Tag Archives: Academic Dishonesty

University of California, San Diego study: Lying parents tend to raise lying children

20 Mar

Cheating is increasingly a concern in education. Some colleges in an attempt to curb academic dishonesty on campus are beginning to employ methods one has usually associated with Las Vegas casinos. Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty:

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters… http://www.mnsu.edu/cetl/teachingresources/articles/academicdishonesty.html

For some students, cheating starts early. By the time some kids reach college they have already established a pattern of cheating. ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis in America’s Schools http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132376&page=1 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/ Apparently, kids are modeling what they learned at home.

Science Daily reported in the article, Lied-to children more likely to cheat, lie:

People lie — we know this. People lie to kids — we know this, too. But what happens next? Do children who’ve been lied to lie more themselves?
Surprisingly, the question had not been asked experimentally until Chelsea Hays, then an undergraduate student in psychology at the University of California, San Diego, approached professor Leslie Carver with it. Now the pair have a paper out in Developmental Science, suggesting that adult dishonesty does make a difference, and not in a good way.
“As far as we know,” said Carver, associate professor of psychology and human development in the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences. “This is the first experiment confirming what we might have suspected: Lying by an adult affects a child’s honesty.”
The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7 in a temptation-resistance paradigm. Approximately half of the children were lied to by an experimenter, who said there was “a huge bowl of candy in the next room” but quickly confessed this was just a ruse to get the child to come play a game. The others were simply invited to play, with no mention of candy.
The game asked children to identify character toys they couldn’t see by their sounds. Sounds and toys were pretty easy to pair: a “Tickle me” audio clip for Elmo; “I love cookies” for Cookie Monster; and “There is a rumbly in my tummy” for Winnie the Pooh. One sound was a deliberately tricky exception: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise,” which is not associated with any commercially available character toy.
When the classical music cue was played, the experimenter was called out of the room to, supposedly, take a phone call — leaving the children alone in the room for 90 seconds and tempting them to take a peek at the mysterious toy making that sound. The children were explicitly asked not to peek. On returning, the experimenter also explicitly asked the children to tell the truth. Cameras rolled the whole time.
And? The 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds who had been lied to were both more likely to cheat and then more likely to lie about having done so, too.
About 60 percent of the school-aged children who had not been lied to by the experimenter peeked at the tricky temptation toy — and about 60 percent of the peekers lied about it later. Among those that had been lied to, those figures rose to nearly 80 percent peeking and nearly 90 percent of the peekers lying.
“Why?” remains an open research question, Carver and Hays note in their paper. It could be the 5- to 7-year-old children were simply imitating the behavior modeled by the adult, or it could be they were making judgments about the importance of honesty to this adult. Or, it could be more nuanced: “Perhaps,” they write, “the children did not feel the need to uphold their commitment to tell the truth to someone who they perceived as a liar.”
But it didn’t seem to make any difference to the younger set, the preschoolers, whether they had been deceived by the experimenter earlier. They peeked and lied at about the same rates. That may be because 3- and 4-year-olds don’t have very sophisticated theory-of-mind abilities yet.
The study was not designed to get at the reasons that children are more likely to lie when they have been lied to, but to demonstrate that the phenomenon can occur, Carver said…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319093802.htm

Citation:

Journal Reference:
1. Chelsea Hays, Leslie J. Carver. Follow the liar: the effects of adult lies on children’s honesty. Developmental Science, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/desc.12171
March 19, 2014
University of California, San Diego
Summary:
A new experiment is the first to show a connection between adult dishonesty and children’s behavior, with kids who have been lied to more likely to cheat and then to lie to cover up the transgression. Research has documented that the majority of parents admit to lying to their children even as they maintain that honesty is an important value. “The actions of parents suggest that they do not believe that the lies they tell their children will impact the child’s own honesty. The current study casts doubt on that belief,” the authors say. The study has implications not only for parenting but also for teaching scenarios and for forensic situations, said Carver: “All sorts of grown-ups may have to re-examine what they say to kids. Even a ‘little white lie’ might have consequences.”

Here is the press release from the University of California, San Diego:

Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie
UC San Diego experiment first to show connection between adult dishonesty and children’s behavior
People lie – we know this. People lie to kids – we know this, too. But what happens next? Do children who’ve been lied to lie more themselves?
Surprisingly, the question had not been asked experimentally until Chelsea Hays, then an undergraduate student in psychology at the University of California, San Diego, approached professor Leslie Carver with it. Now the pair have a paper out in Developmental Science, suggesting that adult dishonesty does make a difference, and not in a good way.
“As far as we know,” said Carver, associate professor of psychology and human development in the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences. “This is the first experiment confirming what we might have suspected: Lying by an adult affects a child’s honesty.”
The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7 in a temptation-resistance paradigm. Approximately half of the children were lied to by an experimenter, who said there was “a huge bowl of candy in the next room” but quickly confessed this was just a ruse to get the child to come play a game. The others were simply invited to play, with no mention of candy.

Children were asked to identify well-known character toys they couldn’t see by their associated sounds.
The game asked children to identify character toys they couldn’t see by their sounds. Sounds and toys were pretty easy to pair: a “Tickle me” audio clip for Elmo; “I love cookies” for Cookie Monster; and “There is a rumbly in my tummy” for Winnie the Pooh. One sound was a deliberately tricky exception: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise,” which is not associated with any commercially available character toy.
When the classical music cue was played, the experimenter was called out of the room to, supposedly, take a phone call – leaving the children alone in the room for 90 seconds and tempting them to take a peek at the mysterious toy making that sound. The children were explicitly asked not to peek. On returning, the experimenter also explicitly asked the children to tell the truth. Cameras rolled the whole time.
And? The 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds who had been lied to were both more likely to cheat and then more likely to lie about having done so, too.
About 60 percent of the school-aged children who had not been lied to by the experimenter peeked at the tricky temptation toy – and about 60 percent of the peekers lied about it later. Among those that had been lied to, those figures rose to nearly 80 percent peeking and nearly 90 percent of the peekers lying.
“Why?” remains an open research question, Carver and Hays note in their paper. It could be the 5- to 7-year-old children were simply imitating the behavior modeled by the adult, or it could be they were making judgments about the importance of honesty to this adult. Or, it could be more nuanced: “Perhaps,” they write, “the children did not feel the need to uphold their commitment to tell the truth to someone who they perceived as a liar.”

