Academic Integrity: Using Technology to Cheat

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Academic Integrity: Using Technology to Cheat

Throughout time there have individuals who have cheated on various things such as; sporting events, personal and professional tasks, and academic tasks. While the examples of cheating in these areas are endless, we will focus on academic cheating.

With the advent of modern technology bypassing check-and-balance systems that are in place to keep people honest have become extremely easy to bypass; for example, in the 1980’s individuals would borrow VHS cassettes and copy them; however, technology has changed and advanced since then, and with more advanced technology more people are using technology to cheat. An example of using modern technology to bypass a check-and-balance system is Napster. Napster began as a service that allowed people to download music for free without purchasing the CD; bypassing the copyright on the music. There were students who copied the music from Napster, who said “everyone else is doing it why can’t I”. (Jones, 2008). Most people who copied VCR tapes, along with those who copied music from Napster, usually did not think that what they were doing was cheating, or stealing; however, by definition it was.

“How is it cheating?” some may ask. When individuals copy things that do not belong to them, they rob the original producer out of the profits that they would have made by proper distribution. As we look at this, our question began with why students cheat, how students cheat and what are professors, colleges, educators doing to prevent cheating by the students. We find that there are an ever increasing number of students who are using technology various ways to cheat.

Students have cheated on homework, since the first homework assignment was assigned to students; however, in recent years students have found new ways to cheat. This leads to Professors and other educators to find more creative ways educate the students, which also forces educators to find more creative ways of reducing and prevent cheating.

We can all say that we know that cheating is something that we have been taught as being wrong. Many of us would think of our moral values and our attitudes about cheating as a way to explain why we would never try to cheat. Today students are using these same reasons to say why they do cheat. Another reason why students cheat is because of their influences around them, some may even cheat because it’s socially accepted amongst the students that they are around. It’s the old story of who the student hangs around they become somewhat like. This is something some people can remember being brought up with. We were told who you hang around with you become like. For some reason when you know someone who cheats on a test and gets away with it we figure, why don’t I try it, they did it, cheating must be easier then studying for this test.

Some students cheat because they need a higher grade to get the scholarship to attend school, and to keep their parents to be proud of them. The stresses from home can be very high especially when we are talking about finances to attend college which can add unnecessary pressure on the student.

Usually once an assignment is given everyone goes and works on it. There are many different students who gather together in teams to work on papers today then there was ever before. Even with this there are still some students and teams of students who cheat because they did not take the time to study, and because of not taking the time to study they now are in a hurry to get things done.

A research survey geared toward cheating was given to students in 12 colleges in the United States and abroad stated that engineering students were more likely to cheat as 60% to 90% of engineering students admitted to cheating. (Harding, 2004). Harding also states that “both technology and cultural norms play a role in the increase of students who cheat.” Students look at what...
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