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Online Courses and Cheating: Deterrence, Detection, and Technology Solutions EDDL 5151: Managing Your Technology Classroom Wynn Gerald Hamonic June 24, 2012


On March 11, 2012, one of Britains leading national daily newspapers, The Independent, reported its research findings that over the past three years more than 45,000 students studying at 80 institutions across the United Kingdom had been found guilty of committing academic misconduct for acts ranging from bringing mobile phones or crib-sheets to examinations to passing off essays and research papers prepared by private firms as their own work (Brady & Dutta, 2012). Although the emergence of the information age has provided learners with greater opportunities to access and use information for scholarly purposes, this large body of knowledge has created issues with respect to academic honesty, ethical learning practices, and personal integrity and accountability. With distance education programs across North America1 and around the world2 rapidly growing and the Internet population expecting to triple over the next five years (Garber, 2012), cases of academic dishonesty are likely to continue to increase in the future. Some research scholars contend that because both students and faculty believe it is easier to cheat in a distance learning class academic dishonesty will grow as the number of distance learning classes increase (Kennedy, Nowak, Raghuraman, Thomas, & Davis, 2000). The focus of this paper will be on academic dishonesty in the context of distance learning. The author will define cheating, discuss the prevalence of cheating in academia, identify factors that influence academic dishonesty, and detail the types of cheaters and the variety of schemes students use to cheat online. Various methods to deter academic dishonesty and detect cheating in online learning will be described with a particular emphasis on technological solutions that have been developed to assist the teacher in combating fraudulent activities of students. Definition of Online Cheating In a broad definition, cheating has been defined as the act or action of fraudulently deceiving or violating rules (Lathrop & Foss, 2000, p. 2). In academia, academic integrity is the governing ethical principle and cheating is often referred to as academic dishonesty. Similarly, William L. Kibler has defined academic dishonesty as forms of cheating and plagiarism that involve students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work that is not their own (Kibler, p. 253). Some authors distinguish between various forms of academic dishonesty creating separate definitions for cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism (Gehring & Pavela, 1994). For the purposes of this paper,


the author will follow the definition of online cheating offered by King, Guyette, & Piotrowski (2009, p. 4) which is defined as a transgression against academic integrity which entails taking an unfair advantage that results in a misrepresentation of a students ability and grasp of knowledge [and] in the current online context, this includes obtaining inappropriate assistance either from an online source or adjutant, plagiarism, and false self-representation. Prevalence of Cheating The question arises as to how prevalent is cheating in academia. A large 1998 meta-analysis involving 46 studies of all forms of academic cheating revealed significant cheating on written assignments and examinations (Whitley, 1998).3 Five studies conducted from 1940 to 2000 have confirmed that the percentage of college students cheating at least once in their college career has been steadily rising over that period (Jensen, Arnett et al. 2002).4 Longitudinal studies have found significant increases in student cheating over the last ten years (Chapman, Davis, Toy, & Wright, 2004; Gibbons, Mize, and Rogers, 2002), and the problem appears to be growing every year (Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008, p. 198). In a large three-year study reported by McCabe (2005) involving more than 80,000 students, one in five students (21%) had engaged in some form of test or exam cheating and with respect to written assignments 38% of undergraduate students and 25% of graduate students admit to copying or paraphrasing sentences without acknowledging the source. More recently, researchers have estimated that one-third of elementary school students and over 50% of high school and college students have committed some type academic cheating (Schmelkin, Gilbert, Spencer, Pincus, & Silva, 2008). The general consensus amongst scholars is that cheating online is more frequent than academic dishonesty found in traditional classroom learning. Possibly, conventional wisdom argues that when not face-to-face, it is believed that students are more likely to resort to plagiarism and have others sit in for them during examinations (Roach, 2001). Bedford, Gregg, and Clinton (2011) identified seven factors which increase the probability of cheating in online courses including anonymity, lack of student monitoring, and pressure to cheat due to time demands from full-time employment and other commitments.5 Conversely, Heberling (2002) argues that cheating online is more difficult and easier to detect.