School-aged children, ages 5 to 7, who had been lied to were both more likely to peek and then to lie about having done so. Click on image for larger view.
But it didn’t seem to make any difference to the younger set, the preschoolers, whether they had been deceived by the experimenter earlier. They peeked and lied at about the same rates. That may be because 3- and 4-year-olds don’t have very sophisticated theory-of-mind abilities yet.
The study was not designed to get at the reasons that children are more likely to lie when they have been lied to, but to demonstrate that the phenomenon can occur, Carver said.
What happens when trusted care-givers do the lying also remains an open research question. But Carver and Hays are still urging restraint. Even if it’s expedient for an adult to lie – to get cooperation through deception, for example, or to get children to control their emotions – it’s probably a bad idea in the long run.
Earlier research, Carver and Hays note in the paper, has documented that the majority of parents admit to lying to their children even as they maintain that honesty is an important value.
“The actions of parents,” Carver and Hays write, “suggest that they do not believe that the lies they tell their children will impact the child’s own honesty. The current study casts doubt on that belief.”
The study has implications not only for parenting but also for teaching scenarios and for forensic situations, said Carver: “All sorts of grown-ups may have to re-examine what they say to kids. Even a ‘little white lie’ might have consequences.”
Related Links
Leslie Carver, UC San Diego Psychology and Human Development
Developmental Science
UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences

Indiana University has a concise definition of character education in Creating a Positive Climate: Character Education:

Character education simply does that in a more systematic way. Character education includes two primary components: 1) Education in civic virtue and in the qualities that teach children the forms and rules of citizenship in a just society, and 2) Education in personal adjustment, chiefly in the qualities that enable children to become productive and dependable citizens.4
Character education may include a variety of subcomponents that can be a part of a larger character education program or that can be self-standing.
These can include social skills instruction and curricula, moral development instruction and curricula, values clarification instruction and curricula, caring education and curricula,5 and school values statements. Other programs such as cooperative learning strategies, participatory decision-making for students, and service learning are sometimes also classified as components of character education. Character education itself is often viewed as simply one component of some larger school reform and improvement strategies. For example, the “Basic School” has four components, one of which is a “Commitment to Character.”6According to Likona,7 the moral or character education of elementary students is designed to accomplish three goals:
• To promote development away from self-centered thinking and excessive individualism and toward cooperative relationships and mutual respect;
• To foster the growth of the capacity to think, feel, and act morally; and
• To develop in the classroom and in the school a moral community based on fairness, caring, and participation – such a community being a moral end in itself as well as a support system for the character development of each individual student. http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/charactereducation.pdf

See, Character Education Partnership http://www.character.org/key-topics/what-is-character-education/

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
Thomas Jefferson

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Harvard study: Cheating students are more likely to want to work for government

25 Nov

Cheating is increasingly a concern in education. Some colleges in an attempt to curb academic dishonesty on campus are beginning to employ methods one has usually associated with Las Vegas casinos. Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty:

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters…
http://www.mnsu.edu/cetl/teachingresources/articles/academicdishonesty.html

For some students, cheating starts early. By the time some kids reach college they have already established a pattern of cheating. ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis in America’s Schools http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132376&page=1 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/

Emily Alpert Reyes reported in the L.A. Times article, Cheating students more likely to want government jobs, study finds:

College students who cheated on a simple task were more likely to want government jobs, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania found in a study of hundreds of students in Bangalore, India.
Their results, recently released as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, suggest that one of the contributing forces behind government corruption could be who gets into government work in the first place.
For instance, “if people have the view that jobs in government are corrupt, people who are honest might not want to get into that system,” said Rema Hanna, an associate professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. To combat that problem, governments may need to find new ways to screen people seeking jobs, she said.
Researchers ran a series of experiments with more than 600 students finishing up college in India. In one task, students had to privately roll a die and report what number they got. The higher the number, the more they would get paid. Each student rolled the die 42 times.
Although researchers do not know for sure if any one student lied, they could tell whether the numbers each person reported were wildly different than what would turn up randomly — in other words, whether there were a suspiciously high number of 5s and 6s in their results.
Cheating seemed to be rampant: More than a third of students had scores that fell in the top 1% of the predicted distribution, researchers found. Students who apparently cheated were 6.3% more likely to say they wanted to work in government, the researchers found.
“Overall, we find that dishonest individuals — as measured by the dice task — prefer to enter government service,” wrote Hanna and coauthor Shing-yi Wang, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
They added, “Importantly, we show that cheating on this task is also predictive of fraudulent behaviors by real government officials.”
The same test, given to a smaller set of government nurses, showed that those who appear to have cheated with the dice were also more likely to skip work. Previous studies suggest that the bulk of such absenteeism is fraudulent, Hanna said.
Researchers also ran other tests to gauge character: In another experiment, students played a game in which they could send a message anonymously to another player, either telling them honestly what move would earn them more money, or dishonestly nudging them toward a worse choice. Tricking the other student would help them gain more money.
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-cheating-students-government-jobs-corruption-20131118,0,2929974.story#ixzz2ldYrFkMY

Citation:

Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service
Rema Hanna, Shing-Yi Wang
NBER Working Paper No. 19649
Issued in November 2013
NBER Program(s): DEV
In this paper, we demonstrate that university students who cheat on a simple task in a laboratory setting are more likely to state a preference for entering public service. Importantly, we also show that cheating on this task is predictive of corrupt behavior by real government workers, implying that this measure captures a meaningful propensity towards corruption. Students who demonstrate lower levels of prosocial preferences in the laboratory games are also more likely to prefer to enter the government, while outcomes on explicit, two-player games to measure cheating and attitudinal measures of corruption do not systematically predict job preferences. We find that a screening process that chooses the highest ability applicants would not alter the average propensity for corruption among the applicant pool. Our findings imply that differential selection into government may contribute, in part, to corruption. They also emphasize that screening characteristics other than ability may be useful in reducing corruption, but caution that more explicit measures may offer little predictive power.
You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Theories about why students cheat range from character issues to mental issues.

