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Cheating and Feeling Honest: Committing and Punishing Analog versus Digital Academic Dishonesty Behaviors in Higher Education

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This study examined the phenomenon of academic dishonesty among university students. It was based on Pavela’s (1997) framework of types of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, and facilitation) and distinguished between digital and “traditional”- analog dishonesty. The study analyzed cases of academic dishonesty offenses committed by students, as well as the reasons for academic dishonesty behaviors, and the severity of penalties for violations of academic integrity. The motivational framework for committing an act of academic dishonesty (Murdock & Anderman, 2006) and the Self-Concept Maintenance model (Mazar, Amir, & Ariely, 2008) were employed to analyze the reasons for students’ dishonest behaviors. We analyzed 315 protocols of the Disciplinary Committee, at The Open University of Israel, from 2012-2013 that represent all of the offenses examined by the Committee during one and a half years. The findings showed that analog dishonesty was more prevalent than digital dishonesty. According to the students, the most prevalent reason for their academic dishonesty was the need to maintain a positive view of self as an honest person despite violating ethical codes. Interestingly, penalties for analog dishonesty were found to be more severe than those imposed for digital dishonesty. Surprisingly, women were penalized more severely than men, despite no significant gender differences in dishonesty types or in any other parameter explored in the study. Findings of this study shed light on the scope and roots of academic dishonesty and may assist institutions in coping effectively with this phenomenon.
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Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning Volume 12, 2016
Cite as: Friedman, A., Blau, I., & Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2016). Cheating and feeling honest: Committing and punishing
analog versus digital academic dishonesty behaviors in higher education. Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Life
Long Learning, 12, 193-205. Retrieved from http://www.informingscience.org/Publications/3629
Editor: Janice Whatley
An earlier, shorter version of this paper was presented at the Chais conference 2016, in Raanana, Israel, and included in
Y. Eshet-Alkalai, I. Blau, A. Caspi, N. Geri, Y. Kalman, & V. Silber-Varod (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Chais Con-
ference for the Study of Innovation and Learning Technologies 2016: Learning in the Technological Era. Raanana: The
Open University of Israel.
Cheating and Feeling Honest: Committing and
Punishing Analog versus Digital Academic
Dishonesty Behaviors in Higher Education
Adi Friedman, Ina Blau, and Yoram Eshet-Alkalai
The Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel
adifr@openu.ac.il inabl@openu.ac.il yorames@openu.ac.il
Abstract
This study examined the phenomenon of academic dishonesty among university students. It was
based on Pavela’s (1997) framework of types of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, fab-
rication, and facilitation) and distinguished between digital and “traditional”- analog dishonesty.
The study analyzed cases of academic dishonesty offenses committed by students, as well as the
reasons for academic dishonesty behaviors, and the severity of penalties for violations of academ-
ic integrity. The motivational framework for committing an act of academic dishonesty (Murdock
& Anderman, 2006) and the Self-Concept Maintenance model (Mazar, Amir, & Ariely, 2008)
were employed to analyze the reasons for students’ dishonest behaviors. We analyzed 315 proto-
cols of the Disciplinary Committee, at The Open University of Israel, from 2012-2013 that repre-
sent all of the offenses examined by the Committee during one and a half years. The findings
showed that analog dishonesty was more prevalent than digital dishonesty. According to the stu-
dents, the most prevalent reason for their academic dishonesty was the need to maintain a positive
view of self as an honest person despite violating ethical codes. Interestingly, penalties for analog
dishonesty were found to be more severe than those imposed for digital dishonesty. Surprisingly,
women were penalized more severely than men, despite no significant gender differences in dis-
honesty types or in any other parameter explored in the study. Findings of this study shed light on
the scope and roots of academic dishonesty and may assist institutions in coping effectively with
this phenomenon.
Keywords: digital academic dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, facilitation, academic
integrity in higher education, motivation for academic dishonesty, gender differences in penalties
given for academic dishonesty
Introduction
In recent years the phenomenon of academic dis-
honesty has gained momentum among university
students. Furthermore, a significant proportion of
cases of academic dishonesty are digital dishonesty
behaviors, which are conducted through a techno-
logical device, such as a smartphone, and an appli-
cation, such as email or a social network (Stogner,
Miller, & Marcum, 2013). The broad scope of aca-
demic dishonesty is evident from several studies.
For example, Cheshin (2006) found that 95% of the
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Cheating and Feeling Honest
194
students in Israel admitted having committed some form of academic dishonesty, some 60% had
been involved in copying papers, and some 60% had been involved in copying during exams. In a
study conducted in Korea, 69% of the participating students admitted that they had committed at
least one of the most common forms of dishonesty – cheating, plagiarism, and facilitation
(Ledesma, 2011). Similar data can be found in educational systems elsewhere in the world
(Bretag, 2016).
This study focused on the phenomenon of both analog and digital academic dishonesty, aiming to
analyze its most prevalent manifestations, its inhibiting and promoting factors, and the severity of
penalties imposed for conducting acts of dishonesty by students.
Literature Review and Frameworks
Studies on academic dishonesty indicate that, as a rule, institutions have difficulty coping with the
phenomenon because they are concerned about damaging their reputation. As a result, many insti-
tutions tend to sweep the issue under the carpet” (Brimble, 2016; Whitley & Keith-Spiegel,
2002).
In light of the increase in cases of violation of academic integrity in recent years, the research
literature has examined the contribution of available digital technologies to academic dishonesty,
and claims that the ease of conducting digital academic dishonesty encourages the phenomenon
(Stogner et al., 2013). Recent research literature (e.g., Brimble, 2016; Sutherland-Smith, 2016)
suggests that the digital environment seems to promote academic misconduct because of the easi-
ness of cutting and pasting texts (plagiarism), buying/selling academic assignments and papers
for re-submission (contract cheating), hiring others to write assignments and papers for students
(ghost writing), and conducting online discussions that are not permitted by the institution (collu-
sion) According to these claims, the unlimited availability of open information, and in many cases
the lack of identity of the authors (such as in Wikipedia), often blur the boundaries between ethi-
cal and non-ethical behaviors and increase acts of academic dishonesty by students and even by
teachers (Alroi-Stein, 2008). This claim is supported by findings from a recent rigorously con-
ducted field experiment (Kauffman & Young, 2015), in which the use of a plagiarism-detecting
app revealed that about 80% of the participating students engaged in digital plagiarism. Moreo-
ver, the technological affordances of the writing assignment to support plagiarism (i.e., the possi-
bility of easily copy-pasting text from internet pages) versus the special precaution taken by the
researchers against plagiarism (by using jpeg format of text), impacted plagiarism far beyond the
participantswriting goals which were prompted prior to the experiment (i.e., learning/mastery
versus performance goals). Some studies on academic dishonesty (e.g., Jones & Sheridan, 2015)
report that sophisticated students are involved in cyber-facilitated plagiarism known as back
translation”, in which students run text through language translation software in order to avoid
detection of plagiarism by software. Other authors (e.g., Davies & Howard, 2016) contend that
there is no empirical evidence to corroborate the widespread fear that digital plagiarism is in-
creasing.
The mapping of academic dishonesty in the current study is based on the conceptual framework
of Pavela (1997), which relates to four types of dishonesty:
Cheating – the intentional use of study materials, information, or any kind of aid, the use
of which is not allowed, including consulting with other people;
Plagiarismthe use of content written by others and presenting it without crediting the
source, as if it were one’s own;
Fabrication – the intentional fabrication of information, data, or references that do not
actually exist;
Facilitationintentional assistance in the academic dishonesty behavior of others
Friedman, Blau, & Eshet-Alkalai
195
Although it is one of the most widely accepted models today in terms of describing academic dis-
honesty, it is important to note that Pavelas (1997) model was developed before digital technolo-
gies became the key tools in social communication as well as in the location and storage of in-
formation. Hence a study applying it to the digital era can examine its validity today and suggest
necessary modifications to it (Blau & Eshet-Alkalai, 2014, 2015).
Motivations for conducting academic dishonesty can be analyzed from ethical, pedagogical, eco-
nomic, and psychological points of view (Blau & Eshet-Alkalai, 2016; Fishman, 2016). The find-
ings of authors embracing the ethical perspective (e.g., Newton, 2016) have shown that students
who were more confident in their understanding of plagiarism as a problematic behavior not only
performed better on simple tests of referencing, but also recommended more severe penalties for
conducting academic dishonesty offenses.
In the current study, we applied Murdock and Anderman’s (2006) model of motivations for aca-
demic dishonesty, which analyzes academic integrity from pedagogical, economic, and psycho-
logical perspectives. The model, which is based on a meta-analysis of extensive research litera-
ture, contains three categories of motives: the student’s goals, the student’s evaluation of the
manner in which these goals are attained, and the student’s evaluation of the benefits versus the
costs of conducting the act of academic dishonesty. In this model, the factors that promote dis-
honesty are mainly those that emphasize elements which are external to learning (e.g., focusing
on the grades rather than on the development of mastery, low self-efficacy of academic perfor-
mance, poor quality of teaching, perception of assessment level as too high or unfair, and the ex-
pectation that the penalty for being caught will not be severe).
This typology of the motivation for academic dishonesty was compared in our study to that of the
Self-Concept Maintenance Model (Mazar, Amir, & Ariely, 2008). From this psychological per-
spective, at the individual level, the key factor for committing academic dishonesty is not the
benefit or the cost but rather the ability to maintain one’s self-image as an honest person, despite
conducting the dishonest act. On the other hand, at the group level, when other people might ben-
efit from the dishonest act (e.g., helping friends write a seminar paper), the ethical considerations
are weakened and the willingness to deceive increases (Friedman, Blau, & Eshet, 2016). Accord-
ing to the Self-Concept Maintenance Model, social conventions also influence the phenomenon
of dishonesty. For example, if the inappropriate behavior of ones peers is forgiven or is not ad-
dressed, it becomes a norm and thereby encourages the dishonest behavior (Ariely, 2012).
In order to improve our understanding of dishonesty in academia, this paper examined the distri-
bution and the motivation for conducting academic dishonesty among university students.
Research Questions
The research questions are as follows:
1. Are there differences in the frequency of academic dishonesty types (according to the model
of Pavela, 1997) between analog dishonesty and digital dishonesty?
2. What is the frequency of the types of motivation to be dishonest (according to the model of
Murdock and Anderman, 2006)?
3. What differences are there in the severity of the actual and probationary penalties imposed for
analog versus digital acts of academic dishonesty, and for the dishonest acts committed on
different types of assessments (exams, seminar papers, and homework assignments)?
4. Are there gender differences in the frequency of acts of analog versus digital academic dis-
honesty, in different types of assessments (exams, papers, homework), and in the severity of
penalties (either actual or probationary) imposed for these behaviors? Note that in contrast to
Cheating and Feeling Honest
196
actual penalties which are imposed immediately, probationary penalties refer to potential and
usually more severe penalties that will be imposed on a student for repeating similar offenses
in the future.
Method
Research Population
This study analyzed 315 protocols of the Disciplinary Committee of the Open University of Israel
which deals with violations of academic integrity by its undergraduate and graduate students.
Note that the retrospective analysis of the Disciplinary Committee protocols was conducted with-
out the participation of the students who were sentenced, but rather according to the Disciplinary
Committees records alone.
The rulings are available to the public once the student’s personal data and the identification of
courses in which academic dishonesty behaviors were committed have been removed. The proto-
cols contain the following information: details about the offense, the student’s reasons for com-
mitting it, the presence or absence of the student at the hearing, the committees decision, and
justification of the penalty (if one has been imposed). The protocols analyzed in this study were
all cases that the Disciplinary Committee dealt with during the year 2012 and the first half of
2013.
Research Tools and Procedure
The frequency of the academic dishonesty types was identified by encoding the act described in
each Disciplinary Committee protocol according to Pavelas (1997) model (i.e., cheating, plagia-
rism, fabrication, and facilitation) and distinguishing between digital and analog academic dis-
honesty (Blau, Eshet-Alkalai, & Rotem, 2014; Rotem, Blau & Eshet-Alkalai, 2016).
The reasons for committing the offense stated in the protocols were encoded and analyzed using
the model of motivation for academic dishonesty (Murdock & Anderman, 2006): (1) extrin-
sic/intrinsic learning goals, (2) performance/mastery orientation, (3) low/high self-efficacy of ac-
ademic performance, (4) low/high learning outcome expectations, (5) low/high perception of the
chances of getting caught and punished, and (6) potential positive/negative view of self after con-
ducting the offense. The last two codes (5 and 6), based on the model by Murdock and Ander-
man, were compared to the perspective offered by the model of behavioral ethics (Mazar et al.,
2008), according to which the key factors in committing academic dishonesty are not cost-benefit
considerations but rather the desire to maintain ones self-image as an honest person, despite con-
ducting the dishonest act. The motivations for conducting offenses were coded independently by
two raters for the entire set of protocols. In cases of disagreement, the cases were discussed until
full agreement was reached.
In addition, the actual and probationary penalties imposed by the Committee were encoded (see
the Appendix for details of the penalties and their degree of severity). The severity of the actual
and probationary penalties was based on the scale suggested by the Disciplinary Committee to its
members. The scores for the penalties were independently assessed by two raters and then dis-
cussed until that total agreement was obtained. Following that, the scores were revised by the
third rater. In cases in which students were given more than one penalty, the severity was calcu-
lated as the sum of the codes for all penalties. The most severe form of penalty – permanent sus-
pension – was coded to be significantly higher than the sum of other penalties simultaneously
imposed by the Disciplinary Committee over the years. The penalty was examined on a scale
from 0- acquittal to 40-permanent suspension (for actual penalty - range: 0-40, average: 9.60,
Friedman, Blau, & Eshet-Alkalai
197
standard deviation: 7.713, median: 9, skewness: 1.063; for probationary penalty - range: 3-40,
average: 14.37, standard deviation: 8.894, median: 13, skewness: 1.922).