Researchers conducting a literature review in 2005 found little research on the issue of web based cheating and therefore very little to support the conclusion that cheating in Web based distance education is more common than classroom-based instruction (Baron & Crooks, 2005). Two studies found that students enrolled in online classes were less likely to cheat than those enrolled in traditional, face-to-face courses (Stuber-McEwen, Wiseley, & Hoggatt, 2009; Watson & Sottile, 2010), while another study has found no difference between online and traditional classroom instruction (Grijalva, Nowell, & Kerkvliet, 2006). One recent study found that students were significantly more likely to obtain answers from others during an on-line test or quiz (Watson & Sottile, 2010). Further research needs to be undertaken to determine whether and to what extent the prevalence of online cheating varies from traditional classroom face-to-face instruction. Causes of Cheating and Factors that Influence Academic Dishonesty One of the first large scale studies on causes underlying cheating was conducted in 1998 when 107 studies published between 1970 and 1996 were meta-analyzed. The strongest correlates of cheating were found to be: (1) students expectations of success, (2) prior history of cheating, (3) studying under inadequate conditions, (4) positive attitudes towards cheating, (5) perceiving social norms supporting cheating, and (6) anticipating a large reward for successful cheating (Whitley, 1998).6 Other studies have found that students cheat because they fear failure, desire better grades, undergo pressure from their parents to succeed in academics, receive imprecise instructional objectives, and are graded on a curve (Evans & Craig, 1990). Alschuler and Blimling (1995) determined that cheating is related to a students belief that others are also doing it; that there is little chance of being caught; that if caught there would be little, if any, punishment; that there is no reason not to cheat; and a desire to get good grades, a great job, or admitted to graduate school. A recent study (Watson & Sottile, 2010) examined the underlying moral reasoning concerning cheating and cited a series of studies that found that gender, age, and athletic background played a major role in ethical decisions. The researchers found that males, younger students, and students who participate in competitive sports are more likely to engage in cheating. Similarly, another study found that undergraduates, males, and members of Greek social organizations were more likely to engage in academic dishonesty. Low self-esteem was


also positively correlated with academic dishonesty. Grade point average, number of hours worked outside of academic studies, and innovativeness were found not to have a significant influence on academic dishonesty (Iyer & Eastman, 2006)7. Another study found singles are more likely to cheat than married individuals (Caldarola & MacNeil, 2009). Park (2003) found that a genuine lack of understanding of what is plagiarism, efficiency gain, defiance or lack of respect for authority, negative attitudes towards teachers or classes, temptation or opportunity, and a lack of deterrence as major factors in academic dishonesty. Pullen, Ortloff, Casey, and Payne (2000) also found large class sizes, impersonal or distant relationships with teachers, competition for jobs, pressure for higher grade point averages, and a culture that appears to accept cheating as significantly promoting cheating. Other reasons identified include: time management problems (Lambert, Ellen, & Taylor, 2003; Park, 2003; Payne, & Nantz, 1994), a personal crisis (Lambert, Ellen, & Taylor, 2003), and a view of cheating as having a minimal effect on others (Payne & Nantz, 1994). Types of Cheaters Some researchers have created categories for the various types of cheaters profiling the reasoning behind their misconduct. Categorization may help in developing various strategies and methods to deter and detect academic dishonesty specific to each type of cheater. Renard (2000) describes three types of cheaters: (1) the unintentional cheater (i.e., the student who innocently plagiarizes information without understanding their wrongdoing), (2) the sneaky cheater (i.e., the student who knows their actions are wrong but undertakes great effort to try and ensure that their dishonesty is not uncovered), and (3) the all-or-nothing cheater (i.e., the student who lazily prepares for a test or assignment and takes great risks when cheating). Another research study found that there are essentially two types of cheating: planned cheating and panic cheating (Grijalva, Nowell, & Kerkvliet, 2006). Planned cheating occurs with full knowledge that it is wrong and usually involves substantial planning (e.g., making crib sheets for tests) while panic cheating occurs during a test when a student is at a loss for an answer so he or she panics and engages in academic dishonesty such as looking at another students paper (Bunn, Caudill, & Gropper, 1992). The social norms and subjective costs and benefits will usually differ for planned and panic cheating and therefore different approaches should be made in ways to deter these two types of cheating. Planned cheating is more


