I was one of those weird kids in school who never cheated during a test. Just the idea of being caught sent a chill down my spine. It was a bit too much to handle for my tiny anxious brain.

However, this did not stop any of my classmates from cheating. There were often mini-competitions for whoever had the smallest handwriting or the best way of hiding their cheat sheets. It got gradually insane with every test they took. If anything, they seemed like adrenaline junkies now that I think about it.

Engineering students underestimated their “of age” professor’s cheating detection…

Image Credit: Ccarlstead (Not actual photo)

A Reddit user by the name of Mwxh recently shared a story about how their engineering professor took cheating detection to the next level. The students underestimated their “of age” professor, who took a modern approach to solving modern problems.

Bored Panda got in touch with Mwxh, the Reddit user who posted the story. He is currently a 4th-year Engineering Major at a Division 1 College.

… resulting in this impressive story By Mwxh on Reddit

A lot of people were left surprised that students are allowed to leave the exam for a bathroom break just like that. “As I said in the only comment I made in that thread, classes in my department generally just let people leave in the middle of the exam and come back, which I have a serious problem with,” explained Mwxh. And who wouldn’t—it opens up a horizon of ways for people to cheat, which is by no means fair to other students.

What is worse, nobody seemed to have any clue as to this being a trap: “I don’t think anyone thought it was a trap since it’s relatively common in this department. He didn’t say anything about it until he e-mailed us after the exam,” said the Reddit user.

Even though the professor meant well, this, in turn, lead to the question of ethics. Was the professor allowed to, effectively, publicly shame students for cheating, when educational institutions generally have a more respectful way of dealing with them? “I think it’s unethical for sure since it would have been much easier for him to just ban students from leaving the room,” elaborates Mwxh. “Though, I don’t know if the department has a specific rule about it or not. Anyway, even if not, I have no sympathy for the cheaters and hope they kicked out of the school.”

We asked the Reddit user whether there were any developments in the story. He had this to say: “I e-mailed the professor the link to this thread when it blew up and also pointed out that some comments said that sharing the names of students would violate FERPA. I haven’t heard back from him. And I haven’t heard anything else in real life about it since he sent the e-mail out.”

As the years go on and technology advances, cheaters will surely find new and more efficient ways to cheat. However, the lesson to be drawn from this story is to never underestimate the opposition—professors have degrees for a reason. Don’t underestimate their power to detect cheating. Even if it is unethical.

Do you have a cheating story to share? Why not talk about it in the comments below?