OPINION: Cheating in Zoom is easy

by Jesse de Anda

J-101 Staff Writer

Cheating is easier than it has ever been. We have Covid-19 to thank. 

The days of sneaking in cheat sheets written in sanskrit on a scrap of paper which is placed 500 feet outside the classroom with a 16x scope attached to the student’s glasses are over. For now at least.

While the Covid-19 pandemic is causing suffering for millions of people all over the world, at least East Los Angeles College students can cheat easier. 

The transition from in-person classes to online has been strange to say the least. 

No longer does someone have to wake up two hours before class, get ready, eat breakfast (maybe) and then drive to class. 

Now, students can wake up looking like they were kicked in the face and masquerade as a box with a blank name on it, while shoving a bagel down their gullet. 

This, if it isn’t clear enough, has made the ability to cheat A LOT easier.

Along with the luxury of being able to attend class without preparing, came the ability to cheat on almost any assignment or exam via the internet. As classes moved to online instructors at ELAC were left to the mercy of using Zoom and Canvas to bestow knowledge on their pupils. 

However, much like anything to do with the internet, these programs have their problems. 

We’ll start with Zoom. Zoom is the infamous “leader in modern enterprise video communication,” according to the Zoom website and is what most instructors use to host their classes.

Most teachers hold their class in accordance to what the previously in-class schedule was. 

This makes sense. It is the original schedule that students agreed to, therefore they must be available and willing to pour all their attention into class during that time. Wrong. 

There are multiple ways to be lazy and simply kick back while class takes place. The most common method, which I have seen, is to create a virtual background with the student in a video moving around like a normal human on loop. 

This creates the illusion that the student is paying attention to class, while they check Instagram or swipe endlessly on TikTok watching 30-second brain-rotting, stupid, pointless videos.

Canvas is the online instruction tool that some teachers have been using even before the pandemic. Some students are new to the tool. 

Others are veterans who have learned the site every which way and know every nook and cranny, like an obsessed maniac. 

Back when people had to take tests in person it made more sense to just study and hope that the suspicious pattern of As, Bs and the random D on the scantron, was enough to save someone. 

However, now that most teachers have moved their exams to Canvas, it is as simple as having Canvas on one tab and the answers on another. 

Why read a book at this point when it’s easier to open a Quizlet and answer an exam, while listening to Tekashi flex about being a rat.

At this point, if any instructors at ELAC are still convinced their students are not cheating, then good for them. 

I’m sure their class is filled with perfect little Olivia Jades and Sophia Macys.

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