How To Deal With Cheating At Online Colleges
While online degree programs have become much more popular in the last five years, the issue of cheating is a source of concern among both teachers and adminstrators. In fact, some even feel that cheating could severely destroy the credibility of online education programs. One of the obvious problems with earning your degree online is that you’re anonymous. In a traditional classroom, teachers can easily detect students who are cheating because they are physically present in the room.
It is also believed that students who are taking classes online are much more likely to either use plagiarism or trick instructors into thinking that they are present in a class when someone else may be present instead. Of all the criticisms which have been directed at online universities, this is one of the most common. A large amount of the criticism has resulted from problems which arose with independent classes in the 1960s. During this time, a large amount of fraud was discovered among some distance education programs.
Some supporters of online college programs feel that cheating is much more prevalent in traditional classrooms. However, it is difficult to support this argument for a number of reasons. It is obvious to most people that a student sitting in a classroom with a teacher is much more likely to get caught. Online, students are completely anonymous, and it is easy with them to find other students who will help them cheat. It is difficult for students to cheat in online classes which are small. The reason for this is because teachers have an easier time learning about the different strengths and weaknesses of students in small classes. In larger classes, it is harder for instructors to detect cheating, especially online.
Most online classes will have less than 25 students, and this can help minimize the chances that students will cheat. However, having a small class is not a guarantee. College students are known for inventing ingenious methods of cheating on exams. For example, a large number of students were recently discovered cheating on their exams using cell phones. One thing that both offline and online colleges have learned is that putting 100 students in the same class is a bad idea. One thing that online colleges can do to reduce the amount cheating is to make their courses as interactive as possible.
Many experts feel that courses which are highly interactive will deter students who wish to cheat. An instructor who uses interactive media may be able to learn how their students think, and this can allow them to pick up on behavior which is unusual. As of this time, these are the only safeguards available to stop students from cheating. The estimated number of online college students who cheat is currently not known, and these numbers are hard to determine. One thing which is certain is that cheating will never be completely stopped, online or offline.
However, there are a number of reasons why students shouldn’t cheat, even if they are given the opportunity. Cheating on a test will only give you a temporary solution to your problems. When you graduate and start your career, your employer will expect you to know how to perform the job. If you can’t, you could cause a large number of problems, and it is likely you will lose your job. While cheating may bring you short term success, it will ultimately lead to failure in the long run. Many students who choose to cheat fail to understand this. Another thing which must be taken into consideration is that cheating at online colleges will bring a bad name to them.
Though online degrees are being accepted by more employers than ever before, they will be reluctant to higher employees who have got their degrees online if they suspect that they have been cheating. If you are taking an online class, and a student sends you an email about cheating on a test, it is best to decline the offer and report them to your instructor. Being dishonest will lead to long term problems which will be difficult to overcome. As of this time, it is unknown how cheating will effect the progress of online degree programs. However, it is likely that it will decline as courses become much more interactive.