Ethical Issues in Online Learning Research Paper

Online education is a common form of learning today. Learners are now benefitting from online learning process without having to go to school. Online learning has been promoted by modern technologies. These technologies include computers, smart phones and the internet.

However, this promising innovation has its own set of challenges. The issue of identity is a major concern in online learning. Some experts argue that distance education can lead to cheating and academic dishonesty (Oosterhof, Conrad & Ely, 2007).

Student participating in the learning process might not be the ones who get the academic certificate. This has led to numerous ethical concerns and issues about online learning.

To minimize dishonesty in online education, it is necessary to have appropriate assessment methods. During the assessment period, it is necessary to have various methods to deter all forms of dishonesty. During the assessment process, examiners should use various methods to ensure the right person is assessed.

Examiners should employ various accreditation procedures to minimize chances of academic dishonesty. For instance, the assessment can be through online conferencing. This will ensure the registered student completes the assessment process.

The examiner can use electronic conferencing to verify the image of the student. This will ensure the right person completes the assessment process (Palloff & Pratt, 2009).

The assessment method should be able to minimize all forms of dishonesty. During online learning, the exam should be time-framed to ensure the student finishes the exercise within a given time. The approach will reduce the possibilities of cheating.

These methods will ensure there is accountability during the assessment process. The other important thing to be addressed is the student demographics. Whenever conducting an online assessment, the examiners should ensure all the registered students complete the examination at the same time (Palloff & Pratt, 2009).

This is an effective way that can help to reduce academic dishonesty during online learning. I support these methods because they will reduce all instances of cheating. The approaches will make online learning effective for both the institution and the student.

It is notable that online learning gives the learner an opportunity to cheat. Learners tend to use online information and content whenever they are assessed online. This results in plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

The online assessment methods should consider the ethical issues arising from the learning process. The learning procedure should reveal the skills and competencies of the learner. Any form of dishonesty will give false results (Oosterhof, Conrad & Ely, 2007).

The above assessment methods will preempt all forms of cheating and plagiarism. For instance, the use of anti-plagiarism software is an effective method that can minimize instances of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious offense committed during online learning. The use of anti-plagiarism software will catch plagiarists. The plagiarists will also be punished accordingly.

The assessment methods should be able to prevent all forms of dishonesty during the learning process. The learners should consider the need for advanced tools and software to detect plagiarism in most of the submitted assignments and works.

The exam should be time-framed to ensure the learner delivers the required content within a given period (Palloff & Pratt, 2009). These approaches will deter all forms of dishonesty during online learning processes.

The registered learners should be able to complete the assessments and be provided with the relevant academic certificates. These methods will address the ethical issues associated with online learning.


Oosterhof, A., Conrad, R. & Ely, D. (2007). Assessing Learners Online. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2009). Assessing the Online Learner. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

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