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Managing the challenges of cheating in the digital age

August 13, 2012

Cheating in the digital ageAs long as there is the promise of reward and competition for it, there will always be the temptation to cheat. Cheating is as old as the classroom itself, and the deplorable practice seems even more entrenched in today’s digital age where Internet technologies have made light work of copying off others.

While technology has also made it easier to detect cheating, for instance, using software like Turnitin and iThenticate to catch out plagiarists, the root of the problem remains, which is the student mindset that it is okay, even natural, to copy stuff from the Internet.

But there is hope for academic integrity, although the solutions are by no means easy to implement. Besides detection software, more effective and sustainable methods to deter cheating include changing the mindset of students by emphasising learning over testing, getting creative with assignments and teaching methods, explaining expectations and consequences, and instilling in young minds the moral wrong in plagiarism.

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