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Cheating in the Digital Age

Cheating in the Digital Age

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Cheating in the Digital Age

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  1. Cheating in the Digital Age Bob JensenEmeritus Professor of AccountingTrinity University in San Antonio 190 Sunset Hill RoadSugar Hill, NH 03586 /

  2. Key Jensen Web Sites • Cheating --- Link --- ..\..\plagiarsm.htm • Assessment --- Link --- ..\..\assess.htm

  3. 54% of Accounting Majors Cheat • 54% of Accounting Students Admit to Cheating SmartPros, August 31, 2007 --- • Accounting majors are just as likely to cheat in college as other business students, according to a new study. • The academic study -- titled Do Accounting Students Cheat? A Study Examining Undergraduate Accounting Students' Honesty and Perceptions of Dishonest Behavior -- surveyed 569 undergraduate business majors, including 294 undergraduate accounting students, from seven universities in Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

  4. 54% of Accounting Majors Cheat • The study set out to find out if students who were accounting majors were as likely to cheat or act in an academically dishonest manner as were students with other business majors. • The authors of the study, David E. Morris of North Georgia College & State University, and Claire McCarty Kilian of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, found that 54 percent of the accounting students they surveyed admitted to cheating, compared to 52 percent of business majors overall

  5. "MBAs most likely to cheat," India Times, September 22, 2006 --- • BOSTON: Graduate business students in the United States and Canada are more likely to cheat on their work than their counterparts in other academic fields, the author of a research paper said on Wednesday. • The study of 5,300 graduate students in the United States and Canada found that 56 per cent of graduate business students admitted to cheating in the past year, with many saying they cheated because they believed it was an accepted practice in business. • Following business students, 54 per cent of graduate engineering students admitted to cheating, as did 50 per cent of physical science students, 49 per cent of medical and health-care students

  6. Selected Illustrations • The University of Virginia has expelled one student for plagiarism after a computer program caught him in the act. More than 100 cases are still pending "Plagiarist Booted; Others Wait," by Katie Dean---,1284,45802,00.html • Cheating Scandal in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke UniversityIn the biggest cheating scandal ever at Duke University’s business school, 34 students are facing penalties for collaborating on exam answers, The News & Observer of Raleighreported. Nine students face expulsion, while others face a range of penalties, including one-year suspensions from the MBA program. Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2007 --- ABC News account on May 1, 2007 is at

  7. Selected Illustrations • "Both Sides of Kenan-Flagler:  MBAs run around like frantic idiots but are courted by huge companies as rock stars. It is no surprise that this combination of frenzy and entitlement leads to cheating," by Danvers Fleury, Business Week, June 24, 2007 --- • Ohio University has sent letters to more than 50 people who earned master’s degrees with material believed to be plagiarized, asking them to return their degrees, rewrite their theses, or demand a hearing,The Athens Newsreported. In May the university found“rampant and flagrant plagiarism” among some graduate students in its mechanical engineering department.Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2006 ---

  8. Two of Bob Jensen’s Cheaters • I had one student who submitted a paper with such fine writing I suspected cheating. Using Google, I found where the paper was entirely pasted from three different sources. He was the CEO of a small company, and his only argument was that he hired one of his employees to write his paper. The employee was the one who plagiarized. My student still got an F for cheating. • I had a graduating senior who, in his last semester, cheated and got an F from me and did not graduate on schedule even though his parents were in town for the graduation ceremony. They hired an attorney and confronted me and the university with a threatened lawsuit. When a vice-president of the university explained the facts of life about such lawsuits the student dropped the case and pleaded for some way to take the course over from me in the summer.

  9. Another of Bob Jensen’s Cheaters • I do not allow students to use cell phones or other gadgets (e.g., PDAs or Blackberries) during examination. One of my graduate students went to the bathroom during a final examination. I caught him using a cell phone and gave him an F because the conversation on the phone was about examination content. • Another professor, a tax professor, was suspicious of this student and his buddy when they went to the bathroom several times during an examination. At the bottom of a trash can in the bathroom, this professor found a hidden textbook.

  10. Other Illustrations • Others?

  11. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Internet search engines have made it both easier to find modules to plagiarize and to cut and paste modules without even having to actually read those modules. • Students write papers in digital files that can be stored and plagiarized by future students (e.g., fraternity brothers). • Companies exist that, for a fee, will both research and write papers on a vast array of topics,"B-Schools Take on Essay Consultants," by Rob Capriccioso, Inside Higher Ed, February 6, 2006

  12. Hired Guns for Cheating • --- • Termpapers R Us --- • --- (Free papers) • ---

  13. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Students taking examinations on a computer may actually communicate with other persons by such things as instant messaging during examinations. • Gadgets like cell phones (including ones with cameras), PDAs, Blackberries, and even digital watches make it easier to cheat. • Some students have pasted crib notes on the back sides of labels on water bottles. Tiny, tiny fonts become readable when views through the water of the bottle.

  14. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Examinations and homework solutions are now stored on computers. Some students are very good at hacking into systems. Countless times professors are not even aware that their examination and homework files have been compromised. • Students have become increasingly skilled at hacking into files of the Registrar and use these skills to change course grades for themselves and for their friends.

  15. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Over 80% of students cheated in clever ways while they were in high school. They come into college believing that cheating is just being street smart. • The increased focus on grade averages for college admission and employment opportunities have made grades the primary focus of most students. This obsession with grades increases motivations to cheat for higher grades. • Some parents are so concerned about grades of their children that the parents themselves condone cheating.

