• Our Mission

Alex Green Illustration, Cheating

Why Students Cheat—and What to Do About It

A teacher seeks answers from researchers and psychologists. 

“Why did you cheat in high school?” I posed the question to a dozen former students.

“I wanted good grades and I didn’t want to work,” said Sonya, who graduates from college in June. [The students’ names in this article have been changed to protect their privacy.]

My current students were less candid than Sonya. To excuse her plagiarized Cannery Row essay, Erin, a ninth-grader with straight As, complained vaguely and unconvincingly of overwhelming stress. When he was caught copying a review of the documentary Hypernormalism , Jeremy, a senior, stood by his “hard work” and said my accusation hurt his feelings.

Cases like the much-publicized ( and enduring ) 2012 cheating scandal at high-achieving Stuyvesant High School in New York City confirm that academic dishonesty is rampant and touches even the most prestigious of schools. The data confirms this as well. A 2012 Josephson Institute’s Center for Youth Ethics report revealed that more than half of high school students admitted to cheating on a test, while 74 percent reported copying their friends’ homework. And a survey of 70,000 high school students across the United States between 2002 and 2015 found that 58 percent had plagiarized papers, while 95 percent admitted to cheating in some capacity.

So why do students cheat—and how do we stop them?

According to researchers and psychologists, the real reasons vary just as much as my students’ explanations. But educators can still learn to identify motivations for student cheating and think critically about solutions to keep even the most audacious cheaters in their classrooms from doing it again.

Rationalizing It


First, know that students realize cheating is wrong—they simply see themselves as moral in spite of it.

“They cheat just enough to maintain a self-concept as honest people. They make their behavior an exception to a general rule,” said Dr. David Rettinger , professor at the University of Mary Washington and executive director of the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service, a campus organization dedicated to integrity.

According to Rettinger and other researchers, students who cheat can still see themselves as principled people by rationalizing cheating for reasons they see as legitimate.

Some do it when they don’t see the value of work they’re assigned, such as drill-and-kill homework assignments, or when they perceive an overemphasis on teaching content linked to high-stakes tests.

“There was no critical thinking, and teachers seemed pressured to squish it into their curriculum,” said Javier, a former student and recent liberal arts college graduate. “They questioned you on material that was never covered in class, and if you failed the test, it was progressively harder to pass the next time around.”

But students also rationalize cheating on assignments they see as having value.

High-achieving students who feel pressured to attain perfection (and Ivy League acceptances) may turn to cheating as a way to find an edge on the competition or to keep a single bad test score from sabotaging months of hard work. At Stuyvesant, for example, students and teachers identified the cutthroat environment as a factor in the rampant dishonesty that plagued the school.

And research has found that students who receive praise for being smart—as opposed to praise for effort and progress—are more inclined to exaggerate their performance and to cheat on assignments , likely because they are carrying the burden of lofty expectations.

A Developmental Stage

When it comes to risk management, adolescent students are bullish. Research has found that teenagers are biologically predisposed to be more tolerant of unknown outcomes and less bothered by stated risks than their older peers.

“In high school, they’re risk takers developmentally, and can’t see the consequences of immediate actions,” Rettinger says. “Even delayed consequences are remote to them.”

While cheating may not be a thrill ride, students already inclined to rebel against curfews and dabble in illicit substances have a certain comfort level with being reckless. They’re willing to gamble when they think they can keep up the ruse—and more inclined to believe they can get away with it.

Cheating also appears to be almost contagious among young people—and may even serve as a kind of social adhesive, at least in environments where it is widely accepted.  A study of military academy students from 1959 to 2002 revealed that students in communities where cheating is tolerated easily cave in to peer pressure, finding it harder not to cheat out of fear of losing social status if they don’t.

Michael, a former student, explained that while he didn’t need to help classmates cheat, he felt “unable to say no.” Once he started, he couldn’t stop.

A student cheats using answers on his hand.

Technology Facilitates and Normalizes It

With smartphones and Alexa at their fingertips, today’s students have easy access to quick answers and content they can reproduce for exams and papers.  Studies show that technology has made cheating in school easier, more convenient, and harder to catch than ever before.

To Liz Ruff, an English teacher at Garfield High School in Los Angeles, students’ use of social media can erode their understanding of authenticity and intellectual property. Because students are used to reposting images, repurposing memes, and watching parody videos, they “see ownership as nebulous,” she said.

As a result, while they may want to avoid penalties for plagiarism, they may not see it as wrong or even know that they’re doing it.

This confirms what Donald McCabe, a Rutgers University Business School professor,  reported in his 2012 book ; he found that more than 60 percent of surveyed students who had cheated considered digital plagiarism to be “trivial”—effectively, students believed it was not actually cheating at all.

Strategies for Reducing Cheating

Even moral students need help acting morally, said  Dr. Jason M. Stephens , who researches academic motivation and moral development in adolescents at the University of Auckland’s School of Learning, Development, and Professional Practice. According to Stephens, teachers are uniquely positioned to infuse students with a sense of responsibility and help them overcome the rationalizations that enable them to think cheating is OK.

1. Turn down the pressure cooker. Students are less likely to cheat on work in which they feel invested. A multiple-choice assessment tempts would-be cheaters, while a unique, multiphase writing project measuring competencies can make cheating much harder and less enticing. Repetitive homework assignments are also a culprit, according to research , so teachers should look at creating take-home assignments that encourage students to think critically and expand on class discussions. Teachers could also give students one free pass on a homework assignment each quarter, for example, or let them drop their lowest score on an assignment.

2. Be thoughtful about your language.   Research indicates that using the language of fixed mindsets , like praising children for being smart as opposed to praising them for effort and progress , is both demotivating and increases cheating. When delivering feedback, researchers suggest using phrases focused on effort like, “You made really great progress on this paper” or “This is excellent work, but there are still a few areas where you can grow.”

3. Create student honor councils. Give students the opportunity to enforce honor codes or write their own classroom/school bylaws through honor councils so they can develop a full understanding of how cheating affects themselves and others. At Fredericksburg Academy, high school students elect two Honor Council members per grade. These students teach the Honor Code to fifth graders, who, in turn, explain it to younger elementary school students to help establish a student-driven culture of integrity. Students also write a pledge of authenticity on every assignment. And if there is an honor code transgression, the council gathers to discuss possible consequences. 

4. Use metacognition. Research shows that metacognition, a process sometimes described as “ thinking about thinking ,” can help students process their motivations, goals, and actions. With my ninth graders, I use a centuries-old resource to discuss moral quandaries: the play Macbeth . Before they meet the infamous Thane of Glamis, they role-play as medical school applicants, soccer players, and politicians, deciding if they’d cheat, injure, or lie to achieve goals. I push students to consider the steps they take to get the outcomes they desire. Why do we tend to act in the ways we do? What will we do to get what we want? And how will doing those things change who we are? Every tragedy is about us, I say, not just, as in Macbeth’s case, about a man who succumbs to “vaulting ambition.”

5. Bring honesty right into the curriculum. Teachers can weave a discussion of ethical behavior into curriculum. Ruff and many other teachers have been inspired to teach media literacy to help students understand digital plagiarism and navigate the widespread availability of secondary sources online, using guidance from organizations like Common Sense Media .

There are complicated psychological dynamics at play when students cheat, according to experts and researchers. While enforcing rules and consequences is important, knowing what’s really motivating students to cheat can help you foster integrity in the classroom instead of just penalizing the cheating.

7 Apps That Can Do Your Homework Much Faster Than You

7 Apps That Will Do Your Homework For You

In the field of educational technology, some apps might be getting too smart.

More and more apps are delivering on-demand homework help to students, who can easily re-purpose the learning tools to obtain not just assistance, but also answers. Whether or not that’s cheating—and how to stop it—is one of the concerns surrounding a new app that can solve math equations with the snap of a camera . While the software has inspired teachers to create real-world homework problems that can’t be automatically solved , that strategy doesn’t hold up to other apps that tap into real-life brains for solutions.

Here’s a look at 7 apps that can do your homework for you, and what they have to say about cheating:

Price : Free Availability : iOS, Android app coming in early 2015

The new, seemingly magic app allows users to take pictures of typed equations, and then outputs a step-by-step solution. As of Wednesday, the app is the number one free app on the App Store. But the biggest issue, one teacher argues , isn’t if students will use the app to cheat, because many will. Rather, it’s about how teachers will adapt. A PhotoMath spokeswoman said educators have welcomed the app with positive reviews, but the software remains “quite controversial.”

“We didn’t develop PhotoMath as a cheating tool. We really wanted kids to learn,” said Tijana Zganec, a sales and marketing associate at tech company MicroBlink, which created PhotoMath. “If you want to cheat, you will find a way to cheat. But if you want to learn, you can use PhotoMath for that.”

Whether you’re a high schooler with eight periods of classes or a college student tackling dozens of credits, there’s one thing you’ve got for sure: a mess of assignments. iHomework can help you keep track of all your work, slicing and dicing it in a variety of ways. Sorting it by due date, week, month, or by course, the app is more organized than a Trapper Keeper. And in integrating data from Questia, you can link your reading material to your assignments so you don’t have to dig through a pile of papers to find the right information.

A scheduling feature can help you keep track of those random bi-weekly Thursday labs, and you can even mark the location of your courses on a map so you don’t end up on the wrong side of campus. And finally, with iCloud syncing, you can access all this information on whatever Apple-compatible device you’re using at the moment — no need to dig for your iPad.

Google Apps for Education

Taking the search giant’s suite of free browser-based apps and sandboxing them so they are safe for school use, Google Apps for Education is an excellent alternative to the mainstream installable productivity software, but this one has a perk that almost school board will love—it’s free. Packaging together favorites like Gmail, Hangouts, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive with Classroom, a digital hub for organizing assignments and sending feedback, the goal of this collection is to make learning a more collaborative process.

Though Google Apps for Education is cloud-hosted, the programs can be used offline, ideal for when your student needs to escape the internet and work distraction-free. And since it works on any device, it also helps students avoid buying overly expensive hardware. That means more money for extracurricular activities.

Price: Free, but some homework services require payment Availability: iOS and Android

HwPic is a tutoring service that allows students to take send pictures of their homework to tutors, who will then respond within minutes to your questions with a step-by-step solution. There’s even an option to expedite the answers if a student is in a hurry. HwPic Co-Founder Tiklat Issa said that the app was initially rejected by Apple’s App Store, which believed it would promote cheating, but he successfully argued that just because someone uses the app in a way that it’s not meant to be used doesn’t mean the app should be punished.

Issa added that HwPic prohibits cheating in its terms and conditions. Tutors don’t solve homework that has words like “Quiz” or “Exam,” and they often know if a student is sending a photo during a test if they’ve paid for expedited answers, and if the photo is dim, blurry and taken under a desk. “We’ve minimized cheating,” said Issa. “We haven’t eliminated it. That’s kind of unrealistic.”

Wolfram Alpha

Price : $2.99 Availability : iOS and Android

Wolfram Alpha is similar to PhotoMath, only that it targets older students studying high levels of math and doesn’t support photos. The service also outputs step-by-step solutions to topics as advanced as vector calculus and differential equations, making it a popular tool for college students.

“It’s cheating not doing computer-based math, because we’re cheating students out of real conceptual understanding and an ability to drive much further forward in the math they can do, to cover much more conceptual ground. And in turn, that’s cheating our economies,” said Conrad Wolfram, Wolfram Research’s Director of Strategic Development, in a TEDx Talk . “People talk about the knowledge economy. I think we’re moving forward to what we’re calling the computational knowledge economy.”

Homework Helper

Price: Free Availability: iOS and Android

Chinese Internet search company Baidu launched an app called Homework Helper this year with which students can crowdsource help or answers to homework. Users post a picture or type their homework questions onto online forums, and those who answer the questions can win e-coins that can be used to buy electronics like iPhones and laptops.

The app has logged 5 million downloads, much to the dismay of many some parents who argue that the students spend less time thinking about challenging problems. A Homework Helper staffer admitted to Quartz , “I think this is a kind of cheating.”

Price: Free, but some homework services require payment Availability: iOS

Slader is a crowdsourcing app for high school and college students to post and answer questions in math and science. While students can post original homework for help, many questions in popular textbooks have already been answered on the app, according to Fast Company . An Illinois high school said earlier this year that it suspected students were using the service to cheat on their math homework.

Slader argues that it’s “challenging traditional ideas about math and education,” and said that the ideas behind its app “aren’t a write-off to teachers,” according to its blog . Slader told San Francisco media outlet KQED that it shouldn’t be dismissed as a cheating tool, but rather considered a way for students to access real-time help.

More Must-Reads from TIME

  • Javier Milei’s Radical Plan to Transform Argentina
  • The New Face of Doctor Who
  • How Private Donors Shape Birth-Control Choices
  • What Happens if Trump Is Convicted ? Your Questions, Answered
  • The Deadly Digital Frontiers at the Border
  • Scientists Are Finding Out Just How Toxic Your Stuff Is
  • The 31 Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2024
  • Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time

Contact us at [email protected]

Joseph E. Davis Ph.D.

The Real Roots of Student Cheating

Let's address the mixed messages we are sending to young people..

Updated September 28, 2023 | Reviewed by Ray Parker

  • Why Education Is Important
  • Find a Child Therapist
  • Cheating is rampant, yet young people consistently affirm honesty and the belief that cheating is wrong.
  • This discrepancy arises, in part, from the tension students perceive between honesty and the terms of success.
  • In an integrated environment, achievement and the real world are not seen as at odds with honesty.

RDNE / Pexels

The release of ChatGPT has high school and college teachers wringing their hands. A Columbia University undergraduate rubbed it in our face last May with an opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled I’m a Student. You Have No Idea How Much We’re Using ChatGPT.

He goes on to detail how students use the program to “do the lion’s share of the thinking,” while passing off the work as their own. Catching the deception , he insists, is impossible.

As if students needed more ways to cheat. Every survey of students, whether high school or college, has found that cheating is “rampant,” “epidemic,” “commonplace, and practically expected,” to use a few of the terms with which researchers have described the scope of academic dishonesty.

In a 2010 study by the Josephson Institute, for example, 59 percent of the 43,000 high school students admitted to cheating on a test in the past year. According to a 2012 white paper, Cheat or Be Cheated? prepared by Challenge Success, 80 percent admitted to copying another student’s homework. The other studies summarized in the paper found self-reports of past-year cheating by high school students in the 70 percent to 80 percent range and higher.

At colleges, the situation is only marginally better. Studies consistently put the level of self-reported cheating among undergraduates between 50 percent and 70 percent depending in part on what behaviors are included. 1

The sad fact is that cheating is widespread.

Commitment to Honesty

Yet, when asked, most young people affirm the moral value of honesty and the belief that cheating is wrong. For example, in a survey of more than 3,000 teens conducted by my colleagues at the University of Virginia, the great majority (83 percent) indicated that to become “honest—someone who doesn’t lie or cheat,” was very important, if not essential to them.

On a long list of traits and qualities, they ranked honesty just below “hard-working” and “reliable and dependent,” and far ahead of traits like being “ambitious,” “a leader ,” and “popular.” When asked directly about cheating, only 6 percent thought it was rarely or never wrong.

Other studies find similar commitments, as do experimental studies by psychologists. In experiments, researchers manipulate the salience of moral beliefs concerning cheating by, for example, inserting moral reminders into the test situation to gauge their effect. Although students often regard some forms of cheating, such as doing homework together when they are expected to do it alone, as trivial, the studies find that young people view cheating in general, along with specific forms of dishonesty, such as copying off another person’s test, as wrong.

They find that young people strongly care to think of themselves as honest and temper their cheating behavior accordingly. 2

The Discrepancy Between Belief and Behavior

Bottom line: Kids whose ideal is to be honest and who know cheating is wrong also routinely cheat in school.

What accounts for this discrepancy? In the psychological and educational literature, researchers typically focus on personal and situational factors that work to override students’ commitment to do the right thing.

These factors include the force of different motives to cheat, such as the desire to avoid failure, and the self-serving rationalizations that students use to excuse their behavior, like minimizing responsibility—“everyone is doing it”—or dismissing their actions because “no one is hurt.”

While these explanations have obvious merit—we all know the gap between our ideals and our actions—I want to suggest another possibility: Perhaps the inconsistency also reflects the mixed messages to which young people (all of us, in fact) are constantly subjected.

Mixed Messages

Consider the story that young people hear about success. What student hasn’t been told doing well includes such things as getting good grades, going to a good college, living up to their potential, aiming high, and letting go of “limiting beliefs” that stand in their way? Schools, not to mention parents, media, and employers, all, in various ways, communicate these expectations and portray them as integral to the good in life.

They tell young people that these are the standards they should meet, the yardsticks by which they should measure themselves.

In my interviews and discussions with young people, it is clear they have absorbed these powerful messages and feel held to answer, to themselves and others, for how they are measuring up. Falling short, as they understand and feel it, is highly distressful.

At the same time, they are regularly exposed to the idea that success involves a trade-off with honesty and that cheating behavior, though regrettable, is “real life.” These words are from a student on a survey administered at an elite high school. “People,” he continued, “who are rich and successful lie and cheat every day.”

cheating on your homework

In this thinking, he is far from alone. In a 2012 Josephson Institute survey of 23,000 high school students, 57 percent agreed that “in the real world, successful people do what they have to do to win, even if others consider it cheating.” 3

Putting these together, another high school student told a researcher: “Grades are everything. You have to realize it’s the only possible way to get into a good college and you resort to any means necessary.”

In a 2021 survey of college students by College Pulse, the single biggest reason given for cheating, endorsed by 72 percent of the respondents, was “pressure to do well.”

What we see here are two goods—educational success and honesty—pitted against each other. When the two collide, the call to be successful is likely to be the far more immediate and tangible imperative.

A young person’s very future appears to hang in the balance. And, when asked in surveys , youths often perceive both their parents’ and teachers’ priorities to be more focused on getting “good grades in my classes,” than on character qualities, such as being a “caring community member.”

In noting the mixed messages, my point is not to offer another excuse for bad behavior. But some of the messages just don’t mix, placing young people in a difficult bind. Answering the expectations placed on them can be at odds with being an honest person. In the trade-off, cheating takes on a certain logic.

The proposed remedies to academic dishonesty typically focus on parents and schools. One commonly recommended strategy is to do more to promote student integrity. That seems obvious. Yet, as we saw, students already believe in honesty and the wrongness of (most) cheating. It’s not clear how more teaching on that point would make much of a difference.

Integrity, though, has another meaning, in addition to the personal qualities of being honest and of strong moral principles. Integrity is also the “quality or state of being whole or undivided.” In this second sense, we can speak of social life itself as having integrity.

It is “whole or undivided” when the different contexts of everyday life are integrated in such a way that norms, values, and expectations are fairly consistent and tend to reinforce each other—and when messages about what it means to be a good, accomplished person are not mixed but harmonious.

While social integrity rooted in ethical principles does not guarantee personal integrity, it is not hard to see how that foundation would make a major difference. Rather than confronting students with trade-offs that incentivize “any means necessary,” they would receive positive, consistent reinforcement to speak and act truthfully.

Talk of personal integrity is all for the good. But as pervasive cheating suggests, more is needed. We must also work to shape an integrated environment in which achievement and the “real world” are not set in opposition to honesty.

1. Liora Pedhazur Schmelkin, et al. “A Multidimensional Scaling of College Students’ Perceptions of Academic Dishonesty.” The Journal of Higher Education 79 (2008): 587–607.

2. See, for example, the studies in Christian B. Miller, Character and Moral Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, Ch. 3.

3. Josephson Institute. The 2012 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth (Installment 1: Honesty and Integrity). Josephson Institute of Ethics, 2012.

Joseph E. Davis Ph.D.

Joseph E. Davis is Research Professor of Sociology and Director of the Picturing the Human Colloquy of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

  • Find a Therapist
  • Find a Treatment Center
  • Find a Psychiatrist
  • Find a Support Group
  • Find Online Therapy
  • United States
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Asperger's
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Passive Aggression
  • Personality
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Psychology
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Low Sexual Desire
  • Relationships
  • Child Development
  • Self Tests NEW
  • Therapy Center
  • Diagnosis Dictionary
  • Types of Therapy

May 2024 magazine cover

At any moment, someone’s aggravating behavior or our own bad luck can set us off on an emotional spiral that threatens to derail our entire day. Here’s how we can face our triggers with less reactivity so that we can get on with our lives.

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Gaslighting
  • Affective Forecasting
  • Neuroscience
  • Trying to Conceive
  • Signs & Symptoms
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Fertility Testing
  • Fertility Treatment
  • Weeks & Trimesters
  • Staying Healthy
  • Preparing for Baby
  • Complications & Concerns
  • Pregnancy Loss
  • Breastfeeding
  • School-Aged Kids
  • Raising Kids
  • Personal Stories
  • Everyday Wellness
  • Safety & First Aid
  • Immunizations
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Active Play
  • Pregnancy Products
  • Nursery & Sleep Products
  • Nursing & Feeding Products
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Toys & Gifts
  • Ovulation Calculator
  • Pregnancy Due Date Calculator
  • How to Talk About Postpartum Depression
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board

How Teens Use Technology to Cheat in School

Why teens cheat, text messaging during tests, storing notes, copying and pasting, social media, homework apps and websites, talk to your teen.

  • Expectations and Consequences

When you were in school, teens who were cheating were likely looking at a neighbor’s paper or copying a friend’s homework. The most high-tech attempts to cheat may have involved a student who wrote the answers to a test on the cover of their notebook.

Cheating in today’s world has evolved, and unfortunately, become pervasive. Technology makes cheating all too tempting, common, and easy to pull off. Not only can kids use their phones to covertly communicate with each other, but they can also easily look up answers or get their work done on the Internet.

In one study, a whopping 35% of teens admit to using their smartphones to cheat on homework or tests. 65% of the same surveyed students also stated they have seen others use their phones to cheat in school. Other research has also pointed to widespread academic indiscretions among teens.

