Skip to Content

A Case of Cheating?


Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo


This case is based upon a real experience. It is written as an exercise for faculty to discuss, perhaps in a brown bag seminar at lunch time. In many ways it represents a rather common type of problem, cheating—what to do about it and how to prevent it. What makes the case more interesting is the cultural questions it raises and the issues associated with the use of peer evaluation and cooperative learning strategies in general.


  • To examine the issue of cultural bias on the part of students and teachers in a classroom case of cheating.
  • To examine the use of peer evaluation in a grading scheme.
  • To examine the advantages and disadvantages of cooperative learning, especially team learning, in a science course.


Cheating; team learning; cooperative learning; small group learning; cultural bias; multicultural; peer evaluation

Topical Areas

Ethics, Social issues

Educational Level

Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education, Faculty development



Type / Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Discussion



Subject Headings

Teacher Education  |   Science Education  |  

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.