Addressing Higher Ed’s Online Cheating Problem

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. David Rettinger, Professor of Psychology and Director of Academic Integrity Programs at University of Mary Washington joined the podcast to talk about changing the incentives altogether and prevent the very need for online cheating in the first place.

There's been this perception out therethat the Internet is causing some massive growth in academic dishonesty,but the data that Don micade collected through his big longitudnal study,which Startedi Ione thousand nine hundred and ninety two didn't show anymajor grow: You're listening to enrolment growth,university from helicks education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Rolment at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to Enroman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWolson with helics education and we're here today with Dr David Ruddingder,professor of psychology and director of Academic Integrity Programs atUniversity of Mary Washington, David Welcome to the show, thank you forhaving Maror really extented to talk...

...with you today about the studentincentives regarding online cheating and what, if anything, we can do tochange those before we dig in. Can you get the listeners a little bit betterunderstanding of University of Mary Washington and your rule? There surefirst to say, I'm pesr psychology, I studied decision making by training andcognitive psychology, but I've become interested in the particular decisionthat students make to cheat or more often not to cheat in their variouswork in assignments. So I teach courses in psychology I also serve as thedirector of academic integrity programs, which means that I'm, the proceduraladviser to our student run honor system vary. Washington is a little bitunusual in that all of our academic integrity decisions are made by ourstudent body through an an elected body of students who make decisions aboutresponsibility and sanctioning for acanemic integriny they're alsoresponsible for the policy. Now, as you can imagine, they need some help doingthat and that's my role at ther Washington. So I'm a teacher, a scholarof academic integrity of published in...

...papers on the topic and m a pactitionerworking in the honor system at Ary Washington. So that makes me a littlebit unusual and that I have all of those role symupaniou, but and afascinating student governance model and and obviously a really interestingbit of color. For our conversation David to kick us off today, how big dowe think the online cheating problem is in high red today? It's hard to answerthat question, because a lot of the datafets are a couple of years old,even and so, of course, everything's changing so fast in the current covidenvironment. That any answer I give you will be somewhat dated by its nature.Yeah. Having said that, online cheating is was been a growth problem, of course,because in internet use has become a birth problem, but in the DAA that Ilooked at before covid hit, I would say that online cheating was while a biggerproportion of cheating we weren't, seeing a huge growth in acedemicmisconduct as the result of the...

Internet. There's been this perceptionout there that the Internet is causing some massive growth in academicdishonesty, but the data that Don dicad collected through his big longitudnalstudy, which started I ine thousand nine hundred and ninety two didn't showany major growth. It Ou showed the serv of normal ups and downs that you wouldexpect a Montitudal Davi plection in order to try to figure out how to solveor mitigate the existing cheating that we are seeing. What are some of thebiggiest brothereus to tech solves that you've seen institutions doing to tryand prevent the possibility for cheating all together well first todisclaim is that I haven't seen a lot of this stuff first hand, because Iworked at an Honor Code Institution, so we tend to take a much more proactivehands off kind of approach, but I certainly do keep up with theliterature and I think the biggest brotheriest things I've seen is theliteral big brother item, which is the video f pamrs right or well had it. TheBig Brother TV show has it, and now universities are asking students toopen cameras up into their own homes to...

...track their behavior. You know so thestudents are being asked to take their Webpam and display their entire room.That they're, taking the test in they're, asked to video recordthemselves taking the test and, of course, audio ecord themselves, alongwith that, for at least we know that they're being transparent in the sensethat they're letting students know that they're recording them yeah. I thinkthat if we ever get to a point where students are being recorded withouttheir knowledge, that would probably win as the biggest brotheriist Kidof,but I do think the students probably are giving away more information thanthey realize they are through some of these systems. There are things likekeyboard, tiping, fingerprint checking. I mean literal figer prints, but I meanthat, for example, your typing patterns can be compared to those used on anExamin, so they can determine it the same person as typing in two differentinstances, so ther's lots of information that sor giving out that Idon't think they necessarily know they're giving out and almost ceinlydid consciously consent to give, and so...