Sadly, academic dishonesty often is easily normalized among teens. Many of them may not even recognize that sharing answers, looking up facts online, consulting a friend, or using a homework app could constitute cheating. It may be a slippery slope as well, with kids fudging the honesty line a tiny bit here or there before beginning full-fledged cheating.

For those who are well aware that their behavior constitutes cheating, the academic pressure to succeed may outweigh the risk of getting caught. They may want to get into top colleges or earn scholarships for their grades. Some teens may feel that the best way to gain a competitive edge is by cheating.

Other students may just be looking for shortcuts. It may seem easier to cheat rather than look up the answers, figure things out in their heads, or study for a test. Plus, it can be rationalized that they are "studying" on their phone rather than actually cheating.

Teens with busy schedules may be especially tempted to cheat. The demands of sports, a part-time job , family commitments, or other after-school responsibilities can make academic dishonesty seem like a time-saving option.

Sometimes, there’s also a fairly low risk of getting caught. Some teachers rely on an honor system, and in some cases, technology has evolved faster than school policies. Many teachers lack the resources to detect academic dishonesty in the classroom. However, increasingly, there are programs and methods that let teachers scan student work for plagiarism.

Finally, some teens get confused about their family's values and may forget that learning is the goal of schooling rather than just the grades they get. They may assume that their parent would rather they cheat than get a bad grade—or they fear disappointing them. Plus, they see so many other kids cheating that it may start to feel expected.

It’s important to educate yourself about the various ways that today’s teens are cheating so you can be aware of the temptations your teen may face. Let's look at how teens are using phones and technology to cheat.

Texting is one of the fastest ways for students to get answers to test questions from other students in the room—it's become the modern equivalent of note passing. Teens hide their smartphones on their seats and text one another, looking down to view responses while the teacher isn't paying attention.

Teens often admit the practice is easy to get away with even when phones aren't allowed (provided the teacher isn't walking around the room to check for cellphones).

Some teens store notes for test time on their cell phones and access these notes during class. As with texting, this is done on the sly, hiding the phone from view.  The internet offers other unusual tips for cheating with notes, too.

For example, several sites guide teens to print their notes out in the nutrition information portion of a water bottle label, providing a downloadable template to do so. Teens replace the water or beverage bottle labels with their own for a nearly undetectable setup, especially in a large class. This, of course, only works if the teacher allows beverages during class.

Rather than conduct research to find sources, some students are copying and pasting material. They may plagiarize a report by trying to pass off a Wikipedia article as their own paper, for example.

Teachers may get wise to this type of plagiarism by doing a simple internet search of their own. Pasting a few sentences of a paper into a search engine can help teachers identify if the content was taken from a website.

A few websites offer complete research papers for free based on popular subjects or common books. Others allow students to purchase a paper. Then, a professional writer, or perhaps even another student, will complete the report for them.

Teachers may be able to detect this type of cheating when a student’s paper seems to be written in a different voice. A perfectly polished paper may indicate a ninth-grade student’s work isn’t their own. Teachers may also just be able to tell that the paper just doesn't sound like the student who turned it in.

Crowdsourced sites such as Homework Helper also provide their share of homework answers. Students simply ask a question and others chime in to give them the answers.

Teenagers use social media to help one another on tests, too. It only takes a second to capture a picture of an exam when the teacher isn’t looking.

That picture may then be shared with friends who want a sneak peek of the test before they take it. The photo may be uploaded to a special Facebook group or simply shared via text message. Then, other teens can look up the answers to the exam once they know the questions ahead of time.

While many tech-savvy cheating methods aren’t all that surprising, some methods require very little effort on the student’s part. Numerous free math apps such as Photomath allow a student to take a picture of the math problem. The app scans the problem and spits out the answers, even for complex algebra problems. That means students can quickly complete the homework without actually understanding the material.

Other apps, such as HWPic , send a picture of the problem to an actual tutor, who offers a step-by-step solution to the problem. While some students may use this to better understand their homework, others just copy down the answers, complete with the steps that justify the answer.

Websites such as Cymayth and Wolfram Alpha solve math problems on the fly—Wolfram can even handle college-level math problems. While the sites and apps state they are designed to help students figure out how to do the math, they are also used by students who would rather have the answers without the effort required to think them through on their own.

Other apps quickly translate foreign languages. Rather than have to decipher what a recording says or translate written words, apps can easily translate the information for the student.

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to talk to teens about cheating and their expectations for honesty, school, and communication. Many parents may have never had a serious talk with their child about cheating. It may not even come up unless their child gets caught cheating. Some parents may not think it’s necessary to discuss because they assume their child would never cheat. 

However, clearly, the statistics show that many kids do engage in academic discretions. So, don’t assume your child wouldn’t cheat. Often, "good kids" and "honest kids" make bad decisions. Make it clear to your teen that you value hard work and honesty.

Talk to your teen regularly about the dangers of cheating. Make it clear that cheaters tend not to get ahead in life.

Discuss the academic and social consequences of cheating, too. For example, your teen might get a zero or get kicked out of a class for cheating. Even worse, other people may not believe them when they tell the truth if they become known as dishonest or a cheater. It could also go on their transcripts, which could impair their academic future.

It’s important for your teen to understand that cheating—and heavy cell phone use—can take a toll on their mental health , as well. Additionally, studies make clear that poor mental health, particularly relating to self-image, stress levels, and academic engagement, makes kids more likely to indulge in academic dishonestly. So, be sure to consider the whole picture of why your child may be cheating or feel tempted to cheat.

A 2016 study found that cheaters actually cheat themselves out of happiness. Although they may think the advantage they gain by cheating will make them happier, research shows cheating causes people to feel worse.

Establish Clear Expectations and Consequences

Deciphering what constitutes cheating in today's world can be a little tricky. If your teen uses a homework app to get help, is that cheating? What if they use a website that translates Spanish into English? Also, note that different teachers have different expectations and will allow different levels of outside academic support.

Expectations

So, you may need to take it on a case-by-case basis to determine whether your teen's use of technology enhances or hinders their learning and/or is approved by their teacher. When in doubt, you can always ask the teacher directly if using technology for homework or other projects is acceptable.

To help prevent cheating, take a firm, clear stance so that your child understands your values and expectations. Also, make sure they have any needed supports in place so that they aren't tempted to cheat due to academic frustrations or challenges.

Tell your teen, ideally before an incident of academic dishonesty occurs, that you don’t condone cheating of any kind and you’d prefer a bad grade over dishonesty.

Stay involved in your teen’s education. Know what type of homework your teen is doing and be aware of the various ways your teen may be tempted to use their laptop or smartphone to cheat.

To encourage honesty in your child, help them develop a healthy moral compass by being an honest role model. If you cheat on your taxes or lie about your teen’s age to get into the movies for a cheaper price, you may send them the message that cheating is acceptable.

Consequences

If you do catch your teen cheating, take action . Just because your teen insists, “Everyone uses an app to get homework done,” don’t blindly believe it or let that give them a free pass. Instead, reiterate your expectations and provide substantive consequences. These may include removing phone privileges for a specified period of time. Sometimes the loss of privileges —such as your teen’s electronics—for 24 hours is enough to send a clear message.

Allow your teen to face consequences at school as well. If they get a zero on a test for cheating, don’t argue with the teacher. Instead, let your teen know that cheating has serious ramifications—and that they will not get away with this behavior.

However, do find out why your teen is cheating. Consider if they're over-scheduled or afraid they can’t keep up with their peers. Are they struggling to understand the material? Do they feel unhealthy pressure to excel? Ask questions to gain an understanding so you can help prevent cheating in the future and ensure they can succeed on their own.

It’s better for your teen to learn lessons about cheating now, rather than later in life. Dishonesty can have serious consequences. Cheating in college could get your teen expelled and cheating at a future job could get them fired or it could even lead to legal action. Cheating on a future partner could lead to the end of the relationship.

A Word From Verywell

Make sure your teen knows that honesty and focusing on learning rather than only on getting "good grades," at all costs, really is the best policy. Talk about honesty often and validate your teen’s feelings when they're frustrated with schoolwork—and the fact that some students who cheat seem to get ahead without getting caught. Assure them that ultimately, people who cheat truly are cheating themselves.

Common Sense Media. It's ridiculously easy for kids to cheat now .

Common Sense Media. 35% of kids admit to using cell phones to cheat .

Isakov M, Tripathy A. Behavioral correlates of cheating: environmental specificity and reward expectation .  PLoS One . 2017;12(10):e0186054. Published 2017 Oct 26. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186054

Marksteiner T, Nishen AK, Dickhäuser O. Students' perception of teachers' reference norm orientation and cheating in the classroom .  Front Psychol . 2021;12:614199. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.614199

Khan ZR, Sivasubramaniam S, Anand P, Hysaj A. ‘ e’-thinking teaching and assessment to uphold academic integrity: lessons learned from emergency distance learning .  International Journal for Educational Integrity . 2021;17(1):17. doi:10.1007/s40979-021-00079-5

Farnese ML, Tramontano C, Fida R, Paciello M. Cheating behaviors in academic context: does academic moral disengagement matter?   Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences . 2011;29:356-365. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.250

Pew Research Center. How parents and schools regulate teens' mobile phones .

Mohammad Abu Taleb BR, Coughlin C, Romanowski MH, Semmar Y, Hosny KH. Students, mobile devices and classrooms: a comparison of US and Arab undergraduate students in a middle eastern university .  HES . 2017;7(3):181. doi:10.5539/hes.v7n3p181

Gasparyan AY, Nurmashev B, Seksenbayev B, Trukhachev VI, Kostyukova EI, Kitas GD. Plagiarism in the context of education and evolving detection strategies .  J Korean Med Sci . 2017;32(8):1220-1227. doi:10.3346/jkms.2017.32.8.1220

Bretag T. Challenges in addressing plagiarism in education .  PLoS Med . 2013;10(12):e1001574. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001574

American Academy of Pediatrics. Competition and cheating .

Korn L, Davidovitch N. The Profile of academic offenders: features of students who admit to academic dishonesty .  Med Sci Monit . 2016;22:3043-3055. doi:10.12659/msm.898810

Abi-Jaoude E, Naylor KT, Pignatiello A. Smartphones, social media use and youth mental health .  CMAJ . 2020;192(6):E136-E141. doi:10.1503/cmaj.190434

Stets JE, Trettevik R. Happiness and Identities . Soc Sci Res. 2016;58:1-13. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.04.011

Lenhart A. Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 . Pew Research Center.

By Amy Morin, LCSW Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.

  • Office of Academic Integrity >
  • About Academic Integrity >

Common Reasons Students Cheat

Students working in a lab wearing scrubs and gloves.

Poor Time Management

The most common reason students cite for committing academic dishonesty is that they ran out of time. The good news is that this is almost always avoidable. Good time management skills are a must for success in college (as well as in life). Visit the Undergraduate Academic Advisement website  for tips on how to manage your time in college.

Stress/Overload

Another common reason students engage in dishonest behavior has to do with overload: too many homework assignments, work issues, relationship problems, COVID-19. Before you resort to behaving in an academically dishonest way, we encourage you to reach out to your professor, your TA, your academic advisor or even  UB’s counseling services .

Wanting to Help Friends

While this sounds like a good reason to do something, it in no way helps a person to be assisted in academic dishonesty. Your friends are responsible for learning what is expected of them and providing evidence of that learning to their instructor. Your unauthorized assistance falls under the “ aiding in academic dishonesty ” violation and makes both you and your friend guilty.

Fear of Failure

Students report that they resort to academic dishonesty when they feel that they won’t be able to successfully perform the task (e.g., write the computer code, compose the paper, do well on the test). Fear of failure prompts students to get unauthorized help, but the repercussions of cheating far outweigh the repercussions of failing. First, when you are caught cheating, you may fail anyway. Second, you tarnish your reputation as a trustworthy student. And third, you are establishing habits that will hurt you in the long run. When your employer or graduate program expects you to have certain knowledge based on your coursework and you don’t have that knowledge, you diminish the value of a UB education for you and your fellow alumni.

"Everyone Does it" Phenomenon

Sometimes it can feel like everyone around us is dishonest or taking shortcuts. We hear about integrity scandals on the news and in our social media feeds. Plus, sometimes we witness students cheating and seeming to get away with it. This feeling that “everyone does it” is often reported by students as a reason that they decided to be academically dishonest. The important thing to remember is that you have one reputation and you need to protect it. Once identified as someone who lacks integrity, you are no longer given the benefit of the doubt in any situation. Additionally, research shows that once you cheat, it’s easier to do it the next time and the next, paving the path for you to become genuinely dishonest in your academic pursuits.

Temptation Due to Unmonitored Environments or Weak Assignment Design

When students take assessments without anyone monitoring them, they may be tempted to access unauthorized resources because they feel like no one will know. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been tempted to peek at online answer sites, Google a test question, or even converse with friends during a test. Because our environments may have changed does not mean that our expectations have. If you wouldn’t cheat in a classroom, don’t be tempted to cheat at home. Your personal integrity is also at stake.

Different Understanding of Academic Integrity Policies

Standards and norms for academically acceptable behavior can vary. No matter where you’re from, whether the West Coast or the far East, the standards for academic integrity at UB must be followed to further the goals of a premier research institution. Become familiar with our policies that govern academically honest behavior.

cheating on your homework

When does getting help on an assignment turn into cheating?

cheating on your homework

Policy Fellow, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University

Disclosure statement

Peter Hurley is affiliated with the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University.

Victoria University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

View all partners

Students – whether at university or school – can get help from many places. They can go to a tutor, parent, teacher, a friend or consult a textbook.

But at which point does getting help cross the line into cheating?

Sometimes it’s clear. If you use a spy camera or smartwatch in an exam, you’re clearly cheating. And you’re cheating if you get a friend to sit an exam for you or write your assignment.

At other times the line is blurry. When it’s crossed, it constitutes academic misconduct. Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for yourself or others.

What about getting someone else to read a draft of your essay? What if they do more than proofread and they alter sections of an assignment? Does that constitute academic misconduct?

Learning, teaching or cheating?

There are a wide range of activities that constitute academic misconduct. These can include:

fabrication, which is just making things up. I could say “90 % of people admit to fabricating their assignments”, when this is not a fact but a statement I just invented

falsification, which is manipulating data to inaccurately portray results. This can occur by taking research results out of context and drawing conclusions not supported by data

misrepresentation, which is falsely representing yourself. Did you know I have a master’s degree from the University of Oxford on this topic? (Actually, I don’t)

plagiarism, which is when you use other people’s ideas or words without appropriate attribution. For instance, this list came from other people’s research and it is important to reference the source.

Sometimes students and teachers have different ideas of academic misconduct. One study found around 45% of academics thought getting someone else to correct a draft could constitute academic misconduct. But only 32% of students thought the same thing.

Read more: Assessment design won’t stop cheating, but our relationships with students might

In the same survey, most academics and students agreed having someone else like a parent or friend identify errors in a draft assignment, as opposed to correcting them, was fine.

cheating on your homework

Generally when a lecturer, teacher or another marker is assessing an assignment they need to establish the authenticity of the work. Authenticity means having confidence the work actually relates to the performance of the person being assessed, and not of another person.

The Australian government’s vocational education and training sector’s quality watchdog, for instance, considers authenticity as one of four so-called rules of evidence for an “effective assessment”.

The rules are:

validity, which is when the assessor is confident the student has the skills and knowledge required by the module or unit

sufficiency, which is when the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence is enough for the assessor to make a judgement

authenticity, where the assessor is confident the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s own work

currency, where the assessor is confident the evidence relates to what the student can do now instead of some time in the past.

Generally speaking, if the assessor is confident the work is the product of a student’s thoughts and where help has been provided there is proper acknowledgement, it should be fine.

Why is cheating a problem?

It’s difficult to get a handle on how big the cheating problem is. Nearly 30% of students who responded to a 2012 UK survey agreed they had “submitted work taken wholly from an internet source” as their own.

In Australia, 6% of students in a survey of 14,000 reported they had engaged in “outsourcing behaviours” such as submitting someone else’s assignment as their own, and 15% of students had bought, sold or traded notes.

Getting someone to help with your assignment might seem harmless but it can hinder the learning process. The teacher needs to understand where the student is at with their learning, and too much help from others can get in the way.

Read more: Children learn from stress and failure: all the more reason you shouldn't do their homework

Some research describes formal education as a type of “ signal ”. This means educational attainment communicates important information about an individual to a third party such as an employer, a customer, or to an authority like a licensing body or government department. Academic misconduct interferes with that process.

cheating on your homework

How to deal with cheating

It appears fewer cheaters are getting away with it than before. Some of the world’s leading academic institutions have reported a 40% increase in academic misconduct cases over a three year period.

Technological advances mean online essay mills and “ contract cheating ” have become a bigger problem. This type of cheating involves outsourcing work to third parties and is concerning because it is difficult to detect .

Read more: 15% of students admit to buying essays. What can universities do about it?

But while technology has made cheating easier, it has also offered sophisticated systems for educators to verify the work is a person’s own. Software programs such as Turnitin can check if a student has plagiarised their assignment.

Institutions can also verify the evidence they are assessing relates to a student’s actual performance by using a range of assessment methods such as exams, oral presentations, and group assignments.

Academic misconduct can be a learning and cultural issue . Many students, particularly when they are new to higher education, are simply not aware what constitutes academic misconduct. Students can often be under enormous pressure that leads them to make poor decisions.

It is possible to deal with these issues in a constructive manner that help students learn and get the support they need. This can include providing training to students when they first enrol, offering support to assist students who may struggle, and when academic misconduct does occur, taking appropriate steps to ensure it does not happen again.

  • Exam cheating
  • Contract cheating
  • University cheating
  • Academic misconduct

cheating on your homework

Research Fellow

cheating on your homework

Senior Research Fellow - Women's Health Services

cheating on your homework

Lecturer / Senior Lecturer - Marketing

cheating on your homework

Assistant Editor - 1 year cadetship

cheating on your homework

Executive Dean, Faculty of Health

How Cheating in College Hurts Students

Academic integrity is important, experts say, as plagiarism and other cheating may have severe consequences.

cheating on your homework

Getty Images | Westend61

Experts say the number of students engaging in academic dishonesty during the coronavirus pandemic is soaring.

Cheating in college is risky business loaded with potential consequences – failing classes, suspension, possible expulsion – yet it's common and perhaps more accessible than ever.

"A lot of people cheat a little," says David Pritchard, a physics professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied academic dishonesty in online classes. "There's also a few people who cheat a lot."

Though it may be tempting and feel harmless, experts caution college students to think twice before cheating on coursework. Here's how to know what is typically considered cheating and the potential consequences.

How College Students Cheat

Cheating is a multibillion-dollar business, with some educational technology companies making money off students who use their products to break or bend academic integrity rules and others earning revenue from colleges trying to prevent academic dishonesty.

Students also use classic classroom moves like scribbling hidden notes somewhere or using technology such as smartwatches. Copying a classmate's assignment or plagiarizing parts of published works for a paper remain popular methods.

Many of those tactics appear to have been replaced by artificial intelligence and generative language models like ChatGPT and Google Bard, which offer some services like writing, editing and idea generation for free.

Pritchard notes that ChatGPT has performed well on exams in certain subjects, and the American Bar Association reported in March 2023 that it passed the Uniform Bar Exam by "a significant margin." While some professors say they're keeping an open mind about ChatGPT and similar tools, others say it's impossible to ignore the reality that students are using them to cheat.

ChatGPT "is the future of cheating," Pritchard says.

Rebecca Hamlin, a professor of legal studies and political science at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst , recently joined the university's academic honesty board and has seen cases of students caught cheating with ChatGPT. She caught 12 in her own classes during the spring 2023 semester.

“If students are genuinely interested in learning how to become writers, I’m very resistant to the idea that ChatGPT can help them," she says. “It’s really risky because it’s actually way more obvious to someone who reads really good writing all day long. I can immediately tell."

But plenty of students slip through undetected or cheat in other inconspicuous ways, she says.

Most instructors underestimate just how rampant the issue is, says Eric Anderman, a professor at The Ohio State University and interim dean at its Mansfield campus. "We think we're underestimating it because people don't want to admit to it."

Here's what academic integrity experts say college students should know about the immediate and long-term consequences of cheating.

The Consequences of Cheating in College

Regardless of the cheating method, students are only harming themselves and their learning process, experts say.

“I know that sounds really cheesy, but I kind of don’t really understand why someone is going to waste their time and money going to college if they don’t want to learn how to write," Hamlin says. "That’s probably one of the top two to three skills that you gain when you go to college."

Students also deprive themselves of a genuine feeling of achievement when they cheat, says Russell Monroe, director of academic integrity at Liberty University in Virginia.

"There’s a sense of dignity in knowing that I got a grade that I earned, whether that’s for an assignment or a class," he says. "You can look at your degree with pride knowing this is something I achieved on my own merit and didn’t have to outsource anything to anyone else or steal or plagiarize."

Some penalties can have a lasting effect and financial repercussions. They are often less severe for first-time offenders, but colleges keep records of such behavior. Students who continue to cheat and get caught risk failing a class, receiving academic suspension or being expelled from the school, which may come with a note on their transcript explaining why they were dismissed. This designation will likely make it harder to enroll at another college , experts say.

Students who fail a class due to academic dishonesty are usually allowed to retake it. If it's a class required for graduation, they don't have a choice. Either way, that means more money out of pocket, perhaps in student loans .

Failing a course also typically harms a student's GPA , particularly if they don't retake it and earn a higher grade. This could jeopardize eligibility for financial aid or scholarships and lead to academic probation .

Each school has its own policies and disciplinary measures, and professors may vary in how they address academic dishonesty. Some may handle it on their own while others may send it to a disciplinary committee. It often depends on the severity of cheating, Monroe says. For example, cheating on a discussion board assignment isn't seen as as serious as plagiarizing a dissertation or final exam paper, or cheating on a credential or certification exam, he says.

