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Faculty Beliefs, Level of Understanding, and Reported Actions Regarding Academic Integrity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brett A. Carter (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Gerald Ponder

Abstract: Academic integrity within higher education has been extensively studied nationally and internationally for the past several years (Aaron & Georgia, 1994; Bower, 1964; Diekhoff, LaBeff, Shinohara, & Yasukawa, 1999; Kibler & Kibler, 1993; Lupton, Chapman, & Weiss, 2000; McCabe, Trevino, & Butterfield, 2001; McCabe, 1997; McCabe & Trevino, 1996, 1997; Saddlemire, 2005; Selingo, 2004). Findings from these studies revealed that the seriousness of the problem has been underestimated by faculty, college administrators, and students for at least 30 years (Alschuler & Blimling, 1995). While it has been difficult to determine if academic dishonesty in higher education has changed over time, findings in the literature clearly indicate that students continue to engage in some form of academic dishonesty at high rates. Ludeman (1998) asserts that the level of college cheating among students has increased since 1941. Researchers (Higbee & Thomas, 2002; Kibler, 1994; McCabe, 2005; McCabe & Trevino, 1996; Ruderman, 2004; Saddlemire, 2005; Selingo, 2004) on the topic believe faculty members play a critical role in reducing incidents of academic dishonesty. This study focused on characterizing patterns of beliefs, level of understanding, and reported actions of faculty regarding academic integrity at public and private institutions with honor code and academic integrity policies in the southeastern United States. Also, this study focused on faculty beliefs and understanding of academic integrity at various levels (full professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructors). Finally, this study included a diverse pool of participants that included faculty from different and varied campuses (small and larger, public and private, historically Black colleges and Universities and historically White colleges and universities). The descriptive analyses for this study are from a self reported questionnaire of undergraduate teaching faculty at three universities in the southeast. The data revealed a few noteworthy differences in faculty beliefs, levels of understanding, and reported actions regarding academic integrity between institutions with honor codes and those with academic integrity policies. Additional results of the study, implications of these findings, and recommendations for future research are discussed. Overall, the results of this study indicate very few noticeable differences in faculty perceptions and understanding about academic integrity regardless of institutional type (private verses public with honor code or academic integrity policy). Whether it is a public or private institution or an institution with an honor code or academic integrity policy, findings in this study show that faculty generally share some common beliefs about academic integrity: (a) academic integrity is a serious concern for faculty who, for the most part, have a general understanding and support for institutional academic integrity policies; (b) faculty reported a desire to be informed of how serious the problem of student cheating is and the frequency of occurrence on campus; (c) faculty could take a more proactive role in educating their colleagues and students about academic integrity; (d) faculty could become more vigilant and committed to following through on addressing cheating behaviors; (e) students could be actively involved in supporting and promoting academic integrity; and (f) administrative support of faculty who report academic integrity violations is critical given this is one of the reasons faculty tend not to report and/or ignore student cheating.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Academic Integrity, HBCU, Faculty
Scholars--Professional ethics.
Educational accountability.
College teachers--Attitudes.