College has recorded 10 incidents of finding students intentionally cheating in exams this year, along with a further 42 breaches of exam regulations.
While Trinity does not release information regarding individual breaches of exam regulation, the Irish Times quotes a source inside College who said that the use of smartwatches in exams is becoming a significant issue and is difficult to police in a crowded exam halls as they resemble regular watches.
College did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publishing.
Exam invigilators in Trinity are instructed to confiscate mobile phones, or other electronic or communication devices, including smartwatches. Confiscated materials can only be retrieved by students from the Junior Dean’s
Office on payment of a €35 fine per item.
The Irish Times reports that students wearing smartwatches in exams is increasingly becoming a problem across the third-level education sector.
NUI Galway recorded a significant increase in the number of exam regulation breaches this year. It has recorded a total of 83 this year, up from 56 last year, citing the use of smartwatches as a key influence in this increase.
NUI Galway told the Irish Times that it recorded a similar increase after it banned mobile phones several years ago.
While breaches in exam regulation may be on the rise, the number of cases of plagiarism at Trinity has halved this year. College recorded a total of 17 incidents of plagiarism in the 2018/19 academic year, compared to 33 incidents last year.
Under college statues, any offence committed by a student in connection with examinations, including “refusal, without good reason, to comply with the lawful instructions or request of an invigilator”, is considered a major offence.
The potential punishments for major offences include being held back a year, disqualification from an examination and a fine of up to £200.
All punishments are at the discretion of the Junior Dean, who is responsible for student discipline.