Yesterday I received a phone call from a student who had just left the lab. She told me she had been taking one of BORROWDALE’s exams and she said that 1 student was blatantly texting on his phone while testing and he and another student were exchanging information. She said it was very distracting. Unfortunately, we were so busy checking people in, that staff didn’t notice, although one staff person had at one point, asked the texter to put his cell phone away.
I need your assistance to let students know that we are not going to allow that behavior–I already was told by one Instructor that she doesn’t want to use the lab for testing because she feels the setup makes it easy for students to cheat. I think we do a really great job, but here’s what we can do to be more proactive:
#1 Refer students to the rules list and VERBALLY (even if they’ve read the list) tell them, “No cell phones, iPods, pagers, etc. at your desk.”
#2 If the cell phone is out, then we will consider it cheating and their Instructors will be informed.
#3 If the cell phone is out, then tell the student you will need to take the phone and they can have it back after the test–please note if the phone was on and/or if the student was texting. (We might want to attach a post-it with the student’s name on it.) If you are not comfortable confiscating a phone, then call me and I will do it. 🙂
#4 Tell students to put their belongings in the cubbies. Cell phones should NOT be on them–they should be in their backpack or purse. NEW POLICY: If a student does not want to put his her stuff in the cubbies, then have the student surrender their purse and/or laptop and put a post-it with their name on it–we can stash them under the table in the WRITTEN LAB. When students are done testing, then have them tell you what station # they were at and give them their stuff back. Backpacks can still go in the cubbies–this is just for those students who do not want to put their stuff in the cubbies. 🙂
#5 If the person in the WRITTEN LAB goes on break, then someone should come out to the WRITTEN LAB to guard peoples’ belongings.
#6 When you see students have NOT put their stuff in the cubbies, then approach that student and say, “I’m going to put this over on the shelf for you.”
#7 Even when it’s busy, someone needs to be walking around and making sure cell phones are not out and belongings are stowed (It’s like we’re airline stewards!!)
You can covertly do this by pushing in chairs and collecting paperclips. Also, in the computer room, sometimes it’s necessary to walk around and see which computers need to be locked.
#8 It’s O.K. to work on schoolwork when it’s not as busy, but at least once every 15 minutes someone needs to do a sweep through the lab.
Thanks for your help!!! I’m hoping if they re-design a testing space they make it so that we can have people check their stuff, including cell phones.