Preventing and Detecting
Techniques for fostering academic integrity, such as those presented in the last chapter, are effective with some students. Other students remain unaffected. As noted in chapter 2, student attitudes are a major factor influencing academic dishonesty; students who see academic dishonesty as a legitimate means of achieving their goals are likely to engage in dishonest behavior regardless of the classroom atmosphere. As a respondent to a survey conducted by one of us put it, “Anything worth having is worth cheating for. ” Consequently, academic dishonesty is likely to be a problem unless instructors utilize measures to prevent and detect it.
This chapter presents some suggestions, drawn from a variety of sources, for Preventing and detecting cheating. We discuss two techniques: discussion of academic integrity issues and increasing the likelihood that students who cheat will be caught. WC follow with suggestions for preventing and detecting academic dishonesty on three common categories of academic exercises: homework and lab reports, term papers, and tests. We also discuss students' role in preventing and detecting academic dishonesty.
We understand that instructors enter their careers to teach and enlighten, not to become exam police—suspicious of students, watching for any sign of dishonest activity. However, we also respect the literature showing that cheating is rampant on most campuses and that both honest students and the academy are victimized by students who cheat. However, we do not intend to imply that all, or even most, students are dishonest. Although academic dishonesty is a problem, we should approach the task of its control with an attitude of vigilance, not one of distrust. Such an approach will not only help deter dishonest students, but will also reassure honest students that we have their welfare at heart. We ask that you keep this perspective in mind when reviewing the techniques for preventing, detecting, and handling cases of academic dishonesty presented in this chapter and the next.