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P.A.C.E.S.: A Study On Academic Integrity Among Engineering Undergraduates (Preliminary Conclusions)

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Techniques for Improving Teaching

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.908.1 - 7.908.16



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Paper Authors

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Nicholas Steneck

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Donald Carpenter

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Trevor Harding

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Susan Montgomery

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Session 2230

P.A.C.E.S. – A study on academic integrity among engineering undergraduates (preliminary conclusions).

D.D. Carpenter1, T.S. Harding 2, S.M. Montgomery 3, and N. Steneck3

1 Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI 48075 2 Kettering University, Flint, MI 48504 3 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Student academic dishonesty, commonly referred to as cheating, has become a serious problem at institutions of higher education. This is particularly true of engineering students who, according to previous research, are among the most likely to cheat in college. To investigate this concern, the authors have undertaken a research project on the Perceptions and Attitudes toward Cheating among Engineering Students (P.A.C.E.S.). The premise of this research is that a combination of pressures, rather than malicious motivations, account for most student cheating. The P.A.C.E.S study consists of a seven page, self-reported survey that investigates: (1) student definitions of academic dishonesty; (2) the magnitude of academic dishonesty among engineering undergraduates; (3) the correlations of academic dishonesty with theories of psychological, demographic and situational factors; and (4) student opinions on different approaches used to discourage academic dishonesty. The survey was administered to approximately 350 engineering and pre engineering undergraduates at 5 institutions, ranging from community colleges to a large research university. This paper will discuss some of the current results from the study as well as future goals, which include the refinement and further distribution of the survey instrument and the development of practical pedagogical methods to help students avoid the pressure of cheating and a better understanding of what students and faculty perceive as cheating.

I. Introduction

Research has shown that upward of 60 or 70 % of all students have reported one or more instances of cheating as undergraduates 1,2,3. Of additional concern is the fact that some studies indicate that engineering undergraduates cheat at higher levels than many of their counterparts in other disciplines. In a recent study conducted by Meade 4, roughly 74% of engineering students said they engaged in some form of academic dishonesty while in college, compared to 67% of

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Steneck, N., & Carpenter, D., & Harding, T., & Montgomery, S. (2002, June), P.A.C.E.S.: A Study On Academic Integrity Among Engineering Undergraduates (Preliminary Conclusions) Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10591

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