Why Students Cheat

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The emergence of the internet has tremendously revolutionized society. From the moment people check their notifications in the morning, until they send out their last tweet before bed, people have found ways to incorporate technology into their daily routine. For older generations, adapting to the internet age may be a struggle, but for millennials and beyond, it’s all they know. Humans now have the world and all of its information at their finger tips; however, some people take advantage of this privilege for their own personal interests.
For students today, such acts of online cheating challenges their ethical decisions and academic character. Unfortunately, the internet can be seen as a platform that encourages these behaviors. With the
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Reasons why students cheat include opportunity, academic and peer pressure, the desire to succeed and lack of penalty (Simkin & McLeod, 2009). Due to these factors that lead to cheating, students develop a deontological mindset. Deontology involves making a decision after separating the action from the consequence. Students feel that it is their duty to succeed in school; therefore they commit these acts even though they know that they are wrong. According to David Rettinger and Yair Kramer, their article claims that students are inclined to cheat based upon their motivation (Rettinger & Kramer, 2009). Intrinsically motivated or learning-oriented students work to gain knowledge, as extrinsically motivated or performance-oriented students care only to prove their ability and receive good grades. Each student is capable of cheating, but performance-oriented students are more inclined to commit these unethical behaviors. When students contemplate these reasons of cheating, their motives and ethical thinking play a determining role. What prevents these students from cheating are the academic codes instilled by the universities and the collective understanding of the …show more content…
In addition, we have also shown how the internet plays a role in academic dishonesty and surfaced multiple alternative perspectives. The question still remains: How can millennial students apply their school’s code of ethics to the internet? One solution is the use of internet watch-dogs that will prevent digital cheating as well as hotlines that allow people to report misconduct (Freestone & Mitchell, 2004). Another solution is the continuation of plagiarism detecting software. This reminds students that they can still face consequences for their online actions. Since academic codes are only useful if people follow them, then the answer to the sole question lies within the students of the internet age. In the study of the article “Digital Cheating and Plagiarism in School,” their main reason of why students cheated was because other students did. If students are able to collectively appropriate online cheating behavior, then they should also be able to reverse it. In order to prevent unethical online behavior, today’s students must collectively redefine and condemn digital

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