Plagiarizing on capstone course papers or other assignments tied to graduation is a particularly egregious offense that could jeopardize a student's ability to graduate, experts say.

“We are putting our stamp of approval on you to move on to the next step," Monroe says. "That next step might be graduation, but if we’re doing that based upon bad information or false information, that’s a serious problem.”

Even students who think they got away with cheating may suffer consequences, such as missing out on foundational information that they need to learn and apply in higher-level classes.

Additionally, graduates who cheated and perhaps even ended up with good grades may find themselves starting their career unprepared and lacking needed knowledge and skills. And for jobs that have a safety component, unprepared workers could put themselves and others at risk.

Then there are occasions when academic dishonesty is revealed later and torpedoes a career, sometimes in a public and humiliating way.

Know What Is and Isn't Cheating

While some students are well aware that they're cheating and see it as merely a means to an end, not all forms of academic dishonesty are intentional. In many cases, it's an accident made while under stress or when a student has procrastinated , experts say.

Sometimes students make mistakes because they aren't properly prepared to engage with college-level work. For example, improperly citing sources on a term paper can lead to charges of plagiarism.

"I think part of what happens is students aren't always taught in high school how to cite and evaluate information from the internet," Anderman says. "And I think a lot of them, when they get to college – and this is not an excuse – truly don't realize that you can't just look something up on the internet and put it in your paper, that you still have to cite it, and they get caught."

Colleges commonly use a variety of plagiarism-checking software, such as Turnitin, which flags written work that may be uncited or improperly cited. These tools help keep students honest and significantly decrease plagiarism, experts say.

Some forms of cheating, such as intentional plagiarism, buying papers online or paying someone to complete course work, should be fairly obvious, experts say. This is often referred to as "contract cheating," Monroe says, and it's an offense that can lead to expulsion from Liberty.

"It’s very difficult for us to know when that’s happening, but when we do find out, we view that very seriously because there are significant portions of your entire degree that may not have been done by the student at all," he says.

Other areas aren't as clear-cut, particularly what is permissible when it comes to collaborating with classmates, sharing information and using AI products. Monroe says Liberty doesn't ban the use of AI or tools like ChatGPT, but there are boundaries around their ethical use. Students can use these tools to edit and get inspiration, but any assignment turned in must be the student's original work.

Experts also caution against using online companies that position themselves as tutoring organizations but largely help students cheat. Colleges offer many academic resources that students can use instead, and at no extra cost.

“I would definitely encourage a student who’s facing a tough situation or feels that they can’t do their work on time to contact their professor and see if there’s some kind of alternate arrangement that can be made," Monroe says.

Many professors are willing to accept work late, he says. Liberty’s policy is to take 10% off of an assignment's overall grade if it’s late.

“We definitely prefer a timely submission of work," Monroe says, "but contact your professor. They are definitely willing to work with students within the scope that they’re allowed to. That would definitely be a better situation than turning to cheating."

Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of Best Colleges.

10 Steps to Choosing the Right College

College student carrying his bag and laptop in campus. Young man turning back over his shoulder and walking in college campus.

Tags: colleges , students , education , academics , cheating , college admissions , college applications , high school

2024 Best Colleges

cheating on your homework

Search for your perfect fit with the U.S. News rankings of colleges and universities.

College Admissions: Get a Step Ahead!

Sign up to receive the latest updates from U.S. News & World Report and our trusted partners and sponsors. By clicking submit, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy .

Ask an Alum: Making the Most Out of College

You May Also Like

Takeaways from the ncaa’s settlement.

Laura Mannweiler May 24, 2024

cheating on your homework

New Best Engineering Rankings June 18

Robert Morse and Eric Brooks May 24, 2024

cheating on your homework

Premedical Programs: What to Know

Sarah Wood May 21, 2024

cheating on your homework

How Geography Affects College Admissions

Cole Claybourn May 21, 2024

cheating on your homework

Q&A: College Alumni Engagement

LaMont Jones, Jr. May 20, 2024

cheating on your homework

10 Destination West Coast College Towns

Cole Claybourn May 16, 2024

cheating on your homework

Scholarships for Lesser-Known Sports

Sarah Wood May 15, 2024

cheating on your homework

Should Students Submit Test Scores?

Sarah Wood May 13, 2024

cheating on your homework

Poll: Antisemitism a Problem on Campus

Lauren Camera May 13, 2024

cheating on your homework

Federal vs. Private Parent Student Loans

Erika Giovanetti May 9, 2024

cheating on your homework

Trending Post : 12 Powerful Discussion Strategies to Engage Students

Reading and Writing Haven

Why Students Cheat on Homework and How to Prevent It

One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching in today’s world is the cheating epidemic. There’s nothing more irritating than getting halfway through grading a large stack of papers only to realize some students cheated on the assignment. There’s really not much point in teachers grading work that has a high likelihood of having been copied or otherwise unethically completed. So. What is a teacher to do? We need to be able to assess students. Why do students cheat on homework, and how can we address it?

Like most new teachers, I learned the hard way over the course of many years of teaching that it is possible to reduce cheating on homework, if not completely prevent it. Here are six suggestions to keep your students honest and to keep yourself sane.

ASSIGN LESS HOMEWORK

One of the reasons students cheat on homework is because they are overwhelmed. I remember vividly what it felt like to be a high school student in honors classes with multiple extracurricular activities on my plate. Other teens have after school jobs to help support their families, and some don’t have a home environment that is conducive to studying.

While cheating is  never excusable under any circumstances, it does help to walk a mile in our students’ shoes. If they are consistently making the decision to cheat, it might be time to reduce the amount of homework we are assigning.

I used to give homework every night – especially to my advanced students. I wanted to push them. Instead, I stressed them out. They wanted so badly to be in the Top 10 at graduation that they would do whatever they needed to do in order to complete their assignments on time – even if that meant cheating.

When assigning homework, consider the at-home support, maturity, and outside-of-school commitments involved. Think about the kind of school and home balance you would want for your own children. Go with that.

PROVIDE CLASS TIME

Allowing students time in class to get started on their assignments seems to curb cheating to some extent. When students have class time, they are able to knock out part of the assignment, which leaves less to fret over later. Additionally, it gives them an opportunity to ask questions.

When students are confused while completing assignments at home, they often seek “help” from a friend instead of going in early the next morning to request guidance from the teacher. Often, completing a portion of a homework assignment in class gives students the confidence that they can do it successfully on their own. Plus, it provides the social aspect of learning that many students crave. Instead of fighting cheating outside of class , we can allow students to work in pairs or small groups  in class to learn from each other.

Plus, to prevent students from wanting to cheat on homework, we can extend the time we allow them to complete it. Maybe students would work better if they have multiple nights to choose among options on a choice board. Home schedules can be busy, so building in some flexibility to the timeline can help reduce pressure to finish work in a hurry.

GIVE MEANINGFUL WORK

If you find students cheat on homework, they probably lack the vision for how the work is beneficial. It’s important to consider the meaningfulness and valuable of the assignment from students’ perspectives. They need to see how it is relevant to them.

In my class, I’ve learned to assign work that cannot be copied. I’ve never had luck assigning worksheets as homework because even though worksheets have value, it’s generally not obvious to teenagers. It’s nearly impossible to catch cheating on worksheets that have “right or wrong” answers. That’s not to say I don’t use worksheets. I do! But. I use them as in-class station, competition, and practice activities, not homework.

So what are examples of more effective and meaningful types of homework to assign?

  • Ask students to complete a reading assignment and respond in writing .
  • Have students watch a video clip and answer an oral entrance question.
  • Require that students contribute to an online discussion post.
  • Assign them a reflection on the day’s lesson in the form of a short project, like a one-pager or a mind map.

As you can see, these options require unique, valuable responses, thereby reducing the opportunity for students to cheat on them. The more open-ended an assignment is, the more invested students need to be to complete it well.

DIFFERENTIATE

Part of giving meaningful work involves accounting for readiness levels. Whenever we can tier assignments or build in choice, the better. A huge cause of cheating is when work is either too easy (and students are bored) or too hard (and they are frustrated). Getting to know our students as learners can help us to provide meaningful differentiation options. Plus, we can ask them!

This is what you need to be able to demonstrate the ability to do. How would you like to show me you can do it?

Wondering why students cheat on homework and how to prevent it? This post is full of tips that can help. #MiddleSchoolTeacher #HighSchoolTeacher #ClassroomManagement

REDUCE THE POINT VALUE

If you’re sincerely concerned about students cheating on assignments, consider reducing the point value. Reflect on your grading system.

Are homework grades carrying so much weight that students feel the need to cheat in order to maintain an A? In a standards-based system, will the assignment be a key determining factor in whether or not students are proficient with a skill?

Each teacher has to do what works for him or her. In my classroom, homework is worth the least amount out of any category. If I assign something for which I plan on giving completion credit, the point value is even less than it typically would be. Projects, essays, and formal assessments count for much more.

CREATE AN ETHICAL CULTURE

To some extent, this part is out of educators’ hands. Much of the ethical and moral training a student receives comes from home. Still, we can do our best to create a classroom culture in which we continually talk about integrity, responsibility, honor, and the benefits of working hard. What are some specific ways can we do this?

Building Community and Honestly

  • Talk to students about what it means to cheat on homework. Explain to them that there are different kinds. Many students are unaware, for instance, that the “divide and conquer (you do the first half, I’ll do the second half, and then we will trade answers)” is cheating.
  • As a class, develop expectations and consequences for students who decide to take short cuts.
  • Decorate your room with motivational quotes that relate to honesty and doing the right thing.
  • Discuss how making a poor decision doesn’t make you a bad person. It is an opportunity to grow.
  • Share with students that you care about them and their futures. The assignments you give them are intended to prepare them for success.
  • Offer them many different ways to seek help from you if and when they are confused.
  • Provide revision opportunities for homework assignments.
  • Explain that you partner with their parents and that guardians will be notified if cheating occurs.
  • Explore hypothetical situations.  What if you have a late night? Let’s pretend you don’t get home until after orchestra and Lego practices. You have three hours of homework to do. You know you can call your friend, Bob, who always has his homework done. How do you handle this situation?

EDUCATE ABOUT PLAGIARISM

Many students don’t realize that plagiarism applies to more than just essays. At the beginning of the school year, teachers have an energized group of students, fresh off of summer break. I’ve always found it’s easiest to motivate my students at this time. I capitalize on this opportunity by beginning with a plagiarism mini unit .

While much of the information we discuss is about writing, I always make sure my students know that homework can be plagiarized. Speeches can be plagiarized. Videos can be plagiarized. Anything can be plagiarized, and the repercussions for stealing someone else’s ideas (even in the form of a simple worksheet) are never worth the time saved by doing so.

In an ideal world, no one would cheat. However, teaching and learning in the 21st century is much different than it was fifty years ago. Cheating? It’s increased. Maybe because of the digital age… the differences in morals and values of our culture…  people are busier. Maybe because students don’t see how the school work they are completing relates to their lives.

No matter what the root cause, teachers need to be proactive. We need to know why students feel compelled to cheat on homework and what we can do to help them make learning for beneficial. Personally, I don’t advocate for completely eliminating homework with older students. To me, it has the potential to teach students many lessons both related to school and life. Still, the “right” answer to this issue will be different for each teacher, depending on her community, students, and culture.

STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS IN SECONDARY

You are so right about communicating the purpose of the assignment and giving students time in class to do homework. I also use an article of the week on plagiarism. I give students points for the learning – not the doing. It makes all the difference. I tell my students why they need to learn how to do “—” for high school or college or even in life experiences. Since, they get an A or F for the effort, my students are more motivated to give it a try. No effort and they sit in my class to work with me on the assignment. Showing me the effort to learn it — asking me questions about the assignment, getting help from a peer or me, helping a peer are all ways to get full credit for the homework- even if it’s not complete. I also choose one thing from each assignment for the test which is a motivator for learning the material – not just “doing it.” Also, no one is permitted to earn a D or F on a test. Any student earning an F or D on a test is then required to do a project over the weekend or at lunch or after school with me. All of this reinforces the idea – learning is what is the goal. Giving students options to show their learning is also important. Cheating is greatly reduced when the goal is to learn and not simply earn the grade.

Thanks for sharing your unique approaches, Sandra! Learning is definitely the goal, and getting students to own their learning is key.

Comments are closed.

Get the latest in your inbox!

To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

  • Backchannel
  • Newsletters
  • WIRED Insider
  • WIRED Consulting

Cevin Soling

Why I Think Students Should Cheat

cheating

You have been kidnapped and dragged off to a remote location where your abductors have tied you to a chair. One of your captors is seated in front of you. He holds up ten flash cards and informs you that he is going to ask you a series of questions and the answers are printed on the backs of the cards. He assures you that once he has finished asking these questions, you will be released. There is a catch, though. For every question you get wrong, he will signal his accomplice to cut off one of your fingers. As he begins to read the first question, you notice there is a mirror on the opposite wall where you can see the reflection of the text on the card. Because you have been taught that cheating is dishonest, you interrupt your kidnapper and let him know that you are able to read the card and that he must conceal them better so that you cannot inadvertently cheat. He adjusts himself accordingly and proceeds to ask you a series of dry and uninspired questions on topics that hold no interest for you, while his accomplice menacingly holds out a set of cutting pliers.

While cheating is technically wrong, everyone should cringe at this conception of morality because it fails to account for context. In this example, cheating is not only justified, it is necessary because it aids a helpless victim who has been involuntarily subjected to unreasonable conditions. Unfortunately, this kind of clarity is absent when it comes to compulsory education.

One of the most salient features of all public schools is the importance of grades. Because grades are the currency and sole commodity of schools, they are used both to motivate and punish. They are a major component of a student’s portfolio and have the potential to impact their future. Educators might try to stress the value of “learning” over grades, but that is a complete farce. When learning is not commensurately represented by grades, students rightly feel cheated by the system and become apathetic. To insist on valuing learning over grades is offensively disingenuous and hypocritical. It is akin to telling workers at McDonald’s that they should care more about doing their job than their salary.

Students have no input regarding how or what they learn, and they are alienated from the work they do at school. Except for a few rare assignments, students are not inspired by their work, and any personal attachment they could have is undermined by the fact that they must compromise their efforts to meet the demands and expectations of the person who grades their work.

It's important to bear in mind that students prepare for tests with the intention that they will retain the material just long enough to take the test and then forget most of what they learned soon afterwards. This completely undermines the purpose and value of testing. Advocates of testing who denigrate cheating conveniently fail to acknowledge this. Testing demands that students view knowledge as a disposable commodity that is only relevant when it is tested. This contributes to the process of devaluing education.

The benefits of cheating are obvious – improved grades in an environment where failure is not an opportunity for learning, but rather a badge of shame. When students do poorly on a test, there is no reason for students to review their responses because they will likely never be tested on the same thing ever again. The test itself is largely arbitrary and often not meaningful. Organizations such as FairTest are devoted to sharing research that exposes the problems of bad testing practices.

The main arguments against cheating in school are that it is unethical, promotes bad habits, and impacts self-esteem through the attainment of an unearned reward. None of these concerns are even remotely valid because none consider the environment. Children are routinely rounded up and forcibly placed in an institution where they are subjected to a hierarchy that places them at the bottom. Like the hostage, they are held captive even if they are not physically bound. They are deprived of any power over their own lives, including the ability to pursue their interests, and are subjected to a barrage of tests that have consequences for each wrong answer.

The Best Smart Speakers With Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

By Parker Hall

Everything You Can Do to Keep an Old Computer Running

By David Nield

These Are the Android Phones Worth Buying

By Julian Chokkattu

Your Bike Tires Are Too Skinny. Riding on Fat, Supple Tires Is Just Better

Maintaining ethics is part of an unwritten contract of being a willing participant in a community. Students placed in school against their will and routinely disrespected have no obligation to adhere to the ethical codes of their oppressors. Cheating is an act of resistance, and resistance against oppressive powers should be encouraged and celebrated, rather than deemed a “bad habit” or an unethical act. The concern regarding self-esteem that is highlighted by The Child Study Center as promoting the “worst damage,” lacks any scientific support whatsoever.

If students feel bad for cheating, it is because the environment has created a set of conditions where cheating is necessary and justifiable. For this same reason, many students are proud that they cheat. Cheating often requires creativity in terms of execution as well as ingenuity to avoid being caught. It also serves as a statement of disdain against an arbitrary and repressive institution. For these reasons, cheating can be a source for pride that boosts self-esteem. Given this construct, cheating is not simply something many students do; it is something all students in compulsory schools should do. Cheating is a moral imperative.

Punishing students for cheating is completely misguided. People should be most concerned about the student who does not cheat. They are the ones who appear to have internalized their oppression and might lack the necessary skills to rally and lobby against abuses of power that are perpetrated by governing bodies. Cheating should be recognized as the necessary and logical outcome of an arbitrary and oppressive institution. Punishing students who cheat is yet another abuse of autocratic power. In a healthy society, people ridicule and shame those who force children to endure the kind of environment that demands they must cheat.

What Happens When a Romance Writer Gets Locked Out of Google Docs

Madeline Ashby

How Big Dairy Took Over Your TikTok Feed&-With Help From Uncle Sam

H. Claire Brown

A (Strange) Interview With the Russian-Military-Linked Hackers Targeting US Water Utilities

Andy Greenberg

We Stood on Both Sides of the New York–Dublin Portal and It Was Glorious

David Gilbert

Nick Bostrom Made the World Fear AI. Now He Asks: What if It Fixes Everything?

Will Knight

City Trees Save Lives

Aarian Marshall

A Russian Influence Campaign Is Exploiting College Campus Protests

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • School Stuff
  • Academic Dishonesty

How to Deal With Being Caught Cheating on a Test

Last Updated: December 3, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C . Raffi Bilek is a couples counselor and family therapist, and the Director of The Baltimore Therapy Center, LLC. With more than ten years of experience, he specializes in helping individuals, couples, and families save and improve their relationships. He enjoys training other therapists to work with couples through the most difficult situations, including infidelity, divorce, and more. Raffi holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Brown University and a Master's degree in Social Work from The Wurzweiler School of Social Work. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 361,086 times.

When it comes to cheating in school, the techniques– and motivations– are numerous. Between the increase in both technology and academic pressures, students are finding and utilizing new ways to ace their exams. If you’ve made the decision to cheat on a test and you ultimately got caught, there are ways to do some damage control while accepting responsibility for your behavior.

Step 1 Own up to your mistake.

  • Think about the last time someone lied to your face, and you knew they were lying. Not only did it probably not feel great, it probably also increased your anger. Don’t escalate your situation further by lying.

Step 2 Show remorse.

  • Be open about how you feel. If you feel the urge to cry, let those tears flow. The more emotion that your teacher sees from you, the better.
  • If the authority figure sees that you are upset, they may be more lenient with punishment. Trying to play it cool is likely to backfire, because they'll think you need to be taught a lesson.

Step 3 Explain why you cheated.

  • Make sure to tell your teacher that you studied for the test. It will look better for you if they know you did try to do well on your own.

Denying the Cheating

Step 1 Evaluate the evidence against you.

  • If you aren’t exactly sure what evidence your teacher has against you, plan on denying. If they didn’t catch you in the moment, they may only have a suspicion.

Step 2 Tell authorities you did not cheat.

  • If your teacher accuses you of plagiarizing, simply tell them that you used the source in question for research. After reading the information and going directly to your paper to write it, you may have unintentionally phrased things similarly.
  • If your score was uncharacteristically high on a test, just tell your teacher that you studied intently for it, as opposed to other times.
  • Each accusation will be different, but unless you have a great excuse, keep it simple. Repeat that you studied hard, you did your best, and you’re upset that you’re being blamed.

Step 3 Stick to one story.

Dealing With Punishment

Step 1 Accept the consequences.

  • Having the ability to accept consequences can make you a stronger, more courageous person in the long run.

Step 2 Prepare for a discussion with authorities.

  • It’s important to show everyone that the cheating was out of character and you are deeply sorry.
  • Enlist the help of an older sibling or an adult you trust to help plan out your words. You may be required to write a statement. If so, edit, edit, edit. Read it to parents, teachers, and friends to get feedback.

Step 3 Get it over with.

  • Not only will you be able to put this event behind you sooner, you will also show the authority figure that you are serious about fixing the problem.

Step 4 Keep a positive attitude.

  • Cheating on one test won’t ruin your life. While the consequences can be intense, as stated earlier, it doesn’t help to continuously beat yourself up or wallow in misery. Stay optimistic, and don’t dwell on the mistake you made.

Step 5 Understand your rights.

  • If you are facing expulsion from school, it is important to understand your rights. Laws about school expulsion vary from state to state, and from public to private schools. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer throughout this process.
  • If you decide to appeal a suspension or expulsion that you believe to be unjust, you can learn more about that here.

Moving Forward After the Incident

Step 1 Determine the cause of your cheating.

  • You don’t necessarily need to tell anyone what you figure out about yourself, but keep it as useful knowledge going forward.

Step 2 Create a plan to deal with said issue.

  • No matter what caused you to cheat, you should be able to make a plan to follow going forward.
  • While apologizing and accepting your punishment is OK once, making this plan will help it from becoming a routine occurrence.

Step 3 Commit to your new plan.

