Cheating is in the Eye of the Beholder: an Evolving Understanding of Academic Misconduct

  • Kyle A. BurgasonEmail author
  • Ophir Sefiha
  • Lisa Briggs


Research consistently indicates that academic dishonesty is pervasive on college campuses, including in online courses. For our study we administered a survey to two groups of undergraduate criminal justice students, one group of face-to-face students of traditional college-age and the other a group of distance learners employed full-time in criminal justice professions. The survey was designed to assess prevalence, techniques, and definitions regarding online cheating. Findings indicate that a large percentage of both groups engaged in practices normatively defined as “cheating,” yet they did not consider their behaviors to be violations of academic integrity. In closing, we offer suggestions for best practice techniques for communicating expectations to students and reducing online exam cheating.


Academic integrity Cheating Online education Criminal justice Virtual classroom 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Western Carolina UniversityCullowheeUSA

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