Universities banning all watches from exams because of Apple Watch

“Apple’s smartwatch innovation has had an unexpected side-effect. BuzzFeed News has learned that universities have starting issuing blanket bans on all students wearing watches in exam halls – because invigilators can’t tell whether students actually have a mini-computer strapped to their wrist,” Jim Waterson reports for BuzzFeed.

“With the popularity of smartwatches set to rocket when the Apple Watch is released in April, multiple universities having begun taking precautions to stop students cheating by using the devices during this summer’s exams,” Waterson reports. “Such devices could allow students to look at notes or subtly receive messages during exams.”

“Last summer, the University of London expressed fears that Apple’s smartwatch could create ‘a problem in the examination hall from 2015 and beyond’ because invigilators would struggle to differentiate between a standard digital watch and the new gadget,” Waterson reports. “But we’ve now reached the tipping point where multiple universities are starting to actively ban all watches from the exam hall.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One tap on the wrist for “yes” and two taps for “no.”


    1. It took them 10 years to ban HP handheld calculators that could store all the calculations and other must know data that we were supposed to memorize before the test.

      Are profs actually getting smarter?

  1. With the haptic feedback, one does not even need to look at the watch. As the technology evolves, for multiple choice on standard Scantron sheets, an App could possible track movement to see which entry was actually filled in and broadcast it to be received haptically. No obvious interaction may be required.

  2. Maybe if schools were testing knowledge rather than memorized facts, they wouldn’t need to worry about this.

    Case in point, when I took my professional engineers exam, you could bring in as many reference books as you wanted. But if you did not know and understand the material, you were screwed, whether or not you had all the books in the world available to you.

  3. Lazy instructors and profs. We can create exams that will test a student’s understanding of the material that will allow open book, computers with internet and smartphones. I know, I have made a bunch of them and these exams still show what the student knows and understands (or their ignorance on specific areas). Often, the key is time.

    1. I think the use of “invigilator” is a Commonwealth thing. We use here in Australia. Having said that, I remember when I was doing my final high school exams in 2007 of being constantly warned not to bring in mobile phones, personal communication devices, cheat notes, and “wristwatches capable of being programmed to store text”.

      Smart watches weren’t the first watches to help students cheat!

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