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Is Using An Audiobook Cheating?

Is Using an Audiobook Cheating?

Since the advent of audiobooks there have been ample debates on whether listening to audio books has the same effect as reading a book. Are students who listen to audiobooks considered to be cheating if the exercise calls for reading a book?

If your teacher assigns you to read a book and you choose to listen to the audiobook version, then in effect are you cheating? Is listening to a book the same as reading a book?

The answers to the above questions are given by Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia; he is also a cognitive scientist and has conducted studies on the subject of listening to audiobooks versus reading a book.

He says that in a simple view listening to an audiobook and reading the book is the same for things such as understanding and decoding the content of the book.

However, in certain situations, this similarity between reading a book and listening to an audiobook cannot be drawn so easily. He says that prosody (which is changing pitch, pace, and rhythm of reading) adds a different connotation to the understanding of the text.

For example, the sentence, "I really enjoy your blog" will not be able to discern the tone of the sentence when someone is reading it. The same sentence could be a sarcastic comment or a sincere compliment.

A reader will not be able to note the difference whereas the person who is listening to the audio of the above sentence will be able to realize whether the person saying it means it to be a compliment or something sarcastically opposite in meaning.

The prosody, Daniel Willingham says, is supplied by yourself when you read whereas it is supplied by the reader of the audiobook when you listen. Prosody can be a useful tool in understanding difficult texts and content.

Is using an audiobook in college considered cheating?

In a college test or exam, prosody has no major role to play. Hence, if you are not allowed to bring a book to read during a test, then listening to an audiobook will have the same effect. So, yes, if the college says no to books in the exam hall, then using an audiobook is considered cheating.

However, some students do use the services of audio files to cheat. Here's how they do it:

The MP3 method

Using a microphone, students record all their notes in an audio format. The smart ones actually plan a lot for this recording. They record each chapter in a separate file so that it becomes easy to retrieve it during the test.

Then during a test, they sneak in the MP3 player and either a wired or wireless earphones. When the teacher is not looking, they play the audio file and retrieve data stored in it to do the test.

Students use full-sleeved jackets with side pockets and hood to hide their cheating-ware and use it as discreetly as possible. Some students even grow their hair long to hide the earphones to avoid the use of a conspicuous hood. The earphones they use are sleek and the wires run up their sleeves and are hidden out of sight.

When the teacher is not looking their way, students quickly plug the earphones into their ears and listen in to the recording of notes.

Some players have a special feature wherein there is dedicated space to key in the lyrics of the songs. Some students use this space to key in cheat sheets and while pretending to listen to music, they are scrolling down the notes that are saved and stored.

Final Notes

All colleges take cheating very, very seriously as academic integrity is an important factor to the reputation of the college. Hence, strict measures are taken to prevent all types of cheating.

If students are caught cheating, then the consequences meted out to them are quite severe. The consequences can include the following:

  • Loss of accumulated credits

  • Suspension

  • Expulsion

It is better to work hard and follow the rules and regulations of the college instead of cheating. Expulsions and suspensions are normally notated in your manuscript which will haunt you for the rest of your life.

We, at Prescott Papers, are at your service to help you with any form of academic writing. The help you take from us will save your time and also reduce stress.

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