  16. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Parents will sometimes give students money to hire experts or top students to write papers and take-home examinations for their children. Admission essays are sometimes not the work of students applying for admission. • With large classes or online classes, surrogates may be hired to take examinations. • Being street smart is deemed more important than being a scholar.

  17. Major Problems in the Digital Age • “Faculty are reluctant to take action against suspected cheaters. In a 1999 survey of over 1,000 faculty on 21 campuses, one-third of those who were aware of student cheating in their course in the last two years, did nothing to address it. Students suggest that cheating is higher in courses where it is well known that faculty members are likely to ignore cheating.”Quoted from the research of Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI) • The Age of Litigation increases faculty and college administrator paranoia.

  18. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Faculty that attract large numbers of students are sometimes rewarded for their popularity. However, in some cases they may be popular because they are week in detecting and/or punishing cheating. • Faculty have become paranoid about teaching evaluations. Evidence shows that teaching evaluations have led to grade inflation and concerns with popularity rather than student scholarship.

  19. Major Problems in the Digital Age • Others

  20. Tricks to Control Cheating • Be very clear in the course syllabus about what constitutes cheating and what happens to cheaters in the course. • Point to your college’s honor code and/or procedures for dealing with cheating incidents. • Stress the importance of integrity and professionalism both in college and in life after college. • Make students sign pledges on papers and examinations.

  21. Tricks to Control Cheating • Use completely or slightly different versions of problems or questions. • Point to video cameras in classrooms or other test sites.Better yet use those cameras. • Verify student IDs and compare faces with pictures. • Forbid students to leave the test site unaccompanied during an examination. • Ban gadgets, including wrist watches and PDAs. Check backsides of water bottle labels.

  22. Tricks to Control Cheating • Enforce cheating detection and punishment policies. • Encourage students to report cheating even if the whistleblowers remain anonymous. Cheaters generally repeat what they think are successful ploys. • Verify that special needs students are really special needs students certified by college counselors.

  23. Tricks to Control Cheating • Others?

  24. Tricks to Control Plagiarism • Announce that some (unspecified) software to detect plagiarism will be used for each submitted paper or take home examination. • The easiest first step is to used the Advanced Search option in Google and/or Yahoo. Beyond that are the various commercial services, one or more of which might be available in your college. • Require all submissions to be MS Doc/Excel or similar files and announce that all works submitted in previous semesters are stored for comparative purposes in college files.

  25. Software to Detect Plagiarism • Comparisons --- Link --- ..\PlagiarismDetection.pdf • Turnitin • MyDropBox • PAIRwise • Others

  26. Tricks to Control Plagiarism • Others?

  27. Cheating Issues Somewhat Unique to Distance Education • Greater ability to fake presence at exams, forums, chat rooms, and team projects with surrogate (paid) experts or friends. • Greater ability to use cheating materials not allowed in onsite examinations.

  28. Combating Online Cheating • Outside proctoring of some type. In the early days of correspondence schools in the U.K. it was the village vicar. • Sylvan or related nearby testing centers. • Webcams

  29. Gray Zones • Authors, including professors, often pay writing experts to turn rough drafts into well-written finished products. Although the rough drafts may not be plagiarized, hired writing or even content consultants may then turn the rough work into polished works. This is accepted in academe and the media. Whether or not it is ethical students in an education environment is one of those gray zones where being a student is unique from being on-the-job. • People we respect for ethics, such as the clergy, often plagiarize ideas and even entire sermons. These ministers, priests, and rabbis contend that the message is what is important, and they will deliver the best and most entertaining message possible.

  30. Useful Links • The Center for Academic Integrity is affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Clemson University --- the CAI Assessment Guide for a campus) • Useful Links --- Ethics Resources on WWW(Maintained by the Center of Applied Ethics, this site is organized by categories such as business ethics, media ethics, computer ethics, and ethical/moral decision-making.) • Association for Moral Education • Association for Student Judicial Affairs • Canadian Resource for Professional Ethics

  31. Useful Links • The Center for the Study of Ethics in the ProfessionsIllinois Institute of Technology • CHARACTER COUNTS! • Character Education Center • The Character Education Partnership • College and Character • • Creating a Code of Ethics for Your Organization

  32. Useful Links • Stanford Center on Ethics • Electronic Reference Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association • Emory University's Center for Ethics • Ethics Center for Engineering & Science(Case Western Reserve University has organized this site to include engineering ethics, research ethics, corporate ethics and solving problems.)

  33. Useful Links • Ethics on the World Wide Web(The School of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, provides this site, which has many listings in areas such as military ethics, sports ethics, medical ethics, and legal ethics.) • Ethics Resource Center • Ethics Updates(Updates on current literature, both popular and professional, pertaining to ethics in areas of ethical theory, applied ethics, and case studies. • Institute for Global Ethics(This is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating public awareness and promoting the discussion of ethics in a global context.)

  34. Useful Links • Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics (JSCOPE)(JSCOPE is an organization of military professionals, academics and others formed to discuss ethical issues relevant to the Military.) • Josephson Institute • The Kenan Institute for Ethics(The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University provides this site. The KIE provides a strong focus on ethics at Duke University in teaching, training, research, and everyday life by inspiring personal integrity and civic commitment.) • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators • The Official Site of the National Collegiate Athletic Association

  35. Useful Links • The Practical Ethics Center • Society for Values in Higher Education • United States Air Force Academy Center for Character Development • United States Department of Education

  36. Key Jensen Web Sites • Cheating --- Link --- ..\..\plagiarsm.htm • Assessment --- Link --- ..\..\assess.htm

  37. The End