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Online instruction continues to rise

FAYETTEVILLE -- Online instruction made up about 12 out of every 100 student semester credit hours of instruction in 2018-19 at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

The preliminary data show a continued trend of UA increasing the proportion of its instruction online, although growth has slowed in recent years. A credit hour is a unit of instruction. Courses taken by students vary in their number of credit hours.

Out of 746,397 university-wide credit hours, 89,642 took place via online instruction in 2018-19, according to an annual report with preliminary data from the University of Arkansas Global Campus. The online instruction made up 12.01% of the total, according to the report, up from 11.38% the previous year, or 83,921 online hours out of 737,358.

For undergraduates, about 9.44% of UA instruction took place online in 2018-19, or 63,237 hours out of 670,120.

Cheryl Murphy, UA's vice provost of distance education, on Oct. 9 presented data to the UA faculty senate showing that 14,007 students took at least one online class in 2018-19.

The university had 3,154 students -- including 1,179 undergraduates -- studying in exclusively online programs in fiscal 2019, up from 3,150 the previous year.

"We are continuing to rise and increase in enrollments, but it has dropped just a little bit from the rise that we had in the past," Murphy said.

Cases of cheating climb in 2018-19

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville had 367 cases of academic misconduct in 2018-19, according to data presented by Chris Bryson, executive director of the university's Academic Integrity and Initiatives Office.

The most common violations involve plagiarism or improper collaboration among students, Bryson said during an Oct. 9 meeting of the UA faculty senate.

"We have seen a little bit of a drop in plagiarism and a little bit of an increase in collaboration, but not sure if we can really equate that to anything other than chance. There's not huge spikes there," Bryson said.

He presented data showing 145 plagiarism and 104 improper collaboration "incidents" for 2018-19.

The 367 total for academic violations was up compared with the previous year, when there were 314 such cases. These totals reflect only cases where a student was responsible for misconduct. Total enrollment for UA in fall 2018 was 27,778.

In March, UA faculty approved the formal addition of a new academic violation referred to as "contract cheating," which is defined in university policy as "a form of academic dishonesty where students get academic work completed on their behalf, which they then submit for academic credit [and/or advantage] as if they had created it themselves."

Bryson, in an email, said no violations last year involved such "contract cheating."

Metro on 10/21/2019

Print Headline: Online instruction continues to rise Cases of cheating climb in 2018-19

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