Instead of an “open book” test, consider an “open cell phone” test. The idea is to prepare trainees to collaborate in finding correct answers if they need info quickly.

The idea comes from a recent classroom-cheating scandal involving the high achievers at Brooklyn’s Stuyvesant High School. Seventy-one students were caught cheating using text messaging on the New York Regents Exam.

One cheating method has an ethical application in the right environment: Students took pictures of test questions. Friends found the answers and texted back.

In the right environment, such “ethical cheating” can be a reinforcement tool for both parties. Trying to think of the answer helps the test-taker’s long-term memory. The helper learns by retrieving the memory (or looking it up).

Bottom line: Consider giving workers a “lifeline” option in open-book tests.

Source: Yee V. (2012, September 25). “Stuyvesant students describe the how and the why of cheating,” NY Times.

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