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61.9% of Undergraduates Cybercheat

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the another-38-percent-lie dept.

Education 484

RichDiesal writes "A recent study of 1222 undergraduates found that 61.9% of them 'cybercheat,' which involves using the Internet illicitly to get higher grades. Some of the quotes from students are a bit troubling. As one 19-year-old engineering student put it, 'As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for.'"

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484 comments

Cybercheat? (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138612)

Cybercheat?
Your brain is beat.
You're only as smart
As whiskers neat.
Burma Shave

Re:Cybercheat? (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139040)

A recent study of 1222 undergraduates found that... "As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

limewire!? How recent is this study?

Re:Cybercheat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139146)

New buzzword is cybercheat.
Empty bits today;
The snow is deep.
Slashdot

Cybercheat? (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138636)

And about 97% of drivers "velocitycheat", or drive faster than the posted speed limit. See, I can make up new words too!

Re:Cybercheat? (5, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138808)

What makes the article particularly irritating is that their own definition for 'cybercheat' doesn't match the context in which they're using it:

Cybercheating can be defined as cheating enabled by the internet – so cybercheating can occur in any course.

61.9% (757 students) admitted to engaging in online plagiarism. 59% copied a few sentences, 30% copied a few paragraphs, 12% copies a few pages, 4% copied entire documents, and 3% purchased essays. 22.3% admitted to engaging in such behaviors regularly.

It's plain old plagiarism, hardly 'enabled' by the internet and certainly not worthy of it's own new word.

The actual figures, while not brilliant, are far less worrying than they seem to be trying to lead us to believe, and the word 'cybercheating' is just another one of those ploys to gain extra coverage by still implying that the internet is something new and scary, rather than a day-to-day avenue by which old behaviours, from simple conversation to bullying to cheating are carried out.

Re:Cybercheat? (3, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138918)

People that cheat, don't learn. In the future of all those students, it will all be sorted out: people that cheated constantly only to get a degree, will have lost time and money to get an education that they rejected when they cheated themselves out of actually baking the certificate with actual skills (beyond stealing). So, long term competition, I think, will favor the intelligent. Non cheaters with a degree will go further and get another one, will go to a company and actually make it money instead of looking like they make them money....

Re:Cybercheat? (3, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138940)

Bad form to reply to myself, but this seemed worth adding:

The study also examined “traditional” plagiarism and found similarly high levels – again, 61.9% of the sample reported some type of plagiarism, though this time from books and articles. I am not wholly convinced that the researchers adequately differentiated “online articles” and “offline articles” (students may consider these to be the same thing), but there is not enough detail reported on their method to be sure either way.

Fits pretty well with what I said, IMO. Firstly that the level of plagiarism is about the same either way - it's not some scary new phenomenon that's sucking in our students from those devil-boxes on their desks - and secondly that there's so little actual difference between an online article and a printed one that people (rightly, in my opinion) don't even consider them as different things. An utter non-story, but one of the type we'll keep getting for a while yet, by the look of things.

Re:Cybercheat? (2)

daaxix (218354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139128)

The percentages in their study are also higher for engineering and mathematics students.

Another particularly irritating caveat of this study is that they assign any "copying from the internet" to "cybercheating."

1) It is unclear whether in whatever questionnaire that they used whether the adequately distinguished between "copying a few lines with attribution" vs "copying a few lines without attribution."

2) In engineering and mathematics Wikipedia, Planetmath, Physics forums, etc. are usually useful and correct for undergraduate topics. In these disciplines, for an equation, like Newton's method, there really is only one way (or maybe a few ways) of concisely writing down the equation. If a math or engineering student copied an equation from Wikipedia to use on their homework, this study would label that "cybercheating," which is absolutely ridiculous!

Re:Cybercheat? (3, Interesting)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138878)

+1. Do we need a new word for each technology? When people invented the Xerox machine, did people start talking about "Photo-cheating?"

In any event, most of the 'cheating' measures are only useful in the more vacuous subjects. In most most of the hard topics, it's easy enough to see if student know material in short form ("Finish in the following: Glucose 6-phosephate is rearranged into Fructose 6-phosphate by _____") and in long form, slightly trickier, but you can generally filter the bulk of cheats by simply asking students some intelligent questions about their papers verbally. It's just that many people have got horribly lazy, or have been forced to lecture unreasonably large classrooms, or both.

Re:Cybercheat? (3, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139092)

In any event, most of the 'cheating' measures are only useful in the more vacuous subjects.

