The last paragraph of this article says it all for me: cheat but be honest about it. If the student has been given permission to cheat, in my mind it really isn’t cheating at all. I would see that as more of an open book/internet resource type of assessment or as a collaborative effort if the “cheating” involves getting the answers from someone else. I have no problem with these types of assessments. Learning is a continual on-going process and I don’t see why the learning can’t be still happening during an assessment, at least for the most part.
Having said that, I’m a big believer in honesty. If a student cheats in a test and it is actual cheating in the sense that they are supposed to have this knowledge stored in their brain for whatever reason by this time, then they are being dishonest. Place that student in the work force at some point in the future. What type of an employee will they be? Not one I would want to hire and not one I would want to have to rely on as a co-worker.
I always tell my students to look things up if they aren’t sure about something. After many years working as an RN, I am well aware of the dangers of going ahead with a task without really being sure what you are doing. It is so much better to look a little dumb having to search something up than look like a real idiot if you end up making a mistake…and oh, yeah, there is also that little concern about endangering someone’s life!
Still, there also has to be a limit to having to search for information while on the job. In health care, as in many other types of professions, there just isn’t always the time for that. I have sat in my doctor’s office while he searched up something obscure and still had total confidence in his abilities. The same would not be true if I was on a stretcher in front of him in say, anaphylactic shock and he had to rely on google for guidance. Even if it isn’t really a life or death thing, what kind of world would it be if no one ever bothered to become truly proficient in their line of work?
The brain is an amazing organ. One of its main functions is to store knowledge. So why not use it?