  • You may need to make sacrifices in order to become a better student, but this will be worth it in order to avoid the temptation to cheat and the punishment that comes along with it.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

You Might Also Like

Stop Cheating

  • ↑ https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-art-of-a-heartfelt-apology-2021041322366
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/friendship-20/201906/how-apologize-8-tips-keep-in-mind
  • ↑ https://positivepsychology.com/positive-mindset/
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/about/policy/guidelines-equitable-treatment-students.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.niu.edu/academic-integrity/students/causes/index.shtml
  • ↑ https://www.apu.edu/articles/how-tutoring-for-college-students-sparks-success/
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/studying-101-study-smarter-not-harder/

About This Article

Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

If you got caught cheating on a test, you can do some damage control by accepting responsibility for your behavior and accepting the consequences. The best thing to do when caught cheating is to own up to your mistake because denying it will only make the consequences worse. When confronted, show remorse and act like you regret your decision as your teacher or principal might not punish you as severely. Tell them you understand and accept whatever punishment they decide is necessary and explain that you want to fix your behavior. For more help, like how to move on after the incident, scroll down. Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

A Nigerian

Feb 11, 2021

Did this article help you?

A Nigerian

Destiny Thompson

Jul 4, 2017

Anonymous

Feb 4, 2017

Nov 1, 2017

Anonymous

Apr 28, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

How to Avoid the Icks that People Can't Stand

Trending Articles

How to Answer “How’s It Going?” in Any Situation

Watch Articles

Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Don’t miss out! Sign up for

wikiHow’s newsletter

Watch CBS News

8 Top Websites that Students Use to Cheat

By Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Updated on: May 6, 2011 / 6:37 PM EDT / MoneyWatch

In an attempt to answer that question, Turnitin , a company dedicated to uncovering plagiarism , looked at more than 40 million student papers. The firm concluded that the most popular website for plagiarism is the trusted source that millions of us Americans turn to to learn stuff: Wikipedia .

Interestingly enough, Turnitin said that the websites that are designed to assist cheaters by, for instance, selling papers represent only 15% of the potentially plagiarized content that the company detected.

In contrast, one third of the suspicious content that Turnitin uncovered was traced to social networks such as Facebook and question-and-answer sites where users contribute and share content.

Do Students Know They Are Cheating?

8 top sites for plagiarism.

  • Wikipedia Encylopedia
  • Yahoo! Answers Social & content sharing site
  • Answers.com Social & content sharing site
  • Slideshare Social and content sharing site
  • OPPapers.com Cheat site & paper mill
  • Scribd Social & content sharing site
  • Course Hero Homework & academic site
  • MedLibrary.org Homework & academic site

suzanne-lucas220x140.png

View all articles by Lynn O'Shaughnessy on CBS MoneyWatch» Lynn O'Shaughnessy is a best-selling author, consultant and speaker on issues that parents with college-bound teenagers face. She explains how families can make college more affordable through her website TheCollegeSolution.com ; her financial workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College ; and the new second edition of her Amazon best-selling book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price .

More from CBS News

Cheat Codes: Students Search For Shortcuts as Virtual Schooling Expands

An eighth grader looks up answers on a cell phone while he is taking an online quiz at home. The pandemic has forced many Oklahoma school districts to shift to part-time or full-time online learning this year.

An eighth grader looks up answers on a cell phone while he is taking an online quiz at home. The pandemic has forced many Oklahoma school districts to shift to part-time or full-time online learning this year. (Whitney Bryen/Oklahoma Watch)

cheating on your homework

Computer programmer Gradyn Wursten still updates a project he created to hack his high school homework.

As a sophomore, he used an old MacBook with a cracked screen and bulging battery to write the code that adds shortcuts to Edgenuity — an online education platform used by more than   3 million students .

Once installed, his program can skip videos and automatically fill practice questions with answers — progressing straight to quizzes and tests.

Instead of watching a 30-minute history lesson on the Iroquois, students can cut right to the quiz. And those answers are often easily found on the web.

The hacks make it possible to complete a course much faster, students say.

Wursten is more computer savvy than most, but his quest for shortcuts is typical. His program, developed from his home in Heber City, Utah, has been downloaded 40,000 times by students across the country. In the past month, he gained 2,000 new users, including more than 100 in Oklahoma.

And his tool is just one of many available to savvy students.

Entire test keys and quiz answers are posted to homework help websites. Smartphone apps take a photo of a question and produce the answer. Students connect on social media or text groups to share answers. There are even tricks to fake attendance in a Zoom class — demonstrated by a teen’s viral Tik Tok video.

Schools’ large-scale shift to virtual education amid COVID-19 is challenging the system of determining what students actually know and limiting educators’ ability to ensure academic integrity.

Cheating has always been an issue in schools, but there is little getting in the way for students today. Shared answers have become even more accessible as districts have adopted or expanded their use of popular online learning programs like Edgenuity, which delivers the same content to students across the country.

Many schools adopted such virtual programs in a matter of months to adapt to the ongoing public health crisis. Seventy percent of Oklahoma districts had a virtual option at the start of this school year, and 7.5% were exclusively online, according to a state Department of Education   survey .

But when students are not inside classrooms, it becomes more difficult to ensure they are actually learning, teachers say.

“Everything my kids are doing at home is a cheatable assignment, which makes that in-class time so incredibly valuable,” said Elanna Dobbs, who teaches English at Edmond Memorial High School.

Edmond is using a blended schedule, where students attend class some days and are virtual from home the rest of the week.

Dobbs, who has been teaching 19 years, said on virtual days, she relies on class discussions or assignments that task students with providing individual thoughts on what they’ve learned. In other words, the type of assignments they can’t just Google.

Many students aren’t getting any in-person class time, though.

Virtual charter schools are experiencing a surge of enrollment, a trend underway before the pandemic. These schools don’t have classrooms and the students learn mostly from home. Epic Charter Schools says it has 61,000 students enrolled — representing about 1 in 10 Oklahoma students. Other statewide virtual charter schools are experiencing increases.

In virtual charter schools, teachers provide less direct instruction than in a traditional school, with the curriculum program delivering most of the lessons. Parents are expected to fill in the gaps and oversee the learning process.

Research shows it doesn’t work very well. Students enrolled full-time in virtual charter schools learned an equivalent of 72 days fewer in reading and 180 days fewer in math than students in brick-and-mortar schools over one academic year, according to a   2015 study   by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, a non-partisan research center at Stanford University.

Now, those same methods are being adopted by traditional school districts with the tens of thousands of Oklahoma students attending school from home.

And yet, critics — from parents to the president — have deemed online education inadequate. “Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning,” President Donald Trump   tweeted July 10.

That month, in Norman, parents railed against a plan to use Edgenuity teachers for all students enrolling in the district’s virtual program. They spoke out at board meetings, and wrote a   letter to the district,   calling it “troubling” that Edgenuity was their only virtual option within the district.

“Our children deserve to have personal interactions with local teachers and classmates as part of their virtual school experience during this pandemic,” they wrote. They urged the district to, among other requests, provide an option for students to learn from Norman teachers, not from “an out-of-state, for-profit venture.”

The district relented and quickly developed an in-house virtual program, in addition to offering Edgenuity.

Relying on Teachers to Spot Discrepancies from Afar

Technology provides some cheating protections. Edgenuity features a locking browser, which restricts students from opening other tabs and programs while the learning platform is open. Epic and Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy say their teachers can require exams to be proctored, where the student is monitored remotely through a webcam.

Watch videos related to this reporting on Oklahoma Watch’s website.

Students can bypass these protections. Often, it’s no more difficult than pulling up answers on a smartphone. A   2018 study by Pew Research Center   found 95% of teens have a smartphone, or at least access to one. Even kindergarten students know how to ask a smart speaker their homework questions.

Yet the companies providing the lessons say it’s up to users to provide the accountability and prevent cheating.

“Edgenuity trusts the integrity of teachers, administrations, and even students themselves, to ensure that students learn and succeed fairly,” wrote Deborah Rayow, Edgenuity’s Vice President of Instructional Design & Learning Science, in response to Oklahoma Watch’s questions.

Edgenuity, an Arizona-based online curriculum company, is being used by at least some virtual students in Norman, Union, Stillwater and other school districts.

Another program, Exact Path, is being used in more than 400 Oklahoma districts. The state Education Department used CARES Act funds to enter into a $2.6 million contract with parent company, Edmentum, to offer   Exact Path free to districts . Exact Path is an online learning tool that can be used for assessment and instruction in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Districts are, in some cases, using Exact Path even when school is in-person, to make it easier to pivot to distance learning because of an outbreak or need to quarantine.

Edmentum says because Exact Path adapts to individual students, it is difficult to use online social networks to find answers. And the company works with popular homework help sites like Quizlet and Brainly to “ensure our content is not posted on their sites,” a spokesperson said.

Exact Path also alerts teachers to unusual behavior — such as answering too quickly.

LIke Edgenuity, Edmentum emphasizes teachers’ responsibility to prevent cheating.

One of the most effective things teachers can do to prevent cheating is to design their own online curriculum, or at least supplement the platform’s assignments with their own, said Derald Glover, assistant executive director of the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators.

The bare minimum schools should be doing this year is placing a student on a virtual school platform and letting them go, he said.  Additional safeguards teachers can add are class discussions via Zoom, or having students submit videos of themselves explaining their answers.

Glover said he’s encouraging educators to treat online tools as a digital textbook, and design virtual courses themselves.

But that takes time.

“We think it’s going to take most of this year to realistically build really rich teacher-developed (virtual) courses,” Glover said.

At-Home Learning Assumes Parents Can Supervise

Parents are showing little patience to wait. The fervor over inadequate education at home is growing, and the lack of teacher interaction is one of the main reasons.

Norman schools bent to parental pressure and transitioned to in-person school in late September, despite no change in the Cleveland County’s color-coded coronavirus risk designation.

A group of Stillwater parents filed a lawsuit against the district to force a return to classrooms. The district of 6,300 students uses Edgenuity for students who chose full-time virtual learning.

Parent Nicole Wisel wishes her children’s school district, Cimarron Public Schools, would return to paper, pencils and textbooks instead of using Edgenuity.

“We hate it,” said Wisel, who has children in seventh, eighth and 11th grades. “Our teachers are being paid to be proctors, and that’s it. They don’t even know what these kids are doing.”

The prerecorded video lessons are too long, she says, and one of her children, who is autistic, says the instructors in the videos are “creepy.”

Chuck Anglin, Cimarron Public Schools’ superintendent, said he likes to use Edgenuity to offer extra classes in a normal year. Choosing it for virtual learning this year was making “the best of a bad situation,” he said.

He agrees that when kids are learning from home, the onus to prevent cheating is mostly on parents.

“We are not programmed for distance learning,” said Anglin, whose school district is located 12 miles west of Enid. “We are programmed to have the kids there, where we can see their faces, we can read their eyes, we can tell if they are still engaged. We can see if they’re looking around to see if anybody’s watching while they’ve got their phone in their lap.”

Researchers at the National Education Policy Center, a research center at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that relying on a computer program to teach and assess is one of the most detrimental aspects of online education.

The researchers found these programs actually impede and marginalize the teacher’s role. “Teachers may be unable to see how their students earned the designation of mastery of a goal because in some applications, the software, not the teacher, determines questions asked and the grades assigned,” they wrote in a   2019 report .

They also found that students would just look up answers on their computers — in a separate browser or on a smartphone — while taking assessments. The students quickly realize a computer is easy to trick compared to a human teacher.

This is at the heart of the cheating issue. Are students spending school days engaged in live lessons with a local teacher who is crafting curriculum to meet their needs? Or are they watching videos that explain content and clicking through multiple choice questions?

Katie Harris teaches senior English at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, a statewide virtual school run by the national company K12, Inc. In her first year, students turned in a lot of plagiarized essays, she said. Now, she knows she has to rewrite her lessons, assignments, quizzes and tests every year.

“I say, ‘look, if I Google this exact writing prompt, I can find whole essays online. Don’t do that,’” she said.

K12 schools use their own virtual curriculum, not Edgenuity or Exact Path. A plagiarism detection service, Turnitin, automatically scans students’ work.

At Epic Charter Schools, the state’s largest virtual school, teachers can be responsible for students in all grades and subjects — and outside what they are certified to teach. Families can choose from more than a dozen learning platforms (Edgenuity and Exact Path among them), making it particularly difficult to supplement or build their own course.

To prevent cheating, Epic teachers proctor students’ benchmarking tests — in person, if possible, or via video conference, said Shelly Hickman, a spokeswoman for Epic. Teachers also can investigate if there are major discrepancies in a student’s scores on daily work compared to the proctored exams.

But Epic teachers are only   required to meet   with students face-to-face once every three weeks. Some teachers will meet more frequently, depending on the families’ needs.

Online Classes Create a ‘Psychological Distance’

Psychologists who study human behavior have found that most people will cheat — not a lot, but a little. Researcher Dan Ariely calls this the   “fudge factor.” 

Ariely, a professor at Duke University and author of the book   “The Honest Truth About Dishonesty,”   explains how and why cheating in online courses is easier than in a physical classroom.

“Gone are the quaint days of minutely lettered cheat sheets, formulas written on the underside of baseball cap bills, sweat-smeared key words on students’ palms. Now it’s just a student sitting alone at home, looking up answers online and simply filling them in,” he wrote in   this article   eight years ago, when virtual schools were still fairly new to Oklahoma.

He says the physical distance provided by online classes — distance from the teacher, the students, and the school building — creates a psychological distance that “allows people to further relax their moral standards.”

It’s also true that cheating exists on a continuum. Wursten, for instance, drew the line at automating quiz and test answers — the graded content.

Wursten, who graduated in 2019 and is now certified to work in IT, still adds features to his program — called Edgentweaks — as a “fun side project,” and because he wants to help other students avoid the drudgery he once faced.

Meanwhile, Edgenuity has patched his hacks in a virtual game of cat and mouse.

“I’ve found ways that I could automatically get the correct answers for things like tests and quizzes, but I did not actually write a tweak for it because I consider that cheating,” Wursten said. “I don’t intend to actually make a cheat tool.”

Even apps and websites created to assist students on their virtual learning path have been co-opted into cheat tools.

Brainly has a smartphone app that lets students scan homework or test questions, and answers pop up immediately. On Quizlet, another homework help website, entire test keys are posted and shared among students. Even pre-written essays are easily found, students say. Photomath, another app, produces not only the answer to a math problem, but all the steps needed for students to show their work.

Brainly and Quizlet have policies against cheating. But that’s unlikely to deter students, whether they are enrolled in a virtual school or are attending class face-to-face.

Mackenzie Snovel, who graduated from Owasso last year, said she found 90% of the answers for her senior English and history classes online — and even used Brainly to complete her final exam.

She said she didn’t see an issue with looking up answers because “they were classes I needed to graduate and none of that information I will need in my career.”

Technology is No Substitute

With students and teachers separated by distance, some of the academic integrity responsibility falls to the IT department.

They block websites known to be used for cheating. They may facilitate online exam proctoring, where students are monitored while taking a test through their webcam.

At Union Public Schools near Tulsa, the district has implemented several of these security measures but only on school-owned devices. Most students can easily access another device, though.

While Union is using Edgenuity for all middle and high school students who chose virtual this year, teachers will be adding in extra assignments to supplement the online tool, said Gart Morris, the district’s executive director of instructional technology.

“The curriculum in Edgenuity is limited,” he said. “Our own teachers are beefing up the curriculum to meet our standards.”

The district has about 2,700 middle and high school students who chose virtual learning this year. He believes the best tool to combat cheating is cementing the student to teacher relationships.

“It’s always a challenge to get one step ahead. There’s thousands of them and there’s not thousands of us,” Morris said. “You can look at technology in a way to try to prevent cheating but nothing works as well as a good solid relationship between students and an adult.”

Oklahoma Watch reporter Whitney Bryen contributed to this report.

This story is part of a collaboration with  Oklahoma Watch  through FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Jennifer Palmer , Oklahoma Watch

More stories.

4205_SG001

Families of Uvalde Shooting Victims Sue Texas DPS Officers for Waiting To Confront Gunman

4212_SG_005

Where Does School Segregation Stand, 70 Years After Brown v. Board of Education?

00004212_SG001

‘A Dangerous Assignment’ Director and Reporter Discuss the Risks in Investigating the Powerful in Maduro’s Venezuela

Roberto Deniz A Dangerous Assignment

‘It Would Have Been Easier To Look Away’: A Journalist’s Investigation Into Corruption in Maduro’s Venezuela

Documenting police use of force, get our newsletter, follow frontline, frontline newsletter, we answer to no one but you.

You'll receive access to exclusive information and early alerts about our documentaries and investigations.

I'm already subscribed

The FRONTLINE Dispatch

Don't miss an episode. sign-up for the frontline dispatch newsletter., sign-up for the unresolved newsletter..

  • Digital Offerings
  • Biochemistry
  • College Success
  • Communication
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Our Mission
  • Our Leadership
  • Accessibility
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
  • Learning Science
  • Sustainability
  • Affordable Solutions
  • Curriculum Solutions
  • Inclusive Access
  • Lab Solutions
  • LMS Integration
  • Instructor Resources
  • iClicker and Your Content
  • Badging and Credidation
  • Press Release
  • Learning Stories Blog
  • Discussions
  • The Discussion Board
  • Webinars on Demand
  • Digital Community
  • Macmillan Learning Peer Consultants
  • Macmillan Learning Digital Blog
  • Learning Science Research
  • Macmillan Learning Peer Consultant Forum
  • The Institute at Macmillan Learning
  • Professional Development Blog
  • Teaching With Generative AI: A Course for Educators
  • English Community
  • Achieve Adopters Forum
  • Hub Adopters Group
  • Psychology Community
  • Psychology Blog
  • Talk Psych Blog
  • History Community
  • History Blog
  • Communication Community
  • Communication Blog
  • College Success Community
  • College Success Blog
  • Economics Community
  • Economics Blog
  • Institutional Solutions Community
  • Institutional Solutions Blog
  • Handbook for iClicker Administrators
  • Nutrition Community
  • Nutrition Blog
  • Lab Solutions Community
  • Lab Solutions Blog
  • STEM Community
  • STEM Achieve Adopters Forum
  • Contact Us & FAQs
  • Find Your Rep
  • Training & Demos
  • First Day of Class
  • For Booksellers
  • International Translation Rights
  • Permissions
  • Report Piracy

Digital Products

Instructor catalog, our solutions.

  • Macmillan Community

Tips to Prevent Cheating on Homework in Achieve

becky_anderson

  • Subscribe to RSS Feed
  • Mark as New
  • Mark as Read
  • Printer Friendly Page
  • Report Inappropriate Content

You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.

  • Abnormal Psychology 1
  • Achieve 159
  • Achieve Read & Practice 23
  • Achieve Release Notes 17
  • Assessment 14
  • Flipping the Classroom 9
  • Getting Started 54
  • LaunchPad 12
  • LearningCurve 19
  • Psychology 1
  • Sapling Learning 14
  • « Previous
  • Next »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Academic dishonesty when doing homework: How digital technologies are put to bad use in secondary schools

  • Open access
  • Published: 23 July 2022
  • Volume 28 , pages 1251–1271, ( 2023 )

Cite this article

You have full access to this open access article

cheating on your homework

  • Juliette C. Désiron   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3074-9018 1 &
  • Dominik Petko   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1569-1302 1  

6431 Accesses

4 Citations

4 Altmetric

Explore all metrics

The growth in digital technologies in recent decades has offered many opportunities to support students’ learning and homework completion. However, it has also contributed to expanding the field of possibilities concerning homework avoidance. Although studies have investigated the factors of academic dishonesty, the focus has often been on college students and formal assessments. The present study aimed to determine what predicts homework avoidance using digital resources and whether engaging in these practices is another predictor of test performance. To address these questions, we analyzed data from the Program for International Student Assessment 2018 survey, which contained additional questionnaires addressing this issue, for the Swiss students. The results showed that about half of the students engaged in one kind or another of digitally-supported practices for homework avoidance at least once or twice a week. Students who were more likely to use digital resources to engage in dishonest practices were males who did not put much effort into their homework and were enrolled in non-higher education-oriented school programs. Further, we found that digitally-supported homework avoidance was a significant negative predictor of test performance when considering information and communication technology predictors. Thus, the present study not only expands the knowledge regarding the predictors of academic dishonesty with digital resources, but also confirms the negative impact of such practices on learning.

Similar content being viewed by others

cheating on your homework

The impact of smartphone use on learning effectiveness: A case study of primary school students

cheating on your homework

Cheating is in the Eye of the Beholder: an Evolving Understanding of Academic Misconduct

cheating on your homework

Understanding procrastination: A case of a study skills course

Avoid common mistakes on your manuscript.

1 Introduction

Academic dishonesty is a widespread and perpetual issue for teachers made even more easier to perpetrate with the rise of digital technologies (Blau & Eshet-Alkalai, 2017 ; Ma et al., 2008 ). Definitions vary but overall an academically dishonest practices correspond to learners engaging in unauthorized practice such as cheating and plagiarism. Differences in engaging in those two types of practices mainly resides in students’ perception that plagiarism is worse than cheating (Evering & Moorman, 2012 ; McCabe, 2005 ). Plagiarism is usually defined as the unethical act of copying part or all of someone else’s work, with or without editing it, while cheating is more about sharing practices (Krou et al., 2021 ). As a result, most students do report cheating in an exam or for homework (Ma et al., 2008 ). To note, other research follow a different distinction for those practices and consider that plagiarism is a specific – and common – type of cheating (Waltzer & Dahl, 2022 ). Digital technologies have contributed to opening possibilities of homework avoidance and technology-related distraction (Ma et al., 2008 ; Xu, 2015 ).

