Academic Dishonesty Among Undergraduate Students At One University In Kenya. Causes And Mitigations
Joshua Manduku, Abigail Kerubo Gichaba, Samwel Ruto, Pamela Oloo
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Recent empirical studies indicate that cheating by college students is prevalent in many countries. More is known about the pervasiveness of college cheating than reasons why students cheat and how the vice can be mitigated. This article presents findings of a study that attempted to explore academic dishonesty among undergraduate students at One University in Kenya. The study employed stratified random sampling technique to obtain 200 student respondents from the Main and the Town campuses of One University in Kenya. The strata were the various schools/faculties at the University. The study was conducted between the months of June and July in 2017. Grounded on the Theory of Reasoned Action, the study focused on establishing the methods used by students in cheating in examinations, the reasons as to why the students cheat in examinations and suggesting ways in which this vice can be minimized. Data were collected by the use of a students’ questionnaire. Partial least squares methodology was used to analyze the responses of students. The results showed that creative and innovative techniques (peer cheating and using crib notes) were the main cheating methodologies employed by students. Sixty four percent of the students admitted to such behavior. Among the ‘cheaters’, a ‘desire to get ahead’ was the most important motivating factor. It was also found that participants believed that even if preventive measures were taken, it was not possible to stop academic cheating entirely at the University although it could be deterred to a certain extent. It was suggested that similarity in the implementation of examination rules and regulations by lecturers would help deter the vice. Alongside, the study revealed that support in terms of training was needed to deal with academic dishonesty at the University. Understanding reasons as to why students cheat in their examinations can be helpful in developing student values and coming up with better ways of ensuring that the culture does not spread and damage the quality of higher education.