in mathematics at a school level that is resulting in intelligent students not being challenged sufficiently in the classroom.