The question of whether the use of digital resources hinders or enhances homework has often been investigated in large-scale studies, such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). While most of the early large-scale studies showed positive overall correlations between the use of digital technologies for learning at home and test scores in language, mathematics, and science (e.g., OECD, 2015 ; Petko et al., 2017 ; Skryabin et al., 2015 ), there have been more recent studies reporting negative associations as well (Agasisti et al., 2020 ; Odell et al., 2020 ). One reason for these inconclusive findings is certainly the complex interplay of related factors, which include diverse ways of measuring homework, gender, socioeconomic status, personality traits, learning goals, academic abilities, learning strategies, motivation, and effort, as well as support from teachers and parents. Despite this complexity, it needs to be acknowledged that doing homework digitally does not automatically lead to productive learning activities, and it might even be associated with counter-productive practices such as digital distraction or academic dishonesty. Digitally enhanced academic dishonesty has mostly been investigated regarding formal assessment-related examinations (Evering & Moorman, 2012 ; Ma et al., 2008 ); however, it might be equally important to investigate its effects regarding learning-related assignments such as homework. Although a large body of research exists on digital academic dishonesty regarding assignments in higher education, relatively few studies have investigated this topic on K12 homework. To investigate this issue, we integrated questionnaire items on homework engagement and digital homework avoidance in a national add-on to PISA 2018 in Switzerland. Data from the Swiss sample can serve as a case study for further research with a wider cultural background. This study provides an overview of the descriptive results and tries to identify predictors of the use of digital technology for academic dishonesty when completing homework.

1.1 Prevalence and factors of digital academic dishonesty in schools

According to Pavela’s ( 1997 ) framework, four different types of academic dishonesty can be distinguished: cheating by using unauthorized materials, plagiarism by copying the work of others, fabrication of invented evidence, and facilitation by helping others in their attempts at academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty can happen in assessment situations, as well as in learning situations. In formal assessments, academic dishonesty usually serves the purpose of passing a test or getting a better grade despite lacking the proper abilities or knowledge. In learning-related situations such as homework, where assignments are mandatory, cheating practices equally qualify as academic dishonesty. For perpetrators, these practices can be seen as shortcuts in which the willingness to invest the proper time and effort into learning is missing (Chow, 2021; Waltzer & Dahl,  2022 ). The interviews by Waltzer & Dahl ( 2022 ) reveal that students do perceive cheating as being wrong but this does not prevent them from engaging in at least one type of dishonest practice. While academic dishonesty is not a new phenomenon, it has been changing together with the development of new digital technologies (Anderman & Koenka, 2017 ; Ercegovac & Richardson, 2004 ). With the rapid growth in technologies, new forms of homework avoidance, such as copying and plagiarism, are developing (Evering & Moorman, 2012 ; Ma et al., 2008 ) summarized the findings of the 2006 U.S. surveys of the Josephson Institute of Ethics with the conclusion that the internet has led to a deterioration of ethics among students. In 2006, one-third of high school students had copied an internet document in the past 12 months, and 60% had cheated on a test. In 2012, these numbers were updated to 32% and 51%, respectively (Josephson Institute of Ethics, 2012 ). Further, 75% reported having copied another’s homework. Surprisingly, only a few studies have provided more recent evidence on the prevalence of academic dishonesty in middle and high schools. The results from colleges and universities are hardly comparable, and until now, this topic has not been addressed in international large-scale studies on schooling and school performance.

Despite the lack of representative studies, research has identified many factors in smaller and non-representative samples that might explain why some students engage in dishonest practices and others do not. These include male gender (Whitley et al., 1999 ), the “dark triad” of personality traits in contrast to conscientiousness and agreeableness (e.g., Cuadrado et al., 2021 ; Giluk & Postlethwaite, 2015 ), extrinsic motivation and performance/avoidance goals in contrast to intrinsic motivation and mastery goals (e.g., Anderman & Koenka,  2017 ; Krou et al., 2021 ), self-efficacy and achievement scores (e.g., Nora & Zhang,  2010 ; Yaniv et al., 2017 ), unethical attitudes, and low fear of being caught (e.g., Cheng et al., 2021 ; Kam et al., 2018 ), influenced by the moral norms of peers and the conditions of the educational context (e.g., Isakov & Tripathy,  2017 ; Kapoor & Kaufman, 2021 ). Similar factors have been reported regarding research on the causes of plagiarism (Husain et al., 2017 ; Moss et al., 2018 ). Further, the systematic review from Chiang et al. ( 2022 ) focused on factors of academic dishonesty in online learning environments. The analyses, based on the six-components behavior engineering, showed that the most prominent factors were environmental (effect of incentives) and individual (effect of motivation). Despite these intensive research efforts, there is still no overarching model that can comprehensively explain the interplay of these factors.

1.2 Effects of homework engagement and digital dishonesty on school performance

In meta-analyses of schools, small but significant positive effects of homework have been found regarding learning and achievement (e.g., Baş et al., 2017 ; Chen & Chen, 2014 ; Fan et al., 2017 ). In their review, Fan et al. ( 2017 ) found lower effect sizes for studies focusing on the time or frequency of homework than for studies investigating homework completion, homework grades, or homework effort. In large surveys, such as PISA, homework measurement by estimating after-school working hours has been customary practice. However, this measure could hide some other variables, such as whether teachers even give homework, whether there are school or state policies regarding homework, where the homework is done, whether it is done alone, etc. (e.g., Fernández-Alonso et al., 2015 , 2017 ). Trautwein ( 2007 ) and Trautwein et al. ( 2009 ) repeatedly showed that homework effort rather than the frequency or the time spent on homework can be considered a better predictor for academic achievement Effort and engagement can be seen as closely interrelated. Martin et al. ( 2017 ) defined engagement as the expressed behavior corresponding to students’ motivation. This has been more recently expanded by the notion of the quality of homework completion (Rosário et al., 2018 ; Xu et al., 2021 ). Therefore, it is a plausible assumption that academic dishonesty when doing homework is closely related to low homework effort and a low quality of homework completion, which in turn affects academic achievement. However, almost no studies exist on the effects of homework avoidance or academic dishonesty on academic achievement. Studies investigating the relationship between academic dishonesty and academic achievement typically use academic achievement as a predictor of academic dishonesty, not the other way around (e.g., Cuadrado et al., 2019 ; McCabe et al., 2001 ). The results of these studies show that low-performing students tend to engage in dishonest practices more often. However, high-performing students also seem to be prone to cheating in highly competitive situations (Yaniv et al., 2017 ).

1.3 Present study and hypotheses

The present study serves three combined purposes.

First, based on the additional questionnaires integrated into the Program for International Student Assessment 2018 (PISA 2018) data collection in Switzerland, we provide descriptive figures on the frequency of homework effort and the various forms of digitally-supported homework avoidance practices.

Second, the data were used to identify possible factors that explain higher levels of digitally-supported homework avoidance practices. Based on our review of the literature presented in Section 1.1 , we hypothesized (Hypothesis 1 – H1) that these factors include homework effort, age, gender, socio-economic status, and study program.

Finally, we tested whether digitally-supported homework avoidance practices were a significant predictor of test score performance. We expected (Hypothesis 2 – H2) that technology-related factors influencing test scores include not only those reported by Petko et al. ( 2017 ) but also self-reported engagement in digital dishonesty practices. .

2.1 Participants

Our analyses were based on data collected for PISA 2018 in Switzerland, made available in June 2021 (Erzinger et al., 2021 ). The target sample of PISA was 15-year-old students, with a two-phase sampling: schools and then students (Erzinger et al., 2019 , p.7–8, OECD, 2019a ). A total of 228 schools were selected for Switzerland, with an original sample of 5822 students. Based on the PISA 2018 technical report (OECD, 2019a ), only participants with a minimum of three valid responses to each scale used in the statistical analyses were included (see Section 2.2 ). A final sample of 4771 responses (48% female) was used for statistical analyses. The mean age was 15 years and 9 months ( SD  = 3 months). As Switzerland is a multilingual country, 60% of the respondents completed the questionnaires in German, 23% in French, and 17% in Italian.

2.2 Measures

2.2.1 digital dishonesty in homework scale.

This six-item digital dishonesty for homework scale assesses the use of digital technology for homework avoidance and copying (IC801 C01 to C06), is intended to work as a single overall scale for digital homework dishonesty practice constructed to include items corresponding to two types of dishonest practices from Pavela ( 1997 ), namely cheating and plagiarism (see Table  1 ). Three items target individual digital practices to avoid homework, which can be referred to as plagiarism (items 1, 2 and 5). Two focus more on social digital practices, for which students are cheating together with peers (items 4 and 6). One item target cheating as peer authorized plagiarism. Response options are based on questions on the productive use of digital technologies for homework in the common PISA survey (IC010), with an additional distinction for the lowest frequency option (6-point Likert scale). The scale was not tested prior to its integration into the PISA questionnaire, as it was newly developed for the purposes of this study.

2.2.2 Homework engagement scale

The scale, originally developed by Trautwein et al. (Trautwein, 2007 ; Trautwein et al., 2006 ), measures homework engagement (IC800 C01 to C06) and can be subdivided into two sub-scales: homework compliance and homework effort. The reliability of the scale was tested and established in different variants, both in Germany (Trautwein et al., 2006 ; Trautwein & Köller, 2003 ) and in Switzerland (Schnyder et al., 2008 ; Schynder Godel, 2015 ). In the adaptation used in the PISA 2018 survey, four items were positively poled (items 1, 2, 4, and 6), and two items were negatively poled (items 3 and 5) and presented with a 4-point Likert scale ranging from “Does not apply at all” to “Applies absolutely.” This adaptation showed acceptable reliability in previous studies in Switzerland (α = 0.73 and α = 0.78). The present study focused on homework effort, and thus only data from the corresponding sub-scale was analyzed (items 2 [I always try to do all of my homework], 4 [When it comes to homework, I do my best], and 6 [On the whole, I think I do my homework more conscientiously than my classmates]).

2.2.3 Demographics

Previous studies showed that demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status, could impact learning outcomes (Jacobs et al., 2002 ) and intention to use digital tools for learning (Tarhini et al., 2014 ). Gender is a dummy variable (ST004), with 1 for female and 2 for male. Socioeconomic status was analyzed based on the PISA 2018 index of economic, social, and cultural status (ESCS). It is computed from three other indices (OECD, 2019b , Annex A1): parents’ highest level of education (PARED), parents’ highest occupational status (HISEI), and home possessions (HOMEPOS). The final ESCS score is transformed so that 0 corresponds to an average OECD student. More details can be found in Annex A1 from PISA 2018 Results Volume 3 (OECD, 2019b ).

2.2.4 Study program

Although large-scale studies on schools have accounted for the differences between schools, the study program can also be a factor that directly affects digital homework dishonesty practices. In Switzerland, 15-year-old students from the PISA sampling pool can be part of at least six main study programs, which greatly differ in terms of learning content. In this study, study programs distinguished both level and type of study: lower secondary education (gymnasial – n  = 798, basic requirements – n  = 897, advanced requirements – n  = 1235), vocational education (classic – n  = 571, with baccalaureate – n  = 275), and university entrance preparation ( n  = 745). An “other” category was also included ( n  = 250). This 6-level ordinal variable was dummy coded based on the available CNTSCHID variable.

2.2.5 Technologies and schools

The PISA 2015 ICT (Information and Communication Technology) familiarity questionnaire included most of the technology-related variables tested by Petko et al. ( 2017 ): ENTUSE (frequency of computer use at home for entertainment purposes), HOMESCH (frequency of computer use for school-related purposes at home), and USESCH (frequency of computer use at school). However, the measure of student’s attitudes toward ICT in the 2015 survey was different from that of the 2012 dataset. Based on previous studies (Arpacı et al., 2021 ; Kunina-Habenicht & Goldhammer, 2020 ), we thus included INICT (Student’s ICT interest), COMPICT (Students’ perceived ICT competence), AUTICT (Students’ perceived autonomy related to ICT use), and SOIACICT (Students’ ICT as a topic in social interaction) instead of the variable ICTATTPOS of the 2012 survey.

2.2.6 Test scores

The PISA science, mathematics, and reading test scores were used as dependent variables to test our second hypothesis. Following Aparicio et al. ( 2021 ), the mean scores from plausible values were computed for each test score and used in the test score analysis.

2.3 Data analyses

Our hypotheses aim to assess the factors explaining student digital homework dishonesty practices (H1) and test score performance (H2). At the student level, we used multilevel regression analyses to decompose the variance and estimate associations. As we used data for Switzerland, in which differences between school systems exist at the level of provinces (within and between), we also considered differences across schools (based on the variable CNTSCHID).

Data were downloaded from the main PISA repository, and additional data for Switzerland were available on forscenter.ch (Erzinger et al., 2021 ). Analyses were computed with Jamovi (v.1.8 for Microsoft Windows) statistics and R packages (GAMLj, lavaan).

3.1 Additional scales for Switzerland

3.1.1 digital dishonesty in homework practices.

The digital homework dishonesty scale (6 items), computed with the six items IC801, was found to be of very good reliability overall (α = 0.91, ω = 0.91). After checking for reliability, a mean score was computed for the overall scale. The confirmatory factor analysis for the one-dimensional model reached an adequate fit, with three modifications using residual covariances between single items χ 2 (6) = 220, p  < 0.001, TLI = 0.969, CFI = 0.988, RMSEA (Root Mean Square Error of Approximation) = 0.086, SRMR = 0.016).

On the one hand, the practice that was the least reported was copying something from the internet and presenting it as their own (51% never did). On the other hand, students were more likely to partially copy content from the internet and modify it to present as their own (47% did it at least once a month). Copying answers shared by friends was rather common, with 62% of the students reporting that they engaged in such practices at least once a month.

When all surveyed practices were taken together, 7.6% of the students reported that they had never engaged in digitally dishonest practices for homework, while 30.6% reported cheating once or twice a week, 12.1% almost every day, and 6.9% every day (Table  1 ).

3.1.2 Homework effort

The overall homework engagement scale consisted of six items (IC800), and it was found to be acceptably reliable (α = 0.76, ω = 0.79). Items 3 and 5 were reversed for this analysis. The homework compliance sub-scale had a low reliability (α = 0.58, ω = 0.64), whereas the homework effort sub-scale had an acceptable reliability (α = 0.78, ω = 0.79). Based on our rationale, the following statistical analyses used only the homework effort sub-scale. Furthermore, this focus is justified by the fact that the homework compliance scale might be statistically confounded with the digital dishonesty in homework scale.

Descriptive weighted statistics per item (Table  2 ) showed that while most students (80%) tried to complete all of their homework, only half of the students reported doing those diligently (53.3%). Most students also reported that they believed they put more effort into their homework than their peers (77.7%). The overall mean score of the composite scale was 2.81 ( SD  = 0.69).

3.2 Multilevel regression analysis: Predictors of digital dishonesty in homework (H1)

Mixed multilevel modeling was used to analyze predictors of digital homework avoidance while considering the effect of school (random component). Based on our first hypothesis, we compared several models by progressively including the following fixed effects: homework effort and personal traits (age, gender) (Model 2), then socio-economic status (Model 3), and finally, study program (Model 4). The results are presented in Table  3 . Except for the digital homework dishonesty and homework efforts scales, all other scales were based upon the scores computed according to the PISA technical report (OECD, 2019a ).

We first compared variance components. Variance was decomposed into student and school levels. Model 1 provides estimates of the variance component without any covariates. The intraclass coefficient (ICC) indicated that about 6.6% of the total variance was associated with schools. The parameter (b  = 2.56, SE b  = 0.025 ) falls within the 95% confidence interval. Further, CI is above 0 and thus we can reject the null hypothesis. Comparing the empty model to models with covariates, we found that Models 2, 3 and 4 showed an increase in total explained variance to 10%. Variance explained by the covariates was about 3% in Models 2 and 3, and about 4% in Model 4. Interestingly, in our models, student socio-economic status, measured by the PISA index, never accounted for variance in digitally-supported dishonest practices to complete homework.

figure 1

Summary of the two-steps Model 4 (estimates - β, with standard errors and significance levels, *** p < 0.001)

Further, model comparison based on AIC indicates that Model 4, including homework effort, personal traits, socio-economic status, and study program, was the better fit for the data. In Model 4 (Table  3 ; Fig.  1 ), we observed that homework effort and gender were negatively associated with digital dishonesty. Male students who invested less effort in their homework were more prone to engage in digital dishonesty. The study program was positively but weakly associated with digital dishonesty. Students in programs that target higher education were less likely to engage in digital dishonesty when completing homework.

3.3 Multilevel regression analysis: Cheating and test scores (H2)

Our first hypothesis aimed to provide insights into characteristics of students reporting that they regularly use digital resources dishonestly when completing homework. Our second hypothesis focused on whether digitally-supported homework avoidance practices was linked to results of test scores. Mixed multilevel modeling was used to analyze predictors of test scores while considering the effect of school (random component). Based on the study by Petko et al. ( 2017 ), we compared several models by progressively including the following fixed effects ICT use (three measures) (Model 2), then attitude toward ICT (four measures) (Model 3), and finally, digital dishonesty in homework (single measure) (Model 4). The results are presented in Table  4 for science, Table  5 for mathematics, and Table  6 for reading.

Variance components were decomposed into student and school level. ICC for Model 1 indicated that 37.9% of the variance component without covariates was associated with schools.

Taking Model 1 as a reference, we observed an increase in total explained variance to 40.5% with factors related to ICT use (Model 2), to 40.8% with factors related to attitude toward ICT (Model 3), and to 41.1% with the single digital dishonesty factor. It is interesting to note that we obtained different results from those reported by Petko et al. ( 2017 ). In their study, they found significant effects on the explained variances of ENTUSE, USESCH, and ICTATTPOS but not of HOMESCH for Switzerland. In the present study (Model 3), HOMESCH and USESCH were significant predictors but not ENTUSE, and for attitude toward ICT, all but INTICT were significant predictors of the variance. However, factors corresponding to ICT use were negatively associated with test performance, as in the study by Petko et al. ( 2017 ). Similarly, all components of attitude toward ICT positively affected science test scores, except for students’ ICT as a topic in social interaction.

Based on the AIC values, Model 4, including ICT use, attitude toward ICT, and digital dishonesty, was the better fit for the data. The parameter ( b  = 498.00, SE b  = 3.550) shows that our sample falls within the 95% confidence interval and that we can reject the null hypothesis. In this model, all factors except the use of ICT outside of school for leisure were significant predictors of explained variance in science test scores. These results are consistent with those reported by Petko et al. ( 2017 ), in which more frequent use of ICT negatively affected science test scores, with an overall positive effect of positive attitude toward ICT. Further, we observed that homework avoidance with digital resources strongly negatively affected performance, with lower performance associated with students reporting a higher frequency of engagement in digital dishonesty practices.

For mathematics test scores, results from Models 2 and 3 showed a similar pattern than those for science, and Model 4 also explained the highest variance (41.2%). The results from Model 4 contrast with those found by Petko et al. ( 2017 ), as in this study, HOMESCH was the only significant variable of ICT use. Regarding attitudes toward ICT, only two measures (COMPICT and AUTICT) were significant positive factors in Model 4. As for science test scores, digital dishonesty practices were a significantly strong negative predictor. Students who reported cheating more frequently were more likely to perform poorly on mathematics tests.

The analyses of PISA test scores for reading in Model 2 was similar to that of science and mathematics, with ENTUSE being a non-significant predictor when we included only measures of ICT use as predictors. In Model 3, contrary to the science and mathematics test scores models, in which INICT was non-significant, all measures of attitude toward ICT were positively significant predictors. Nevertheless, as for science and mathematics, Model 4, which included digital dishonesty, explained the greater variance in reading test scores (42.2%). We observed that for reading, all predictors were significant in Model 4, with an overall negative effect of ICT use, a positive effect of attitude toward ICT—except for SOIAICT, and a negative effect of digital dishonesty on test scores. Interestingly, the detrimental effect of using digital resources to engage in dishonest homework completion was the strongest in reading test scores.

4 Discussion

In this study, we were able to provide descriptive statistics on the prevalence of digital dishonesty among secondary students in the Swiss sample of PISA 2018. Students from this country were selected because they received additional questions targeting both homework effort and the frequency with which they engaged in digital dishonesty when doing homework. Descriptive statistics indicated that fairly high numbers of students engage in dishonest homework practices, with 49.6% reporting digital dishonesty at least once or twice a week. The most frequently reported practice was copying answers from friends, which was undertaken at least once a month by more than two-thirds of respondents. Interestingly, the most infamous form of digital dishonesty, that is plagiarism by copy-pasting something from the internet (Evering & Moorman, 2012 ), was admitted to by close to half of the students (49%). These results for homework avoidance are close to those obtained by previous research on digital academic plagiarism (e.g., McCabe et al., 2001 ).

We then investigated what makes a cheater, based on students’ demographics and effort put in doing their homework (H1), before looking at digital dishonesty as an additional ICT predictor of PISA test scores (mathematics, reading, and science) (H2).

The goal of our first research hypothesis was to determine student-related factors that may predict digital homework avoidance practices. Here, we focused on factors linked to students’ personal characteristics and study programs. Our multilevel model explained about 10% of the variance overall. Our analysis of which students are more likely to digital resources to avoid homework revealed an increased probability for male students who did not put much effort into doing their homework and who were studying in a program that was not oriented toward higher education. Thus, our findings tend to support results from previous research that stresses the importance of gender and motivational factors for academic dishonesty (e.g., Anderman & Koenka,  2017 ; Krou et al., 2021 ). Yet, as our model only explained little variance and more research is needed to provide an accurate representation of the factors that lead to digital dishonesty. Future research could include more aspects that are linked to learning, such as peer-related or teaching-related factors. Possibly, how closely homework is embedded in the teaching and learning culture may play a key role in digital dishonesty. Additional factors might be linked to the overall availability and use of digital tools. For example, the report combining factors from the PISA 2018 school and student questionnaires showed that the higher the computer–student ratio, the lower students scored in the general tests (OECD, 2020b ). A positive association with reading disappeared when socio-economic background was considered. This is even more interesting when considering previous research indicating that while internet access is not a source of divide among youths, the quality of use is still different based on gender or socioeconomic status (Livingstone & Helsper, 2007 ). Thus, investigating the usage-related “digital divide” as a potential source of digital dishonesty is an interesting avenue for future research (Dolan, 2016 ).

