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Southern Utah University Promoting Academic Integrity Convocation, 30 Sep 08 Don McCabe – Rutgers University.

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Presentation on theme: "Southern Utah University Promoting Academic Integrity Convocation, 30 Sep 08 Don McCabe – Rutgers University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Southern Utah University Promoting Academic Integrity Convocation, 30 Sep 08 Don McCabe – Rutgers University

2 Presentation Agenda Overview of research Identifying some issues Some suggestions for change

3 Research Chronology – 1990 to 2008 College  Have surveyed 170,00+ students at >165 schools  Have surveyed 18,500+ faculty at >115 schools  Will focus here on US web surveys – conducted 2002 to >100 participating schools - >100,000 UGs  Will exclude first year students – re: little experience  High School  Over 40,000 students at >70 schools  Have also surveyed a small number of faculty  Hope to expand this work

4 Methodological issues Self-report data Anonymity concerns with web-based surveys – leading to lower response rates and lower self-reported cheating? Changing definition of cheating??? Very low response rate at SUU. Don’t know why?

5 Major conclusions Cheating is widespread (70% test; 60% paper) Students find it easy to rationalize cheating The Internet is raising new questions Students feel that many teachers ignore cheating, at least on occasion Students cheat for a variety of reasons.

6 Impact on colleges The rationalization process starts early – the grade is all that matters for many students and parents. Because of aggressive parents who defend their children ‘at all costs’, many HS faculty ignore cheating and avoid the bureaucracy. Most college students have had some experience with cheating in high school – their own or others’. Students seem to be confused about the Internet.

7 Surveys – Respondents U.S Canada Schools Undergraduate 85,47425,352 Graduate 14,541 2,593 Other Unknown 2, Faculty15,707 2,560

8 Surveys – Respondents U.S SUU Schools Undergraduate 85, Graduate 14, Other Unknown 2, Faculty15,707 84

9 Institutional factors associated with greater cheating Cheating is campus norm (cheating culture) School has no honor code When students feel faculty don’t support integrity policies, there is little chance of getting caught and, even if you are, penalties are not seen as significant Occasionally, environment created by ‘religion’ (spirituality) has an impact (SUU?)

10 Students reporting greater cheating Business (but not at SUU) & Communications majors Males report more test cheating, but females are closing the gap; females report slightly more cheating on written work except most explicit Students with low or high grade point averages? Those with significant time commitments – e.g., caring for dependent, job, athletics, fraternity & sorority members

11 Self-reported cheating U.S. UG Grad Test Cheating 21% 10% Written Cheating 48% 31% N 68,243 14,480

12 Self-reported cheating* U.S. SUU UG Grad UG Grad Test Cheating 21% 10% 20% 8% Written Cheating 48% 31% 46% 30% N 68,243 14, *Undergrads exclude first year students.

13 Self-reported cheating* SUU SUU-UG UG Grad Bus. NB Test Cheating 20% 8% 19% 21% Written Cheating 46% 30% 47% 45% N *Undergrads exclude first year students.

14 Incidence of plagiarism Undergrads Grad U.S. SUU U.S. SUU Written ‘cut & paste’ 37% 33% 24% 15% Written plagiarism 6% 5% 3% 0% Internet ‘cut & paste’ 36% 33% 24% 19% Internet plagiarism 3% 1% 2% 0%

15 Plagiarism & the Internet In a survey of ~2,000 members of a national college honor society in 2007, in response to a question about how those who had engaged in ‘cut & paste’ plagiarism accessed this information: - Internet/other electronic only38% (42%) - Internet/other electronic primarily39% (44%) - Hard (paper) copy only 2% (1%) - Hard (paper) copy primarily 4% (1%) - Used both17% (12%)

16 Is plagiarism serious cheating? (US) Undergrads Faculty Written ‘cut & paste’ 58% 70% Written plagiarism 92% 98% Internet ‘cut & paste’ 60% 84% Internet plagiarism 91% 99%

17 Is plagiarism serious cheating? (SUU) Undergrads Faculty Written ‘cut & paste’ 65% 87% Written plagiarism 94% 99% Internet ‘cut & paste’ 67% 86% Internet plagiarism 96% 100%

18 Student motivations for cheating Pressure to succeed/excel. Fairness (“Others do it.”) Material is trivial/irrelevant. Courses too hard/faculty unreasonable. Sense of “entitlement” seems important. Emulating business practice.

19 Motivations for not cheating The peer environment on campus… “because students are most affected by the social environment around them.” Self respect. Upbringing (values & morals). The consequences for cheating or dishonesty. Desire to truly learn.

20 Many (most?) students at SUU don’t think there’s a problem SUU is doing a good job supporting… integrity. I personally don’t see a need for change at SUU. I think it’s fine the way it is. I think SUU is doing a great job. SUU seems to have a very good handle on the issue of academic integrity.

