Last year, CBS had 158 reported cases of exam cheating, but this year, the figure has double to 307 reports of suspected cheating and plagiarism, according to Wilbert van der Meer, Head of Education and Quality at CBS.
He attributes the many reports to not knowing the rules and changed exam forms as a result of COVID-19.
“It’s worth mentioning that CBS holds more than 100,000 exams every year and the level of suspected cheating is not alarming, but each case is one too much. From the reports we are getting, the majority have been inadvertent. It’s a result of being careless and not reading up on the rules. And this year, when things have been so different and formalities have been changed, there has perhaps been an extra need to read the rules,” says Wilbert van der Meer.
He explains that all the summer’s exams were online, and some students may have been tempted to cheat.
“It’s possible that some students, pressured by coronavirus, have felt tempted to work together with fellow students, although this was not permitted. They wouldn’t feel tempted to work together if they were in an exam hall where you have exam supervisors looking over your shoulder,” he says.
This fall, CBS ran a campaign on exam cheating on my.cbs.dk and on campus – “Do You Cheat In Exams Without Even Knowing?”- and the students have also, for the first time, been offered an online course on academic integrity, hosted by CBS Library
“This is not a wish to accuse the students of cheating, but simply a reminder for them to check that they know what they are doing. Cheating in exams can have grave consequences,” says Wilbert van der Meer and mentions warnings, having exam results annulled and being expelled from CBS as some of the repercussions.
This semester, the online course is just an offer for students, but starting from study start 2021, the course will be mandatory, explains Wilbert van der Meer.
“This course will become a study-start test that students will have to pass if they want to proceed. Passing will not be a problem, but we want to ensure that the students understand the rules and can answer questions about them,” he says.
The test will, for example, teach students how to work academically; how to cite others’ work, what you can reuse from others’ work, and how much you can reuse of your own work, others’ ideas and such.
“We have been planning on creating this course for some time, but the recent figures on suspected cheating confirm that the course is a good idea. Technological advances have both made it easier to cheat, but also easier to detect cheating, so it’s more important than ever that the students know what they can and cannot do,” says Wilbert van der Meer.