Our second hypothesis considered that digital dishonesty in homework completion can be regarded as an additional ICT-related trait and thus could be included in models targeting the influence of traditional ICT on PISA test scores, such as Petko et al. ( 2017 ) study. Overall, our results on the influence of ICT use and attitudes toward ICT on test scores are in line with those reported by Petko et al. ( 2017 ). Digital dishonesty was found to negatively influence test scores, with a higher frequency of cheating leading to lower performance in all major PISA test domains, and particularly so for reading. For each subject, the combined models explained about 40% of the total variance.

4.1 Conclusions and recommendations

Our results have several practical implications. First, the amount of cheating on homework observed calls for new strategies for raising homework engagement, as this was found to be a clear predictor of digital dishonesty. This can be achieved by better explaining the goals and benefits of homework, the adverse effects of cheating on homework, and by providing adequate feedback on homework that was done properly. Second, teachers might consider new forms of homework that are less prone to cheating, such as doing homework in non-digital formats that are less easy to copy digitally or in proctored digital formats that allow for the monitoring of the process of homework completion, or by using plagiarism software to check homework. Sometimes, it might even be possible to give homework and explicitly encourage strategies that might be considered cheating, for example, by working together or using internet sources. As collaboration is one of the 21st century skills that students are expected to develop (Bray et al., 2020 ), this can be used to turn cheating into positive practice. There is already research showing the beneficial impact of computer-supported collaborative learning (e.g., Janssen et al., 2012 ). Zhang et al. ( 2011 ) compared three homework assignment (creation of a homepage) conditions: individually, in groups with specific instructions, and in groups with general instructions. Their results showed that computer supported collaborative homework led to better performance than individual settings, only when the instructions were general. Thus, promoting digital collaborative homework could support the development of students’ digital and collaborative skills.

Further, digital dishonesty in homework needs to be considered different from cheating in assessments. In research on assessment-related dishonesty, cheating is perceived as a reprehensible practice because grades obtained are a misrepresentation of student knowledge, and cheating “implies that efficient cheaters are good students, since they get good grades” (Bouville, 2010 , p. 69). However, regarding homework, this view is too restrictive. Indeed, not all homework is graded, and we cannot know for sure whether students answered this questionnaire while considering homework as a whole or only graded homework (assessments). Our study did not include questions about whether students displayed the same attitudes and practices toward assessments (graded) and practice exercises (non-graded), nor did it include questions on how assessments and homework were related. By cheating on ungraded practice exercises, students will primarily hamper their own learning process. Future research could investigate in more depth the kinds of homework students cheat on and why.

Finally, the question of how to foster engaging homework with digital tools becomes even more important in pandemic situations. Numerous studies following the switch to home schooling at the beginning of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have investigated the difficulties for parents in supporting their children (Bol, 2020 ; Parczewska, 2021 ); however, the question of digital homework has not been specifically addressed. It is unknown whether the increase in digital schooling paired with discrepancies in access to digital tools has led to an increase in digital dishonesty practices. Data from the PISA 2018 student questionnaires (OECD, 2020a ) indicated that about 90% of students have a computer for schoolwork (OECD average), but the availability per student remains unknown. Digital homework can be perceived as yet another factor of social differences (see for example Auxier & Anderson,  2020 ; Thorn & Vincent-Lancrin, 2022 ).

4.2 Limitations and directions

The limitations of the study include the format of the data collected, with the accuracy of self-reports to mirror actual practices restricted, as these measures are particularly likely to trigger response bias, such as social desirability. More objective data on digital dishonesty in homework-related purposes could, for example, be obtained by analyzing students’ homework with plagiarism software. Further, additional measures that provide a more complete landscape of contributing factors are necessary. For example, in considering digital homework as an alternative to traditional homework, parents’ involvement in homework and their attitudes toward ICT are factors that have not been considered in this study (Amzalag, 2021 ). Although our results are in line with studies on academic digital dishonesty, their scope is limited to the Swiss context. Moreover, our analyses focused on secondary students. Results might be different with a sample of younger students. As an example, Kiss and Teller ( 2022 ) measured primary students cheating practices and found that individual characteristics were not a stable predictor of cheating between age groups. Further, our models included school as a random component, yet other group variables, such as class and peer groups, may well affect digital homework avoidance strategies.

The findings of this study suggest that academic dishonesty when doing homework needs to be addressed in schools. One way, as suggested by Chow et al. ( 2021 ) and Djokovic et al. ( 2022 ), is to build on students’ practices to explain which need to be considered cheating. This recommendation for institutions to take preventive actions and explicit to students the punishment faced in case of digital academic behavior was also raised by Chiang et al. ( 2022 ). Another is that teachers may consider developing homework formats that discourage cheating and shortcuts (e.g., creating multimedia documents instead of text-based documents, using platforms where answers cannot be copied and pasted, or using advanced forms of online proctoring). It may also be possible to change homework formats toward more open formats, where today’s cheating practices are allowed when they are made transparent (open-book homework, collaborative homework). Further, experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic have stressed the importance of understanding the factors related to the successful integration of digital homework and the need to minimize the digital “homework gap” (Auxier & Anderson, 2020 ; Donnelly & Patrinos, 2021 ). Given that homework engagement is a core predictor of academic dishonesty, students should receive meaningful homework in preparation for upcoming lessons or for practicing what was learned in past lessons. Raising student’s awareness of the meaning and significance of homework might be an important piece of the puzzle to honesty in learning.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in SISS base at https://doi.org/10.23662/FORS-DS-1285-1 , reference number 1285.

Agasisti, T., Gil-Izquierdo, M., & Han, S. W. (2020). ICT Use at home for school-related tasks: What is the effect on a student’s achievement? Empirical evidence from OECD PISA data. Education Economics, 28 (6), 601–620. https://doi.org/10.1080/09645292.2020.1822787

Article   Google Scholar  

Amzalag, M. (2021). Parent attitudes towards the integration of digital learning games as an alternative to traditional homework. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 17 (3), 151–167. https://doi.org/10.4018/IJICTE.20210701.oa10

Anderman, E. M., & Koenka, A. C. (2017). The relation between academic motivation and cheating. Theory into Practice, 56 (2), 95–102. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2017.1308172

Aparicio, J., Cordero, J. M., & Ortiz, L. (2021). Efficiency analysis with educational data: How to deal with plausible values from international large-scale assessments. Mathematics, 9 (13), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.3390/math9131579

Arpacı, S., Mercan, F., & Arıkan, S. (2021). The differential relationships between PISA 2015 science performance and, ICT availability, ICT use and attitudes toward ICT across regions: evidence from 35 countries. Education and Information Technologies, 26 (5), 6299–6318. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10576-2

Auxier, B., & Anderson, M. (2020, March 16). As schools close due to the coronavirus, some U.S. students face a digital “homework gap”. Pew Research Center, 1–8.  http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/10/19/5-charts-on-global-views-of-china/ . Retrieved November 29th, 2021

Baş, G., Şentürk, C., & Ciğerci, F. M. (2017). Homework and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Issues in Educational Research, 27 (1), 31–50.

Google Scholar  

Blau, I., & Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2017). The ethical dissonance in digital and non-digital learning environments: Does technology promotes cheating among middle school students? Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 629–637. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.074

Bol, T. (2020). Inequality in homeschooling during the Corona crisis in the Netherlands. First results from the LISS Panel. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/hf32q

Bouville, M. (2010). Why is cheating wrong? Studies in Philosophy and Education, 29 (1), 67–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-009-9148-0

Bray, A., Byrne, P., & O’Kelly, M. (2020). A short instrument for measuring students’ confidence with ‘key skills’ (SICKS): Development, validation and initial results. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 37 (June), 100700. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2020.100700

Chen, C. M., & Chen, F. Y. (2014). Enhancing digital reading performance with a collaborative reading annotation system. Computers and Education, 77, 67–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.04.010

Cheng, Y. C., Hung, F. C., & Hsu, H. M. (2021). The relationship between academic dishonesty, ethical attitude and ethical climate: The evidence from Taiwan. Sustainability (Switzerland), 13 (21), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111615

Chiang, F. K., Zhu, D., & Yu, W. (2022). A systematic review of academic dishonesty in online learning environments. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning , 907–928. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12656

Chow, H. P. H., Jurdi-Hage, R., & Hage, H. S. (2021). Justifying academic dishonesty: A survey of Canadian university students. International Journal of Academic Research in Education , December. https://doi.org/10.17985/ijare.951714

Cuadrado, D., Salgado, J. F., & Moscoso, S. (2019). Prevalence and correlates of academic dishonesty: Towards a sustainable university. Sustainability (Switzerland) , 11 (21). https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216062

Cuadrado, D., Salgado, J. F., & Moscoso, S. (2021). Personality, intelligence, and counterproductive academic behaviors: A meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120 (2), 504–537. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000285

Djokovic, R., Janinovic, J., Pekovic, S., Vuckovic, D., & Blecic, M. (2022). Relying on technology for countering academic dishonesty: the impact of online tutorial on students’ perception of academic misconduct. Sustainability (Switzerland) , 14 (3). https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031756

Dolan, J. E. (2016). Splicing the divide: A review of research on the evolving digital divide among K–12 students. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 48 (1), 16–37.

Donnelly, R., & Patrinos, H. A. (2021). Learning loss during Covid-19: An early systematic review. Prospects , 0123456789 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-021-09582-6

Ercegovac, Z., & Richardson, J. V. (2004). Academic dishonesty, plagiarism included, in the digital age: A literature review. College & Research Libraries, 65 (4), 301–318. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.65.4.301

Erzinger, A. B., Verner, M., König, N., Petrucci, F., Nidegger, C., Roos, E., & Salvisberg, M. (2019). PISA 2018: Les élèves de Suisse en comparaison internationale . SEFRI/CDIP et Consortium PISA.ch.

Erzinger, A. B., Verner, M., Salvisberg, M., Nidegger, C., & Seiler, S. (2021). PISA 2018 in Switzerland, add-on to the international dataset: Swiss specific variables [Dataset] . FORS. https://doi.org/10.23662/FORS-DS-1285-1

Evering, L. C., & Moorman, G. (2012). Rethinking plagiarism in the digital age. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 56 (1), 35–44.

Fan, H., Xu, J., Cai, Z., He, J., & Fan, X. (2017). Homework and students’ achievement in math and science: A 30-year meta-analysis, 1986–2015. Educational Research Review, 20, 35–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2016.11.003

Fernández-Alonso, R., álvarez-Díaz, M., Suárez-álvarez, J., & Muñiz, J. (2017). Students’ achievement and homework assignment strategies. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (MAR), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00286

Fernández-Alonso, R., Suárez-Álvarez, J., & Muñiz, J. (2015). Adolescents’ homework performance in mathematics and science: Personal factors and teaching practices. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107 (4), 1075–1085. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000032

Giluk, T. L., & Postlethwaite, B. E. (2015). Big Five personality and academic dishonesty: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Individual Differences, 72, 59–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.08.027

Husain, F. M., Al-Shaibani, G. K. S., & Mahfoodh, O. H. A. (2017). Perceptions of and attitudes toward plagiarism and factors contributing to plagiarism: A review of studies. Journal of Academic Ethics, 15 (2), 167–195. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-017-9274-1

Isakov, M., & Tripathy, A. (2017). Behavioral correlates of cheating: Environmental specificity and reward expectation. PLoS One1, 12 (10), 6–11. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186054

Jacobs, J. E., Lanza, S., Osgood, D. W., Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Changes in children’s self-competence and values: Gender and domain differences across grades one through twelve. Child Development, 73 (2), 509–527. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00421

Janssen, J., Erkens, G., Kirschner, P., & Kanselaar, G. (2012). Task-related and social regulation during online collaborative learning. Metacognition and Learning, 7 (1), 25–43. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-010-9061-5

Josephson Institute of Ethics (2012). 2012 Report card on the ethics of American youth .  https://charactercounts.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ReportCard-2012-DataTables.pdf . Retrieved January 24th, 2022

Kam, C. C. S., Hue, M. T., & Cheung, H. Y. (2018). Academic dishonesty among Hong Kong secondary school students: Application of theory of planned behavior. Educational Psychology, 38 (7), 945–963. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2018.1454588

Kapoor, H., & Kaufman, J. C. (2021). Are cheaters common or creative?: Person-situation interactions of resistance in learning contexts. Journal of Academic Ethics, 19 (2), 157–174. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-020-09379-w

Kiss, H. J., & Keller, T. J. (2022). Individual characteristics do (not) matter in cheating. Available at SSRN 4001278. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4001278

Krou, M. R., Fong, C. J., & Hoff, M. A. (2021). Achievement motivation and academic dishonesty: A meta-analytic investigation. Educational Psychology Review, 33 (2), 427–458. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09557-7

Kunina-Habenicht, O., & Goldhammer, F. (2020). ICT engagement: A new construct and its assessment in PISA 2015. Large-Scale Assessments in Education , 8 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40536-020-00084-z

Livingstone, S., & Helsper, E. (2007). Gradations in digital inclusion: Children, young people and the digital divide. New Media and Society, 9 (4), 671–696. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444807080335

Ma, H. J., Wan, G., & Lu, E. Y. (2008). Digital cheating and plagiarism in schools. Theory into Practice, 47 (3), 197–203. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405840802153809

Martin, A. J., Ginns, P., & Papworth, B. (2017). Motivation and engagement: Same or different? Does it matter? Learning and Individual Differences, 55, 150–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2017.03.013

McCabe, D. L. (2005). It takes a village: Academic dishonesty & educational opportunity. Liberal Education, 91 (3), 26–31.

McCabe, D. L., Treviño, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Cheating in academic institutions: A decade of research. Ethics and Behavior, 11 (3), 219–232. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327019EB1103_2

Moss, S. A., White, B., & Lee, J. (2018). A systematic review into the psychological causes and correlates of plagiarism. Ethics and Behavior, 28 (4), 261–283. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508422.2017.1341837

Nora, W. L. Y., & Zhang, K. C. (2010). Motives of cheating among secondary students: The role of self-efficacy and peer influence. Asia Pacific Education Review, 11 (4), 573–584. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-010-9104-2

Odell, B., Cutumisu, M., & Gierl, M. (2020). A scoping review of the relationship between students’ ICT and performance in mathematics and science in the PISA data. Social Psychology of Education , 23 (6). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-020-09591-x

OECD, & Publishing, O. E. C. D. (2015). Students, computers and learning: Making the connection . PISA. https://doi.org/10.1787/factbook-2015-68-en

OECD (2019a). Chapter 16. Scaling procedures and construct validation of context questionnaire data. In PISA 2018 Technical Report . OECD.

OECD (2019b). PISA 2018 Results - What school life means for students’ life (Vol. III). OECD Publishing.  https://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/PISA2018_CN_IDN.pdf . Retrieved October 20th, 2021

OECD (2020a). Learning remotely when schools close . 1–13.  https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/view/?ref=127_127063-iiwm328658&title=Learning-remotely-when-schools-close . Retrieved November 29th, 2021

OECD (2020b). PISA 2018 Results: Effective policies, successful schools (Vol. V). PISA, OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/ca768d40-en

Parczewska, T. (2021). Difficult situations and ways of coping with them in the experiences of parents homeschooling their children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Education 3–13 , 49 (7), 889–900. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004279.2020.1812689

Pavela, G. (1997). Applying the power of association on campus: A model code of academic integrity. Law and Policy, 24 (1), 1–22.

Petko, D., Cantieni, A., & Prasse, D. (2017). Perceived quality of educational technology matters: A secondary analysis of students ICT use, ICTRelated attitudes, and PISA 2012 test scores. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54 (8), 1070–1091. https://doi.org/10.1177/0735633116649373

Rosário, P., Carlos Núñez, J., Vallejo, G., Nunes, T., Cunha, J., Fuentes, S., & Valle, A. (2018). Homework purposes, homework behaviors, and academic achievement. Examining the mediating role of students’ perceived homework quality. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 53 (April), 168–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2018.04.001

Schnyder, I., Niggli, A., & Trautwein, U. (2008). Hausaufgabenqualität im Französischunterricht aus der Sicht von Schülern, Lehrkräften und Experten und die Entwicklung von Leistung, Hausaufgabensorgfalt und Bewertung der Hausaufgaben. Zeitschrift Fur Padagogische Psychologie, 22 (3–4), 233–246. https://doi.org/10.1024/1010-0652.22.34.233

Schynder Godel, I. (2015). Die Hausaufgaben unter der Lupe. Eine empirische Untersuchung im Fach Französisch als Fremdsprache.

Skryabin, M., Zhang, J., Liu, L., & Zhang, D. (2015). How the ICT development level and usage influence student achievement in reading, mathematics, and science. Computers and Education, 85, 49–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.02.004

Tarhini, A., Hone, K., & Liu, X. (2014). Measuring the moderating effect of gender and age on e-learning acceptance in England: A structural equation modeling approach for an extended technology acceptance model. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 51 (2), 163–184. https://doi.org/10.2190/EC.51.2.b

Thorn, W., & Vincent-Lancrin, S. (2022). Education in the time of COVID-19 in France, Ireland, the Unites Kingdom and the United States: The nature and impact of remote learning. In F. M. Reimers (Ed.), Primary and secondary education during Covid-19 (pp. 383–420). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2632-5_2

Trautwein, U. (2007). The homework-achievement relation reconsidered: Differentiating homework time, homework frequency, and homework effort. Learning and Instruction, 17 (3), 372–388. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.02.009

Trautwein, U., & Köller, O. (2003). Was lange währt, wird nicht immer gut: Zur Rolle selbstregulativer Strategien bei der Hausaufgabenerledigung. Zeitschrift Für Pädagogische Psychologie German Journal of Educational Psychology, 17 (3–4), 199–209.

Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Schnyder, I., & Niggli, A. (2006). Predicting homework effort: Support for a domain-specific, multilevel homework model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98 (2), 438–456. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.98.2.438

Trautwein, U., Schnyder, I., Niggli, A., Neumann, M., & Lüdtke, O. (2009). Chameleon effects in homework research: The homework-achievement association depends on the measures used and the level of analysis chosen. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34 (1), 77–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2008.09.001

Waltzer, T., & Dahl, A. (2022). Why do students cheat? Perceptions, evaluations, and motivations. Ethics and Behavior , 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508422.2022.2026775

Whitley, B. E., Nelson, A. B., & Jones, C. J. (1999). Gender differences in cheating attitudes and classroom cheating behavior: A meta-analysis. Sex Roles, 41 (9–10), 657–680. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018863909149

Xu, J. (2015). Investigating factors that influence conventional distraction and tech-related distraction in math homework. Computers and Education, 81, 304–314. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.024

Xu, J., Du, J., Cunha, J., & Rosário, P. (2021). Student perceptions of homework quality, autonomy support, effort, and math achievement: Testing models of reciprocal effects. Teaching and Teacher Education , 108 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103508

Yaniv, G., Siniver, E., & Tobol, Y. (2017). Do higher achievers cheat less? An experiment of self-revealing individual cheating. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 68, 91–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socec.2017.04.005

Zhang, L., Ayres, P., & Chan, K. (2011). Examining different types of collaborative learning in a complex computer-based environment: A cognitive load approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 27 (1), 94–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2010.03.038

Download references

Open access funding provided by University of Zurich

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Institute of Education, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Juliette C. Désiron & Dominik Petko

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Contributions

Juliette C. Désiron: Formal analysis, Writing (Original, Review and Editing), Dominik Petko: Conceptualization, Writing (Original, Review and Editing), Supervision.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Juliette C. Désiron .

Ethics declarations

Competing of interests, additional information, publisher’s note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

List of abbreviations related to PISA datasets

students’ perceived autonomy related to ICT use

students’ perceived ICT competence

frequency of computer use at home for entertainment purposes

index of economic, social, and cultural status (computed from PARED, HISEI and HOMEPOS)

parents’ highest occupational status

home possessions

frequency of computer use for school-related purposes at home

digital cheating for homework items for Switzerland

homework engagement items for Switzerland

positive attitude towards ICT as a learning tool

student’s ICT interest

parents’ highest level of education

students’ ICT as a topic in social interaction

frequency of computer use at school

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ .

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Désiron, J.C., Petko, D. Academic dishonesty when doing homework: How digital technologies are put to bad use in secondary schools. Educ Inf Technol 28 , 1251–1271 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-022-11225-y

Download citation

Received : 11 May 2022

Accepted : 05 July 2022

Published : 23 July 2022

Issue Date : February 2023

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-022-11225-y

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Academic dishonesty
  • Digitally-supported cheating
  • Secondary education
  • Find a journal
  • Publish with us
  • Track your research

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 5 best homework help apps you can use.

author image

General Education

feature-app-homework-cc0

We know that homework can be a real drag. It’s time-consuming, and can be difficult to complete all on your own. So, what can you do if you’re struggling?

You might try looking online or in the app store! If you’ve already looked around you probably know that there are tons of homework sites for students and homework apps out there that all say they can help you improve your grades and pass your classes. But, can you trust them? And what are the best apps for homework help?

Below, we answer these questions and more about homework help apps–free and paid . We’ll go over: 

  • The basics of homework help apps
  • The cost of homework help apps
  • The five best apps for homework help
  • The pros and cons of using apps that help you with homework 
  • The line between “learning” and “cheating” when using apps that help you with homework
  • Tips for getting the most out of homework sites for students 

So let’s jump in!

body-important

The Basics About Apps that Help You With Homework–Free and Paid

The bottom line is, homework sites and homework apps are intended to help you complete your take-home assignments successfully. They provide assistance that ranges from answering questions you submit through a portal all the way to one-on-one tutoring, depending on the help you need! 

The big plus for both homework help apps and websites is that they usually offer help on-demand. So if you can’t make it to after school tutoring, or if you're studying late into the night (it happens!), you can still access the help you need! 

If you’re specifically looking for an answer to the question: “what is the best homework help website ?,” you can check out our article on those here! [LINK COMING SOON]

What’s the Difference Between a Homework Help Website and an App?

