5 episodes

The Score is a podcast about academic integrity and cheating with Kathryn Baron.

The Score is a six-part podcast series of interviews with people who know what’s really happening in our classrooms. We’ll talk with a journalist who writes about academic integrity, and we’ll talk with several leading researchers and working educators about this multifaceted issue challenging academia today. Each of our guests has published either research or is a published author about the challenges faced in education institutions. We’ll delve into each of our guests’ scholarly work and ask them to share either personal experiences or their opinions on academic integrity.

Some of our questions are pretty challenging such as the question about where the responsibilities lie for addressing instances of cheating. We’ll ask if the problem really is as serious as it seems, Or is it actually worse? And, we’ll ask our guests to weigh in on regulatory and legislative action, and other policies that they think may work.

The Score The Score

    • Education
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The Score is a podcast about academic integrity and cheating with Kathryn Baron.

The Score is a six-part podcast series of interviews with people who know what’s really happening in our classrooms. We’ll talk with a journalist who writes about academic integrity, and we’ll talk with several leading researchers and working educators about this multifaceted issue challenging academia today. Each of our guests has published either research or is a published author about the challenges faced in education institutions. We’ll delve into each of our guests’ scholarly work and ask them to share either personal experiences or their opinions on academic integrity.

Some of our questions are pretty challenging such as the question about where the responsibilities lie for addressing instances of cheating. We’ll ask if the problem really is as serious as it seems, Or is it actually worse? And, we’ll ask our guests to weigh in on regulatory and legislative action, and other policies that they think may work.

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Eren Bilen of Dickinson College & Dr. Alexander Matros of University of South Carolina

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Eren Bilen of Dickinson College & Dr. Alexander Matros of University of South Carolina

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Dr. Alexander Matros, a professor in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, and Eren Bilen, Assistant Professor of Data Analytics at Dickinson College. Both are chess players and in their September 2020 study, online cheating, amid COVID-19, they examined the connection between cheating and online chess and the extent of online cheating in universities. The report describes how the International Chess Federation and the Internet Chess Club deal with cheating and suggests what universities can learn from that. Welcome to The Score.

    Eren Bilen (05:08):

    Yeah, the 2020 AP exams were the first time that these AP exams were given online because of, this was basically because of COVID. And so, what happened was this, so if you look at Google searches, and this is public information, you can just access this information, easily. What you see is this, so the 2020 AP exam for the math subject was given on May 12. This was in the afternoon Eastern time. So, we had 2:00 PM on May 12. And so, if you look at some of the keywords related to math concepts, such as derivative, integral, critical points, inflection point, things like that, you'll see a spike, exactly 2:00 PM, and then following 3:00 PM, and so on, the spike basically disappears.

    Eren Bilen (06:03):

    And so, the next day, on May 13, it was the English literature subject. If you do a similar study, so you check, this time instead of checking math related keywords, you check literature related keywords. So, you can do imagery, literary techniques, diction, things like that. You get the spike, exactly at 2:00 PM on May 13. This is again the time of the test.

    Eren Bilen (06:29):

    And then last, you can even check physics, for example, this was the next day on May 14, but this time not 2:00 PM, it was 4:00 PM in the afternoon. And you get this spike on physics related keywords at exactly 4:00 PM on May 14. So, it looks like students basically do some Google searching in order to find the answers, was this helpful? Yes, no, we're not sure, but at least students tried.

    Kathryn Baron (06:57):

    At least they tried to cheat. So, was this an unproctored online exam?

    Eren Bilen (07:06):

    That is correct. It was unproctored.
    Eren Bilen (10:21):

    Sure. Yeah. So, in the data, so we were quote on quote, "lucky," in the sense that we had one special tool that enabled us to basically pinpoint what's going on, what's going on? The issue was this, so we looked at the time the students took to answer their questions. So we gave them basically a test with 20 questions. And these questions were not multiple choice. So, the students had to basically enter numbers using their keyboards. And what we saw was that some of the students had very strange timings.

    Eren Bilen (11:02):

    So, for example, on a question that you will expect a student to take on average, let's say five minutes, the student gave an answer in seven seconds. You can say, "Okay, this is one occasion. The student just input a random number or something." That was not the case. That was the correct answer. So, for example, the correct answer was let's say 347. So, a student was able to pick that number 347 in less than 10 seconds. And this kept going and going. So next question. Similar. Third question, again, somethings similar. So, it kept on going for 20 questions.

    Eren Bilen (11:40):

    So, the overall time the student took to complete the exam was about 10 minutes.

    Kathryn Baron (12:30):

    But Eren, in seven seconds, how did they cheat, could they actually look something up online that quickly?