Although I find the article to be fairly poor, the one thing that did surprise me was the subjects arranged by cheating level. My assumption would have been the same as yours, but apparently no so:

  1. Engineering and technology (72%)
  2. Computer sciences and mathematical sciences (71%)
  3. Social studies (64%)
  4. Business and administrative studies (63%)
  5. Law (62%)
  6. Creative arts and design (61%)
  7. Architecture, Building and Planning (60%)
  8. Medicine (58%)
  9. Natural sciences (57%)
  10. Humanities (46%)

Although it does seem that 'traditional' subjects are firmly at the bottom of the list. More plagiarism from those doing a degree to get a job, and less from those doing a degree to learn, perhaps?

Re:Cybercheat? (2)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139170)

#2 must be c/p'ed code or something similar. I can believe that - it's too easy to find code that way. I really can't see how people are cheating on engineering work unless lecturers have become phenomenally lazy in the last decade. Most of the stuff I ended up doing was "Here is unique problem X. Students need to come up with a solution or a method to produce a solution." sort of work. Aside from working with another student (which isn't effective, but often isn't forbidden) how the heck could you i-E-Cyber-Web-Cheat-Net on that?

Re:Cybercheat? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139210)

It's a lot harder to pass off a longish humnaities essay by someone else as your own, the style, vocabulary and so on are a lot more personal and obvious than if you're writing out a fairly dry report of a lab experiment or something.

Re:Cybercheat? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138894)

I used to velocitycheat
Until my drivers license was repealed
Now I am more discrete
And only speed when everyone else does.
(Hands poem to english major; "here, make this rhyme and I'll do your Calc 1." Thanks)

RANKING (we engineers/programmers can't be bothered to write our own english words - we only care about logic damnit!)
1 Engineering and technology (72%)
2 Computer sciences and mathematical sciences (71%)
3 Social studies (64%)
4 Business and administrative studies (63%)
5 Law (62%)
6 Creative arts and design (61%)
7 Architecture, Building and Planning (60%)
8 Medicine (58%)
9 Natural sciences (57%)
10 Humanities (46%)

Re:Cybercheat? (1)

mat128 (735121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138896)

And about 97% of drivers "velocitycheat", or drive faster than the posted speed limit. See, I can make up new words too!

You mean speedhack? :)

Re:Cybercheat? (4, Funny)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139178)

I had to cybergoogle 'velocitycheat' to mindunderstand what you were cybertalking about.

Another 25% are still lyiing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138654)

There are hardly a few people who actually do their homework on their own.

Re:Another 25% are still lyiing (1)

Littleman_TAMU (589126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138892)

It depends on the class whether that is considered cheating though. I had some classes where the prof encouraged us to get to together to work on homework assignments, but we weren't allowed to just copy each other's work. However, they usually also singled out a few assignments that were to be done completely solo.

Re:Another 25% are still lyiing (2)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139126)

I had a take-home final where the prof basically said, "you can consult with any inanimate object to help with this final." Someone said, "so, we can use the internet, but not a dog?" at which point the prof said, "well, unless your dog has a decent grasp of quantum mechanics, I don't think the dog would help anyway."

It was an interesting strategy, and I actually learned a lot by reading through relevant papers. So long as the problems are obscure enough, there's really no way you can cheat (aside from working off of other students) -- at best you can find a paper which steers you in the right direction, and that's a Good Thing in terms of finishing the final and learning...win-win, in my opinion.

That what happens in china and other (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138916)

That what happens in china and other over seas schools lots of work that should be done on there where own is group work. Why do on your own and get a B when you can do it in a group and get a A. Maybe if where was more pass / fail that may drive more OWN work or maybe peoepl there are right doing stuff on your own is a thing of the past.

Cybercheat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138684)

Maybe this will lead to a future news story about the the spread of Cybercheating: Cybercheatgate 2011.

Cheating vs. Illegal Downloads? (3, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138688)

What does using the Internet illegally have to do with cheating? There's a huge difference between downloading the newest Ke$ha song and plagiarizing a source online for your paper (where the 61.9% figure comes from).

Re:Cheating vs. Illegal Downloads? (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138994)

>>>There's a huge difference between downloading the newest Ke$ha song and plagiarizing a source online for your paper

Ke$ha has a new song?
  - "Yeah it sounds just like the last one, which sounded like Katy Perry's California Girls, which sounded like Beyonce's first single."

Oh - she's cybercheating then. I'll just grab it off youtube rather than pay for it. Did ya hear her next album will be "country" just like her mum? (Probably ghost-written by Taylor Swifty.)

Because they see them as the same? (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139204)

They are both thefts, stealing ideas or stealing merchandise, where is the difference? Both are the products of others. What if the online source is a paid subscription model? Would that make the two equal? Is it OK to take from an public source like Wikipedia? Does that lessen the crime or just make one victim stand out more than another?

I don't see a difference except in who is getting cheated, in the first you are depriving someone the profits of their successful livelihood, in the second your depriving yourself of becoming better, in fact your caving into the problem many see in "this generation" (which this generation is this at the time is subject to those looking down on them) which is too do as little as possible for the greatest reward. You are establishing a work method that will likely stick with you your entire career and it will hobble them in it.

