At a time when many universities are considering the implementation of an honesty policy, the rate of academic dishonesty in these institutions continues to soar. This is especially true of business students who are the most likely to cheat in college. Reports suggest that 80 percent of all business students cheat. In 2002, colleagues at the Rutgers’ Management Education Center completed a study of 4,500 high school students and discovered that 75 percent of them had engaged in serious cheating and more than half reported plagiarizing work they found on the Internet. The study goes on to report that academic cheating in high school is correlated with academic cheating in college. Current studies further indicate that academic cheating in college carries over to the business arena.
Additionally studies show that, overwhelmingly, students believe the responsibility to limit cheating belongs to the instructor or the institution. Few students (less than 25% in most studies) believe that the responsibility to prevent cheating lies with them, and of those who believe academic cheating should be reported to the instructor, few students (around 16%) believe they would actually act on this behavior.
As AACSB, other accrediting organizations and academic institutions beef up their efforts to stem the cheating crisis, the numbers continue to climb. The question is: why do students cheat? Maybe it is the increased use of new technologies and communications tools, or the heightened pressure of competition in the classroom and among peers, or the way in which the curriculum is being delivered to the mind of today’s student. Cell phones, iPods and text messaging have become tools for cheating on tests. Online testing opens the door for someone else to complete an exam for the enrolled student, and it is uncertain how future technology will continue to affect the cheating situation. It’s like an arms race where teachers are struggling to keep up with the technology of cheating.
I am interested in receiving information from you on the issue of cheating. If you have a manuscript (paper, case study, in-class experience, etc.) that focuses on the issue of academic cheating or real-world cheating, I hope you will consider submitting it to the JBAO for publication. Issues such as why students/business professionals cheat, how to identify cheating, how to stop cheating, and so forth are welcome. Please send your manuscripts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The sharing of important and relevant information on this topic is a great starting point for creating a deeper understanding of this widespread problem.