Sora Song of Time.Com discusses the inevitable study in the article, Profiling Student Cheaters: Are the Psychopaths?

Psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that students who cheated in high school and college were likely to meet the criteria for psychopathic personality – the type that tends toward a range of bad behaviors, like alcohol and drug abuse, bullying and reckless driving. It’s the same impulsive, callous and antisocial personality that characterizes criminal psychopaths, though, to be fair, student cheaters scored a lot lower on psychopathy questionnaires than actual criminal offenders. (More on Time.com: Video: Giving Dropouts a Second Chance)
The researchers found that academic cheaters also scored high in two other personality traits: narcissism (people who suffer from grandiosity, self-centeredness and an outsized sense of entitlement) and Machiavellianism (cynical, amoral types who make it a habit to manipulate others). But of the three disordered personalities – together known colorfully as the Dark Triad – psychopathy was the only trait significantly associated with student cheating.
The new paper, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, describes the results of a series of three studies involving nearly 600 college students. (Read a PDF of the paper here.) In each, the volunteers were asked to fill out anonymous personality questionnaires; some participants also took tests of intelligence. Personality questions included: “I like to be the center of attention” (i.e., I may be a narcissist), “It’s hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there” (Machiavellianism), and “I have attacked someone with the goal of hurting them” (psychopathy). http://healthland.time.com/2010/09/20/profiling-student-cheaters-are-they-psychopaths/

The conclusion of the study is that the only thing which can be done is to make it impossible for the psychopath to cheat since they obviously have no impulse control and an appeal to values doesn’t work. One of the frightening prospects highlighted by the article is that it is possible to screen for psychopathic traits in people, but it probably wouldn’t be ethical for schools to do so. So, like the chicken and the egg riddle, society is back at placing the emphasis on strong families, values, and a K-12 education which sets some perimeters. Certainly something to think about.

Shouldn’t those who work for the government be interested in public service instead of than self-service? Something else to think about.

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Verifying online education identity: By your keystroke, we will know you

10 Jan

Moi wrote about verifying identity for online courses in Verifying identity for online courses:

Cheating is increasingly a concern in education. Some colleges in an attempt to curb academic dishonesty on campus are beginning to employ methods one has usually associated with Las Vegas casinos. Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters…

There are strategies online education institutions can use to reduce cheating.

Distance Education.Org has a great article by Jennifer Williamson, Does Your Instructor Know It’s You? Issues in Verifying Online Student Identities:

While a recent study by Friends University shows that online students don’t cheat more than traditional students on the whole—and actually might cheat less—that doesn’t mean that online education isn’t vulnerable to cheating. And one major issue in preventing academic fraud in an online environment is demonstrated in the Florida case: the problem of student identity verification. How does your professor know it’s you taking that exam?

Here are a few ways online schools and instructors have been working to make sure they know the identity of students taking exams.

Proctoring

One of the most straightforward ways is insisting all important exams be proctored. This means you have to physically go to the school and take your exam in a room monitored by a proctor. Some schools may be able to arrange for you to take an exam in a remote location near your home, but even if this is possible for your school, this method does defeat the purpose of distance education to an extent—you have to leave the house or your workplace and travel to a test location, which could be problematic. It’s not ideal, but it is an easy way for professors to be sure it’s you taking the test.

Blackboard Acxiom

Many online degree programs use Blackboard to administer classes. Blackboard recently adopted an identity verification process powered by Acxiom, a risk mitigation company. With this software, you’ll have to enter the answers to verification questions, presumably set by you when you sign up for class, that only you can answer. The school using the software controls when students have to authenticate their identity. Of course, this isn’t a perfect solution as students could always simply tell their stand-ins the answers to their proprietary questions.

Certified IP locations

Under this system, also administered by Blackboard, teachers can specify the IP address where the student will take the test. This may allow you to take your test at your home computer, but teachers may also choose a computer for you to test on and then require you to come to campus to take the test in a proctored environment.

Remote proctor systems

There are a few remote proctoring systems, some of which are still being tested. One is the Securexam Remote Proctor System. It’s a small unit that plugs into the student’s USB port, with a fingerprint pad for identification—professors can choose how often during the test students are required to use it to identify themselves. It also includes a 365-degree camera that will alert the professor to anything strange happening in the room—like someone else walking in or speaking during the test. Professors don’t have to watch live; they can watch a recorded version of the test after it’s been taken. The device is purchased by students, and costs somewhere between $100 and $200 in most cases.

Remote proctoring systems may be the best way to assure student identity while keeping the benefits of online education intact; but still, the system isn’t perfect and some students find the costs hard to bear. Online student identification will need to evolve as online education has, to become easy, cost-effective for students and schools, and flexible. With time, hopefully online schools will have a more effective and cost-efficient way to verify online student identity and prevent academic fraud. http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/Does-Your-Instructor-Know-It-s-You–Issues-in-Verifying-Online-Student-Identities–234.html#.T4pas5U6vq0.email

ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis In America’s Schools

https://drwilda.com/2012/04/15/verifying-identity-for-online-courses/

Jeffrey R. Young writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Coursera Announces Details for Selling Certificates and Verifying Identities:

How is a major provider of free online courses going to tell whether you are who you say you are? By how you type.

The company, Coursera, plans to announce on Wednesday the start of a pilot project to check the identities of its students and offer “verified certificates” of completion, for a fee. A key part of that validation process will involve what Coursera officials call “keystroke biometrics”—analyzing each user’s pattern and rhythm of typing to serve as a kind of fingerprint.

The company has long said that it planned to bring in revenue by charging a fee to students who complete courses and want to prove that achievement. And Coursera has long recognized that its biggest challenge would be setting up a system to check identity. Other providers of free online courses, which are often called massive open online courses, or MOOCs, have decided to work with testing centers and to require students who want certificates to travel to a physical location, show an ID, and take tests while a proctor watches to prevent cheating.

