EIND373 Montana Project 2 War On Fraud Case Study answer the question by using the information in the reading part. the question is written in the second a

EIND373 Montana Project 2 War On Fraud Case Study answer the question by using the information in the reading part. the question is written in the second attachment. see the attachment for the reading and the questions. Journal of College Teaching & Learning – February 2006
Volume 3, Number 2
The War On Fraud: Reducing
Cheating In The Classroom
David Hayes, (dhayes1@lsu.edu), Louisiana State University
Kathy Hurtt, (Kathy_Hurtt@baylor.edu), Baylor University
Sarah Bee, (bees@seattleu.edu), Seattle University
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this article is to alert and inform the reader of the rampant amount of fraud
(cheating) that is taking place in the classrooms across the country and to provide some measures
that can be employed to reduce the likelihood of it happening in your classroom. Cheating is
analyzed and diagnosed utilizing the components of the fraud triangle (pressure, opportunity, and
rationalization). Activities to promote ethical behavior and making it more difficult to rationalize
cheating are proposed. Strategies for reducing the opportunity to cheat are also included. “In the
broadest sense, fraud can encompass any crime for gain that uses deception as its principal
modus operandi” (Wells, 2005)
INTRODUCTION
C
heating is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide (Desruisseaux, 1999).
There is cheating in
professional sports (use of steroids), cheating in business (fraudulent financial statements), cheating in
elementary schools, cheating in college, and even cheating to get accepted into college (Wall Street
Journal, 2005). Studies have shown that 75% to 80% of all college students cheat on at least one assignment or test
(Bell, 2005). Unfortunately, accounting majors are not exempt from this trend. A recent article stated that at one
Midwestern school, over half of the academic misconduct cases at the School of Business involved accounting majors
(Pillsbury, 2004). Similarly, Introduction to Computing and Introduction to Programming classes have reported high
incidences of cheating. At another school, over 70% of all cheating cases originated in computing classes (Ozment et
al., 2000). Accounting information systems classes have many of the same characteristics as these introductory
computing courses – a new subject with students experiencing high stress in an unfamiliar environment along with the
traditional grade pressures. This seems to indicate that while all accounting classes are susceptible to cheating;
accounting information systems faculty might be even more likely to encounter cheating in their classrooms. This
cheating behavior is critical to nip in the bud as the literature suggests that students who are academically dishonest
often transfer this undesirable behavior to the corporate environment after graduation (Chapman et al., 2004, 248).
More so than in other disciplines, cheating by accountants can have serious societal and economic
consequences. One only has to look at the recent accounting failures such as Enron and WorldCom to see the effects
of individuals who are willing to commit fraud to get ahead. The capital markets depend on investor confidence in the
integrity of the accounting profession and their representation through financial statements. Thus, both accounting
educators teaching traditional accounting classes and accounting information systems educators must be aware of the
potential for students to cheat and be prepared to act swiftly and with authority to prevent cheating. However, many
accounting faculty are unfamiliar with today‘s cheating tactics and prevention opportunities.
In this paper we will discuss several types of academic fraud (including cheating) and discuss some measures
that can be employed to reduce the likelihood of it happening in your classroom including activities to promote ethical
behavior, strategies for reducing the opportunity to cheat and increasing the likelihood of detection. Many of these
items are applicable to general classroom settings including an AIS classroom, while those addressing flowcharting
and modeling problems, as well as Excel and Access controls are directed more specifically to AIS educators. The
remainder of this paper is organized as follows. First, we discuss the fraud triangle and its relation to violations of
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Journal of College Teaching & Learning – February 2006
Volume 3, Number 2
academic integrity. Next, we discuss methods students employ to commit academic fraud and ways faculty members
can reduce the opportunity to cheat. Finally, we suggest methods for staying up-to-date on developments in the
cheating area.
THE FRAUD TRIANGLE
Romney & Steinbart (2003, 277) define fraud as any means to gain an unfair advantage and include: lying,
suppression of the truth, tricks, cunning and violation of trust. Wells (2005, 13-20) describes the research of Donald R.
