Ethical Practice and Online Learning—A Contradiction? A Case Study

Ethical Practice and Online Learning—A Contradiction? A Case Study

Donna Harper (Liverpool Hope University, UK) and Petra Luck (Liverpool Hope University, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-867-3.ch019
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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to investigate ethical issues such as individual integrity and rights affecting online students who are Early Years Managers, leading a range of child care and education settings. This study has as its focus the student experience and explores student attitude from the perspective of participants who are transferring knowledge and skills on a day-to-day basis in an ethically and socially responsible Early Years sector via online learning. This type of learning has been characterised by distance and perceived reduced empathy. The research adopts a case study approach and proposes that Pelz’s (2004) “three principles of effective online pedagogy” perspective could be used to explore the tension and ethical issues experienced by online and distance learners. Questionnaires were used and semi structured interviews conducted to collect data. Analysis of the data found no significant ethical concerns in terms of individual integrity and rights perceived by the students. The contributions of an effective pedagogical approach and the students’ professional context to the positive findings are highlighted.
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Introduction

Much of the discussion and research around ethics and on online learning has been restricted to the following key areas: learning and teaching strategies, plagiarism, intellectual property and copyright issues. Luck and Norton (2002) pointed to the long standing argument that, as the distance between people increases, the possibility for genuine empathy decreases. This study analyses ethical dimensions of relationships online. It is acknowledged that the nature of human dignity forms the basis of our consideration of individual rights. Human beings are considered worthy of respect and should always be treated with dignity and respect. This research poses the question:

How are the students’ integrity and rights affected by online learning?

As the ethical dimension and the distance factor is a much unexplored area, this chapter then addresses a further question:

What ethical issues are identified by online students themselves?

This study has as its focus the student experience. These students are managers in the ethically and socially responsible Early Years sector. Yet their vehicle for learning has been characterised by its distance and perceived reduced empathy.

Therefore, this chapter sets out the background to the study, providing the theoretical and the professional contexts in which students are engaged, and gives some information about the online course studied. An outline of the methodology is followed by presentation and discussion of results arising from the study. Finally, conclusions are drawn and implications of the findings suggested.

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Editorial Advisory Board
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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