    Eren Bilen (12:36):

    So, you cannot do this in seven seconds. So, what we believe that students had was that they had the answers from other students who volunteered to take the test before they did, and they gave them the correct answers. And then you basically had a list in front of you with question names and th

    • 34 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity -- Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant, Director of Academic Integrity at UCSD

    The Score on Academic Integrity -- Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant, Director of Academic Integrity at UCSD

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant about what schools, colleges, and universities are doing and can do to reduce cheating. It may not be what you think. Dr. Bertram Gallant is director of academic integrity at UC San Diego, and board emeritus of the International Center for Academic Integrity. She's co-editor of the upcoming Jossey-Bass book, Cheating Academic Integrity, Lessons from 30 Years of Research, which is due out in March 2022.

    Kathryn Baron (02:13):

    I'd like to start with asking you, how has the scope and type of cheating changed with remote learning due to COVID-19?

    Tricia Bertram Gallant (02:22):

    Difficult question to answer, because COVID-19's still ongoing, and some schools are still in emergency remote teaching. Although a lot of us have come back, or we're trying to do hybrid. We don't have a lot of data from that period of time. But anecdotally it seems that the contract cheating did increase during this time. In contract cheating, is the word, the phrase we use to define when students outsource their academic work to others. And so, there are websites that exist where students can post their exam question, or their assignment question, or their paper assignment, and somebody else will do the work for them. So that definitely increased during the pandemic, both because there were more opportunities to do so in terms of all of my assessments were now remote, but also, I think because of the stress and pressure the pandemic led students to take more risks and do more things that they wouldn't have done in "normal times."

    Tricia Bertram Gallant (03:34):

    We do know that from the research that establishing connection and community in the online environment is more challenging than in the in-person environment. And so when people feel disconnected from others, when they feel more anonymous, or their actions don't matter, or don't impact others, that can lead to all sorts of behaviors including cheating.

    Tricia Bertram Gallant (10:53):

    Well, our academic integrity office is quite unique in America. There's a few universities in America that have either an honor system that's student run, or an academic integrity office that tends to be staff run. And it's odd that it's unique, that you would think academic integrity is so critical to the essential teaching and learning mission that every university would have an office that focus on educating about academic integrity. And it's common maybe in some other countries like Australia, but not here. And so my office, our mission is to promote and support a culture of integrity in order to reinforce quality teaching and learning.
    Tricia Bertram Gallant (21:14):
    Cheating knows no geographic boundaries. So it actually is pretty similar worldwide. You might get a study here or there that shows higher or lower rates in one country over another, but generally speaking, the rates are pretty consistent, and I'm talking self-reported rates of cheating. So these are students telling us how much they're cheating. So some social desirability bias in there, which means that the numbers are probably higher than what they're telling us. And it's as low as 10% of students admitting that they cheat at least once a year, to as many as in the 40%, or even some studies have shown in the 70 and 80% range are admitting to it. So there doesn't seem to be a difference by country. And I would say that if you talk to anybody like me in different countries, they would say our students are stressed, our students are pressured, because it's a global education system at this point.

    Tricia Bertram Gallant (22:55):

    But as an organizational leadership theorist, we know that resources can be found for what we find to be important. And people judge what is important in a particular culture based on what the leaders are attending to, what they're spending money on, what they're saying. In the recent years we've seen this country in par

    • 38 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity – Jarret Dyer of The College of DuPage and Former NCTA President

    The Score on Academic Integrity – Jarret Dyer of The College of DuPage and Former NCTA President

    On this episode of The Score, we'll examine who cheats and what colleges and universities are doing about it, with Jarret Dyer. Jarret is a test center administrator at the College of DuPage, a former president at NCTA, that's the National College Testing Association. He's chair of multiple academic integrity committees, and co-investigator on several research projects. He frequently presents internationally on academic integrity and test security and is a self-described test security and academic integrity crusader.

    Jarret Dyer (04:40):

    From our own research we found that students in essence think [cheating is] conditional, it really depends on if the institution has provided them with the ability to cheat, their words, not mine, or if there were preventative measures to keep them from cheating.

    Jarret Dyer (09:17):

    We found that more than half of the students, so about 61% interviewed admitted to having cheating on tests. They do not do it very often and then generally do not think it's acceptable, but here comes the but, but more than three quarters, so 75% do not consider all types of cheating that we presented them with as totally unacceptable. So, in other words, many students view academic integrity as conditional.

    Jarret Dyer (10:32):

    Students are more likely to think that cheating is acceptable, even expected if a test is given without a Proctor.

    Jarret Dyer (10:56):

    And what we're finding, what previous research, prior to ours, really has shown is that there's been a bit of a transition to an expectation for the institution to demonstrate the importance of why the action should not, why the cheating should not take place.

