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Academic Integrity at Trinity and Across the Nation A Report Prepared for the Trinity Community* March 15, 2002 by C. Mackenzie Brown Chair of Academic.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Integrity at Trinity and Across the Nation A Report Prepared for the Trinity Community* March 15, 2002 by C. Mackenzie Brown Chair of Academic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Integrity at Trinity and Across the Nation A Report Prepared for the Trinity Community* March 15, 2002 by C. Mackenzie Brown Chair of Academic Integrity Photo from as accessed on 12/1/01http://www.trinity.edu/departments/admissions/index.htm *An earlier version of this report was presented to the Meeting of Chairs with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, on December 3, 2001.

2 CONTENTS Section I: Student Cheating in American High Schools (summary of a report by Donald L. McCabe) Provides an overview of the academic integrity culture of students prior to entering Trinity Section II: Serious Cheating on Campuses (summary of a report by Donald L. McCabe) Section III: Cheating on the Trinity Campus (summary of surveys conducted by Donald L. McCabe on the Trinity campus in 1990 and 1995) Section IV: Cases of Cheating Reported to the Office of Academic Affairs to

3 I. Student Cheating in American High Schools Donald L. McCabe May 2001 Founding President, Center for Academic Integrity Professor of Management Rutgers University Don McCabe presented a fuller account of the following summary at the 2001 annual conference of the Center for Academic Integrity, held at Texas A&M October 20, It is available at: o/CAI/2001/McCabe/index _files/frame.html o/CAI/2001/McCabe/index _files/frame.html

4 Methodology Almost 4500 students completed a written survey in the school year These students represented 25 schools around the country - 14 public, 11 private In class survey - 92% of students receiving surveys provided a useable response 52% of respondents were in the 11th grade - 17% in 9th, 16% in 10th & 15% in 12th

5 Major Conclusions Cheating is widespread 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 Cheating Is Widespread 74% of respondents reported one or more instances of serious test cheating 72% reported one or more instances of serious cheating on written work 97% report at least one questionable activity (from copying homework to test copying) More than 30% of respondents admit to repetitive, serious cheating on tests/exams

7 Plagiarism & The Internet 15% have submitted a paper obtained in large part from a term paper mill or website 52% have copied a few sentences from a website w/o citing the source 90% of the students using the Internet to plagiarize have also plagiarized from written sources. (The Web has ‘created’ few new cheaters - 6% of all students.)

8 Some Teachers Ignore Cheating 47% of students think teachers sometimes ignore cheating. The major reasons students think teachers ignore cheating are: Don’t want to deal with hassle (18%) Don’t care (11%) Not worth trouble on small assignments (7%)

9 Why Students Cheat Lazy/don’t study/didn’t prepare (32%) To pass/get good grades (29%) Pressures to succeed (12%) Don’t know answers/understand (9%) Time pressure - too much work, etc. (5%) Other (13%)

10 Other Findings Serious cheating is generally lower at private vs. public schools Students in midwest report lower levels of cheating than schools in west and northeast Few consistent differences by gender Serious test cheating grows from 9th to 11th grade and drops off slightly in 12th grade

11 II. Serious Cheating on Campuses (Data from: ) Surveys conducted by Donald McCabe [% indicate students who admit to at least one instance of serious cheating while at college] Type of Cheating Pvt. Campus with Honor Code Lg. Pub. Univ. with Modified Honor Code Campuses with No Honor Code On tests23%33%45% On written work 45%50%56% “Probably the major finding of this new research was empirical confirmation that modified honor codes do seem to reduce student cheating, even on large campuses where levels of cheating are generally found to be among the highest.” Don McCabe

12 III. Cheating on the Trinity Campus Based on surveys conducted by Donald McCabe 1990,

13 Type of Cheating Pvt. Campus with Honor Code Trinity University 1990 (n = 242) Trinity University 1995 (n = 135) On tests 23% [unspecified as to kind; may include more than copying, such as use of crib notes] 27% (copying [unspecified as to kind of copying]) 33% (copying without other student knowing) 15% (copying with other student knowing) On written work 45%38% (plagiarism)39% (plagiarism) Some comparisons of national surveys with Trinity students [% indicate students who admit to at least one instance of serious cheating while at college]

14 Attitude towards type of cheating Trinity University 1990 (n = 242) Trinity University 1995 (n = 135) Copying from another student during a test is serious No data73% [w/o other student knowing] 82% [with other student knowing] Getting questions or answers from someone who has already taken the test is serious No data 28% Helping someone else cheat on a test is serious No data64% Copying material, almost word for word, from any source and turning it in as your own work, is serious No data84% Copying a few sentences of material without footnoting them in a paper is serious No data32% Attitude of Trinity Students Towards Cheating [% indicate students who agree that the specified type of behavior is serious cheating]

15 Personal beliefs [94%] 99% Respect for teachers [74%] 75% Chance of getting caught [57%] 65% Penalties for cheating [43%] 63% Trinity’s Academic Integrity Policy [29%] 45% Why students do not cheat at Trinity 1990 data given first [in brackets] 1995 data that may represent significant change in red [% represents answers of “fairly important” or “very important” combined]

16 Pressure to get good grades [60%] 75% Workload [46%] 64% Getting behind in work [47%] 47% Little chance of getting caught [31%] 26% Don’t think what I did was wrong [19%] 26% Others do it [7%] 11% Little penalty if caught [7%] 10% Panicked and saw no other choice [42%] No data for 1995 Found course material boring [20%] No data for 1995 Required less effort [16%] No data for 1995 Personal problems distracted me from keeping up [23%] No data Why students do cheat at Trinity 1990 data given first [in brackets] 1995 data that may represent significant change in red [% represents answers of “fairly important” or “very important” combined]

17 Students who have seen other students cheat at least once on an exam [62%] 50% [down from 62% in 1990] Students who have reported another student cheating 6% Students who feel that students at Trinity should be held responsible for monitoring the academic integrity of other students 36% (mildly or strongly agree) Students who, if asked by a friend, would expose an exam paper to allow the friend to copy 33% Students who believe that faculty members show little uniformity in handling cheating 21 % (mildly or strongly agree) (37% of students were unsure) A more hopeful statistic: Students who believe level of cheating on tests is lower or much lower at Trinity than in their high school 80% Other interesting (disturbing) data From 1995

18 IV. Cases of Cheating Reported to the Office of Academic Affairs to (including fall semester only of ) ? The number of actual cases for 1995, estimated from McCabe’s survey of Trinity students for that year, is graphed on the next slide.

19 Cases of Cheating Reported to the Office of Academic Affairs Compared to Estimates of Actual Cases Based on McCabe’s 1995 survey


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