The article does not define cybercheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138690)

So what exactly is cybercheating?

Re:The article does not define cybercheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138754)

I like how you make complaints about what is and is not in TFA that you clearly did not read.

Cybercheating can be defined as cheating enabled by the internet – so cybercheating can occur in any course

It then goes on to give examples.

strange brew that's also good for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138692)

that would be home made kombucha(org)anic. it's alive.

Sounds Like A Plan (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138696)

As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

Those of you who agree with this student please stand up and be counted. Post it on your Facebook pages, MySpace thingies, personal blogs, etc. I want to know who you are when I'm interviewing to hire new talent.

Re:Sounds Like A Plan (1, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138862)

I'm pretty sure that your using the internet to investigate an applicant would be counted as "cybercheating" the hiring process. Way to be a hypocrite.

The whole idea of penalizing people for using the internet to produce answers in today's world sounds silly now doesn't it?

Re:Sounds Like A Plan (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139120)

I'm pretty sure that your using the internet to investigate an applicant would be counted as "cybercheating" the hiring process. Way to be a hypocrite.

The whole idea of penalizing people for using the internet to produce answers in today's world sounds silly now doesn't it?

It's the cheating that differentiates the actions.

Re:Sounds Like A Plan (2)

duguk (589689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138980)

As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.), I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant. So I feel no pressure in doing what ever everybody else is doing/using the Internet for."

Those of you who agree with this student please stand up and be counted. Post it on your Facebook pages, MySpace thingies, personal blogs, etc. I want to know who you are when I'm interviewing to hire new talent.

Why not, y'know, actually interview and gauge their real ability, rather than what's written on paper? Experience means a lot more than having enough money to go to University/College.

Cheating or stealing: They aren't going to be caug (1)

kpyke (1873448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138704)

"I feel that the chances of being caught or the consequences of my actions are almost insignificant." Just like criminals that use the Internet. There is almost no chance for attackers to be correctly identified and an even slimmer chance that they will be held accountable. It is the reality of the Internet, and will be a major concern for governments. Expect "verified identity" as a key government policy over next few years. And expect the EFF and ACLU to have plenty to do for the foreseeable future.

Fuck you neoacademic and fuck you Taco (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138716)

You don't create a new fucking word by prefixing "cyber-" to it. Didn't we already go through this with that fucking "E-" shit ten years ago?

The word is "cheat," dickholes. It's not any different because it's on the internet. What is this, a fucking patent application? /rant

Re:Fuck you neoacademic and fuck you Taco (5, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138874)

Somebody forgot to take their cyberlithium this morning....

[Offtopic]:Fuck you neoacademic and fuck you Taco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139050)

Open Source is great. Unless, of course, you need a decent spreadsheet

Tried gnumeric?

Re:Fuck you neoacademic and fuck you Taco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139154)

Sounds like someone has a case of the Cybermondays.

Re:Fuck you neoacademic and fuck you Taco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139166)

In another decade, we will be talking of Cyber-E-Cheating when we use out implanted cybernetic internet jacks to cheat ...

This just in from 1985 (3, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138720)

87% of students in the pre-internet age copied directly from the encyclopedia.

How is it news that kids cheat? Teachers never had it so good. Google has made it so easy to catch them it is ridiculous.

Re:This just in from 1985 (1)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138818)

Mod parent up. Same percentages probably, different medium. Probably the same rate of success in the real world after college.

Re:This just in from 1985 (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138868)

If you can copy from an encyclopedia and get a good mark, that says more about the course than about the student. It says that the assignment is testing knowledge, not understanding. These days, it's trivial to acquire knowledge, but understanding still has a lot of value.

Re:This just in from 1985 (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139152)

that says more about the course than about the student. It says that the assignment is testing knowledge, not understanding

That doesn't mean you can't gain understanding though... just that you'll have to work at it a little harder.

Cheating by copying is only cheating yourself, because having the right information on your paper isn't going to help you when you enter the real world and face a problem that doesn't have a cookie-cutter solution. You need to know how to solve problems, not just bludgeon the solution to some other problem until it looks enough like an answer that will pass for the solution for the current one.

Same with programming classes - I was horrified at most of the students - instead of actually solving a programming problem, they took sample code or someone else's work and hammered at it until it (sort of) solved the problem they were supposed to solve. Usually this was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. If it even compiled, it usually had severe logic problems and didn't work, because it was the solution to the wrong problem.

It's like writing a command line pipe... except that all the inputs and outputs don't match so you bash them together repeatedly until it outputs something. And then you're trying to figure out why "something" isn't the output you wanted. It's the complete wrong way to go about it.

