Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cheating in Online Courses

A recent study in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration (Spring 2010) by George Watson and James Sottile at Marshall University in West Virginia, provides some interesting insight into cheating at the post secondary level. They collected data from 635 post-secondary students who were asked about their dishonest behaviours, their knowledge of others dishonest behaviours, and their perception of others' cheating. To allow for a comparison between face-to-face classrooms and online classes, students were asked to provide data on their experiences in both of these settings. Some interesting findings were found:
  1. The data showed that face-to-face students more frequently engaged in various academically dishonest behaviours when compared to students in online courses.

  2. However, students perceive that the likelihood of cheating occurring in online courses to be much higher than in face-to-face courses (over 4 times higher!).

So why do online courses have a bad reputation for cheating when the actual data on cheating does not support this? Is this bad reputation purely anecdotal in nature?

What do you think about this issue? Let us know what your experience is on this topic by leaving a comment below.

No comments: