Communications Professor Surveys
For Knowledge on Academic Integrity
by Susan katsaros
From Dateline (March 27, 2003)
qualifies as academic dishonesty? Do students in today's high-technology
world understand cheating?
Andi Stein, assistant professor of communications,
was so upset when she learned that students from her class had used
copy from a bookstore website without attribution, she decided to
bring the rightful author to class for a discussion on the issue.
The experience prompted her to survey approximately 300 communications
students about different aspects of academic integrity, including
use of material from the Internet.
“Survey results revealed that in some cases
students are very clear about practices that constitute breaches
of academic integrity - cheating on tests, for example,”
said Stein. “In other cases, however, student responses indicated
ambiguity about certain issues - such as cutting and pasting
information from the Internet, or taking a writing assignment completed
for one class and submitting the same assignment to another class.”
The researcher noted that “students have wide-ranging
opinions about the availability of information on the Internet and
how far they can go in adopting this information for their own use
and incorporating it into their work.”
Ninety percent of students surveyed believed cheating
on tests is a breach of academic integrity, and 80 percent believed
copying uncited material from a book or magazine and incorporating
it into a writing assignment also is a breach of integrity, said
“Only 41 percent believe completing a writing
assignment for a class and later submitting the same assignment
to another class is a breach of academic integrity,” she added.
Another 19 percent weren't sure if this was cheating.
“I think the survey results indicate that some
of the rules related to different aspects of academic integrity
appear to be unclear to a number of students,” concluded Stein.
“In addition, students may need clearer guidelines about the
ethics involved in using information found on the Internet.”
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