Emirates Education Platform

Philosophy professor uses fake online answers to catch cheating

A professor says he caught 40 of his 96 online Introduction to Ethics students cheating by posting on Quizlet a copy of his final exam with wrong answers, Daily Nous reported.

Garret Merriam, an associate professor at California State University, Sacramento, told the philosophy website that he found one of his previous final exams on Quizlet.

Quizlet agreed to take it down, but Merriam then “decided to ‘poison the well’ by uploading [to Quizlet] a copy of my final with wrong answers,” he told the Daily Nous.

“Most of these answers were not just wrong, but obviously​ wrong to anyone who had paid attention in class,” he told Daily Nous. He then, the website reported, mathematically calculated, and counted as cheaters, those whose wrong answers had “no more than a 1 in 100 chance” of matching his poisoned-well answers by coincidence.

His method has itself sparked an ethical debate, and he’s inviting input, asking, “Am I the unethical one here?”

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