Technology in Academic Cheating


Evidence shows that academic cheating have been elevated higher by the emergence of new technologies in communication and this have worsened the state of academic qualification all over the world. Technology have helped in elevating the levels of academic cheating to such extent that there is concern that many of the candidates who pass an exam may have cheated in any way or another. Cheating has been there for a long and this can be attributed to that some students did not want to work hard and yet they still wanted to pass their exams and hence had to cheat so as to attain the required marks. Cheating is a problematic issue which needs to be addressed by various authorities who are concerned with the education systems all over the world as well as other parties who are concerned and this include the teaching fraternity, peer counselors, parents, older siblings among other stake holders. The statistics are very grim and it has shows that a significant percentage of students are indulging in cheating in the United States alone more than seventy percent high school admitting to have cheated in one way or another (Wilfried, 2002).

Use of Technology in Academic Cheating

Technology and cheating

Before the twenty first century, cheating was conducted on a low level and there was little technology involved. Many of the student who were indulging in academic cheating relied mainly on plagiarism, sabotage, fabrication and deception. One of the most traditional ways of academic cheating is plagiarism whereby students would give works which are copied from other sources and copied from other students. This could be done during the actual exercise time or through assignments and this meant that the students did not fully submit his or her work. Plagiarism was very common prior to the twenty first century and though other types of academic dishonesty existed the most prolific was plagiarism. This meant that the students were involved in a lot of copying from each other and also through the resources. It is important to note that one of the most exercised form of plagiarism was the copying from fellow students and this have not been outdated to date (Donald, 2002).

Copying was very common prior to the twenty first and this was afforded because the teachers could not fully supervise an examination room. This is because the students were too cunning and also the fact that they had other styles of copying which the teacher could not detect. Students would write things on their desks which would help them in dealing with a particular examination question and also relied on the fact that if a particular question came up another student would help in answering the question. Copying from fellow students was very common and many students who cheated prior to the twenty first used this method of cheating. Mainly this would be mutually beneficial to students who would help each out during an examination and this meant that one student had only to concentrate on one part of the exam while the other concentrated on the other part of the exam. Apart from that there was also the possibility of one student copying from another student who did not have the knowledge of what was happening (Richard, 2004).

However, with the integration of technology into the academic environment, cheating has taken a state of the art perspective with students using the available technology to cheat through their examinations. Technology has played a very important part in the elevation of the cheating methods so that students nowadays are cheating without the fear that they will be discovered. This is because unless a teacher is very observant, it is very hard for a student to get caught when cheating and this happens during the actual exam time and also assignments. There are various tools which have helped in this aspect and this can be described as information and communication gadgets which have enabled people to store retrieve and access information from what ever place they may be (Donald, 2002).

One of the tools that is being used in academic cheating is the data enabled mobile phone which have enabled students to store information in them and also access the internet during class time. This means that the students can access any kind of information from their phones and these phones are so easy to come by these days because they are not costly. This means that the students who have these kinds of phones do not have to look for information from their fellow students but they can access the information from the other sources and this is especially from the storage of the phones which can store files and also from the World Wide Web. This means that the students can have access to any information that they need regarding to the examination. It is also very hard for the students to be caught because the information cannot be detected easily by the teacher whether it is from the student originally or from other sources. Phones can also be used to pass information from student to student in any examination room and this is through the short text messages that the phones offer. This means that the students can get help from the students (Richard, 2004).

Another important source of cheating is the internet; student have easy access to the internet through their computers both at school and at home. This means that the students when given an assignment that does not require the supervision of the teachers, they can easily download information from the internet and use it for their submissions. Unless the teachers are very careful, this kind of cheating is very effectual because the students are aware that it is very hard for them to get caught while at the same time the students are sure to get a good grade because of the high quality results the work will produce. This means that the students can use the internet to cheat on their examinations and assignments (Donald, 2002).

There is a need for both the teachers and the parents to discourage the use of technology to cheat in examinations and also through their assignment. The use of their personal computers and their cell phones should only be limited to contacts only and not accessing information which might help them in cheating academically. This can only be achieved through the teachers, parents, relevant authorities and the government coming up with a mechanism which will deter and discourage cheating in the students and this should include punishment of the students found and also being disqualified from a certain class if the case is persistent. Other forms of mechanisms which should be used by teachers are the plagiarism detectors which are enhanced to find plagiarism from many sources not only the internet (Wilfried, 2002).


Donald L. McCabe, Linda Klebe Trevino, and Donald L. Butterfield, “Honor Code and Other Contextual Influences on Academic Integrity: A Replication and Extension to Modified Honor Code Settings” Research in Higher Education 43, no. 3, (2002), 368.

Richard A. Bernardi, Rene L. Metzger, Ryann G. Scofield Bruno, Marisa A. Wade Hoogkamp, Lillian E. Reyes, and Gary H. Barnaby, “Examining the Decision Process of Students’ Cheating Behavior: An Empirical Study” Journal of Business Ethics 50, no. 1, (2004), 399.

Wilfried Decoo, Crisis on Campus: Confronting Academic Misconduct (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002), 23.

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