How to prevent cheating in online distance learning

5 ways you can do to nurture honesty in your children

Cheating is one of the most feared disadvantages of distance learning. And just recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) discovered “Online Kopyahan,” a Facebook group that posts answers to self-learning modules (SLM) and other assessments. And would you believe that it had 700,000 members before it became inaccessible?

Yes, today’s young learners may be burdened with too much SLM and other school work, but cheating will never be right the right thing to do, in whatever ways or angles you look at it, in order for them to comply. Let it be known that distance education set-up aims for students to still learn, however difficult it may be, in a pandemic situation, and not just to pass, get good grades, and level up.

So, apart from not joining a social media group that encourages dishonesty, what could you do to prevent cheating while your children are in distance learning?

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1. Instill honesty in them. Being in a modular or online learning environment is really challenging, yet it is the best time to practice honesty. Instill in them that being honest is important than getting perfect scores or high grades. Let them know that it's more honorable to perform honestly even if they fail than cheating so that they can be rewarded and recognized. Honesty will give them a sense of pride, not even a gold medal can outshine.

2. Be a living example of honesty. Encouraging your children to answer their module themselves is setting an example of how you value honesty and discourage cheating. Answering their activities for them, or giving them all the right answers, or simply cheating the current educational system gives the young learners the notion that it’s okay to be dishonest as long as they pass schooling.

3. Show the importance of hard work. When your children see how hardworking you are to make ends meet during these difficult times could influence them to do the same in their studies. Make them realize that there are no shortcuts to success and cheating will only derail and prolong their journey with more loads of hardships in the future.

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4. Praise their effort, not their grades. Praising them because they get high grades and being proud of it to the extent of posting them on social media, may send the wrong message that grades matter most. When faced with learning difficulties, they might be tempted to cheat just to get the same approval. To emphasize that effort is more important than seeing straight As on report cards, you may praise them by saying, “Good job, your hard work paid off” or “Good job for studying harder.”

5. Teach them how to cope with failure. It’s fear of getting failing grades and negative reactions from parents that sometimes leads children to cheat. In times of academic failures, teach them how to get back up instead of scolding them. Make them realize that failure is not the end but a chance to get better. Moreover, make them feel that you are always there to help them succeed.

At the end of the day, parents should let their kids always understand that our current academic situation is an opportunity for them to learn on their own, gain knowledge, and build a good character, especially in these uncertain times, rather than seeing an occasion to cheating so as to survive and acquire good records.