Cressey in discussing what has become known as the fraud triangle (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: The Fraud Triangle
Perceived Opportunity
Fraud Triangle
Perceived Pressure
Rationalization
The triangle suggests that for fraud to occur there must be three elements: perceived pressure, perceived
opportunity and rationalization. Increases in the components of the triangle result in a higher likelihood of fraud
occurring. Although the fraud triangle is used most often to discuss financial fraud, a closer look at research on why
students cheat indicates that student cheating behavior falls within the elements of the fraud triangle. Gehring, Nuss
and Pavela (1986) provide a list of factors shown to contribute to student cheating. We‘ve indicated (in italics) to what
element of the fraud triangle each factor relates:
Students claim to be unclear about what behaviors constitute academic dishonesty (rationalization).
Students believe that what they learn isn‘t relevant to their future career goals (rationalization).
Student values have changed. Succeeding at any costs has become a cherished value (perceived pressure).
Increased competition for enrollment in high demand disciplines and admission to prestigious graduate and
professional schools prompt students to cheat to improve their grades, not just to avoid failure (perceived
pressure).
Examinations are not properly secured and faculty members are casual about proctoring exams. Assignments
and examinations are repeated frequently from semester to semester (perceived opportunity).
Faculty members may avoid using campus disciplinary procedures to avoid additional time requirements by
simply giving those suspected of cheating a lower or failing grade (perceived opportunity).
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Journal of College Teaching & Learning – February 2006
Volume 3, Number 2
As this list demonstrates, the fraud triangle provides a structure for examining student cheating and developing
prevention and detection techniques.
Perceived Pressure
Perceived pressure in an academic context is extensive. According to Whitley & Keith-Spiegel (2002, 23),
student pressure falls into six broad categories: 1) performance concerns (e.g. failing a course, grade pressure), 2)
external pressures (e.g. academic pressures, such as work load or number of tests on one day, or nonacademic
pressures, such as parental expectations, GPA required for financial aid, etc.), 3) unfair professors, 4) lack of effort
(not putting in enough effort to succeed so pressure is increased), 5) other loyalties such as helping a friend or helping
a member of a fraternity or sorority, 6) other items (such as viewing cheating as a game or a challenge). Typically, a
student‘s motivation for cheating is to get a better grade and eventually to secure a job. The emphasis placed on grades
by job recruiters creates an environment of intense competition which feeds the motivation (pressure) a student might
have to cheat. Most faculty realize the importance placed on grades is outside their control. Because it is difficult for a
faculty member to reduce the perceived pressure felt by students, it is even more important to focus on those elements
that are easier to influence (rationalization and perceived opportunity).
Rationalization
Rationalization allows a student to justify cheating by creating a reason for cheating that is more compelling
than honesty or integrity. Common student justifications include: cheating hurts no one; no one ever gets caught;
friends come first or he/she needed my help; I only cheat in classes that aren‘t important to my major; everyone does
it; I could lose my scholarship (or my parents will kill me) if I don‘t do well (Pillsbury, 2004; Whitley; Keith-Spiegel,
2002). Yet instructors are training students for a profession in which individuals often work alone and the evidence
that work is performed is often only the attestation of the individual. Accountants, especially those in public practice,
are held to a high standard of integrity and the public seems to believe that entry into this profession should be based
on an individual‘s high level of personal integrity. This expectation for integrity must be integrated into the students‘
personal morality through repeated ethical training in all accounting classes and we believe that each faculty member
should stress the importance of individual integrity and discuss how many of the rationalizations are, in fact, untrue.
Rationalization includes a belief on the part of the cheater that what they are doing is not actually unethical.
This is especially true when technology is used to cheat or defraud. A student might find shoplifting software from a
computer store reprehensible, but will illegally copy a software program from a friend. Most students would not break
into a physical office, but see hacking into a computer system as a challenge rather than an ethical breach. Digital
materials can be duplicated easily; a student might argue that it is not ?stealing? if the article taken without attribution
leaves the original in place and undamaged.
Some researchers suggest that the most effective way to help students develop ethical behavior is if the
university has a formal training program. Kibler, Nuss, Paterson and Pavela (1988) state this program should include a
clearly written policy, opportunities for discussion and dialogue, equitable arbitration procedures, the role of
sanctions, and importance of instructional settings. The academic integrity policy should be included in all syllabi and
discussed the first day of class. Class discussions which support the university‘s ethics policy are important. Frequent
discussions of ethical dilemmas underscore the value (tone at the top) the university places on integrity. Teachers
should articulate values and publish conduct codes. Ethical behavior should be reinforced, and non-ethical behaviors
should be dealt with in a consistent manner. Technology misuse should be dealt with in the same manner as
?traditional? cheating. Other activities to promote ethical behavior include: devoting a class session to an ethics
speaker, discussions of the transfer of unethical behavior in college to unethical behavior in the workplace, ethics
debates, discussions of the faculty member‘s feelings and reactions to unethical behavior by students. Case studies for
class discussion can be found in Appendix A. The goal of ethics training is to ensure that a student has a set of
principles to guide them rather than a set of rules. By applying guidelines rather than following rules, students engage
in higher level thinking processes and learn behaviors that will likely continue into their profession (Johnson, 1998).
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Journal of College Teaching & Learning – February 2006
Volume 3, Number 2
Perceived Opportunity
Perceived opportunity is the third piece of the fraud triangle and lends itself to internal controls and faculty
intervention more readily than the other two elements. A student perceives an opportunity to cheat when he or she
identifies a method to cheat. There are literally hundreds of ways students can cheat and there are numerous references
available for those individuals looking for ideas on how to cheat.
Many faculty are unaware of references such as Bob Corbett‘s book, The Cheater‘s Handbook: The Naughty
Student‘s Bible. For students who wish to obtain ?help? on written assignments, there are numerous websites such as
School Sucks.com (http://www.schoolsucks.com/), Cheathouse.com (http://www.cheathouse.com/), and Essay
Finder.com (http://www.essayfind.com/). It is interesting to note that topics such as accounting ethics, accounting
systems and also specific case analyses can be located at these sites. For programming assignments, Rent a Coder.com
(http://rentacoder.com/RentACoder/default.asp) can be used. At this site, the buyer submits a copy of what they want
to have coded (i.e. the homework assignment or take-home exam) and receives bids from individuals who are willing
to complete the coding. The authors are aware of one individual who received multiple bids of under $10 to code an
assignment along with the offers to insert comments to explain why the coder had done what he/she had done, and to
insert deliberate errors. A request for what techniques had been covered in class was included with the offers, so that
the coder would not write code that was too sophisticated for the assignment. It is obvious from this brief review that
students have considerable opportunities to cheat. One of the best defenses for a faculty member is an awareness of
cheating methods and the next section of this paper deals with methods students have used to cheat.
Methods of Committing Academic Fraud
It should be said that the ways to cheat are limited only by students‘ imaginations, and that cheating methods
continually increase in sophistication. One of the biggest boons to cheating has been improved technology that is
readily available for lower and lower prices. Cizek (2003, 42) suggests grouping cheating methodologies into three
broad categories: 1) giving, taking or receiving information from other person(s), 2) using prohibited materials to
complete an assignment, and 3) capitalizing on a weakness to gain an advantage. Following is an abbreviated list of
current cheating methods taken from our own experiences and also from several other sources that have been grouped
according to the Cizek taxonomy.
Giving, Taking Or Receiving Information
Student takes a picture of a page of an exam with a cell phone and sends it to a student in a later section
(Pardington, 2004).
Sending a text message of an exam question on either a phone or a pager while typing on a device hidden in a
sleeve, under a desk or in the front pocket of a sweatshirt. A text message to a student in the same section
might be ?What‘s the answer to number one?? (Pardington, 2004).
Two students sitting one desk apart share an eraser. The students write answers on the eraser and pass it back
and forth (Noah, 2001).
Notes (including entire chapters of texts) can be stored in electronic organizers, hand-held computers, or even
sent to oneself as a page (Lathrop and Foss, 2000, 11).
Students arrange themselves at locations and angles during an exam so they can easily pass information
(Noah, 2001).
