Why Students Cheat and What We Can Do About It


Extract from Issue#4 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link.


Why Students Cheat and What We Can Do About It

By James Lang

Source: https://www.magnapubs.com/magna-commons/?video=3078

The theme of this week’s bulletin is academic integrity.

This 60-minute seminar consists of a 39-minute teaching session, with the remainder of the session devoted to questions and answers. After presenting data on the extent and nature of cheating, the question is posed:“People can be pushed towards dishonest behaviour … are there features of the environment that can encourage people to do honest work?”

The proposed thesis is: “The amount of cheating in which students are willing to engage depends (in part) on the structure of the learning environment.”

From an examination of learning environments that induce cheating, Lang has proposed techniques to reduce cheating:

  1. Fostering intrinsic motivation
  2. Creating mastery-oriented classes
  3. Using frequent, low-stakes assessments
  4. Building student self-efficacy
  5. Contributing to an institutional environment of Academic Integrity

The seminar focuses on the first three techniques, with evidence from the literature and practical examples. These techniques are drawn from Lang’s book

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), which is available as an online book from the CSU library.

Principles informing the presentation:

  • Reconceptualise academic dishonesty as a teaching and learning problem
  • Construct an assessment system designed to promote mastery learning and reduce cheating
  • Reframe or redesign subjects to foster intrinsic motivation and reduce the incentive to cheat
  • Incorporate frequent, low-stakes assessments that will create deeper learning and increase student self-efficacy, thereby reducing the incentive to cheat

How to subscribe and login. The link below the seminar heading will go straight to the presentation if you are logged in to Magna Commons. Otherwise, clicking will take you to the login page and then to “Results” page. Search for “Academic Integrity”. Staff with a CSU email address can obtain the Magna Commons CSU subscription code from Ellen McIntyre elmcintyre@csu.edu.au

Presentation handouts, full transcripts and supplementary resources are available for download if you don’t have time to listen to the seminar.

CSU resources to promote Academic Integrity include:

Academic Integrity at CSU (Staff Only), an Interact2 self-enrol site to give staff a view of the module completed by students. You will need to use your CSU login and then enrol in the site to gain access.

and Division of Learning and Teaching resources:

Designing for academic integrity

Further reading on academic integrity