...you've suggested the possibility ofchanging the incentives altogether in order to prevent the inherent need forcheating, moving away from a very few high stakes exams. Every session. Tomany more low, staks quizes, absolutely it's not like. I invented this idea,I'm a pygno psychologist, and so even before we really called it learningsciences. A lot of US incognite psychology been asking the question:How much are students really learning from our very traditional style classes?You know the lecture and test assessment sort of style and theconclusion I came to was not near as much as we imagine that they are, andso I'm a big fan of taking advantage of what we know from the behaviol sciencedata, so frequent testing using testing as a learning experience itself, givingstudents a chance to own and engage with the material on their own termsand really deep, as opposed to shallow learning over time, are much likelierto lead to long term growth in knowledge and skill. So yeah, threetests, ind a final exam, don't really...

...strike me as Otimal or even you know,basically acceptable as a learning stategy. It's just what happened towork in the large lectures that many of us grew up with as a side, ote. I wasgoing to add that, in addition to being petagogically superior to break up theassessment, I think tyey're also going to get less cheating for all sorts ofreasons right, including the students feel like the stake so moer whenstudents feel like the stakes are high and they feel Lik they're out that theoutcomes are out of their control, they're more likely to resort to thingsthat they, even they would say, don't comport with their values. So we cangive students a chance to sort of fail, gracefully to learn from their mistakes,they're much less likely to take shortcuts. Is there anything else thatwe can do things that you've seen? I the literature things that you'reexperimenting at University of Mary Washington to try and minimize cheatingin our online class rooms without those webcam based proctoring or browsermonitoring solutions? Absolutely there...

...are a lot of things we can do to eitherprevent or mitigate acanomic misconduck. I think the first one is opening openbook open note. Tests are an easy way to circumvent the notion that studentshave to go. Google the answers. Once you create an open book, open note task.You have to rethink what you're assessing but give students a chance tohave the material at hand and apply it in a way that challenges them. So theychallenge. Therefore, in the learning is in the application, not in thememorization. That's going to circument a lot of accntis conduct, because thethings that you were ther calling this conduct you're now calling a goodlearning. So that's going to help a lot. I think in terms of being proactive.One of the most useful things we can do is make sure students understand whywe're doing what we're doing in the classroom. It's when a student feelslike what they're doing is a waste of their time or doesn't when they are notable to connect the activities that they're doing with their longtermgrowth that they're willing to circumvent the activity, if they seesay an assignment as having otential to...

...help them in their lives, then they'regoing to be more likely anyway to try to achieve that success with thatassignment because they see the value to them. If they see I it's just a boxto be checked or hoop to jump through, then they're going to find any waythrough that hoop or to check that box, and they don't really care. If learningis part of that, so helping them understand why we're asking them to dowhat we do is a huge part of getting them to buy in to doing the work. Davidreally really good stuff. Any next nieps advice for institutions who aretrying to think through this campus wide approach to academic integrity.Where should that conversation begin, I think the best place to begin thatconversation is and the teaching and learning centers, I think, teaching anmany center experts are absolutely our best allies in reducing cheating. I'vebeen quoted before, and I genuinely believe this. The best way to reducethe academic misconduct is to teach better right. Don't don't dumb downyour work at? No one would advocate...

...that, but rather make make the workyou're asking students to do more, personalized, more challenging, moreengaging to the students, and a vast majority of them will respond to thatby rising to the occasion. At the same time, there are students who are therebecause they are looking for this commodity, which is this economicdegree and those students are going to be very hard to deter from aconemicdishonesty, using either tech solutions or proactive pedegogical solution andthat we're still struggling with how to deal with students who arefundamentally not there to learn David, absolutely fascinating, stoff thanks somuch of your time today and all that you're building in the world, heuniversity of Mary Washington, what's the best place for listeners to connectwith you if they have any follow up questions, I think the best way toreach me is through my email at the International Center for AcademicIntegrity, which is D Rettonshire, which is my last name at academicintegrity, Dot Bord, and I also take the opportunity to plug theInternational Center for acanemic...

...integrity, which is a consortium ofcolleges, universities and individuals who are researching and addressing thisproblem institutionally awesome thanks, togainst, so much for joining us today,David Wirk. I really appreciate it and thank you all for listening attractingtoday's new post, traditional learners means adopting new enrolmant strategies.Keeliks educations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollmentgrowth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helex has just published the second edition of theirenrollment growth playbook, with fifty percent brand new content on howinstitutions can solve today's most pressing enromant growth challengesdownload it today for free at Helocks, Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next...

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