What You Need to Know About MOOCs: A guide to The Chronicle’s coverage of massive open online courses.Coursera has decided to try to check IDs remotely, so that students can take tests from anywhere. During the pilot stage, the service will be offered in only five courses, but if it goes well, it will eventually be rolled out to nearly every course in Coursera’s catalog.

The company’s verification system involves several steps:

  • Early in the course, Coursera will ask participating students to hold up a picture ID in front of a Webcam, and then pose for a second picture of themselves, for an initial identity check. A human being will compare the two Webcam images to see if they match, essentially serving as a virtual bouncer.
  • Each student will then be asked to type a short phrase to register his or her keyboarding pattern with Coursera.
  • Each time students submit assignments, they must type the same short phrase for the system to check whether it matches their initial sample.

Can typing style serve as a reliable way to check identity?

Hany Farid, a computer-science professor at Dartmouth College who is an expert on digital forensics, said that the idea had been around for a while but that it is generally less secure than a fingerprint scan or other biometric methods.

In general, identifying people online is incredibly hard to do,” he said. “It could be that for what Coursera wants, it’s good enough. It could be that it’s just a barrier to entry and that it sort of freaks out some people” who might have otherwise tried to game the system, he added.

One potential problem with relying on typing patterns is that some people might type in different ways in different situations. “You don’t want this thing locking you out because you’re in a bad mood,” he said.

Coursera said it was testing two different software programs to do its identity verification—one from an outside company and one that it had developed itself. Coursera officials would not disclose which outside company they were working with.                                                                                               http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/coursera-announces-details-for-selling-certificates-and-verifying-identities/41519?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Coursera is proposing to use “keystroke dynamics.”

Biometrics Solutions.com has a concise description of “keystroke dynamics” at their site:

How it works

With keystroke dynamics the biometric template used to identify an individual is based on the typing pattern, the rhythm and the speed of typing on a keyboard. The raw measurements used for keystroke dynamics are dwell time and flight time.

  • Dwell time is the time duration that a key is pressed
  • Flight time is the time duration in between releasing a key and pressing the next key

When typing a series of characters, the time the subject needs to find the right key (flight time) and the time he holds down a key (dwell time) is specific to that subject, and can be calculated in such a way that it is independent of overall typing speed. The rhythm with which some sequences of characters are typed can be very person dependent. For example someone used to typing in english will be quicker at typing certain character sequences such as ‘the’ than a person with french roots.

There exists software which combines keystroke dynamics with other interactions the user has with the computer, such as mouse movements (acceleration time, click frequency).

Application of keystroke dynamics

Keystroke dynamics can be used for authentication, then it is used mostly together with user ID / password credentials as a form of multifactor authentication.

Another use is as a very specific form of surveillance. There exist software solutions which, often without end-users being aware of it, track keystroke dynamics for each user account. This tracking, historization of keystroke dynamics is then used to analyse whether accounts are being shared or in general are used by people different from the genuine account owner. Reasons for such an implementation could be verification of users following security procedures (password sharing) or to verify that no software licenses are being shared (especially for SAAS applications).

Companies which develop software products applying keystroke dynamics are:

  • ID Control is a dutch company developing strong but affordable authentication solutions, some of which use keystroke dynamics. Their software integrates with MS Windows logon, Citrix, VPN and many others.
  • Psylock is a german company developping IT security solutions based on keystroke dynamics, providing software products for implementations on different scales from MS Windows login, to web login, to Citrix and VPN integration. The Psylock website offers an online demo.
  • BehavioSec is a swedish company specialized in continuous authentication systems, this is software which monitors activity on a computer to make sure that it is the genuine account owner who is using the computer. BehavioSec uses not only keystroke dynamics but also mouse dynamics and the general way in which the user interacts with the computer.

http://biometric-solutions.com/solutions/index.php?story=keystroke_dynamics

See, Enhanced User Authentication Through Keystroke Biometrics – MIT http://people.csail.mit.edu/edmond/projects/keystroke/keystroke-biometrics.pdf

With any education opportunity the prospective student and their family must do their homework and weigh the pros and cons of the institution with with the student’s goals and objectives. In answer to the question of whether online college is a threat to traditional bricks and mortar universities, it depends. The market will answer that question because many students do not attend college to receive a liberal arts education, but to increase employment opportunities. If the market accepts badges and certificates, then colleges may be forced to look at the costs associated with a traditional college degree.

Related:

Will ‘massive open online courses’ (MOOCS) begin to offer credit?                                                                             https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/will-massive-open-online-courses-moocs-begin-to-offer-credit/

Is online higher ed a threat to bricks and mortar colleges? https://drwilda.com/2012/09/17/is-online-higher-ed-a-threat-to-bricks-and-mortar-colleges/

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The military mirrors society

13 Nov

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Despite the fact that those in high places are routinely outed for lapses in judgment and behavior unbecoming the office or position they have been entrusted with, many continue to feign surprise at the lapse. Really, many are feigning the surprise at the stupidity of the seemingly bright and often brilliant folk who now have to explain to those close and the public about the stupidity which brought their lives to ruin. Some how the “devil made me do it” does not quite fully explain the hubris. The hubris comes from a society and culture where ME is all that counts and there are no eternals. There is only what exists in this moment.

Thom Shanker writes in the New York Times article, Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics:

Along with a steady diet of books on leadership and management, the reading list at military “charm schools” that groom officers for ascending to general or admiral includes an essay, “The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders,” that recalls the moral failure of the Old Testament’s King David, who ordered a soldier on a mission of certain death — solely for the chance to take his wife, Bathsheba.

The not-so-subtle message: Be careful out there, and act better.

Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year.

Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year….http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/us/petraeuss-resignation-highlights-concern-over-military-officers-ethics.html?hp

The Petreaus Mess is simply this month’s scandal de jour. There will be others to follow.

Moi wrote in Cheating at Harvard:

Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters….

The various reasons that students give for cheating can also be instructive in obtaining a picture of academic dishonesty. Gleaned from a variety of sources, the list of student reasons for cheating given below is meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive:

  1. Today’s generation of student has less of an attachment to the institution so that cheating is more impersonal and seen as less painful because of this detachment.

