Academic Integrity in High School

Apps for Students With Special Needs—As School Buildings Shutter

It’s not uncommon for news accounts of academic dishonesty to make headlines across the country, where they’re regarded with universal astonishment. How is it possible for such behaviour to take place on the campuses of prestigious high schools and colleges? What is it with today’s youth and the way they act?

A Society that Is Driven to Want
It is easy for us to throw up our hands and argue that this conduct is the unavoidable consequence of our children witnessing dishonesty and questionable standards in sports, government, and corporations. However, Challenge Success, an organisation that I helped start at Stanford University, does not adhere to the prevailing belief that this is a social problem that is too huge to be able to be solved. As a result of our own work with schools as well as the findings of our white paper that summarised 15 years of research on academic integrity, we have discovered that there are a number of effective techniques that schools may employ to lower the rates of cheating.

The numbers are quite alarming, and the extent of the problem is quite widespread. According to the findings of a number of studies, between eighty and ninety-five percent of high school students admit to having engaged in some type of academic dishonesty. Students are cheating in both traditional and innovative ways. Traditional methods include copying from another student’s paper or bringing a cheat sheet into the testing room. Innovative methods include students using technology to plagiarise essays or text test responses. They skip school on the day of the exam or fabricate excuses to give to their parents or physicians in order to get additional time to study. According to research, academic integrity is a problem on both sides of the accomplishment range; students who are considered great performers as well as those who are considered low achievers cheat. In spite of the fact that the majority of students are aware that what they are engaging in is unethical, they tend to rationalise their behaviour by claiming that they “didn’t have a choice — it’s cheat or get cheated.” They are under a tremendous amount of pressure to get the grades and test scores that they believe will be necessary for their future success, and they are aware of the high stakes that are attached to their evaluations.

5 Steps Toward Academic Integrity

So, what are some of the options? In order to assist in the establishment of an environment conducive to academic honesty and the reduction of behaviours indicative of cheating in high schools, we advise the following:

Strive for Buy-In of Honest Academic Practices

Start discussions about the expected levels of integrity throughout the entire school. Encourage students, parents, and teachers to collaborate in order to develop regulations that are unambiguous and consistent regarding the handling of transgressions. Some educational institutions have instituted what is known as a “honour code,” which is essentially an agreement reached by all students, teachers, and staff members regarding appropriate conduct. The honour code is presented to parents for signature in the month of September, and students are required to sign it whenever they hand in an assignment, take a quiz, Additionally, schools that have implemented student-led judicial boards and peer-to-peer counselling and intervention programmes have seen positive results.

Put more of an emphasis on your students’ mastery and learning than on their performance or grades.
When students focus on studying the content in detail and on mastering skills, as opposed to just cramming for the test tomorrow, there are evident benefits, including lower rates of cheating and improved achievement. This is because students are more engaged in the learning process. Learning that is problem- and project-based, in which students have some say over the material being studied and may demonstrate their comprehension of it in a variety of different ways, is an effective strategy for putting the emphasis on mastery. Students are less likely to engage in dishonest behaviour and are more likely to acquire the knowledge and abilities that are being taught to them if they are required to hand in draughts of papers and projects and if their progress is monitored over time.

Emphasize Mastery and Learning Over Performance and Grades

Students are less likely to engage in dishonest behaviour when they have the impression that their instructor knows them as individuals, cares about them, and cares about integrity. Students who feel like they belong in the classroom, are more competent, and want to put in the effort to do well are all characteristics that are associated with lower cheating rates. Improving the classroom climate and leading to several related benefits can be accomplished by placing an emphasis on the social and emotional learning of students.

Establish a Climate of Care

Try employing a variety of methods to evaluate the students’ knowledge and skills rather than depending heavily on unit examinations, which may increase the incentive to cheat owing to the high stakes involved. This will provide the students with additional opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. A combination of traditional tests and quizzes, as well as other types of assessments, such as essays, projects, presentations, think-alouds, and so on, may be able to more accurately reflect a student’s knowledge while also reducing the anxiety (and the subsequent urge to cheat) that may be caused by major examinations. The revision of school policy regarding late work, the elimination of “zero” scores and class rankings, and the authorization of test corrections and occasional ungraded tasks have all contributed to a reduction in cheating in schools.

Reduce Workload without Reducing Rigor

Since studies suggest that pupils who are overworked and stressed out may be more likely to cheat, educational institutions ought to take into consideration adopting the “less is more” concept. Determine the appropriate amount of homework for pupils to complete each night and check that they are aware of the goals behind each assignment. It is important to avoid scheduling many tests and projects at the same time. This will ensure that students have the time to study and finish their work without feeling rushed or the need to use shortcuts.

It is simple to point the finger at societal problems as the cause of what seems to be a rise in academic dishonesty. On the other hand, assisting our educational institutions in abandoning the mentality of “cheating to compete” would be the most effective course of action. The vodcast that can be found above provides more information on how these five proposals have been adopted in schools to assist in the development of more ethical communities. In the comments section, please share your own personal experiences and any remedies you may have found.