Free «Academic Dishonesty in the Digital Age» Essay Sample

Cheating has raised much concern in various undertakings. It is affirmed that instances of cheating and plagiarism are evident in learning institutions. Rising concern over the issue has spurred various studies to assess the students’ perception on whether using information technology (IT) enhances cheating and makes it more acceptable in comparison to instances of cheating without the use of IT. Such a study was conducted by Molnar, Kletke, and Chongwatpol in 2008. In their study, they researched whether cheating was more rampant among students pursuing business disciplines compared to those learning nonbusiness related subjects. The researchers also studied whether undergraduate students found it acceptable to cheat as opposed to others.

In their findings, most undergraduate students appeared to find it acceptable to cheat using IT, as opposed to cheating without the use of IT. Most undergraduate students found it relatively acceptable to cheat using IT while avoiding the use of other methods. However, this was reversed when cheating did not involve IT. It would be mindful to agree with the findings. Furthermore, the results of the study were based on a research. The findings also suggested that a considerable difference in cheating between undergraduate students pursuing business related majors to those not pursuing business related majors did not exist.

The scholars proposed undergraduate students to fill out questionnaires in five geographical academic locations. The research provided the findings for the study. Many issues could perfectly explain the findings. For instance, most institutions offer online courses. In addition, a considerable proportion of students are enrolled in these faculties that offer online courses. The content of the online courses is somewhat similar to the information provided in the lectures. Despite the various methods of assessment, such online courses spur the students to cheat. However, the various assessment methods conducted online often lead one to believe that there are greater ways of cheating. It is true that the various assessments methods may evoke different levels of cheating among students. Moreover, previous researches correlate perfectly with the results of the study.

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Academic dishonesty is quite a commonplace for most students. However, the policies that have been adapted to avert such dishonesty have served to enhance the practice. Those students who are observed to disincline towards cheating are often discouraged by the lack of control apparently from their instructors. Usually, such policies are modeled to prevent students’ cheating. However, students are more likely to cheat if they lack close supervision or when they believe they will get away unpunished. Online courses barely offer close supervision to students pursuing online courses. Consequently, the students are bound to cheat.

In itself, IT encourages cheating. The Internet and related technologies provide a wide scope of information. Moreover, the information is easily accessible. It is intuitive that a student would rather conduct an online research rather than research in a library. Again, most learning institutions have embraced various ways of online studies. This provides an easy way for the student to learn and cheat in a concurrent manner. This explains why most undergraduate students would prefer using IT to cheat in tests or exams rather than textbooks, journals or other material sources. Word processors and other advanced technologies including the Internet have transformed cheating to a digital age. Various studies have attributed the advent of web-assessments to the increasing illegitimate means of passing grades. It is noted that non-web assessments experience fewer cases of academic dishonesty compared to online assessments.

A similar study was conducted to examine the level of academic dishonesty in on-line and live courses. The study conducted a response survey with an aim to obtain data, which was given to 635 graduate and undergraduate students, who attended a university in Appalachia. The study employed quantitative design that featured a one-time survey to gauge the extent of dishonesty. In the findings, a considerable proportion of the students admitted preferring cheating using IT as opposed to face-to-face cheating in live classes. The study suggested higher rates of academic dishonesty in live classes, but most students preferred cheating using IT.

In conclusion, it would be indispensable to note that most students prefer to cheat using online sources. The significant number of students cheating in live classes can be attributed to various factors. In fact, most experts in psychology believe social interaction in live classes plays a substantial part in the decision a student would make on whether to cheat or not. The studies confirm that most students cheat in online courses compared to those in live classes. This could be attributed to the ability to develop answers without close supervision of an instructor. With the improvement of technology, the study of the influence of IT on cheating raises more concern. Over the years, most undergraduates and graduates have abandoned the traditional way of learning to embrace on-line studies. It would be critical for more researches to establish the influence of IT and on-line studies towards cheating in schools. The study has helped analyze the students’ perception of IT and cheating. More so, it has provided concepts and results that correlate to the trends within learning institutions.


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