Distance learning isn't a new phenomenon, but its implementation on a nationwide scale due to the pandemic is uncharted territory for college administrators and students. Yet while the virtual route is necessary to keep students and staff members safe, remote learning does have a caveat – the inability to detect cheating accurately.
As the dust settles and the initial chaos of significant structural change diminishes, administrations are shifting their attention to addressing growing concerns of cheating. Most educators already believe that online courses increase the risk of academic dishonesty. Furthermore, research studies do show that more students admit to cheating more during virtual exams than they do in face-to-face settings.
It is easy to assume that harsh disciplinary actions prevent students from committing academic fraud, but that is merely treating the symptom and not the cause. Constructively countering the issue goes beyond penalization. It involves reinforcing principles of academic integrity while simultaneously fostering trust between students and their teachers.
How Can Colleges Decrease Cheating?
Educators have a wealth of technological tools that make it difficult for students to commit academic fraud. Yet not all colleges have the financial resources to purchase the right software to use when teaching. Instead, educators are thinking of ways to promote a fraud-free virtual classroom by connecting with their students more and tweaking their existing processes.
Some of the ways that educators are countering the problem are by getting creative with how they test. From having students take tests at different times to limiting the visibility of questions, these methods are increasingly becoming a necessity to deal with cheating.
The most effective way to combat cheating is by reinforcing principles of academic integrity. Reinforcement not only means encouraging students to be honest and value accountability. It also means having them sign academic integrity agreements and fostering an environment where they feel secure enough to ask questions. Placing a spotlight on the issue from the get-go gets the best results.
What To Do When Accused With Academic Fraud
No system is fool-proof, and students facing disproportionate pushback from college administrations still have options. Whether it is a lapse in judgment, a genuine unawareness of committing academic fraud, or an accusation of performing fraudulent acts, the consequences remain the same. If charged with academic fraud, students face severe repercussions that may affect their academic record, career, and life.
The best action to take if a student faces fraud charges is to speak to a legal advisor. A lawyer represents the student and their family and works to ensure that their academic reputation doesn't suffer as a result. Attorney Joseph D. Lento specializes in Code of Conduct defense and the representation of students facing accusations of cheating. With years of experience successfully helping hundreds of students with their academic fraud charges, Attorney Lento protects his clients with his assertive approach and thorough knowledge of the law.
Call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 for skillful, aggressive, and impactful representation if you face charges of cheating, Code of Conduct violations, or academic fraud.