commonly found than panic cheating and is generally viewed as more dishonest as it is premeditated and therefore has greater social costs. Panic cheating is usually limited to classroom settings as online courses have fewer opportunities for this type of cheating to occur (Grijalva, Nowell, & Kerkvliet, 2006). Methods and Techniques of Online Cheating The methods or techniques of cheating are dependent upon the task or assignment. The vast majority of cheating occurs under three scenarios: (1) online tests, quizzes and assessments, (2) written assignments requiring the submission of an essay or research paper, and (3) research, laboratory, computer programming or project work.8 With respect to the online tests, quizzes, and assessments, Rowe (2004) argues that there are three types of cheating: (1) getting assessment answers in advance, (2) unfair retaking of assessments, and (3) unauthorized help during assessment. McCabe (2005) categorizes cheating in online tests and examinations into seven categories: (1) learning what is on a test from someone who has already taken it, (2) using false excuse to delay taking test, (3) copying from another student on a test/exam without their knowledge, (4) helping someone else cheat on test, (5) copying from another student on a test/exam with their knowledge, (6) using unauthorised crib/cheat notes, and (7) using an electronic/digital device as unauthorised aid during a test/exam. In a recent paper written on ways students can cheat online tests, even with the use of monitoring tools employed by teachers, Kumar (2012) notes six methods: (1) using spyware to spy on the professors computer containing exam answers, (2) using instant messaging services to chat among themselves during an exam, (3) disconnecting from the exam network, connecting to another network to search for answers during an exam, and then reconnecting to the exam network, (4) changing their IP/Mac address during the exam making them invisible to any monitoring system, (5) using a proxy server to redirect Internet traffic through a computer or a router to avoid detection, and (6) setting up a virtual private network (VPN) at their home that is encrypted allowing them to search for answers. With respect to written assignments plagiarism is the central problem with regards to these academic activities. Klausman (1999) categorizes plagiarism into three forms depending on the amount and types of information plagiarized: direct plagiarism, paraphrase plagiarism, and patchwork plagiarism. McCabe (2005) offers nine types of cheating in written assignments: (1)


working with others on an assignment when asked for individual work, (2) paraphrasing/ copying few sentences from a written source without footnoting it, (3) paraphrasing/copying few sentences from Internet source without footnoting it, (4) receiving unpermitted help from someone on an assignment, (5) fabricating/falsifying a bibliography, (6) turning in work copied from another, (7) copying material almost word for word from a written source without citation, (8) turning in work done by another, and (9) obtaining a paper from a term paper mill. Regarding other activities such as research work, laboratory work, computer programming assignment, and other project-based work, frequent, McCabe (2005) lists three techniques of cheating including fabricating or falsifying lab data, copying someone elses program in a course requiring computer work, and fabricating or falsifying research data. With advances in technology, cheating is becoming easier. For example, a recent Common Sense Media poll found that 35% of students cheat using their cell phones. They do this by storing information on their phone and looking at it while taking a test, sending text messages to friends, asking for answers, take pictures of a test and then sending it to their friends, using their phones to search for answers on the Internet, and warning friends about a pop quiz with a phone call or text message (Reid, 2009). Some of other high technology methods to cheat as posted by students on YouTube include: (1) creating hidden notes (notes as an iPod song, notes on a graphing calculator, notes on a cell phone, notes scanned on a nutritional label of a soda, ultraviolet pens to read invisible notes, notes on Scotch tape), (2) communicating with others with a spywatch, (3) inserting an iPod into a graphing calculator, (4) downloading from math homework websites, and (5) replacing periods with larger periods to increase paper length (Seitz, Orsini, Muhsin, & Gringle, 2011).9 Online Cheating: Detection and Deterrence Strategies and Methods Hinman (2000) argues that there are three possible approaches to preventing or minimizing (online) cheating: the virtues approach, the prevention approach, and the police approach. The aim of the virtues approach is to imbed values within students so that they do not want to cheat. The aim of the prevention approach is deterrence - to eradicate or decrease opportunities for students to cheat and to reduce the pressure to cheat. The aim of the police approach is detection to catch and punish students who do cheat. According to Hinman (2000), policing can also


