New survey results suggest concerns around academic integrity still exist, but are significantly diminished compared to 2020.

Instructors are less concerned about online academic integrity after COVID

New survey results suggest concerns around online cheating still exist, but are significantly diminished compared to 2020

The percentage of instructors who said they actually caught students cheating was only slightly higher among those teaching online and hybrid courses than those teaching in-person classes.

Measures used to maintain academic integrity

One reason for the increased confidence may be the steps taken by instructors to promote academic integrity across learning modalities. Instructors indicated they used a variety of measures to help prevent academic misconduct in online coursework and tests, including using more open-ended questions, creating question pools, giving more project-based assignments, assigning more essays, and raising awareness about cheating and its negative consequences.

College students’ attitudes don’t match behavior

Wiley also surveyed college students in the study. While the majority of student respondents believe it is easier to cheat online than in person, that does not mean they actually are cheating. The majority (52 percent) said they are no more or less likely to cheat in an online course, while only 28 percent said they are more likely to cheat online.

Students are split on whether they find it easier to cheat now compared to before the pandemic. Half (51 percent) said it is easier to cheat now, but 35 percent said it’s the same, and 14 percent said it’s harder to cheat now.

Among the factors that the majority of students say make them less likely to cheat are: if they are likely to get caught, if proctoring software is used, if getting caught would lower their grade, and if the instructor talks about the consequences of getting caught cheating at the beginning of the course.

Wiley surveyed 2,868 college instructors and 682 students in the US and Canada for the study. More than 60 percent of the instructors in the sample teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses, while more than 30 percent teach business-related courses.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione