Students are driven to cheat when there are too much emphasis to ace exams from both parents and school officials. It’s difficult to dismiss entirely of why students cheat, but taking the pressure away, students are less likely to engage in such conduct. Cheating implies breaking the rules. Academic dishonesty is using reference materials during a closed-book test or getting the answers ahead of time. Cheating is a significant concern in distance education programs. Students might find someone else to log in and take the exam for them or even have a teacher or more advanced student work with them while they take the exam.
No matter how carefully a program is designed to prevent it, some students will always be able to circumvent the safeguards. This might seem like an easy way for a student to get a good grade and get ahead in his or her career. However, when students cheat on exams, everyone is affected. Consequences can vary considerably if a student is caught cheating. A grade of a zero is a standard consequence. Some professors may not report the cheating which only allows the student to continue the wrongful behavior. In most cases, the student will be put on academic probation for a first offense.
This will affect the students’ career development because no one can succeed in their career if they have not learned what they were supposed to during the course of their college studies. The student may be able to get a job with more responsibilities and more pay, but they may not be able to keep it, or might even harm people. Whether the student’s career is medical assistant or lawyer, the exams are supposed to show the level of knowledge required for them to perform well. Another consequence of students cheating is that current and future students who do not cheat are penalized for being honest.
When students cheat they change the rules of education in favor of themselves. If the course is graded on a curve, then the students who cheat will have their grades inflated and other students will do more poorly as a direct result. Even if the course is not supposed to be graded on a curve, grades are never absolute. Teachers might look at overall test scores and decide that a certain test was too hard, and that students should be allowed to drop a test score or retake it. However, if some students do extremely well because of cheating, then teachers will not know that the test was simply too difficult.
They’ll have no motivation to change the test or the way the material is presented next time. With no feedback on their teaching style, teachers will continue to present the same material and the same kinds of tests. In fact, teachers may start to conclude that the tests are too easy because more students are getting very high grades. In other words, once a few students cheat the motivations for other students to do the same increase. When students successfully cheat they change the rules of education in favor of themselves. Cheating can create a culture of dishonesty.
Once students find that one person is cheating it changes the entire ethics of the institution. It is harder for students to resist temptation if others are doing it. When it is recognized by the class that cheating is the only way to pass because majority of students are cheating, then the rest will begin to cheat. If students think that ‘everyone’ else is cheating, then it starts to seem right and normal. Because most young people do it, many young people don’t even see it as being wrong. Each person who participates in an anti-social behavior brings that behavior closer to the norm.
Cheating can also devalue all students’ certificates and diplomas by casting a negative light on distance education. If society at large thinks that people in distance education programs tend to cheat, then they are less likely to want to hire people who have graduated from those programs. By maintaining academic honesty, students can make sure that their diplomas continue to have value and aren’t just seen as coming from a ‘diploma mill. ’ Finally, the consequences are severe if a student is caught. A student who is caught cheating will face at the very least failure of the assignment or exam.
Harsher consequences include failing the course or possibly even expulsion from the institution. Cheating may seem like a rational decision, but the long-term consequences including the loss of money, time, and reputation that go with failing a class or being expelled can be devastating. Cheating has many consequences that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even though the short-term effect might be positive, as the student collects some high grades, the long term consequences to fellow students, the institution, society, and the student he or she are not worth it.