Written by: Christie Zervos, Director of Operations, Caveon Test Security
Donald McCabe of Rutgers University Business School recently performed research on academic cheating at 51 universities. Results were shocking.
- 75% of university students engage in serious cheating
- Greater than 50% have plagiarized work found on the Internet
- 50% said they don't think copying questions and answers from a test is cheating
- Cheating is not isolated to academically poor students; in fact, students at the top tend to cheat more than the average student
Students’ survey comments were even more unsettling; when asked what the students think about cheating, many students responded that cheating is a necessary part of success:
“I actually think cheating is good. A person who has an entirely honest life can't succeed these days.”
“We students know that the fact is we are almost completely judged by our grades. They are so important that we will sacrifice our own integrity to make a good impression.”
“I believe cheating is not wrong. People expect us to attend 7 classes a day, keep a 4.0 GPA, not go crazy and turn in all of our work the next day. What are we supposed to do, fail?”
McCabe, says cheating culture is more powerful than ever before. Even in the past 3 or 4 years, it has become stronger. Some people blame a decline in teaching values in the home and in schools. Some people blame a lack of administration incentives. Yet perhaps the most significant reason for the increase in cheating culture is obvious…convenience.
As students become more and more tech-savvy, they utilize a wide array of cheating tools. Students these days use technology such as iPhones to take discreet pictures of tests or record verbal test questions. They can take screen shots of test questions and send instant messages. Students can retrieve exam answers on several types of platforms of the Internet, including torrents, blogs, message boards, instant messaging, social media and even websites designed particularly to help students cheat. One such site, “Evil House of Cheat” boasts 2000 visitors per day. Others include CollegeTermPapers.com and SchoolSucks.com.
Fortunately, there are ways we fight back.
McCabe indicated that cheating actually decreases when cheating standards are emphasized and when limits on cheating are placed. For instance, when students know that administration is monitoring cheating, students are much less likely to cheat.
Along with teaching values of integrity, Caveon hopes to be a part of this cause. By monitoring and policing online resources through our Caveon Web Patrol services, we play our part in turning around cheating culture and protecting our clients, our students and our future.