Ethical Issue (Historical Facts) In today’s goal driven society, cheating has become more prevalent among college students. These students first look for ways to cheat in secondary school and continue unethical practices in college. Some universities have implemented an honor code to hold students responsible for academic honesty. Researchers have investigated factors associated with college students and cheating that include personal and situational characteristics of this group of individuals, the influence of technological advances, and even influences from realms outside of academia.
Many professionals in higher education argue that teaching students to behave in ethical ways and to develop core values that will influence lifelong decisions must become priorities. However, academic dishonesty is endemic in all levels of education. In the United States, studies show that 20% of students started cheating in the first grade. Similarly, other studies reveal that currently in the U. S. , 56% of middle school students and 70% of high school students have cheated. Students are not the only ones to cheat in an academic setting.
A study among North Carolina school teachers found that some 35 percent of respondents said they had witnessed their colleagues cheating in one form or another. The rise of high-stakes testing and the consequences of the results on the teacher is cited as a reason why a teacher might want to inflate the results of their students. The first scholarly studies in the 1960s of academic dishonesty in higher education found that nationally in the U. S. , somewhere between 50%-70% of college students had cheated at least once. While nationally, these rates of cheating in the U. S.
remain stable today, there are large disparities between different schools, depending on the size, selectivity, and anti-cheating policies of the school. Generally, the smaller and more selective the college, the less cheating occurs there. For instance, the number of students who have engaged in academic dishonesty at small elite liberal arts colleges can be as low as 15%-20%, while cheating at large public universities can be as high as 75%. Moreover, researchers have found that students who attend a school with an honor code are less likely to cheat than students at schools with other ways of enforcing academic integrity.
As for graduate education, a recent study found that 56% of MBA students admitted cheating, along with 54% of graduate students in engineering, 48% in education, and 45% in law. Negative Implications (Consequences) Cheating in academia has a host of effects on students, on teachers, on individual schools, and on the educational system itself. For instance, students who engage in cheating, even once, are more likely to engage in cheating in the future, potentially putting them on a road to a life of dishonesty. Students who are dishonest in class are more likely to engage in fraud and theft on the job when they enter the workplace.
Students are also negatively affected by academic dishonesty after graduation. A university diploma is an important document in the labor market. Potential employers use a degree as a representation of a graduate’s knowledge and ability. However, due to academic dishonesty, not all graduates with the same grades actually did the same work or have the same skills. Thus, when faced with the fact that they do not know which graduates are skilled and which are not, employers must pay all graduates based on the quality of the average graduate.
The more students who cheat, the lower the quality of the average graduate of a school, and thus the less employers are willing to pay a new hire from that school. Because of this reason, all students, even those that do not cheat themselves, are negatively affected by academic misconduct. Academic dishonesty also creates problems for teachers. Cheating causes an underproduction of knowledge, where the professor’s job is to produce knowledge. A case of cheating often will cause emotional distress to faculty members, many considering it to be a personal slight against them or a violation of their trust.
Dealing with academic misconduct is often one of the worst parts of a career in education, one survey claiming that 77% of academics agreed with the statement “dealing with a cheating student is one of the most onerous aspects of the job. ” Academic misconduct can also have an effect on a college’s reputation, which is one of the most important assets of any school. An institution plagued by cheating scandals may become less attractive to potential donors and students and especially prospective employers. Alternatively, schools with low levels of academic dishonesty can use their reputation to attract students and employers.
Ultimately, academic dishonesty undermines the academic world. It interferes with the basic mission of education, the transfer of knowledge, by allowing students to get by without having to master the knowledge. Furthermore, academic dishonesty creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to the learning process, which affects honest students as well. When honest students see cheaters escape detection, it can discourage student morale, as they see the rewards for their work cheapened. Cheating also undermines academia when students steal ideas. Future Outlook
What does the future hold for academic dishonesty? Cheating in college or any other level of education is not going to disappear overnight. Other than implementing penalties and consequences, there isn’t much that can be done to deal with this problem. If colleges and universities are going to cope with academic dishonesty effectively, then a collective effort on the part of everyone involved will be required. The students, faculty, administration, and support staff must be willing to openly discuss the issues and unite in a stance that does not tolerate academic dishonesty.
Statement of the Problem The issue of academic honesty is a sensitive one for a university because it is so essential to the individual learner’s self-identity, the campus’s academic mission, the university’s reputation, and the qualifications it confers. While universities strive to build learning cultures that support honest research and teaching, academic integrity goes beyond the quality of work to the moral fiber of each generation of learners, and these values include “honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility”.
Academic dishonesty has been a persistent part of the higher education landscape. Understanding the potential causes of academic dishonesty is critical in building an effective academic culture and system to try to counter this phenomenon. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to enable students to understand that they are still developing integrity while in college. The study will help them to empathize with other people’s perspectives in terms of academic dishonesty dilemmas, in order to develop better decision-making skills while in a classroom or future profession based places.
Hopefully getting them to choose not to act unethically in areas dealing with academics. We want students identify the ethical risks of academic dishonesty and evaluate their own academic ethical decision making strategies. We optimally plan to increase students awareness of their own moral behavior in everyday situations and be more aware of their obligation to manage their ethical decision-making.