Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Second Committee Member

Brian Orefice

Third Committee Member

Susan Mullane

Fourth Committee Member

Tywan Martin


The topic of cheating at higher education institutions has been studied empirically for more than 80 years in the U.S. and has become a subject of concern in the rest of the world, where academic research has spread to other continents. However, institutional research has just begun in South American countries, where studies and surveys conducted in higher education institutions may not exceed twenty studies. In Ecuador, the studies on this topic are almost non-existent. This study aimed to encourage further research on this area with a hope to set the parameter that can make future studies in Ecuador comparable and with research conducted in other parts of the world. With the goal of obtaining first-hand information on student perceptions of what constitutes as an act of cheating, the data collected was analyzed using a series of two independent samples t-tests, one-way Analysis of Variances (ANOVA) and multiple linear regressions. Results showed that age was a good predictor of explaining variation in one's perception on cheating behaviors. Gender was also found to be significant predictor of cheating perceptions related to assignment and data. Finally, self-reported GPA was significantly related to cheating perceptions on plagiarism. This study hopefully will set a footprint that can be followed by other researchers in the future and further help faculty, students, administrators and practitioners establish standards among Ecuadorian institutions and remind everyone that the main objective of higher education is learning, not simply approving classes in order to obtain a title or diploma.


cheating; academic dishonesty; plagiarism; ethics