serve as a preventative measure and each approach should be employed in order to reduce academic dishonesty in online assessment. General Preventative Methods to Deter Academic Dishonesty Prevention techniques for academic dishonesty seek to change student attitudes towards cheating prior to the commission of unscrupulous behaviour. A large number of these methods are outlined in Table 1. Some of the more common methods to accomplish this objective are: (1) instituting honor codes and academic integrity guidelines, (2) using student peer pressure, (3) formulating policies on cheating, (4) increasing interactivity between student and teacher, (5) spelling out what constitutes cheating, (6) requiring courses or seminars in ethics, and (7) redesigning course content to encourage honesty. Empirical research has already shown that a number of these measures deter cheating. For example, one study found that attitude toward academic dishonesty mediated the relationship between self-control and academic dishonesty and also between perceived opportunity and academic dishonesty and therefore efforts such as influencing attitudes, instituting honor codes, and education reduced academic dishonesty (Bolin, 2004). Other preventative ways seek to make it difficult, if not impossible, for the student to cheat, or create an environment where cheating would be too risky for the student. Some of these more common methods include: (1) using assignments that require group cooperation, (2) maintaining assessment security, (3) limiting class sizes, (4) describing monitoring tools in place to students, (5) emphasizing essays, portfolios, and creative projects, and (6) varying course content, assignments, and activities. Other general preventative measures found in the research literature include: fostering environments of trust where learning is valued, enforcing policies and disciplinary rules when students are caught cheating, and reducing competition amongst students. Many academic administrators are continuing to work at finding new methods to deter cheating. For example, administrators at British Columbias Simon Fraser University have created a new failing grade for cheating students: FD. The grade is given to repeat offenders and the mark stays on a students transcript for two years. Whether this deterrent has any effect on academic dishonesty has yet to be determined.


Table 1. General Preventative Measures

Spell out academic standards regarding what constitutes cheating Baron & Crooks, 2005; Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Caldarola & MacNeil, 2009; Christe, 2004; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; McMurtry, 2001; Rowe, 2004; Scanlon, 2004 Alschuler & Blimling, 1995; Baron & Crooks, 2005; Chiesl, 2007; Christe, 2004; Gibbons, 2002; McCabe, 2005; McCabe & Trevino, 1993; Paldy, 1996; Schneider, 1999 Ercegovac & Richardson, 2004; Warman, Harvan, & Weidman, 1994 Booth & Hoyer, 1992 Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008 Olt, 2002 Olt, 2002 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; King, Guyette, & Piotrowski, 2009; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; Olt, 2002; Scanlon, 2004 Chiesl, 2007 Chiesl, 2007; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008 Chiesl, 2007 Chiesl, 2007; Christe, 2004; Mc Cabe & Trevino, 1993; Nagi, 2006; Scanlon, 2004 Carnevale, 1999; Christe, 2004; Heberling, 2002; Olt, 2002; Roach, 2001; Weller, 2002 Chiesl, 2007 Roach, 2001 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Christe, 2004 Christe, 2004 Christe, 2004 Christe, 2004

Institute honor codes and academic integrity guidelines

Assign ethics courses Create ethical decision making frameworks Compliment and showcase model student behaviors Foster love of learning Promote environment of trust Formulate policies on cheating Encourage students to ask questions Use student peer pressure Inform students of professor`s qualifications Make students aware of disciplinary policies and that cheating will not be tolerated Increase interactivity between student and teacher (e.g., live chats, threaded discussions, interactive online discussion, monitor student activity) Promote and encourage honesty in syllabus Limit class sizes to 25 students or less Redesign syllabus to discourage dishonesty (e.g., craft course objectives carefully, identify behavioral objectives, discuss relevance of course materials) Describe monitoring tools available to students Establish deadlines Redesign content presentation in course to discourage dishonesty (e.g., present information well, tell students what is important, be clear about supplemental answers) Use assignments that require cooperation Vary the type of assessment tool used Enforce policies; Use penalties in place Identify reasons to be honest

