International Students and Academic Misconduct: Personal, Cultural, and Situational Variables

International Students and Academic Misconduct: Personal, Cultural, and Situational Variables

Susan Boafo-Arthur (University of Scranton, USA) and Kathleen E. Brown (University of Scranton, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1610-1.ch013
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The incidence of academic misconduct among students at institutions of Higher Education (HEIs) is rising to epidemic proportions. Technological advancement makes it easier for students to engage in acts that violate Academic Integrity (AI), yet the same technology does not necessarily make it easier for instructors to detect misconduct. Compounding the problem is the apparent difficulty in establishing a general description for acts that constitute academic misconduct. Creating a consistent definition has been fraught with issues, although cheating and plagiarism are seen as common behaviors that violate AI. The literature indicates that international students are particularly prone to acts of academic misconduct such as plagiarism. Theories have been espoused to gain further understanding and clarity on why misconduct may be prevalent among international student populations. This chapter explores literature on the personal, cultural, and situational variables that are often implicated in international student's academic misconduct and reviews initiatives used to curtail such behavior.
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To fully conceptualize the importance of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct, the term must first be understood completely. Bertram Gallant (2008) defined academic misconduct as including the following:

  • Fabrication: Making up data, results, information, or numbers, and recording and reporting them;

  • Falsification: Manipulating research, data, or results to inaccurately portray information in reports (research, financial, or other) or academic assignments;

  • Misbehavior: Acting in ways that are not overtly misconduct but are counter to prevailing behavioral expectations.

  • Misrepresentation: Falsely representing oneself, efforts, or abilities; and

  • Plagiarism: Using another’s words or ideas without appropriate attribution or without following citation conventions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Academic Integrity (AI): The ethical and moral code governing behavior in academic institutions.

Plagiarism: Use of another’s intellectual property without acknowledgment.

Academic Misconduct: Actions that may lead to an unfair advantage for self or others in the academic context and may include cheating, plagiarism, falsification or alteration of documents etc.

Anti-Plagiarism Software: Software that is used to detect plagiarism (e.g., Turnitin).

International Student: Students who travel from their countries of origin to pursue Higher Education (HE) in another country.

Motive: Rational behind a person’s actions.

Cheating: Fraudulent and deceitful actions on class work or other academic assignments such as copying, using unauthorized materials, and communication during examinations as examples.

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