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Raising Awareness on Contract Cheating –Lessons Learned from Running Campus-Wide Campaigns

Abstract

Contract cheating is a growing menace that most academic institutions are grappling with globally. With governments now taking steps to help combat the industry and ban such services, it is also important to encourage students to stay away from such services through proactive strategies to raise awareness so that students stop using such services. This paper uses a case study approach to capture a time-series data from three years of a university campus’s efforts to raise awareness by celebrating the International Centre for Academic Integrity (ICAI)‘s International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. This is in order to explore if such campaigns can be used as tools to increase student understanding of contract cheating as an academic misconduct issue and what roles students can play in raising awareness among other students on contract cheating. Proposing to look at contract cheating as a social issue, the paper positions the misconduct as such and explores how awareness campaigns can help address contract cheating. Over the three years, results show steep increase in awareness of contract cheating, a type of academic misconduct, and that students themselves have a positive influence on other students when raising awareness. An interesting finding of the study is that graduated students have had an impact by showing responsibility to younger students and by actively denouncing contract cheating companies and their approaches on social media; thus providing solid evidence that awareness campaigns can help increase awareness which is the first step towards building a culture of integrity in any campus.

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Correspondence to Zeenath Reza Khan.

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Khan, Z.R., Hemnani, P., Raheja, S. et al. Raising Awareness on Contract Cheating –Lessons Learned from Running Campus-Wide Campaigns. J Acad Ethics 18, 17–33 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-019-09353-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-019-09353-1

Keywords

  • Contract cheating
  • Academic integrity
  • Campaigns
  • Integrity culture
  • Middle East