College students taking online courses are more tempted to cheat, according to a new study that found honor codes are less binding in the rapidly growing online learning sector.
Honor codes -- mutual trust contracts between students and professors to abide by standards of academic integrity -- can reduce cheating in brick-and-mortar classrooms.
But researchers have found that honor codes are much less effective in online classrooms, with the physical absence of an instructor.
"Previous research suggests that given the opportunity, students often cheat," said Frank LoSchiavo, an associate professor of psychology at Ohio University who carried out the study. "Our research suggests this also applied to the virtual classroom, and that honor codes have limited success. Results show that the majority of students cheated."