Academic offences and e-learning: individual propensities in cheating

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Abstract:

Abstract

It has been argued that the use of Information and Communications Technologies has made academic dishonesty easier but this does not necessarily mean that it is more prevalent. The study presented here investigated the attitudes to, and extent of, self-reported involvement in Internet supported dishonest academic practices. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that Internet experience, acceptability of cheating and assessment of risk predicted an individual student's acceptance of acts such as plagiarism as a legitimate way to achieve academic goals. There was a complex interrelationship among gender, frequency of Internet usage, and maturity of students. Academic offences tended to be more acceptable to males, but also to active Internet users, who were often female: that is females who joined the Internet culture were more prone to plagiarise than their non-active peers. New undergraduates were more likely to err than students in later years of their degree. These results show that there are a number of interrelated factors impacting on individuals’ willingness to commit academic offences. The final discussion of this paper both recognises that Internet supported academic offences occur and briefly outlines some technical and non-technical responses that should be considered by faculty to ameliorate this problem.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8535.00343

Affiliations: School of Science, Nottingham Trent University. , Email: attila.szabo@ntu.ac.uk.

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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