Findings and Discussion
This section first analyzes types of digital and analog academic dishonesty as well as motivations
of students for dishonest behavior. Following that we discuss actual and probationary penalties
for conducting academic dishonesty in different types of assessments. We conclude this section
by presenting gender comparisons in academic dishonesty types, motivations, and penalties for
these acts.
Technology and Academic Dishonesty
The study findings indicated that 68.8% of the academic dishonesty behaviors sentenced by the
Disciplinary Committee during one and a half years were analog dishonesty, while only 31.2%
are digital acts of dishonesty. This prevalence of analog over digital academic dishonesty in as-
sessments of students in academia can be explained by the fact that most of the offenses were
conducted during exams which are almost exclusively analog.
As for the frequency of the academic dishonesty types according to Pavelas framework, 78% of
the cases caught and sentenced by the Disciplinary Committee involved cheating. The other
17.5% were cases of plagiarism, and 4.5% were facilitating the dishonesty of other students. Sur-
prisingly, the protocols of the Disciplinary Committee did not show a single case of fabrication,
which was the most prevalent dishonesty type in a previous study among school students (Blau &
Eshet-Alkalai, 2014, 2015, 2016). These differences can be explained by the research population
university students as opposed to school students– and/or by the analysis of cases that were
caught and punished by the Disciplinary Committee in the current study as opposed to the report
of all of the cases of academic dishonesty in the previous study by Blau and Eshet-Alkalai
(2015), including the self-report of offences that were committed by students but not detected by
their teachers. An alternative explanation for this finding might be that the fabrication of data or
arguments is harder to identify in the work of university students as opposed to school students.
Regarding the correlation between the technology factor and the types of dishonesty, a significant
moderate to strong positive correlation was found (Cramers V=.39, p=.000). Figure 1 presents
the prevalence of each type of academic dishonesty separately for digital and analog offences. It
shows that the majority of cases of cheating took place in an analog environment, while facilita-
tion and plagiarism were more prevalent in a digital setting. These findings are consistent with the
study among school students by Blau and Eshet-Alkalai (2014, 2015), in which plagiarism and
facilitation were more prevalent and were perceived as more legitimate in a digital environment.
Regarding analog and digital dishonesty according to the type of assessment, most acts of dishon-
esty were discovered during exams, which usually do not involve the use of any technology.
Nevertheless, the protocols analyzed in this study included 46 (19.6%) examples of digital dis-
honesty during an exam – mainly via the use of smartphones.
Cheating and Feeling Honest
198
Figure 1: Types of analog and digital academic dishonesty behaviors
Motivations for Conducting Academic Dishonesty
Table 1 presents frequencies of the motivations for academic dishonesty stated by students and
coded based on the model of motivations for academic dishonesty (Murdock & Anderman, 2006).
Surprisingly, findings in Table 1 indicate that most students who were caught (almost 60%)
claimed that they had acted innocently, in the belief that what they did was legitimate. The study
findings support the Self-Concept Maintenance Model (Mazar et al., 2008) and indicate that most
of the motives for dishonesty reported by the students derive from a desire to preserve their self-
image as honest people. Thus, the findings suggest that the manner of coping with academic dis-
honesty requires a different approach to the traditional one of imposing penalties. An example of
how to prevent the phenomenon is by blurring the uncertainty students have regarding the ethical
dissonance involved in committing the offense. In other words, if the student knows that an act
would certainly violate their academic integrity and by committing the offense he/she becomes a
dishonest person, there is a lower chance that he/she might commit it (Shalvi, Gino, Barkan, &
Ayal, 2015).
Friedman, Blau, & Eshet-Alkalai
199
Table 1 – Frequency of motivation for dishonesty based on Murdock and Anderman (2006)
Motivation for academic
dishonesty
Frequency
Example from the protocols of the
Disciplinary Committee
Extrinsic rather than intrinsic
goals
0.6%
A student who submitted a copied home-
work assignment claimed that she did so
because of pressure and financial distress
High performance orientation
rather than mastery orientation
10.8%
A student who submitted a copied seminar
paper claimed that she did so because of
time constraints and the pressure to finish
her degree.
Low self-efficacy of academic
performance
10.5%
A student who copied notes during an ex-
am said she did so because she had diffi-
culty expressing herself in writing.
Low learning outcomes expec-
tations
4.1%
A student who copied on an exam said that
because of family problems he had been
unable to study properly for the exam.