  2. The difficult job market places a premium on a high grade point average so that any means necessary will be employed to achieve and maintain good grades.

  3. Some students believe that professors are cheating them in the classroom by shirking their teaching responsibilities. Therefore, students come to believe that turnabout is fair play.

  4. New entering students find themselves in courses beyond their capability so they resort to cheating to succeed in the course.

The metaphors and social constructs provided by students in surveys can also provide insight into the rationale for academic dishonesty. In one recent study, students used the following metaphors for cheating:

  1. Cheating is just a game, so that it is not important how you win but what is important is that you win.

  2. Cheating is an addiction. Once a student has successfully cheated in some academic context, the urge to continue can become addicting.

  3. Cheating is an easy out. Rather than working hard to master the material, a student can be tempted to use the shortcut of academic dishonesty.

  4. Cheating is a personal dilemma. Students do not begin to cheat because they are ignorant of the potential consequences. Rather the decision to cheat is a difficult decision for most students.

  5. Cheating is theft. The act of cheating robs the institution, the professor, the cheating student, and the other students.

  6. Cheating is a team effort. Cheating does not occur in a vacuum. Where there is a culture that condones cheating and where a student sees other students cheating, academic dishonesty is more likely to flourish.

For some students, cheating starts early. By the time some kids reach college they have already established a pattern of cheating. ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis in America’s Schools http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/ https://drwilda.com/2012/09/02/cheating-at-harvard/

Today’s college students become tomorrow’s generals and captains of industry.

Too many families lack a moral compass or a compass of any type. In fact, too many children are growing up in shells of what a family should be. Moi wrote about the culture in It’s the culture and the values, stupid. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/04/its-the-culture-and-the-values-stupid/

Petreaus too shall pass. The next unnamed scandal is be formulated like a hurricane forms over the ocean. After all, it’s really all about ME.

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                              http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                   https://drwilda.com/

Cheating at Harvard

2 Sep

Moi discussed cheating in schools in Cheating in schools goes high-tech

Some colleges in an attempt to curb academic dishonesty on campus are beginning to employ methods one has usually associated with Las Vegas casinos. Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters….

The various reasons that students give for cheating can also be instructive in obtaining a picture of academic dishonesty. Gleaned from a variety of sources, the list of student reasons for cheating given below is meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive:

  1. Today’s generation of student has less of an attachment to the institution so that cheating is more impersonal and seen as less painful because of this detachment.

  2. The difficult job market places a premium on a high grade point average so that any means necessary will be employed to achieve and maintain good grades.

  3. Some students believe that professors are cheating them in the classroom by shirking their teaching responsibilities. Therefore, students come to believe that turnabout is fair play.

  4. New entering students find themselves in courses beyond their capability so they resort to cheating to succeed in the course.

The metaphors and social constructs provided by students in surveys can also provide insight into the rationale for academic dishonesty. In one recent study, students used the following metaphors for cheating:

  1. Cheating is just a game, so that it is not important how you win but what is important is that you win.

  2. Cheating is an addiction. Once a student has successfully cheated in some academic context, the urge to continue can become addicting.

  3. Cheating is an easy out. Rather than working hard to master the material, a student can be tempted to use the shortcut of academic dishonesty.

  4. Cheating is a personal dilemma. Students do not begin to cheat because they are ignorant of the potential consequences. Rather the decision to cheat is a difficult decision for most students.

  5. Cheating is theft. The act of cheating robs the institution, the professor, the cheating student, and the other students.

  6. Cheating is a team effort. Cheating does not occur in a vacuum. Where there is a culture that condones cheating and where a student sees other students cheating, academic dishonesty is more likely to flourish.

For some students, cheating starts early. By the time some kids reach college they have already established a pattern of cheating. ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis in America’s Schools http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/

Even elite institutions like Harvard are not immune from cheating scandals.

Valerie Strauss reports in the Washington Post article, Yes, they cheat at Harvard, too:

The scandal at Harvard University in which authorities are investigating whether nearly half of a class of 279 students cheated on a take-home final exam raises a number of questions, including this: Does everybody cheat?

At the moment, Harvard is dealing with what an official said was an ”unprecedented” case of suspected academic dishonesty this past spring in a government class called “Introduction to Congress,” according to the Harvard Crimson student newspaper. Sanctions for students found guilty of cheating include leaving Harvard for a year.

Harvard, like most U.S. colleges and universities, has never had an honor code, although the Associated Press reports that it is giving “renewed consideration” to the idea as a result of the scandal.

But even honor codes at schools that take pride in them don’t stop some cheating. In fact, cheating has long been endemic, from the early grades through college — and Harvard grads note that cheating is hardly uncommon there.

So, does everybody cheat?

Not quite, but studies show that most students cheat at one time or another.

* A survey of 40,000 high school students done by the nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics in 2010 found that more than half of teenagers said they had cheated on a test in the previous year, and 34 percent said they had done it more than twice.

* One-third of the students said in the same survey that they had plagiarized an assignment with the help of the Internet.

* An article in the American Psychology Association journal notes that things don’t get better in college. Donald McCabe, a business professor at Rutgers University and co-founder of Clemson University’s International Center for Academic Integrity, has been studying cheating for decades.

He found in one study that that about two-thirds of college students admit to cheating on tests, homework and assignments.

* The consequences for the country may be significant. A 2009 study by the Josephson Institute about the relationship between high school attitudes and behavior and later adult conduct found that people who cheated on exams in high school two or more times are considerably more likely to be dishonest later in life as compared to those who never cheated in high school. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/yes-they-cheat-at-harvard-too/2012/09/01/1d411ba8-f3de-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_blog.html

Theories about why students cheat range from character issues to mental issues.

Sora Song of Time.Com discusses the inevitable study in the article, Profiling Student Cheaters: Are the Psychopaths?

Psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that students who cheated in high school and college were likely to meet the criteria for psychopathic personality – the type that tends toward a range of bad behaviors, like alcohol and drug abuse, bullying and reckless driving. It’s the same impulsive, callous and antisocial personality that characterizes criminal psychopaths, though, to be fair, student cheaters scored a lot lower on psychopathy questionnaires than actual criminal offenders. (More on Time.com: Video: Giving Dropouts a Second Chance)

The researchers found that academic cheaters also scored high in two other personality traits: narcissism (people who suffer from grandiosity, self-centeredness and an outsized sense of entitlement) and Machiavellianism (cynical, amoral types who make it a habit to manipulate others). But of the three disordered personalities – together known colorfully as the Dark Triad – psychopathy was the only trait significantly associated with student cheating.

The new paper, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, describes the results of a series of three studies involving nearly 600 college students. (Read a PDF of the paper here.) In each, the volunteers were asked to fill out anonymous personality questionnaires; some participants also took tests of intelligence. Personality questions included: “I like to be the center of attention” (i.e., I may be a narcissist), “It’s hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there” (Machiavellianism), and “I have attacked someone with the goal of hurting them” (psychopathy).

The conclusion of the study is that the only thing which can be done is to make it impossible for the psychopath to cheat since they obviously have no impulse control and an appeal to values doesn’t work. One of the frightening prospects highlighted by the article is that it is possible to screen for psychopathic traits in people, but it probably wouldn’t be ethical for schools to do so. So, like the chicken and the egg riddle, society is back at placing the emphasis on strong families, values, and a K-12 education which sets some perimeters. Something to think about.

Caroline Knorr has some excellent advice in the Common Sense Media article, Caught Cheating: New Ways Kids Are Breaking the Rules

How to Talk to Kids About Cheating

1. Is it a shortcut or a cheat? A kid who knowingly tries to pass off someone else’s work as his own is cheating. If he takes a shortcut — say, doing research on Wikipedia rather than at the library — that’s an error in judgment about the trustworthiness of Wikipedia’s material. In this case, kids should understand that Wikipedia isn’t the same as an original source.

2. Is it a “cheat” or a gimme? The term “cheat” has become a part of the culture. Game developers plant “cheats” in their games to reward kids who are savvy enough to find out the cheat codes. But “cheat” in this case isn’t really accurate. Games are intentionally designed with these built-in rewards to add an extra challenge. Kids should understand the distinction — game cheats are a ploy, but there’s no secret code that unlocks your homework.

3. Is it collaborating or cheating? Texting the answers to someone taking a test is cheating, and your child’s school surely has a policy against it. But other forms of communication — like collaborating via IM on Facebook with friends — might actually be OK because they help kids work out problems together. As long as the teacher approves and your kids understand the ground rules around not stealing others’ answers or giving away their own, a little IMing during homework time — for help, not full-scale answer delivery — is probably OK.

4. What technology is OK to use for school? Don’t let the technology — or the anonymity — of some of these methods get in the way of talking about cheating. Cheating means taking credit for something you didn’t do or giving your own answers away. Where and how it’s done doesn’t matter. Follow your school’s policy on the use of digital devices.

5. How did you feel when you did it? That sinking feeling my friend had when her Facebook friends solved the word problems? That was her conscience. Kids have a sense of right and wrong, but they need a lot of reminders to do the right thing. One ally you have is kids’ desire to make their own choices. In this case, the choice is literally in their hands. They can create an honest, open Internet and mobile world, or they can create one in which they’ll always have to be suspicious of what they find and who they know.

Remember the Goldman Sucks weasels started small.

Resources:

Trip Gabriel has an interesting article in the New York Times about the University of Central Florida’s attempts to defeat cheaters. In To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery

ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis In America’s Schools

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Suing to get a better high school transcript after cheating incident

2 May

This blog post is about cheating and whether given enough time and resources, one can escape consequences. Campus Explorer discusses the importance of a high school transcript in, What Is a High School Transcript and Why Is It Important?

When planning for college, your high school transcript is paramount. With this transcript you can show admissions counselors how hard you work, what areas you excel in and which major or type of degree might be best for you.

When he obtains your transcript, the college admissions officer will look at:

  1. Your grade point average (GPA) and class rank. Be aware that some schools only consider core classes (like English, math, science and social studies) when calculating your GPA (What is a GPA?), while others look at grades for all of your classes.
  2. The types of classes you enrolled in. AP/IB classes will show that you are serious about planning for college, while a course load of non-academic classes will not impress them very much.
  3. How consistent your GPA was. When schools are looking for desirable candidates, they want to see that you are willing to work hard, and maintaining a high grade point average shows that. Rocky start? Keep at it. Schools also like to see GPA improvement.
  4. The number of pass/fail classes you took. Earning a passing grade in these classes is often considered a D by colleges. Avoid pass/fail classes so they don’t impact your cumulative GPA.
  5. Your behavior record, if included. It would only be a factor if there were any negative reports, such as suspensions or other disciplinary actions….

To determine how you’re being evaluated for college programs and degrees, ask your guidance counselor about your transcript:

  • How often you’re evaluated: every quarter, trimester or semester?
  • Does the transcript only include courses you completed, or are dropped/incomplete courses also on the record?
  • How does the school rank students? High school academic rankings compare your cumulative GPA (your average GPA for each semester of high school) against your classmates’ scores. Common ranking types include: X out of Y (for example, 208th out of 600, with 1 as the highest-ranked student), percentage (90th percentile), ratio (top fifth of graduating class)
  • Is GPA weighted, with AP/IB classes worth more? (This means GPAs higher than 4.0 are possible, which affects where your score falls in the rankings.)
  • Does the transcript include a profile with records like attendance, community service, a list of honors, and AP classes, etc.?
  • Does it include a school profile? This is a demographic record of student population, AP/IB classes offered and other pertinent information that is usually required by college admissions officers.

http://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/6EFD2352/What-Is-a-High-School-Transcript-and-Why-Is-It-Important/

A transcript is an important item in the quest to get into competitive colleges.

Sharon Noguchi and Bonnie Eslinger write in the San Mateo County Times article, Parents who sued school over son’s punishment for cheating receive hate messages:

Jack Berghouse doesn’t dispute that his son, a sophomore at Sequoia High School, copied someone else’s homework. But the Redwood City father believes the school district was wrong to kick his teenager out of an English honors class for the offense, and his decision to sue has embroiled the family in a public, opinionated debate.

