Academic Integrity and Cheating Scandal

Updated: Oct 27, 2016

Hashtag: #YgsKopyaSkandal? (YGS Cheating Scandal)

Cheating Behavior and Students’ Morality

Kohlberg’s model of moral reasoning suggests that motivation for learning change from childhood to adulthood thus those with higher levels of moral reason cheat less. However, study shows that students level of moral reasoning were not associated with cheating. In fact, students with low-level moral reasoning tend to obey school authority thus normally do not cheat while older students with higher levels of moral reasoning often rationalize cheating as situational demands.

Results of studies on cheating behavior suggest that external factors have a greater influence on older students cheating behavior than internal factors or perception of right and wrong. Moreover, although many college students do perceive cheating as wrong, most of them believed that such act is a normal part of life and plainly accept cheating a part of their college experience.

However, close monitoring tends to thwart cheating in older students with more mature reasoning. Similarly, smaller class size appears to discourage cheating while students with clear knowledge of what constitute cheating usually are not involved in such immoral act. For instance, study shows that students who willingly provided test answers to peers are mostly unaware that it was cheating.

Environmental factors such as teacher intervention can greatly reduce occurrence of cheating and avoid dramatic cheating scandal similar to #YgsKopyaSkandal?. For instance, large universities tend to respond to student cheating by instigating scandalous actions rather than protecting the interest of parents and students and preserving academic integrity through prevention and classroom reforms. For instance, directly teaching students of what constitutes cheating and greater emphasis on mastery of tasks rather than grades are beneficial classroom reforms.

Preserving Academic Integrity without a Scandal

Cheating is a widespread, increasing in its prevalence, and perhaps the most unpleasant aspects of teaching and learning. The result of the study in higher education suggests that cheating only occurs if there is an opportunity to cheat and it is possible for teachers to eliminate cheating without creating a scandal.

The literature has demonstrated that majority of students perceived cheating as an acceptable behavior and youths of all ages are likely to engage in some form of cheating. Cheating is, in reality, is an academic crime but there can be serious legal consequences if a teacher falsely accuses a student of cheating. The most effective approach a teacher can adopt therefore is to prevent cheating by establishing cheating policies and strictly enforcing them.

Primarily, a teacher on the first day of class has the opportunity to state his or her position about cheating clearly and why school considers such act as a crime. It is also helpful to explain its consequence using relevant situations such as the fact that since many of them will be competing with other people for jobs in the near future, a person who cheats and gets illicit high grades from it is literally cheating everyone out of a job.

Teaching styles that promote cheating such as grading on a curve and covering too much material on a single examination should be avoided. The reason is that students often cheat when the stakes are high and consequences are low. Moreover, research shows that likelihood of cheating is strongly linked to the quality of teacher-student relationship and students’ level of respect for the teacher.

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