Cheating in ICS: Insights from students

  • A TA for ICS 111 did an analysis using MOSS and concluded that up to 30% of ICS 111 students might currently be cheating in Fall 2020.
  • An instructor for ICS 211 complained to me that cheating was “rampant” in the course.
  • An instructor for ICS 311 offered “amnesty” to those students using Chegg to cheat on their homework, and over half the class admitted to doing it.
  • It’s bad for the cheater: For the student who cheats, cheating leads to low self-esteem, a feeling of “imposter syndrome”, and a lack of preparation for future courses making future courses even more difficult. Some cheaters might get to the point of feeling that cheating is their only way “out” of the program.
  • It’s bad for the non-cheater: For non-cheaters, the presence of cheaters can produce a feeling that they are “suckers” for actually doing the work. As the cheaters move into future classes, the quality of the learning environment deteriorates because cheaters don’t know concepts covered in previous courses.
  • It’s bad for everyone when they try to get a job: As cheaters graduate and try to get jobs, they can perform poorly in interviews and/or in the jobs they obtain due to lack of proficiency. This can create a poor reputation regarding the preparation of ICS graduates in general. It’s possible that some employers, having had a bad experience with a cheater, could decide to not consider ICS students at all. This negatively affects the career prospects of all ICS students regardless of whether they cheat or not.

Student perspectives on cheating

Next steps




Professor of Computer Science at the University of Hawaii

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