A Survey Of Factors Predisposing Academic Dishonesty Among Undergraduate

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A Survey Of Factors Predisposing Academic Dishonesty Among Undergraduate


Abstract


The main objective of the study was to determine the factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate in AAU Ekpoma. The study was basically a survey which employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to gather data. The subjects were 20 lecturers and 60 students who were selected randomly from AAU. The data gathering instruments were questionnaire and interview. The findings of the study disclosed that academic dishonest/ cheating, specifically test/ exam related cheatings and plagiarisms on written assignment and papers are prevalent. The practices were caused by the difficulty of the tests/exams, time scarcity, irrelevance of course material, pressure to gate good grades and losing clarity on the policy and the need of having extra points to raise their grades from high commonly confirmed reasons to low commonly confirmed ones. In addition, the study proved that submitting an assignment that was written by someone else, copying material from a published source without giving credit and copying from someone else during a test are the top three unethical behaviors which are prevalent. Therefore, as the acts hamper the quality of education in the level, various stakeholders suggested strategies to curb the challenges as recommendations. These include assisting learners to develop self confidence through delivering question based practical lesson, applying the rules and regulations strictly, developing and revising the existing rules and regulation in line with the sophistication of recent cheating strategies, designing technology based mechanisms, and improving the quality of lecturers in the university.


Chapter One


1.0 introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Academic dishonesty, or more commonly known as cheating and plagiarism, has been a constant problem for year’s at all educational levels. Academic dishonesty could be defined as a form of misconduct or cheating that usually takes place among students during examination, exercise or presentation (Reyes, 2006). It could also be regarded as a complex-behavior influenced by multiple-situational, contextual, and individual qualities, has gradually eroded higher-education-system.

Academic-dishonesty is defined as the deliberate behavior or action that interferes with or hinders the pursuit of knowledge and results in misrepresentation of academic-materials, taking credit or recognition for academic-work (including papers, lab-reports, quizzes, examination, etc.) that is not one’s own, or fabricating-data, records or tampering with university-documents (UNESCO, 2003).

According to Baillo, Reyes, and Bautista, (2000) stated that a number of studies have shown evidence of the growing prevalence of academic dishonesty in academic institutions. It is disheartening to note that it all emanates from the context of the community and the school. It is a common image of most institutions of higher learning to aim for academic excellence and to develop character. However, owing to the results of these studies, we can see a different picture (Resurreccion, 2012).

In the Nigeria, there were reports of an increasing percentage of students who have committed at least one act of academic dishonesty (Mohr, Ingram, Fell & Mabey, 2011; Kisamore, Stone & Jawahar, 2007). The cheating, is a part and parcel of academic-integrity, also is a complex-phenomenon that is neither confined to a specific-geographical-hemisphere, nor to any cultural-exclusivity (Chalghaf, 2013).

It is also ironically assumed, that “Cheating” is universally-understood and that every-school or university-student knows what “cheating” is. However, it has been shown, that students and faculty differ widely on their-beliefs and perceptions of cheating (Roig & DeTommaso, 2005), so the definition of cheating is worthy of additional reflections. Webster’s New World Dictionary (2004), for example, defines cheating as “being dishonest or deceitful.” Cheating is defined by Teixeira and Rocha (2010) as “acts which cover areas identified as illegal, unethical, immoral or that go against the rules, either in the course or in the universities” and they also stated, that countries, where cheating is most-prevalent, are highly-corrupt-countries

Academic dishonesty and misconduct, as a research subject, has gained much attention since the early part of the twentieth century (Hulsart & McCarthy, 2009). These studies have determined the possible long-term effects of academic dishonesty on the students and the school. They speculated that cheating and plagiarism will more likely result to unethical behavior in the place of work (Mohr, Ingram, Fell & Mabey, 2011).

It is also assumed that if a higher education institution (HEI) shall be identified for poor academic integrity, the communityand other stakeholders will tend to lose trust on the degrees conferred on graduates and on the capability and moral character of the graduates themselves (Resurreccion, 2012). Meanwhile, a number of studies on academic dishonesty had focused on business schools.

It is to be noted that business students in the Nigeria. were commonly more unethical in their behavior than nonbusiness majors (Smyth & Davis, 2004). The question now is, Are these findings true to Filipino teacher education students as well? For the past decades, Filipino scholars have conducted studies on academic integrity which mostly revolved around cheating on assignments and examinations, more than half of which involved students in the elementary and secondary levels (Mocorro, 2008; Baillo, 2000; Reyes, 1998; Koo, 1990; Binuya, 1988; Abrantes, 1984; Bautista, 1980).


1.2 Statement of Problem

The federal government of Nigeria has put in lots of efforts to shape the educational sector especially the tertiary institution in Nigeria in terms of good lecture delivery and proper conduct between lecturers and students before and during examination or class exercise. One of the major factors affecting most tertiary institutions is the issue of academic dishonesty.

The level of academic dishonesty maybe as a result of over expectant from parent or sponsor of most of the undergraduate students in Nigeria; it could be as a result of low self-esteem and peer group. It may also be as a result of fear of having extra- year. Secondly there have been studies on academic dishonesty but not even a single study has been carried out on a survey of factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma; hence a need for the study.


