Campus News

Study finds that students cheat less in mastery-focused courses

According to a recent study, students are more likely to cheat in classes that employ traditional assessments like grades, tests and memorizing facts versus classes that focus on the mastery of a subject, or true understanding of the material. The study, “Academic Cheating in Disliked Classes,” was conducted among college students at two large research universities.

Students were asked to think about their least favorite classes and answer questions about their attitudes toward cheating. They also were asked whether they seek sensation and adventure, exhibit impulsive behaviors and whether or not they practice any cheating-type behaviors.

“When instructors emphasize mastery in disliked courses, college students are less likely to believe that cheating is acceptable, whereas when instructors emphasize tests and grades, students are more likely to justify cheating,” the study said.

The study also found that students who seek sensation may be more likely to give in to the temptation of cheating in highly disliked courses.