So if they’re both designed to give you a little boost with your take-home assignments, what makes homework apps and websites different from one another? First off, homework help websites are optimized to be used on a desktop, while apps are designed to be run natively on mobile devices. So depending on which devices you have access to, you may decide to use a website instead of an app…or vice versa! 

The other big difference between homework help apps and websites is that they sometimes offer different features. For instance, with the Photomath app, you’ll be able to submit photos of math problems instead of having to type everything out, which is easier to do by using an app on your phone. 

If you’re trying to decide whether to go with a website or app, the good news is that you may not have to. Some homework help websites also have companion apps, so you can have the best of both worlds!

What Makes a Homework Help App Worth Using

Apps that help you with homework should ideally help you actually learn the material you’re struggling with, and/or help you turn in your work on time. Most of the best apps for homework help allow you to ask questions and provide answers and explanations almost immediately. And like we mentioned earlier, many of these apps let you send a picture of a question or problem instead of writing it all out.

But homework help apps offer more than just quick answers and explanations for your assignment questions. They also offer things like educational videos, lectures, tutorials, practice tests and quizzes, math solving tools, proofreading services, and even Q&A with experts.

And the best part is, most offer these services 24/7! 

What You Should Look Out For

When it comes to homework help, there are lots–and we mean lots –of apps willing to prey on desperate students. Before you download any apps (and especially before you pay to sign up for any services), read reviews of the app to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company. 

Keep in mind: the more a company advertises help that seems like cheating, the more likely it is to be a scam. Actual subject matter experts aren’t likely to work with those companies. Remember, the best apps for homework help are going to help you learn the concepts needed to successfully complete your homework on your own. 

If you’re not sure if an app is legitimate, you can also check to see if the app has an honor code about using their services ethically , like this one from Brainly. (We’ll go over the difference between “homework help” and “cheating” in more detail a little later!) 

How Expensive Are Apps That Help You With Homework?

A word to the wise: just because a homework help app costs money doesn’t mean it’s a good service. And, just because a homework help app is free doesn’t mean the help isn’t high quality. To find the best apps, you have to take a close look at the quality and types of information they provide! 

Most of the apps out there allow you to download them for free, and provide at least some free services–such as a couple of free questions and answers. Additional services or subscriptions are then charged as in-app purchases. When it comes to in-app purchases and subscriptions for homework help, the prices vary depending on the amount of services you want to subscribe to. Subscriptions can cost anywhere from $2 to around $60 dollars per month, with the most expensive app subscriptions including some tutoring (which is usually only available through homework help websites.)

body_fivefingers

The 5 Best Apps for Homework Help

Okay, now that you’re up to speed on what these apps are and how they can help you, we’ll run you through the best five apps you can use. 

Keep in mind that even though we recommend all of these apps, they tend to excel at different things. We’ve broken these apps into categories so that you can pick the best one for your needs! 

Best Free Homework Help App: Khan Academy

  • Price: Free!
  • Best for: Practicing tough material 

While there are lots of free homework help apps out there, this is our favorite because it actually supports learning, rather than just providing answers. The Khan Academy app works like the website, and offers the same services. It’s full of information and can be personalized to suit your educational needs. 

After you download the app, you choose which courses you need to study, and Khan Academy sets up a personal dashboard of instructional videos, practice exercises, and quizzes –with both correct and incorrect answer explanations–so you can learn at your own pace. 

As an added bonus, it covers more course topics than many other homework help apps, including several AP classes.

Best Paid Homework Help App: Brainly

  • Price: $18 for a 6 month subscription, $24 for a year 
  • Best for: 24/7 homework assistance 

Brainly is free to download and allows you to type in questions (or snap a pic) and get answers and explanations from both fellow students and teachers. Plus, subject matter experts and moderators verify answers daily, so you know you’re getting quality solutions! The downside is that you’re limited to two free answers per question and have to watch ads for more if you don’t pay for a subscription. 

That said, their subscription fees average around only $2 per month, making this a particularly affordable option if you’re looking for homework help on a budget. Brainly subscriptions not only cover unlimited answers and explanations on a wide variety of school subjects (including Art and World Languages which aren’t always included in other apps), they also provide tutoring in Math and Physics!

body-photomath-logo-2

Best App for Math Homework Help: Photomath

  • Price: Free (or up to $59.99 per year for premium services) 
  • Best for: Explaining solutions to math problems

This app allows you to take a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept. Photomath subscription services also include animated videos that break down mathematical concepts–all the way up to advanced Calculus!--to help you better understand and remember them. 

The basic textbook solution service is free, but for an additional fee you can get extra study tools, access to one-on-one tutoring, and additional strategies for solving common math problems.

Best App for STEM and English Homework Help: Studypool

  • Price: Varies; you’ll pay for each question you submit
  • Best for: Science and English homework help in one app

When it comes to apps for science and English homework help, there aren’t lots of great resources out there, much less out there all in one place. While Grammarly is a good service for proofreading, SparkNotes has some decent summaries, and Khan Academy covers science, the best of the bunch if you need help with both subjects Studypool. Instead of using lots of different apps for STEM and English help, they’re combined together here! But while Studypool has great reviews, there are some downsides as well. 

The Studypool Q&A model is a little different than other homework help apps. After you create a free account, you ask questions, and tutors submit bids to answer them. You’ll be able to select the tutor–and price point–that works for you, then you’ll pay to have your homework question answered. You can also pay a small fee to access thousands of notes, lectures, and other documents that top tutors have uploaded.  

The downside to Studypool is that the pricing is not transparent . There’s no way to plan for how much your homework help will cost, especially if you have lots of questions! It’s also not clear how they choose their tutors, so you’ll need to be careful when you decide who you’d like to answer your homework questions. That said, if you only need a few questions answered per month, this could be cheaper than other monthly subscription services.

Best Homework Scheduling App: MyStudyLife

  • Best for: Keeping track of your schedule and deadlines

If the reason you’re looking for homework help is less about finding answers to questions and more about needing assistance with organization and time-management , MyStudyLife is a great option. This is a cross-platform planner that allows you to store your class schedule, upcoming tests, and homework assignments in the cloud so you can access it all wherever you are, and on any device. 

One of the unique things about it is that it easily works for daily or weekly rotating class schedules that can get confusing, helping you keep track of when you need to finish your homework based on your changing schedule. You can get reminders for upcoming classes and assignments as well as past-due homework and any revisions you may need to do. It can even let you know when you need to start studying for a big test!

Best of all, you can actually schedule assignments and study sessions for multiple nights, and specify how much of the task you got done each night. That way you’ll know how much additional time you’ll need to spend! 

body-magic-wand-cc0

While homework apps might seem like magic, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before you commit to one. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Homework Help Apps?

Homework help apps can be useful tools if you’re struggling in any of your classes. But there are a few problems you might run into if you don’t use them ethically and responsibly. 

Below we’ll cover some of the good and the not-so-good parts of using homework help apps to complete your take-home assignments.

3 Pros of Using Homework Help Apps

Let’s start with the pros of using apps for homework help.

Pro 1: All-Around Better Grades

This is undeniably the main pro and the reason apps that help you with homework are so popular with students. Not only can you potentially get better grades on individual assignments, because they help you learn tricky concepts, you can also earn better grades overall .

Just keep in mind that if you want better grades you have to actually learn the material you’re studying, not just find easy answers. So be sure to use apps that provide good explanations . That way you’ll have the mental tools you need to succeed on your class exams and on standardized tests for college. 

Pro 2: Flexibility

It’s hard to beat homework help that you can access anywhere you are from your mobile device. You can also get assistance whenever you need it since the best apps offer their services 24/7. This is especially useful for students who need to study during hours when their free school resources aren’t available because of extracurriculars, jobs, or family obligations. 

If you need convenient and flexible homework help or tutoring services to fit your schedule, apps can be your go-to resource. 

Pro 3: Individualized Learning

Sometimes the kind of learner you are doesn’t match your teacher’s style of teaching. Or maybe the pace of a class is a little too fast or too slow for your tastes. Homework apps can help by allowing you to learn at your own speed and in ways that support your own learning style. 

You can use their features, such as educational videos, 24/7 conversations with experts and peers, and tutorials to review concepts you may have forgotten. These apps can also let you dive deeper into topics or subjects you enjoy! With homework help apps, you get to choose what you need to learn and how you learn it.

body-red-x-false-stop

3 Cons of Using Homework Help Apps

Next, let’s look at the cons of homework help apps. 

Con 1: Questionable Info 

Unfortunately there are lots of less-than-reliable homework help apps out there. They might not hire actual experts in their fields to provide answers and create study tools, or they rely on user-submitted answers that they don’t verify. In those cases, you might not be getting the accurate, thorough, and up-to-date answers you need to really learn.

In addition to the possibility of running into plain-old wrong answers, even the best apps sometimes just won’t have a specific answer you need. This could be because you’re enrolled in an advanced class the app doesn’t really cover or because of the algorithm or chatbot a particular app uses. 

If that’s the case , your best bet will likely be to talk to your teacher or a free tutor (if your school provides them) to get help answering your question.

Con 2: Information Overload

While having tons of information at your fingertips can be helpful, the sheer amount and variety of videos, tutorials, expert answers, and resources a homework app provides can be overwhelming . It’s also easy to get sucked into a research rabbit-hole where you learn new things but don’t actually get your work done. This is especially true for students who tend to be easily distracted.

Additionally, you may be learning to do things differently than you’ve learned them in class , which could cause problems. For example, if your math teacher asks you to solve a problem one way, but you learned to do it differently through an app, you could get confused come test time! 

Con 3: Cutting Corners

There are a lot of apps out there that bill themselves as “the best app for cheating.” They allow users to type in a question or take a picture, then instantly provide an answer without any explanation of the material. Many of these are scams or provide unreliable answers, but not all. Some apps are legitimate and provide quick and easy answers that could allow you to do your whole homework assignment in minutes. 

The problem is that even though taking shortcuts on homework to save time is tempting, it can keep you from really learning. The point of practicing concepts and skills is so you develop them and can access them whenever you need to. This is especially true if skills build on one another, like in a math or English class. 

Sometimes s truggling with an assignment or question, trying, failing, then trying again until you succeed can help you learn difficult material. If you don’t let yourself really try, and instead take too many shortcuts, you may end up behind.

body-cheat-cheating-cc0

When Does “Help” Become “Cheating”?

When it comes to using homework help apps, sometimes the difference between “help” and “cheating” is really clear. For example, if you’re using an app to get answers while you’re taking a test, that’s definitely cheating . But what if you’re struggling with a math problem and need to know the correct answer so you can work backwards to learn the process? Is that “cheating” or is it “help?” 

The truth is, not everyone agrees on when “help” crosses the line into “cheating .” If you’re not sure, you can always check with your teacher to see what they think about a particular type of help you want to get. That said, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure that the assignment you turn in for credit is authentically yours . It needs to demonstrate your own thoughts and your own current abilities. Remember: the point of every homework assignment is to 1) help you learn something, and 2) show what you’ve learned. 

So if you’re relying on an app to do all of the work for you, there’s a good chance using it might constitute cheating. 

Think of it this way: say you’re studying for an upcoming math test, and are stumped by a few of the questions on the study guide. Even though you’ve tried and tried, you can’t seem to get the right answer because you can’t remember the steps to take. Using an app to explain the steps as you’re studying is “help.” Using the app to get answers so you can make a good homework grade is “cheating.” 

The same is true for other subjects: brainstorming essay ideas with others or looking online for inspiration is “help” as long as you write the essay yourself. Having someone read it and give you feedback about what you need to change is also “help,” provided you’re the one that makes the changes later. 

But copying all or part of an essay you find online or having someone write (or rewrite) the whole thing for you would be “cheating.” Ultimately, if you’re not generating your own work or learning to produce your own answers, it’s probably cheating. 

body-remember-reminder-lightbulb-idea-postit-cc0

5 Tips for Finding the Best Homework Help App for You

If you’re serious about using a homework help app, our expert tips can help you pick one that’s right for you and your budget!

#1: Decide What Tools You Need to Succeed 

While most apps offer Q&A services, the best apps provide study tools to help you learn the material you need to learn . 

For instance, if you’re a visual learner, you might need an app that provides lots of videos. If you learn best by reading, an app that provides lots of in-depth written resources might be better for you. Or, if you learn best by actually doing things, look for an app that provides practice tests and quizzes, along with explanations for correct and incorrect answers.

Before committing to an app, take a quick survey of the tools they offer users to make sure they meet your unique learning needs. 

#2: Decide Which Subjects You Need to Study

Not all homework apps are created equal. One might provide tutoring in math and science, but no proofreading services to help you with writing. Another might be perfect for American History, but what you really need help with is your Spanish class. So, before you can decide which app is best for you, make sure to create a list of the subjects you need the most help in.

#3: Do Your Research

As we’ve said before, there are tons of homework apps in the app store to choose from, and the most important thing you can do is research what they offer students. Services, prices for those services, and subjects that the apps cover all vary, so it’s important that you look into your options. We’ve compiled our all-around favorite (and reliable) apps here, but it’s still a good idea to do your own research to find out what might meet your individual needs best.

body-five-star-best-number-one

#4: Learn Why People Like and Dislike the App

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “buyer beware?” It means that the person buying something should check for quality before actually handing over their money. This applies to both free and paid homework apps, but especially those that actually cost money.

Before you download anything, be sure to read the user reviews . While all apps will have both positive and negative reviews, you want to look for one that has more positive than negative. And if you’re considering paying for a service, be sure that users think it’s worth the price overall!

#5: Budget Yourself

If you find a paid app that provides the learning tools you need, covers the subjects you need to study, and that has good reviews overall, set a budget to pay for it before you hit that “install” button. The costs for paid homework apps vary, and especially if you’re using one that requires you to pay for individual questions or services, the prices can add up quickly. So make sure there’s money for it in your budget before you commit!

body-next

What’s Next?

If you’re not quite sure why you’re struggling with homework, or want to know how you can do your homework as quickly as possible , check out this list of 15 expert homework tips and tricks to make your life a little bit easier!

Effective studying requires the right balance of concentration, understanding, retention and rest. So if you need help striking that balance, read these 16 tips for better study habits in both the short and long-term.

Getting good grades is about more than just answering questions correctly on your assignments. It also requires planning ahead and participation. In this article we cover the academic survival strategies that can help you throughout high school .

author image

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

Follow us on Facebook (icon)

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”
  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

Enter Today's Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

How Do I Stop Students From Copying Each Other’s Homework Assignments?

Five steps that worked for me.

Graphic of a test and student copying

My students, like students everywhere, are smart and funny and creative and wonderful in so many ways. Also like students everywhere, they constantly seem to be looking for shortcuts on their homework. One of the bus drivers told me last year that the kids openly ask her to turn the interior lights on so they can finish copying homework before they get to school! Sigh. At least they’re motivated enough to copy, right?

This year, I made it a major goal to stop students from cheating. I put this five-step process in place, and it really cut down on the homework copying in my classroom. Here it is. 

Step 1: Check the quality of your assignments.

First of all, it’s worth taking a close look at the kind of homework you assign. If you do a lot of worksheets, you might find those work better for in-class activities. Instead, try focusing homework on in-depth writing assignments and individual written responses.

If you’re a math teacher, having kids respond in writing about how they solved a problem always works, as does having them write their own problems or exemplars for what they’ve been learning. Anything that requires student-generated content is automatically going to be harder to copy.

Step 2: Check the quantity.

Of course, this creates a lot more grading than worksheets, which led me to reflect on the amount of homework I assigned. At first, I found myself overwhelmed. I had to wonder if this was how my students felt when they looked at a night’s homework load. If there had been someone whose grading I could have copied, I probably would have done it!

The result? I assigned a lot less homework as the year went on. Put your homework to this test: If it’s not worth your time to grade carefully, it’s not worth the students’ time to do it.

Step 3: Explain the changes.

Once you’ve started assigning less homework, you’ll want to make your reasons explicit to your students. “I’m assigning less homework because I don’t want to waste your time. That means that anything I do assign is really important, and it’s important for you to actually do it on your own.” This speech went a long way with many of my students, but I had another trick up my sleeve.

Step 4: Allow time to learn and make mistakes.

You might also want to try a few get-out-of-jail-free cards when it comes to homework. My middle schoolers are still in the process of learning how to budget their time and stay organized, and sometimes they make mistakes. I gave each kid three one-day extensions that they could use over the course of the year to avoid a penalty for late homework.

There were certain assignments on which these could not be used, like rough drafts we needed to edit or group projects. It lowered the general stress level and set a culture of respect and accountability that encouraged my kids to plan ahead. For the naysayers who say, “The real world won’t give them extensions,” I would respectfully offer my disagreement. What? You’ve never posted your grades after the deadline?

Step 5: Bring the pain.

Although this cut down on copying substantially, kids will always test your limits. That’s when you move on to the final step. It works like this: Read every word of every assignment. Make sure you grade an entire class at once so you’ll know if a phrase or a creatively spelled word seems familiar, and then hunt back through 35 other papers until you find the one it’s copied from. It is important that you identify when students cheat and that your justice is swift and merciless.

I had an escalating system of consequences for cheating. First time, you split the grade. If the assignment gets a 90, each person gets a 45. Second time, each person gets a zero and a lunch detention. Third time, it’s a phone call home in addition to a zero and an after-school detention. Not a single kid made it to the third offense. They have to believe that you’re documenting this and you’ll follow through. Let them see you putting their names in your file so they know you know what offense they’re on. It is a logistical pain, but it’s effective.

So did my kids ace the standardized test because they had done their homework all year? Not to brag, but their writing scores were pretty high. And I don’t think they missed out on many valuable educational experiences when I stopped assigning worksheets. After all, they’d have just copied them anyway!

How do you stop students from cheating? Come and share  in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group  on Facebook. 

Plus, check out  how to give meaningful homework, even when it’s not graded ..

How Do I Stop Students From Copying Each Other's Homework Assignments?

You Might Also Like

How to Give Meaningful Homework

How to Give Meaningful Homework, Even When It’s Not Graded

“Is this going to be graded?” Oh, how we love to hear this. Continue Reading

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. 5335 Gate Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Can You Pay Someone (Or AI) To Do Your Homework?

Can You Pay Someone (Or AI) To Do Your Homework?

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Updated: May 20, 2024

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with homework and wondering if there’s an easier way?

This is where homework assistance services come in handy. These services offer to complete your assignments for a fee. Yes, you read that correctly. You can indeed pay someone to do your homework. This could mean a potentially lightened load and boost your grades.

Whether tackling complex math problems or crafting detailed essays, these services can offer the help you need. This guide covers everything you need to know about paying someone or AI to do your homework.

Can You Pay Someone To Do Your Homework?

Legally, the marketplace for academic assistance operates in a gray area. While it is not illegal to offer or seek homework help, the ethical boundaries and academic rules at various educational institutions classify these services as violations of academic integrity.

Despite this, the availability of such services is extensive, ranging from platforms where students can hire individual experts in specific fields to advanced AI technologies that can draft essays, solve mathematical equations, or conduct extensive research.

Many students turn to homework assistance services as a viable solution to manage their time effectively and alleviate academic pressure. This is often seen not just as a way to keep up with coursework but as a strategic move to enhance academic performance and secure better grades.

Reasons for Seeking Homework Assistance

Technology has transformed modern education, which is why so many online platforms offering homework assistance services are popping up. These platforms range from websites where students can hire experts to complete assignments to sophisticated software using AI to provide educational support.

Many people (particularly older generations) label this approach “lazy.” But, there are several valid reasons why students might need some extra help with their homework. Take a look at these reasons below and see if anything sounds familiar.

Academic Pressure

According to a 2014 research , a whopping 56% of high school students considered homework to be a primary source of stress at the time.

This is why many college students seeking academic assistance turn to online services. The pressure to excel academically is immense. The competitive nature of modern education systems pushes students to seek help to keep up or improve their grades. This happens a lot in programs where the coursework is intense, and the stakes are high.

Time Management Challenges

Students often juggle many assignments and responsibilities like part-time jobs and extracurricular activities. Commitments like these can make it difficult to find enough time for all their coursework. Homework online services offer a practical solution. They handle assignments and let students manage their time more efficiently.

Lack of Understanding

Sometimes, students might not fully understand a topic or subject. This makes it challenging to complete it accurately and in good time. Online homework assistance can provide the necessary guidance and explanations. This helps students understand complex concepts and succeed in their courses.

Desire for High-Quality Submissions

Online platforms often hire experts in various academic fields, ensuring that homework is not only completed but is done to a high standard. This is key for students who aren’t confident in their writing skills or subject knowledge.

Access to Resources

Homework assistance services often have access to a vast array of resources, incuding research databases, educational tools, and professional literature. These often aren’t readily available to all students. Utilizing these resources can do a lot to enhance the quality of assignments.

Advantages of Homework Assistance Services

Here’s a breakdown of why homework assistance services can be advantageous:

  • Improved academic performance . By outsourcing challenging homework assignments, students can achieve better grades. Homework writing services ensure that assignments are completed accurately. They also ensure they are of high quality, which can impact a student’s overall academic performance.
  • Expert guidance . Many services use professionals with expertise in specific academic fields. Access to professional help means that students can get guidance that’s accurate and aligned with academic standards.
  • Time management . These services are particularly beneficial for students who are balancing coursework with other things like family responsibilities. Delegating homework tasks can free up time. This allows students to focus on other aspects of their lives without shirking their academic responsibilities.
  • Stress reduction . Handling multiple assignments at the same time can be a real headache. By using homework help services, students can reduce their workload. This can then decrease stress levels and improve overall well-being.
  • Customized help . Whether it’s a complex math problem or an elaborate essay, homework assistance services can provide personalized support tailored to a student’s specific needs. This bespoke approach ensures that the support provided is the most effective for the student’s needs.
  • Enhanced learning opportunities . Although some argue that using homework help can take away from learning, many services offer detailed explanations and step-by-step guidance on how to tackle similar assignments in the future. This encourages a deeper understanding of the subject matter rather than just giving the student a complete assignment and nothing else.
  • Access to resources . The sad reality is that scholarly materials are often not readily available to students. Thankfully, homework help services have extensive libraries of scholarly documents. Using these resources can enrich the quality of academic assignments, ensuring that all work submitted is well-researched and informative.

