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53% of current Canadian postsecondary students report witnessing cheating

Chelsea Parker

Chelsea Parker

Jun 25, 2022

Earlier this year, and for the second year, Studiosity partnered with Angus Reid to work on the 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study, with the intent to understand current postsecondary student feelings toward study, stress, cheating, optimism for the future, and more. 

2022-STUDENT-WELLBEING-CANADA (social image)

The study will be released in chapters throughout the summer of 2022, with Chapter 2: Academic Integrity, Cheating, & Assessment now accessible for download. This chapter explores the state of academic cheating and reveals motivations behind why students think others cheat, their willingness to participate if others were, and their thoughts on assessment methods in 2022.

According to the study, which was carried our independently by Angus Reid and surveyed over 1,000 post-secondary students across Canada:

  • 54% of students have witnessed some form of cheating within the past year, 15% say it happens all the time
  • Students under the age of 25 are nearly twice as likely as students aged 26+ to cheat if they knew others in their classes were cheating
  • 66% of students, including 76% of those in Life Sciences & Medicine programs, agree that cheating has been more prevalent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 86% of undergraduate students and 83% of graduate students believe cheating has increased because it is easier to do so in a remote/virtual environment

On the topic of why students are cheating more often now compared to prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a student remarked, "I think because students are more aware of their peers cheating it motivates them to try and even the playing field by also cheating." Another student said, "Professors often expect students to be cheating in these remote study environments, and purposely increase difficulty of tests and exams. Thus honest students are indirectly punished, effectively forcing students to cheat in masses."

"Contract cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty have been topics on the minds of faculty and administrators for many years now, but these past years have exacerbated the issue," said Dr. Noreen Golfman, a member of Studiosity's Academic Advisory Board and former Provost and Vice-President Academic at Memorial University.

"Students feel cheating has gotten easier, yet combatting academic misconduct is increasingly more difficult in a virtual environment. Cheating hurts all students, and often those who decide to plagiarize or cheat do not even recognize or realize the effects that it could have on their academic future."

Jack Goodman, Founder and Executive Chair of Studiosity, said “It’s unfortunate to see that so many students feel the need to resort to cheating, rather than accessing ethical study help if they’re struggling. Part of our mission at Studiosity is to provide a lifeline to those students who are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and out of their depth, and help them build up their confidence in their own knowledge and academic abilities.”

“Fortunately, more students are now aware that the only resources worth using are those found inside the university’s official student login, including Studiosity, peer support, and contact channels to your lecturer or library staff.”

This chapter on Academic Integrity, Cheating, & Assessment was a new addition to the Canadian Student Wellbeing Study in an effort to understand student thoughts and feelings on the effects of academic misconduct and dishonesty. Further chapters include data on student stress, intent to withdraw, optimism for the future, and more.

About the 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study

This survey was conducted among 1,014 current postsecondary students in Canada. The sample frame was balanced to ensure representation and statistical significance of gender and region in proportion to their overall share of the Canadian postsecondary student population. For comparison purposes only, a sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted in English and French.


Looking to read the full chapter?

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