“I’m getting a lot of hate calls at my office,” said Berghouse, who practices family law. “I had no freaking idea this would happen.”

Berghouse’s son and three other students were removed from a sophomore honors English class at Sequoia in Redwood City for copying and sharing homework. In response, Berghouse filed a suit last week in San Mateo County Superior Court, claiming his son’s due process rights were violated. It names as defendants the Sequoia Union High School District, Superintendent James Lianides and Sequoia High School Principal Bonnie Hansen.

The suit, which seeks to force the school to readmit Berghouse’s son to the honors class, drew immediate criticism.

“I’m outraged that the parents would go to that extreme,” said Diana Guinard, a Novato mother of four teenagers. “I expect the teachers to hold the kids accountable. Anything less would destroy the lessons I teach at home.”

And in an informal online reader poll by this newspaper, 84 percent of about 300 respondents said students should not get a second chance when caught cheating….

Berghouse’s son, who is not being named because he is a minor, had signed an “Academic Honesty Pledge” at the beginning of the school year that declares cheating is grounds for immediate removal from the advanced-level program; his mother also had signed it.

However, Berghouse said, the school has conflicting policies; there is one stating that a student will be removed from class only after a second plagiarism offense.

In his son’s case, the students had to write in journals for homework. In March, two of the students were caught with copied entries from two others. Afterward, Berghouse’s son posted a Facebook entry protesting the “tyranny” and injustice of the punishment. As a result, he was called into the school office.

All four students involved in the incident were transferred to regular English classes. Berghouse believes the punishment is disproportionate to the offense and will jeopardize the academic future of his son, who he said has a chance at attending an Ivy League school.

With the stakes and pressure high for students to get into selective colleges, children’s grades and courses have become paramount for many parents.

“There is the possibility this will cause permanent harm. What university will it keep him out of? Will that have far-ranging consequences in what kind of job he can get?” Berghouse said….

The sophomore was enrolled in the International College Advancement Program, or ICAP, designed by the high school to prepare students for the demanding International Baccalaureate curriculum offered to juniors and seniors.                                                                                          http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county-times/ci_20493867/parents-who-sued-school-over-sons-punishment-cheating

According to the article, the students knew what they were doing was wrong.

Caroline Knorr has some excellent advice in the Common Sense Media article, Caught Cheating: New Ways Kids Are Breaking the Rules

How to Talk to Kids About Cheating

1. Is it a shortcut or a cheat? A kid who knowingly tries to pass off someone else’s work as his own is cheating. If he takes a shortcut — say, doing research on Wikipedia rather than at the library — that’s an error in judgment about the trustworthiness of Wikipedia’s material. In this case, kids should understand that Wikipedia isn’t the same as an original source.

2. Is it a “cheat” or a gimme? The term “cheat” has become a part of the culture. Game developers plant “cheats” in their games to reward kids who are savvy enough to find out the cheat codes. But “cheat” in this case isn’t really accurate. Games are intentionally designed with these built-in rewards to add an extra challenge. Kids should understand the distinction — game cheats are a ploy, but there’s no secret code that unlocks your homework.

3. Is it collaborating or cheating? Texting the answers to someone taking a test is cheating, and your child’s school surely has a policy against it. But other forms of communication — like collaborating via IM on Facebook with friends — might actually be OK because they help kids work out problems together. As long as the teacher approves and your kids understand the ground rules around not stealing others’ answers or giving away their own, a little IMing during homework time — for help, not full-scale answer delivery — is probably OK.

4. What technology is OK to use for school? Don’t let the technology — or the anonymity — of some of these methods get in the way of talking about cheating. Cheating means taking credit for something you didn’t do or giving your own answers away. Where and how it’s done doesn’t matter. Follow your school’s policy on the use of digital devices.

5. How did you feel when you did it? That sinking feeling my friend had when her Facebook friends solved the word problems? That was her conscience. Kids have a sense of right and wrong, but they need a lot of reminders to do the right thing. One ally you have is kids’ desire to make their own choices. In this case, the choice is literally in their hands. They can create an honest, open Internet and mobile world, or they can create one in which they’ll always have to be suspicious of what they find and who they know.

Remember the Goldman Sucks weasels started small.

Related:

Verifying identity for online courses                                                                                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/verifying-identity-for-online-courses/

Accountability in virtual schools                                                                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/accountability-in-virtual-schools/

Cheating in schools goes high-tech                                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Verifying identity for online courses

15 Apr

Cheating is increasingly a concern in education. Some colleges in an attempt to curb academic dishonesty on campus are beginning to employ methods one has usually associated with Las Vegas casinos. Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters….

The various reasons that students give for cheating can also be instructive in obtaining a picture of academic dishonesty. Gleaned from a variety of sources, the list of student reasons for cheating given below is meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive:

  1. Today’s generation of student has less of an attachment to the institution so that cheating is more impersonal and seen as less painful because of this detachment.
  2. The difficult job market places a premium on a high grade point average so that any means necessary will be employed to achieve and maintain good grades.
  3. Some students believe that professors are cheating them in the classroom by shirking their teaching responsibilities. Therefore, students come to believe that turnabout is fair play.
  4. New entering students find themselves in courses beyond their capability so they resort to cheating to succeed in the course.

The metaphors and social constructs provided by students in surveys can also provide insight into the rationale for academic dishonesty. In one recent study, students used the following metaphors for cheating:

  1. Cheating is just a game, so that it is not important how you win but what is important is that you win.
  2. Cheating is an addiction. Once a student has successfully cheated in some academic context, the urge to continue can become addicting.
  3. Cheating is an easy out. Rather than working hard to master the material, a student can be tempted to use the shortcut of academic dishonesty.
  4. Cheating is a personal dilemma. Students do not begin to cheat because they are ignorant of the potential consequences. Rather the decision to cheat is a difficult decision for most students.
  5. Cheating is theft. The act of cheating robs the institution, the professor, the cheating student, and the other students.
  6. Cheating is a team effort. Cheating does not occur in a vacuum. Where there is a culture that condones cheating and where a student sees other students cheating, academic dishonesty is more likely to flourish.