Perception of the chances of
getting caught and punished as
low
10.2%
A student caught with a mobile phone dur-
ing an exam claimed that he committed the
offense knowing it was forbidden, but he
didn’t have anywhere to store the phone
and didn’t think someone will notice it.
Positive view of self (“inno-
cenceclaim) self- percep-
tion as an honest person de-
spite the act of dishonesty
59.6%
A student who copied on an exam from her
own notes said she did so because she did
not know it was forbidden.
Penalties
Since a statistically significant difference was found between the penalties imposed in 2012 and
in the first half of 2013, the data could not be combined in a single sample and this section is
based on the 257 penalties imposed by the Disciplinary Committee during 2012 alone. An inde-
pendent sample t-test was conducted to compare the severity of the penalties imposed for digital
dishonesty as opposed to analog dishonesty. Table 2 presents the descriptive statistics and the
analysis of variance for the severity of the actual and probationary penalties imposed on students
conducting analog and digital offenses.
Table 2 – Severity of penalties imposed on students for analog or digital dishonesty in 2012
Dishonesty
type
Average
SD
t
Analog
11.77
7.889
t(256)=3.886, p=.000
Digital
7.74
7.418
Analog
16.46
9.493
t(208)= 1.598, p=.112
Digital
14.42
6.434
Cheating and Feeling Honest
200
The results presented in Table 2 indicate that in 2012 the actual penalties for analog dishonesty
were significantly more severe than those for digital dishonesty. It seems that digital dishonesty is
perceived as less severe an offense than analog dishonesty – probably because the information on
the internet is seen by many as the public domain and thus is not subject to copyright protection.
This finding is consistent with a previous study which found that the accessibility of open online
information augments academic dishonesty (Robinson-Zanartu, et al., 2005).
In order to examine the effect of the dishonesty type on the severity of the penalty, two univariate
ANOVA tests were conducted: one for the actual penalty and the other for the probationary pen-
alty. Table 3 shows the descriptive statistics of the tests.
Table 3 – Effect of academic dishonesty type on the severity of the penalty
Penalty
Dishonesty
Cheating Aver-
age (SD)
Plagiarism
Average (SD)
Facilitation
Average (SD)
Actual
10.28 (7.268)
12.15 (9.121)
7.33 (12.353)
Probationary
14.78 )7.409(
19.30 (11.044)
21.80 (16.739)
Analysis of the variance showed no statistically significant effect of the academic dishonesty type
on the severity of the actual penalties (F(2,255)=2.073, p=.128, η2=.016). In other words, the
findings do not indicate differences in the severity of actual penalties between the types of dis-
honesty the students committed. In contrast, a significant effect of the dishonesty type on the se-
verity of the probationary penalties was found (F(2,207)=5.850, p=.03, η2=.053). Least Signifi-
cant Difference (LSD) pairwise comparisons showed that the probationary penalties imposed for
plagiarism were significantly more severe than those imposed for cheating (p=.003), and the pro-
bationary penalties imposed for facilitation were more severe than those imposed for cheating at a
marginally significant level (p=.07). No significant differences were found between probationary
penalties for plagiarism compared to facilitation (p=.535).
In addition, two univariate ANOVA tests were conducted to examine the effect of the assessment
type on the severity of the actual and probationary penalty imposed on students for digital or ana-
log dishonesty. Table 4 presents the descriptive statistics of these tests.
Table 4 – Effect of the assessment type on the severity of the penalty for AD
Penalty
Assessment
Exam
Average (SD)
Seminar Paper
Average (SD)
Homework as-
signment
Average (SD)
Actual
9.97 (7.510)
16.67 (10.217)
10.29 (8.369)
Probationary
14.44 (7.020)
31.36 (12.220)
15.41 (7.989)
The analysis of variance indicated a significant difference in the severity of the actual penalties
between the different types of assessment (F(257,2)=5.090, p=.007 η2=.038). LSD pair compari-
sons showed that the penalties for dishonesty in writing a seminar paper were more severe than
those imposed for dishonesty in an exam (p=.002) and for writing a homework assignment
(p=.006). Surprisingly, no difference was found between the penalties for dishonesty in an exam
and a homework assignment (p=.779). The possible explanation is that a seminar paper is usually
written at the final stage of degree studies, is supposed to be the fruit of an extended period of
work, and its weight in the GPA is relatively high. Therefore it might be considered by the Disci-
Friedman, Blau, & Eshet-Alkalai
201
plinary Committee as more severe dishonesty than one conducted in an exam, which may be a
preliminary stage in degree studies, or a homework assignment, the weight of which in the course
grade is not very high.
