New Research in Academic Misconduct Interventions
Locquaio, J & Ives, B. (in press). First-year university students’ knowledge of academic misconduct (AM) and the association between goals for attending university and receptiveness of intervention. International Journal for Educational Integrity.
BACKGROUND The scholarly literature on academic integrity at the post-secondary level reports that:
- AM has been associated with inaccurate assessments and degrees that do not reflect accomplishments (Bouville, 2010; Munoz-Garcia & Aviles-Herrera, 2014), workplace misconduct (Nonis & Swift, 2001; Sims, 2010), and damage to the reputations of institutions of higher education (Downes, 2017; Engler et al., 2008, Soutar & Turner, 2002).
- 50-80% of students in countries around the world acknowledge engaging in some kind of academic misconduct, typically plagiarism and cheating (Brimble & Stevenson-Clarke, 2005; Ives & Giukin, 2019; McCabe et al., 2012.
- Students often disagree with faculty and each other about what constitutes AM (Burrus et al., 2007; Carpenter et al., 2010; Keener et al., 2019).
- Both the quality and quantity of research on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce AM is limited (Baird & Clare, 2017; Ives & Nehrkorn, 2019; L. L. Marshall & Vernon, 2017; Obeid & Hill, 2017).
METHODS For this study, 356 first-year college students at a top-tier research university completed a self-paced online training program on academic integrity (AI) expectations as part of their orientation as new students. The students responded to items about their:
- Knowledge of citations/references and cheating.
- Goal type (intrinsic, extrinsic, or both) for attending college.
- Receptiveness towards AM intervention.
Responses to these three topics were coded using Quantitative Content Analysis (Quant-CA) as described by Neuendorf (2002). Using this approach, we applied a priori categories to each response based on what the item was asking. Then each response was identified as nonresponsive, basic, or advanced, depending on the number and types of codes applied to each response, using predetermined criteria.
FINDINGS The authors of this study found that:
- Students typically had beginner knowledge of citations/references. For example, they could describe what a citation looked like, but not the purpose of citations.
- Students typically described citations/references in terms of procedures, and cheating in terms of consequences.
- A large majority of students reported extrinsic goals for attending college.
- A large majority of students reported neutral or positive views about AI training.
- There was no significant relationship between the type of goals students reported (extrinsic/intrinsic) and their views about the value of the AI training.
WHAT’S NEXT We have recently collected anonymous data from more than 2,000 students of the same university on their engagement with AM. Our plan is to continue to implement and update the module in an increasing proportion of incoming students. In a few years we will collect data on student engagement in AM again, along with whether or not they have completed the AI training program. This should allow us to estimate the effect, if any, of the AI training program.
**note: The AI training program was created within the WebCampus/Canvas learning management system. The authors are happy to share the most recent update of the program with others who would be interested in implementation, with the hope of collecting data from a wider range of students.
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