If it wasn't 99% memorization no one would cheat (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138744)

Guess what: we "cheat" in the real world, universities and schools. We have reference materials to give us facts and information. Our real skill comes from how we *apply* that information, and separates the merely good from the great. Schools don't teach or measure that true ability, all they "teach" is how to recall facts that we can look up in the first place.

It's pathetic. We don't actually learn anything, schools are just a training ground for trivia shows, and give unfair advantage to people that have a better memory. Has nothing to do with your actual skill.

It's time to stop this garbage and teach people real skills and test to that, instead of making schools and universities glorified "Jeopardy!" games.

Re:If it wasn't 99% memorization no one would chea (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138906)

Quality post. if I hadn't already posted in this thread, I'd mod you up.

To anyone who disagrees, you mean to tell me that when YOU need to know an answer, you don't google it?

Be realistic. "Higher education" isn't about preparing people for the real world, it's about propagating it's own illusion of requirement for success in the business world without actually teaching skills that you need to know to be successful.

In the real world, if you need to know something, you don't sit there in front of a piece of paper with a pen in your hand trying to recall information you may have heard a few days or weeks ago, you just google it. That's the way the real world works. It is truly ironic that when these kids are googling the answers to their problems, they're doing what any real boss would want their employee to do (exempting obvious plagiarism of course), yet colleges have a huge problem with it.

Re:If it wasn't 99% memorization no one would chea (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139232)

Quality post. if I hadn't already posted in this thread, I'd mod you up.

Wait. Isn't there a cheat for that?

Re:If it wasn't 99% memorization no one would chea (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138924)

Agreed... sorta.

There is also a problem solving component to it. Yes, being able to google that problem and find something that at least gets you started is an important skill, but there are occasionally original problems, and sometimes seeing what others have done can hinder creativity.

I always make a habit of working a problem initially with no reference material, to develop a kinda rough first impression solution. Then I'll go looking around at similar problems and how people have solved them. Existing collective experience is too great an asset to ignore, but at the same time if we just copy off one another, nothing moves forward.

I totally agree that making students memorize arbitrary facts is pointless. Memorizing and (more importantly) understanding core best practices is valuable, but having students write a test on "how to use random almost obsolete library X to do Y" is just silly.

Re:If it wasn't 99% memorization no one would chea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138930)

Perhaps if you would have gone through engineering school, instead of getting a degree in history you wouldn't think that.

that why we apprenticeship like systems not teach (2)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139058)

that why we need apprenticeship like systems not teach the test. It may be better to make the tests more hands on with open book / open Google / have or have no test but a as you go grading. The teach the test idea leads to things like paper mcse.

Just Rewards (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138750)

I found some pretty damning evidence that a relative of mine was cheating in high school, using the "purchase a paper online" method to "write" instead of actually doing the work himself. While he graduated high school without incident, you wouldn't call him a great student. He went on to college, but dropped out after one year of his own volition, though most of us suspected the real issue was (though never confirmed, as he wouldn't share) his grades. The work is there to for educational means. Cheating means you learn nothing, and yes, sooner or later, you will reap just rewards.

Concepts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138756)

If homework is assigned, it should be conceptual in nature. It might be graded more subjectively than numerical problems, but it also better reflects whether the student understands the material or if they are just pluggin' and chuggin', getting online help, etc.

Fuckin Cramster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138760)

and damn little bastards who want their stupid engineering degree without knowing what a first derivative is. Ooops! Gotta jet! Office hours...

Cheating (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138764)

You're only cheating yourself.

Nobody cares that you have a degree if you can't even answer simple questions about your subject in an interview.

Re:Cheating (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138934)

If you are not cheating, you are only cheating yourself.

If you never get the degree or the grades to get the interview, what does it matter.

Re:Cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138950)

And nobody cares that you can answer simple questions about your subject in an interview if you don't even get invited because you don't have the damned degree.

Re:Cheating (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138966)

A lot of hires are done by HR departments and middle managers who do not know enough about the subject to ask even simple questions. To them, a degree means a lot more than your ability to answer questions or to do the job. Your suit matters more than your ability to answer questions.

even when they ask questions they just work off of (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139186)

even when they ask questions they just work off of a list that some other person gave them so you can have the right answer but there list has the answer in a different way that people who know about the job will say it's ok but as HR does not know that you fail.

Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138794)

Being that they don't know basic science http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/01/07/1833206/College-Students-Lack-Scientific-Literacy?from=rss or math http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1940900&cid=34794702

Gotta get ahead/stay afloat somehow.

Does it count as cheating using a test bank / old (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138812)

Does it count as cheating using a test bank / old test that is on line that get reused?

Like in that FL cheating where people where using a test bank / practice test and the professor just uses the same thing for the test is not cheating but it counts as cheating.