Regarding the severity of probationary penalties, the findings of the test indicate a significant
difference and a large effect size of the severity of the penalty between the different assessment
types (F(209,2)=31.704, p=.000, η2=.238). LSD pair comparisons showed that the probationary
penalties for dishonesty in writing a seminar paper are more severe than those for dishonesty in
an exam and for a homework assignment (p’s=.000). Thus it seems that the Disciplinary Commit-
tee imposes severe penaltiesactual and probationary alike – for dishonesty in writing seminar
papers. Surprisingly, no statistically significant difference was found between the probationary
penalties for dishonesty in an exam and in a homework assignment (p=.477).
Gender Differences
An independent sample t-test was conducted to examine the differences in the severity of the
penalties as a function of students’ gender. Table 5 presents the descriptive statistics and analysis
of variance of the severity of the actual and probationary penalties according to gender.
Table 5 – Severity of the actual and probationary penalties by gender
Gender
Average
SD
t
Male
8.44
6.841
t(312)=2.370, p=.018
Female
10.51
8.239
Male
14.50
9.123
t(243)= .192, p=.848
Female
14.28
8.744
Table 5 shows that, surprisingly, the actual penalties imposed on female students are significantly
harsher than those imposed on male students. No significant gender differences were found for
the probationary penalties. This result contradicts the findings of studies on the punishments sen-
tenced among men as opposed to women in the courts. For example, a study that examined statis-
tical data in the courts of the large states in the USA between 1990 and 1996 found that women
were less severely punished than men (Steffensmeier & Demuth, 2006).
In an attempt to explain the gender differences identified in the severity of actual penalties, we
examined whether gender differences are present in other parameters described in the protocols.
No significant gender difference was found in analog dishonesty as opposed to digital dishonesty
(χ2
(1)=.021, p=.886). Also, no significant difference was found between the genders in the type of
assessment (χ2
(2)=1.239, p=.538). Hence our findings do not show gender differences between
analog and digital dishonesty and the types of assessment (exam, seminar paper, and homework
assignment). Moreover, it should be noted that no gender differences were found for the parame-
ters of the appearance of a student before the committee, the cooperation of the student when
caught in the dishonesty act, or the parameter of whether the student admitted guilt and expressed
remorse. Thus, the disturbing gender differences in the severity of penalty imposed the Discipli-
nary Committee cannot be explained by the different academic dishonesty behavior of female
students or their unwillingness to cooperate after being caught. This finding might be related to
the fact that during the period analyzed in this study the Committee only consisted of men and we
recommend that academic institutions adopt more gender-balanced compositions of Disciplinary
Committees.
Cheating and Feeling Honest
202
Conclusion and Implications
This study explored the phenomenon of analog and digital academic dishonesty, aiming to ana-
lyze its most common manifestations, the factors that lead students to commit it, the severity of
penalties imposed for it by the Disciplinary Committee and gender differences in these penalties.
Concerning different types of offenses, the findings indicate that Pavelas (1997) model relating
to four types of academic dishonesty requires expansion in order to explain the phenomenon in
the digital era. Faculty should pay additional attention to the fabrication of data or arguments that
were not identified in the protocols of the Disciplinary Committee analyzed in this study, alt-
hough they were very common in a previous study among school students (Blau & Eshet-Alkalai,
2014, 2015). Regarding motivation for dishonesty, the findings support the Self-Concept Mainte-
nance model (Mazar et al., 2008), showing students conduct dishonesty when they are still able to
preserve themselves as honest people, despite their misbehavior. This finding might contribute to
the development of effective policies and strategies for coping with academic dishonesty. Find-
ings related to the penalties showed that penalties for analog dishonesty were more severe than
those imposed for digital dishonesty. We recommend that Disciplinary Committee members
should be aware of possible biases of perceiving digital dishonesty offenses as less severe than
analog dishonesty offenses. Surprisingly, women were consistently penalized more severely than
men, despite no significant gender differences in dishonesty types or in any other parameter ex-
plored in the study.
Limitations and Future Work
It should be taken into consideration that, although this study analyzes actual students’ academic
dishonesty in a large university during a period of a year and a half, it was conducted in one aca-
demic institution. Future studies might compare the data between different Israeli academic insti-
tutions and between universities in different countries. The method applied in the study of analyz-
ing Disciplinary Committee rulings in an academic institution is an innovative research approach,
and we hope that future studies will embrace it in order to shed light on the phenomenon and
ways to prevent it.
