The instructional factors that lead to cheating in a Korean cyber university context

Jamie Costley (Department of English Education, Kongju National University, Gongju, Korea)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 20 November 2017



This paper looks at a particular type of cheating that occurs in an online university setting. That is, when students who have a connection from outside the online learning environment conspire to cheat together. It measures the correlations between student variables and cheating, instructional variables and cheating and learning outcomes and cheating. The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationships between these factors and cheating, in the hope that the multifaceted nature of academic dishonesty can be better understood.


This study surveyed a group of students (n = 88) who participated in cyber university classes in South Korea. The study investigates the correlations between student characteristics, student attitudes, instructional design, lecture quality and learning outcomes with cheating.


The research looks at correlations between stable demographic factors and student attitudes towards cheating and finds no strong relationships. On the other hand, this study finds statistically significant negative correlations between instructional design quality and cheating, and lecture quality and cheating. This shows that instructors can affect the amount their students cheat through improving the quality of their courses. Also, there was a significant relationship between students’ levels of learning, satisfaction, engagement and interest and cheating.


Looking at cheating from a variety of angles within a single research agenda gives a clear understanding to instructors as to how cheating in their class will manifest, and how it will negatively impact the quality of a student’s experience.



Costley, J. (2017), "The instructional factors that lead to cheating in a Korean cyber university context", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 313-328.

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