What Classes Are They Cheating In? (3, Interesting)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138838)

TFA does a cheater percentage breakdown by field. They show fields like engineering and tech and computer sciences as having a higher percentage of cheating students in them than other fields. I want to know what types of classes the students are cheating in. TFA mainly discusses using online "paper mills" to print out reports that the student themselves didn't write. As a recent engineering graduate, I rarely had to write a report for any of my classes that actually mattered for my education (math, sciences, engineering applications, etc.) All of the work was done primarily as projects and problem solving. The only reports we did have to write were discussions of our own projects, something that couldn't be plagiarized or downloaded from online.

The classes that did involve report writing were things like Jazz history, Literary Analysis, Political Studies, etc. In other words, us techie majors had to write extensive reports on matters that we just didn't give a fuck about, for classes that added absolutely nothing to the skill set we would need for our careers. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the engineering and and compy sci. students that were cheating, were cheating in their GE and liberal arts classes because they just don't give a shit about those topics. Furthermore, they are probably overworked and under-rested when it comes to studying for the classes they do care about. So, rather than waste their valuable time writing a report about The Scarlet Letter (something that should have been done in HS), they say fuck it and download one. Honestly, I can't blame them for that. It's good time management and it shows they know how to budget their energy for things that matter.

I would rather see a breakdown by class type that involved cheating for each one of those field breakdowns. If my guess is correct, I say go forth and cheat my young engineers. Spend your time actually learning calculus, mathematical analysis, and designing something. That's what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life so you might as well learn it now.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138986)

You are probably correct but that doesn't excuse academic dishonesty. Perhaps those of you who seem to think that a university is a job mill should go do technical certificates and stop sullying the reputations of your schools and the 40% of the student body who actually are capable of writing an intelligent paper without plagiarizing.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (1, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139026)

As a recent engineering graduate, I rarely had to write a report for any of my classes that actually mattered for my education (math, sciences, engineering applications, etc.)

Ah, you should have written "training" not "education". If you had gotten an education, perhaps you'd know the difference. Not that there's anything wrong with that, very few companies indeed want to hire educated people, they almost exclusively want highly trained people. Advanced vo-tech, regardless of what campus its held on, is not by any means an education.

You also missed out on some excellent dating opportunities. In my bachelors of CS era I found the CS classes to be a near 100% sausage-fest, the IT classes to have about ten percent women, but "history of the civil war" or "intro to sociology" now that was a target rich environment. And the class gives you something to talk about past the "whats your sign?" stage. Look at this sample script and try to find the mistake: Cutie: Wanna come over to my place and study together? Engineering guy: Uh, Sorry, I'm just bittorrenting the homework.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (3, Insightful)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139062)

Maybe you and people like you should stick to trade schools so that you can learn a career and nothing but a career, and leave higher education to the people who actually want to get an education. Cheating your way through an education that you don't want is a disservice to you and a disservice to all of the people whom you are preventing from getting an education by taking up a spot that you don't even want in a class that you don't even care about.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (3, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139156)

you are working under the assumption that 4 years (or rather, 120 credits) in college is "an education". I understand your misconception, they do everything in their power to convince you of such.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139200)

Maybe you and people like you should stick to trade schools so that you can learn a career and nothing but a career, and leave higher education to the people who actually want to get an education. Cheating your way through an education that you don't want is a disservice to you and a disservice to all of the people whom you are preventing from getting an education by taking up a spot that you don't even want in a class that you don't even care about.

The problem is job listings don't list "trade school grad" for high end engineering jobs they list "bachelors" or "masters".

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139076)

You know back in the day people interested in technology were much smarter than you. Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo Da Vinci - all of them techies. All of them very well rounded. So you don't like Jazz? Take classical. Take a class in rock. Take acting 101. Whatever. Get out of the "CS is the only worthwhile subject" mold.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (1)

roju (193642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139082)

Why didn't you pick interesting electives, instead of ones that you hated? Seriously, I took a science fiction class for one of mine. It was awesome!

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139142)

You're implying we have a choice...

Why do we so much filler classes? make then pass / (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139124)

Why do we so much filler classes? make then pass / fail so you can do the min work (with you working hard on stuff actually mattered) and not F* your GPA.

why so many papers in them anyways?

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (2)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139138)

An interesting perspective. I was personally extremely troubled by the much higher [claimed] incidence of cheating in math/sci/engineering students, since I really want to believe that those kids are capable of becoming good and honest contributors to their respective fields. But your hypothesis does make a lot of sense, and I can only hope that you're right about the cheating occurring mostly in classes that are of little relevance to their future occupations. Even in that case, I'm not happy about it -- there's a moral barrier that is broken when one cheats, even if only a little, that I think makes it easier to cheat later on (yes, yes, a slippery slope argument; I think it applies in this case). Still though, I really hope you're right.

Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (2, Insightful)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139192)

I would say go to technical college then. Have fun at DeVry. Those that want a more well rounded education and not just training, will benefit from your absence.

I think people forget that education isn't just to prepare you for a job, but rather for life and to become a better more educated person.

You talk of "paper mills", but in actuality your ideal university is exactly that, churning out diploma's of peons ready to be sent to their corporate cubes.

That's not to say that I would particularly like to take "jazz history", however that is why they are called "electives". You get to choose what interests you outside of your principle discipline. What is not to like? I think taking things like Classical History and Astronomy during my CS degree made university more fun any interesting, not to mention meeting more people of the opposite sex.

Limewire? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138840)

As one 19-year-old engineering student put it, "As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.),"

People still use limewire? Is this a dupe from a decade ago? Either this kid was about 8 when limewire was "cool", or this kid is planning his big 30 year birthday party this year.

Missing largest one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138842)

From my collegiate experience, the largest form of "cybercheating" (their word, not mine) is downloading solutions to textbooks. It's fairly trivial to find the answers with work for your math, science, and engineering courses. It's also something I did regularly because (for me at least), homework is useless busy work and does not contribute anything to my education.

However, I never cheated on exams and papers. I graduated with a fairly good GPA and regularly did better than my peers on exams because I understood the material and didn't simply attempt to memorize every possible combination of the problem. I don't know how many of my peers spent hours memorizing pages of equations when all they needed to memorize was two or three and could derive all the special cases from those.

Re:Missing largest one... (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139234)

In this post you are pretending to be more intelligent than your peers. Let's say that is true. Then you go on to compare your results to your peers, effectively saying that they should just be as intelligent as you are and they could slack off too and be successful. If you are as intelligent as you claim, then those people are not your peers and comparing your results to theirs is under achieving crap. Take you class mates, put them in a menial labor job, and they will more than live up to the cognitive demands of their job. The brain load will be trivial and they'll be laughing at their idiot "peers" who have a hard time understanding that they can use a triangle with sides 3, 4 and 5 to make a right angle. That's you. You're the rich investor bragging about making a million dollars a year yet you're making a 0.5% return on your money - you've just got a lot of it. Your advice is not for following by people who want to do better by what they've got - however much that is. As for what your classmates and even a world genius like you (hmm...) can get out of homework, look at overlearning [wikipedia.org].

61.9% Are Pioneers (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138870)

Let's not forget the education model is still mostly outdated. The breadth and depth of knowledge for many traditional courses has expanded exponentially. Not to mention there are a few new ones particularly in genetics, bio-tech, etc.

Should the study and test model of the industrial age still apply in the (unprecedented volumes of) Information age?

Most interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138884)

Must be the US...as far as I know most people in my university (at least the Math faculty) do assignments on their own or with partial help from friends/TAs/Profs. Of course there's the occasional "God damn, I can't get this proof, gonna check google" or slightly excessive "collaboration" but imo most of the cheaters, if such exist, are weeded out during the midterm/final phase anyways. I think some profs here actually make sure that the questions they ask aren't readily accessible online to remove any temptation.

Cybercheating? (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138890)

Of course not! I would never cybercheat on my cybertests. Those cyberessays are just too vital to my growth as a cyberstudent. Cybercheating would be a cyberdisgrace to my cyberhonor.

What I've seen (1)

mdphdscddlitt (1990796) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138898)

I think that by "cyber cheating," which is really an unnecessary phrase, since it's really just "cheating," what's meant is stuff like downloading solution manuals and using Cramster.
I'm a physics major, and my experience has been seeing a lot of engineering majors using Cramster incessantly, after maybe trying to work the problem for a couple of minutes. You can say they're only "cheating themselves," but really this sort of academic dishonesty is going to tarnish our university's reputation as well, as someone at some point will recognize the pattern of "engineers from school X are often crappy."
Usually exams are a way of detecting this sort of cheating, but a couple of my professors give take-home exams occasionally.
Hell, I've used a solution manual a couple of times, but I have the foresight required to realize that in order to excel at my profession, I need to know my stuff, and that requires working through problem sets diligently and determinedly.
There are others who are in the same boat as I -- guilty of "cybercheating," but not to a significant extent. I'd be more interested in seeing the percentage of undergrads who do "cybercheat" significantly, which I'm sure is much lower than 61.9%.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138954)

"As more and more people are using the Internet illegally (i.e. limewire etc.)..."
wow thats just misleading. I thought for a minute there he(she) meant he was pulling homework assignments and papers off of limewire and I rushed off and downloaded it.
now all i have is viruses and inappropriate porn!

on a serious note though: What?? Is this student saying that since people all over the world pirate music illegally, he feels justified using his smartphone to cheat on a test? because this is the ONLY way i can see using the Internet illicitly to achieve higher marks. According to the article, its "defined" to include things like using paper mills and cliffnotes?

what a useless article. As far as I can tell, its basically an excuse for someone to make up a word that they thought sounded cool. /rant

Schools need to be reformed. (5, Insightful)

flogger (524072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138968)

(Disclosure: I'm a teacher and I am pretty sure my principal isn't reading slashdot.)

