How has technology changed academic integrity? (Feb. 2014)



How has technology changed academic integrity? (Feb. 2014)

Technology has significantly reshaped the notion of academic integrity for both students and teachers. It has greatly facilitated the ease of making large amounts of information available to anyone with an internet connection. While the many opportunities technology has pro-vided for education it has also presented challenges to academic integrity. The surveys conducted by the Jo-sephson Institute of Ethics reveal that there is an increasing deterioration of ethics in academics among students (Ma, Wan, & Lu 2007).

With every technological advance such as the rise of social media, smart phones, mobile apps, and e-books academic dishonesty has become a major problem in many post-secondary institutions. Faculty members are now dealing with problems that were not present several decades ago. Students can take photos of exams and quizzes and post them of Facebook or distribute them via e-mail and tweet exam questions and answers. Stu-dents are now able to upload essays, re-search papers, and projects on online forums for other students to access (Wakefield, 2012).

(Easybib, 2012)

Students share and distribute such information and material prior and during exams primarily by the use of smart phones. Phones are now used for referencing, from searching for answer keys to researching information. These devices are also used as a form of communication between students during exams by SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messaging (Digital Life, 2009). These small mobile devices that are compact enough to fit inside pockets are causing major problems for professors across many post-secondary institutions.

Teachers understand that the internal decision for a student to cheat stems from moral reasoning ability. Unfortunately, while students are aware that cheating is wrong and against academic integrity, academic misconduct is encouraged by competition among peers (Gallant, 2008). According to Quigley, the presence of cell phones in the classroom both undermines the ultimate goal of education and detracts from the learning experience in the class room. With increasing access to the internet on phones, students potentially no longer feel the students is also very closely related to the Internet (Ma, Wan, & Lu 2007).

The Center for Academic Integrity (2005) conducted a nationwide survey annually since 2002 including 60 post-secondary four year schools. The results from the study revealed that 77% of students thought that it was not a serious offense when copy and pasting a few sentences from the internet without using appropriate citations.

Professors across the country use various methods to check the credibility of the work of their students. With online sources such as professors are attempting to combat plagiarism in academic writing. Websites such as were developed when teachers in all levels of teaching started to detect large amounts of unoriginal con-tent in student writing. (Ireland & English, 2007).
In closing, the internet has become an everyday part in student’s lives. Professors are constantly at-tempting to detect and diminish cheating by using technology the same way students keep innovating new ways to get ahead in school (Ma, Wan, & Lu 2007).
- C. Florez

> Center for Academic Integrity. (2005). CAI research. Retrieved February 6, 2014. Retrieved from
> Digital Life. (2009, June 19). Students use Smart Phones to Cheat in Exams. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from:
> Easybib. Survey on student research habits. 30 April 2012. Raw dat. ImagineEasy Solutions, New York.
> Gallant, T. B. (2008). Academic Integrity in the Twenty-First Century: A Teaching and Learning Imperative. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from:
> Ireland, C., & English J. (2011). Let Them Plagiarize: Developing Academic Writing in a Safe Environment. Journal of Academic Writing, 1(1),165-172.
> Ma, H., Wan, G., & Lu, E. (2008). Digital Cheating and Plagiarism in Schools. Theory into Practice, 47, 197-203.
> Quigley, D. (n.d.). Dealing with Technology in the class-room. Retrieved from Teacher Vision. Retrieved from:
> Wakefield, S. (2012). Academic Integrity and Tech Cheating. AACSB ENewsline. Retrieved from http://enewsline.aacsb.