Free Essay About Academic Dishonesty
There is a lot of pressure to the students within the academic domain to excel in every course and subject that they undertake in their studies. Most students are therefore, tempted to use underhand methods to achieve their main academic objective that is to excel. This is not the right way in which they need to use to excel. For this reason, their teachers always warn them about such form of cheating and there is always a punishment that is accompanied due to such academic irregularity (Anderman et al., p 83). Despite this, academic dishonesty is always perceived in the higher learning set up due to several factors, such as the pressure to perform well in class, peer perception, as well as lack of faculty enforcement. The case of academic dishonesty is currently increasing among students as they come up with more technical ways of cheating in their exams.
There is an impact to the classroom environment as well as academic motivation that is caused by or results from cheating. Cheating in class is a result of both personal factors that is morality and the social factors (Rowe, p 67). Both of these two factors play a major role for academic dishonesty or a decision as to why an individual cheats. The students’ honesty and integrity can be predicted by the student’s personal feeling about their own ability in the academic sphere and their classroom.
Furthermore, teachers exert a lot of pressure to students to ensure that they excel in their respective courses (Bleeker et al., p 93). They always set the bars so high to ensure that the students are able to benefit from the education and not just going through the academic system. Because of this, students always try to find a way in which they will be able to excel by using all means. This is the key factor that has contributed to an increase in the cases of academic dishonesty.
Reasons why students cheat in exams
There are different reasons that motivate students to cheat in their exams. The reasons as to why students cheat in their examination can be their performance concerns, some external pressures, due to unfair professors, lack of efforts, adherence to other loyalties, opportunity among other causes. Below is a detail discussion on the causes of student’s dishonesty. Performance concern is an issue that might cause cheating. Many students have a passion in excelling in their academics. Some of them may not have the ability to read and understand all the concepts in class yet they too need to perform. For this reason, such students will try to find all the possible ways that they will use to excel (Lang et al., p 54). Such students who may not have the ability to understand the concept in class will therefore be tempted to use other means so as he excels at any cost. They are therefore compelled to cheat in their exams so that they excel.
External pressure is a cause for cheating. The external pressure might also be a cause for cheating in exams. The cause of external pressure may be because of academic factors as well as non-academic factors. The academic factors are many include too much workload for the semester. Students might be given too much workload by their professors for the semester. When the workload is too much, students might not be able to read or rather go through all the work as instructed by their professors. In such a circumstance, the students are therefore forced to use other methods so that they are able to pass the examination that will cover the entire work as assigned by the lecturer (Rowe, p 48). This makes the students find a way in which they can hide some materials and enter in the examination room with them.
Some students feel disadvantaged when the other students cheat in the exams. They are also forced to cheat so that they are at the better side as well and not be left out. This will motivate them to cheat as well since their fellow classmates are also cheating (Lang et al., p 65). Furthermore, the lecturer’s notes might not adequately explain some complex tasks. Students are therefore compelled to seek another way to pass in their exams that is through cheating. Furthermore, another academic factor that might motivate a student to cheat is having too many tests on a single day. When the students have too many tests on a single day, they may not get time to prepare well in their exams (Anderman et al., p 83). This will motivate the students to use any other means so that he is able to seat for all the exams presented to him or her on a single day more comfortably. Students will therefore be motivated to cheat in their exams.
There are also some nonacademic factors that might influence one to cheat in the exams. One of it is the pressure from the parent. Most of the parents would like to see their children excel in academic. Others might as well punish their students when they perform poorly in their studies. Such students who might not do well in their studies are likely to look for a way through which they can as well succeed. Such students will therefore be tempted to cheat in the exams because of pressure from their parents.
Some students might be working at the same time attending to their studies. Some jobs might be much involving that they may not get enough time to study. Such students are also likely to cheat in the exams since they did not prepare adequately in their studies. Furthermore, some students might fall ill in the course of their studies (Bleeker et al., p 102). Due to illness, students might not have adequate time to prepare for the exams. This will also motivate such a student to cheat in the exams. At times, some jobs might require only high grades from the students. Most of the students who want to achieve in life might be in need of getting such jobs. This will also force such students to use underhand methods so that they succeed and attain high grades that are requirement for such jobs.
Some professors might be unfair in a way that they set high grading system, which might be hard to be attained (Lang et al., p 8). This will motivate the students to cheat in their exams. At times, some lectures might set a very difficult exam with the intention of failing students. This also motivates students to cheat in the exams. Some students do not attend classes and so they do not attain the required knowledge for them to be fit for the examination. Some do not study or do revisions that will help them get prepared for the exams (Rowe, p 43). Furthermore, some even do not take notes or have reading material. For this reason, they end up looking for ways that they can use to excel.
Some instructors might not supervise their exams when they give them to the students. After giving out the exams, they leave the exam room thus giving students time to cheat in the exams. Furthermore, so students do not cover their work thus providing an opportunity for the next student to cheat in that particular exam.
There are different methods used by students to cheat in the exams. As exam, evaluation and testing have become more and more complex, cheating techniques have become highly technical. Since most schools uses calculators, many students have been able to cheat in the exams using the calculators among other ways. In the current generation, smartphones have taken all over thus making life of an individual so complete that she or she cannot do without. Because of its size, which is so small that it can fit in the pocket, many student might save some notes in the smartphone and access them during exam time (Bleeker et al., p 99). Some use smartphones to do a research on the internet during exam time. The use of smartphone has also changed the class-learning environment. Some may also use smartphone during the exam by texting other students.
Use of transparent notes in a watch as a method of cheating in the exams has also been witnessed. Some student may put some transparent notes on the watch and be able to access them during the exam time. They print data out on a piece of glossy paper. They then use a sticky transparent piece of tape to place over it and then peal it of carefully. When they do so, the data sticks to it. The sticky tape is then stuck on top of a watch. The student therefore keeps looking at the watch to cheat. No lecturer can suspect this form of cheating since most of them let the student enter into the exam room with them.
Some student may as well hack into the teacher’s computer and steal the question papers before seating for that particular exam. On the other hand, some students may as well hack into the teacher’s computer and obtain the control over their transcripts (Kibler, p 64). They then edit their transcripts and award themselves higher grades that they were given by the teacher. Furthermore, Some student may enter into the exam rooms with unauthorized notes with an intention of cheating in the exam room. These notes are then hidden in the exam booklets or in their pockets. When the instructor leaves the room or does not watch over, the students then take out the notes and refer to them during the exams.
Ways to prevent academic dishonesty
There need to establish the expectation and capabilities for the student. The teachers need to be polite to students and very strict during the exams. During the exams, the instructor should supervise the exams very strictly so that the students may find it hard to cheat in the exam room. The instructors also need to balance their course work so that they so not seem much bulky for the student. Bulky notes might encourage cheating.
There needs to have a thorough frisking before the commencement of the exams. This will ensure that no students enter the exam room with unauthorized materials such as notes and smartphones. Furthermore, during the exam period, the instructor should also do a random frisking to get anyone who might have sneaked into the exam room with any unauthorized materials.
The pressure of getting good grades as well as international status and competition is a motive behind student cheating. Cheating technique has been on an increasing and several innovations has been involved in facilitating cheating. It is therefore important that the instructors should set some special class expectations concerning the cases of academic dishonesty. They need to make their coursework more meaningful and at times it needs to be challenging so that their students can gain respect for the subject as well as the authority. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to find a more alternative way of grading and testing methods that may discourage some students from cheating. This methods should range from presentations, class discussion, peer evaluation, participation in class discussions as well as random assessment tests.
Anderman, Eric M, and Tamera B. Murdock. Psychology of Academic Cheating. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, 2007. Internet resource.
Bleeker, Karen C. To Be Honest: Championing Academic Integrity in Community Colleges. Washington, DC: Community College Press, 2008. Print.
Kibler, William L. Academic Integrity and Student Development: Legal Issues and Policy Perspectives. Asheville, N.C.: College Administration Publications, 1988. Print.
Lang, James M. Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty. , 2013. Internet resource.
Maramark, Sheilah, and Mindi S. Maline. Academic Dishonesty Among College Students. Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Office of Research, 1993. Print.
Nilson, Linda B, and Judith E. Miller. To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.