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Math Help - Is it cheating?

  1. #16
    Moo is offline
    A Cute Angle Moo's Avatar
    Mar 2008
    P(I'm here)=1/3, P(I'm there)=t+1/3
    Quote Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
    Hello again, Moo.

    Again, allowing the use of a graphing calculator does not give students implicit permission to enter formulas into it. Opening up a possibility for cheating does not mean that such cheating is permitted, in the same way that leaving your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition doesn't mean it's okay for someone to steal it, even though it will probably happen anyway.
    If teachers would really want students not to cheat, they wouldn't allow graphing calculators.

    If an instructor allows students to store formulas in their calculator then they may do so, but if it is disallowed, then that rule is independent of the authorization to use the calculator itself, even if the instructor expects that students will probably disobey.
    That's the point : teachers know at least several students will disobey. They know people can enter formulas in it.

    You sound as if the only purpose of a graphing calculator is to store formulas.
    Well, I thought that was what the original poster wanted to ask about...

    There are plenty of other legitimate reasons why one would want to use a graphing calculator on an exam. Perhaps an instructor wants to have students solve some problems graphically,
    They can provide the graph in the paper test...
    Two possibilities :
    - in high school, the student will be asked to sketch the graph in a test..
    - in University, the "sketch the graph and find solutions thanks to the graph" part is not significant. I don't even think they'd be asked such a thing... In general case I mean.

    or maybe he or she feels it inappropriate to require students to spend $10 on a new scientific calculator when the graphing calculator they already own has all of the necessary capabilities.
    That's partly where there may be a difference between our countries. In France, we have scientific calculator before having a graphing calculator.

    Allowing the students to use the device does not imply that they accept cheating with it.
    Allowing it, knowing that it's possible to "cheat", means that they can, unless the teacher explicitly states that it's forbidden. Even with that recommendation, he won't be able to check everybody "are you typing the calculus or typing to retrieve your text with formulas ?".

    While this changes your meaning somewhat, I still say that a teacher knowing about a possible avenue of cheating and not preventing it does not imply that they allow such cheating.
    That does imply that he doesn't forbid it...

    Yes, I'm sure that most teachers probably know what students can do with a graphing calculator, but that does not mean that they automatically accept or allow misuse.
    They don't forbid it either, although they know about the misuses.

    But when did the teacher say "I allow you to store formulas or notes in the calculator"?
    When did he say "I forbid you to store formulas" ? He knows they can, but no rule says that they ought not store formulas.
    While you referenced to burglar or assassination, I see a huge difference : we're given the possibility, but the laws forbid it. There is a rule which has been set up, and that makes the difference...

    What difference does one's country make? Certainly, different cultures, communities, and even individuals will tend to carry different moral views, but if you are trying to argue over whether something is right or wrong, your country of origin is usually irrelevant.
    - the use of graphing calculator.
    - the habit of teachers to write up paper tests, following their directives about graphing calculators using or not.

    Other things I'm questionning but it can look stupid. As I said, it "MAY" be different

    That is, unless you were referring to the actual tendency of students to use graphing calculators for storing formulas, and teachers' knowledge that it is commonplace, in which case I would say that the US is probably not much different from France or most other locations.
    Here, we were always told that if graphing calculators were allowed, they wouldn't put high marks in questions needing to know formulas.

    I wasn't arguing that this sort of thing doesn't happen, only that it shouldn't happen.
    "Shouldn't", I agree, but how would you stem this "commonplace" thing ?
    Last edited by Moo; May 14th 2008 at 08:59 AM. Reason: grammar mistakes... sorry for the ones remaining
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  2. #17
    MHF Contributor Reckoner's Avatar
    May 2008
    Baltimore, MD (USA)


    Quote Originally Posted by Moo View Post
    When did he say "I forbid you to store formulas" ? He knows they can, but no rule says that they ought not store formulas.
    While you referenced to burglar or assassination, I see a huge difference : we're given the possibility, but the laws forbid it. There is a rule which has been set up, and that makes the difference...
    Well, I was referring to situations in which such usage was forbidden. If an instructor never lays out a rule against such use, then I agree it would be silly to fault students for it.

    However, my impression from the original poster was that these were "closed-notes" exams, which sort of hints at a possible unacceptability of storing formulas in a calculator, so I think it would be wrong to do so without first getting approval from the instructor.
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  3. #18
    Grand Panjandrum
    Nov 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by sux@math View Post
    Hey All:

    I have been taking a correspondence Math 11 course (in less than 4 months!) and will be writing my test any day now - I have had THE WORST time trying to memorize all the formulas - if I can see the formula in front of me, I can do the work no problem, but I am FREEZING up every time I try to commit them all to memory

    . . . a friend said that since I am allowed to take my Graphing Calculator into the exam, I should program some formulas into the calculator.

    Before I take the time to do that, I want to make sure this is NOT cheating! Do you have a general consensus on this?

    Thanks in advance for everyone & anyone's input!
    Look at the exam regulations, if it isn't forbidden it is permitted.

    Most exams I know of provide a formula sheet anyway, are you sure that yours does not?

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