Cheating: Digital Learning Activities and Challenges

Cheating: Digital Learning Activities and Challenges

Cassandra Sligh Conway (South Carolina State University, USA), Stanley Melton Harris (South Carolina State University, USA), Yvonne Sims (South Carolina State University, USA), Susan Smith (South Carolina State University, USA), Bridget Hollis Staten (South Carolina State University, USA), Michelle Maultsby (South Carolina State University, USA), Gloria Hayes (Miles College, USA), Philliph Masila Mutisya (North Carolina Central University, USA) and James Edward Osler II (North Carolina Central University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1610-1.ch005


Gone are the days when the traditional classroom is the only way to teach concepts to students. Now, the digital age allows professors a new territory to embark on. Currently, professors can add program features inside Blackboard or other courses which allow students to take quizzes, game simulations, and real life virtual simulations of cases (e.g., nurses giving care to consumers, students giving instructions on the correct theories to apply to situations, students participating in quizzes that require them to produce lighting via digital cameras in a field type environment etc.). With these new ways to teach in the digital age, there may be more challenges to introduce safeguards for cheating when the student is not face-to-face with the instructor monitoring their progress on examinations etc. Consequently, cheating in Higher Education (HE) classrooms is rampant at some universities. This chapter provides a discussion on cheating. In addition, authors discuss their digital learning activities and their experiences in which students have cheated and state safeguards to guard against cheating. In noting their perceptions of digital cheating, further discussions will compare and contrast the experiences of the faculty. This work provides recommendations and suggests solutions to combat cheating.
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Cheating is a form of academic dishonesty and is defined as ‘…attempting to use prohibited materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise’ (Colgate University). Other noteworthy authors, King, Guyete, and Piotrowki (2009) defined cheating as ‘a transgression against academic integrity which results in a misrepresentation of a student’s ability and grasp of knowledge’. Taking another person’s work and representing it as your own is a tragic and ruthless act. Despite the negative connotation given to cheating, it continues at universities and colleges across the globe (Watson & Sottile, 2010).

Student cheating is an epidemic and it must cease. Brown (2010) contended that in order to combat cheating, educators must not only be aware of new technology, but actually practice using it. For instance, every professor or educator should know the functions of the cell phone, IPad, Notebook, iPhone, ear piece, webcam, and other technology. In the literature, it notes that the average professor still uses PowerPoint as the major source of classroom technology, which is not the latest way to teach concepts. To the ‘digital student’, this is deemed as antiquated, ‘boring and unhelpful’ (Levine & Dean, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Historically Black College/University: A college or university primarily made up of Black students.

Academic Dishonesty: Any act in which a person intentionally or unintentionally uses another’s work without giving proper credit or directly copies from another during an exam period.

Technology Manipulation: The misuse of technology to engage in prohibited acts.

Undergraduate Students: Students enrolled in a degree seeking program.

Misrepresentation: Deliberately taking another’s work and presenting it as one’s own.

Cheating: Unauthorized use of someone else’s work.

Digital Learning Activities: Learning activities created online.

Cheating Recidivism: A habitual act of cheating again and again.

Deception: The intent to deceive.

Graduate Students: Students who are working towards an advanced degree beyond the Bachelor’s.

Collusion: When students work together to cheat.

Plagiarism: Unintentionally or intentionally using someone’s else ideas without giving proper credit.

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