Learning online honestly. Is cheating becoming part of the ‘new normal’ in education?

Mar 20, 2021

2 min

David Rettinger


The emergence of COVID-19 has seen almost every segment of society and traditional institution in America have to pivot drastically to sustain and carry on, especially the educational system. And as students across America had to log on and learn remotely in the last year, occurrences of cheating are trending upwards.


It’s a phenomenon that is getting a lot of attention and University of Mary Washington Psychology Professor David Rettinger, an expert on academic integrity, is getting a lot of calls from media about it.


Roughly a year after college campuses were evacuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, academic integrity remains an issue for students and professors alike. With professors struggling to curb rampant cheating during online exams and students wrestling with the often confusing and stressful realities of online learning, the college classroom has never been more tense… Teen Vogue has spoken with academics and students to learn more about what kind of cheating is happening during remote learning, and what they think should be done about it.


University battles with help sites have peaked during the COVID-19 crisis, but the root of the problem has been years in the making. “I call it a game of whack-a-mole,” says David Rettinger, president emeritus of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) and director of academic integrity at the University of Mary Washington. New sites are constantly rising in popularity, he explains, making it harder for professors to prevent students from seeking answers online, especially now. March 04 – Teen Vogue



And how even the most respected of institutions like West Point are handling these cases have also seen Rettinger’s expert perspective sought out to explain.


“Expulsion flies in the face of everything we understand about the psychology of ethical and moral behavior,” Rettinger said.


That’s partly because the section of the brain that makes you feel “icky” when you do something wrong isn’t fully developed until around age 23 to 26 — after college is over.


Rettinger said rehabilitation seems in line with West Point’s mission — to instill the values of duty, honor and country.


“That doesn't necessarily mean weeding people out who are imperfect, because we're all imperfect,” Rettinger said. “That means taking the best cadets we can and turning them into the best officers they can be, which means teaching them. And if there's no opportunity for redemption, what are we really teaching?” March 08 – NPR



The concept of cheating and how schools are handling it is an emerging issue in America. And if you are a journalist looking to cover this subject, then let us help with your stories.


Dr. David Rettinger is available to speak with media regarding this issue of cheating and academic integrity. Simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.







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David Rettinger

David Rettinger

Professor and Director of Academic Integrity Programs

Dr. Rettinger is an internationally recognized expert on academic integrity.

Psychology of Student CheatingAcademic Integrity PolicyTeaching and Learning for Academic IntegrityFaculty DevelopmentInstitutional Assessment of Academic Integrity

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