ENGINEERING STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF ACADEMIC CHEATING IN ONLINE AND RESIDENTIAL ENGINEERING COURSES

Open Access
Author:
Lim, Slki Narae
Graduate Program:
Educational Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 26, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Hoi Kin Suen, Thesis Advisor
  • Catherine G P Berdanier, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Academic Cheating
  • Engineering Education
  • Dual-Setting
Abstract:
As online courses thrive due to the ease and availability of technology, cheating on tests is becoming a serious problem. With an increased need for enhancing test security, researchers are studying academic cheating from many angles, including what cheating is, who cheats, why students cheat, what methods they use to cheat, factors affecting cheating, and what can be done to prevent cheating. Cheating is a complex issue with a wide range of types, causes and behaviors, including the motivation for test-takers to continuously devise new ways to cheat. Along with this general atmosphere, engineering, as a discipline is new to online education is at the stage of building up new online learning courses including online assessments. Most engineering courses consist of professional terminology and concepts that are unfamiliar and therefore require an arduous workload for students. Given this difficult situation, students take cheating as one of the reasonable strategies to employ throughout their coursework. The purpose of the study is to examine engineering students’ perceptions about cheating in order to construct online courses that minimizes cheating. Cheating can thwart test scores, or against the purpose of assessment, and to hamper the ability to provide students with diagnostic instruction rich in information. This study asks students whether they regard particular actions as cheating in online and in-person testing. It aims to provide information about cheating perceptions so that cheating can be prevented and academic achievements can be accurately measured. In order to apply students’ perceptions about cheating to design a course secure from cheating, McNemar tests with Bonferroni adjustment were applied to all 17 questions; the questions analyzed students’ responses and compared their perceptions on cheating between online and in-person testing settings. Implications of the results showed in which setting it was easiest to cheat, which specific behavior was easiest to recognize as cheating, and which aspects of testing should be most carefully constructed when designing a dual-setting course that includes both online and in-class lectures and assessments.