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The pressure to get good grades has never been greater, especially as competition to attend the best colleges and universities increases. Unfortunately, this focus on grades can lead to academic dishonesty. Cheating happens at all levels of education—not just in high school. While some may say it’s normal and therefore inevitable, especially given the various forms of digital technology that make it easier for students to cheat today, it’s an issue that teachers can tackle in their classrooms as part of their teaching strategy.
Even as 86% of college students have disclosed they have cheated in some fashion and 97% indicated they were not caught in the act,* experts say the best place to start combating this behavior is in primary school. At a young age, students learn by modeling others, and they often don’t fully recognize their actions as cheating or that they’ve done anything wrong. However, building students’ confidence and instilling a sense of pride and integrity in their work early on can help dissuade the behavior in the future. Failing to address the issue of recurring cheating behavior can lead to long-term effects in school, such as an inability to advance academically, losing the trust of school officials, and even ethical deficiencies that could last into adulthood.†
At all levels of education, it’s helpful for teachers to gain an understanding of their students’ motivations for academic dishonesty. For example, some students might cheat because they’re too lazy to study. Others could be struggling to grasp certain concepts of the curriculum and think cheating is a viable solution. Parents may also pressure their children to succeed—sometimes at all costs.
During quiz and test time, there are students who will first make attempts to solve the problem, but then resolve to cheating if they are unsuccessful. Others, however, have already strategically made their decision to cheat prior to the test.
Here are some best practices teachers can use to handle cheating:
If you’re interested in best practices like these, explore Walden University’s MS in Education online degree program. You’ll be able to strengthen your skills in the classroom while positioning yourself for greater success as an educator.
*D. Schaffhauser, 9 in 10 Students Admit to Cheating in College, Suspect Faculty Do the Same, Campus Technology, on the internet at https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/23/9-in-10-students-admit-to-cheating-in-college-suspect-faculty-do-the-same.aspx.
†Cascio, C., How Will Cheating in School Affect the Rest of Your Life?, Our Everyday Life, on the internet at http://oureverydaylife.com/cheating-school-affect-rest-life-28573.html
‡H. Seeman, Cheating in the Classroom: How to Prevent It and How to Handle It if It Happens, Education World, on the internet at www.educationworld.com/a_curr/profdev/profdev045.shtml.