|Cheating in Korean Universities|
This incident happened a couple months ago at the beginning of the semester, but it's been in the back of my mind since then and I'm reminded of it every single time I see this girl in my writing class.
Here's what happened:
Students had to write an essay for their first homework. A couple students cheated by copying from the Internet--it was very easy to catch them using an advanced Google search for exact phrases.
This specific girl submitted an essay that was better than the stuff you find on the Internet or even that you'd pay someone to write for you. It was like something a professional journalist had done, but I couldn't find it on the Internet. I can't even emphasize how good it was-like itwas three times better than any essay ever submitted to me during 8 years teaching in Korean universities.
I compared her essay to the little "get to know me" essay she'd done in class on the first day (the ultimate way to catch cheaters, btw!) and they were worlds apart. Like she's an okay writer but had basic spelling mistakes, overused vocabulary, no structure and quite simple grammatical constructions. In short, the 2 essays were nothing alike.
I gave her no score on her paper and asked her to come talk to me after class. I said that I knew she didn't write it, but I had no proof because I couldn't find it on the Internet. She doubles down and tells me she stayed up all night working on it. I asked if she had a native English speaker proofread it and she said no, that she did it all by herself, which made it all the more unbelievable.
She starts crying. I tell her that I'm going to wait until she does her in-class essay for the midterm exam and make a decision then.
Midterm exams come. Her essay is average--she got a "B-." It was obvious that she didn't write the homework essay. I give her a zero and she again tells me that she really did write it. I tell her I'm not changing my mind, but Teacher X and Teacher Y from USA and Australia (the other teachers in my department) could read all her stuff, give me their opinions and I would follow it. She declines.
Now, this is where it gets even crazier. The next class, she triples down and hands me a note. I was expecting something like, "Teacher, I'm sorry that I lied. Please forgive me." Instead, it basically says that she's not a liar and she doesn't want me to think badly of her.
How would you have handled it? Have you ever had a student triple down like this?
Despite stuff like this, working at a Korean uni is a pretty sweet job. Here's how to get it: How to Get a University Job in South Korea