Disadvantages of Homework Assistance Services

Although homework assistance services have a lot to offer, they aren’t without their drawbacks.

  • Potential for dependency . Relying heavily on homework help or assistance for writing assignments can lead to a dependency that might inhibit a student’s ability to tackle similar tasks with no support. This could be quite challenging when progressing to a higher academic level where more self-sufficiency is expected.
  • Cost factor . Although some services can offer immense value, they tend to come with a hefty price tag. Regular use of academic writing services can become a significant financial burden for students, especially for those already managing tight budgets.
  • Questionable ethical implications . There’s an ongoing ethical debate about whether or not using homework help constitutes cheating. While services can be used ethically, there’s always potential for misuse, which can compromise academic integrity.
  • Limited development of critical thinking skills . If students rely too much on assistance, they might miss out on developing critical thinking skills. These skills can be important for solving complex problems and thinking analytically – crucial for academic and professional success.
  • Variability in service quality . The quality of help provided can vary significantly between different providers. There’s always a risk of receiving subpar assistance that might not meet the required academic standards or expectations.

The Best Homework Assistance Services (including AI tools)

There are so many online homework services – it’s hardly surprising that choosing one specific writing service is difficult. But, before you sign up, here are some quick examples of trustworthy services, what they can offer you, as well as their limitations:

Smodin has a premier AI-powered homework assistance tool. It leverages advanced technology to support students across many academic fields. The platform itself has an extensive suite of tools to help with writing, plagiarism, and even complex problem-solving. This makes it a great resource for both students and working professionals.

By combining AI with a user-friendly interface, Smodin ensures that users can easily access high-quality academic support at a reasonable price.

Smodin’s unique approach to academic assistance, focusing on technology-driven solutions, is why it’s one of the top choices for students who value reliability and academic integrity. Plus, its ability to integrate seamlessly with academic research and writing processes makes it particularly appealing in digital educational environments.

  • AI-powered efficiency . Unlike other services that rely solely on humans (who are naturally prone to error), Smodin uses advanced algorithms to provide fast and accurate homework solutions. This significantly reduces time spent on assignments.
  • Plagiarism-free assurance . Offers advanced plagiarism-checking tools to ensure all submissions are original and of high quality.
  • Comprehensive support . Covers a wide range of subjects and assignment types, providing help from simple essays to complex research papers.
  • Cost-effectiveness . Provides immense value and high quality for the price. Significantly more accessible and worth the investment.
  • Accessibility issues . Although very effective, the advanced features may require a slight learning curve or access to stable equipment.

2. HomeworkFor.Me

HomeworkFor.Me is another pretty popular service designed to offer students custom homework help. The platform emphasizes affordability and quality, ensuring that students can access reliable academic support when they need it most.

It’s a practical option for students looking to alleviate their academic load. However, for those prioritizing cutting-edge technology, consistency, and speed, this might not be ideal. This is mainly on the basis of their reliance on human writers.

  • Affordable service . It is known for its competitive pricing, making it a nice choice for college students on a budget.
  • On-time delivery . They put a guarantee on the timely delivery of assignments, which is crucial for students working with tight deadlines.
  • Quality variability . Although the service aims for high quality, the dependence on freelance writers can lead to variability in the standard of work delivered.
  • Ethical concerns . Like many human-based homework services, using HomeworkFor.Me may raise ethical questions about academic honesty.
  • Little technological integrations . Unlike AI-driven platforms, HomeworkFor.Me relies more on human expertise, which can be less consistent and slower in comparison.

3. SpeedyPaper

SpeedyPaper is well known for its swift and reliable essay-writing services. The platform ensures that even the most urgent assignments are handled with precision and professionalism. Their service offerings are also quite extensive. But, once again, they rely primarily on human writers, and the main issue with that is that there’s no real guarantee that the writer you get is up to the task.

  • Rapid turnaround . Known for its fast delivery, SpeedyPaper helps students meet even the most pressing deadlines while still delivering passable quality.
  • Potential for high cost . Urgent assignments can be quite expensive, which might not be feasible for all students.
  • Ethical considerations . Much like with HomeworkFor.Me, SpeedyPaper’s use of human writers raises concerns about the ethical implications of outsourcing academic work.

Factors To Consider

Before you rush to enlist the services of a homework help service, there are some things you might want to consider.

Ethics and Legality

Paying someone to complete a homework assignment may raise ethical questions about fairness and authenticity. The legality of these services can also vary by jurisdiction, putting students at risk if they breach academic policies. When we compare human services to AI, the ethical dilemma shifts.

Human services involve another person completing a homework assignment on a student’s behalf, whereas AI services offer tools to assist in the process, mitigating some ethical concerns.

Quality of Work

The quality of work provided by homework help services can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, professional services, whether human or AI, often produce high-quality work. This work can improve a student’s performance, especially with challenging tasks like math homework.

But, there’s a risk that relying on such services could lead to big gaps between the student’s actual abilities and the work submitted. This could affect their ability to perform independently. This is especially true in assessments or situations where outside help isn’t available (not so much essay writing).

This is why it’s important for the work to align with a student’s actual capability. Plus, nowadays, these services, especially the AI-driven ones, offer explanations of how the work was completed. This ensures that students are still learning in the process.

Cost and Accessibility

The decision to use homework help services often involves considerations of cost-effectiveness. These services can be a significant financial investment, especially for students who need ongoing support across several subjects.

But, for those who struggle with specific aspects of their coursework, like complex essay writing or detailed research paper preparations, these services can offer valuable support.

Accessibility also varies, with some services offering more affordable options through subscription models or discounted rates for many assignments. This can make them a lot more accessible to a broader range of students.

Academic Integrity and Learning

Outsourcing academic work poses significant concerns regarding academic integrity. It can also raise questions about the overall learning process. Yes, such services can provide almost instant relief from academic pressure. But, they may undermine a student’s development of critical skills needed for growth.

Dependence on external help for completing academic writing or other tasks can prevent students from engaging with the material. In the long term, this reliance could affect their academic success or career trajectories. This is why it’s vital to balance the use of these services with genuine personal effort and learning.

What To Look for in a Homework Service

Let’s be honest – most of these services aren’t cheap. So, if you invest your trust and hard-earned cash in one of these services, you’ll want to know that you’re getting the best possible service. But how do you tell which one is worthwhile? Here are a few pointers to help you out:

Quality and Expertise of Professional Writers

Ensure that the service only employs professionals who are expert writers in their respective fields. This pretty much guarantees that the homework meets academic standards and is well-researched. Smodin, for example, has powerful AI research tools to ensure the answers you get are both accurate and comprehensive.

Support and Communication

A strong support team is crucial for any service. Academics work within tight deadlines. So, a service’s support team should be responsive and capable of addressing queries and concerns quickly. This is why Smodin is committed to offering exceptional customer service. Smodin’s support team has been praised for its responsiveness and effectiveness.

Commitment to Plagiarism-Free Content

Academic dishonesty is a serious offense. So, the service must provide plagiarism-free content to uphold academic integrity. Because Smodin uses AI, academics can get original content and reputable references. This gives students extra confidence in the work they submit.

Flexibility and Range of Services

Look for a service that offers a wide range of assistance, from simple homework help to more complex project support. Once again, Smodin excels in this regard, offering various tools, like a rewriter and plagiarism checker. Smodin also offers an AI writing tool that can generate content for various academic disciplines.

Option for Free Revisions

It’s always good for a service to offer free revisions. This ensures that the final product meets all the students’ requirements and expectations before they hand it in. Free revisions can show their commitment to customer satisfaction and quality.

Smodin ticks many boxes in this regard. So, perhaps it’s time to stop thinking it over and start now,  for free .

Final Thoughts

So, can you pay someone to do your homework? Absolutely!

Should you pay someone to do your homework online? Well, if you’re seeking cost-effective solutions and need support to manage your workload, a homework service might be right for you. Whether you have to catch up on homework assignments or need something broken down for you in simpler terms. These services offer practical help.

Did someone just say “Smodin”?

cheating on your homework

Teacher Spots Telltale Sign Students Are Copying Homework

A video is purporting to show how a 9th grade science teacher was able to catch out a group of students cheating on their homework.

In a clip posted to Reddit under the handle u/Reignofkindo25 , a woman claiming to be an Oklahoma-based educator by the name of Miss. Storey, shared footage of the moment she spotted something unusual about three different students' chemistry homework.

Most young people strive to be honest in their day-to-day life. A 2021 survey of more than 3,000 teens conducted as part of a study published in the journal Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation found 83 percent felt becoming "honest" as someone "who doesn't lie or cheat" was very important, if not essential.

However, a poll of over 1,000 students conducted by Study.com, laid bare a culture of cheating on school work . Forty-eight percent of students admitted to using A.I. tool ChatGPT to complete homework, with 53 percent using it to write essays.

The kids in Storey's video were not quite as efficient as that, though.

It all started when Storey was reviewing the answers to one question on a test paper she had assigned, which read simply: "What causes the trend in acidic/basic oxides?"

Storey, who didn't want to give her full name, told Newsweek she became worried after noticing one of her students had written that they "couldn't have existed" as their answer. "I was going to see if he was OK the next day at school," she said. "But then I saw the other papers."

Reviewing some of the other responses to the question, the educator noticed that one pupil had written "covalent bonds are acidic" as their answer, while a second had put down, more confusingly, "covalent bonds are existed."

Suddenly, the student's answer that they "couldn't have existed" made perfect sense. "They had all secretly copied each other's work and played the telephone game by accident," Storey said.

Essentially, the first student had passed their answer onto the second, who misheard it and passed it on to another pupil, where it was distorted even further.

Some were confused how this could have happened. "How the hell did they manage that? Like they must've actually been playing the telephone game to copy each others work," one user wrote.

Another offered a sound explanation, writing: "I'd guess that everyone is copying in secret. So, 3 is copying 2, but 2 doesn't know 3 is doing it. 2 is copying 1, but 1 doesn't know 2 is doing it."

Elsewhere, one Reddit user, who also claimed to be an ex-teacher, said: "When I taught HS English, kids would take out their phones and Google the first question. If they could find the answers, they'd do the work. If not, not."

Storey was not surprised to discover students copying each other. "They always copy," she said. "It was more upsetting in the beginning, as this was my first year teaching. By the time I graded those papers, I expect to see copying."

With ChatGPT now a growing concern, it might not be so easy to catch the cheats in the future.

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

Two homeworks with strangely similar answers. Can you spot the difference?

Emory students won a $10,000 prize for their AI tool. Then the university punished them.

  • Emory University suspended students who created a celebrated AI-driven study tool.
  • The students won $10,000 last year from a school pitch competition for the product.
  • One of the students just sued the school, saying there's no evidence anyone used his product to cheat.

Insider Today

Emory University students created an artificial-intelligence-driven study tool last year.

Professors and students praised the program, called Eightball. The student newspaper wrote about it. The founders won a pitch competition sponsored by the school and took home $10,000. The business school highlighted them on social media .

Then at least two of the students were suspended for Eightball, which they'd already scrapped. Emory said the duo violated the school's honor code because students could use Eightball in ways that would breach it.

Benjamin Craver, a junior and history major who led marketing for the platform, sued the university on Friday. His complaint said there's no evidence any students used Eightball improperly, including to cheat.

The case highlights the tensions between universities eager to foster young entrepreneurs and administrative rules that haven't caught up to new tech.

After publication, an Emory spokesperson declined to comment, saying the university is not able to discuss pending litigation.

Expulsion, suspension

Craver, who said he had never been in trouble at Emory, partnered with a student developer last year to promote Eightball. The premise was simple: Students could upload materials to a private server not accessible to other users, then use AI to generate study materials.

Related stories

He and his cofounders won a business-school pitch competition last year, and the business school's website spotlighted them — until this week, when the page was removed, per a comparison with the archived page .

Eightball's founders marketed the program as a study tool — not something to "do their homework or be a cheat sheet," one founder said on the now defunct business-school page.

But in October, Emory told the developer that he may have violated the honor code, per Craver's lawsuit. In November, Emory told Craver that it was weighing five honor-code violations for him. He said he asked the developer to immediately shut Eightball down, which the developer did.

Craver was put on disciplinary probation for a semester by the Office of Student Conduct, and he submitted a formal written apology. At a January honor-council hearing, a Spanish professor and four undergraduates weighed a bigger punishment for Craver.

Writing that the founders built Eightball with the intent to cheat, they recommended a one-year suspension for Craver and expulsion for the developer, the lawsuit says.

They heard no evidence Eightball was used for cheating, Craver said in the lawsuit.

Craver was ultimately suspended for a semester and summer, while the developer's yearlong suspension was later reduced to a semester, he said in the lawsuit.

While Craver was preparing an appeal, Emory's venture program reached out, asking whether he'd like to participate in an accelerator for Eightball.

He lost his appeal last week. His lawsuit said the disciplinary record could stymie his plans to apply to law school: "Emory willfully and self-servingly deviated from proper Honor Code procedures to make a public example out of Ben."

Craver is seeking a jury trial and damages of at least $75,000, per the complaint.

Watch: The 10 most challenged books in the US

cheating on your homework

  • Main content

IMAGES

  1. Cheating With Milf Stepmom On The Sofa! Blonde Gets Creampied While Gf Is Doing Homework

    cheating on your homework

  2. Real Wife Cheating Husband

    cheating on your homework

  3. Curvy Wife Cheating At The Hotel Part2

    cheating on your homework

  4. Real Wife Cheating Husband

    cheating on your homework

  5. Real Wife Cheating Husband

    cheating on your homework

  6. Cheating Wife With Young Bbc

    cheating on your homework

VIDEO

  1. Cheating in Homework- The Daniel Chen Film

  2. How to cheat your spouse without getting caught

  3. Pranking Your Wife

  4. homework cheating websites || homework cheats math|| homework cheats website

  5. Mind Your Language Exam Preparation

  6. cheat on math homework online ,cheating homework, cheating math websites, cheating on homework

COMMENTS

  1. 3 Ways to Cheat on Homework

    2. Work on the assignment with a group. Doing an assignment in a big group in which everyone contributes is a good way to make sure that everyone gets the right answers and the assignment gets done quickly. Do it in the safety of someone's home, or on the bus after school to stay safe. Never try to do this in class.

  2. Why Students Cheat—and What to Do About It

    But students also rationalize cheating on assignments they see as having value. High-achieving students who feel pressured to attain perfection (and Ivy League acceptances) may turn to cheating as a way to find an edge on the competition or to keep a single bad test score from sabotaging months of hard work. At Stuyvesant, for example, students ...

  3. Homework Answers: 7 Apps That Will Do Your Homework For You

    Here's a look at 7 apps that can do your homework for you, and what they have to say about cheating: PhotoMath. Price: Free. Availability: iOS, Android app coming in early 2015. The new ...

  4. The Real Roots of Student Cheating

    In a 2021 survey of college students by College Pulse, the single biggest reason given for cheating, endorsed by 72 percent of the respondents, was "pressure to do well.". What we see here are ...

  5. How Teens Use Technology to Cheat in School

    Cheating in today's world has evolved, and unfortunately, become pervasive. Technology makes cheating all too tempting, common, and easy to pull off. Not only can kids use their phones to covertly communicate with each other, but they can also easily look up answers or get their work done on the Internet. In one study, a whopping 35% of teens ...

  6. Common Reasons Students Cheat

    Another common reason students engage in dishonest behavior has to do with overload: too many homework assignments, work issues, relationship problems, COVID-19. ... the paper, do well on the test). Fear of failure prompts students to get unauthorized help, but the repercussions of cheating far outweigh the repercussions of failing. First, when ...

  7. When does getting help on an assignment turn into cheating?

    Students and academics agree having someone else identify errors in your assignment is OK. Correcting them is another story. from shutterstock.com. Read more: Fewer cheaters are getting away with ...

  8. How Cheating in College Hurts Students

    Academic integrity is important, experts say, as plagiarism and other cheating may have severe consequences. How Cheating in College Hurts Students. Experts say the number of students engaging in ...

  9. Why Students Cheat on Homework and How to Prevent It

    If you find students cheat on homework, they probably lack the vision for how the work is beneficial. It's important to consider the meaningfulness and valuable of the assignment from students' perspectives. They need to see how it is relevant to them. In my class, I've learned to assign work that cannot be copied.

  10. Cheating on homework can hurt students in long run

    Cheating on homework can hurt students in long run. Instructors say shared homework answers are easy to pick out. (Courtesy of Kristin Dudley and Anastasia Foster) Whether it takes five minutes or ...

  11. What students see as cheating and how allegations are handled

    A lot of students don't even realize it's an easy way to catch a student cheating.". Online exams appear to be seen as more sacred by students, with the majority of survey respondents saying that using unapproved technology or tools in exams is very unacceptable and only 17 percent seeing it as somewhat or very acceptable.

  12. Why I Think Students Should Cheat

    The benefits of cheating are obvious - improved grades in an environment where failure is not an opportunity for learning, but rather a badge of shame. When students do poorly on a test, there ...

  13. 4 Ways to Deal With Being Caught Cheating on a Test

    1. Evaluate the evidence against you. If a teacher saw you looking at an answer key in the middle of an exam, you aren't going to be able to convince anyone that you weren't cheating. However, if your teacher simply has a hunch that you cheated, you may be able to successfully deny the allegations.

  14. Is it cheating to get help with graded homework?

    Your whole premise is wrong here. Homework should be considered as a service to the student, allowing them to practice what they've learned and perhaps cover additional material / aspects of the same material. If you don't do your own homework, you're mostly cheating yourself out of the benefit of the homework.

  15. The 5 Best Homework Help Websites (Free and Paid!)

    The line between "learning" and "cheating" when using online homework help ; Tips for getting the most out of a homework help website; So let's get started! The Basics About Homework Help Websites-Free and Paid. Homework help websites are designed to help you complete your homework assignments, plain and simple.

  16. What Are the Consequences of Cheating and Plagiarism at School?

    In general, those consequences may include: being sent to the principal or detention (in K-12 schools) a written reprimand on your record (in college) a failing grade or zero on the assignment or test. a failing grade in the entire course. loss of privileges like participation in school sports, and. suspension.

  17. 8 Top Websites that Students Use to Cheat

    Here are the most popular websites for would-be cheaters: Wikipedia Encylopedia. Yahoo! Answers Social & content sharing site. Answers.com Social & content sharing site. Slideshare Social and ...

  18. Academic Integrity and Cheating: Why is it wrong to cheat?

    The presentation offers a definition of cheating as a form of violation of academic integrity and explanations for why cheating is attractive or tempting and then why, in the most fundamental sense, it should be judged to be morally wrongful behavior in an academic setting. The remarks make use of several ethical principles as well as the most ...

  19. Cheat Codes: Students Search For Shortcuts as Virtual Schooling ...

    Cheating has always been an issue in schools, but there is little getting in the way for students today. ... On Quizlet, another homework help website, entire test keys are posted and shared among ...

  20. Achieve Homework Anti-Cheating Tips

    This is a way to check individual student understanding outside of the homework. Additionally, use a few problems directly from the homework on the test, and analyze the difference between how students performed on those same problems in homework form vs. on the test. Other Advice to Prevent Cheating

  21. Academic dishonesty when doing homework: How digital ...

    First, the amount of cheating on homework observed calls for new strategies for raising homework engagement, as this was found to be a clear predictor of digital dishonesty. This can be achieved by better explaining the goals and benefits of homework, the adverse effects of cheating on homework, and by providing adequate feedback on homework ...

  22. The 5 Best Homework Help Apps You Can Use

    Best App for Math Homework Help: Photomath. Price: Free (or up to $59.99 per year for premium services) Best for: Explaining solutions to math problems. This app allows you to take a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept.

  23. Stop Students From Cheating on Homework With These Easy Ideas

    Step 1: Check the quality of your assignments. First of all, it's worth taking a close look at the kind of homework you assign. If you do a lot of worksheets, you might find those work better for in-class activities. Instead, try focusing homework on in-depth writing assignments and individual written responses.

  24. Can You Pay Someone (Or AI) To Do Your Homework?

    These services offer to complete your assignments for a fee. Yes, you read that correctly. You can indeed pay someone to do your homework. This could mean a potentially lightened load and boost your grades. Whether tackling complex math problems or crafting detailed essays, these services can offer the help you need.

  25. [ For Hire ] get Help with your Online Math Exam reddit

    If you are unable to Pass your Math Exams, Quizzes, Tests or Unable to Handle Homework Assignments or full course online, Get paid help from Online Helpers at Hiraedu! Contact Details for Hiraedu Helper: WhatsApp: +1 (213) 594-5657 Call: +1 727 456 9641 Website: hiraedu. com Email: info@hiraedu. com

  26. Teacher Spots Telltale Sign Students Are Copying Homework

    A video is purporting to show how a 9th grade science teacher was able to catch out a group of students cheating on their homework. In a clip posted to Reddit under the handle u/Reignofkindo25, a ...

  27. Students Won a Prize for Their AI Tool. Then Emory Punished Them

    Emory students won a $10,000 prize for their AI tool. Then the university punished them. Meghan Morris. May 22, 2024, 2:25 AM PDT. Emory University students (not pictured) were disciplined after ...

  28. PDF Biostatistics for Biology Majors (BIOL 214) syllabus. Summer 2024

    3) If you are not present when you are called up for your presentation, you will get a "0" for your presentation. 4) Late homework assignments are penalized as follows: On time: full points/credit possible (each homework is worth 2 points (= 2 %)). Late: Same day: -0.5 points. Following day until the start of the following recitation: -1.0 ...