Creating a Firewall Against Unethical Behaviours in Open and Distance Education Practice

Creating a Firewall Against Unethical Behaviours in Open and Distance Education Practice

Dele Braimoh (University of South Africa, South Africa) and Jonathan Ohiorenuan Osiki (National University of Lesotho, Southern Africa)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-867-3.ch005
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Abstract

The current process of democratizing education has inevitably led to the explosive demands by the citizens of the different countries for unrestricted admission into the conventional tertiary institutions as full time students. Unfortunately, the universities have no absorptive capacity to meet the demands due to many perennial factors. In order to meet these enormous requirements, it therefore becomes paramount for universities to restructure, re-engineer and reform. The paradigm shift therefore necessitates the repositioning of tertiary institutions in order to effect the change from “selective learning” to “lifelong learning” and from what “we offer” to what “you need” and therefore, simultaneously develop the skills of “learning to learn,” especially in their clients. Where many distance learning institutions (DLIs) have become relevant in the current dispensation is in their ability to create wider accessibility to education through the open, distance and flexible operation, which allows for learning and earning going pari-passu in meeting the needs and aspirations of their heterogeneous clientele. Paradoxically, however, the majority of the world population who are ignorant of the operation and value of distance education generally, view its products as well as its programmes, not only as useless but also as inferior when compared to those of the conventional universities. Their opaque arguments for casting aspersions on distance education institutions (DEIs) may centre on their individual doubts on the quality and massification, as well as the incidence of possible masquerading identity. Closely related to this is the general notion of whether the DEI or ODL, in any way, adhere to professional ethics or academic standards. Adherence to high academic standards, which is informed through the doggedly pursued predetermined ethics, has a predictable relationship to professional behaviour and academic integrity of the ODL, at least comparatively. Ethical principles are known indexes in organizational direction and commitments, but its lapses erode known standards in academic and research ventures, as well as the quality of community service.
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Background

In education generally, but in open distance learning (ODL) in particular, the issue of ethical standards or simply ethics, especially as it defines strict professional behaviour and academic credibility, has had its debate both conjecturally and age long. Over time, the dimension of what aspect of professional behaviour or discipline should constitute the “right,” or the “wrong” otherwise obnoscious practice, often attract multiple interpretations the world over. Unfortunately though, despite the pace of our educational development, institutions of higher learning (IHL) still have difficulties both in the interpretation and application of institutional rules and regulations, especially when there are disciplinary crises.