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Appendix: Encoding of Penalties
Penalty *
Encoding
Acquittal
0
Warning/reprimand
1
Invalidation
of homework assignment/s
2
ILS 300 fine
3
Invalidation
of exam
4
ILS 600 fine
5
Invalidation of paper
6
ILS 1,000 fine
7
Suspension for a
semester
8
ILS 2,000 fine
9
Suspension for two semesters
10
ILS 3,000 fine
11
Suspension for three semesters
12
Invalidation of course
13
ILS 4,000 fine
14
Suspension for four semesters
15
ILS 5,000 fine
16
Suspension for five semesters
17
ILS 6,000 fine
18
Suspension for six semesters
19
ILS 7,000 fine
20
Suspension for seven semesters
21
ILS 8,000 fine
22
Suspension for eight semesters
23
Suspension for nine semesters
24
Suspension for ten semesters
25
Suspension for eleven semesters
26
Suspension for twelve semesters
27
Permanent suspension
40
*Note: If students were given more than one penalty, the severity was calculated as the sum of the codes for
all penalties.
Friedman, Blau, & Eshet-Alkalai
205
Biographies
Adi Friedman is a specialist in facilitating implementation and usage
of educational technologies by faculty and students at the Open Uni-
versity of Israel. She is currently finishing her M.A. Thesis in Educa-
tion, at the Graduate Program of Learning Technologies and Learning
Systems, Department of Education and Psychology, the OUI. Her main
research interest is preventing and coping with the phenomenon of ac-
ademic dishonesty in academia.
Ina Blau is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and Psy-
chology, The Open University of Israel. She holds a PhD. in E-
Learning and Cyber-Psychology. In 2011-2014 she was a lecturer in
the Department of Information & Knowledge Management, Graduate
School of Management, University of Haifa, and in 2015 was a Visit-
ing Scholar in the National Institute of Education (NIE) and Learning
Sciences Lab, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Dr. Blau has diverse experience in teaching, educational management,
and teacher professional development related to technology-enhanced
teaching and e-learning. She is a Member of the Digital Learning
committee, the Israeli Council for Higher Education. Her research in-
terests and publications focus on social aspects of e-communication
and e-leadership; integration of innovative technologies in K-12, academia, and organizations;
mobile learning and interaction; digital literacy skills; the effect of productive failure” experi-
ence on the development of creativity; psychological ownership in e-collaboration; and online
privacy in social networking. She led large-scale research projects which were supported by re-
search grants from the Israeli Ministry of Education and focused on the phenomenon of digital
cheating and plagiarism from the perspective of Israeli pupils, teachers, and parents, and on pro-
cesses and outcomes of one-to-one computing in schools.
Yoram Eshet-Alkalai is a Professor at the Open University of Israel,
Department of Education & Psychology, and the Head of the M.A.
Program in Learning Technologies & Learning Systems. His major
research and publications focus on digital literacy, digital reading, on
human-computer interaction, and on the cognitive aspects of working
with digital technologies. He studies the effect of technologies on a
wide range of subjects, such as academic dishonesty, gaming, and
friendship. Prof. Eshet-Alkalai has a diverse academic and professional
background, including a B.A in Archeology, an M.Sc. in Geology, and
a PhD in Earth & Environmental Sciences. For over a decade, he
worked as a chief scientist in a computer company, designing and developing computer-based
learning environments for the education systems in Israel and the USA. Prof. Eshet-Alkalai was
also the Head of the Instructional Design Program at Tel Hai Academic College, and for 15 years
served as a senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Israel. He is also the founder and for-
merly the Head of the Research Center for Innovation in Learning Technologies, The Open Uni-
versity of Israel.
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... En este caso los comportamientos de "Trampa digital" con los que los alumnos mejoran su desempeño usando dispositivos electrónicos como celulares son similares a los reportados en la literatura (Bretag et al. 2014, McCabe et al. 2012, Peled et al. 2019, Reskala 2020, Stone et al. 2014) y muestran que los estudiantes pueden utilizar distintos recursos para obtener ventajas injustas por encima de sus compañeros y fingir ser mejores estudiantes de lo que en realidad son. Por lo tanto, una probable explicación para las acciones de mejorar el desempeño usando dispositivos y/o sacar el celular para obtener las respuestas es lo mencionado por Friedman et al., (2016). Los autores explican que algunos estudiantes consideran que la información obtenida de internet suele ser accesible fácilmente y además se considera "libre" y sin derechos de autor, por lo que es probable que vean obtener información de internet como algo "no tan grave". ...
