The production of 'proper cheating' in online examinations within technological universities

Simon Kitto, Sue Saltmarsh

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    13 Citations (Scopus)
    41 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper uses poststructualist theories of governmentality, agency, consumption and Barry's (2001) concept of Technological Societies, as a heuristic framework to trace the role of online education technoligies in the instantiation of subjectification processes within contemporary Austalian universities. This case study of the unintended effects of the adoption and usage of an online educational technology (WebFreedom) for online examinations in an Australian university setting is analysed using poststructuralist theories of governmentality, agency and consumption. The analysxis demonstrates how techniques of governing the learning practices of students via online educational technologies intersect with the agentive capacity of students who are relocated as consumers in the higher education marketplace. In particular the paper focuses on the production of unintended localized online examination behaviours resulting in a form of 'subterranean ethics' or charing in online exams. The results from this cas study raise critical questions concerning the ways in which both students and tertiary educators are constituted within neoliberal govenmental thought, as well as the ways in which students produce themselves in practice as autonomous agents and educational consumers within tertiary education. Suggestions on the focus of future research in the area are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-171
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


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