Cheating...
Nearly everything that a "teacher" calls cheating is an accepted practice in the business world. Schools, in the US anyway, are mainly geared toward getting a student involved in some type of business.
Cheating - Looking off someone's work.
Business - Gaining direction.

Cheating - copying.
Business - Using available resources.

Cheating - use of internet.
Business - again, using available resources so you can build on another's success.

Cheating - adjusting grades
Business - Creative accounting.

Cheating - asking a friend for an answer
Business - Collaboration. This person is a team player.

Our educational system is 19th century organization using 19th century ideals. What should we teach today? How about some analysis: Teach not "what is the right answer?" but "Why is this answer right?"
Teach not "what is X?" but "How does X change when Y is introduced?"

Get people to think! You get the idea.

Re:Schools need to be reformed. (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139114)

Our educational system is 19th century organization using 19th century ideals. What should we teach today? How about some analysis: Teach not "what is the right answer?" but "Why is this answer right?"

The real world is : What is the correct term to google? Closely followed by, how do I evaluate and then apply google's results?

Honestly this is how probably about 50% of out in the real world R+D hours are spent. That and soaking up on the stream of consciousness of /. like a sponge.

So how're they getting away with it? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138992)

And, by getting away with it, I mean how do you overcome not having a fundamental understanding of content that might be a prerequisite to higher level classes? It would seem to be exponentially more difficult to cheat your way through classes since at some point in your last years you'll definitely have to be quizzed without a browser accessible.

Cyber-Cyber-Cyber (2)

Mac-O-War (682910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139020)

I have translated the article summary for those of us who only speak Cyber-English "A Cyber-recent study of 1222 Cyber-undergraduates found that 61.9% of them "cybercheat," which involves using the Cyber-Internet illicitly to get higher Cyber-grades. Some of the Cyber-quotes from Cyber-students are a Cyber-bit troubling. As one Cyber-19-year-old engineering Cyber-student put it, "As more and more Cyber-people are using the Cyber-Internet illegally (i.e. limewire Cyber-etc.), I feel that the Cyber-chances of being Cyber-caught or the Cyber-consequences of my Cyber-actions are almost Cyber-insignificant. So I feel no Cyber-pressure in doing what ever Cyber-everybody else is Cyber-doing/Cyber-using the Cyber-Internet for.""

Solution (4, Interesting)

ThoughtSpaceZero (1992366) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139032)

If education didn't carry such a ridiculous profit motive for everybody involved we wouldn't see:

a) situations where kids feel obliged to cheat or else their life is ruined
b) situations where the university passes you even though you know exactly nothing so that they can boast numbers

Education needs to be freely available and de-standardized. Exam grades can't and never prove anything. Like all restrictions of this kind (DRM, War on Drugs, Welfare), it just ends up alienating legitimate users, those who want to go to university to actually learn something and not practice 3-4 years of rote memorisation and regurgitation onto an exam sheet. When you think about it, the exam paradigm such an abhorrently ridiculous method of assessing people, especially in today's climate where I have a permanent connection to the internet, any time of day, anywhere I go.

We are, as a society, done with memorising trivia. The "expert" of yesterday is a relic, all you need is some logic skills and wikipedia and you can be an "expert" in something almost immediately.

I would recommend any who haven't seen to watch this video [youtube.com] by RSA Animate on Ken Livingstone's seminar on education paradigms.

I saw a lot of cheating in CS (1)

Anthony (4077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139044)

I saw a lot of cheating in labs and in the study rooms when I did Computer Science in the late 1970s. Sharing code printouts was the most common. [I justified my poor marks to myself that I did not have enough friends in Computer Science. It was more like I was easily distracted]

"Using internet illicitly" != Cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139048)

The word "cybercheating" doesn't fit his definition, there are many ways to use the internet illicitly to get better grades that aren't cheating in an academic sense at all.

In that 61.9% who have used the internet illicitly

How many were pirating textbooks (certainly illicit, but hardly cheating)
How many were pirating specialist software (applies to any subject, whether they're taking photoshop or maple if their campus only has on-site licenses)
How many were using another person's access to online databases of journals (I'm extremely guilty of this, my friend has more access to JSTOR than I am)
How many were piggybacking wireless signals and using that to study, students are poor and also cheap! If we can get away with not having to pay for internet, probably will. It's again, completely illicit, but it doesn't carry any unfair academic advantage.

