Academic Dishonesty in Assessment Settings: An Overview of Distance Learning Institution

Mmankoko Ziphorah Ramorola


Academic dishonesty in summative assessment is a global problem. Education institutions continue to develop new ways to prevent dishonest behaviours such as cheating from happening. These ways include adopting academic honesty policies, instituted academic integrity tutorial completion prerequisites for registration, and acquired plagiarism software detection tools, while at the same time cheats come up with even better ways to cheat. While there has been significant research on the subject of academic dishonesty, the problem still persists especially in distance learning institutions of higher education. The reasons for students’ engagement in dishonest behaviour are not well known. If these reasons can be well understood, academic dishonesty in summative assessment will be minimised. Informed by the theory of planned behaviour, this paper presents an overview of distance education students’ reasons for engaging in dishonesty behaviour during the examinations. The study followed a qualitative case study design to collect and analyse data. The findings revealed reasons such as: lack of time for exam preparations; family bereavement, family responsibility; and forgetfulness. The study suggests recommendations for improvement and further research; and concludes that to maintain the integrity of the institution, the Disciplinary Code for Students has to be respected and implemented by all the stakeholders of the University.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1623

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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