On an individual Excel assignment, several students work on one computer and then all of the students turn
in the same file for credit (some students might change fonts, or column sizes). Similarly, multiple students
work on an individual flowcharting assignment and then each student will print the assignment and turn in
the printed flowchart for a grade.
Students use a code system such as tapping or hand signals to communicate back and forth (Noah, 2001).
?Ghost? persons, knowledgeable in the subject, take the exam by impersonating the student and the actual
student never takes the exam (Noah, 2001).
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Journal of College Teaching & Learning – February 2006
Volume 3, Number 2
Using Prohibited Materials
Students write pertinent information on the visors of their caps, shirt cuffs, or the palms of their hands (Noah,
2001).
Students write notes on a bandage, the back of a water bottle label (the water acts as a magnifying glass), on
candy or gum wrappers (and rewrap the item), on a stick of gum, or on a Kleenex (Cizek, 2003).
Student requested a bid for a class programming assignment at http://rentacoder.com/RentACoder/default.asp
. When the bid was received, the programmer verified what had already been covered in class and offered to
build in ?errors? to prevent detection.
Student ?stashes? a book in the trash of the restroom. During the exam, the student asks to be excused to use
the facilities and retrieves the text to look up answers and then re-stashes the text in the trash.
Students wear a ?walkman‘ portable radio with headphones which has recordings of pertinent information
(Noah, 2001).
Students store answers on hand calculators then use and /or share the calculators with other students (Noah,
2001).
Students buy copies of test banks and solution manuals, often off eBay, and use these without the professor‘s
knowledge (Jaschik, 2005).
Capitalizing On A Weakness
Students appear to take the exam but do not turn one in. Later the students accuse the instructor of losing the
exams and demand to be given a re-test or amenable grades (Noah, 2001).
Both a ?ghost? person and the enrolled student take the exam. The ?ghost? person puts the student‘s name on the
exam and completes it. The student takes the exam, but puts a fictitious name on it. Both exams are turned in. In the
end, the instructor has no alternative but to discard the extra exam (Noah, 2001)
One student creates a diversion by asking a question of the proctor/instructor so that the proctor/instructor cannot
observe the other students cheating (Noah, 2001).
There are reports of students using a battery-size device called the ?KEYKatcher? to capture a professor‘s password
and obtain tests and answers (Heyman, et al., 2005).
Students take unattended or unsecured copies of tests (new or retained graded exams) when a faculty member steps
out of his/her office for a brief moment (Cizek, 2003).
The above tactics used by students are enough to keep some instructors up late at night wondering what to do
to reduce the likelihood of cheating occurring in their classroom. The next section provides some suggestions to
combat the cheating by reducing the students‘ opportunities to commit fraud (cheat).
REDUCING STUDENTS’ OPPORTUNITIES TO CHEAT AND INCREASING THE DETECTION OF
FRAUD
It is difficult to reduce students‘ perceived pressure to cheat; however, reducing perceived opportunities to
cheat is somewhat easier. The following are some of the tactics that have worked in our classes:
Early in the semester / first day of class
o
o
o
Include the school‘s cheating policy in the syllabus. If the school does not have a cheating policy,
write one that clarifies what you view as cheating. Consider if you will treat ?givers? and
?receivers? the same or differently.
On the first day of class, review the importance of accounting ethics. We have found that having a
frank discussion about the research on a student‘s willingness to cheat in school and their
subsequent cheating behavior at work opens some students‘ eyes and increases their consciousness.
We challenge the students to be people of integrity.
Also on the first day of class, inform the students that other students who cheat will reduce the curve
for the entire class, and your objective is to make the grading as fair as possible for all.
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Journal of College Teaching & Learning – February 2006
o
o
Volume 3, Number 2
Orally, as well as in the syllabus, inform students of the consequences of cheating. We find that
having students consider how they might feel if they have to explain to their parents that they were
caught cheating or how they would feel appearing before an honor council is a good technique.
As a faculty member, you might want to determine if your institution issues a ?FF? on the transcript.
Some schools use this double ?F? on transcripts in courses where the student was failed for
cheating. Ask the student how …
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