Cheating is laziness (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139056)

People who cheat are not necessarily unintelligent individuals, in fact, they are researching ways of obtaining information pertinent to a topic for their education, but rather than take that time to learn the material, and cite their own work in a paper, people plagiarize or just don't do the work and allow themselves to be robbed of the education that they are paying damn good money for. In some situations, these individuals are paying for their education from their own dollars, but many others are receiving tax payer dollars to get the education paid for. This is where the tax payers should have a right to stop payment on education funding, for those caught cheating, or who admit to cheating openly. For the education these soon to be professionals are supposed to be getting is suppose to help their companies or infrastructures that we as a society build our world on.

If I knew that the engineer who built a bridge I drive on cheated his way through college, I would feel that engineer should be held partially responsible for poor workmanship should that bridge fall apart, or not last as long as it should.

If cheating occurs because it's all about the mighty dollar, then these professional jobs should start paying new employees just above minimum wage until the individual can prove on the job competency. This might deter some people and bring that number down.

And for those individuals who actually put in the work, the time and effort, they should be mad as hell, for they are the ones who will suffer repercussions from the negativity of articles and situations such as these.

freelancer.com is certainley awesome (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139080)

there are people willing to do your homework for $2/hour.

i think it's pretty awesome.

eventually companies will start figuring out that college degrees are worthless, and simply start hiring the people off freelancer who have been doing everyones homework.

the crappy, corrupt colleges will die, the securitized student loan industry will die, Sallie Mae will go bankrupt and get bailed out by the government, the cheating students will become jobless and move back in with their parents, and the eastern europeans and indians, who actually know how to do stuff, will be able to charge $4/hour instead of $2/hour, lifting millions of hard working people out of poverty.

if you ask me, this new world will be a better world than what we started with.

What constitutes cheating? (1)

evocarti (1731952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139088)

Copy/paste a paper - plagarism.

But what about for math/science? You don't exactly write tons of papers, but you do solve lots of problems.

When I couldn't come up with an algorithm to solve problems in O(whatever) time, as required by an assignment, I would often go to the web. I considered this to be research, as I could adopt a similar approach when confronted with analogous problems in the future.

Plagarism is clearly cheating. But is anything short of completely-original work also considered cheating? Is not one of the cornerstones of modern computer science the idea of re-use?

61.9% of Undergraduates Cybercheat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139090)

The title is surely not supported by the data.

To get that kind of accuracy, you either need to ask the entire population -- never mind the problem of answers that might not be correct or a bias in who you get to answer -- or ask enough that the sample errors goes below 0.1%. A million undergraduates would be a good start.

...and they'll hang themselves (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139102)

If i catch my students cheating they get a 0 until they submit their own passable work.

You cheat in my class and I don't catch you? I don't care. "Give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves." "What goes around comes around." "You reap what you sow." If you can't do the work yourself in my class, then you can't do the work in the real world and you'll crash and burn. Not my problem to teach you lessons you don't want to learn. As one of my instructors liked to tell his classes ”I don't care if you want to learn what I'm teaching you or not, either way I have your money." If want to learn I'll do everything I can to teach you, but if you cheat you're just wasting your own money, time and life.

Cheating is easy (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139110)

Mainly because teachers are overloaded or simply lazy. Tests that only test rote memorization and projects that can easily be "paraphrased" and show little original thought are easily identified by teachers that are making sure students learn. Education also needs to take into account that there is instant access to information in the real world, which puts a premium on people being able to understand, apply and use information.

Please Respect The Profession (1)

Katyrnyn (90568) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139168)

If you're an engineering student and you "cheat"* to get past material you don't understand, you are disgracing the profession. And you're placing our lives in danger. Your core courses aren't chosen haphazardly, and you're expected to understand and respect that. Do us a favour and do it right or find another profession.

And whether you hold to it or not, there is always the Creed:
http://www.nspe.org/Ethics/CodeofEthics/Creed/creed.html [nspe.org]

* Let's be careful about what we call cheating, though. There is a case to be made for collaboration between students, as most of us don't work in a vacuum and you'll be better prepared for the workforce if you know how to work with others.

Missing some contextualization (1)

Sitnalta (1051230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139202)

I purchased an essay once, but only because I didn't want to write a bullshit 20-page paper on how the Matrix (yes, the movie) contextualizes modern political and social boundaries. I was not doing well in the class, so it literally came down to either failing the class or cheating and passing with a C.

I understand the idea behind getting a "well-rounded education", but some of these required courses are ridiculous. I'd rather spend my effort in classes that actually matter. That may diminish my degree in some way, but seeings how it's in Fine Arts, I think I can live with that.

Why so serious? (1)

mythandros (973986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139212)

+10% copied >= "a few pages"? Well then, my degree just gained 10% in value over recent grads. The internet facilitates lazy behavior in those who are predisposed. The more of them that cheapen their degree, the more impressive I look.
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