Information and Credible Sanctions in Curbing Online Cheating Among Undergraduates: a Field Experiment
The rapid increase in online instruction in higher education has heightened concerns about cheating. We use a randomized control design to test whether informing students that we can detect plagiarism reduces cheating. We further test whether informing students they have been caught cheating reduces subsequent cheating. We find informing students about our capability to detect plagiarism has little effect on cheating. Notifying students that they have been caught cheating and are on a watch list reduces subsequent cheating attempts by at least 65 percent depending on the class and sample. We test for peer effects but conclude we cannot credibly identify peer effects distinct from own-cheating propensities.
We are grateful to the many colleagues who taught sections of the courses involved and who cooperated with the project. We also benefited from many colleagues’ comments on the manuscript. We will not provide explicit names and seminars as this is likely to identify the school in which the experiment took place. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Daniel Dench & Theodore Joyce, 2022. "Information and credible sanctions in curbing online cheating among undergraduates: A field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol 195, pages 408-427. citation courtesy of