What is Academic Cheating??

Academic cheating is interchangeable with the term academic dishonesty. One who is academic is " a member of an institution of learning" and dishonesty is "a lack of integrity or honesty; a disposition to deceive or defraud" (Merriam-Webster, 2011).

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Some believe that academic cheating is caused by poor moral foundation and poor ethics. It is also believed that cheating is creating poor ethics and morals in the younger generations. This infact is wrong. Studies have proven this is not the case, but the fact is "

the students who do cheat are engaging in a wider variety of test cheating behaviors today and are also cheating more often" (Schulman, 1998, Volume 9)

According to Delta College, academic dishonesty is...

Academic Dishonesty - Definition

Academic dishonesty consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate or otherwise tamper with data, information, records, or any other material that is relevant to the student's participation in any course, laboratory, or other academic exercise or function. Most, although not all, such attempts fall into one or more of the following three categories:
a. Cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage. The following list of offenses is not intended to be fully exhaustive of all potential instances of cheating, plagiarism or academic dishonesty. Faculty and administrators may identify other acts constituting any of said types of Student Misconduct.
i. Disseminating or receiving answers, data, or other information by any means other than those expressly permitted by the professor as part of any academic exercise.
ii. Copying answers, data, or other information (or allowing others to do so) during an examination, quiz, laboratory experiment, or any other academic exercise in which the student is not expressly permitted to work jointly with others.
iii. Assuming another individual's identity or allowing another person to do so on one's own behalf for the purpose of fulfilling any academic requirement or in any way enhancing the student's grade or academic standing.
iv. Using any device, implement, or other form of study aid during an examination, quiz, laboratory experiment, or any other academic exercise without the faculty member's permission.
b. Plagiarism: Deliberately presenting work, words, ideas, theories, etc., derived in whole or in part from a source external to the student as though they are the student's own efforts. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:
i. Failing to use proper citations as acknowledgment of the true source of information found in a paper, written or oral examination, or any other
academic exercise.
ii. Presenting any work completed in whole or in part by any individual or group other than the student, as though the work is the student's own, in any academic exercise.
iii. Buying, selling, bartering, or in any other fashion obtaining or distributing material to be used fraudulently as part of any academic exercise.
c. Other Academic Misconduct: Falsifying or fabricating data, records, or any information relevant to the student's participation in any course or academic exercise, or tampering with such information as collected or distributed by the faculty member. Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:
i. Falsifying, or attempting to falsify, attendance records, graded exercises of any kind, or any information or document intended to excuse the student from participation in any academic exercise.
ii. Inventing, fabricating, or falsifying data as part of the completion of any academic exercise.

From the Educational Testing Service and Campaign, studies were done and these facts were concluded:

"Academic Cheating Fact Sheet

  • Academic cheating is defined as representing someone else's work as your own. It can take many forms, including sharing another's work, purchasing a term paper or test questions in advance, paying another to do the work for you.
  • Statistics show that cheating among high school students has risen dramatically during the past 50 years.
  • In the past it was the struggling student who was more likely to cheat just to get by. Today it is also the above-average college bound students who are cheating.
  • 73% of all test takers, including prospective graduate students and teachers agree that most students do cheat at some point. 86% of high school students agreed.
  • Cheating no longer carries the stigma that it used to. Less social disapproval coupled with increased competition for admission into universities and graduate schools has made students more willing to do whatever it takes to get the A.
  • Grades, rather than education, have become the major focus of many students.
  • Many students feel that their individual honesty in academic endeavors will not effect anyone else.
  • While about 20% of college students admitted to cheating in high school during the 1940's, today between 75 and 98 percent of college students surveyed each year report having cheated in high school.
  • Students who cheat often feel justified in what they are doing. They cheat because they see others cheat and they think they will be unfairly disadvantaged. The cheaters are getting 100 on the exam, while the non-cheaters may only get 90's.
  • Cheating increases due to pressure for high grades.
  • Math and Science are the courses in which cheating most often occurs.
  • Computers can make cheating easier than ever before. For example, students can download term papers from the world wide web.
  • "Thirty years ago, males admitted to significantly more academic dishonesty than females. Today, that difference has decreased substantially and some recent studies show no differences in cheating between men and women in college."
  • Academic cheating begins to set in at the junior high level.
  • Additional influencers include: Others doing it; Faculty member doesn't seem to care; Required course; No stated rules or rules are unclear; Heavy workload.
  • Cheating is seen by many students as a means to a profitable end.
  • Cheating does not end at graduation. For example, resume fraud is a serious issue for employers concerned about the level of integrity of new employees."
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external image mbcn127l.jpgAcademic cheating can occur for many reasons. It is understood that there are huge amounts of pressure placed on students by their parents to not only succeed but excel. There are also pressures to maintain certain grades in order to play sports, participate in school activities, or maintain scholarships. Cheating occurs due to pure laziness. Students have a horrible time properly doing time management, prioritizing, or studying the way they need to. Sometimes, students just have difficulty understanding and retaining information. But, this is still not an excuse for cheating since tutors and study groups are quite available.