The Problem of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty has become a serious problem in university. Basically, there are three types of academic dishonesty which is cheating, plagiarism and collusion (Moon, 2006). Cheating in the academic can be defined as steal of ideas or copy righted materials (Mares, 2005; Dobrovska and Prokorny, 2007). While plagiarism means that “passing off someone else’s work whether intentionally or unintentionally for their own benefit” (Carroll, 2002). The students are using or copying information from different source of information without acknowledgement of original author such as website, article, book or electronic materials.

This phenomenon is wide-spread among university students. Thus, a lot of studies have been conducted to determine the factors that contribute to cheating and plagiarism. The factors can be divided into three categories which is Demographic Factors, Societal and technological Factors and Situational Factors (Harding et al., 2001). For demographic factors, this includes age, gender, church attendance, participation in extra-curricular activities and student’s educational level.

In addition, Societal and technological factors consisting of lack of punishment, peer culture, lack of pressure to succeed and lack of awareness (Ma et al., 2007). Apart from that, the reasons also include importance of good grades, external work commitments and high family expectations. Furthermore, heavy course loads, fear of future damage and limited time students have to complete assignments are the examples of situational factors (Sheard et al., 2002; Razera et al., 2010).

Although cheating and plagiarism are considered as ethical issue, but students still lack of awareness about consequences from both action. Thus, parents, school, faculty members and students should strive to combat academic dishonesty because it is very important for preparing students a successful professional future. Departments can reduce cheating action by increasing the numbers of test proctors, use non-multiple choice exams and use different versions of the exams (Kerkvliet and Sigmund, 1999). In addition, high-tech defenses which includes filtering, blocking and rating system can be used to overcome plagiarizing from Internet (Lathrop and Foss, 2000).

The students must use website of turn-it-in.com and submitting the assignment with the result can help to prevent incidents of plagiarism (Berry et al., 2006). Furthermore, teachers should be alert and reporting incidents of plagiarism. Teachers also can involve students in interesting assignments that are more engaging and relevant to the students themselves (Renard, 2000; Ma et al.,2008). Teachers can create classroom assignment that are evaluated immediately (Berry et al.,2006).

The students must understand how to document resources properly such as how to cite references properly and how to use bibligraphies (Renard, 2000). Lastly, academic institutions play important role by having signed codes of ethics by new students (Berry et al., 2006). Students should be taught to differentiate ethical and non-ethical behaviors in the course.

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