Smart Watches & Cheating

From the University of London…

“At this stage it is difficult to know how easy it will be to identify the Apple Watch, or other smartwatches, from standard digital or mechanical timepieces but it is thus possible that smartwatches may become a problem in the examination hall from 2015 and beyond.”

I’ve been told by other instructors that they have been seeing a rise in students accessing their smart phones DURING written exams.  Millennials live with their smart phones, some statistics say that 85% of millennials sleep with them.  I don’t think it’s a case of even realizing that accessing their phone is in-appropriate during an exam.  Therefore it needs to be stated before the exam is taken.  Which leaves the question about their Smart Watches…


For those of you who don’t know, there are companies that are marketing cheating watches and Apps specifically designed for cheating with your watch.

It may be that very shortly we have to ask students to remove their watches before an exam.  What are your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Smart Watches & Cheating

  1. Since I do not know about all the capabilities of the watch, my simplistic response is:

    1. yes, remove the watches if the content of the exam would be compromised

    2. change the nature and content of the exam — thought questions, problem solving, analyzing, synthesizing, comparative analyses questions rather than just memorizing information; information is not knowledge, understanding, insight, or wisdom.

    3. yes, sleeping with one’s cell phone — earlier in SPARK I elaborated on the 4 stages of cell phone addiction.

  2. Thank you for the response Roger. Depending on nature of the course and the requirements, changing the exam might not be possible so removing the watches might become a requirement. I’m just now seeing the watches in class. Their price has dropped significantly – some are only $25.00!

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