Olt, 2002 Christe, 2004 Christe, 2004; McCabe, 2005 Christe, 2004



Discuss relevance of course materials Vary course content, assignments, activities, and presenters Stay abreast of trends and methods in cheating (e.g., periodically watch YouTube for methods posted by students) Conduct informal discussions with student after exceptionally good performance Post clear cut learning objectives Maintain assessment security Control assessment situation (e.g., prohibit handheld devices, disable internet connection, close all ports, restrict access to testing situation) Honesty pledges and no-cheat contracts signed before registration Use end of the course assessments by students Use teaching assistants and tutors to assist with learning Emphasize essays, portfolios, and creative projects Reduce pressure to get good grades Enlist parents and teachers to promote no-cheating message Reduce competition amongst students Adopt a grade (e.g., FD) especially for cheaters

Christe, 2004 Christe, 2004; Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999 Seitz, Orsini, Muhsin, & Gringle, 2011 Rowe, 2004 Chiesl, 2007 Rowe, 2004 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Clark, 2008; Rowe, 2004 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Shyles, 2002 Baron & Crooks, 2005 Weller, 2002 Olt, 2002; Schaefer, Barta, & Pavone, 2009; Strobl, 2010 Chiesl, 2007 Chiesl, 2007; Drogemuller, 1997 Chiesl, 2007; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008 Reid, 2009

Measures for Online Examinations and Tests Research has revealed that online tests are relatively easy to cheat (Winslow, 2002). Most research studies recommend either using a human proctor or electronic proctoring software to monitor the online examination (Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Caldarola & MacNeil, 2009; Carnavale, 1999; Chiesl, 2007; Foster, Mattoon, & Shearer, 2008; Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010; Rowe, 2004; Strobl, 2010; Trenholme, 2006-2007; Watson & Sottile, 2010; Young, 2012). If proctoring software is used then many scholars suggest using biometrics to ensure the test taker is the student and not an accomplice (Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Clark, 2008; Shyles, 2002; Strobl, 2010; Young, 2012). When these tools are not available, some solutions have been to develop intelligent multiple choice examinations, give frequent but short intensive examinations, and use many of the security features found in learning management



systems for online quizzes (e.g., log-in system, no retracing of questions, accessing the exam at one specific time, locking down the browser, strict time limits). Some scholars have argued that cheating in online exams is inevitable and the only solution is to give an open book examination (Grijalva, Nowell, & Kerkvliet, 2006; Olt, 2002) while others have stated that the assessment point value for tests should be lower in comparison to written assignments (Chiesl, 2007; Watson & Sottile, 2010). Other researchers have found that by using statistical methods on multiple choice test results to determine frequency and patterns in correct and incorrect responses, cheating can be detected and punished thereby deterring further student cheating (Christe, 2004; Rowe, 2004; Nath, & Lovaglia, 2009; Saenz, 2011; Sheridan & Witherden, 2004; Van der Linden & Sotaridona, 2004; Weslowsky, 2000). Some teachers advocate moving from objective examinations to evaluative tests requiring creativity and higher order thinking skills (Olt, 2002; Watson & Sottile, 2010; Yao, 2006). Other teachers have resorted to trapping students through bogus websites that contain incorrect answers, using fake students, and creating phony tests (Carnevale, 1999; Christe, 2004; Clark, 2008; Rowe, 2004).Table 2 provides a large number of measures that have been employed to combat cheating on tests or examinations.