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Advances have been made in detecting and deterring the student plagiarism that has accompanied the uptake and development of the internet. Many authors from the late 1990s onwards grappled with plagiarism in the digital age, presenting articles that were provoking and established the foundation for strategies to address cyber plagiarism, including software such as TurnitinTM. In the spirit of its predecessors, this article presents a new, less-detectable method of cyber-facilitated plagiarism known as ‘back translation’, where students are running text through language translation software to disguise the original source. This paper discusses how this plagiarism strategy attempts to subvert academic attempts to detect plagiarism and maintain academic integrity in the digital age, before presenting useful detection tools and then critiquing three classroom plagiarism management approaches for their usefulness in the current digital and educational context.
Chapter
This chapter examines the close relationship between what constitutes authorship and originality as these concepts are used as a foundation for views of plagiarism. It is important to revisit our beliefs about what makes up authorial rights because digital technologies contest the very core of what it means to have authorship rights over text. Authorship and originality also underpin the birth, and continued life, of plagiarism in policy and practice. Drawing on the nexus between legal and literary theories of authorship across four global spheres— England, Europe, the United States, and the UN — this chapter examines how plagiarism has come to be realized both in terms of authorial rights and how this has framed plagiarism as represented in university plagiarism policies. The tension between the Romantic notion of authorship (which has evolved through legal theory and the Law) and literary intertextuality, which challenges the idea of “owning words“ is evident in the debate over plagiarism being framed as academic misconduct or academic integrity. This chapter outlines that debate Substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them.
Chapter
Despite widespread fears about the Internet as a cause of or contributor to plagiarism, no empirical research demonstrates that relationship. These fears that the Internet has facilitated and accelerated the number of cases of student plagiarism are incorrect. Scholarship on the topic indicates the complexity of writing in the online environment. The fact is that writing with sources, especially sources found on the Internet, is difficult, sophisticated work. This chapter demonstrates the limitations of and alternatives to automated plagiarism-detecting software as a response to online plagiarism. Rather, pedagogies that mentor students’ critical reading practices are an important part of preventing online plagiarismk.
Book
This chapter provides a framework for markers who suspect that work they are assessing contains deliberately plagiarised passages. Five guiding questions are provided to assist the marker move from the point of suspicion through to deciding on and imposing appropriate penalties. Answers to the five questions are usually complex and often contested. The principles of fairness and defensibility are central to decisions regarding breaches of academic regulations and those principles shape the framework proposed for making decisions about deliberate plagiarism. Fishman’s (2009) definition of plagiarism is used to help determine whether plagiarism exists in the submitted work. The second question revolves around the marker’s decision about intent: was the plagiarism deliberate? Finding that an attempt to gain unearned academic credit has been made leads to the third question which is around the severity of the cheating. This third section outlines criteria that should be used when assessing severity of a breach and stresses the importance of local or institutional agreement on the criteria and the need for them to be explicitly stated in policy documents. Having decided the extent of the breach, the fourth step is to decide an appropriate penalty. A tariff system is proposed that provides a framework for matching defined levels of seriousness with a small number of pre-determined penalties. The fifth and final question revolves around ensuring that decisions are fair, defensible and sustainable and presents five significant factors that should be considered when establishing a framework to deal with deliberate attempts to breach academic regulations.
Chapter
It is difficult to remember any recent conversation about assessment or learning standards in higher education where academic dishonesty was not mentioned. Tension in relation to student behaviors in this regard appears to be growing as the perfect storm of commercialization, massification, disengagement, resource constraints, short termism, and increased (and ease of) opportunity converge to influence student (and faculty) behavior and attitudes. Add this to the rapidly evolving higher education landscape with a workforce that is often not trained in education, is increasingly casualized, and often deprioritizes teaching and learning relative to other academic pursuits, and the opportunity for academic dishonesty is obvious. Within this context, this chapter examines the motivations of student academic dishonesty in higher education. Drawing on the empirical literature, seven groups of motivators are identified that illustrate a range of contextual, situational, and awareness/knowledge-based motivators. It is concluded that while a range of factors motivate student behavior, the higher education landscape and academic culture are also key components. There are a range of strategies that may mitigate these activities (such as academic professional development, improved assessment design, student training, and technological advancements). It is argued that a dedicated medium-term approach is required to combat the rising tide and the changing higher education landscape.
Chapter
The idea that character and intellect should be developed in tandem appears to be as old as education itself, as evidenced in proverbs that played a role in the education of scribes in ancient Sumeria (Veldhuis 2000, p. 383). In cultures as diverse as ancient China and Greece, wisdom, compassion, and courage were regarded to be universal moral qualities and central to education. So it is no surprise that what is now called “academic integrity,” loosely defined as acting in accordance with values and principles consistent with ethical teaching, learning, and scholarship, is a concept and a concern in academic communities in the USA. What may surprise some, however, are the unique characteristics of this subject in the American context that differ considerably from the British and European models upon which they were based.