Online Cheating, Who’s going to Know?

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by collegelife on October 5, 2011

Last week we wrote about honor codes and academic standards in “Who’s Getting Cheated?” .

This post will be a second in the series and address online classes.  The virtual student population is growing because online classes eliminate travel time and expenses.  They can be taken from any computer with internet access.  Take a class at home, on your lunch break at work or in a hotel room if you have to travel.

So how does your school know it’s you taking the class and test without a little help on the side?

Adam Wes, CEO of Adam Wes Academics told us they decline offers on a regular basis from cheaters.  “We have a lot of people ask us to take tests and do homework for them.  We even have had students ask us to take the whole online class for them”.

Dr. Drumm McNaughton,Ph. D., CMC, and President of The Change Leader, agrees, “we see this transitioning in the schools, some students will try anything to get the grade.  They’ve lost sight that their education is not about the degree, it’s about the knowledge.  The grades are driven by greed and press the student to stay ahead.  Societal norms have changed, value systems have changed and instilled into the student at an early age.”

However, some students know the value of their education.   Katrina Kaminaka, a student who has completed over 25 online classes including her masters said “Most people who take online classes from my experience work hard and want a solid education.”  But she pointed out that it is easy to cheat and has experienced reposting work from other students.  “The person who was plagiarized was appalled because it appeared that she was helping the other person cheat when in fact they did not.”

So what about honor codes and academic standards for online classes?

Codes can be used for online classes in similar ways as traditional classes.  An online teacher must moderate the students as much as any other teacher. “We are seeing more finals given in person so the test can be proctored” said Wes.

“Whether the online teacher has to create a limited amount of time where there wouldn’t be enough time to Google the answers, or they make it so the test is taken via Skype with their screen being proctored or a chat room where they can be monitored, it is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure that the standards are being treated the same as they would be in a traditional classroom setting” added Wes.

Kaminaka said “there are websites like turnitin.com and Safeassign.com which teachers can use to check for plagiarism and grammar, also it is harder to cheat when much of the assignments are part of group discussions and you have to argue/support the statements that you are making.”  “I have taken music, writing, psychology, sciences, and languages and they all have a certain amount of expectation and honor to even be in the program or course online.  In this regard it is much harder than going to an actual class because everything is your responsibility and  if anything happens that is outside school standards you are no longer apart of the program.  There are no second chances.”

There are no eyes directly on you, so who’s going to know?

Is it the online teacher’s responsibility to keep students honest?

Share your opinions about online classes and academic standards in our comment section below.  We will be giving iTunes gift cards to our followers.

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