The word “ethics,” however, may be more appreciated within the tripod interconnectivity of “ethics,” “philosophy” and “morals,” which share a lot of proximity in terms of their depth of meaning and somehow, on how they are applied, especially within education. Taken from the Latin word “ethica” and from the Ancient Greek “ήθική” (φιλοσοφία), it means “moral philosophy” which is equally derived from the adjective of “ńθoc ēthos” indicating either “custom,” “traditions” or “habit” and which all indicate a fundamental branch of philosophy, which as well encompasses the right conduct and good life. While morals essentially connote the practice of right or good actions, the term “ethics” defines the theory of “right action” and “greater good;” but philosophy, without equivocation, gives meanings to their logics. Without doubt therefore, it is usually and often the case when such terms as “professional ethics” or “ethics of the profession” otherwise, “workplace ethics” are used to define the limits, coverage, and boundaries for members, within which organizational goals and objectives are pursued. Organizational (work or professional) ethics specifies standards that should give premium on how professional behaviour or tasks are to be facilitated while recognizing the worth, dignity, potentials and uniqueness of personnels who are the driving force within the existing socio-cultural and politico-economic contexts. It essentially defines professional responsibilities and rights motivated and directed by known values. Professional values inform and modify principles; and are an important way (ingredients) of living out an ethical commitment (American Counselling Association (ACA), 2005). It documents and defines code of conduct (otherwise, moral responsibilities) within academics, where the organization or the institution so concerned is education. Professional behaviour in education generally, and implicates the learners and programme/course facilitators (PF/CF), whether among the teaching and the nonteaching personnels, and for whom both individual and collective responsibilities are codified to direct organizational commitments.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Alan Tait
Preface
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Acknowledgment
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Chapter 1
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Education is intimately connected with ethics, because holistically speaking education is more than simply passing examinations and acquiring... Sample PDF
Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: An Introduction
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Chapter 2
Michael F. Beaudoin
Launching and sustaining innovative new academic programs is typically a complex enterprise, especially distance education projects, and more... Sample PDF
Ethical Conundrums in Distance Education Partnerships
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Chapter 3
Paul Kawachi
This chapter presents the desirable interactions involved in teaching and learning at a distance. In these interactions, there are considerable... Sample PDF
Ethics in Interactions in Distance Education
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Chapter 4
J. S. Dorothy, Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma, Ashwini Kumar
In an era when the distance teaching institution, irrespective of their type, namely single mode, dual mode, mixed mode and consortium, is involved... Sample PDF
Ethics in the Ambit of Distance Education
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Chapter 5
Dele Braimoh, Jonathan Ohiorenuan Osiki
The current process of democratizing education has inevitably led to the explosive demands by the citizens of the different countries for... Sample PDF
Creating a Firewall Against Unethical Behaviours in Open and Distance Education Practice
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Chapter 6
Glenn Russell
Some of the more important ethical concerns associated with open and distance learning are not those that may be faced by learners. Instead, the... Sample PDF
Ethical Concerns with Open and Distance Learning
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Chapter 7
Deb Gearhart
Are our students prepared to use technology ethically? This is a question of concern to this author and addressed in this chapter. Experience as the... Sample PDF
Preparing Students for Ethical Use of Technology: A Case Study for Distance Education
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Chapter 8
Rocci Luppicini
There is growing recognition of the important role of conversation ethics in open and distance learning systems, particularly within online learning... Sample PDF
Conversation Ethics for Online Learning Communities
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Chapter 9
Terry D. Anderson, Heather P. Kanuka
The emergent world of network-based education creates challenges for researchers who wish to further our understanding of the opportunities and... Sample PDF
Ethical Conflicts in Research on Networked Education Contexts
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Chapter 10
Michael Sankey, Rod St. Hill
The changing nature of distance education in the higher education context is investigated in this chapter, particularly in relation to... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Designing for Multimodality: Empowering Nontraditional Learners
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Chapter 11
Shalin Hai-Jew
This chapter examines the importance of cultural sensitivity and localization in the delivery of global e-learning. The branding, course ecology... Sample PDF
Why "Cultural Sensitivities" and "Localizations" in Global E-Learning?
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Chapter 12
Ormond Simpson
The increasing multiculturalism in its society has recently encouraged the study of ethical dimensions in higher education in the UK. Distance and... Sample PDF
Open to People, Open with People: Ethical Issues in Open Learning
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Chapter 13
Chi Lo Lim
Open and distance learning systems (ODLS) brought about immeasurable advancement in the delivery of education. Albeit all the benefits ODLS offers... Sample PDF
An American Perspective of Ethical Misconduct in ODLS: Who's to Blame?
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Chapter 14
Patrick J. Fahy
Ethics review of research involving humans is intended to protect human dignity by balancing harms and benefits. The foci and methods used in... Sample PDF
Ethics Review Concerns of Canada's Distance Researchers
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Chapter 15
Judy Nagy
This chapter discusses the globalisation of education and the challenges and opportunities arising from technologies that can impact cheating... Sample PDF
Market Forces in Higher Education: Cheating and the Student-Centred Learning Paradigm
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Chapter 16
Leslie Farmer
Case studies provide an authentic way to teach ethical behavior through critical analysis and decisionmaking because it reveals nuanced factors in... Sample PDF
Using Real Case Studies to Teach Ethics Collaboratively to Library Media Teachers
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Chapter 17
Tina J. Parscal, Peter Bemski
This qualitative case study was designed to determine the extent to which a framework for exploring ethical principles for online facilitation is... Sample PDF
Preparing Faculty to Integrate Ethics into Online Facilitation
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Chapter 18
Yavuz Akbulut, H. Ferhan Odabasi, Abdullah Kuzu
This chapter focuses on academic work on computer ethics conducted at a computer education department in Turkey. The chapter starts with the... Sample PDF
Computer Ethics: Scenes from a Computer Education Department in Turkey
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Chapter 19
Donna Harper, Petra Luck
The aim of this chapter is to investigate ethical issues such as individual integrity and rights affecting online students who are Early Years... Sample PDF
Ethical Practice and Online Learning—A Contradiction? A Case Study
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Chapter 20
Carmel McNaught, David M. Kennedy
This chapter is an essay about a new ethical problem that has become apparent to us in recent years. Bilingual plagiarism is the act of passing off... Sample PDF
Bilingual Plagiarism in the Academic World
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Chapter 21
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
The changing dimensions of distance education methodologies, new roles of distance teachers, and learners and use of modern communication... Sample PDF
Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: Lessons Learned
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About the Contributors