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The role of ethics in preventing cheating in colleges

Received 2015 May 31; Accepted 2016 Apr 14. Abstract Background Integrity in academic work is a critical benchmark of every profession. For this reason, special attention should be devoted to addressing academic dishonesty AD in higher education to prevent the potential transfer of these practices to the workplace.

  • An unfortunate aspect, according to these authors, is that the practice of academic fraud forms an integral part of a culture of dishonesty within some institutions;
  • This occurs as frequently the activities of professors are dedicated exclusively to the completion of course work and the application of exams;
  • To eliminate cheating after the exam has been returned to students, mark the answer sheets in such a way that answers cannot be altered; e;
  • Dishonesty in academics and business:

In order to effectively address AD in Africa, further information about correlates of, and barriers to, the effectiveness of existing AD-controlling measures is needed. In Ghana, little is known about AD from the perspective of students. The pursuit of good grades, high academic load and pressure to please family and guardians were the leading causes of AD.

Cheating during examinations and inappropriately sharing answers in the preparation of assignments were some of the highly-occurring forms of AD.

Conclusion Our findings suggest that the sampled students consent to cheating—they believed that they committed no misconduct once the parties involved had agreed on the act. Considering these misconceptions, institutions should do more to help their students better understand the different forms of AD and how to avoid them.

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Academic dishonesty, Plagiarism, Cheating, Higher education, Undergraduate, Africa, Ghana Background Academic dishonesty AD among students can be defined as academic behaviour that does not comply with stated assessment requirements and other institutional policies; when students behave in ways intended to gain undue benefit in relation to their assessment [ 1 ]. AD is a global phenomenon occurring in both developed and developing countries [ 2 — 7 ]. A study conducted in Australia and New Zealand found that as high as 342 cases of AD among students had been recorded in fourteen HE institutions within an academic year [ 3 ].

Aside from developed countries, cases of AD have been reported in the developing world. For instance, a study conducted in two Nigerian institutions showed that 54. AD tends to be prevalent in institutions with high student to teacher ratios, a situation that is common to many institutions in the developing world [ 9 ].

Students with poor command over the English language and those with limited access to reading materials may be inclined to copy the text used in reference materials. In addition, students without anti-plagiarism training and support may engage in unintentional forms of plagiarism.

To this end, investigations into AD in low income countries should consider these often-forgotten factors to help differentiate intentional dishonest behaviour from inadvertent unethical behaviour.

AD is a serious problem affecting educational institutions, and therefore needs urgent attention. Unfortunately, the dearth of research data on AD, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, makes it difficult for HE leaders, policymakers and teaching staff to determine the effectiveness of available measures, and what might be needed to improve the existing plans. We believe that findings from this study will provide evidence that will help fill the gap between availability and accessibility of AD regulations in HE institutions and the effective implementation of such regulations.

WP is located in Wa, the capital of the Upper West region. The institution is administratively divided into four faculties, which in total run ten accredited programmes. The choice of WP for this study was informed by recent high rates of student dismissals due to AD.

  1. It has been recognized, therefore, that one of the most entrenched problems regarding academic dishonesty is that it does not stop in school; it is transferred to subsequent stages of the individual's life, setting forth significant repercussions within social equilibrium and justice. Blame parents not school.
  2. They will be looking to you for guidance at this time more than at any other.
  3. If Brazil were to commit itself to this path, perhaps it would one day reach the point that Germany did, in which a situation involving plagiarism could cause the resignation of a minister. Test preparation Create a test that is fair to your students.
  4. Unfortunately, the dearth of research data on AD, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, makes it difficult for HE leaders, policymakers and teaching staff to determine the effectiveness of available measures, and what might be needed to improve the existing plans. The rules must be clear and must be routinely reiterated.

This study was conducted among students of the School of Applied Science and Technology, since these students were a good fit for our intention to understand AD among students studying STEM subjects. The HND concept, modelled after the British system, is aimed at training workforce directly for industries. The questionnaire was designed by faculty members with many years of experience teaching in the institution, and as a result, had had many interactions with students on the topic.

Initially, written approval was obtained from the WP chief examiner. This consent was considered appropriate, having used the proper channels of institutional authority and communication. Respondents were first briefed on the study aims and were encouraged to be as honest as possible in answering questions. Respondents were also assured of confidentiality that information provided would be used solely for the intended study, and would not be used to implicate them.

Respondents were at liberty to either the role of ethics in preventing cheating in colleges in or out of the process at any time. Voluntary completion of the questionnaire was deemed to constitute consent from respondents. No personally-identifiable information was recorded. Questionnaires were administered to students in an auditorium, under the supervision of the researchers.

Survey data have been used solely for the intended educational research, and processed according to provisions in the Ghana Data Protection Act, 2012 Act 843; [ 16 ].

Since the study was an evaluation of educational experience involving normal classroom practices, we believed that we were not required to seek ethics committee approval. The questionnaire was divided into two parts i. We also obtained data on how students perceived their instructors to understand these regulations. In part B, different practices that are often considered as dishonest were provided and students were asked to indicate whether they had previously engaged in any of those practices, assigning a level of seriousness for each practices.

Next, we asked students to indicate possible factors that might motivate them to engage in AD. They were also asked to indicate, from a pre-provided list of options, the four most important factors to their education. Demographic data about students were also taken.

Non-parametric tests were therefore used throughout the analysis. Results Descriptive statistics about the study respondents Out of the 131 students sampled, 106 80. One respondent did not indicate gender. There were 68 students representing 51.