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Deterring cheating in online environments
Corrigan-Gibbs H., Gupta N., Northcutt C., Cutrell E., Thies W. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction22 (6):Article-No. 28,2015.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Nov 6 2015

All educational institutions have faced issues of plagiarism and academic dishonesty; this has been partially resolved by requiring students to agree to an honor code. However, these same institutions are presented with different challenges when faced with online learning environments. In this paper, the authors have evaluated two different methods for deterring cheating with a focus on online environments. Assessments that are conducted in isolation, as is the case with online exams, present easy opportunities for participants to seek assistance undetected. The results outlined by the research suggest that a baseline measurement for cheating in online exams is between 26 to 34 percent.

The reasons for cheating are listed in numerous research papers and form an interesting section in this paper; this related work guides the authors toward three key research questions. Can cheating be detected and measured? Can the rate of cheating be reduced? What is the correlation between cheating and demographic variables? The data collection involved conducting two different exams with two different groups of students, the first in India and the second in America. The experimental method divided the groups into three areas: control, honor code, and severe warning. The results show the use of a severe warning had a significant effect in reducing the rates of cheating. Analysis of the data indicated a 50 percent reduction in cheating; however, the discussion highlighted other factors that might have influenced this outcome. This is a fascinating topic and should be mandatory reading for all educational administrators and online managers.

Reviewer:  S. M. Godwin Review #: CR143912 (1602-0159)
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