21 But a minority does not agree I believe there is a problem with integrity on assignments and sharing work between students. I see people looking off other people’s papers all of the time during quizzes. I have noticed that for basic pre-req or gen ed courses, cheating is more common. Some students cheat because it’s hard to get a good grade when others are cheating and getting away with it.

22 Some feel more education is needed I know that the Library Media class is designed to help students learn how to correctly cite information used… but I feel that due to the format of the class it is not taken seriously… I would like to have a more clear understanding of plagiarism and what I can do to avoid accidentally plagiarizing something. Make policies and consequences more well known. Many students are unaware of what constitutes academic integrity or dishonesty.

23 Faculty seem to be a greater concern Eliminate electronic devices such as cell phones and PDAs during exams. I have never truly seen [the policy] enforced. I do not believe the professors enforce the policies as well as they should. I feel that sometimes it is the teacher’s responsibility to better handle cheating. If anything, I wish the professors would stick to their guns and truly flunk the students caught cheating.

24 Faculty

25 How faculty & students learn of policy Undergrads Faculty U.S. SUU U.S. SUU* Faculty 65% 84% 55% 43% Handbook 24% 20% 46% 41% Orientation 19% 24% 25% 32% Note: Students - % noting they learned a lot from the source. Faculty - % who used source, no rating of how much learned. *Chair (42%) and web (33%) are also important sources for SUU faculty.

26 Faculty role – My view We must remain vigilant – at least out of a sense of fairness for honest students. Students seem to want ‘some’ change – we need to encourage them. More faculty need to come forward. (40% in US ignore some cases; SUU) Key issue – What’s the right balance among promotion, deterrence and punishment?

27 Faculty role – SUU faculty view Communicate expectations and potential repercussions for violating policies… Each faculty member should convey his/her policies on first day of class… Emphasize it, caution against it, confront and report it, and enforce the policies… Faculty have the major role in promoting academic integrity.

28 Faculty role – SUU faculty view (contd.) Faculty should not create circumstances that induce cheating… Participate in setting standards and enforcement. Faculty must be consistent. Emphasize it, caution against it, confront and report it, and enforce the policies… Faculty need to report cases. Assume students are honest and monitor our own courses.

29 SUU student comments on honor code Adopt an honor code and create a culture of integrity. Students should take the lead. I believe we should adopt a strict honor code that encourages students to play an active role in monitoring and reporting cases of plagiarism and cheating. I think that students should turn in other students more often. Other universities make students write and sign an integrity statement as the first sheet on an exam… I think this would be a good practice at SUU.

30 SUU faculty comments on honor code …adoption of an honor code. Implement a campus-wide, student-driven honor code… Stronger student enforced honor code I am very dubious of the usefulness of honor/integrity codes… the attention drawn by violations imposes a cost (in diminished reputation and marketability) that those who don’t cheat end up paying.

31 Do honor codes really help? Self-reported cheating Test Writ. Test Writ. Test Writ. Traditional 23% 33% 30% 42% 13% 42% Modified/New % 50% No code 47% 56% 45% 58% 21% 51%

32 Do honor codes really help? Clearly to some (declining?) degree. But reduced cheating is not the only goal - maybe not even the most important one. Community experience/self-governance. But, longitudinal data shows erosion vs. no code schools – especially among women. Can we change this? Strong social pressures.

33 Student comments on reporting …students should not have to police their fellow classmates while in class. I don’t think students will turn other students in… If a student decides to cheat, a student that saw it should not be obligated to report the incident. I don’t think it would be very beneficial to leave the responsibility of reporting cheating up to the students. I think that students should turn in other students more often. It should be more acceptable for students to report other students—there should be less of a stigma around it.

34 Other SUU student comments I think the penalties for cheating are in some cases too severe. I would like to see more measures taken so that there is less opportunity to cheat, such as a testing center… Implement a monitored testing center… I believe the School of Business is working hard to get the word out to their students that cheating is not tolerated… One thing I don’t understand is when professors say that we can’t use a paper form another class. It’s my paper… I think online individual tests are asking kids to cheat in some kind of way.

35 Other SUU faculty comments Dismiss cheaters. …I like the new system where we submit names of cheaters to the VP of student services so that some tracking can be done to see if the same students are cheating in multiple courses. I would like to see it handled by someone other than faculty. I think talking about cheating has a chilling effect on the relationship between faculty and students. We need to cite our own sources, even as we lecture. During the time I have been at this school… the message has seemed to go out from the administration that we should do all we can to retain students.

36 Some personal views

37 Let students exercise primary control Students need to have, and sense, ownership. Orientation – peer to peer. Boards – at least the majority vote. Let them build a ‘new’ tradition.

38 Work on school culture Peer culture seems to be a key Increased student involvement the best first step But faculty probably need to ‘maintain control’ at the high school level

39 Reporting requirements Should reporting be required or suggested? If expectation is not enforced, does it weaken code? I prefer ‘confrontation’. It’s important that we get students to accept some community responsibility here.

40 “Ten (Updated) Principles of Academic Integrity” McCabe & Pavela May/June 2004 Principles of academic integrity for faculty.


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