Do you know the most effective ways to counteract student cheating? Do you know what factors most encourage students to cheat, depending on whether they are in elementary, high school or university? Do you have an idea of the best strategy for dealing with uncertainty? Do you know how learners and teachers perceive humour in the classroom and what principles teachers should follow to make good use of it? Test your knowledge on these sensitive topics by answering the following five questions.

1. True or false? A commitment to an honour code is one of the most effective ways to prevent cheating.



For our mental balance, we must maintain a good self-image. According to several researchers, this mechanism is one of the most important points on which we should focus to prevent cheating.

That being said, there are various means that can be deployed to counter student cheating, and in all cases, the best solution is a comprehensive one, which includes not only effective means of detection and dissuasive sanctions but also targeted prevention measures.

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2. Link the category of students to each set of factors that the studies conducted on the subject are pointing out to lead to cheating.

1- elementary school students 2- high school students 3- university students 

A) They are more likely to cheat in subjects they consider less important so they can devote their energy to those that matter more. Other factors that may increase the likelihood of cheating include: viewing cheating as a routine behaviour, having a conflictual relationship with parents, and fearing negative comparison with peers.

B) The quest for a better grade is the primary motivation for both those who are struggling and those who have an easier time succeeding; the second motivation is the lack of work done to be successful.

C) Fear of being punished, rejected by peers or humiliated by the teacher is the primary motivation for cheating.


1-Elementary school students: C; 2-High school students: A; 3-University students: B

According to the country’s largest study of student dishonesty (Academic Misconduct within Higher Education in Canada, 2006), which surveyed 17,000 university students, 53% of respondents admitted to cheating on assignments and 18% on exams. In the first part of the study, the authors reviewed the research on the subject and identified the main factors that encourage students to cheat. They are, in order:

  1. Personal problems.
  2. The context and culture of cheating inside and outside the university.
  3. A mode of assessment perceived as unfair by students and a pedagogy that encourages non-compliance.
  4. The inconsistency of universities and faculties between their rhetoric about academic dishonesty and how they deal with it in practice.

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3. With the collective crisis we are experiencing, learners and teachers alike must learn more than ever to deal with uncertainty. To do so, it is recommended to follow all but one of the tips below. Which one is it?

A) When we feel stress emerging, we must develop the reflex to step back and regain our composure… a sign that the stress hormones have diminished.

B) We must accept the situation by recognizing that we are experiencing uncertainty and that it is uncomfortable.

C) It is important to put all your energy into transforming your negative thoughts into positive ones.

D) Before taking action to counter uncertainty, we must ensure that our decisions are in line with our values and abilities, otherwise, uncertainty may take hold again and with even more force.



Acknowledging that we are experiencing uncertainty and that it is uncomfortable is a first step in accepting the situation and eventually taking control over it. Writing down how you feel and why you feel it can help you to look at the situation head-on and untangle which of your concerns are most worthy of your attention. For this exercise to be truly effective, it is important not to minimize your discomfort, since you obviously cannot solve a problem you don’t know you have. Positive thinking at all costs has no place here.

Find out more: Dealing with uncertainty in 3 steps

4. Which of the following findings from studies of the use of humour in the classroom is incorrect?

A) A teacher who uses humour well in the classroom is better perceived by learners than a teacher who uses little humour.

B) Students are less sensitive to negative humour than teachers.

C) Students and teachers agree that a course should not be humourless, but that the humour experienced in the course should be positive and within a certain spectrum of humour — what we might call “good humour”.



While students value humour in a course more than teachers, they are more sensitive to negative humour than teachers.

Anthropologist Christine Escallier points out that humorous expression in the classroom can take many forms. “The teacher can project an image (caricature, cartoon, photograph, etc.); he or she can also read a humorous text; tell a story or use terms from the language of young people or any other social and community group. But regardless of the medium chosen and/or the medium used, the difficulty lies in knowing what type of humour to employ, and for what type of audience (students’ ages, cultures).”

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5. Select the correct term to complete the following recommendations on the proper use of humour in the classroom.

Terms: key concepts, the situation, humorous examples, taboo or sensitive topics

A) Use humor only to highlight ________.

B) Avoid excess: limit to 3 or 4 ________ per hour.

C) Adjust the degree of humour deployed according to ________.

D) Use “neutral” humour, i.e., avoid humour that deals with ________ that could create embarrassment or a sense of unfairness in the classroom.


The complete correct recommendations are as follows:

A) Use humour only to emphasize key concepts.

B) Avoid excess: limit to 3 or 4 humorous examples per hour.

C) Adjust the degree of humour deployed according to the situation.

D) Use “neutral” humour, i.e. avoid humour that deals with taboo or sensitive subjects that could create embarrassment or a feeling of unfairness in the classroom.

Note that these are just a few of the recommendations we have identified for the proper use of humour in the classroom.

Find out more: Do humour and learning mix?

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Catherine Meilleur

Catherine Meilleur

Creative Content Writer @KnowledgeOne. Questioner of questions. Hyperflexible stubborn. Contemplative yogi.

Catherine Meilleur has over 15 years of experience in research and writing. Having worked as a journalist and educational designer, she is interested in everything related to learning: from educational psychology to neuroscience, and the latest innovations that can serve learners, such as virtual and augmented reality. She is also passionate about issues related to the future of education at a time when a real revolution is taking place, propelled by digital technology and artificial intelligence.