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      Examination cheating: Risks to the quality and integrity of higher education

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          Abstract

          We examine the exigencies and impact of examination cheating, focusing specifically on the prevalence and risk of cheating taking place in examination venues. We document the problem with global coverage and note the consistency of the scourge and highlight the different approaches of institutions to dealing with the risk. Stressing the prejudice arising from examination cheating to both universities specifically and society generally, one of the root causes of the risk, namely the moral compass and ethical norms of university students and the societies in which they function, is discussed. The innovation of students when working out cheating practices and the facilitating effects of technology are considered as a backdrop to exemplars of good practices that have been implemented to mitigate the reality and risk of examination fraud. Recognising examination cheating as a fraud on society and a critical risk to university reputation, we question whether university leadership recognises the risk and gives it adequate (and responsible) emphasis in strategic and operational organisational risk identification and management.SIGNIFICANCE: •Cheating in examinations, and especially in the examination venue, is a global scourge. A comparison of global good practices is presented which provides a framework for institutional discussion to begin to address and transparently deal with the issues and impact of examination cheating. •Acknowledging technology as one of the significant enablers of examination fraud and noting the constraints confronting universities, there is nevertheless a critical need for institutions to mitigate the risk. In not doing so, universities, which are fundamentally supported by the fiscus and public taxpayers, are committing a fraud on society. •The attitude of some students and academic staff, as well as public perceptions to examination cheating raise the lid on a moral decay that is beginning to manifest in society globally. •Universities are challenged to address the issue of examination cheating proactively, openly and honestly. The repercussions of failing to do so are highlighted and exemplars are provided of what can and has already been tried and tested to mitigate the risks

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          Most cited references 5

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          Cheating in medical school: a survey of second-year students at 31 schools.

          Although there have been a number of studies of cheating in universities, surprisingly little has appeared recently in the literature regarding academic dishonesty among medical students. To assess the prevalence of cheating in medical schools across the country, class officers at 31 of 40 schools contacted distributed a survey in the spring of 1991 to their second-year classmates. The survey consisted of questions about the students' attitudes toward cheating, their observations of cheating among their classmates, and whether they had themselves cheated. The results were analyzed using contingency tables, t-tests, Pearson correlations, and one-way analysis of variance. Of the 3,975 students attending the 31 schools, 2,459 (62%) responded. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents reported witnessing some type of cheating among classmates during the first two years of medical education, while 66.5% reported having heard about such cheating. When reporting about themselves, 31.4% admitted cheating in junior high school, 40.5% in high school, 16.5% in college, and only 4.7% in medical school. Reports of cheating varied across medical schools, but no relationship was found between rates of cheating and medical school characteristics. Men were more likely to report having cheated than were women. The best predictor of whether someone was likely to cheat in medical school was whether they had cheated before, although the data strongly support the role of environmental factors. Medical school honor codes exercised some effect on cheating behavior, but the effect was not large. About 5% of the medical students surveyed reported cheating during the first two years of medical school. The students appeared resigned to the fact that cheating is impossible to eliminate, but they lacked any clear consensus about how to proceed when they became aware of cheating by others. The guidance students appear to need concerns not so much their own ethical behaviors as how and when to intervene to address the ethical conduct of their peers.
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            Cheating in exams with technology

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              Students come to medical school to cheat: A multi-campus investigation

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                sajs
                South African Journal of Science
                S. Afr. j. sci.
                Academy of Science of South Africa (Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa )
                0038-2353
                1996-7489
                December 2019
                : 115
                : 11-12
                : 1-6
                Article
                S0038-23532019000600003 S0038-2353(19)11501100003
                10.17159/sajs.2019/6281

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 33, Pages: 6
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                Categories
                Promoting Academic Integrity: Research Articles

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