Preventing Academic Misconduct: Student-Centered Teaching Strategies

Preventing Academic Misconduct: Student-Centered Teaching Strategies

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia & University of Pune, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7531-3.ch005

Abstract

Cheating in academics has been on the increase and it reflects a lack of integrity on the part of students. If no efforts are made to prevent academic misconduct/dishonesty, it will contribute to the image and standing of higher education institutions (HEIs). Cheating is not only an ethical concern, but it also leads to lesser knowledge and competencies acquisition. Equally, when students cheat the faculty feel cheated and efforts wasted. The resultant may be low morale of educators which is dangerous. Hence, HEIs are making efforts to reduce cheating and strengthen academic integrity (AI) through polices, rules, and procedures. Nevertheless, the focus seems to be more on bolting the stable after the horse has left or is largely administrative in nature. Therefore, adopting a mixed method approach the core of this chapter is to focus on preventing cheating through academic approach. The objective is to discuss how student-centered teaching strategies can prevent academic misconduct with focus on management disciple.
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Background

Humans have dealt with deceit and fraud since the beginning of time. As cheating, plagiarism and other types of academic fraud evolve with technology and take on new forms, educators also develop new methods to counteract it. Researchers have discussed at length the issue of dishonesty in academia. Cheating and its related issues have been studied extensively for decades and there is an overwhelming amount of literature. However, results from the past and the present confirm that cheating has been and continues to be a serious problem in HE.

Here is an overview of what has been studied and is known about cheating. In 2001, an abundance of solid research was well summarized by McCabe, Treviño, and Butterfield. The answers provided are broadly supported by the research and illustrated here from a few sample studies. The findings reported previously continue to be supported by more recent research. Though cheating is widespread it depends on the study but most report the percentage of students who cheat in the 50-90% range:

  • 75% of 824 students in 14 different graduate and undergraduate business classes (Chapman, David, Toy, & Wright, 2004);

  • 86% of a 268 student cross-disciplinary sample reported they had cheated (Carini, Kuh, & Klein, 2006); and

  • When 84 MBA and undergraduate business were asked, 47% of MBA students and almost 38% of undergraduates thought it was easier to cheat in online courses (Larkin & Mintu-Wimsatt, 2015).

The issue is how to prevent cheating and make learning authentic i.e., creating learning environments where students are actively engaged with problems or issues situated within the context in which they are likely to apply their learning after graduation. Rather than classrooms where the students are asked to analyze a set piece of content, the alternative is to allow students to participate and engage in interactions with a range of peers and educators to achieve their personal learning goals. Moreover, student engagement is generally considered to be among the better predictors of learning and personal development. The premise is simple, perhaps self-evident; the more a student studies or practices a subject, the more they tend to learn about it. Likewise, the more students practice and get feedback on their writing, analyzing, or problem-solving, the more adept they should become (Kuh, 2003).

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