I just finished a three-hour online essay exam with eight questions. It took me two hours. This test was supposed to be on the "honor system": no using your notes to take the test.
The instructor provided us with research topics in advance. These were basically questions we had to look up and think about in order to answer. It was recommended that we interview someone as well, so I did that too. (OK, so I interviewed my mother. But lemme tell you, you will NOT find a better source on nursing education in the United States than her. Seriously. Don't get me started.) I organized and reorganized my notes. I memorized salary ranges and other facts and figures. I was literally busting at the seams with information when I sat down to take the test.
The first seven questions were straight from the research topics. I whipped through there in no time flat. I freaking kicked ass. I had quotable quotes, I named names, I gave sources. All from my little, overworked mind.
The eighth question? Completely out of left field. Ok, it sort of had to do with our basic topic. But NONE of the research topics given even HINTED at what was requested in this question. Seriously. NONE of it ever even occurred to me. It was SO FAR away from ANYTHING I had even looked at.
I fucking Googled it. And then I answered the question.
And now I'm consumed with guilt. How can the instructor NOT know that I freaking basically cheated on that answer? She knows she didn't give us any prior warning about it. There was no way of knowing it was expected. It was super-easy to find the answer on the internet. In fact, I knew exactly where to go. So I know I got my 10 points worth out of that answer.
Damn Google. Damn online class.