Is digitization creating a generation of cheaters?
Wow, Schools.com just ripped into students about cheating saying “kids just don’t care about academic honesty anymore.” They also said that “Many students can’t even distinguish between what constitutes plagiarism and what doesn’t.” Do they have a point or are they being too hard on students?
According to the stats they are citing, which come from a study of 43,000 High School Students in Public and Private Schools by Joseph Institute Center for Youth Ethics, one in three students admitted they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment. Also cited is an article by Amy Novotney with additional survey statistics by Donald McCabe, PhD, a business professor at Rutgers University and co-founder of Clemson University’s International Center for Academic Integrity.
The survey results don’t get any better. A majority of students (59 percent) admitted cheating on a test during the last year, with 34 percent doing it more than two times. “As bad as these numbers are, they appear to be understated,” said Michael Josephson, president of the Institute and a national leader in ethics training. “More than one in four students confessed they lied on at least one or two survey questions, which is typically an attempt to conceal misconduct.”
So it’s possibly worse than stated. With the Internet being so accessible now with smartphone mobile technology literally at our fingertips, cheating has never been easier. Is the temptation just too much for students these days to cheat? When I was in school, there was no Internet and certainly no smart phone mobile devices. However, students still cheated back then, just in different ways.
The numbers tend to speak for themselves and being in a digitized generation isn’t helping. Although the accessibility is there to cheat, the moral responsibility and ethical behavior remains the same over time with or without technology. There must be some morals there with the students though because in the survey 89 percent of students believe that being a good person is more important than being rich. So there is still hope yet.