EFL Female Students’ Perceptions towards Cheating in Distance Learning Programmes

  •  Alaa Mamoun Saleh    
  •  Zilal Meccawy    


Distance education is becoming more in demand at universities all around the world in general and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in particular, than ever before. This study aimed at highlighting the students’ perceptions of cheating on a distance learning programme at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The study will further explore the ways they use to cheat, causes for cheating, and some solutions to minimize cheating. This study was conducted at the end of the second semester in 2019. Data was collected from 57 female distance learning students who graduated from the English Language Department at KAU. A mixed-methods research design was adopted in this study via a custom designed, fifteen closed-ended and one open-ended item questionnaire. The quantitative section was analysed by frequency and percentages and the open-ended questions were analysed thematically. The results indicated that the majority of female students cheated by helping each other, obtaining the correct answers from other students or sending the correct responses to all their classmates. Another way which some students admitted they employed was using electronic websites to copy and paste the answers onto the test’s screen. The study further concluded that reasons for cheating in distance learning programs were due to technical problems, frequent absence of virtual classes, and students wanting grades, not necessarily knowledge. Recommendations for possible solutions to eliminate cheating, participants themselves recommended increasing students’ awareness of cheating policy and finding solutions to common technological issues.

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