1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study

The main aim of the research work is to determine the factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate in AAU Ekpoma. Other specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To ascertain the level of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma
  2. To determine the causes of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma
  3. To examine whether teachers’ quality affects the level academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma
  4. To determine the effect of poor reading habits on students’ academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma
  5. To examine whether fear of failure predispose academic dishonesty among AAU students

1.4 Research Questions

The study came up with research questions so as to answer the above objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:

  1. What is the level of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma?
  2. What are the causes of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma?
  3. Does teachers’ quality affect the level academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma?
  4. What is the effect of poor reading habits on students’ academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma?
  5. Does fear of failure predispose academic dishonesty among AAU students?

1.5 Statement of Research Hypothesis

Hypothesis 1
  • H0: the level of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma is low
  • H1: the level of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma is high

1.6 Significance of Study

The study on a survey of factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate will be of immense benefit to the entire undergraduates in AAU Ekpoma in the sense that the study will discuss on academic dishonesty, the study will educate the students on causes of academic dishonesty and how to prevent it.

The study will also serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research


1.7 Scope of Study

The study on a survey of factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate will focus on 400 level final year students of AAU, Ekpoma. The study will cover on academic dishonesty, the factors responsible for academic dishonesty and the preventive measure to be adopted.


1.8 Limitation of Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work


1.9 Definition of Terms

AAU:

Ambrose Alli University

Dishonesty:

deceitfulness shown in most undergraduates’ character or behavior in AAU, Ekpoma

Academic dishonesty:

Academic dishonesty or academic misconduct is any type of cheating that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise in AAU, Ekpoma.


Chapter Five


Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusions

The main objective of the study was to assess the view of teachers and learners on the factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate in AAU Ekpoma. In line with this, four specific objectives were set for a further clear assessment.

The first specific objective was to assess the perception of teachers and learners towards the practice of various academic dishonesties in the university. Accordingly, the data showed that cheating/ academic dishonesty is a serious challenge in the university. Furthermore, the study revealed that though the college members are alert about it, the investigation is not fair; it is impartial.

The other specific objective is identifying the most frequently occurring unethical academic behaviors in the university. These activities are categorized as general and specific. The first case encompasses three activities like written work plagiarisms, test/exam cheating and improper use of group work assignments. The data confirmed that test/exam related dishonesty took the first position in occurrences following written work plagiarism and improper use of group work. The specific types of cheatings which took the first four positions are submitting an assignment that was written by someone else, copying material from a published source without giving credit, copying from someone else during a test, and copying material from the net and submitted it as my own work and not contributing.

The third specific objective was sorting out common reasons to be engaged in such activities (academic corruption). Among the causes which enforce them to be engaged in such activities as confirmed by most of the students, the first one is the level of difficulty of the test. The second position was given to time scarcity as a reason. Course material irrelevance and pressure to gate good grades took the third and the fourth rank respectively, and having no clarity on the policy is the fifth one.


5.2 Recommendations

It is obvious that the prevalence of academic dishonesty extremely hurts the quality of education. And, scholars stated that if academic cheating in individual level is not controlled timely, it would proceed to institutional level soon.

  1. Thus, the study confirms that academic dishonest is becoming very common in higher level. It is a high time to understand its prevalence and impact on the quality of education in the level.
  2. The findings revealed that the dominant causes are difficulty of exams, scarcity of time, inconvenience of course materials and ambitious to get high grades. Thus, it is recommended to improve the quality of classroom lessons by making them practical and question based. And, students should get training on how to manage their time and study skills, and Academic/ research report Writing skills.

One of the contributing factors for academic cheating is technology. Therefore, it advisable to revise the rules and regulations towards academic cheating in line with the complexity of the act. Even, using anti plagiarism software should be practiced in a national level.


A Survey Of Factors Predisposing Academic Dishonesty Among Undergraduate


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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the practical implications of the study of academic dishonesty?

The practical implications of the study include the identification of risk factors and potential mechanisms leading to students’ dishonest behavior that can be used to plan personalized interventions to prevent or deal with academic dishonesty.

Is moral reasoning a moderator of academic dishonesty risk factors?

Academic dishonesty in the form of cheating and plagiarism among university students has been a prevalent issue. This study investigates the role of moral reasoning as a moderator of fraud risk factors (Fraud Triangle-pressure, opportunity, and rationalization) on academic dishonesty.

Do accounting students in Indonesia perceive academic dishonesty?

However, little currently known about academic dishonesty among accounting students in Indonesia. We address this issue by surveying 342 accounting students about their perception of academic dishonesty and what motivates such behaviour.

How should universities uphold academic integrity?

The results of the study also suggest that university should uphold academic integrity by creating an environment where academic dishonesty is unacceptable and reduce the opportunity to commit dishonest acts because everybody might commit such acts regardless of their morality. provides a summary of the demographic information of the respondents. 

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