Asst Prof Tanaboon Sajjaanantakul, the faculty’s dean, said the paper blinker hats were used for a mid-term examination for a Textile Testing course. Wide-spread comments on the use of the hats on social media had drawn a mixed reaction from the public and caused a lot of stress to lecturers in the faculty, he said.
Mr Tanaboon insisted that there was no cheating problem during examinations in the faculty and the students were not forced to wear the hats. The trial was in fact the outcome of a discussion between lecturers and students, as part of the teaching of ethics and honesty, he said.
Natdanai Rungruangkitkrai, the Textile Test course lecturer, said he regretted that the issue had received such a strong negative response from the public, adding that he had tried to encourage creativity during his eight years in the job.
In this particular case, he wanted to teach students about ethics, so asked them how to prevent cheating in relation to an issue close to them.
Students proposed that they discuss preventing cheating in examinations.Some of them proposed different sets of exam papers, and some suggested the use of exam booths, but it was finally agreed to use A-4 paper to make blinkers, as they had seen in examples from other countries.
About 90 students agreed to the use of the blinkers and to make the hats themselves on the exam day.
“The students were excited and having fun. No one refused to make a hat. I admit [the response to the hats] has been stressful, so we decided to stop using this method and will talk with students to find other more acceptable ways to prevent cheating,” said Mr Natdanai.
Rawiporn Buasaeng, third-year student, agreed with the use of paper blinker hats, saying it helped students to concentrate on the test.
“It is quite normal that people try to cheat in an exam, so the hat helps avoid distractions while doing the test. I feel very bad, and angry, that this has been seen as bad by outsiders.”
“Please do not blame our lecturer and listen to our reasons for doing it.Wearing the paper blinker hats cannot cause any damage to the education system,” she said.
The KU Student Administrative Board posted the photo of the students taking the test on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
The image quickly went viral.
The board later issued a statement apologising for igniting the controversy.
It has since removed the picture from its Facebook page, citing the slew of negative reactions.
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