Trip Gabriel has an interesting article in the New York Times about the University of Central Florida’s attempts to defeat cheaters. In To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery

Gabriel describes attempts to stop cheating which resemble Las Vegas security.

George Watson and James Sottile of Marshall University have written the paper, Cheating in the Digital Age: Do Students Cheat More in Online Courses?

The focus of this study was on whether students cheat more in on-line or live courses, and, somewhat surprisingly, the results showed higher rates of academic dishonesty in live courses.  One possible explanation is that classroom social interaction in live classes plays some part in whether students decide to cheat, which would agree with the findings of Stuber-McEwen et al (2009).  Familiarity with fellow students may lessen moral objections to cheating as they work through assignments and assessments together over the course of a school term.  The findings that students believe more classmates will cheat in on-line courses than traditional classes are similar to the findings of King et al (2009).

While the study showed that cheating in on-line courses is no more rampant than cheating in live classes, one type of academically dishonest behavior does merit discussion for on-line course developers.  The data showed that students were significantly more likely to obtain answers from others during an on-line test or quiz.  This ability to receive answers without the monitoring of a professor, presents problems for the standard lecture-based, test-driven course.  Course developers should take extra precautions with regards to on-line tests or quizzes, either through having a test proctor, changing the type of assessment, or lowering the assessment’s value in relation to other course assignments.  In the example of test proctors, there are some instances in which faculty require students to be on campus to take exams, in person at a set date and time, to insure the person taking the test is the student enrolled in the class.  This approach can be cumbersome and may nullify the strength of online courses, which is the freedom to work on one’s own schedule at home….

The results on gender and academic class were mixed and, therefore, more difficult to garner conclusions.  Females were significantly more likely in online courses to admit to cheating and to have someone give them answers during a test or quiz, but in all other self-reported behaviors, no significant difference existed for gender.  It is difficult to determine from the data whether these differences accurately represented cheating behavior or if females were more honest in their survey responses or more ethical in their estimates of what constitutes academically dishonest behavior.  Academic class analysis showed significant differences for cheating and receiving assistance during tests and quizzes, but interestingly, the mean distributions were highest for freshmen and graduate students.  One could make the case that freshmen who cheat may not survive the rigors of collegiate academia, leaving fewer dishonest students in the upper classes, but that does not explain the scores for graduate students.

These results have implications for both the college professor and university administrators.  Students are already orientated to specific ethical behavior prior to entering college.  Since the college environment, either on-line or in the traditional classroom, is not an idealized environment, it is important for educators to address the need of moral or ethical development within each major.  The curriculum requirements for each academic major should involve a course in ethical behavior and moral development.  This course should be three credit hours and examine the process related to ethical resolution.  Every incoming first year student and transfer student should be required to complete a generalized ethics and moral development course.   It is unfortunate that both males and females self-report that they would cheat.  Given this behavior, professors and university administrators need to ensure that students who are caught cheating have to pay a consequence for such inappropriate behavior.  The college experience should instill a prominent level of ethical behavior in all students.  Such change should be proactive and the process of moral education should be driven by the need to help others.  According to Kohlberg’s (1984) research, education is one of the significant factors in increasing moral development. http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring131/watson131.html

There are strategies online education institutions can use to reduce cheating.

Distance Education.Org has a great article by Jennifer Williamson, Does Your Instructor Know It’s You? Issues in Verifying Online Student Identities:

While a recent study by Friends University shows that online students don’t cheat more than traditional students on the whole—and actually might cheat less—that doesn’t mean that online education isn’t vulnerable to cheating. And one major issue in preventing academic fraud in an online environment is demonstrated in the Florida case: the problem of student identity verification. How does your professor know it’s you taking that exam?

Here are a few ways online schools and instructors have been working to make sure they know the identity of students taking exams.

Proctoring

One of the most straightforward ways is insisting all important exams be proctored. This means you have to physically go to the school and take your exam in a room monitored by a proctor. Some schools may be able to arrange for you to take an exam in a remote location near your home, but even if this is possible for your school, this method does defeat the purpose of distance education to an extent—you have to leave the house or your workplace and travel to a test location, which could be problematic. It’s not ideal, but it is an easy way for professors to be sure it’s you taking the test.

Blackboard Acxiom

Many online degree programs use Blackboard to administer classes. Blackboard recently adopted an identity verification process powered by Acxiom, a risk mitigation company. With this software, you’ll have to enter the answers to verification questions, presumably set by you when you sign up for class, that only you can answer. The school using the software controls when students have to authenticate their identity. Of course, this isn’t a perfect solution as students could always simply tell their stand-ins the answers to their proprietary questions.

Certified IP locations

Under this system, also administered by Blackboard, teachers can specify the IP address where the student will take the test. This may allow you to take your test at your home computer, but teachers may also choose a computer for you to test on and then require you to come to campus to take the test in a proctored environment.

Remote proctor systems

There are a few remote proctoring systems, some of which are still being tested. One is the Securexam Remote Proctor System. It’s a small unit that plugs into the student’s USB port, with a fingerprint pad for identification—professors can choose how often during the test students are required to use it to identify themselves. It also includes a 365-degree camera that will alert the professor to anything strange happening in the room—like someone else walking in or speaking during the test. Professors don’t have to watch live; they can watch a recorded version of the test after it’s been taken. The device is purchased by students, and costs somewhere between $100 and $200 in most cases.

Remote proctoring systems may be the best way to assure student identity while keeping the benefits of online education intact; but still, the system isn’t perfect and some students find the costs hard to bear. Online student identification will need to evolve as online education has, to become easy, cost-effective for students and schools, and flexible. With time, hopefully online schools will have a more effective and cost-efficient way to verify online student identity and prevent academic fraud.
http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/Does-Your-Instructor-Know-It-s-You–Issues-in-Verifying-Online-Student-Identities–234.html#.T4pas5U6vq0.email

ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis In America’s Schools

So far, there are no reports of colleges frisking students before they take their exams.

Related:

Accountability in virtual schools                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/accountability-in-virtual-schools/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©