As post-secondary students across London begin preparing for the December exam period, they may be more convinced to stay honest in their studies.
Western University released their report on scholastic offenders, and 205 students were caught cheating last year.
The offences range from plagiarizing someone else’s work to cheating on tests– and the punishments ranged as well.
“We live in an environment where grades seem to play a big role; students are concerned about it as they start to think about grad school applications,” said John Doerksen, the vice-provost of academic programs at Western.
“There are a host of practical things that can arise, including a gap in time management, planning and so forth, causing a student to find themselves in a position where they have run out of time.”
Doerksen said the number of students who have been caught cheating has stayed relatively the same over his 9 years as vice-provost. That number ranges around 200 per year.
It’s the way students have cheated that has changed.
“Cheating has really evolved over the years, and technology is a big factor,” said Doerksen.
“Even using technology in the context of exams, with having your phone on your desk, or other kinds of ways of getting information inappropriately in an exam situation,” he continued.
While 205 students were caught cheating through the sanctions of a formal academic policy, there are many other instances that were handled informally by a faculty member. These instances are not reported by the senate that handles academic offences.
Doerksen stresses that there’s no shortcut to learning; in order to improve, you need to put in the work.
“Learning is hard, learning means changing yourself, and we are challenged in all sorts of ways to extend our knowledge,” explains Doerksen.
“When students look for a shortcut around that, and don’t immerse themselves in that challenging process, it’s a cost that’s borne by themselves.”