Banning Smart Watches during Finals

Photo Credit to Hideya Hamano
Photo Credit to Hideya Hamano

In an article written by Mary Ellen McIntire, a few Australian universities are warning students to not wear wristwatches during final exams. This concerns the new fad of wearable technology such as the Apple Watch that could potentially foster cheating.

The University of New South Wales is requiring students to put their smart watches in clear bags under their desks. This however is not required for a standard watch, however it must be placed on the table during the exam. Since wearable technology is growing in popularity, it’s concerning to educators because it can store information that is on the exam. They are also concerned with the difficulty to distinguish a smart watch from a traditional watch.

This also brings up the concern of changing the format of tests to one that is immune to students’ efforts to store answers on their phones or watches. Eric Klopfer, Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) compares these tests to open-book exams that focus on analysis rather than memorization.

Australian universities are not the only first to ban smart watches, the Education Testing Service has started to use wands to ensure test takers don’t carry in cellphones into exams. The Education Testing Service administers the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

These precautions are to dissuade hindrance of the tests integrity.

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