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Online Classes Compared to Face-To-Face Classes

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Stephanie M. Rideau

Article Critique #3

Ed 600

Academic Integrity:  Online Classes Compared to Face-to-Face Classes

Fall 2015

September 20, 2015

Purpose of the Study

     More often than not, people are inclined to believe that cheating in online classes occurs at a higher rate than traditional classes.  The purpose of this study was to compare the academic integrity of face-to-face instruction with the growing trend of online instruction. (Miller-Young 2012)

How the Study Was Conducted

     Participation in the study consisted of 531 undergraduates and 108 graduate students with 67.5% of them being female.  The median age was 22, ranging from 17-56.  Of these participants, 289 of them took both online and face-to-face classes; 246 had face-to-face; and 104 had only online classes. (Miller-Young 2012)

     The 639 participants had to complete a McCabe, html, anonymous web survey which addressed several categories of cheating as well as its frequency.  Students were also instructed to tell if they had ever witnessed cheating within the past year of the study using the same criteria as the McCabe Study. (Miller-Young 2012)

Finding of the Study

          It was found that the opportunity to cheat presented itself more in the online (OL) courses as compared to face-to-face (FF) classes, however, students who were enrolled in the OL only classes cheated less frequently than students enrolled in FF classes or both; 51.9% OL to 71.5 FF.  The difference in cheating behavior was attributed to the older age of the online participants.  It was also found that students who had been a witness to cheating in the past year were more prone to cheating themselves.  There were no reported differences in correlation to sex of the participants. (Miller-Young 2012)

Limitations of the Study

     Limitations of the study existed in regards to the nature of the sampling which consisted of volunteers in exchange for extra credit points.  Students in need of extra credit may have different character traits than those who prefer not to participate.  Unwilling participants would offer more diversity in the responding population.  (Miller-Young 2012)

     Weaknesses also presented itself in the selection of the survey items.  A survey more comprehensive in covering the different forms of cheating as well as the different classes in which cheating occurred could generate a better study for determining the cheating rate as well as how one might cheat in an online class. (Miller-Young 2012)



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