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Langara to compile cheating stats

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SpickzettelCheating statistics are being compiled at Langara following a CBC study that showed students might be getting away with cheating in post-secondary institutions.

The CBC survey asked multiple questions about whether students had cheated in high school, as an undergrad or if they had helped someone cheat on a test.

Cheating in B.C.

There were 42 Canadian post-secondary institutions involved in the study including SFU, UBC and Capilano University.

The survey found that SFU disciplined more students for cheating than UBC does, even though they have a lower student population. The survey shows that more than 7,000 students were disciplined for academic cheating in 2011-12, a finding experts say falls short of the number of students who actually cheat.

Looking at Langara

Melia Goertzen, administrative coordinator at Langara, plans to compile her own statistics regarding cheating at Langara. The process could take awhile, she said.

“About 90 to 95 per cent of cases are first offences within a regular class. This suggests that most people who get caught cheating don’t do it again,” said Goertzen in an email.

Langara student Simran Virk doesn’t know anyone in college that has cheated but says that in high school many students cheated to get ahead.

Virk says many of her high school classmates are now at UBC or McGill University even though they cheated. “You’re not really being judged on what you know, it’s how well you can cheat,” Virk said.

What constitutes cheating? 

The Langara Code of Conduct describes cheating as “an act of deceit, distortion of the truth, or improper use of another person’s effort to obtain an academic advantage.”

If a teacher thinks a student has cheated, they have the right to conduct an investigation of that student. Students can also appeal the teacher’s decision if they believe it to be unjust.

Goertzen said that when students have been caught plagiarizing or cheating, “part of the process is to educate them about their responsibilities as a student.”

“In my experience, students may not even know that their behaviour is considered as plagiarism.”

Reported by Madelyn Forsyth

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