Over the last year, colleges and universities across the country have seen a significant rise in the incidence of academic misconduct. In simplest terms, more students seem to be cheating than ever before.
Experts haven't had a chance to conduct empirical research into the causes of this rise. Many faculty and administrators, though, lay the blame on Covid-19 itself and the stress it has caused for students and teachers alike. With increased course loads, professors have resorted to easier exam formats, while students struggling to deal with lock-downs and health concerns have turned to cheating when they lose motivation to study.
Stress isn't the only factor in this rise, though. Other school officials point the finger at the nature of online coursework itself.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2019, it took much of the country by surprise. That surprise was felt acutely by colleges and universities, who found themselves forced to make changes in the middle of a semester. The biggest of those changes was a shift from traditional classes to online formats.
While some professors have worked to institute new methods of monitoring and responding to their students' work, many just weren't prepared for teaching in this new environment. Meanwhile, students, who have found themselves alone at home rather than in a campus environment, face new temptations to cut corners. After all, with no one watching, why not take a peek in the textbook while you're taking the exam? Why not take an exam with a classmate so you can help each other out? In short, while the US education system has made progress in recent years towards embracing the digital world, it wasn't ready to shift entirely to online courses, and that lack of preparation has had far-reaching effects.
Working from home has brought other temptations as well. All alone in front of the computer, students have turned to online sites such as Chegg and Course Hero to get answers on exams and help writing papers. Other schools have discovered complex networks of students sharing answers on social media platforms. Of course, students don't necessarily need sites like these since finding answers can sometimes be as simple as doing a Google search.
In response to these new methods of cheating, some schools have themselves begun contracting with high-tech companies. Honorlock, Respondus, and ProctorU all offer programs that lock computers down and prevent students from accessing online material while they are working. Of course, ingenious students will always find new ways to cheat, but removing some of the most obvious temptations could be one way of motivating students to stick to the honor code.
If You've Been Accused of Academic Misconduct, Joseph D. Lento can Help
If you find yourself facing charges of academic misconduct, don't try to solve it on your own. College and university justice systems are notoriously complex, and with an increase in cases, judicial processes are strained to the breaking point. Joseph D. Lento has defended countless students against academic misconduct. He knows how to navigate through school bureaucracy, and he's a tenacious fighter who will get you the best possible outcome.
For more information, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-555-3686, or use our automated online form.