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A comparison of the role of academic dishonesty policies of several colleges on the cheating behavior of engineering and pre-engineering students

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4 Author(s)
Harding, T.S. ; Kettering Univ., Flint, MI, USA ; Carpenter, D.D. ; Montgomery, S.M. ; Steneck, N.H.

While universities take a variety of approaches in dealing with academic dishonesty, current evidence suggests that institutions with honor codes have a significantly lower level of self-reported cheating as compared to nonhonor code institutions. This paper focuses on five institutions and their effectiveness in dealing with cheating, specifically among engineering or pre-engineering students. The authors' goal is to provide greater understanding of what institutional approaches appear to be most effective in minimizing cheating among this specific sub-group. The paper presents a predictive model of the extent of cheating among engineering students at these institutions using a variety of variables, including the nature of the academic policies at the study institutions, student perceptions toward cheating on their campuses and other contextual variables. Results appear to indicate that the strongest predictor of increased cheating among this sample of engineering students was the sense that cheating was necessary to succeed. Other variables that made a significant impact were the presence of an honor code and membership in a fraternity or sorority.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education, 2002. FIE 2002. 32nd Annual  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

6-9 Nov. 2002

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