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UCSD Students Struggled, Cheated More During Online Learning, Faculty Survey Shows

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College students had a harder time grasping curriculum -- and cheated more – during online learning, according to a survey of University of California faculty.

The survey was taken at 10 UC campuses. School staff was asked to answer questions about what it was like to teach during the pandemic.

“I saw students struggling,” said Dr. Matt Bangart, a professor of neurobiology at UC San Diego. “And I saw students doing whatever they could to bet by which is most of us we’re dong under the circumstances."

The survey found 44% of the respondents at UCSD believe undergraduates had a lower understanding of course material online compared to in-person instruction.

NBC 7's Rory Devine looks at the results of the faculty survey.

Ten percent had a much lower understanding, which may have resulted in more cheating, Bangart believes.

“It’s very, very hard to regulate cheating, regulate whatever information at home when they’re by themselves, presumably, and they’re often not,” he said.

The survey also found 32% of those faculty who responded felt cheating was higher than in traditional classes, and 28% said cheating was “much” higher.

“I don’t condone it, but I understand how it could come to be. A lot of us were in full survival mode,” Bangart said.

Bangart said he had to report cases of cheating to the Disciplinary Office of Academic Affairs.

“I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but it’s part of your duty. It’s not ‘Anything goes,’ around here. You still have to play by the rules, ever under duress,” he said.

Faculty members told NBC 7 the same results were seen at colleges and university campuses across the country.

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