THE USE OF SMART PHONE IN PERPETRATING EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN TERTIARY INSTITUTION
Background of the Study
The process of education starts at birth and lasts all the way until death. Early life is particularly important because it sets the stage for subsequent processes. Humans are unable to completely regulate the early stages, though, as children are cared for by their families until they start school. On the other hand, the educational experience of children is influenced by a variety of circumstances, including their peers both inside and outside of school. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (5th ed.), education is a process of teaching and learning. Also, Akaranga & Ongong (2013) says that education is a necessary process through which young adults are equipped to lead productive lives according to their talents and interests. Similarly, Durkheim (2016) underlines that the focus and primary function of education is to prepare children for their roles as workers and members of a larger society and identifies the purpose of education as the shaping of the social being. However, education, being a process of teaching and learning is evaluated through examination at the end of the learning period.
Examination is the most common tool around which the entire system of education revolves, it is the instrument used to decide who is permitted to move to the next academic level according to George & Ukpong (2013). Also, Nnam & Inah (2015) notes that examination is a yardstick against which students’ competence and progress are formally measured and appraised in the education sector. Beyond that, according to Emaikwu (2012), exams used in educational evaluation seek to ascertain a student's degree of acquisition of skills, intellectual capacity, and comprehension following a specific course of study. Due to the pressure to perform well academically, students may turn to using the advanced functions of smartphones to their advantage when writing examinations. Also, intense competition among students for top positions in class rankings or for admission to prestigious programs may foster a culture of examination malpractice.
Conceptually, examination malpractice is define as any deliberate act of wrong doing contrary to the rules of examination designed to give a candidate an undue advantage (Oko&Adie, 2016). Also, West African Examination council (WAEC)(2018), defined examination malpractice as any irregular behavior or act exhibited by candidates or anybody charged with the responsibility of conducting examination in or outside the examination hall, before, during or after such examination with the aim of taking undue advantage. Beyond that, the new emerging form of examination malpractice in tertiary institutions in Nigeria involved the use of electronic devices like mobile phone (Duvie & Eluwa, 2016). Nnam and Inah (2015), found out that, students at tertiary institutions have been known to engage in typical forms of examination misconduct, such as smuggling and using mobile phones and other electronic devices. Electronic cheating (e-cheating) which occurs through the use of mobile phone and other data or information storages devices for examination malpractices is a common thing in most tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This can take the form of emails, text messages from syndicates, web browsing in the exam room, and the retrieval of stored data, which can be typed text or screenshots from text books or notepads that are retrieved from storage devices like cell phones, Android, IPADs, iPhones, etc. in the exam hall (Oko &Adie, 2016). Furthermore, examination malpractice with mobile smartphones has been linked to students seeking a stress-free, quick approach to overcome exam obstacles. Similarly, it has become so rampant as more tertiary institutions student no longer rely on their natural ability anymore in scaling through examination due to improved technology especially on social media platforms in solving their examination challenges. It is not in contention whether students should own a mobile phone due to its usefulness. The use of mobile phones, particularly by the student cannot be over emphasized due to its laudable advantages. In addition, as technological advancements continue to reshape the educational landscape, it becomes imperative to thoroughly investigate the extent and implications of smartphone use in perpetrating examination malpractice in tertiary institutions. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate the use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice in tertiary institution.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Examinee malpractice has consistently been a social issue in the Nigerian educational system. Significant public attention is being paid to the growth of examination malpractice instances in Nigeria, especially at the tertiary education level. Exam malpractice has received a lot of attention in the Nigerian educational system and is seen as a serious threat to stakeholders, school administrators, the government, and society at large in addition to examination bodies (Oko & Adie, 2016). Additionally, according to, Olatunbosun, (2009) & Chukwu et al, (2020) the incidences of examination malpractice has become endemic in the educational system of Nigeria to the extent that every examination season witness the emergence of new and ingenious ways of cheating. Several factors determine the prevalence of exam malpractice caused by smartphone use. Students are more likely to commit malpractice as a means of achieving academic achievement because of the widespread use of smartphones and the ease with which information can be accessed. Additionally, maintaining the rigor of assessment procedures is becoming more difficult for educators and institutions due to the growing sophistication of cheating tactics made possible by cellphones. However, widespread exam malpractice made possible by smartphones has far-reaching effects. It not only undermines the validity of individual assessments but also devalues educational credentials and the reputation of academic institutions. Furthermore, it raises questions about how it will affect students' ethical growth in the long run and how well-prepared they will be for jobs that need honesty and integrity. Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to investigate the use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice in tertiary institution.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice in tertiary institution. Specifically, the study will;
1.Examine the prevalence of smartphone use in examination malpractice in tertiary institution
2.Investigate the underlying factors that motivate students to resort to smartphone use for cheating during examination.
3.Assess the students awareness on the consequences of use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
What is the prevalence of smartphone use in examination malpractice within tertiary institutions?
What are the underlying factors that motivate students to resort to smartphone use for cheating during examination?
3.To what extent are students aware of the consequences associated with the use of smartphones in perpetrating examination malpractice?
1.5 Research Hypothesis.
Ho: There is no significant association between the use of smartphones and the perpetration of examination malpractice in tertiary institutions.
Ha: The use of smartphones is significantly associated with the perpetration of examination malpractice in tertiary institutions.
1.6 Significant of the Study
Stakeholders involved in education policies can use the findings of the study to inform rules and policies that deal with malpractice, ensuring the general excellence and integrity of the educational system.
Furthermore, this research will provide teachers and school management insights into the challenges they may face and informs the development of strategies to detect and prevent smartphone-related malpractices. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice in tertiary institution.
1.7 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is boarded on the use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice in tertiary institution. Theoretically, this study will examine the prevalence of smartphone use in examination malpractice in tertiary institution, investigate the underlying factors that motivate students to resort to smartphone use for cheating during examination and assess the students awareness on the consequences of use of smart phone in perpetrating examination malpractice
Geographically, the study will be delimited to undergraduate students in Lagos State University, Nigeria.
1.8 Limitation of the study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Examination Malpractice: otherwise known as examination fraud, refers to any illegal act of examiners, examinees or both before, during or after the examination with the intent to make the examinee earn an unmerited grade or gain an undue advantage over others.
Student: a person who is studying at a university or other place of higher education.
Tertiary Institution: refers to all formal post-secondary education, including public and private universities, colleges, technical training institutes, and vocational schools.