Do warnings hold back from cheating?
Last registered on April 17, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Do warnings hold back from cheating?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005696
Initial registration date
April 15, 2020
Last updated
April 17, 2020 1:02 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Grenoble Ecole de Management
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Grenoble Ecole de Management
PI Affiliation
Grenoble Ecole de Management
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-04-20
End date
2020-05-09
Secondary IDs
Abstract
During the Covid-19 crisis , many exams were taken online, and therefore increasingly exposed to cheating. In a randomized control trial, we aim at understanding the dynamics of cheating and how prior warnings may mitigate it.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Humbert, Marc, Xavier Lambin and Eric Villard. 2020. "Do warnings hold back from cheating?." AEA RCT Registry. April 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5696-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Warnings will be sent to students
Intervention Start Date
2020-04-28
Intervention End Date
2020-04-29
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Dummy =1 if the student cheats in final exam, 0 otherwise.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Owing to the covid-19 confinement in Spring 2019, all exams in our institution had to be done online. This situation being exceptional and sudden, instructors have very limited tools to guarantee the integrity of the exams. As a consequence, an exceptionally high degree of cheating is expected.
Experimental Design Details
Students pass a series of preparation tests before a final exam. The tests take the same form as the final exam. Both the tests and the exam are taken online, and collaboration/external help is explicitely disallowed.

We have two distinct and original technologies to identify cheating behavior. These are accurate and unknown to students. They are described in detail in the Analysis Plan. We call them Technology 1 and Technology 2, respectively.

We use technology 1 on the results of the last test to identify cheaters. Before the final exam, we will nudge some of the students: half of the students found guilty of cheating in the tests, will receive a warning.

After the exam, we use Technology 2 on the results of the exam to identity our main outcome (did the student cheat in the final exam).

We use different technologies so students cannot deploy avoidance strategies between the warning and the exam. The use of these two technologies allows to estimate how many students identified the first technology and actively avoided it.
Randomization Method
computer-based randomization
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
approximately 500
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 500
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
approximately 150 non-treated, 150 treated. Rest are a second control group of non cheaters.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For an alpha=0.05 and power=0.8, 150 observations in each group, and expectation that 50% of the control group would cheat in final exam. the minimum Detectable Effect Size is 15 percentage points.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS