How much cheating is happening at our institutions? Is it increasing as a result of recent changes to online learning? Are students changing the ways that they break the rules? What changes will be most effective in improving academic integrity? ICAI members understand the importance of having data that addresses these questions.

A team of researchers affiliated with ICAI has created a survey of students’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding academic integrity. Building on research by ICAI founder Don McCabe, the new survey includes questions about students' cheating behaviors, the morality of cheating, their understanding of their peers’ attitudes, and perceptions about their institution’s responses to cheating. There will be a special focus on contract cheating and online learning.

The research team, led by ICAI President Emeritus David Rettinger has pretested, revised, and validated the new survey using participants from across the US and Canada. The project has two fundamental goals: first, to provide scholars with valid and reliable measures of important variables related to cheating. To help achieve that goal, a peer-reviewed validation study will be submitted for publication shortly. This manuscript will contain the entire survey, so that scholars may have access to it.

The second goal of this project is to provide institutions with actionable data to enact meaningful change. To achieve this goal, ICAI will provide custom reports to all institutions that participate and once the dataset is sufficiently large each school will receive a benchmarking report allowing for comparisons to other institutions.

Beyond simply taking the temperature of cheating at college, the research will provide schools with institution-specific results. Those results will immediately allow schools to benchmark themselves against national and international trends. In the long term, institutions will have a baseline for future comparisons and data crucial to formulating and measuring changes to policies, procedures, and outreach activities. 

Participation is free to ICAI member institutions. Non-member institutions can participate in the U.S./Canada benchmarking study at no cost by joining ICAI. Fee waivers are available to institutions in need. To learn more about the survey, the partner manual is available online here. If your institution might like to participate, contact to learn more.  If you are ready to sign your school up, complete the partner portal, which asks about your institution’s survey needs.

Individual members are needed, too. If you would like to help design the final reports, recruit new schools to participate, serve as a consultant to schools as they make data-driven changes, help build a contact list of academic integrity professionals, or get involved otherwise, let us know at