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Study indicates cheating common at UALR

Submitted by Lisa Lakey on November 12, 2010 – 1:57 pm2 Comments

By Lisa Lakey, staff writer, and Sarah Beth Slinkard, contributing writer—Not everyone is doing it, but the majority admits they are.

In an informal survey conducted by mass communication students 57 percent of the anonymous participants admitted to some form of cheating while attending UALR. Out of the 102 students polled, 78 of the students admitted to witnessing another’s dishonesty.

While only seven of the 58 students who admitted to cheating claimed to do so by using unauthorized computer aid, other studies show that students are using the internet as much as the more traditional methods.

According to a study published in spring 2002 in the Journal of College Student Development, 698 students from nine academic institutions were surveyed. Of those students, 28.6 percent admitted to copying text from a traditional publication without proper citation. Additionally, 22.5 percent admitted to cutting and pasting from online sources without citation.

“Technology has made it too darn easy and too darn tempting to cheat,” said Jamie Byrne, director of the school of mass communication.

Of the 58 students who admitted to dishonesty, eight students wrote in that they had turned in work completed by another party.

“I’m sad for them, very sad,” said Clarence Guy, professor of philosophy and liberal studies. “They’re missing the opportunity to learn, explore…have their own ideas.”

While such a small sample can hardly be generalized, the results may show the need for further study in the matter. Only 43 percent admitted to never cheating and one student confessed that he or she had fabricated information on an assignment.

“A lot may be the stress they feel to make A’s and B’s,” Guy said. “They feel so pressured to succeed…they’ll resort to these measures.”

Information about the academic integrity policy at UALR can be found at http://ualr.edu/policy/index.php/50113.

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