Study: Online College Classes Enable Rampant Cheating

Empty college classroom
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A recent study revealed that 62 percent of college students acknowledge that they have cheated on tests and coursework, and that online courses have facilitated more opportunities for students to engage in academic dishonesty. According to the National College Testing Association, online classes leave universities “more vulnerable to scandal and controversy related to academic dishonesty.”

A new study examining cheating among college students revealed that 62 percent of students have cheated, and that their cheating habits increase if they are working in “unproctored environments,” according to a survey by the National College Testing Association.

“The opportunity for cheating on tests increases, especially when exams are delivered in unproctored environments,” stated the study, which noted that as technology continues to transform the classroom at a rapid pace, teachers are educating “more students remotely via hybrid and online classes.”

Moreover, the concept of online learning has become more popular in the wake of the Chinese virus pandemic.

“In no situation is an institution more vulnerable to scandal and controversy related to academic dishonesty than in online education,” wrote the authors of the study.

“It is imperative that institutions understand that proctoring is seen by the students as not only a reflection of the seriousness of the assessment, but also as the institution taking a stand to uphold its overall integrity,” they added.

The study also noted that while 62 percent of college students say they have “engaged in some sort of cheating,” 76 percent indicated that they have at least some acceptance for students who cheat, while only 24 percent indicated that cheating is “never acceptable.”

“The data indicate that cheating is both commonplace and to some degree viewed as acceptable,” the study affirms.

The survey also questioned its respondents on whether they have experienced any encouragement to cheat from other people — such as friends, families, and coaches — and found that nearly 80 percent of students have been encouraged to cheat by others.

“In regard to how students behaved as a result of being encouraged to cheat, 78% of respondents who answered the optional items indicated that they had been encouraged to cheat,” reads the study, which added that more than four in ten college students indicated that such encouragement led them to cheat.

The study also discovered that cheating among students in higher education “runs particularly high among students in the specific disciplines of engineering, business, and nursing.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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