    Kathryn Baron (13:16):

    And it's frightening actually. I mean, I wonder, should we be alarmed because you mentioned engineering and nursing. I really don't want to go into a hospital and have a nurse who cheated working on me, it just seems a little bit scary. 


    Jarret Dyer (13:52):

    But I have been at enough test security presentations by colleagues who usually start with a story of an individual who, I mean and terrifying stuff, an airplane crash, or a ship going off course or things of this nature, where it was shown that there had been either a large-scale cheating or particular cheating within a certain area. And you have to ask yourself, did one lead to the other? Was that pilot or that captain not capable of doing because of this?

    Jarret Dyer (17:45):

    And really from our research, what we found, that there's a lot of rationalization and that students really, they think about the cheating behavior and they state, they tell themselves that if an instructor did not want us to cheat, they would not make it so easy for us to do so. So, placing the blame back on either the faculty or the institution for making it so easy. And what's again, alarming is you had said about that is on the flip side, previous research has shown that faculty don't believe that as much cheating is going on as students do. So, if you're seeing a V-shaped perspective here with faculty thinking that there's less cheating going on, and students thinking that the faculty are making it easier for them to achieve, then that proliferation goes unchecked.


    https://podcastthescore.com

    • 39 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity -- Derek Newton, editor of the Cheat Sheet and journalist

    The Score on Academic Integrity -- Derek Newton, editor of the Cheat Sheet and journalist

    On this episode of The Score, we'll get a feel for the lay of the land when it comes to cheating in schools with Derek Newton. Derek is author of The Cheat Sheet, a biweekly blog post that explores all aspects of academic misconduct.

    How big is the problem? Derek Newton (03:52):

    We ask college students, "Are you cheating? Have you been cheating?" And most people tend to discount or pass over their own misconduct when you ask them. So those surveys tend to be underestimated or under count cheating. But most of them, if you go back 15 years or so, come up with numbers somewhere between 2/3, up to 80% of college students acknowledge in engaging in some form of misconduct over their college career. So, it's a significant amount. I say 2/3 and up.

    Derek Newton (04:22):

    The other way to get a handle on how big this issue is, misconduct issue is, is looking at finances. What sort of money are we talking about? I don't think that there's anybody who would disagree with the statement that this is a multinational, multibillion dollar industry, stretching across Australia, Africa, Europe, the United States.

    Derek Newton (08:10):

    People who sell cheating services are really good marketers. They make billions of dollars. They're not stupid people. They are creative and persistent and really understand the language they need to use when they speak to students.

    Derek Newton (16:05):

    Yeah. One of the biggest companies that provides this is Chegg. They have a service that will get you an answer to any question within 15 minutes. I think it costs $10. They have what they call, tutors, on standby all over the world. So any time of day, 24/7, if you're taking a test and no one's watching you, and you come across a question you haven't seen before or you weren't prepared for, and you'd really like to get it right, you can basically just text these companies and in 15, 20 minutes you'll get an answer that you can just pop into the thing and get it right hopefully.

    Derek Newton (16:37):

    Then there are other ones, I think Chegg has this service as well, but there are companies that, especially math questions, they don't even go through people anymore. You can use the camera on your cellphone to take a picture of the math problem and the software will translate it into math, solve it, send you the steps that are required to solve it back. You don't even engage with a human. That's very fast and very cheap and on demand 24/7.

    Katherine Baron (18:41):

    Well, I just looked up, "I need help with a math question." There was quite a few popped up. But here's one. It says, "Chat with a math tutor in minutes, 24/7." And then there's a little chat box that opens up and it says that there are two APE teachers online right now. That's advanced placement teachers. And it looks like you actually will get your answer almost immediately.

    Derek Newton (27:15):

    [Cheating] is an existentialist threat not just to the institution of higher education, which I believe it is, but to all of us who rely on people to know stuff. If you rely on people to know stuff, this, you should be concerned that they may not


    https://podcastthescore.com

    • 41 min
    The Score - Trailer

    The Score - Trailer

    The Score is a podcast about academic integrity and cheating with Kathryn Baron.

    The Score is a six-part podcast series of interviews with people who know what’s really happening in our classrooms. We’ll talk with a journalist who writes about academic integrity, and we’ll talk with several leading researchers and working educators about this multifaceted issue challenging academia today. Each of our guests has published either research or is a published author about the challenges faced in education institutions. We’ll delve into each of our guests’ scholarly work and ask them to share either personal experiences or their opinions on academic integrity.


    Some of our questions are pretty challenging such as the question about where the responsibilities lie for addressing instances of cheating. We’ll ask if the problem really is as serious as it seems, Or is it actually worse? And, we’ll ask our guests to weigh in on regulatory and legislative action, and other policies that they think may work.

    • 1 min

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