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Why Do Students of English Cheat Online and How Do They Do It?

Aurelija Daukšaitė-Kolpakovienė
Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Abstract. The global pandemic that started in 2020 brought a variety of challenges in many spheres of life. Higher education was not an exception, as all classes were moved to online environments. One of the main challenges became the one of academic integrity, since students’ knowledge and skills were tested online as well. This paper will discuss a case study carried out at Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania) in 2021 that involved Lithuanian students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) who filled in an anonymous questionnaire with open ended and closed ended questions. The study aimed to find out if the students had cheated in any form of EFL assessment (tests, midterm tests, examinations, etc.) online during the pandemic. They were also asked to indicate the ways in which they had cheated and explain why they had behaved this way. The results showed that eighty percent of all the students had engaged in “digital cheating” in one way or another but provided a variety of reasons to justify such a dishonest behaviour. For example, they wanted to obtain good grades, check the spelling of some words online or translate unknown words (which they should have learned). However, not all students perceived such a behaviour as dishonest. They indicated that what they had done could not be seen as a “big crime.“

Keywords: academic integrity, distance learning, English as a Foreign Language, higher education, online learning

About the author

Aurelija Daukšaitė-Kolpakovienė is a lecturer at the Institute of Foreign Languages, Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. She holds a PhD in Philology and has been teaching English and other subjects in English for more than twelve years. Her research interests include EFL, distance learning, out-of-class foreign language learning, and assessment.

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0