Most high-school students participating in a new study on academic honesty say they have cheated on tests and homework – and, in some alarming cases, say they don't consider certain types of cheating out of line.
The study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln gauged both the prevalence and perceptions of cheating among high-school students. It found the practice is widespread and many students carry misperceptions about academic dishonesty, and also identified patterns among students that may help teachers stop it.
"Students generally understand what constitutes cheating, but they do it anyway," said Kenneth Kiewra, professor of educational psychology at UNL and one of the study's authors. "They cheat on tests, homework assignments and when writing reports. In some cases, though, students simply don't grasp that some dishonest acts are cheating."
Researchers assembled the data from an anonymous survey of 100 members of the junior class of a large midwestern high school. Students were asked to share their beliefs and experiences with cheating as it pertained to tests, homework and report writing.
The results suggested that in some ways, students had clear views of what constituted cheating – not that it stopped them from doing it. For example, 89 percent said glancing at someone else's answers during a test was cheating, but 87 percent said they'd done that at least once. Also, 94 percent said providing answers to someone during a test was cheating – but 74 percent admitted to doing it.
Other behaviors weren't as cut-and-dried in students' minds. Surprisingly, only 47 percent said that providing test questions to a fellow student who had yet to take a test was academically dishonest, and nearly seven out of 10 admitted to doing so.
"The results suggest that students' attitudes are tied to effort. Cheating that still required students to put forth some effort was viewed as less dishonest than cheating that required little effort," Kiewra said.
For example, divulging test answers was likely perceived more dishonestly (84 percent) than divulging test questions (47 percent) because receiving test questions still requires some effort to uncover the answer, he said.
In general, attitudes on what constitutes cheating when it comes to homework and reports were less pronounced than in the case of cheating on tests.
The study showed:
Sixty-two percent said doing individual take-home tests with a partner was cheating (51 percent said they'd done so);
Just 23 percent said doing individual homework with a partner was dishonest (91 percent had done so); and
Only 39 percent said writing a report based on the movie instead of reading the book wasn't cheating (53 percent had done so).
The results suggest that out-of-class misdeeds are viewed less harshly than in-class cheating, Kiewra said – a dynamic that is likely caused by teacher monitoring in class, and, therefore, a greater risk of getting caught.
By understanding students' cheating beliefs and actions across different settings, educators might better learn about how students think about cheating, Kiewra said.
"Based on our findings, teachers should spell out for students what constitutes cheating. If a third of students are taking credit for ideas of others, then it's time to make cheating actions clear," Kiewra said.
"Teachers also need to be more vigilant about policing and sanctioning cheating because just knowing what cheating is, is not enough. Students will do it anyway, if they can get away with it."
The study, which appears in the current edition of Mid-Western Educational Researcher, was authored by UNL's Kiewra and alumna Kelly Honz, now a high school educator; and Ya-Shu Yang of the University of Connecticut.
Kenneth Kiewra | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research