Academic Integrity: Ethics and Morality in the 21st Century

Academic Integrity: Ethics and Morality in the 21st Century

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-543-8.ch007

Abstract

Academic dishonesty is rampant and statistically rising. Academic integrity in online learning programs is of global concern. Individuals who commit academic fraud rationalize their behavior in different ways. Educators must constantly be aware of what students are doing. In the past, too many educators remained oblivious to technologies that students were using to cheat or plagiarize. Promoting academic integrity requires faculty training and then the adherence of that faculty to certain principles and policies. Some schools and institutions have developed honor codes to deter cheating incidents. Most importantly, academic integrity requires a culture of trust and honesty, which can have the strongest influence over morality and ethical behaviors. Academic integrity begins with the individual educator and must permeate the entire organization.
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Objectives

  • Define academic integrity as it applies to digitally mediated communications.

  • Discuss online learning and the challenges of plagiarism and cheating in the digital environment.

  • Discuss the roles that faculty and students play in establishing and adhering to academic quality assurance policies.

  • Identify ways in which technologies may present challenges to academic integrity.

  • Evaluate strategies for discouraging cheating and encouraging academic integrity when using digitally mediated communication.

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Background

Humans have dealt with deceit and fraud since the beginning of time. As cheating, plagiarism and other types of academic fraud evolve with technology and take on new forms, educators also develop new methods to counteract it. Researchers have discussed at length the issue of dishonesty in academia but not in the context of online learning (Lanier, 2006). A combination of research-based and practice-proven strategies will help ensure academic integrity in online learning programs worldwide.

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