College Plagiarism Reaches All Time High: Pew Study

Cyber-plagiarism is at an all time high among college students, according to a survey of college presidents from the Pew Research Center.

It appears college students are finding it more tempting than ever to cheat from the web. A majority of college presidents (55%) said that plagiarism in students' papers has increased over the past ten years. Among those who have seen an increase in plagiarism, 89% said computers and the internet have played a major role.

Pew and The Chronicle of Higher Education conducted telephone interviews with 1,055 college presidents from both public and private of two-and four-year institutions.

The survey also examined the future growth in online learning. Half of college presidents predicted that ten years from now most of their students would take classes online, while 62% said they foresaw half of undergrads using digital books by 2021.

A subsequent study also followed up with 2,142 members of the public over the age of 18 by phone interviews. Although their views closely matched college presidents, the one area where they begged to differ was the value of online courses. Just 29% of American adults said a course taken online provides an equal educational value to one taken in a classroom, whereas over half of college presidents (51%) said online courses provided the same value.

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