After the answers to a final examination in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin surfaced on an unofficial class Facebook group last year, 20 charges of “academic collusion” went on the record.
In what remains an unusual practice, administrators at UT-Austin began collecting data on cheating in the 1980s. Since 2003, they have published the information online. Hundreds of incidents each year are broken down by gender, ethnicity, age, college, and grade-point average, as well as type of violation (the university defines 12).
The practice is part of an effort to deter academic dishonesty. Looking at the data has given faculty members and administrators a better sense of problem areas—and where they might try to increase awareness. That has led to focused outreach to faculty members and students in certain colleges.
Worries about cheating are perennial, especially after high-profile incidents like the one at Harvard University last year, in which dozens of students withdrew after being found to have engaged in inappropriate collaboration. <Read more.>