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Cheating In Online Courses


"This kind of behavior in online classes worries me because it is becoming more pervasive..." Is there any evidence to support this claim?

How would you collect evidence?

Interesting post, thanks. Small quibble: "What this tells us is that the extra distance provided by the club allows for twice as much cheating as the unavoidably conscious and culpable act of picking up the ball and moving it." "Twice as much?" Doubt it. Many who didn't improve lie with their 5 irons would have kicked it instead if they decided not to kick, so it doesn't allow "twice as much" cheating. Equivalent. 23% drink lemonade, 14% soda, 10% juice. Lemonade's glorious refreshingness doesn't "allow for twice as much drinking." I say this as someone who has done all 3 methods of improving my golf ball.

A simple graph should show proof. X axis equals time test taken. Y axis equals score. If the scores go up as time goes by, then students are probably sharing questions and answers. The window for taking the test has to be small enough to eliminate the longer studying time as a significant variable. Also, compare final grades of specific students in on-line courses with their grades in traditional courses. If the on-line course scores are higher than other scores, you probably have cheating. There is definitely a lot of cheating going on in on-line courses, but this would put teeth into the prevalent anecdotal evidence.

Vernon, I suppose we'd collect evidence the same way we do in any social science: systematically. But, this whole post is premised on the idea that cheating is more prevalent in online learning. If that's not true, then all that follows is moot. I'm open to the possibility that this is true, but I've not seen any evidence of it.

I spent a couple months working for an online tutoring service. Of all the students I "tutored" none went online for tutoring; they went online to get a solution to an assignment. As a tutor, we were instructed to guide the student, not simply give them the answer. But we were also given a time limit per session. As you might imagine, these two directives conflicted. As soon as they got the answer they were gone. No discussion, no summary. Yahoo Answers, a free service, is similar. Students are always fishing for answers there and requesting an explanation and a show of work. Pretty easy to see what their goal is.


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