Table 2. Measures for Online Examinations or Tests

Notify students in advance about online course test information including penalties, process, and technical requirements Employ a human proctor Chiesl, 2007 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Carnavale, 1999; Chiesl, 2007; Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010; Rowe, 2004; Strobl, 2010; Trenholme, 2006-2007; Watson & Sottile, 2010 Chiesl, 2007 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Caldarola & MacNeil , 2009 ; Carnavale 1999; Foster, Mattoon, & Shearer, 2008; Strobl, 2010; Young, 2012 Kumar, 2012 Olt, 2002 Carnevale, 1999

Use additional proctors with verbal warnings about cheating Apply electronic proctoring software and keystroke analytics (e.g., Secures Securexam, Krypterions Webassessor, and PupilCity's ProctorU) Employ online monitoring tools (e.g., packet sniffers such as Wireshark, Kismet, NetStumbler) Use a log-in system Give on a periodic basis each student direct questions on subject matter



Give frequent but short time-intensive exams Use course navigation questions that would be missed by outsider Give open book examinations Assign periodic exam assignments Give short periodic quizzes during online sessions, short timed essays Limit the number of retries or no retries at all Access the exam at one specific time Vary the type of questions for each examination; randomized questions; multiple versions of exam using large question database Use statistical methods (e.g., sequence testing on correct and incorrect responses, detecting excessive similarity in answers, distribution for the number of matched incorrect alternatives) No printing during exam (so you cannot make a copy for other students) Set traps (e.g., post Web pages with incorrect information, fake tests) Create a fake student to enroll in the class Guard access to exam Accept only documented and valid excuses for missed examinations Monitor student activity on exam No retracing of exam questions allowed Use time limits Assess student preparedness to begin exam Use Webcam Construct effective multiple choice exams with smart wording Institute video monitored test centers Make assessments not too easy or difficult Use constructed response test formats Use Bloom's Taxonomy, alter test questions from objective to evaluative Employ online monitoring software of websites visited by student during exam

Grijalva, Nowell, & Kerkvliet, 2006; Nagi, 2006; Olt, 2002 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011 Grijalva, Nowell, & Kerkvliet, 2006; Olt, 2002 Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010 Clark, 2008; Nagi, 2006 Cluskey, Jr., Ehlen, & Raiborn, 2011; Nagi, 2006; Olt, 2002 Cluskey, Jr., Ehlen, & Raiborn, 2011; Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Chiesl, 2007; Christe, 2004; Clark, 2008; Cluskey, Jr., Ehlen, & Raiborn, 2011; Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010; Nagi, 2006; Olt, 2002; Rowe, 2004 Christe, 2004; Rowe, 2004; Nath, & Lovaglia, 2009; Saenz, 2011; Sheridan & Witherden, 2004; Van der Linden & Sotaridona, 2004; Weslowsky, 2000 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011 Christe, 2004; Rowe, 2004 Carnevale, 1999; Christe, 2004; Clark, 2008 Christe, 2004 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011 Christe, 2004 Chiesl, 2007; Cluskey, Jr., G.R., Ehlen, C.R., & Raiborn, M.H., 2011; Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Christe, 2004; Cluskey, Jr., Ehlen, & Raiborn, 2011; Olt, 2002 Christe, 2004 Carnevale, 1999; Christe, 2004; Clark, 2008 Olt, 2002 Clark, 2008 Rowe, 2004 Rowe, 2004 Olt, 2002; Watson & Sottile, 2010; Yao, 2006 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011



Apply biometrics (e.g., handwriting analysis, fingerprinting analysis, voice recognition, face recognition, iris scan technologies) (usually combined with remote proctor software) Increase the ratio of questions to minutes allowed to impose a substantial opportunity cost for time engaged in cheating behaviors Combine paper and online assessments Use learning management system's lockdown browsers (e.g., Blackboard's Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB)) Use essay exams Ensure students can only take one question at a time using the learning management system Challenge questions to enter examinations Provide enough time to complete exam (no pressure) but tightest time frame Offer multiple attempts at exam with new set of random questions Lower point assessment value for exams Use a Microsoft Dongle to detect any devices with Bluetooth technology in the on position to detect cell phone use during test

Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Clark, 2008; Shyles, 2002; Strobl, 2010; Young, 2012 Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010 Engelbrecht & Harding, 2004 Cluskey, Jr., Ehlen, & Raiborn, 2011; Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999 Chiesl, 2007; Harmon, Lambrinos, & Buffolino, 2010 Castagnera, 2010; Strobl, 2010 Chiesl, 2007 Chiesl, 2007 Chiesl, 2007; Watson & Sottile, 2010 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011

Measures for Plagiarism Two well-recommended methods employed by teachers in combating student plagiarism are plagiarism detection software (Caldarola, & MacNeil , 2009; Clark, 2008; Heberling, 2002; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; McMurtry, 2001; Meyer zu Eissen, Stein, & Kulig, 2007; Saenz, 2011; Scanlon, 2004; Strobl, 2010; Trenholme, 2006-2007) and using Web search engines such as Google to determine whether the text was extracted from Internet sources (Carnevale, 1999; Clark, 2008; Heberling, 2002; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; McMurtry, 2001). Another suggested tactic is for instructors to ask students to prepare abstracts, outlines, rough drafts, and bibliographies in order to view the work in progress (Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Clark, 2008; Drogemuller, 1997; Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999; Olt, 2002). Another option is to create cheat-resistant essay assignments where the answers cannot be downloaded from the Web. An example would to request the student to write an essay from the point of view of a soldier in the Napoleonic army in order to describe his experiences of military



life in the early 1800s. Classroom instructors may want to assign presentations along with an essay paper while online instructors could request students present the paper in the form of a multimedia presentation (Nagi, 2006). Other suggested measures, all of which are included in Table 3, are: using collusion detection software to ensure students are not borrowing materials from one another (Caldarola, R., & MacNeil, T., 2009), assigning students essays that require interviewing an expert (Nagi, 2006), and giving students assignments they want to do so they have no inclination to plagiarize (Clark, 2008; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008).

Table 3. Measures for Plagiarism

Use plagiarism detection software (e.g., EVE2, Integriguard, Turn-It-In) and algorithms Caldarola, & MacNeil , 2009; Clark, 2008; Heberling, 2002; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; McMurtry, 2001; Meyer zu Eissen, Stein, & Kulig, 2007; Saenz, 2011; Scanlon, 2004; Strobl, 2010; Trenholme, 2006-2007 Caldarola, R., & MacNeil, T. , 2009 Drogemuller, 1997; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; Nagi, 2006; Renard, 2000 Nagi, 2006; Renard, 2000 Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999 Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Clark, 2008; Drogemuller, 1997; Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999; Olt, 2002 Carnevale, 1999 Roach, 2001 McMurtry, 200, Nagi, 2006 Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Drogemuller, 1997; Nagi, 2006 Nagi, 2006 Drogemuller, 1997; Gibelman, Gelman, & Fast, 1999; Nagi, 2006 Nagi, 2006 Nagi, 2006 Whiteman & Gordon, 2001

Use collusion detection software (to catch similarities amongst student papers) Educate students as to what constitutes plagiarism; teach them how to cite and quote properly Examine paper for signs of unethical behavior Reflective papers with short turn-around times Assign less emphasis of total grade on paper assignments Submit outlines or working drafts of paper Ask students to write an introductory essay to get to know writing style Assign many short papers to develop understanding of student writing style Restructure assignment (e.g., assign oral or multimedia presentations, case studies, hands-on projects) Request bibliographies of sources Request an abstract of the paper Require specific components in the paper Require a personal interview with an expert or authority on each paper Require references to be up-to-date Assign essays that cannot be bought



On the day the papers are collected, ask the student to write a brief essay Strictly follow the academic policies on plagiarism Create cheat-resistant essay assignments (e.g., require creative responses, make topics specific, avoid using same topics every year, choose topics of high interest to students, require higher level thinking skills) Engage students in all phases of writing Know what is online before assigning paper Give students enough time to do assignment Give students assignments they want to do Create archive of student papers Use search engines on selected text of paper to determine if text was extracted from the Web

Nagi, 2006 Nagi, 2006 Baron & Crooks, 2005; Drogemuller, 1997; McMurtry, 2001; Renard, 2004

Bedford, Gregg, & Clinton, 2011; Renard, 2004 McMurtry, 2001 McMurtry, 2001 Clark, 2008; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008 McMurtry, 2001; Weller, 2002 Carnevale, 1999; Clark, 2008; Heberling, 2002; Ma, Wan, & Lu, 2008; McMurtry, 2001

Conclusions In final summation, at the heart of any fraudulent act is a weighing of the cost (i.e., getting caught and punished for the act) versus the benefit of cheating (e.g., labor avoidance, better grades). A good control system for managing academic dishonesty should both deter and detect cheating by students which entails combining a number of the measures described in this paper. Cheating is becoming more high-tech and is on the rise. With cheaters learning from each other on websites such as YouTube and students working together to engage in dishonest academic activities is becoming more prevalent, researchers must join forces to share their work, educate themselves on new cheating methods, and ensure that the testing and assessment industry pool its resources.




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Young, J.R. (2012, June 3). Online Classes See Cheating Go High-Tech. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Cheating-Goes-HighTech/132093/
Both Canada and the United States have experienced rapid growth in online education enrolments at post-secondary institutions and classes at the K-12 levels. Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011, funded by the Sloan Consortium, found a 10% growth in higher education online enrollments in the United States during 2011 (Allen & Seaman, 2011). The annual State of the nation: K12 online learning in Canada report for 2011 found continued growth across Canada from 2010, particularly in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. 2 In 2009 researchers reported that there were 24 mega-universities across the globe (Altbach, Reisberg, & Rumbley, 2009) which deliver distance education methodically to the millions of students that they seek to educate, a significant increase from 11 mega-universities reported in the mid-1990s (Daniel, 1996). The growth of these mega-universities proves that distance education is occurring on an international scale. 3 The 1998 meta-analysis involving 46 studies of all forms of academic cheating revealed that the prevalence of total cheating ranged from 9% to 95% of students, with a mean of 70.4%; the prevalence of cheating on examinations ranged from 4% to 82% of students, with a mean of 43.1%; the prevalence of cheating on homework ranged from 3% to 83% of students, with a mean of 40.9%; and the prevalence of plagiarism ranged from 3% to 98% of students, with a mean of 47.0%. 4 The Josephson Institute of Ethics reported that from 1994 to 2002 the number of high school students who admitted that they cheated on an exam in the past 12 months had increased thirteen percent to 72%. 5 Bedford, Gregg, and Clinton (2011) identified the following factors which increase the probability of cheating in online courses: (1) anonymity; (2) little face-to-face communication between student and instructor to build trust or a relationship; (3) students belief in not being caught because the instructor cannot see him; (4) students who do not take online courses as seriously as in-person class due to lack of formality; (5) pressure to cheat due to full-time employment or other time pressures; (6) student perceptions that an online class should be troublefree and undemanding when compared to an in-person class; and (7) students beliefs that lack of monitoring makes it is easier to get away with academic dishonest work. 6 Similarly, Buckley, Wiese, and Harvey (1998) determined that the most effective predictors of academic dishonesty were (a) the probability of being caught and penalized, (b) having high hostility or aggression characteristics, and (c) being male. 7 The study confirmed an earlier large scale study that found that cheating was influenced by age and gender, as well as contextual factors such as level of cheating among peers, peer disapproval of cheating, fraternity/sorority membership, and the perceived severity of penalties for cheating. The study found that peer disapproval was the strongest factor influencing academic dishonesty (McCabe & Trevino, 1997). However, the study did not support the findings that students with lower GPA were more likely to cheat (McCabe & Trevino, 1997, p. 392; Straw, 2002). 8 Besides cheating (on tests) and plagiarism, Davis, Grover, Becker & McGregor (1992) listed five other types of academic misconduct: fabrication, obtaining an unfair advantage, aiding and abetting, falsification of records and official documents, and unauthorized access to computerized records 9 Some of the low technology methods for hidden notes include notes on rubber band, pen scroll, inside clear pens and pencils, and inside water bottle (Seitz, Orsini, Muhsin, & Gringle, 2011).